Many users, especially newbies complain in forum topics "how was I supposed to know how to solve it??", so I prepared this little guide where I will talk about basics that are often seen in various puzzles in sg forums. Just keep in mind that every puzzle is different and while these hints may help they wont solve every puzzle for you - there are many awesome ideas for puzzles, and often you're required to figure out at least some part of "what the hell am I supposed to do here??". Nonetheless these hints may help newbies to get started :>




Encryption:

These puzzles was a big hit some time ago, now as many users already know all the tricks, there are very little pure encrypyion puzzles, yet stil these are used as a part of a bigger puzzle or for keydrops. The idea is simple - encrypt the message and user have to decrypt it. There are countless encryption methoids, so no way talking about them all, but I will show some of the most basic ones :> Also bookmark this page: XLATE - it's really usefull for every SG forum lurker :> (Since XLATE is down frequently lately forumgoerts suggrest using https://cryptii.com when it's down ;) )

Standard XLATE encryptions will look like that:

BINARY - pretty standard to guess - it will have only 0s and 1s. It may or may not include spaces.

01010100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01000101 01101110 01100011 01110010 01111001 01110000 01110100 01100101 01100100 00100000 01101101 01100101 01110011 01110011 01100001 01100111 01100101 00101110

HEX - it will consist of two digit long numbers in hex system (so characters will be 0-9 and a,b,c,d,e,f).

54 68 69 73 20 69 73 20 48 45 58 20 65 6e 63 72 79 70 74 65 64 2e

BASE64 - it will be a chain of characters without spaces, lower and capital letters, numbers and special symbols (=).

QW5kIGhlcmUgd2UgaGF2ZSBzb21lIEJBU0U2NA0K

ASCII CHAR TABLE - It will consist of decimal numbers in range 0-255

65 83 67 73 73 32 84 65 66 76 69 32 105 115 32 102 117 110 110 32 58 62 32 42 46 42

Sometimes it may also be usefull to use actual ASCII TABLE in specific puzzles. http://www.asciitable.com/

OTHER popular ciphers:

MORSE CODE - used originally for telegraph and radio communication or flag communications between ships at sea. It consists of short and long signals as well as pauses. While written long signal is usually marked as line(_ or - ), while short as a dot ( . or ***). Pause between characters is usualy marked as space " " or / while longer pause between words as /(if we used spaces to break characters) or ///** (if we used / to break characters).

.... . .-. ... / .. ... / .- / ... .... --- .-. - / -- . ... ... .- --. . / . -. -.-. .-. -.-- .--. - . -.. / .. -. / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. . .-.-.-

CAESAR CIPHER - very old and basic cipher, where you rotate alphabet for given number of characters - for example ROT(6) means rotating it by 6 letters - and then change characters as they correspond to each other. Here's the example of Caesar using ROT(-4):

LNAPPU AWOU, EOJ'P EP? TL

GENETIC CODE - not so popular now, still good to know :> If you see groups of 3 characters always G, U, A and C - you know you're supposed to use it. You move using this: CLICKY from centre to outside :>

CAU GAG AGA GAA AUC AGU GCU ACG GAA AGC ACC

OTHER CIPHERS

You can find a lot of different ciphers as well as tools to decipher them HERE


Hidden Links:

Puzzle creator will often hide link to actual puzzle/quiz in a puzzle topic or troll topic. The link will be then invisible and only way to find is is by viewing the page source code. How to do it? Mark the part of text you wan to check and then right click it. Choose "View Selection Source".

Try it here. Start marking text from this line. There's a hidden link somewhere in here.

End marking here. Can you see it?

Keep in mind that Viewing Selection Source is possible by default only in Firefox browser. If you're trying it on IE - you're out of luck, plus you really should consider changing browser, because IE sucks major balls. If you're using Chrome you can try using Inspect function (you can use inspect in Firefox as well).

