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Registration for the Googol Conglomerate Open House is now full! If you want to sign up for the waiting list contact us at register@gooooogol.com. Also, some teams may be looking for additional players, so you might try asking around for holes on the discussion group.

If you have signed up but have yet to send in your registration fee, please do so ASAP.

What is this, really?

It's a puzzle hunt, similar to the MIT Mystery Hunt or the Microsoft Puzzle Hunt. It will be held on the Mountain View campus of Google starting the morning of Saturday June 23, and run continuously until the closing ceremonies Sunday afternoon. (We expect the first teams to finish about midday Sunday but we'll keep running it for a while to allow other teams to continue making progress.)

••• It's my first time playing in something like this. Any tips?

Yes! In fact we've got a whole page of them!

••• What's the schedule?

Registered teams can start picking up their materials at 8:30am on Saturday, June 23 in the lobby of Building 43. The game itself will get underway at 9am. The final wrap-up will be over by 6pm Sunday, June 24.

••• Can we call outside sources for help?

You can use any source on the Internet, of course. You can use friends or strangers as reference sources but not to help you solve puzzles. For example, you could call someone to ask them a trivia question but you could not send them a whole list of trivia questions for them to research. You may not send entire puzzles to friends for help.

Who can play? Do I need to be a Google employee?

Max team size is twelve (12), which must include at least four (4) Googlers. (Anyone with a badge that gets them in the buildings counts — full-timers, contractors, temps, and interns are all welcome and all count as "Googlers".) Like every other visitor, outside players will need to be accompanied at all times by a Googler.

We currently have enough playtest teams. If you absolutely, desparately, desire to playtest, please contact us at info@gooooogol.com.

What do we do?

Each team will be assigned a conference room at Google in which to work. You will receive some puzzles. Solving puzzles will unlock more puzzles. Many puzzles will be of the paper-and-pencil variety, others will require you to visit various locations on campus, maybe interact with GC staff members, etc. The first team to reach the end wins!

If you're looking for examples of the kinds of things you might do, try these links:

What do we win?

In many of the abovementioned events, the winner of the event is accorded the honor of putting on the next one. Whether that tradition can be established here will be largely up to the winning team...

Depending on the budget and our inspiration, we may have a more concrete prize as well.

How much does it cost?

Registration is $150 per team. This is to cover expenses associated with running the game; this event is not sponsored by the company, apart from letting us run it on campus.

How big should my team be?

There's a maximum of twelve (12) players per team — this counts anyone who plays at any time. If one of your team members only plays for a few hours and then leaves, they still count as one of your twelve.

We recommend having at least ten players.

What if I don't know 12 people?

Well, (a) we said that 12 was a maximum, not an exact size; and (b), technically, you would need only 11 people, assuming that you are playing. So, about those other 11 people? Ask your co-workers. Ask your non-Google friends (you need only 4 Googlers on your team). Join the google-puzzlehunt-discuss Google Group. We're not going to make teams for you so please use these resources proactively.

What if I can't stay overnight or need to leave in the middle of the puzzle hunt?

Don't worry, that's just fine. In most puzzle hunts like this one not everyone on the team is at the puzzle hunt working all the time. If you need to leave for the afternoon, if you want to go home for dinner and to sleep in a real bed, that'll work just fine. We're sure you'll have fun. Of course, competitive teams will have at least a few players awake at any given time, and the most competitive teams will have most people up around the clock. If you have at least four people awake and at Google at any given time you'll be fine.

What about Googlers outside of Mountain View?

Employees in other offices are welcome to play, but each team needs to have at least four (4) people on-site in Mountain View. Many puzzles will be distributed electronically, but some will require physical presence on the MV campus (to collect items, solve location-based puzzles, perform wacky stunts, etc.). Obviously your MV players can't all be non-Googlers, because they'd have no way to get in the buildings. Email us with the details of your proposed team composition and we'll try to be reasonable.

What do I need to do to register?

Email register@gooooogol.com with the following information:

  • your team name
  • a list of players. Note which players are Googlers. This does not have to be final or complete but you should give us at least 8 names; you'll be able to make changes later.

Space is limited; we'll accept teams on a first-come, first-served basis.

I want to play but I don't have a team. Can you find me one?

No. We've set up a Google Group google-puzzlehunt-discuss that anyone can join and a sparrow page (Google internal access only) for match making. We suggest you look here to form teams.

Why are we assigned a conference room?

You'll be assigned a conference room to use as your team's "home base". We assign them rather than letting you pick so that we can make sure teams are relatively well-separated, so that no one is too near the areas we'll be using for parts of the event you don't know about yet, and so we stay away from areas Google security has asked us to avoid using.

When you register you can make special requests if you like (eg, if you prefer a particular room, floor, building, etc.). We'll try to accommodate these but there are no guarantees.

I have an infrequently asked question.

You can email us at info@gooooogol.com.

Who are you?

We're a team of puzzle hunters that's played in games in the Bay Area and Seattle for a few years. Most of us work at Google.

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