Monday, September 29, 2008

Puzzazz is Live

At 12:01 Pacific Time, Puzzazz, a new puzzle web site went live on the internet. But there aren't many users yet. I guess I have to tell the world first. So, here goes.

I've wanted to create Puzzazz, which is a portmanteau word meaning Puzzles with Pizzazz, for a long time. For those who don't know, I'm a professional puzzle constructor and game designer (in my spare time). I've had puzzles published all over the place, including a recent book, and I'm one of the co-founders of the Microsoft Puzzle Hunt. As a game designer, I have a few games that have been well received, but I'm still waiting for one to get picked up by a publisher.

My vision for Puzzazz is a quick diversion. I don't want you to spend hours on my site. I want you to spend a few minutes every day. I want to make you smile. I want Puzzazz to become a part of your life. To that end, Puzzazz tracks your solve rate and your accuracy rate (which takes guesses into account). You can invite your friends and you'll get to compare how well they're doing to how well you're doing. If you use Twitter, you can set your preferences to auto-tweet for you whenever you solve a puzzle. Hopefully, all your Twitter followers will want to join Puzzazz too.

Puzzazz is mostly word puzzles and they'll get harder from Monday through Saturday. The Sunday puzzle will be a larger puzzle, with about the difficulty of a mid-week puzzle in a larger size, and they'll be a variety -- from word puzzles to sudoku to logic puzzles. If this progression sounds familiar, it's not accidental.

I'm interested in feedback on all aspects of Puzzazz, but mostly on the difficulty level of puzzles. As any puzzle constructor knows, gauging difficulty is one of the hardest things in creating puzzles. I've got it down for lots of puzzle types, but the puzzles on Puzzazz are different, so feedback from you will help me calibrate.

So, check out Puzzazz. And invite your friends.

P.S. If you want to read about the creation of Puzzazz, read this post on my thisDev blog.