Other way to find hidden links suggested by Yirg:
It works in all browsers and usually doesn't require much more effort compared to viewing a selection (which isn't by default available in all browsers).

  1. Press Ctrl+U to open the HTML source of the page
  2. Press Ctrl+F to find text in in this source, then type "giveaway/" (with the slash, but without the quotes).

Other easier idea is to hide link is some small visible character like dot at end of the sentence, or coma in the middle. Always pay close attention to the topic!!

(Dot and coma above are clickable xD)


QR Codes and Barcodes

Another way of encrypting information. Many people on SG makes a mistake and believes they need smartphone or special hardware to decode these, while all you need is google :> just google search "QR decoder" "QR reader" "Barcode decoder" etc and you can get hidden data right away! :>

Try decoding THIS QR code using THIS webpage :>


Codes hidden in letters

Common practice is to make a post not looking like a puzzle at all, and edit specific letters, or to make spelling errors on purpose. Again, pay close attention not only to what you're reading but also to what is the format of what you read. 4 most common ideas are:

BOLD TEXT - some letters will be in BOLD.

OMG!! 3 days on SG and won nothing!! I'm just a new member, I'm only 19 years old so I cannot afford to buy games and yet I can't win ;( This site is a scam!!!

It gives hidden GA code: O3j9T

ITALIC - some letters will be in italic

I have an idea! Why don't we (I mean support) bundle every game on SG? Lets face the facts - every game will be in some bundle/promo sooner or later. Your system is simply stupid!

It gives hidden GA code: ntoLi

Spelling errors - poster will on purpose make several spelling errors, combined they will give you the code.

Helllo SG! I have a bigh problem! I recently created a GIGAWAY but my Contri Walue don't rise and is stuck at 30$. Why is this? I vvant my CV!!

It gives hidden GA code: lhGWv

First letter of each line - poster may write 5 or 8 lines long post. 1st letter from each line combines into a code.

Last day I bough DOTA2 in Steam Store. I paid whole 30$!!

Question is - why the hell cannot I create GA for it?

zelgandhi is my steam username, you can check my inventory, i have 5 Dotas there!!

Anyway I would like an answer from support. 5 Dota costed me 150$ and now I cannot give them away.

Your's zel.

It gives hidden GA code: LQzAY

Keep in mind that every GA code on SG is 5-characters long, and every quiz code on ITH is 8-characters long (FORMAT: http://www.itstoohard.com/puzzle/XxXXxxXX (with lower and upper case letters and numbers). Every puzzle on jigidi is also 8 characters long (FORMAT: https://www.jigidi.com/jigsaw-puzzle/XXXXXXXX/ always using numbers and CAPITAL letters, no lower case letters, so easy to distinguish from ITH). So if you find 5 or 8 letters first try those. Creator may also hide code for different site (like for example imgur), but he will usually hint it somehow telling you which site you should go to.


Text hidden in picture

It's common practice to hide a link or code at the image to make it almost invissible / very hard to spot. Often it is done with images from movie Inception ( we have to go deeper) but it's not a rule ;P Using photoshop or other software you can play with grey scale, colors, contrast etc, to make link/code more visible. There's no one method that will work every time, so you have to experiment!!

Try to find a code I've hidden here: CLICKY (This time I marked it for you :>

Code is Lqx?fjTP ^^


More obscure ways of hiding a text

There are more complex ways of hiding and finding text/code/link. The two I will talk about for now are ANIMATED GIFS and SOUND FILES.

ANIMATED GIFS - it's pretty standard - animated gif consists of frames that are automatically playing one after another. The easiest way would be to post screenshot in right moment, but it requires great timing, and may not be so good idea for long animation. But you can find a lot of SOFTWARE (like for example HERE to edit animated gifs, exporting individual frames and then just easily look at the frame you're intrested in :>

SOUND FILES - these are much harder and will require a proper software and skills. Puzzle creator may record audio file with code (in any form, he may say it, he may do a morse code encryption - look above - or anything else) and then add other track over it, add noise etc. Using proper software (sorry, won't give links or solution here, as I'm no expert in this field), you can mute the noise or certain tracks in sound file and be able to hear actual code.

