In the spirit of an Advent Calander, there will be a month-long series of puzzles for Explorers to find solutions to. All answers will be something/someone/somewhere in the game or community media, and the answers hint at a grand challenge solution for the end of the month, which will involve a game score submission similar to the normal weekly challenges - though the requirements and rules will have to be found or guessed at using the solutions to the individual daily puzzles (don't worry if you don't find all the answers - you can still earn medals and points so long as you follow some of the rules.)
Be warned, you may need to explore the game and investigate the world to figure some of them out!
There was a hubbub of voices from the main hall of the Renowned Explorers, murmuring and puzzlement evident among them.
Chairman Pinkerton looked at Lady Vaduva. 'Something's going on,' she muttered, narrowing her eyes as they entered. However, it wasn't the usual chaos that occurred when more than three of the Explorers gathered together.
Instead, they were gathered around a huge notice that was hanging from the wall.
Chairman Pinkerton moved forwards, peering up at the illuminated lettering and fancy paper on which it was written, speaking out loud as he read it.
"Renowned Explorers, you have made quite a name for yourselves since your society was established. However, you have not yet proved yourselves worthy of calling yourselves real Explorers - for too long some of you have basked in your own glory, and have not truely invetigated out every corner of the world.
So I have taken it upon myself to present you all with a challenge - or a series of challenges. Complete them all and you will show yourselves to be worthy of the Society's name! Look through the world for the answers - and complete the grand challenge that is hidden within them correctly - and we shall see if you truely measure up!"
Rivaleux turned to the others there. 'Never fear, Explorers - I shall see this challenge through and return with our name intact! For how could anyone ever doubt that Mattheiu Rivaleux is a truely Renowned Explorer!'
With that, he strode through the doors outside, flanked by his crew.
Pinkerton considered the other Explorers there in the silence that followed.
'Explorers, we've been challenged: We must all find the solutions and who or what issued this challenge so that all of us can hold our heads high as true Renowned Explorers!'
[h1]Additional Story (Unlocked on 31st December 2016):[/h1]
Within the Hall of the Renowned Explorers: International Society, the air was jubilant with the festivities planned, but a degree of tension hovered among the jovial atmosphere - today was a day about the end of the year, but in addition, it was the day when the Grand Challenge should be announced as well.
All the Explorers were watching out for signs of the organiser of the Challenge, but as yet, no indication existed of their presence.
Yvonne had been set to watch over Earl - hopefully to prevent any impromptu experiments, and Dolores and Kiwi had been set the task of managing the buffet table- which so far had only resulted in a few spilt eggnogs and meals and several tonnes of appetisers to mysteriously vanish - which, l things considered, waas probably about the best that could have happened.
However, everyone was expecting something dramatic, and when Chairman Pinkerton rose to address everyone with a glass in his hand, they fell silent with surprising alacrity. However, before he could begin his speech, a trumpet-blast emerged from the band that had been laid on for the occassion and from the rafters, a huge paper unrolled, emblazoned with red green and white colours.
In bold text, it read:
'Happy New Year Explorers! I see you've all been busy preparing for my Challenge - let me now declare it open for you to compete in - you have 4 days to complete it using the rules you have gained so far to show whether or not you are truely worthy of your Society's title.
In addition though, since you have all shown yourselves worthy so far, I will give you a further opportunity. In addition to the rules you have found, another has been added to give you the opportunity to make the most of this chance.
Now prove that you are what you claim to be: Renowned Explorers!'
- Each day a new puzzle will be posted. Anyone giving the correct answer (with a linked picture either from your own games or from other game pictures) by the deadline will receive a point for that puzzle. Individual puzzles may offer additional point bonuses as well.
- Each individual puzzle answer will also give a small clue towards the grand puzzle in some manner, and each week the highest scoring player for that week can choose for the community to receive one of the following rewards:
- A) an additional clue towards a previous, incomplete puzzle (and reactivate scoring on that one once more for up to a week - depending on the time of request and deadlines of the grand challenge)
- B) Unlock an additional hint towards the grand puzzle
- C) Reserve the option until later in the month (Would recommend using it around the 28th for a full picture of all the puzzles while still giving time to use it wisely)
- For the grand challenge, each player may give 1 submission at any time (though it is recommended to find as many of the individual clues as possible before submitting). You must play on Adventure mode for this submission to be valid. Final submissions for the grand challenge must be in before 12 noon CET on 03/01/17 (or 01/03/17 for MM/DD/YY)
- On the 4/1/17, the grand challenge's solution will be given. To achieve a platinum medal for this challenge, you will need to meet the correct requirements for this and have achieved enough points throughout the month for the medal as well as having the correct answer to who or what issued the challenge.
If no one manages to find the correct answer for a day's puzzle by its deadline, the question will remain open to answer or discuss for the month, but it is no longer possible to earn points for it (unless it is reactivated with a new clue).
