|Bay Area Night Game|
BANG! 3 took place on May 31, 2003. 20 teams participated; seventeen finished. It turned out to be much harder than we thought; we had playtested it, and it was a bit on the easy side, so we took out the two problematic clues (2 and 10) and replaced them with what turned out to be, much to our surprise, significantly harder clues. In particular, clue 10 was much, much harder than we had envisioned -- it was supposed to be a relatively straightforward and quick-ish nightcap to the evening, but instead engulfed teams for probably an average of about 45 minutes, proving to be the longest puzzle.
The first step to the evening was a rock-paper-scissors tournament (first to 3 wins in each match) to determine starting order. Since we had 20 teams, 12 of them (the first 12 to sign up) received first-round byes. The tournament was won by Shaq and Kobe in a tense battle with Scorched Lemon; David Alyea eked out a 3-2 victory over Shawn Kresal, representing their teams. Consequently, Shaq and Kobe were the first out of the starting gate at 7:45:00. Thirty seconds later, Scorched Lemon took to the air, followed thirty seconds later by the two semifinalists, Clueless and No B. The fourth wave comprised the quarterfinalists: Usual Suspects, Team Blood, CGNU, and Foxtrot Delta Bravo. The remaining teams were sent off in two more packets. (Thanks to Andy Penner for collecting these results.)
In the clue packets were a map of campus; teams were told to mark the locations where they got each clue, and indeed the starting location was pre-marked with a 1. Also there was the lookup table, which was used to negate home-field advantage: instead of having the true names of locations on Berkeley's campus, each location name was replaced by a string. Upon solving the puzzles, these strings could be converted to the actual locations via the lookup table.