Other common method is hiding some information in hidden file info. I will talk about MP3 tags and EXIF Data and IMGUR DESCRIPTION

MP3 tags - are info hidden in MP3 file - such as Artist, Song Name, Album and shitload of ther data. Creator may add code/link in this data. It's very easy to get - most of MP3 playing software should work. If you're using AIMP or Winamp just right click file on the list and choose "Show file info". :>

EXIF Data - it's a hidden data of the images or sounds, used originally to store data in a file regarding it's creation, settings, date, description, copyright info and other boring shit. You can read more about it on Wikipedia. The thing is that this data can be edited and once again it won't be visible in any way when just looking at the picture. But using publicli avaiable soft (or for example this page you can easily export EXIF data :>

IMGUR DESCRIPTION - when puzzle maker is posting image from IMGUR (or other image sharing hosting) he may sometimes hide some info in page description for the file, but post link to img file otself, not to this page. In imgur it's quite easy to get to the page itself. you just have to delete .jpg from the link. If you're seeing image posted on ITH or other pages different than SG forum instead of link you will see image itself - in such a case right click image and choose "Show Image" - it will lead you to the site it's hosted on, and then proceed normally. As a practice try to find a HIDDEN TEXT in this image original page :>


Text hidden in image files

It is possible to edit image file to hide some text in it. Every time you encounter a file you don't know what to do with, you should try opening it using Windows Notepad - there is always a possibility creator have hidden some text in there :>

Try downloading THIS image and open it with notepad, then scroll down :> It's one I used long ago for some group puzzle :>


Hiding files in jpg

It is also possible to hide files (using RAR archives) in jpg files for example. It's not so common, but it still hapens. Easiest way to spot such a file is to create image of same size, space occupied, colors etc (for example editing original image in paint) and saving it elsewere. Now compare file sizes - if size of original file is meaningly bigger there can be something disguised in it :> But keep in mind that if hidden file is very small you may not spot the difference :> So just in case - try opening files to find hidden ones :>

I'm too lazy to tell step by step how it's done, especially as many ppl already did, so you can read about it HERE :>


Reverse image search

If you don't know what particular image in a quiz is for it's not completely lost yet! You can try searching same image, or others similar to it using google image search! It won't always help, but if puzzle creator was lazy and did not check if pictures are searchable you may find exact place from which he took his image :> Here's the example how to do it:

Let's say you don't watch anime, but I ask you in my quiz what anime is THIS SCREENSHOT from. You go to google image search, click the camera icon, paste link to image (or upload it to google) and search :> You will see that same picture was used for a Review of PES: Peace Eco Smile on polish site. CLICKY FOR SEARCH RESULTS

Also if you get no results try different approach - the easiest way to make image not google searchable is to create mirror image of it. So make mirror image of mirror image and you will have original picture! :>

If it didn't help, there's no easy solution for you then, you have to guess, but still google can help you :> If you see something specific in a picture try to describe it and for example search for video game moustache red hat and you will find Mario :>


Reverse sound search

Similar as image search, a new tool is avaiable to reverse search sound for soundtrack quizes etc. It's in beta and not always working properly, but still worth a try.

You can find it here: AudioTag.


GA modification

The common practice is to mention or hint specific GiveAway creator or other SG user posted previously. Try to look for mentioned/hinted GAs, they can have ended week or 8 months ago - there's no rule. Some people even creates specific public GAs on purpose to use them in puzzles later on. While checking such a GAs look at description (the description may be edited at any time and you will see no idnication whatsoever), check if there are hidden links or codes hidden in letters (see previous points in this topic), look through comments the same way. See if creator lately added a comment somewhere, or if some comment was edited (edited comments has * in them :>).

