Puzzle Designing

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Kreador Freeaxe
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Re: Puzzle Designing

Post by Kreador Freeaxe » June 14th, 2011, 2:38 pm

An interesting sort of puzzle might be to combine the items in the box idea with a sort of matching puzzle. There's a floor section that's a sort of mine-field of undisarmable traps laid out in a big grid. Each square on the grid has an image, and when you put the matching item to the image in each of the boxes defining that point on the grid, it's deactivated. You have to figure out which items to put in which boxes to deactivate a walkable path across the grid.

Kill 'em all, let the sysadmin sort 'em out.

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Re: Puzzle Designing

Post by Ixnatifual » June 19th, 2011, 10:27 am

Obscure puzzles are a mess as the only way to solve them is brute force or by being the puzzle designer. Puzzles should be solvable by being clever - if a puzzle is intended to be solved by brute force, the combinations should be relatively few as you're testing his ability to solve it, not his patience. Eg. no ridiculous puzzle involving fifty combinations with the only way to find the right one being to try.

I'd like to see something like the word puzzles in Betrayal at Krondor.

You'd find a chest with the following inscribed into it.
"A barrel of rainwater weighs twenty pounds. What must you add to make it weigh fifteen?"

You then have 5 slots representing letters. You can slide each slot between 4 different letters. When you have the correct letters in the slot, the key opens. The correct letters for the above riddle is HOLES.

Obviously the above is a relatively easy riddle as even with brute force it would only take 20 attempts to guess at the most. The difficulty of the puzzle can be increased by adding more letter options in each slot or by having a longer answer which requires more slots, or by a more cryptic riddle. The more combinations, the less viable brute forcing becomes, further increasing the reward for being clever rather than being patient.

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Re: Puzzle Designing

Post by Salid » November 6th, 2011, 8:44 am

I must admit I'm not too fond of word puzzles like this as they are too much dependent on the player using the same vocabulary as the designer (guess what, English is not my native language). You should be able to solve the puzzle with the material given. This is why I like graphical or mathematical (gasp!) logic puzzles somewhat more.

I don't know if anyone here has read the "Destiny Quest" gamebook, but the author has included some really great logical puzzles there. They consist of some ancient dwarven stone tables on which some numbers are ordered to an unknown system. The player must deduce this system and fill in the missing spaces, which give the code number with which to progress. Fantastic.

Aside: How about a function where the character, if he/she is that intelligent, might give some hints to the player before the monitor...? 8)

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