So im sure all of you at some time at another whilst browsing the steamgifts forum have come across a post that looks like this!
But can you always solve them? If not then don’t worry as im going to show you how to solve them! First of all you need to know there are many different types of puzzle and not all of them will be covered here but these are the most common types of puzzles!
Puzzle Type 1
Hidden within post
The most simple and common type of ‘puzzle’ giveaways is to hide them within the post itself, this can be done in many ways, for example it could be a hidden link, it could be they’ve hidden a code throughout their post or it may even be a mixture of these!
So what can we do about this? Well to start we need to know how to find out if this has been done. First of all you will want to click on the profile of the person who created the post, this will show if they have any private giveaways open at the minute. If there is a private giveaway there MAY be one hidden within the post, if there isn’t then you will just be wasting your time.
Next we need to know how to find the hidden elements of the post. The way we view hidden elements is to view the source code of a page, to do this all you have to do is use the shortcut key ‘Ctrl + U’ which will bring up the source of the page. Within the source of a page you can see a lot more but there is also a lot of ‘fluff’ which will make no sense to most people, so how can we find what we are looking for?
To start finding hidden stuff in the source code it would be best to first of all find where the post starts, so all you have to do is find (Ctrl + F) the start of their text and then you can browse through their post viewing all the information that there is with no formatting!
Now we need to know what we are looking for! So what are we looking for? We are looking for a number of things, we could be looking for repeating formatting this would either be or which all would change the look of whatever is in them, but that can also be seen just by looking at the post. We also could be looking for a hidden link, these take up a space of 0px by 0px so they can not be clicked or seen, these look like this – . But what if there is no link there? Well may be a combination of both a hidden link and code! Using hides anything within the > < therefore allowing hidden text.
We have now either found a link or we have found a code. If a link has been found then you have completed the first step! but if we have a code then what do we do with it? Well that depends on the length of the code. It may be a code to the giveaway itself, it could link to a puzzle, it could link to a picture or even a text file! So how do we know which one it links to? Well first of all we need to see the length of the code. If the code is 5 characters long then it probably links directly to the giveaway http://www.steamgifts.com/giveaway/Codehere
But what if that is an invalid giveaway? That means it isn’t a link to a giveaway but it could be to a picture! then try this site
Now what if the code is 8 characters long? This is probably a hidden puzzle go to the puzzle site everyone uses!
And now we are left with only one other main possibility and that is a hidden amount of text! Try here
The above methods should work for most to all puzzles that contain a hidden code but what if they dont? Then think of a common site that uses a random letter generator and paste the code in, if you can’t find anything make sure you have the right code and that you have the correct number of characters.
So what can we summarise from this? We can summarise to find most giveaways we need to use the source code (Ctrl + U) and then we need to find (Ctrl + F) where the post starts then we need to look for anything Hidden or Formatted. You then have to see if it’s a link or code, and if a code the length and the site you should try!
Puzzle Type 2
This type of post is also not too uncommon. When this type of post is used then there is a few things that you may need but I will get to that later. The most simple format of this type of post is to hide a code within a picture, another type is using the image hosting site to hide the code and the last type would be to make you manipulate the image in some way that allows you to see what you need to.
The first thing you should do is check the image for any text. If you have found text you will either have found a code or a link . If the code has been found then follow the same steps as above. Otherwise you have found a link therefore you should follow the link and see where you go. You may just get linked to the image creators site therefore you will need to go back and check the picture again.
The next way is to change how the hosting site is displayed. One of the more popular image sites that is used is imgur.com this site has two different ways to display an image. One way is the image hotlink, this will show the image itself but not any comments that on it, nor will you get other bits of information. This is why linking to an image is the way most people will choose to link as they have ways to hide information. A hotlinked image look like this – http://i.imgur.com/name.format and a gallery image looks like this – http://imgur.com/name
The next hosting site that may be used it photobucket. This can hide other images quite well but it is also easier to find them. First of all you will need the album page. To makes sure your on this make sure the link is http://s559.photobucket rather than http://i559.photobucket . If you are on s559 just change it to an i. After this you will need to go back to the album page to see all the pictures (And other albums)
If none of the above methods work then you will have to get more technical. This can be difficult for the first few times but you will get better over time and it will get easier. You will need a program that can edit images, use layers and change the color balance. For this I recommend paint.net LINK http://www.getpaint.net/. With this you can see any hidden transparent layers, these could contain the code. You may also have to edit brightness/contrast to be able to see hidden codes etc.
So what can we summarise from this? We summarise that codes may be hidden in a few different ways at that the first thing we need to do is look at the picture for a code. Next we should try checking out the hosting site of the image. If neither of those ways work then we save the image and open it up in an external program so we can edit parts of it to try to find the code.
Puzzle Type 3
*DISCLAIMER* THIS TYPE OF GIVEAWAY MAY BE A VIRUS/TROJAN/WORM/OTHER! BE CAREFUL
This type of giveaway is a lot rarer than the others but also can be the most difficult of them all as it can combine any number of elements from above as well as extra ones that will be explained here. The different ways that you may have to solve this is to change a file type, distort audio, check and maybe manipulate a picture, enter passwords, complete a program/game and many, many others. This will guide you through a number of them but it is not a comprehensive guide.
We will start simple and go through just changing a file type. For this we need to be able to see all file types, you should be able to change this through your control panel. Once you are able to see all file type you will need to change only the last parts of the file name. So for example you have a text file called picture.txt you may need to change this to picture.png or picture.jpeg to be able to view the file now as a picture rather than the text file it was previously. This will be mainly trail and error as there are only a few hint on the file type. To see these open the file in notepad and check the first few lines. Check forthe common file types of .txt – text file .png – picture .jpeg – picture .zip – Compressed file .wav – Sound file .exe – runnable file BE CAREFUL WITH ALL .EXE THEY COULD BE A VIRUSES!
The next few will all need various programs that can be found around the web. For manipulating pictures see the above section. For editing and distorting audio you will want a program that can lower and heighten pitches, speed up and slow down audio and change the frequencys, you will want to mess around with the settings until you get a clear audio which may be a voice or it may just be a hint or clue. One such program that could be used is http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
You may also need to enter a password into a zip file, you would need to extract the file from a .zip/.7zip file folder and it will ask you for a password. If you can’t find a password you may always try some ‘common’ passwords but chances are they will not be right. Common passwords include – 12345, abcde, qwerty, password. Less common passwords but more specifics could be SG, steamgifts or it could even be the username of the creator or a word in the topic that seems out-of-place. If you cannot figre out the password manually you can always try a password cracker but they can take a long time – http://www.crark.net/
A lot less common of a file is a .exe file (BE CAREFUL WITH ALL .EXE THEY COULD BE A VIRUSES!) these could do nearly anything as an .exe has been programmed by someone else so there isn’t much help I can give here but just be careful.
To summarise this section would be hard so I will just wish you luck. Good luck!
All in all these are the ways people create puzzles and how you can solve them, so i wish you luck and go solve all those puzzles!