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Company Announces $30,000 Prize For Solving iPhone Game

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the genuine-philanthropy-or-pr-stunt dept.

85

dlpasco writes "Puzzllotto. The game, styled after titles such as Myst and Zork, will be available in the iPhone App Store later this week for $4.99. 10% of the sales revenue from the game will go to the Madagascar Fauna Group. At this point, only US citizens may participate in the contest but it has been stated that UL wishes to make future events world wide. 'Even though Puzzllotto represents a significant investment of engineering and legal resources, the company refuses to apply for patents on any invention. Instead, the company hopes to share its investment with other developers through its fundware.info site, while the company's ten employees hope Puzzllotto will raise enough money to capitalize bigger dreams.'" This could also be seen as a test for greed, since the prize money will only start at $1,000 and will grow by $1,000 each day for 30 days, at which point, if no one has solved it, the entire pot will be donated to charity.

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85 comments

Hum (4, Interesting)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446835)

Can't someone reverse engineer the enigmas, backtrack through the puzzles and 'win' the game ?

Re:Hum (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446865)

Don't worry about it.

--Puzzllotto

Re:Hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25448795)

Let me clarify/qualify my last comment.

We have added a subjective/random component to winning the contest that is not easily separated from the objective portion. Thus, you need to solve the logic puzzles but as well we need to deem you "appropriate" as a winner.

We got this idea from 1996's "Treasure Quest" (c.f. Wikipedia) if you were around when that came out.

--Puzzllotto

Re:Hum (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447187)

Not if they were to keep the puzzle layouts and success conditions on the server. It would be very bandwidth and resource intensive, but that's the only way I can think of to keep everything a secret.

Sound like the UK call in shows that used lateral (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447519)

Sound like the UK call in shows that used lateral thinking puzzles and other stuff that likely make it seem easy. Playmania / quiznation did the type of stuff with useing real odd word in there Crosswords, Word $lams, Word Cuts and more. Midnight money madness was much better.

The Game does not tell you how to play or how to win sounds like one of the pay call in live game shows.

Re:Sound like the UK call in shows that used later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25449059)

You Lost The Game.

By definition, so have I.

Re:Sound like the UK call in shows that used later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25451899)

You bastard!

Re:Sound like the UK call in shows that used later (1)

Glyphstream (1101409) | more than 5 years ago | (#25580529)

I lost the game when reading the first post and am therefore immune to losing the game from yours.

Re:Sound like the UK call in shows that used later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25449785)

Wonder if they'll put the top 10 players names from this game in the opening of the next fund raising game they make...

Re:Hum (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448289)

Maybe. I'd guess: probably not.

If I'd have to wager a guess, they don't intend to give out the $30k (or any amount) as a "prize" and intended to donate it to charity (as its tax-deductible) from the start.

Not only is it cheap way to do advertisement, it's great viral advertising. While many people might buy the game, and even more play it, if they were to know about it, a lot more people are going to both know about it and play it now due to the $30k "prize".

As far as it not being reverse engineerable: I'd guess they might not even have an end-game condition. Or, if they do, it'd be all but impossible to reach it within the 30 days of the competition (maybe even with a known solution to all puzzles).

Re:Hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25449663)

They said they brought in lawyers and a promotions company to run things, so I doubt any scam could be that transparent. It could still be a scam, but given that, and the fact that United Lemur is a collaboration of respected developers, I doubt it.

Link omitted (4, Informative)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446857)

This [puzzllotto.com] appears to be the most relevant site and it includes game rules. This does appear to be blatant Slashvertizing though and should probably be on the Idle page.

Re:Link omitted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446947)

don't worry, slashdotters are not idiots and will not fork $5 for this, the best is not to buy the application, so they must pay to charity the money from their own pockets.

Re:Link omitted (5, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447281)

i'd rather read "slashvertising" for an interesting and original game that helps fund a charity [savethelemur.org] than slashvertisements about some crappy Microsoft mouse with a blue tracking light or more Apple product updates. really, of all the slashvertisements that get posted, this is the one you have a problem with? is it because of the lemurs? why do you hate lemurs so much?

saving lemurs > !saving lemurs.

besides, their fundware [fundware.info] idea is pretty cool. it creates a way for software producers to be less reliant on VCs while directly involving end-users in the development process. perhaps this model will mean more products that are created for/by the average user instead of all software being made to the specifications of profit-driven CEOs and PHBs.

