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Puzzle Clubhouse FAQ

Games/Prototypes
Puzzle Pieces
Brainstorming
Submitting
Voting
Account
Purchases & Billing
Membership
Technical Issues
General Puzzle Clubhouse Questions

General Puzzle Clubhouse Questions

What is Puzzle Clubhouse?

Puzzle Clubhouse is an online community for a new kind of game development process -- a place where the players make the games! We publish a new crowd-designed and crowd-supported game on the site every month.

"What do you mean, 'crowd-designed?'"" Puzzle Clubhouse members design and submit game concepts, story ideas, and artwork as a community, and create together with professional game designers. The Puzzle Clubhouse community then votes on submissions they like the best, and the winners become part of the ongoing series of episodic games.

What can I do at Puzzle Clubhouse?

Puzzle Clubhouse is the only place we know of where anyone can get involved in making games. You can play existing Puzzle Clubhouse games, check out and give input on game prototypes, submit your own original game ideas, prototypes, art, sound effects, levels, and writing, and discuss and vote on what content should make it into the next published game. With your input and feedback, we’ll keep evolving our process to involve the community more and more deeply in the aspects of game development that excite you.

Is Puzzle Clubhouse for kids?

It’s not aimed for kids, but we like to be kid-friendly. Really, we like to be friendly in general -- kid-friendly, workplace-friendly, etc.

What are the Clubhouse Rules?

The Clubhouse Rules are the basic guidelines of how to be a part of Puzzle Clubhouse.

What happens if someone breaks the Clubhouse Rules?

Everyone at Puzzle Clubhouse has agreed to abide by our Clubhouse Rules and Terms of Service, simply by accessing the website. If a person breaks the Clubhouse Rules in any way, we will review their actions and respond appropriately.

Where can I ask for more help?

If you can’t find your answer on the Help page or in these FAQs, the forum Help Desk is a good place to ask.

What is a PCH Developer?

The "PCH Developer" label indicates that a person is part of the Puzzle Clubhouse development team that interacts with the community, makes the games, and keeps the website running.

Who are the Puzzle Clubhouse developers?

Right now we have a core development team of seven people: Laura (project director & designer), Dani (producer), Dave (community manager & programmer), Patrick (designer & artist), Brittany (artist), Chez (animator), and MikeT (programmer & sound).

Also on board are Jesse (creator & executive director), Icarus (executive producer), and RayGun (executive art director).

Why is Puzzle Clubhouse in beta?

The Puzzle Clubhouse collaborative design process is a creative experiment that will require iteration. We don’t expect to get everything right on the first try, but by trying things and learning from them we can make surprising discoveries and enable Puzzle Clubhouse to grow in directions that none of us would have come up with on our own. We’ll listen to your feedback, pay attention to what’s working and what’s not, and keep evolving the production process and the website to make things better. Consider this a starting point -- let’s see where we end up together!

What other features do you have planned?

Some upcoming features include a notifications system (for increased feedback), profile pages (where you can showcase and easily access your submissions, recent voting picks, and more), the Hall of Awesome (where we record the username of the first person to discover the secret achievement in each game), and badges (to recognize and encourage the great variety of accomplishments one can make as a Puzzle Clubhouse member and within the Puzzle Clubhouse community).

Puzzle Clubhouse would be so much cooler if you did [XYZ]... any chance you’ll do that?

Maybe, especially if you let us know! Check out the Suggestion Box forum thread to see, discuss, and add ideas for making Puzzle Clubhouse better. The dev team checks and often responds to suggestion threads, plus other community members can see and make comments supporting suggestions they agree with, so it’s a great way to get ideas for changes and new features on our radar.

I want a job in the game industry, is Puzzle Clubhouse hiring?

Schell Games (the company that makes Puzzle Clubhouse) is a full-service game design and development studio specializing in creating innovative interactive experiences. If you’re interested in applying to Schell Games please send your resume to resumes@schellgames.com. We’re always on the lookout for awesome and talented people!

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Games/Prototypes

What’s the difference between a game and a prototype?