For example at the end of one of my quizes I just asked "Where are you going for vacations guys? I'm thinking Mediterranean sea. It was a hint for recantly created GiveAway by me, in which there was a hiden link in description :>


Other Places to looking for links

If you're sure that person have a running GA and you cannot find the link neither in forum post, comments, his GAs etc - try to look outside of SG. First place to go is users Steam Profile - look at his avatar, check it like mentioned in other points for hidden text, check all links posted on profile, recommendations, recent screenshots, check any given pastebin etc :>


Bruteforcing

Bruteforcing mean checking every possible answer manually or with help of software until you find right one.

Someties you have no other way than to simply bruteforce. You may have no idea what the answer is, but have a basic idea about a format of an answer. First alwasy try to research for an answer, if it failed you may try bruteforcing. If you have to break password for RAR file it's not so bad - you can download software that will do it for you, but on ITH puzzles you may guess only twice a minute, and you have no dedicated software to do it. If you know coding a bit, you may try to write a simple script that will do all bruteforcing for you, if you don't you have to do it by hand. First try to think about format and possible answers. If question is for example "how old is creators mother" you can assume that she will be probably over 2X years old and under 100 y/o. Then try all the answers one by one. If question is about colors, check every color one by one etc.

If you have to check a lot of answers, prepare yourself. You will get bored quite fast and may forgot what you have already checked and what you have not. There's nothing worse than starting BruteForcing all over again. So for example if you have to guess a color - prepare a list of all colors you want to check (or get list from internet xD) and check them all following this list, marking what you've checked already. It's a boring chore, but sometimes you have no other way than this to finish a puzzle (or you may simply decide to drop this particular puzzle ;p)


googlesearchig SG forums

Sometimes puzzle creator may refer to previous topic he or someone else made on SG forums. Sometimes you may wish just to check previous puzzles of creator to see what tricks he's usually using, cause maybe this time he would reuse these tricks again. Sadly SG forums have very limited search engine, but here comes the google for the rescue. Using advanced search methods you may find nearly everything. For example all pages with sentence "by USERNAME" that were posted on site "steamgifts.com/discussions" :> Try this: "by zelghadis" site:steamgifts.com/discussions(or Let Me Google This For You :>).

Also keep in mind that many creators post solutions to their puzzles while they end, so you can also learn more tricks specific creator uses :>


Troll topic or hidden puzzle?

Often you will encounter some troll/begging/QQ topic on forums. In many cases these will actualy be hidden puzzle topics. Best way to check if it's just some lazy leecher crying that he wins nothing again, or a puzzle is to check OP profile and to see if he has recently created still running private GiveAways. This way you can also see how many GiveAways are there in this puzzle or what is CV requrement to enter it.

It will not always work (Private GA may be just cross-group, or for friends only) but in 8 cases out of 10 if someone post a stupid topic and has recently created private GA it will be in fact hidden puzzle :>


Easier finding of hidden GAs and links using Secret Sniffer

User phaze0 created an easy script, which may help you spot and solve easiest hidden puzzles. It will not solve anything more complex, but it may help you spotting there is something and start solving it (using this guide ;p). What can it do?

  • Find those hidden 'empty' links
  • Pull the text shown when hovering over an image
  • Pull individually marked characters from words
  • Try to decode binary, hexadecimal, morse code, and base64
  • Decode hidden links added to posts from other scripts
  • Apply a link to any possible giveaway codes (from steamgifts.com and sgtools.com)
  • Apply a link to any possible itstoohard, jiggidy, or imgur codes
  • Gather a list of suspicious looking words/letters
  • Visual indicator of how suspicious you should be of normal looking posts



Hope you enjoyed this little guide - I will add new points when I will think about them, if you feel that something is missing, some common trick I forgot to mention feel free to comment and I will add it :>

Good Luck solving SG puzzles :>


gO4U4


Updates:

UPDATE 1(25.06.2013)

Added OTHER CIPHERS to Encryption category and TOOLS WEBPAGE

Added Reverse sound search category.

