Puzzled Pint Survey Results

At the most recent Puzzled Pint event in Portland, we put out a sur­vey for all play­ers to respond to indi­vid­u­ally. (Previously, we had put out sur­veys with a per-team gran­u­lar­ity, but never per-person.) Because Puzzled Pint does not have a great plat­form for writ­ing blog posts, I thought I’d post the results here, then point to them from Twitter, Facebook, etc. This plan also lets me steal the credit for being the author­ity behind the sur­vey.

In real­ity, I believe that Matt cre­ated it based on com­ments from all of us. DeeAnn did exten­sive proof read­ing and edit­ing. Curtis did the data entry, and I just made a cou­ple of fancy graphs. And typed up this blather.

So allow me to share the ques­tions and answers with you:

If we start repeat­ing bars, would you pre­fer: one home bar that we use each month or 3–4 bars we rotate between

Puzzled Pint is get­ting big. Both Seattle and London are new to the Puzzled Pint fam­ily. Both cities are larger than Portland was, that many months in. In fact, Seattle has had atten­dance fluc­tu­a­tions, with some months rival­ing Portland for size. In Portland, our big months are over the sum­mer. Why? No idea. College stu­dents are off from school, so have more time? It’s sunny out, so extracur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties become more appeal­ing? Regardless of why sum­mer is so pop­u­lar, win­ter is our slow sea­son. And this win­ter we have num­bers that rival summer’s. From the months we took atten­dance, includ­ing play­ers and Game Control:


So here in Portland, we need to come up with bars that can com­fort­ably hold 70–90 peo­ple (in addi­tion to their reg­u­lar Tuesday crowd). We have the self-imposed con­straint of not repeat­ing bars. We’ve bro­ken this a cou­ple of times in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions, but that is our gen­eral rule. This makes it dif­fi­cult to find bars. There are plenty of bars out there, and new ones open­ing all the time — this scheme worked out when we were 20–40 peo­ple, but starts to break down around 60. Scouting new bars becomes increas­ingly dif­fi­cult.

We are deal­ing with inter­nal strug­gles in PDX Game Control. None of us really want to give up the unique-bar-a-month scheme, but our size starts to force the issue. We thought we’d crowd­source some opin­ions and ideas. This barstool-like pie chart shows how you responded to hav­ing a sin­gle home bar ver­sus cycling through a few:


There are a few ben­e­fits to hav­ing a sin­gle home bar. The group (hope­fully) ends up on good terms with the man­agers, who know to staff up on that night, who might offer up spe­cials on food and drink. But it kills the mys­tique. You can still have a “loca­tion puz­zle” that resolves to a pass­word you need to give to col­lect a puz­zle packet that night, but that’s more of a workaround ver­sus a true loca­tion puz­zle. Having a few home bars we ran­domly cycle through helps keep the loca­tion puz­zle scheme pure and doesn’t favor any par­tic­u­lar quad­rant of the city (as long as the bars are spread out).

Several of the write-in com­ments (a cou­ple are marked as “other” in the graph because they didn’t tech­ni­cally select an answer) sug­gested open­ing up the rota­tion to more than just 3–4 bars. A half-dozen? Ten? Twelve? Twenty-four? One sug­ges­tion was to repeat after a year or two, which sounds rea­son­able to me.

If Puzzled Pint went to the fol­low­ing areas, would you attend that month? Sellwood, NE 42nd & Killingsworth, SE 82nd & Division, East of I-205, St. John’s, Hillsdale (SW)

We asked a few ques­tions about travel dis­tance. We know folks arrive at Puzzled Pint from all over. We try to keep it cen­tral: sim­ple and quick to get to from down­town via pub­lic tran­sit. This keeps us out of Beaverton (no bars near the Max stops) and Gresham (way too far). But what about far NE? St. John’s? These were the responses:


I wasn’t sur­prised at all by the neg­a­tive I-205 response. I guess it exists on some maps, but mine ends near there with “here be drag­ons.” (My inter­nal map is also bounded by the west hills, Woodstock, and Glisan, but that’s just me.) The 82nd and St. John’s responses sur­prised me. Personally, St. John’s feels quite iso­lated from the rest of the city. And I don’t mind SE 82nd, as I live just beyond 50th, but under­stand that it feels dis­tant for many folks.

If we ran on mul­ti­ple nights, which day would you attend? Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday

What about split­ting Puzzled Pint between days of the week? This is a bit of a biased and self-selecting ques­tion. Folks that can do Tuesday are present to answer. Those that can’t come to Puzzled Pint because it’s on a Tuesday are not at all rep­re­sented. Admittedly, this is one of the least pop­u­lar ideas float­ing around Game Control — we’re then either ded­i­cat­ing two nights that week, or we’re split­ting the team — but we thought we’d float it out there and check the responses. Unsurprisingly, most folks wanted it to stick to Tuesdays, as shown by this barstool-pie-chart, though Wednesdays might work as an alter­nate?


Assorted com­ments...

We have had sev­eral com­ments, both on the sur­vey and in per­son, over the past few months about keep­ing loca­tions baby-friendly. Fortunately many of the larger loca­tions tend to be more restaurant/pub than dive-bar, so this has sort of worked out on its own. We’ll do our best to con­tinue to be baby-friendly.

One of the more silly sug­ges­tions was to start our own bar. How hard can that be, right? Puzzles The Bar, any­one?

Do you have addi­tional com­ments? Feel free to chime in on Twitter (@PuzzledPint), Facebook, or, uh... in the com­ments, here, I guess?

Posted in: Portland Puzzle Games

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Brian Enigma

Brian Enigma is a Portlander, manipulator of atoms & bits, minor-league blogger, and all-around great guy. He typically writes about the interesting “maker” projects he's working on, but sometimes veers off into puzzles, software, games, local news, and current events.

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