Each Puzzle Clubhouse game is a finished experience, made with community input and combining animated story and short, quirky gameplay.

Each prototype is an unfinished and often simplified working gameplay sample. Prototypes make it possible to start testing and improving the gameplay experience before the entire game is built, allowing for faster iteration and more experimentation, which usually results in an improved final gameplay experience. If you like a prototype or have ideas on how to make it better, comment on it and let us know -- maybe we’ll built it into a future game!

Where are all the games?

Puzzle Clubhouse games are created with the help of the community, and our community is just getting started -- you’re getting in on the ground floor! As we work together to publish more games, the number of games on the site will increase.

In the meantime you can play prototypes and help decide what our future games will be like by submitting and voting on game content.

How frequently do new games come out?

We release a new Puzzle Clubhouse game on the 1st of every month.

When I play a prototype, it seems to just end after a while... is it supposed to do that?

That’s expected behavior, at least for now. We’ve unearthed prototypes that Schell Games developers made back in the early days of Puzzle Clubhouse, before it had a plan or even a name. The prototypes are rough around the edges, but that’s part of why we’re putting them up on the site -- they can use your feedback to make them better! In the future we may set up prototypes with a basic ending screen to make it clearer when the gameplay is over.

I have an idea for making this prototype better!

Let us know what it is! There’s a comment thread on each prototype for exactly this reason -- we want to find out which prototypes the community finds appealing and wants to experiment with further. As we have time (depending on how things are going with the monthly game production cycle), we’ll continue to iterate on the prototypes based on your ideas.

I have a new game idea -- where should I post it?

Awesome! Check out the Game Design Garden, in the forums -- the Designers’ Gazebo is the place to bounce around any and all game ideas. Often the GDG will also have a thread devoted to brainstorming based on the prompt for the next upcoming Puzzle Clubhouse game -- if you can adapt your game idea to fit the prompt, you may be able to submit it to a Call for Submissions for community vote!

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Puzzle Pieces

What are Puzzle Pieces for?

Puzzle Pieces are the voting currency of Puzzle Clubhouse. When we put a decision to the community -- what game idea to use for the next episode, which art assets to put in the animation, what the lyrics for a character’s theme song should be, etc -- we present the community with a variety of options (either submitted by Puzzle Clubhouse members or provided by the development team) and the community votes by spending Puzzle Pieces on the different options. The option(s) that get the most votes in the final round of voting win and are integrated into the Puzzle Clubhouse games or website.

How do I get Puzzle Pieces?

Everyone gets ten Puzzle Pieces for each new day that they visit the Puzzle Clubhouse website. Once you become a member, you no longer have to visit every day in order to get your daily Puzzle Pieces -- you get fifteen Puzzle Pieces a day whether you visit the website or not. If you need EVEN MORE Puzzle Pieces, you can purchase additional Puzzle Pieces at any time by clicking the “Get Puzzle Pieces Now” button.

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Brainstorming

What is a Brainstorm?

When we begin developing a new game episode, we turn to Puzzle Clubhouse members for game and story ideas, characters, images, lines, audio, etc. Before we open a Call for Submissions for people to submit their content, we start a Brainstorming thread on the forums for people to begin thinking about and discussing what they want to submit.

Can I participate in a Brainstorm even if I’m not a Puzzle Clubhouse member?

Brainstorms are open to everyone who wants to share and help develop ideas. If you have an idea you’d like to see submitted but aren’t a Puzzle Clubhouse member, a Brainstorming thread can also be a good place to talk with Puzzle Clubhouse members and see if any of them like your idea enough to submit it.

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Submitting

What is a Call for Submissions?

When we begin developing a new game episode, we turn to Puzzle Clubhouse members for game and story ideas, characters, images, lines, audio, etc. Each Call for Submissions is a specific, approachable way for members to participate -- an opportunity to get your original content incorporated into a Puzzle Clubhouse game or as part of the Puzzle Clubhouse website.

Can I submit anything I want?