Re:Link omitted (1)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448275)

How is this NOT gambling? Granted, you only have to pay the $5 once, but most states in the US don't let you give away something as a promotion unless "no purchase is required."

Re:Link omitted (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25448545)

One the one hand, you're not a lawyer. On the other hand, United Lemur says it has retained "the best promotions attorneys on the planet."

So probably there are some nuances to this thing you don't know anything about and you should just stop talking.

Re:Link omitted (1)

Krelnor (1189683) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448933)

What do Maryland, North Dakota and Vermont have in common for laws that they can't run their promotion there? Are they the only states which still prohibit lotteries?

Re:Link omitted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452159)

It's not gambling, it's a competition extremely similar to a race. Prize goes to whoever completes it first. Competitive events such as nascar, horse racing, and their ilk usually carry some form of monetary reward for the winner. These are not considered gambling. Some people will bet on the outcome of these races, but that is not what is going on here.

Re:Link omitted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25559997)

We've worked very hard to make this 100% ethical and legal. To no extent is Puzzllotto gambling, there is no chance or randomness at all. The only thing standing between you and the prize is your wit. ï¼We have worked with professional promotions attorneys and have impartial third-party judges running the competition.

Will this work? (3, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446869)

How are they going to make money?

If I'm reading it right their prize pot is $30,000. They're selling at $5 a throw and apple get 1/3 of that. So to break even they've got to sell 9000 copies. Doesn't sound a lot but I bet the majority of iphone apps never get near that.

Re:Will this work? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446913)

Doesn't sound a lot but I bet the majority of iphone apps never get near that.

I think the idea is that they'd get enough people after that prize to set records with sales.

Re:Will this work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446999)

There's also a nice tradeoff. If someone solves it immediately, the prize money will be smaller. This could help make up for less people downloading the game by that point. The longer it takes to solve the game, the more money gets shelled out, but the more chance there is for people to buy the game and make the money back for the gamemakers.

Re:Will this work? (4, Funny)

biraneto (886262) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446983)

> So to break even they've got to sell 9000 copies. Doesn't sound a lot but I bet the majority of iphone apps never get > near that. That's because the majority of the iphone apps don't get "slashvertised"

Re:Will this work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25460865)

What about the costs of creating the product itself?

Those numbers can't be right (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447085)

Perhaps many applications don't sell 9000 copies, but many must sell a lot more than that.

Apple, and software writers, can't make a business work on numbers like that.

Re:Will this work? (4, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447131)

286 sales a day would just about pay for the prize. As the prize money increases, we would expect more sales. I would assume the expected sales versus time would have an concave shape, where at some point people just buy the game in hope of receiving the prize money, and sales go up dramatically, then likely drop significantly. It is like the lottery where lines grow grotesquely long as prize money increases.

The scam tag may be appropriate here, because they can basically engineer the game to be so easy as to insure someone can solve it in a few days, or so hard that that no one can solve it in 30 days. Sure the money will go to charity, but the actual net loss such a donation would generate after taxes and publicity benefits are unclear.

This seems like a credible piece of advertising to boost sales in a market with few opportunities to get noticed. It is low cost, of limited duration, and will encourage people to buy the product with a minimum 200X ROI, for those with a gambling mind.

Re:Will this work? (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447697)

The problem is you might expect after that 30 days for sales to absolutely plummet. Like homer simpson trying to sell his pumpkin futures on November 1st. It seems like the window of making money for this app is extremely narrow, and without good marketing (which also costs money) it might not have any long term future as the hook is just too short term.

Re:Will this work? (4, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447193)

Look at Trism, which also sells for five bucks. The guy who made it has brought in over a quarter million already (as of when the article about him was written, at least a month ago), and I believe that's after Apple's fees. Granted, he had it out as a demo on the Jailbroken phones and got a lot of good advertising that way, not to mention the fact that he made a very damn good product.

Any app which has developers (in the plural) behind it is certainly expecting to be profitable. There are plenty of apps released by hobbyists, but there are also tons more that are being produced by real companies, and you can be damn sure that they're not doing it for charity.

