MouseAdventure Mad Scramble
I would like to tell you the day burst forth under clear, blue, sunny skies, but that just did not happen. Some amalgam of rain, mist, and dew clung heavily to the air in the morning, as if Father Winter had decided he just could not give up this year without a fight after all. Like all of our events, this one was "rain or shine," so we had to tough it out. Later we would have gladly traded the hot, sticky weather for some cool dew, but Father Winter had already gone.
Teams began milling about the esplanade's picnic area around 11:00, dutifully early for the registration. Teams were given colored numbers to affix to their shoulders this time around - we had spies throughout the park to ensure teams were not splitting up, and we were not afraid to use them.
Team photos came during the rest of the registration period, followed by an enormous group photo. We had close to 220 people registered to play - by a wide margin our largest event yet.
Everyone trooped back to the picnic area for rules and instructions, so now is a good time to explain why this event was different. In "MouseAdventure Classic," there are usually two categories of teams: competitive (various quests, various "EyeSpy" photos from somewhere in the Park that need labeling, and a trivia section) or recreational (quests and EyeSpy, but no trivia). Winning teams are decided on a simple basis: whoever has the most points in each category wins.
The Mad Scramble is an entirely different affair. There is an EyeSpy section, but it is a game unto itself. Whoever gets the most correct answers for the EyeSpy wins that game. The quests are a second game, and this time, they are organized as a race. The first team who navigates all four "stations" (each with its own quests) wins. The kicker is that both games are timed events that occur simultaneously, and are designed to be mutually distracting, so that strategy becomes important. Do you ignore one game and concentrate on winning the other? Or do some mixture of the two?
We do not want to create a game that is too easy, and struggle to maintain a level playing field so that first time players have an equal opportunity to win.
Teams turned in their final quests and EyeSpy packets at the same time, as soon as they declared themselves done. Those fortunate (and fast) enough to be finished before 3:30 received a packet of "just-for-fun" trivia and word search, as a way to kill time until the event ended for real and scores could by calculated. By 3:30, the game ended for the remaining teams, and tired but happy teams had an hour to collapse, re-hydrate, and re-group before the prize ceremony. At 4:30, the raffle prizewinners were announced (never say you don't have a chance to win something at MouseAdventure!), followed by the "spirit award" winners - a team impressively clad in matching pink tie-dyed shirts.
Then came the big moment: the announcement of the first, second, and third place teams for the EyeSpy game and the Scramble itself. The EyeSpy winners were tough competitors from previous events, and the Scramble winners were enthusiastic USC Trojan boosters.
The important part, of course, is that everyone have a good time, and we heard nothing but compliments - a typo here and there notwithstanding.