“Puzzles are fun and have a right answer” Kim
“Puzzles are games that are not fun to replay” – Shell
- Systems in which players engage in conflict
- Defined by rules
- Quantifiable outcome
- Have a goal of finding the dominant strategy
- Don’t respond?
- Stop being fun once you know the dominant stratigy
Puzzle games contain puzzles embedded into the environment of the game
Good Examples: Tetris, Zelda, etc.
Bad Example: 7th Guest. No real connection between the puzzle and the environment
Whats good about puzzles in games?
- They force the player to stop and think
- They force the player to make conceptual shifts
- They serve as accessible tools for figuring out strategies
Principles of Designing good Puzzles
- Make the goal easily understandible
- Make it easy to get started (Kim: Build a new Toy that is fun to play with)
- Does it act like something they have seen before?
- Give a sense of progress (not like solving a riddle)
- What does it mean to make progress?
- Is there enough progress? Could you add more progression?
- Is all progress visible?
- Give a sense of solvability (rubrik’s cube comes solved)
- Increase difficulty gradually
- Parallelism lets the player rest (Give many challenges in parallel so they can work on something else if they get stuck)
- Are there bottlenecks in the design where players could get stuck?
- Are the parallel challenges different enough?
- Are parallel challenges interrelated?
- Pyramid structure extends interest (low level puzzles provide clues to higher level puzzles)
- Can all pieces of the puzzle fit together into a single challenge at the end
- Do the challenges increase in difficulty
- IS the challenge at the top interesting?
- Hints extend interest (renew hope and curiosity)
- Give the Answer
- Perceptual shifts are a double-edged sword