Added More obscure ways of hiding a text category with ANIMATED GIFS, SOUND FILES, MP3 tags and EXIF Data subcategories.

UPDATE 2(12.08.2013)

Text hidden in IMGUR DESCRIPTION - thanks NB264 :>

UPDATE 3(15.03.2015)

Formatting fixed for SGv2. Thanks aapje!

UPDATE 4(22.06.2015)

Clarified that Viewing Selection Source is possible only in Firefox browser. Fixed wording. Thanks Gainja!
Added link to addon used for Viewing Selection Source functionality for Chrome users.

UPDATE 5 (05.04.2016)
Soft I previously recommended for viewing EXIF data was no longer available so changed to a new site which I checked to properly view data (check done on one of my old puzzles image, so I am sure it can positevely view edited data).

UPDATE 6 (23.04.2017)
Easy hidden GA search thanks to Yirg

UPDATE 7 (19.10.2017)
Added information about phaze0 puzzle-helping script Secret Sniffer.

7 years ago*

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Bump for good work =)

7 years ago
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ty :>

7 years ago
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bump to keep topic alive :>

6 years ago
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bump for SGv2 :>

5 years ago
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Why is the formatting of the post terrible when it got imported to v2? o.o

5 years ago
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really no idea what causes it :( If anyone have suggestion I'm open for it :D:

5 years ago
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Probably the lack of spaces in your binary example. You could put it in a code block or something like that.

5 years ago
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and this comment just earned you sir a spot on a whitelist :>

code didn't work, so I just removed no-spaces part of the guilde, binary part is pretty obvious anyway :>

5 years ago
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Glad to be able to help!

5 years ago
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close plz

7 years ago
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why? ;p

7 years ago
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this is like revealing how a magician does that trick. But who cares, you already did it. If I'm gonna make my puzzle next time, I'm just gonna make it unsearchable and undecipherable with those tools

7 years ago
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Sometimes puzzle makers will post solutions after the giveaway ends. I don't see how this is any different.

7 years ago
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If anyone managed to figure ALL this out and remembers it all when they go in to solve a SG puzzle, I'd consider them some sort of genius.

4 years ago
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not really a genius - keep in mind that a lot of solutions can be googled if you try hard enough. Also puzzle makers quite often post solution after puzzle ends. So even if you weren't able to solve this ind of puzzle ONCE you will be able to do so next time :>

4 years ago
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You're making it easier to every new member. Everyone of us learnt it by the hard way. ;)

7 years ago
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the thing is that when new trick occurs it's at first got explained over and over again. Then after some time people just assume everyone for example knows about hidden links. I can see that it may be REALLY HARD for a newfag to find a trick that's been there for months and every older lurker assumes it should be obvious :>

7 years ago
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Btw, I'm whitelisting you. Because you 'revealed' tricks to me, it allowed me to take those tricks and start creating puzzles in ways I wouldn't have thought of before. Also, it started me on the path to solving other people's puzzles. It doesn't solve them for me... Just gets me started.

Anyways... Just wanted to express my gratitude. :)

4 years ago
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you're very welcome - glad to see new members carrying out the torch while oldtime puzzlemakers mostly retired nowadays :D:

4 years ago
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Adamofgreyskull wrote a similar guide a long while ago, but it was more simplified and didn't cover as many advanced stuff.

Besides, once this topic gets buried, assuming Zelg doesn't bump this periodically, a person doing puzzles would still have to find this guide, which is pretty much no different to searching for an answer or method via Google.

7 years ago
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well - now every time I got another QQer crying how was he supposed to know there's something like hidden links I can just paste him a link to this topic ;)

As well as add it as a hint to my puzzles.

