DASH Volunteer Roles
Want to help with DASH 12? We are looking for City Lead
volunteers to coordinate DASH in their cities.
If you have questions or would like to help, please email
Thanks for considering volunteering!
The sections below provide detailed descriptions of the roles required to create and run a DASH event.
This role is typically performed by the Puzzle Manager or Events Manager (or both). Major tasks are done in collaboration with Puzzle Manager and Events Manager.
- Create a timeline for the process, including puzzle development, event planning, and material production and distribution. Help ensure that other volunteers are aware of important deadlines.
- Create a budget, including for puzzle prototypes, material production and shipping, and event expenses.
- Work with Graphic Designer on event logos and T-shirt design.
- Support other volunteers.
Four sub-roles associated with puzzle development (Playtest Coordinator, ClueKeeper Lead, Page Designer, and Production Lead) are described in the following sections. The Puzzle Manager can perform these tasks or recruit assistants to take those responsibilities.
In addition, major tasks for the Puzzle Manager are:
- Work with DASH Director on timeline requirements for puzzle development (theme/story determined, initial puzzle drafts, playtesting (individual and full set), production deadlines, etc).
- Work with DASH Director and Production Lead on budget for puzzles.
- Recruit Puzzle Authors, Story Lead.
- Set target par times for puzzles, revise as puzzles evolve.
- Provide initial playtesting and feedback for each puzzle.
- Work with Puzzle Authors to refine and edit puzzles based on playtest feedback.
- Work with Puzzle Authors and ClueKeeper Lead to create and revise hints for ClueKeeper.
- Work with Story Lead and ClueKeeper Lead on story content for ClueKeeper.
- Work with Graphic Designer on event logos and puzzle artwork.
- Work with Page Designer and Graphic Designer to create a page design / layout to use for all puzzles.
- Convey story information and relevant puzzle details to Events Manager and City Leads to help them plan routes.
- Support volunteers in sub-roles.
Playtest Coordinator (Puzzle Manager sub-role)
Support Puzzle Manager by coordinating playtesting and feedback.
- Coordinate initial playtesting of individual puzzles.
- Communicate with Puzzle Authors to know when new versions are ready. Help Puzzle Manager keep Puzzle Authors on schedule.
- Check with Puzzle Authors and City Leads to see who is available to playtest.
- Track what has been tested by whom and assign playtesters.
- Provide custom hints to playtesters if the Puzzle Author isn't available.
- Coordinate full-set playtesting of puzzles.
- Set a schedule and recruit City Leads to provide groups for playtesting.
- Work with Page Designer to get puzzle PDFs for playtesting.
- Work with ClueKeeper Lead to ensure ClueKeeper content is ready for playtesting.
- For each playtest group, set up a doc for feedback.
- Provide instructions to playtesters: where to get puzzles, how to print, where to give feedback, etc.
- Create a Player's Guide for teams participating in DASH.
ClueKeeper Lead (Puzzle Manager sub-role)
Support Puzzle Manager by managing ClueKeeper content.
- Work with Puzzle Manager, Puzzle Authors, and Story Lead on narrative text in ClueKeeper.
- Work with Puzzle Manager and Puzzle Authors to create hints and determine appropriate timing.
- Work with Puzzle Manager and Puzzle Authors to determine whether any partial solutions should be recognized, and how many points they are worth.
- Enter story content and puzzle data (solution, hints, partials) into ClueKeeper.
- Coordinate with Playtest Coordinator to ensure content is ready for playtesting.
Page Designer (Puzzle Manager sub-role)
Support Puzzle Manager by creating puzzle pages. The Page Designer maintains the "master" version of the puzzle pages once they are put into a standard format, typically after individual puzzle testing and before full-set playtesting.
- Work with Puzzle Manager and Graphic Designer to create a page design / layout to use for all puzzles.
- Communicate with Puzzle Authors to get source files for puzzle content.
- Create a PDF for each puzzle using the standard design and the individual puzzle content.
- Create a PDF for each puzzle showing its solution.
- Make revisions to PDFs as puzzles are updated.
- Solicit reviews of the PDFs from Puzzle Authors and Puzzle Manager.
- Work with Playtest Coordinator to provide PDFs for playtesting.
Production Lead (Puzzle Manager sub-role)
Support Puzzle Manager by arranging for physical material production and shipping.
- Communicate with Page Designer and Puzzle Manager to determine what materials will need to be printed.
- Work with the printer to determine a schedule for getting materials to cities before the event. (This may include selecting a company to use for printing.)
- Work with Puzzle Manager and Puzzle Authors to determine other physical materials needed for the event.
- Coordinate with appropriate suppliers, determining schedules for ordering.
- In the event that materials won't ship to individual cities (likely, especially for international locations), arrange to receive materials and redistribute to all cities.
- In all cases, strive to have materials to City Leads so they have at least two weekends to verify and process the materials. Add a little padding to schedule to allow for delays in production and shipping.
- Provide instructions for City Leads detailing what they will receive and explaining how to prepare the materials (collating pages, sorting physical items, etc).
- Communicate schedule requirements to DASH Director, Puzzle Manager, Puzzle Authors, and Events Manager.
- Create the narrative for the story or theme.
