Pre-Game Activities

The pre-game for The 420 Game was fairly extensive. There were essentially three parts: pre-clues, the video game, and the battle.


A standard feature of The Game is the existence of pre-clues. These are clues that occur before the actual start of The Game and generally give the teams information, such as items they will have to bring or the location of the start of The Game. The 420 Game was no different, and we used our web page to hide our pre-clues. We had three pieces of information hidden throughout our web pages. To try your luck, check out the original front page and the training page. To see the solutions, click here (thank you to Alexandra Dixon for the content). We wanted to hide information that was useful but not absolutely necessary for our game. Therefore, we had no intention of eventually revealing the hidden information, figuring that the teams who found them would have an advantage when playing. Unfortunately, we were not clear on that subject. In the past, the pre-clues were all eventually revealed by Game Control because they contained required information such as equipment without which one of the clues was unsolvable. Because of that, the teams eventually shared the information, giving nobody an advantage.

Video Game

As part of the application process, the teams had to play and score well on a video game that we created. To see the full application, click here. The video game is a simulation of The Game, a Pac-Man style game where the players control a van in a virtual world, going from clue to clue, gathering energy and inspiration along the way, and avoiding cops or distracting them with doughnuts. For more details, or to play the game, click here.

The Battle

When the teams were accepted to play, they were given one final task. They had to create an agent to play the video game we had created. We created an interface in java which they could use when writing their code, and we provided an example player which would finish the game but performed pretty badly. Click here to see the page explaining this training exercise. The point, of course, was to plug all teams' agents into the game and have them play against each other. We did this at the beginning of The Game in order to determine the order in which the teams received the first clue. Go to The Beginning of The Game for more details.