What is a puzzle? Wikipedia: A puzzle is a problem or enigma that tests the ingenuity of the solver Videogame: find object X and put it in location Y
What is a puzzle? Puzzle definition in videogames: Find object X and put it in location Y Mini-games: games that offer brief interludes or challenges to be solved within the context of the larger game very broadly defined as a noncombat event or series of events that requires the player to complete a task or an action or some series of tasks or actions in order to progress play.
Basic Puzzle Characteristics “state” of the puzzle (similar to a game state) mechanics for changing the state a goal state = the victory condition There is also usually a theme
Neccessary Traits to Design a Puzzle Ease of use: Good user interface (UI). How does a good UI look like ? IDIOT PROOF
iPhone UI Its there when you need it, and not if you dont -Steve Jobb
Neccessary Traits to Design a Puzzle Reward player skill: If a player is encountering the puzzle many times, the playershould be able to improve his or her skill.
What is FUN ? Sensation: Game as sense-pleasure Fantasy: Game as make-believe Narrative: Game as social framework Challenge: Game as unfolding story Fellowship: Game as obstacle course Discovery: Game as uncharted territory Expression: Game as self-discovery Submission: Game as mindless pastime
What Makes Puzzles Fun ? Has to match the game theme/genre Help the whole game state move forward Done poorly, puzzles can reduce or eliminate the fun in the rest of the game just like a traffic jam can ruin a decent drive
Riddles Riddles are questions that have one right answer, but that answer is not obvious Riddles are far less common in games today than they were 20 years ago No replay value No sense of rewards Players can be stuck for good
Riddles Example “if you've got it you can't share it, if you've shared it you haven't got it”
Latheral Thinking Lateral-thinking puzzles= riddles have only one right answer The different: play with people’s assumptions players make assumptions that are nottrue, and solving the puzzle requires the player to question his or her assumptions
Latheral Thinking Example You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus An old lady who looks as if she is about to die. An old friend who once saved your life. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about. Knowing that there can only be one passenger in your car, whom would you choose?
Latheral Thinking Example A man and his son are in a car crash. The father is killed and the child is taken to hospital gravely injured. When he gets there, the surgeon says, 'I can't operate on this boy - for he is my son!!!' How can this possibly be?
Spatial Reasoning Spatial puzzles involve the manipulation of objects, either in the mind or on the playing surface
Exploration Mazes, dungeons, world maps… exploring the environment is found in a wide variety of games In FPS games, exploration and knowledge of a level is secondonly to player skill when it comes to survival Adventure games like The Legend of Zelda arewell known for exploration-based puzzlesRPGs. Katamari Damacy elevated level designby forcing players to consider levels in a new way—as subsets of even greater levels thatwould be revisited again and again at different sizes.