Plus all other puzzle makers can do the same things :>

7 years ago
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Side note, but itstoohard will fairly frequently decide to glitch out and say an answer, which is actually correct, to be wrong (I believe it's something to do with the field not updating/checking or the site having a database problem at that precise moment). This makes brute-forcing in particular a pain as you don't know if you've already entered the right answer or not.

I remember one situation where the site did just that and the person mistakenly thought you were trolling him. Good times.

7 years ago
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Lol, if I remember right, Kinne is the guy that only pops up on the forums to bitch and whine when he can't complete a puzzle. Seem to vaguely recall him going off on one because he didn't know about a reverse image search and was instead typing in phrases associated with the picture and not getting anywhere, despite people doing their best to poke him in the right direction.

7 years ago
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yup, that's him :>

7 years ago
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did i just read everything

7 years ago
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Deleted

This comment was deleted 1 year ago.

7 years ago
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One day I was thinking of making a user-friendly tutorial on itstoohard but this post pretty much covers all basic and advanced things.

7 years ago
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these ar just basics, there are too many niche advanced things to cover them all :>

7 years ago
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Good guide. Should help new steamgifters find their way around the common puzzles here :)

7 years ago
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that was the idea :)

7 years ago
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ANSWER TO ALL PUZZLES!

BANHAMMER NAOW!

7 years ago
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not even close to answer to "all puzzles" - just some pretty basic stuff every older puzzler already know :>

7 years ago
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i was hoping someone would make this guide one day. awesome zel being awesome. <3

7 years ago
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and you reached the moment when someone finally did :>

7 years ago
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and yet, it still won't help me solve your twisted puzzles. :( ah well

7 years ago
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it may help a bit, but yeah - there's always some nnew unconventional trick in mine xD

7 years ago
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Thanks, found ^^

7 years ago
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Good job zel :)

This should be stickied, it's to easy for the puzzle creators to fall in the "The hidden link is so easy, everyone will find this" trap, only to have many newcomers to the site giving up because they cannot find the link.

What people should really now, though, is that your "puzzles" follow none of these rules and are soul-sucking and time-wasting black holes...

7 years ago
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well - i also use many of these tricks now and then in my puzzles - i simply always add something extra, so situation when veteran puzzle solver sees my puzzle he can just solve it whole right away without even thinking about it :> but yeah - still use encryption, hidden links and all these tricks - but they are simply just a part of my puzzles :>

And actually I thought about this guide when last time when I posted solution to SG themed puzzle it turned out a few users then posted to me that they had no idea how to solve it, because they didn't know about hidden links. And I didn't hint it enough, cause I wrongky assumed that with so many hidden links everyone already know bout them xD

7 years ago
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Nice work.

I was thinking about doing something like this myself a while back but I'm not much one for puzzles and you've covered way more than I would have. Personally, I always thought that posting an itstoohard code by itself is pretty lame - there's simply no way for somebody completely new to steamgifts puzzles to know what to do with it. And really, once they know (possibly by following the topic until completion when the solutions are revealed), they're not going to have a "Oh so THAT'S what I was supposed to do!" moment but rather "How the hell was I supposed to know that?!".

7 years ago
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well, on the other hand - if you're making a letter-hidden code then even if you bold and capitalize TOO HARD like I once did here won't help someone who never heard of ITH :>

Even with a guide posted it's only easier for newbies to jump into SG puzzles, but it doesn't solve them all for them, they will still have to learn - cause it's impossible to cover everything :> For example google search formatting to find an answer (not reverse image search) needs experience :>

7 years ago
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I think with itstoohard, because there's no way to get to the quiz page through google or anything else if you have just the code but don't know what to do with it, it's better to post the full link. No amount of attempted puzzle solving is going to get you to the quiz page unless you already know of the site or someone expressly tells you what to do with the code, i.e. for someone new to steamgifts, it's an unsolvable part of a puzzle. Perhaps something for puzzle makers to think about? :3

7 years ago
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still - how else would you hide ITH link if using Codes hidden in letters method? :>

7 years ago
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Just so long as people know to go to itstoohard.com/puzzle/insertcodehere once they have the code, everything should be fine. It still requires a bit of puzzle solving to get the code but the ambiguity of knowing what to do with it is removed.