There are some guidelines for submissions. Anything you submit should be your own original work, not someone else’s (unless they have explicitly granted you permission to submit their work). Submissions should also be proper enough to be rated PG, were they to be put into a movie.

In situations where we have to reject a submission, we notify the submitter and explain why the submission was not acceptable. Repeatedly submitting unacceptable content may result in suspension of submission privileges.

How can I create a submission that's likely to win the popular vote?

It's difficult to predict what ideas people will get behind, but framing your submission in a way that captures people's imaginations is a good place to start. Inviting the voter to imagine interesting interactions based on your idea is often more effective than presenting a fully-fleshed out concept. If you can prompt the voter to say, "Oh I know how that will play out!" this natural involvement is more fun and causes more attachments for the voter than if you tell them what the narrative is.

If I submit my idea/game/art/sound/writing to Puzzle Clubhouse, do I still own it?

Yes! When you submit any content to Puzzle Clubhouse, you retain ownership of your intellectual property rights in the submitted content. However, you grant Puzzle Clubhouse an irrevocable, worldwide license to use your content in connection with the website -- this is what allows us to display your submission on the site, incorporate it into a game, show it off so other people can see how cool Puzzle Clubhouse is and want to come join, etc. See the Puzzle Clubhouse Terms of Service for a more complete description of the Puzzle Clubhouse’s rights in submitted content.

Can people see what I submitted? Where can I see other people’s submissions?

Right now the best way to share your submissions with others is to post them on the forums. Every Call for Submissions has a brainstorming thread associated with it -- we encourage people to continue using that thread to share, view, and discuss submissions.

I have an awesome thing that I want to submit, but I’m not a Puzzle Clubhouse member -- what can I do?

It’s fast and easy to become a Puzzle Clubhouse member -- we’d recommend it! Puzzle Clubhouse members can submit to all Calls for Submissions and get extra Puzzle Pieces to vote with every day./p>

If you really just want to get a particular idea into a Call for Submissions, though, try pitching your idea to Puzzle Clubhouse members -- you may be able to get someone excited enough about your idea to submit it themselves. You won’t get credit for submitting the idea, but you might get to see it become a lasting part of Puzzle Clubhouse!

I made a submission but now I want to change it!

As long as the Call for Submissions is still open, you can delete your submission and upload a new one at any time.

I made a submission... now what?

You can continue discussing submissions in the brainstorming thread on the forum and making changes to your submission right up until the Call for Submissions ends. Once the Call ends, the development team reviews all submissions. Then, based on what’s specified in the Call for Submissions, the dev team either selects winners or puts all accepted entries up on the site for the Puzzle Clubhouse community to vote to decide the winners. Winning entries are showcased on the website and incorporated into Puzzle Clubhouse!

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Voting

What is a Voting Series?

Voting is the primary way for the Puzzle Clubhouse community to decide what ideas and content become part of Puzzle Clubhouse games. Each Voting Series consists of one or more rounds of community voting, with the goal of deciding what ideas or content that will be incorporated into Puzzle Clubhouse.

How do I vote?

You vote by spending Puzzle Pieces on the entries you like the best. You can spend Puzzle Pieces on as many different entries as you like, as many times as you like. Check out the How to Vote thread in the Help Desk section of the forums for a more in-depth walkthrough.

What kind of comments belong on voting entries / options?

Once an entry has made it into a Voting Series, the person who created it can no longer edit it, and people vote on it as-is. You can comment with suggestions for changes, but the best place to give this kind of constructive criticism and feedback on an idea is in the forums, during Brainstorming or while the Call for Submissions is still open.

The most effective comments in a Voting Series tend to be comments that:

1. Encourage the submitter (it never hurts to tell someone if you think they did a great job or wish the submitter of an eliminated entry better luck next time!), or

2. Give insight into what you like about an entry (not only can this help the submitter, but it can also help you better understand what appeals to you in a game).

There’s a comment on this entry that would make it so much better! Can I vote for the comment?

All votes on an entry are counted as votes for that entry as-is. You can reply to the comment thread agreeing or explaining why you think the suggested changes would be an improvement, but the best place to give constructive criticism and feedback on an idea is in the forums, during Brainstorming or while the Call for Submissions is still open.

