logo The Mooncurser's Handbook
Step one: collect applications

Historically, Seattle-based games have been by invitation only. For a number of years, there was a small community of about ten teams involved. About once a year, one team would decide to host and the others would play. The announcement of a game could be rather subtle, as in a strange piece of mail with a puzzle in it. It could also be very dramatic, such as a mysterious visitor being dragged away by white-shirted, black-tied men. What it did not have to be is transparent.

We decided to break from this tradition with our event. When we were ready to announce, we sent mail to the usual mailing lists and distributed flyers at a Bay Area game, clearly indicating that there was a game afoot. Our website even had a FAQ that spelled out exactly what this event was and how to get in.

And the way to get in was to apply. Similar to Jackpot and other Bay Area-based games, we invited anyone and everyone to put a team together and submit an application to play in the game. After solving a fairly trivial puzzle on the website, the details of that application were revealed.

On Monday, June 6, four representatives of Galactic Consortium appeared at The Rocket in Fremont to pick up cakes. We didn't know were there to pick up cakes, but it seems that there was some subliminal message in our application guidelines. We heard later that one team's representative called his team from Fremont sounding worried: "Everyone's bringing cakes. Did we miss something?"

They didn't miss anything about cakes, although there were a few secret things that teams could include in their applications to get an edge. The pre-game website had three application puzzles on it (Kered DaVeen, Reviews, and Waxxo). The answers were posted in a press release on June 8, after the applications were collected.

The three application extras were roast beef, an old magazine cover, and a medium-sized flib. A flib, one deduces from the context, is some wearable object that a tourist is likely to buy. We had a T-shirt in mind and we got a few clever ones. "I survived Waxxo and all I got was this lousy flib" stood out. The most creative flib had to be from XX-Coeds, who interpreted a flib as a pair of lacy pink panties. This eventually made its way into the handbook entry.

The roast beef was tallied and disposed of quickly. Non-perishable application items were returned to the teams at the beginning of the game. We're not sure what happened to the lacy pink panties...


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