Getting the correct solution for the grand challenge will earn you an additional 3 points for each requirement met on top of whatever you already had for the puzzles and bonuses.
From the 24th onwards there will be no puzzles, but the community may request for 1 additional clue towards unsolved challenges or the grand challenge each day from the 28th until the 31st December, with the final possible day for any information about the grand challenge being given to the community being the 1st of January (Try not to rely on these too much - you'll have a short timescale to complete the challenge if you wait until then!).
The spokespersons for these decisions will be the 4 top scorers overall throughout the whole month as of the 28th December (or their designated other user if they prefer not to use it themselves or are not available - if none mentioned, goes to the next person on the list).
After the 30th, all rules for the final challenge will have been released if solved within the puzzles, and any additional information released afterwards goes entirely towards the grand challenge or revealing further information on unsolved puzzles. This allows time to finish your submission for the grand challenge with as much information as has been uncovered.
Final submissions will need to be in before 12 noon CET of 03/01/17 (or 01/03/17). Following this, any remaining unsolved puzzles and the grand challenge solution will be revealed on 04/01/17 (or 01/04/17 for those using MM/DD/YY); and the results for all players updated at that point as well.
For this challenge only - as it is spread over several weeks and requires more work to succeed with - the individual medals will be worth more medal points*. The score breakdown is visible on the Grand Challenge link, listed at the end of this post.
* Bear in mind that individual challenges may be possible to gain bonus points on, so do not worry overmuch if you cannot give an answer to an individual puzzle - though the bonuses are usually individual to players quickest off the mark or fitting special criteria listed in the puzzle or grand challenge.
How to participate
You can participate by working out answers for the puzzles with the community, playing the game to explore and find solutions or collect pictures for those solutions (additional bonuses may be given for individual puzzles for these - details will be released with each puzzle if so), contribute a story, complete a submission for the grand challenge, or any/all of these.
Write a story. Use the Challenge theme as an inspiration by looking at the constraints that have been uncovered or the concepts described. Find other stories in the Fan Story directory or by looking at previous challenges.
Post your story in a new topic in these forums.
Also link to it to this thread with a comment: Include the first paragraph/few lines of your story in the post here to show readers what your story is about.
Play the game according to the challenge rules. For the grand challenge submission, you must play on Adventure mode.
Post in the individual puzzle threads with your answer to the puzzle and a picture of that place/item/person from the game or related media (any image that clearly corresponds with the answer is acceptable). Once the deadline for that puzzle has been reached, if the correct answer is present, it will be announced and points awarded to those with that answer and matching image.
Each Wednesday (starting from 14/12/16 [or 12/14/16 for those using MM/DD/YY]) I will post the latest scores, and the highest ranking individuals may request for further hints towards either the grand challenge or a previous unanswered challenge (or reserve their request for a later date). When more than 1 person shares the highest position, it will be a majority vote. (When tied, answer is by default *Delay to a later time*.) That's a total of 3 lifelines across the month - 1 on the 14th, 1 on the 21st and one on the 28th.
When submitting your solution for the grand challenge, post in the relevant thread (linked at the bottom) with your given solution. Submissions and discussions on possible solutions/rules can be given or changed at any time.
Submit your answer to the grand challenge by 12:00 noon CET, 03/01/17 (or 01/03/17 for MM/DD/YY)
(click here for your local time equivalent.)
Each individual puzzle will have a week to answer it from the day of posting before the correct solutiuon is released or points for the answers become unavailable if it has not been guessed.
NOTE: Only one answer for each player will be accepted for individual puzzles and only one submission accepted for the grand challenge. If you wish to enter a different answer, please edit your initial entry and make it clear which one you are submitting.
These puzzles are expected to be reasonably difficult to answer and may need work from the whole community to find the correct solution, though they will vary in difficulty, and some may also award additional bonus points. The grand challenge will require a large number of solutions from the daily puzzles to find all the requirements, and may require additional exploration, luck or consideration to reach the correct solution.
[h1]Story ideas:[/h1] How will the explorers investigate these clues? Will the answers be found in strange/humorous/exciting ways? How will they ever find out what the challenge is, or where it came from? Or do you have speculations about what it's all about?
December Special Challenge Links
Throughout December, a special set of puzzles will make up the weekly challenges, with 1 new one released each day, and the deadline for solving it will be a week from the day of release. As each puzzle/clue is released, the link will be added to the general forum and also linked in the Grand Challenge thread (linked below).
There will be no further puzzles from the 24th December, and all the answers for puzzles between the 17th to the 20th will all be given on Tuesday 27th December. All Rules for the Grand Challenge will be updated to its thread if they have been confirmed - any others can still be achieved for your submission if your submission happens to meet those restrictions.
Grand Challenge submissions/rules/discussion link (Deadline for submission 3rd January 2017)
For the most recent standard weekly challenge - Challenge #52: Charity Case - click here
Steam Forum: Click here for the latest scores and bonus clue details