Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The most boring game in the SL universe...

Pretty but tedious....
I'm not averse to treasure hunts, as anyone who knows me would say.  I've run a few myself - in fact I went on one recently and spent a happy few hours touring about 60 sims in pursuit of my inner slut and collected a lot of very nice prizes.  I'm not averse to hard intellectual games - I finished Cyan's Riven in a couple of weeks with no clues and no walkthroughs, and I spent many a happy hour beta testing Uru.

I have to say that I had high hopes for the MadPea Buried hunt.  The Heads-up diplay (HUD) costs $300 but it gave the impression of being just my sort of thing.  There were clues around the set of Islands where the hunt begins, and one had to solve six of those to be given the first location of the hunt.  The HUD was shiny, with the appearance of a cross between an ipad and an iphone.  It looked interesting and well done.

It took a while to find the clues - the sim was very laggy due to the number of avatars blundering around, and the clues are somewhat misleading, but that part of the hunt I enjoyed.  The game clues were obfuscated by the fact that having used a lot of commercial props and furniture in the sim, there were a lot of things which responded to a mouse over which weren't actually clues at all.

I hoped that there would be more clues to follow for the rest of the hunt.  However, instead of being given a clue to the first location at the first sim, a small, faint wireframe map of part of the first sim appeared in the HUD.I could barely read anything in the hud at any stage.  It was too small and faint for me.

Most grid hunts in SL involve going to relatively popular locations with a lot of objects, but the first location gave my computer serious problems.  There were things I couldn't see obstructing my way, and the image in the HUD looked so small in my viewer that I couldn't relate anything I could see in the map with what I could see in world. 

Eventually I asked in the MadPea group for a clue of some sort, and I was immediately given a spoiler.  I was quite sniffy with the person who gave me that spoiler, because I'd hoped for a clue which wasn't the actual location of the object.  One unfortunate aspect of the hunt is that unlike the normal hunts in SL, and despite having paid $300 for the HUD, you don't get to see the object you are searching for before the first location, and so have no idea what you are searching for.  And it is TINY.

By the third sim I was ready to hug anyone who would help.  Even with clues from fellow players, I was still failing to find the tiny capsule.  

Even with help, even with clues and people offering to take to me to the location of the capsules, I was taking an average of an hour a sim.  It's a needle in a haystack.  The wireframe clues are virtually useless in most of the sims, because you can orbit your camera in wireframe view and never find anything to match the picture in the viewer.  And so what you are left with is the prospect of searching a busy sim centimetre by centimetre for an obscure tiny object.

I have no doubt that the prizes are great - although you only get them at the end of the hunt, in one batch, rather than sim by sim.  But my life is too short to spend 25 hours doing something that is simply raising my blood pressure and, yes, stupendously boring.  So having failed to find number 6 after an hour, I detached the HUD and gave up. 

If you are going to use a tiny object in a hunt, there need to be clues that work better than the wireframe thing.  If there were clues to the location I'd have enjoyed solving those no matter how obscure, because then you can use your brain, work it out.  This way, in most of the sims, there seems to be nothing to be done except to get down on your hands and knees, virtually, and search every little bit.  Most people, I predict, will cheat by finding out the locations from people who have managed to do the hunt, but I couldn't see the point of that.  It's just tediously, tediously dull.  And not worth the rage and frustration...honestly!


  1. It's not that bad. I enjoy exploring the sims and shopping in new stores. The fact that I have a whole month to find 25 capsules lets me pace myself. I don't have to be the first to solve it y'know. I agree, the resolution of the HUD graphic needs to be much clearer. And since it is a wireframe view graphic I resent those (moderators) who say using wireframe view is cheating. I agree that the actual hunt for the capsules could be more interactive/interesting. But I disagree about asking for help. One of the best things about MadPea games is the cooperation of the community. Its one of the few, if not the only, chat community of its kind, for the most part welcoming, polite, and helpful. The community contributes to the joy of the game.

  2. I finished the hunt on the first day in about 5 hrs and enjoyed every minute of it and didn't get bored. I then went back to every location and wrote a list of cryptic clues to help others .. that was really fun, giving clues that were cryptic and made you think about what area you were looking for or what object was a total pleasure and the compliments i got for my clues were wonderful. This was so different to other hunts and that's what i liked about it... a treasure hunt-X marks the spot and once you knew what the capsule looked like i didn't find it that hard... i only got really badly stuck on one of them but got a clue for it and was quickly on my way again. This was more of a logical thinking hunt and i love solving logical puzzles so this was right up my street, but of course its not everyone's cup of tea. And now I'm having a lot of fun helping others, so to be honest the word boring never once entered my head. Yes it takes patience and yes it takes time, everyone knows that before they begin but you cant call a game boring just cos you don't get it! and as Rose said meeting people in the community, laughing about your blonde moments, talking about the concept etc is a joy.


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