I've only briefly poked with the SDK (I specialize in web work so it's a bit trickier to pick up coming from that whole coding style), but it seems easy enough to work with especially if you have prior Cocoa experience. Given that 9000 copies of an app sold means, by most reasonably-current estimates, that you sell only one copy for more than every thousand iPhone owners, that number hardly sounds unattainable if you have a product that doesn't completely suck. Tell your iPhone-owning friends, have them tell their friends... it'll go by that mark in no time if it's worth its salt.

Then go make an offer like this, and get all of the otherwise-free advertising? This is brilliant marketing. $30k for millions of views, and giving people a financial incentive to buy? Again, content is king, but if the game is any good they'll probably sell 50k+ copies thanks to this.

Clearly you don't get it (4, Informative)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447201)

While in one month the company may not recover the cost of the prize, the possibility of generating enough of sales to earn a quarter of a million dollars is there.

Why do I mention $250,000? Because that's how much Steve Demeter's puzzle game Trism earned between 11 July and 18 September [twitter.com] .

This mentioned [daringfireball.net] by John Gruber on the very day.

My best guess is that if this prize money get the company many downloads, the company may easily make back it's money in the first week.

Re:Will this work? (2, Insightful)

Brad Eleven (165911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447219)

That's why it's called puzzLOTTO. Ever notice how people will drive for hours and stand in line just to pay the moron tax when the PowerBall lotteries announce that the next payout is going to be tens of millions?

For sure someone will buy the app on day 29, planning to solve it in time to get the $30k.

Re:Will this work? (1)

KevinKnSC (744603) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447551)

just to pay the moron tax when the PowerBall lotteries announce that the next payout is going to be tens of millions

To be fair, PowerBall has a positive expected return for sufficiently large jackpots (above $240 million or so), not that most players sit there crunching the numbers on the way to the Stop-N-Save, or anything.

Re:Will this work? (1)

Strilanc (1077197) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448935)

You're assuming you're not going to have to share the prize.

Re:Will this work? (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25449265)

Some quick thought suggests that if it has a positive expected return, it will have the same expected return no matter how many people the jackpot is shared amongst. (This isn't necessarily true true once you start buying up a significant chunk of the tickets, of course.)

What can affect the expected return is the number of tickets sold, which obviously increases if there's a big jackpot. It's still possible to have a positive expected return, though.

Re:Will this work? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25449729)

it will have the same expected return no matter how many people the jackpot is shared amongst. (This isn't necessarily true true once you start buying up a significant chunk of the tickets, of course.)

If it's not true then, it's not true *ever*. Expected Reture, aka Payout Ratio is simply (Prize/bet)*Odds_of_winning. It doesn't matter how many tickets you buy, because your odds of winning increase as your bet increases.

Cumulative lotteries are actually pretty interesting from a game theory perspective because the payout does depend on how many other people play.

Assume most people are rational (a number can't be, though, because someone has to grow the pot). Taking the simple route, and simply calculating a positive expectation value based on single-winner, there is a pretty obvious point below which you shouldn't bother betting. Unfortunately, if lots of people know this, then there will be a lot more chances for a double winner in the next round.

If you have information about the number of people betting in any round, you should be able to compute the odds of multiple winners, and form a new estimate of the crossover point based on that. Of course, if everyone has that information, then the number of new bets can be expected to be just enough to kill that idea, too.

And, come to think of it, that's interesting enough that I'll bet there's a study somewhere on the "efficiency" of the lottery market, tracking the expected return as the pot increases over the single-player unity payout mark.

Re:Will this work? (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452025)

You're assuming you're not going to have to share the prize.

You can reduce your probability of sharing the prize - in fact that's the only strategy for lotteries other than waiting for large enough rollovers. The numbers people select aren't even distributed, people disproportionately pick birthdays or "special" numbers like 7 or the last number, so by avoiding those numbers you decrease the probability of sharing the prize and increase you expected payout. You should be able to extract some data on which are the most popular numbers by seeing how the prizes have been distributed for previous lotteries.

Re:Will this work? (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 5 years ago | (#25449179)

For sure someone will buy the app on day 29, planning to solve it in time to get the $30k.

