Best puzzle from BANG 26
Probably my favorite puzzle from BANG 26 was the first: http://www.teamlosjefes.com/bangxxvi/Puzzles/Sail.pdf
. What's great about this puzzle is that it takes a well-used coding scheme (semaphore flags) and presents it in a way that was novel and interesting. Kudos to Los Jefes for this inspiration. And, man, kudos to whomever made those quilts.
The game otherwise was had lots of good BANG-style puzzles, and ended with half again as much puzzling in the "meta". It was alright but I would have been happier had most of those puzzles been placed along a route, not just the last location (which also was sort of a poor location for such a long duration -- no nearby food but need for being very close to that location to access the lock boxes). BANG 22 and BANG 26 both had this quality: solve the linear route of puzzles, reach what you think is the end, only to be given nearly as much work as you've already done for the final "puzzle." I surely enjoy solving puzzles, but I'd rather be able to have a fair expectation as to where the finish line is.
Get on a Burning Raft finished within minutes of the League of Extraordinary Puzzlemen and we all went back to my apartment to chill for a few hours before the wrap-up; Burninators soon joined, too. Between BANG 26 and DASH a few weeks back, when several teams finished hours in advance, I'm convinced that the right model for the ending of any game is the entirely optional end party. This worked really well at DASH, because teams could leave or stay and chat with GC or their friends, and there's no obligation on anyone. The BANG tradition of bring-a-prize doesn't quite work in that model, but I feel that's fine. In fact, I'd rather replace the bring-a-prize model with a BANG trophy, that the winner receives from GC at or just after the event. If you can't stay or come back for the very end, no big deal, the winners' name will appear on the trophy, they'll put on a future BANG and hand it to the next team, etc.
Anyway, now I'm just rambling.