The conference will begin with a kickoff keynote presentation at noon ET on Friday. The presentation will take place in a Zoom webinar at https://mit.zoom.us/j/93151035992.
In case we hit the participant limit for our webinar, or you encounter any other technical issues when joining, you can also watch the live stream at the same time at https://youtu.be/aZ2ihFvauSM.
The webinar and live stream will both open at 11:40am ET on Friday.
The puzzling conference swag that we’ve prepared is now available for your team to purchase at the conference store. We have four different swag items, which can be ordered to the same address or different addresses (we recommend spreading them out). Although only one member can receive each item, we think they are best enjoyed when examined together with teammates over the internet during the conference, so even team members who do not receive any swag will be able to experience them.
Don’t be alarmed by the high prices. We will be issuing discount codes to the contact person for each team — stock is limited and we want to ensure every team has the chance to get one of each piece of swag. These codes will be going out within the next 24 hours, along with more detailed purchasing instructions, in an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. We will cover most of the price of manufacturing the swag, and we mainly ask that you pay for the shipping. We are unfortunately unable to ship outside of the United States.
We recommend ordering your swag ASAP to ensure delivery before the conference. Starting Wednesday, January 6th, we will allow teams with more members to order some additional items—if you do not order before then, you may not get the swag you desire. If you do not get your conference swag, you will still be able to fully participate in the conference, but the online alternatives may not be as exciting.
When you receive your swag, you may open the box to ensure that you have everything intact and that it matches the description on the store page, but you should not interact with it otherwise. You will be told during the conference when it becomes safe to wear, consume, cherish, solve, or otherwise use the swag.
If any of the items poses a financial hardship, please reach out and we will be happy to cover the cost of the swag and shipping for your team.
Hunt Start and End Times
As previously announced, the MYST conference will begin at noon ET on Friday, January 15th with a keynote presentation. Details of how to join the presentation will be announced by Wednesday, January 13th. The conference wrapup presentation will begin at noon ET on Monday, January 18th.
Conference operations will begin shortly after the keynote presentation and remain open until 10am ET on Monday, January 18th. However, we plan to slow down operations starting at 8pm ET on Sunday, January 17th, and may not run certain interactions after that time.
We have some extracurricular activities planned throughout the conference. There will be one each on Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday evening. These events should be an exciting complement to the regular conference proceedings and an opportunity to interact with members of other teams. We will give more details at the start of the conference.
Team Check-ins During the Hunt
We plan to have brief check-ins with teams throughout the conference to chat about your conference experience, answer questions, help out where we can, and just say hi. By default, we plan to do these check-ins over Zoom. However, we are also happy to temporarily join you in any other team communication platform that you’re using (e.g., Slack, Discord, Google Hangouts). If you’re interested in this, please be ready to provide us with instructions on how to join your platform, which we will ask for shortly before each check-in.
Use of Team Phone Numbers
On the team registration form, we ask for a primary contact person’s phone number. We plan to call these numbers substantially less often than in past Mystery Hunts, and we may never call the phone number for many teams. Most interactions that used phone calls in past Hunts will instead be done using the Hunt website, Zoom calls, and other similar platforms. That said, we ask that all teams, especially larger and more competitive teams, list a number (international numbers are fine) that we can use to contact them during the hunt.
Unattached Hunter Assignment
In the next couple of days, we will begin matching unattached hunters with teams. If you want to change your team’s status on unattached hunters, please be sure to update your registration soon. We will continue to try to match unattached hunters up until the beginning of the Hunt, but we recommend that hunters who want our help fill out the unattached hunters form as early as possible.
The how to hunt / collaboration tools workshop was held on Monday, December 21. Here are the video recordings:
How to Hunt / Collaboration Tools Workshop
Team Left Out, the running team of last year’s MIT Mystery Hunt, will be running a virtual How-To-Hunt workshop on Monday, December 21 at 8pm ET that everyone who is interested is welcome and encouraged to attend. The workshop will take place over Zoom; see above for the access link. The first part of the workshop will focus on MIT Mystery Hunt puzzle solving techniques for inexperienced teams, and the second part will focus on remote solving and online collaboration tools. A recording of the workshop will be posted to this page shortly afterwards.
We recommend that you install Zoom (the Zoom Client for Meetings) before the start of the conference. We recommend the standalone desktop or tablet app; there is also a web client, which will work but will likely deliver a subpar experience, and a mobile app, which will work better than the web client but may be too small. Zoom will be used for many parts of the conference, including discussions with members of our lab, and events where you and the other attendees will be working to help Professor Yew with an exciting new research direction.
Special swag for the MYST conference is currently in production! We will be offering a store where you can purchase this puzzling swag. The conference will cover most of the cost of production; we ask that you just pay for shipping. If this will impose a financial burden, let us know and we’re happy to help out.
We will try to ensure that every team has a chance to get some swag so they can experience everything the conference has to offer. However, we are unfortunately unable to ship outside the United States, and (although we think this is unlikely) shipping delays may prevent some swag from arriving before the start of the conference. We will have virtual copies of the swag prepared, so teams without the swag can still progress through the hunt.
The swag store will open around the end of the year; we’ll send out more details then.