7 years ago
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but what's the point of having HIDDEN puzzle in for example troll topic, if at end of the topic you say ppl to go to itstoohard.com/puzzle/insertcodehere ? ;p

7 years ago
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Lol I'm obviously not explaining myself very well - the link itself can be hidden anywhere, but wherever it's hidden, it should be written in full because the process of getting to itstoohard doesn't rely on any puzzle solving ability but rather a knowledge of that site's existence.

For example, if the link was hidden in the page source, someone new to solving puzzles on steamgifts might think to look there (I would). On the other hand, if they end up with a random combination of 8 letters and numbers, they're going to have absolutely no idea to stick that in at the end of an itstoohard URL until someone expressly tells them. That's a destination that no amount of puzzle solving is going to get them to on their own.

It doesn't really matter for a troll topic but I think it's something important to consider for any topic that's labelled specifically as a puzzle.

7 years ago
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._.

7 years ago
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^_^

7 years ago
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no more lazy-ass puzzles - you have to be a bit more creative now! xD

7 years ago
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I could use a script for ITH, that waiting can be so frustrating ...

But actually, I kinda stopped solving puzzles, 'cause like the last 5 puzzles I solved, 4 already existed in my account. Not encouraging enough now. :D

7 years ago
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then solve the ones that tell you what game is a reward ;p

7 years ago
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Exactly! I consider those puzzle creators, who tell us what's the prize, 1000x more "cool face". :D

7 years ago
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Ohh, and very nice guide, btw. :)

7 years ago
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Nice guide for new users, it should help some non-veterans to solve puzzles easier. This guide is nothing bad, veterans solve stuff like this without thinking, so I think it's fair to let know new users to know some most common puzzle tricks.

As for reverse image search, I recommend this add-on. It's a quick way to find source of pictures, no matter if it's for puzzle or not.

7 years ago
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same way I see it - I just talk about most basic and common stuff every veteran already know about. I think that ppl cry about it just because "more ppl will be able to solve basic puzzles, so smaller chances for me to win GA!" ;p

I learned puzzle solving the hard way, but as a puzzle maker I would like my puzzles to be as accessible as possible. As you know they are not actually "standard" and "basic" anyway - but by this I give the same chances on them to both veterans and newbies :> If someone doesn't solve puzzle because of some non-standard element - it's ok, but wasting all possible ppl who would enjoy your puzzle simply because they never heard about hiding links? Many of these people are potential future dedicated puzzles, and if they enjoy puzzles at some point they may even become a creators themselves (what happened in my case :>).

7 years ago
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7 years ago
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Quote from Kappei: What people should really now, though, is that your "puzzles" follow none of these rules and are soul-sucking and time-wasting black holes... xD

Maybe the reason why I don't really care is that this guide doesn't affect me? :> Even if I have a hidden link it's usually the easiest part of the puzzle :>

7 years ago
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That has always been my stance. Puzzling is trying to figure out the meaning of what you know, not finding the puzzle in the first place. That's called Hide-and-Seek, not Puzzling.

7 years ago
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Awesome! Thanks for doing this :)

7 years ago
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np - someone had to sooner or later :>

7 years ago
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Thanky, zelgh ^^

7 years ago
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Excellent job, Zeigh. You might also want to include hiding a link in a gif or sound file.

While some may complain that you're giving secrets away, I happen to agree with you. The idea behind puzzling is to figure something out with the bit of information you are provided. Simply hiding that information is not only lazy, it defeats the purpose of having a puzzle in the first place. How can anyone play "the game" if they don't know it exists and has started?