Fine, well I am going to get it on day 28, beat this guy to get $29k.

See the dilemna?

Re:Will this work? (1)

Nevyn (5505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25459903)

Ever notice how people will drive for hours and stand in line just to pay the moron tax when the PowerBall lotteries announce that the next payout is going to be tens of millions?

Err, no. You can buy powerball tickets pretty much everywhere. Also your assumption in the above is that all dollars are worth the same amount, which I would disagree with (for sure you shouldn't put your 401k money into the lottery, but putting up $1 a week to win $100+ million is not the same equation).

Re:Will this work? (1)

Brad Eleven (165911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25478855)

The state in which I live doesn't sell powerball tickets. Carpools form whenever the neighboring state's powerball reaches $40M or so.

Your point about $1/week as a lottery investment is well taken, but I refer to the tendency of some to regard a larger pot as worthy of a larger investment and the erroneous assumption of a higher probability to win.

Re:Will this work? (1)

grayshirtninja (1242690) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447477)

Considering the number of iPhones that have been sold, selling OVER NIIIINE THOUSAND copies of an app shouldn't be that hard.

Re:Will this work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25449677)

At this point, only US citizens may participate in the contest

Obviously they don't intend for anyone to actually *win*.

Re:Will this work? (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450241)

So to break even they've got to sell 9000 copies.

I can imagine the boardroom scene now:
"Vetega, what does the scouter say about the number of copies sold?"

The prize is ... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446891)

A lifetime subscription to goatse [goatse.cz] .

I want it!

Re:The prize is ... (2, Insightful)

pngmangi42 (1312017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25446939)

What bonus features do you get with a subscription?

What's required to play (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446933)

(a) Purchase the Puzzllottoâ Game. ($4.99) Puzzllottoâ is available for purchase
online at the Apple® App Store**. Puzzllottoâ may only be played on
the iPhoneâ or iPod® Touch devices.** If you donâ(TM)t have either device,
you cannot play the Game or participate in the Contest.
(b) Play Puzzllottoâ. Puzzllottoâ is an interactive logic-based game which
is set in the jungles of Madagascar. The rules, fundamentals of Game play,
Game format and overall objective of the Game have been intentionally
omitted by Sponsor (i.e., the developer of the Game). The Game does not
tell you how to play or how to win: the challenge of the Game is for
the player to figure these things out for him/herself. In order to solve
the Game puzzle, the player must deduce and determine the Gameâ(TM)s
2
2
format and what is required of him/her to successfully advance through all
levels of the Game notwithstanding the presence of certain obstacles.
Puzzllottoâ may be played as long as the device used for Game play (i.e.,
iPhoneâ or iPod® Touch**) is active for the Game. But, once the Game
ceases to be active on the device regardless whether the device is used for
another, different application (e.g., an incoming telephone call on
iPhoneâ; watching a movie on iPod® Touch**) or has been shut off or is
being recharged, the Game will automatically end and will be reset to the
start screen; and, in such event, all previous Game play will be lost. Partial
Game plays cannot be stored or saved by the player. The first player to
solve the Game puzzle by successfully advancing through all Game
levels and to thereafter communicate that he/she has done so (by
following the procedure set forth in the Game, such procedure being
made a part of these Official Rules and incorporated herein by
reference) wins the prize subject to verification by Judges (see Â5
below).

Re:What's required to play (1)

ravrazor (69324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447515)

So, you have to figure out how to advance in the game on your own and then do so in one continuous game. Make sure you don't turn off your iPhone, recharge it or receive an incoming call, otherwise you'll have to start from the beginning again...
This has got to be a joke.
Anyway, I hope the charity enjoys its money.

Re:What's required to play (1)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447601)

So, you have to figure out how to advance in the game on your own and then do so in one continuous game. Make sure you don't turn off your iPhone, recharge it or receive an incoming call, otherwise you'll have to start from the beginning again...
This has got to be a joke.

You can run apps while your phone is charging. And you can disable incoming calls by turning on airplane mode.

Re:What's required to play (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 5 years ago | (#25449327)

You can run apps while your phone is charging. And you can disable incoming calls by turning on airplane mode.

