U.S. Air Force Launches “Million Piece Mission,” The World’s Largest Virtual Multiplayer Puzzle

U.S. Air Force is inviting the world to Aim Higher Together

AUSTIN, Texas, June 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, the U.S. Air Force, in partnership with full-service creative agency, GSD&M, is launching the largest virtual multiplayer puzzle for the entire world to solve together.  The puzzle, dubbed “Million Piece Mission” for its unheard of one million pieces, taps into the recent demand for jigsaw puzzles, while enabling people around the globe to get a sense of the challenge, camaraderie and purpose Airmen experience every day, all from the comfort and safety of their home.

“Million Piece Mission” was created with a 1.03 gigapixel image of the fourth building at the National Museum of the United States Air ForceTM, taken shortly after the building’s opening in 2016 by photographer John Opie.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to inspire and engage with the American public,” said Major Ross McKnight, Chief, National Events Branch. “The ‘Million Piece Mission’ is a challenging and interactive way to experience the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force while learning about careers and opportunities in the Air Force. The mission will require highly motivated, independent, and mentally tough individuals with attention to detail in order to complete. Those are the exact same traits we need in the next generation Airmen and, just like the puzzle, we want the best qualified applicant with the right job at the right time.”

To make the massive puzzle manageable for solving, it is divided into thousands of separate tile rooms, where points are earned by individual players and updated in real time to a universal leaderboard, creating friendly global competition.

To encourage users to tackle harder, less-defined sections of the puzzle, the tile rooms vary in level of difficulty. As users complete a tile room, they earn points based on the number of pieces they assemble, the amount of time spent on the section and the complexity of the image. Users have the option to play as a guest or create a username and password to save their progress and enjoy other benefits, including unlocking content, and interesting facts that, until now, could only be seen by visiting the museum in person.

As users enter the puzzle, they’ll view the full gigapixel image of the fourth building and see the cursors of other players working on the puzzle in real time. Users can work alone or with other players to complete a section of the puzzle and can even invite friends into a tile room to help complete the section.

“With school out, many camps closed, and not a lot of places to go outside yet, we hope this puzzle provides families and friends with something fun to do together. From across their living room or from across the country. Leave it to the U.S. Air Force to make the most technologically advanced jigsaw puzzle in the world,” said Jeff Maki, Senior VP, Group Creative Director, GSD&M.

“Million Piece Mission” is free to play and can be accessed on AirForcePuzzle.com by desktop and mobile devices. Austin-based full-service creative agency GSD&M – the U.S. Air Force’s creative partner for 20 years – envisioned this concept, along with development partner, Active Theory.

About the United States Air Force
The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace. For 2020, the Air Force Recruiting Service is hiring over 29,000 new Airmen. An emphasis is on recruiting people with no prior military service into one of over 130 enlisted career opportunities. The Air Force recruits to retain, so we recruit the brightest candidates possible, then provide them with tough, highly technical training that gives them the right skills to sustain the combat capability of America’s Air Force. For more information about Air Force benefits and opportunities, go to www.airforce.com.

About GSD&M
Founded in 1971, GSD&M is a creatively driven, full-service agency headquartered in Austin, Texas, that believes when you pay the price to understand the problem and apply that insight to solve courageously, the reward is ideas that make a difference. With a restless culture and purpose as a guiding force, GSD&M builds brands with a fully integrated creative, media and analytics approach. For more information, visit GSDM.com.

About the National Museum of the United States Air Force
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year more than 800,000 visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.

Sara Vinson