Puzzle Pirates is a fairly unique game in that it's best described as a massively multiplayer online puzzle game (The programmers prefer MMOArrrrPG?). Each player creates and controls a pirate, who can then wander and sail around the vast ocean, bouncing from island to island, taking jobs with the Navy or joining a pirate crew, and doing various work puzzles. There's a different puzzle for sailing the ship, navigating the ship, repairing the ship, bilging the ship, loading cannons, distilling rum, building ships, creating dyes from herbs, sword fighting, drinking, battles at sea, and anything else I've forgotten. Later on in your pirate career, you can also make money selling or shipping goods (semi-jokingly called "the economy puzzle"), and participate in large-scale conflicts for control of islands and such ("the political puzzle").
Puzzle Pirates was for a long time, subscription based, and people had to pay $10 a month to play the game (although there was a 10-day demo trial that didn't have all the features enabled). Recently (Feb. 18, 2005), Three Rings (the developers) opened up a "Doubloon" server, which is entirely free to play, but costs doubloons to open up some of the more interesting features. Doubloons are purchasable through Three Rings, or can be exchanged for pieces of eight, the normal currency of the ocean (so if you're good enough, you can become an officer or captain without ever spending a dime. Conversely, you can own all sorts of nice stuff without playing very long or very well). Tharrr be the "Viridian" ocean, for those trying to pick it at character creation. (A second doubloon ocean, Sage, opened August 19, 2005; a third, Hunter, opened April 20, 2006.)
A number of crews on Viridian (Black Plague, for example) have a decent concentration of Mudders and are generally awesome. Check 'em out if you get the chance.
A decent number of folks would like to be yer matey if ye need help to not walk the plank. Feel free to put yer names below if ye'd like to be found.
Also, me hearties, don't be forgettin' to celebrate TalkLikeAPirateDay day.
How does one find other people? Do you just have to bump into them?