Nathan Curtis Summons Verwald’s Treasure To Kickstarter

Second puzzle hunt from designer seeks funding.
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Nathan Curtis is returning to his designer role and hoping to summon some of that old Kickstarter magic with his latest puzzle hunt Verwald’s Treasure.

The project kicked off on Jan. 9, Curtis is seeking $15,000 to produce the sequel to his first puzzle hunt What’s That Spell? Verwald’s Treasure hasn’t reached its funding goal at the time of this writing, amassing just over $11,300. The project is trending to hit a little more than $22,000 by its Feb. 8 deadline. The minimum pledge level to participate in the puzzle hunt is $60, with additional levels adding on a slew of extras.

Verwald’s Treasure will have over 30 puzzles, multiple meta-puzzles with physical artifacts, and even a meta-meta-puzzle that ties the entire puzzle hunt together. Puzzles will be delivered “electronically” and are “suitable for solving alone or in groups.” There will be two difficulty levels offered: Apprentice and Archmage. Each of the versions will have the same puzzles, but the Apprentice edition will come with more starting information and instructions.

The puzzle hunt is a true sequel as the story will pick up where the original hunt left off.

“In [What’s That Spell?], solvers matched wits with the wizard Verwald. Years later, you receive a package from Verwald, with an enticing message,” as Curtis describes the puzzle hunt’s story. “The great wizard has certain artifacts in his collection that he wishes to give away to a worthy recipient, and he has invited you to come and prove your worth.”

Those artifacts, Curtis explains, are used in the meta-puzzles and the meta-meta-puzzle, using “all three spatial dimensions.” Seems like a sly way of saying that those artifacts are going to be assemble into some sort of structure. Depending on the puzzlers’ pledge levels, the artifacts can come in three formats “ templates that you can print, cut out, and assemble, printed templates that you can assemble, and fully fabricated wooden pieces.”

Verwald’s Treasure Live Event

As with What’s That Spell? Curtis plans to run a live event in the Boston area for teams of four to six that pledge $120 or more, but it’ll have a non-traditional running structure. The puzzle hunt will be run over two days, the first will be July 28 for all teams while the final day of the event will be broken into two separate days. One group of teams will play on Aug. 11, while the other will solve on Aug. 18.

The sequel was announced in May of last year, but was slim on any details.

Curtis generated $12,989 for What’s That Spell? with the help of 370 backers during its 30-day funding campaign, against a goal of $3,000. The puzzle hunt contained 12 puzzles and three meta-puzzles, a shadow of what the designer is currently looking to produce.

Disclosure: Nathan Curtis is a Patreon backer of Puzzle Pile.

About Bran McMillin

Bran McMillin is the founder and senior editor for the puzzle news site Puzzle Pile. From 2007 - 2010, he served as editor for the magazine Panopticon: Puzzles & Games. He is the inventor of the Itachi and Hairetsu puzzle forms and has created hundreds of puzzles. Disclosure: Bran is a member of the National Puzzlers' League.


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