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EVO 2019 ELT Escape Room Week 3: Puzzles and Ciphers

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Puzzles, codes and ciphers in ELT Escape Rooms

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EVO 2019 ELT Escape Room Week 3: Puzzles and Ciphers

  1. 1. Escape Room ELT Online Meeting 3 – 27th January Puzzles, Codes and Cipher Ideas for ELT Escape Rooms graham.stanley@gmail.com https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com
  2. 2. Part 1 Puzzles What is a puzzle? Can you list some of the different types of puzzle? Have you ever used puzzles for language learning?
  3. 3. Beware of the man, be he friend or brother, whose hair is one colour and beard another.
  4. 4. Suspect 5781 Suspect 3467 Suspect 2974 Suspect 6754
  5. 5. Aha! Puzzles vs process puzzles https://thecodex.ca/puzzles-aha-vs-process • puzzles that lead to that “Aha!” Moment – when you finally get a flash of inspiration that helps you solve a puzzle e.g. riddle, figuring out a pattern or a sequence, connecting the relationship between two unrelated objects • Process puzzles are those you know you have to solve and "you just have to put in the work to complete“ e.g. jigsaw puzzles, math problems, sudoku puzzles, mazes, basic ciphers, algebra, logic deduction problems, searching for hidden objects
  6. 6. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 1: Puzzles Should Be Fair – You are on the Player’s Side • Rule 2: Clue Everything and Remove Ambiguities – Don’t Make Players Guess • Rule 3: A Puzzle Should Have One Answer • Rule 4: A Puzzle Should Have a Self Validating Answer • Rule 5: Clues and Puzzles Should Be Clearly Linked • Rule 6: Aha! Correlations Should Make Sense • Rule 7: A Puzzle Should Not Take More than 5 minutes to Complete • Rule 8: Tedious Work Should Not be Ambiguous on Instruction • Rule 9: Puzzles Should Have No Destroyable States • Rule 10: Puzzles Should Have Feedback • Rule 11: Your Puzzles Should Be Consistent – Follow Patterns You Set • Rule 12: Your Puzzles will be too hard – Beta Test and Iterate • Rule 13: Basic Rules • Rule 14: Language should usually be the focus of the puzzle • Rule 15: Non-language puzzles should be easy to complete https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  7. 7. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 1: Puzzles Should Be Fair – You are on the Player’s Side You should want players to solve your puzzles and not take delight in their failure to do so. Especially in ELT Escape Rooms, puzzles shouldn’t be so difficult that they take too much time to solve, or (worse) players can’t solve them. If puzzles are challenging or players have problems, offer hints. https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  8. 8. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 2: Clue Everything and Remove Ambiguities – Don’t Make Players Guess Don’t asume it’s obvious – give clues and don’t leave it ambiguous as to what a player has to do with the information he/she finds See Scott Nicholson (2016) Ask Why: Creating a Better Player Experience Through Environmental Storyttelling and Consistency in Escape Room Design http://scottnicholson.com/pubs/askwhy.pdf https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  9. 9. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 3: A Puzzle Should Have One Answer “Players tend to go down rabbit trails: they will find an incorrect theory and expand on this theory until they are so far down the rong path they may as well be playing a different game. However, if your clues point them in that direction, then it’s not their fault.” There should be one answer to a puzzle and it should be clear. https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  10. 10. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 4: A Puzzle Should Have a Self Validating Answer When players solve a puzzle, they should be confident they have the correct answer. https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  11. 11. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 5: Clues and Puzzles Should Be Clearly Linked It should be obvious when players find a clue that it is linked to a particular puzle. This is easy with linear Escape Room Design (bottom left), but more difficult when your room is non-linear (bottom-right) https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  12. 12. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 6: Aha! Correlations Should Make Sense “The majority of Aha! puzzles have to do with correlation.” Help players with that moment when they get a flash of inspiration that helps them solve the puzle by making it clear that a clue connects to a puzzle https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  13. 13. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 7: A Puzzle Should Not Take More than 5 minutes to Complete 5 minutes per puzzle has become an accepted rule in the Escape Room community It could be argued that 5 minutes is too long with an ELT puzzle unless the focus of the puzzle is on language (see rules 14 and 15) https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  14. 14. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 8: Tedious Work Should Not be Ambiguous on Instruction If you want players to do something that will take a long time to process, make sure it is clear what they have to do so they don’t spend a long time doing something that is of no value to escaping the room. Even better, with ELT Escape Rooms, avoid this type of puzzle https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  15. 15. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 9: Puzzles Should Have No Destroyable States “In an escape room, you don’t want to design a puzzle where crucial elements to solving the puzzle can disappear.” https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  16. 16. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 10: Puzzles Should Have Feedback Players need to know when they have correctly solved a puzzle or if they need to try again. Combinations on locks are obvious (i.e. the lock opens or it doesn’t), but other puzzles are not so obvious. You could play an applause sound when the players solve something. https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  17. 17. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 11: Your Puzzles Should Be Consistent – Follow Patterns You Set Do not mislead players and be consistent in your puzzle design. When you give Information to players, they should be able to trust it. You need to be consistent especially when you design multi-part puzzles. https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  18. 18. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 12: Your Puzzles will be too hard – Beta Test and Iterate You may think a puzzle is easy – it is likely to be harder than you think. Try puzzles out on colleagues, family and friends before using them with students – if your players are new to escape rooms, they will find the puzzles difficult. If you are told a puzzle doesn’t work, then remove it or change it. https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  19. 19. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 13: Basic Rules • No red herrings • No outside knowledge (make an exception for ELT Escape Rooms?) • No spelling or grammar mistakes (another exception for ELT?) • Puzzles should be solvable without requiring hints (Exception for ELT?) https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  20. 20. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 14: Language should usually be the focus of the puzzle https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms 1) "rotate the dial to 30 on the left, unless the dial is green, in which case you must first rotate the dial to number 15 on the right“ 2) "open the lock on the door with a star that doesn't go"
  21. 21. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Rule 15: Non-language puzzles should be easy to complete Sometimes you will want non-language puzzles in your escape room – your theme might demand it or you want to provide variety, but don’t make them too difficult. e.g. the jigsaw below. The jigsaw has the combination for a lock, But how long would students take to complete it? And what language would they be using? https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/puzzle-design-in-escape-rooms
  22. 22. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Advice given by Brett on the #Education thread of the Escape Room Enthusiasts secret chat in Slack “If the goal of the game is to motivate a student to learn English, the implicit type is probably a better fit. Explicit-type puzzles are likely to feel more like homework, which is a problem in general with "educational" escapes. Ideally the educational part is a side-effect of the gameplay, not the focus. Otherwise you can end up with the opposite problem to what you describe, a room that is educational but not much fun.“ https://escaperooms.slack.com
  23. 23. Puzzle design for ELT escape rooms • Advice given by Brett on the #Education thread of the Escape Room Enthusiasts secret chat in Slack “Many (probably most) of the educational escape games I've seen focus too much on using bits of knowledge as answers (something like "1492" as the combination for a lock that was supposedly used by Columbus), turning a large portion of the games into trivia contests or math problem sets. It is an easy and natural thing to do if you don't have a lot of experience making puzzles, but I think there are better ways to work learning into puzzles.” https://escaperooms.slack.com
  24. 24. Part 2 Codes and Ciphers What is a cipher? What is the difference between cipher and code? Can you list some of the different types of cipher? Have you ever used ciphers for language learning?
  25. 25. Codes vs Ciphers A code operates on semantics, meaning. A code requires a codebook where words or phrases are assigned other meanings. A cipher does not involve meaning – it operates on syntax, symbols. Ciphers are usually performed on individual or small chunks of letters. https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/computer- science/cryptography/ciphers/a/ciphers-vs-codes
  26. 26. There is an art to sending coded messages and there is also long tradition of using coded messages in ELT. Here are some ideas of how you can use them in class: Secret Code game Teaching languages with ciphers Secret Code Secret Messages Cryptography as a teaching tool Cryptology for Kids Codes and Ciphers https://wordpress.com/page/escaperoomelt.wordpress.com/109
  27. 27. #jackboom and the bomb An example ELT Escape Room cipher activity for Advanced learners
  28. 28. The city is being terrorised by #jackboom, a deranged explosives expert who delights in setting booby-trapped bombs. You are the city’s crack anti- explosive team and are called by the police to the 42nd floor of a high-rise building to defuse the latest bomb that #jackboom has planted.
  29. 29. A red and blue wire leads from the mechanism to the bomb. The countdown has not started yet, but the clock shows less than a minute is left before it the bomb will explode. The mechanism on the bomb that #jackboom planted looks simple enough. There is a timer – it looks like when it reaches 00:00:00 the bomb will explode.
  30. 30. On the back of the bomb there is a keypad where you can input numbers and then press ‘Enter’. The keypad won’t accept letters. Next to the keypad are four symbols and spaces below where the numbers appear when you enter them. Do you recognise all of the symbols?
  31. 31. #jackboom
  32. 32. #jackboom
  33. 33. #jackboom
  34. 34. Suddenly the count down starts and the picture disappears. You have less than a minute to go before the bomb explodes. What number do you key in?
  35. 35. #jackboom and the bomb Suggested follow-up activities: • Role-play debrief to pólice chief • Write a report of the incident • You capture #jackboom – interrogate him
  36. 36. Escape Room ELT Online Meeting 3 – 27th January Puzzles, Codes and Cipher Ideas for ELT Escape Rooms graham.stanley@gmail.com https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com

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