I want a specific entry / option to win the vote! What can I do?

Helping an entry win the community vote is all about directing Puzzle Pieces towards that entry. You can spend Puzzle Pieces early in the vote to make an entry appear popular from the start, or late in the vote to tip the balance at a crucial moment. Purchasing additional Puzzle Pieces via microtransaction is one way of getting more Puzzle Pieces to put towards an entry. Convincing other people to spend their Puzzle Pieces on the entry can also be a powerful tactic, especially if you get others excited enough about the entry that they want to get their friends to vote for it as well! What makes the entry so good? Tell people about it in a way that will make them want to help the entry win. Comment on the entry to start a conversation going. Use the forums to let other Puzzle Clubhouse community members know why you think the entry is a good pick. If you have friends who aren’t on Puzzle Clubhouse yet, you can encourage them to create an account and vote. Just don’t annoy people and don’t spam -- you don’t want to turn people off with a hard sell.

My favorite entry / option got eliminated. What now?

Voting Series involve some amount of luck, and with a limited number of possible winners even awesome entries get eliminated sometimes. If it’s your entry that got eliminated, try again! People can submit many times before one of their entries makes it in -- it’s good practice, and you can learn a lot. It can help to get involved in the Brainstorming threads on the forums that are related to call for submissions -- your fellow community members (and the dev team) can give you valuable input and advice. If the entry that got eliminated was someone else’s, you can still go to their entry page to view the entry, leave them comments, and share the entry with others. If you like their work, let them know and encourage them to keep submitting!

Why are the doors in the Hall so weird?

The rooms in the voting hall are community-submitted and feature a variety of doors created by different artists. Keep an eye on the Calls for Submissions for opportunities to submit your own Puzzle Clubhouse room names and art!

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Account

I forgot my password!

No worries! Click here and we’ll send you an email to reset it.

How can I change my password?

Go to the My Profile page to access your account settings -- you can change your password by entering the new password you want in the “Password” and “Verify Password” text fields and clicking the Save button.

Can I change my username?

At least for the time being, once you pick a username you’re stuck with it -- so make sure to choose a username you like!

If there’s enough demand we may allow people to change usernames for a small fee, with a cooldown period before you are allowed to change usernames again.

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Purchases & Billing

Do I need to pay to participate in Puzzle Clubhouse?

No. Though you can buy Puzzle Pieces to increase your voting power or become a member to take on a larger role within Puzzle Clubhouse, there is no need to pay in order to be an active participant in Puzzle Clubhouse.

What forms of payment do you accept?

If you choose to become a member or purchase Puzzle Pieces, we accept direct credit card payment using Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, as well as payments made through PayPal.

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Membership

What is membership?

Paying to become a Puzzle Clubhouse member makes it possible to take on a larger role within Puzzle Clubhouse. As a member you can submit your game ideas, art, sound effects, and more, and increase your voting power with 25 Puzzle Pieces delivered to your account every day. The community will vote on what you submit, and your submissions can end up in Puzzle Clubhouse games.

Is a membership required to participate in Puzzle Clubhouse?

No. From playing community-created games to giving feedback and voting on content, there are lots of ways to be involved in Puzzle Clubhouse without being a member.

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Technical Issues

What is the recommended system configuration?

For Windows, we recommend:
2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, or Intel® Atom™ 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbooks
Microsoft® Windows® XP (32 bit), Windows Server® 2003 (32-bit), Windows Server 2008 (32 bit), Windows Vista® (32 bit), Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit)
128MB of RAM (1GB of RAM recommended for netbooks); 128MB of graphics memory

For Mac OS, we recommend:
Intel Core™ Duo 1.33GHz or faster processor
Mac OS X v10.6 or v10.7
256MB of RAM; 128MB of graphics memory

What browsers should I use?

For best results, you’ll want to have the most recent version of one or more of the following available to you when playing Puzzle Clubhouse games:
- Chrome
- Firefox
- Safari
- Internet Explorer

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