7 years ago
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exactly this.

hiding GA with method used hundreds of times already is not a puzzle. for ppl who are aware of the method, because they are on SG long enough it's not a puzzle at all - they just do it without thinking, and it's only excluding newcomers who were "unlucky" to join SG later on when most of community was already aware of something.

Actual PUZZLE should be puzzling whether you're a veteran or a newcomer :>

7 years ago
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Now that you've covered most of the basic stuff, you might want to rename this thread to something like "Zeig's Hidden-Giveaway Handbook" or "Idiot's Guide to Hidden SteamGifts Giveaways."

7 years ago
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Scholar and a saint. I was slowly figuring out a lot of these things, but there were some gaps in knowledge that I had no idea how to fix.

7 years ago
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Press X to solve the puzzle :/

7 years ago
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Using the methods that were used dozens of times already is hardly a puzzle. If you simply hide link or use any other "common" method I wrote about you're not creating a puzzle. Veteran who seen this all will simply do it without any thought, so you're not puzzling him at all. And you are simply just excluding new people who aren't on SG long enough to see when "new method" is developed and explained.

If you create actual puzzles, you're not affected in any way by this guide.

7 years ago
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Well, for me it was quite fun to find this methods myself. Basically what I'm trying to say is that with this post you encourage newcomers not to think and search.

7 years ago
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and I see it that way that I'm encouraging creators to be creative and make puzzles that are gona be puzzles for everyone. The way it is now many puzzles may be puzzles only for newcomers (out of which many will not even have a chance to find them), and for veterans they are no puzzles at all ;p

7 years ago
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added nice update, thanks for the help to crackerbear, chour and Matityahu :>

7 years ago
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I think you shouldn't spoil these methods. This will make people solve puzzles with less effort, without having to actually think to find the solution.

I'll make some very neat puzzles, but no one will decipher them using the tips provided here :)

7 years ago
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ppl who are here long enough already solve puzzles with less effort, without having to actually think to find the solution.

These "secret rules" only exclude newcomers from entering puzzles (actual puzzles), because nost of ppl assume that "well, everybody know about this already". If you want to make non-standard neat puzzle - good for you, as like I said - these methods are only widely known. and hiding a link in topic is hardly a puzzle at all ;p

7 years ago
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tanks for skyrim and especially for that hidden in image shit

7 years ago
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you're welcome :>

7 years ago
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Here's a good site for seeing the individual frames in animated gifs: gif-explode.com. Although I've never had to use it in all the puzzles I've ever done.

7 years ago
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idk how, but i missed your post - edited, thanks :>

7 years ago
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Very nice, thank you for making this! I've been too lazy to chase puzzles lately, but this should be a big help to all the new people. And in case any new people are reading, no this is not a complete list but it should be enough to get you started. Don't expect to win anything without stretching your brain a little... :)

7 years ago
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NOOOOOOOOOO I WAS WRITING A GUIDE TOO!! Fine, I'll do a history of puzzles then -_-

7 years ago
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First xD

7 years ago
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Oh, I didn't realize so many people knew about sound search now. I swear I was the only one who knew about it, back here

7 years ago
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7 years ago
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not my days :> I commited sound puzzle just once but went a little overboard with some sound editing xD

7 years ago
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idk, im deaf so avoid sound puzzles anyway ;p cause not everything is researchable ;p

7 years ago
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7 years ago
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I might need some help for the earlier ones, since I wasnt a member of the site yet.

7 years ago
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This is much more difficult than I thought it would be. It's really hard to make a timeline when everything before June 2012 is labeled "1 year ago"

7 years ago
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not so difficult - only 97 topics to check :>

7 years ago
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I wanted to do a month-by-month breakdown, but it can't really be done if everything says "1 year ago"

7 years ago
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7 years ago
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not so hard Kaitlyn :>

7 years ago
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7 years ago
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yeah - i know that as well - lately I wanted to find all my puzzles, then I remembered about all group ones and comment ones :> but it's still a good place to start :>

7 years ago
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