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# Contrary Popular Design: Using the 4 Elements of Every Classic Puzzle

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Here I describe the 4 elements of I've discovered in almost every classic puzzle game, from Crosswords to Solitaire, and how to use them to create new innovative gaming experiences.

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### Contrary Popular Design: Using the 4 Elements of Every Classic Puzzle

1. 1. Contrary Popular Design Kurt Bieg, Simple Machine Monday, January 6, 14
2. 2. kurt @ simplemachine.co Monday, January 6, 14
3. 3. Circadia Monday, January 6, 14 Even Up 4 Thrones Tomb Breaker
4. 4. http://bit.ly/4ThronesKS bit.ly/4ThronesKS Monday, January 6, 14
5. 5. Contrary = Inverse Popular = Classic Puzzles Design = Design Monday, January 6, 14
6. 6. 4 Elements of Every Classic Puzzle Game 1. Single Step Mechanic 2. Compound Agency 3. Presented Randomness 4. State of Order Monday, January 6, 14
7. 7. Some examples: Mahjongg Candy Crush Saga Crosswords Tetris Angry Birds Triple Town Monday, January 6, 14
8. 8. 1. Single Step Mechanic Do one single thing and only one single thing Monday, January 6, 14
9. 9. The Rubix Cube Monday, January 6, 14
10. 10. 1. Single Step Mechanic The player may only rotate one row or column. Monday, January 6, 14
11. 11. 2. Compound Agency Sequential repetition of the single step mechanic creates EXCITEMENT. Monday, January 6, 14
12. 12. Sudoku Monday, January 6, 14
13. 13. 1. Single Step Mechanic Writing a number in an empty space so long as it’s not a duplicate in a row, column, or box. Monday, January 6, 14
14. 14. 2. Compound Agency The ﬁrst answers are simple. Later answers require a multitude of crosschecking. Monday, January 6, 14
15. 15. 3. Presented Randomness A set of objects presented in constrained randomness. Monday, January 6, 14
16. 16. Bejeweled Monday, January 6, 14
17. 17. 1. Single Step Mechanic Swap any 2 neighbors up, down, left, or right to create 3 in a row. Monday, January 6, 14
18. 18. 2. Compound Agency Making timed multiple matches increases the score multiplier. Monday, January 6, 14
19. 19. 3. Presented Randomness Randomly repopulated tiles, presented for player choice. Monday, January 6, 14
20. 20. 4. State of Order A ﬁnal state the player is attempting to reach ZEN Monday, January 6, 14
21. 21. Solitaire Monday, January 6, 14
22. 22. 1. Single Step Mechanic Place a card on a pile if it is the opposite color and 1 less Monday, January 6, 14
23. 23. 2. Compound Agency Putting cards on later can mean ruining the end Monday, January 6, 14
24. 24. 3. Presented Randomness The deck is shufﬂed each time the player restarts Monday, January 6, 14
25. 25. 3. State of Order All cards sorted into 4 piles by suit and value Monday, January 6, 14
26. 26. Monday, January 6, 14
27. 27. Contrary Popular Design applied to Solitaire Monday, January 6, 14
28. 28. 4 Thrones Monday, January 6, 14
29. 29. Find Solitaire Differentiators • Designed speciﬁcally for mobile. • Easy to use (single handed). • Inspiring aesthetic. • Super easy to pick up and play. • An original variant. Monday, January 6, 14
30. 30. Think Contrarian-ly • What if there weren’t any suits? • What if there are no face cards? • What if the goal is to disorganize the cards? • What if cards are two sided, like a coin? • What if you can’t use certain cards? Monday, January 6, 14
31. 31. Invert Solitaire Elements • Remove opposite suit rule, allow any higher card on a pile. • Give face cards unique suit requirements • Condense game to 4 piles. • Placing all 52 cards onto 4 piles. Monday, January 6, 14
32. 32. Read more at simplemachine.co Monday, January 6, 14
33. 33. Thank You! kurt @ simplemachine.co Monday, January 6, 14