From the description it sounds to me like the game has a hook to detect when the phone is recharging, and it if is, the game will exit. My question is whether the game will run on the iPhone simulator that is part of the SDK. If anyone manages to complete this, I suspect that is how it will be done.

Re:What's required to play (1)

Baton Rogue (1353707) | more than 5 years ago | (#25457133)

It might mean that when you plug it in to charge, it disrupts the game (when the little CHARGING battery icon shows up). Either way, whether you can charge it or not, it means that you have to complete it in one shot. You had better have a good memory or take notes so that when you do leave it and come back you can quickly get back to the spot that you left off at. Seems like a trick to make it more difficult to win.

Re:What's required to play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25460877)

Or you could, you know, write down the solutions as you go so if you get interrupted you could resume where you left off. They invented paper awhile ago, you should check it out.

Patent?!!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25446993)

Patent on what exactly? The link doesn't explain anything...

From the contest rules (2, Interesting)

rminsk (831757) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447109)

Puzzllottoâ is an interactive logic-based game which is set in the jungles of Madagascar. The rules, fundamentals of Game play, Game format and overall objective of the Game have been intentionally omitted by Sponsor (i.e., the developer of the Game). The Game does not tell you how to play or how to win: the challenge of the Game is for the player to figure these things out for him/herself. In order to solve the Game puzzle, the player must deduce and determine the Gameâ(TM)s format and what is required of him/her to successfully advance through all levels of the Game notwithstanding the presence of certain obstacles. Puzzllottoâ may be played as long as the device used for Game play (i.e., iPhoneâ or iPod® Touch**) is active for the Game. But, once the Game ceases to be active on the device regardless whether the device is used for another, different application (e.g., an incoming telephone call on iPhoneâ; watching a movie on iPod® Touch**) or has been shut off or is being recharged, the Game will automatically end and will be reset to the start screen; and, in such event, all previous Game play will be lost. Partial Game plays cannot be stored or saved by the player. The first player to solve the Game puzzle by successfully advancing through all Game levels and to thereafter communicate that he/she has done so (by following the procedure set forth in the Game, such procedure being made a part of these Official Rules and incorporated herein by reference) wins the prize subject to verification by Judges (see Â5 below). The solution to the Game puzzle has been pre-determined by Sponsor as developer of the Game. Prior to the start of the Contest Period, Sponsor has securely transmitted the solution to Judges who, in turn, have secured the solution and have agreed to keep the solution strictly confidential. Such solution, without alteration, amendment or modification of any kind, shall constitute the sole accepted solution to the Game puzzle for purposes of this Contest.

Re:From the contest rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447481)

The secret message is "squeamish ossifrage."

Totally off topic, you can ignore this post. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447517)

I just got spammed and they wanted me to reply to anita04_2008@yahoo.com. That is why I am putting it on slashdot, to get picked up by the bots. Hopefully this makes one spammers email address useless and wastes some of their time.

Re:Totally off topic, you can ignore this post. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25449717)

Same here except the address was:

anita_bigger_inbox@yahoo.com

Re:Totally off topic, you can ignore this post. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25451373)

I just got spammed and they wanted me to reply to malda@slashdot.org that's why I'm putting it on Slashdot, to get picked up by the bots. Hopefully this makes one spammers email address useless and wastes some of their time.

Re:From the contest rules (1)

seann (307009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25449537)

24 hours after it's release, the official walk through and jailbreak patch will already be 23 hours old.

Re:From the contest rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25449859)

Maybe, but they'll have pocketed 24 hours worth of sales on $30,000 worth of hype for the cost of a trophy. They might be ignorant, but they aren't idiots!

Programatically solvable? (3, Informative)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447141)

Giving money to puzzle solvers has happened before. See for instance The Eternity Puzzle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternity_puzzle).

It'd be great if the product's home page said something about the rules of game, because then we could geek out and try to solve it programatically (if possible). It says "Puzzle" on the tin, but is it like playing Zelda or is it like the push-the-ice-blocks-around puzzle in Snowpeak Ruins from Zelda [roughly comparable to a small instance of Sokoban]?

Also, interesting, if this _is_ easy to solve programatically, we'd all be playing a big instance of something like the centipede game (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centipede_game).