- Identify locations in the story that should be represented by puzzles. (Or, for a theme, suggest elements that could be used for puzzles.)
- Work with Puzzle Manager to determine target par time for puzzles.
- Work with Puzzle Manager and Puzzle Authors on intro text in the puzzles.
- Work with Puzzle Manager, Puzzle Authors, and ClueKeeper Lead on story text that teams will see in ClueKeeper before and after the puzzle.
- Convey story information to Events Manager and City Leads to help them plan routes.
- Contribute to story / theme discussion if desired.
- Write a puzzle (selected from the options provided by the story).
- Work with Playtest Coordinator to get testing for your puzzle. Be available to respond to playtesters via email if they have questions or get stuck.
- Help playtest other puzzles; let Playtest Coordinator know when you are available.
- Work with Puzzle Manager to determine revisions after playtests.
- Work with Puzzle Manager and ClueKeeper Lead on hints and partial solutions for your puzzle.
- Work with Puzzle Manager, Story Lead, and ClueKeeper Lead on story content related to your puzzle.
- Work with Puzzle Manager and Page Designer on the presentation for your puzzle.
- Review PDFs for your puzzle and solution.
- Notify Page Designer of any changes to your puzzle.
The central point of contact for all City Leads. The Events Manager is the first to field questions from City Leads,
and ensures all necessary information is communicated to and from City Leads.
- Work with DASH Director on timeline requirements for events.
- Working with DASH Director, create budgets for all events.
- Communicate this with City Leads.
- Facilitate requests from City Leads that need additional budget.
- Recruit City Leads from both past DASH events and new potentially interested cities.
- Work with DASH Director and Graphic Designer on T-shirt design.
- Be the point of contact for all City Leads, directing questions to the proper individuals as needed.
- Regularly check in with City Leads on timelines and to-do lists.
- Assist City Leads in creating ticketing information for their event.
- Facilitate communication between City Leads and Production Lead to ensure the proper number of each puzzle
is sent to each city and help deal with any discrepancies.
- Ensure City Leads input walking directions; upload them to ClueKeeper.
- Ensure all City Leads report their expenses after the event.
In charge of setting up and running DASH in their city. Typically, only one per city, although two or more
people could share this role for a city.
Each city has a budget that its local organizers can spend as they see fit on various things that are needed to
make the event happen in their city. We don't mandate how cities spend their budgets because specific
needs vary from city to city based on the size of the event, the venues/locations used along the route, the number
of volunteers needed, and how the organizers want to distribute puzzle materials. Some cities need to pay for permits
or insurance, while others need to rent one or more venues, and most cities need office supplies. Game-day food for
volunteers, snacks and bottled water for players and staff, and similar costs can also be paid for out of the city's
discretionary budget. (The costs of printing, manufacturing, and shipping of puzzle materials to each
city are not part of the city-specific budget; those costs are paid for directly by the teams when they register for
DASH. The city-specific budgets are determined based on the total number of teams that register in each city.)
- Be the central point of contact for players attending your event, answering questions as needed.
- Regularly check in with the Events Manager and other DASH staff as necessary.
- Recruit volunteers to help with planning the route, processing puzzle material, and/or working on event day.
- Work with Events Manager to set up ticketing information for your event.
- Work with Social Media Coordinator to promote your event in your city.
- Communicate with Puzzle Manager and Story Lead to get information on the story for each location and any aspects
of the puzzle to be considered when selecting a site.
- Plan a route, obtaining necessary permissions and permits, as necessary.
- Write walking directions between locations. Coordinate with Events Manger to get them entered into ClueKeeper.
Have local volunteers help test your directions.
- Work with Graphic Designer to create a map of your city with markers for puzzle locations.
- Receive and process puzzle materials (e.g. collate and paperclip pages, sort physical materials, write instructions
for volunteers at each site, etc).
- City Leads are encouraged to gather a group of 3-5 to playtest the full set of puzzles and provide feedback.
The Playtest Coordinator will provide this opportunity several months before the event.
- Work with DASH Director, Graphic Designer, Story Lead, and Social Media Coordinator to create and maintain a page for the current DASH event.
- Provide a method for teams to register and City Leads to monitor status and get team lists.
- Provide an interface for City Leads to input walking directions and ClueKeeper Lead to download them.
- Set up a storefront for City Leads to order volunteer shirts.
- Set up a storefront for selling DASH shirts.
Social Media Coordinator
- Work with DASH Director, Graphic Designer, Story Lead, and Webmaster on promotional content.
- Post to social media to promote DASH and make announcements (e.g. for registration).
- Monitor Facebook, Twitter, etc, and respond to comments and questions, consulting with DASH leadership as necessary.
- Help City Leads advertise the event and recruit players (provide sample social media posts, posters, flyers, etc).
- Collaborate with DASH Director, Puzzle Manager, and Story Lead to create DASH event logo and icons to identify Standard and Expert puzzle versions.
- Work with DASH Director, Social Media Coordinator and Webmaster to design graphics for social media and web site.
- Work with Events Manager and Social Media Coordinator to design promotional materials.
- Help with puzzle content as requested by Puzzle Authors.
- Work with DASH Director and Events Manager to create T-shirt design.