I am not normally a huge fan of hunts, because they are simply a gratuitous attempt to get people to come into stores. It’s a great advertising gimmick, but I find the hunts frustrating as people crowd into a sim, pushing and shoving to try to get the prize. It reminds me of the basement sales at Macy’s and crazy women grabbing the same sweater and fighting over it. Not that I’ve ever done that. *Ahem*
However, one of the organizations in SL that takes hunts to the next level and is consistently and unfailingly over the top is MadPea Productions. I first stumbled across MadPea Productions a few years ago when I was between relationships and bored in SL and trying to find something to do. These diabolical and intricately woven, highly detailed games are way more than just a simple hunt. The point of these hunts is to showcase products by the game’s sponsors; of course. But the game is what the players come for. The rewards at the end are just icing on the cake.
MadPea Productions spends months on their productions. And productions is certainly what they are. They carefully craft a back story, and create the convoluted and fascinating journey through whatever trails led by the clues you collect along the way. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, it takes a twist and you are not quite through! I always feel a sense of exhilaration when I finish, along with a sense of disappointment that it’s over, because it is so exciting and intellectually challenging.
The Lost Mine Hunt is no exception, and it did not disappoint. At first, however, I was a bit concerned that it was not going to live up to previously held high expectations. Then, as I got deeper into the game, I realized that it was much more than the deceptively simple beginning.
The game is divided into three parts. When you first land at the landing point, you are required to invest $150L in the HUD. The hours of entertainment you will derive from this investment is well worth the $150L, believe me. This time, you also can opt in to purchase the collecting pouch (more for show than anything) and new to this game, was an “assistant”, which, they readily admit, allows you a “huge advantage” in the game. This “assistant” (a cute round ball with arms and legs and big eyes — mine was pink) susses out where the clues are and tells you in local chat (that only you can see, so you don’t spoil it for others on the hunt who don’t want to do it with a cheat) when you’re getting close.
The instructions you are given is that you are to find pieces of the map to the mine, which have been torn up, crumpled, and scattered throughout the town. Normally, I wouldn’t use a “cheat” such as the assistant in the hunt, but I was low on time as I had a blog deadline to keep, so I attached my assistant and off we went. At first, with the assistant telling me “No objects close by within 20 meters” every few seconds, I wandered the sim, waiting for my assistant to sound the alarm, which she did and I could zero in on the object with her instructions until she finally said “OOOH! You’re sooo close! It should be right next to you! (less than 5m).” At which point I would look around nearby until I found the crumpled paper. When I clicked on the pieces, my avi would bend down, swoop up the piece of paper and stuff it in her pouch. And a piece of the map would fill in on my HUD.
Sounds simple, right? Especially with the assistant telling you where to zero in on. But no, not with MadPea. First of all, the sim is dark and rainy (don’t cheat and change your windlight settings!). Secondly, other people are out hunting nearby, and if they swoop in and pick up the piece of paper you just found before you do, then you’re out of luck! It disappears. My recommendation is try to go when fewer people are there, and if there are other hunters nearby, find a different area and hunt by yourself. I found myself frustrated over and over again as others picked up papers I’d just zeroed in on. (But don’t worry; come back in a few minutes and it will have reappeared).
When I picked up all the map pieces, my map transformed into a solid map, and I thought to myself, “Ahh then I must be done. The map will take me to the treasure, where I’ll pick up my prizes from the sponsors. Hmm kind of short and disappointing, but still fun,” I thought to myself.
But alas! I was hardly done. In fact, I’d just finished just part one, and little did I know that Part 2 and Part 3 were coming! When the map was finished, it said in local chat to click on the map and it would teleport me. I clicked on it, expecting to come to the end, and instead I stepped out into this beautiful forest setting, where Dwarfins live.
Stay tuned — Part 2 of 3 of MadPea’s Lost Mine Hunt!
I remain respectfully yours,
~ Suzanne Piers, ZI Social Media Manager