Re:Programatically solvable? (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 5 years ago | (#25447303)

I really enjoyed Perplex City, one of the most fun puzzle games ever made. The game is effectively over pending Season 2. But you can still find some season 1 cards in original foil packs sometimes. Still fun to play, even without the $200,000 prize.

Not 30k (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447171)

"This could also be seen as a test for greed since the prize money will only start at $1,000 and will grow by $1,000 each day for 30 days at which point, if no one has solved it, the entire pot will be donated to charity."

So in other words, the winner will get $1,000 maybe $2000.

Re:Not 30k (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452007)

I really can't stop myself from asking: "Do you really think so?"
DOH

Zork and Myst (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447251)

Zork and Myst should not be mentioned in the same sentence.

Myst is like playing Zork with your hands tied behind your back. Just play Zork. It has better graphics and your nose doesn't hurt so much.

Re:Zork and Myst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447681)

Clearly you are thinking of Return of Zork, Zork had no graphics at all.

Please don't play Puzzllotto with your nose, iphone + boogeys= gross.

Re:Zork and Myst (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25461709)

Clearly you are thinking of Return of Zork, Zork had no graphics at all.

No, the original Zork. Lovingly rendered from start to finish. The rural simplicity of the field west of a white house, with a mailbox - a picture of cosy domesticity belying the subterranean horrors to follow. The strange carvings on the walls below, denouncing at length those who went around saying 'Hello Sailor'. The terrifying river voyage in the Frobozz magic inflatable boat. And above all I'll never forget the first time I emerged from a dark tunnel to gaze across the magnificent vistas of Flood Control Dam #3.

I don't think I've ever explored any environment so utterly beautiful in any game since then. Zork had some of the best graphics I've ever experienced. It just used an innovative encoding system to offload the scene rendering to external wetware.

Sensible (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447257)

Think of it as marketing costs, which would usually be significant. They already recouped 30,000 plus just by getting this post in Slashdot.

And stand to generate further coverage publicity in wider online media and blogs and that alone will be worth multiples of 30,000, all leading to more coverage, consumer interest and sales.

Better than squandering it on the mobile ad networks, PR or placement on iTunes.

Who the fuck is UL?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25447663)

Is it really such a fucking hard job to write meaningful summaries? Did you even try?

Wow... What a horribly written summary (1)

slagheap (734182) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448335)

A paragraph of random facts, PR quotes and bullshit, followed by an aside from ScuttleMonkey that finally explains the headline.

Easy money (1)

tylerni7 (944579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448503)

1. Purchase Puzzlotto
2. Solve the puzzle while no one else does
3. Claim your prize money on the last day
4. Profit!!

Well, it seems pretty clear to me

Money is money (1)

tayofr (1390123) | more than 5 years ago | (#25448689)

Marketing is the best thing of the world. I belive this game will have a realy fair succes by the way.

Can someone explain to me ... (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 5 years ago | (#25449543)

I thought contests that had cash prizes required a 'you don't have to purchase anything to compete' rule. Not the same as paying to enter I think, since there are many contests where you have to pay to compete.

But, a vendor having a contest where you have to buy their product to compete?? I didn't think that was legal. Just like Publisher's Clearing House can't require you to purchase magazines to enter. McDonalds gives out free game pieces, up to a certain amount a day so people don't have to buy Big Macs to play their Monopoly based game.

Re:Can someone explain to me ... (1)

Ren Hoak (1217024) | more than 5 years ago | (#25451367)

I think that at least in some states, there's a legal difference between a contest (purely odds based) and a tournament (skill based); solving a difficult puzzle could probably be easily argued as being tournament material (IANAL). I know that in my state (not one known for gambling), there are poker parlors which are considered legal because they don't play cash for each hand, instead they play as a tournament.

Unfortunately (0)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450327)

...the puzzle involves:

1) Factoring a 2-million-digit number
2) Concatenating the factors together in the correct order to produce a ciphertext
3) Which has been enciphered with AES(2048), and which must be broken.

First one to produce the plaintext wins. The plaintext becomes property of PuzzLotto, and is the current GPS coordinates of Osama bin Laden (with some random padding). Prize will be paid out of federal reward money, and is subject to verification.

The answer to the puzzle is........ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452879)

FORTY TWO.

AGAIN.

REALLY.

Now.. what was the question again?

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