intfiction.org

The Interactive Fiction Community Forum
It is currently Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:25 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:16 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:07 am
Posts: 8
Location: Toronto
zarf wrote:
puzzle categorization


I'm not looking for a typology. As I already stated, all puzzles are fundamentally of the same type. I'm picturing it more like this. Imagine a bunch of "doors" and "keys" having a masquerade ball. Some come in couples, others in groups: a "door" with two or more "keys", or a "key" with two or more "doors". The interesting question is what costumes are they wearing? We already have a "door" pretending to be a waiter and a "key" pretending to be a tie. I'm looking for real life situations, real life costumes. I'm not looking for "doors" dressed as trolls and "keys" dressed as riddles.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:05 pm
Posts: 678
Marie, I think this is really interesting. I recently read someone who said that parser games are like magicians, using the same tricks just with different patter. I was playing Spellbreaker last week and I noticed that a ton of their puzzles were blatantly lock-and-key (find a spell to pass obstacle A to get a cube to open up obstacles B and C). Like the giant snake filling the hallway, or the copyright protection question (which functions as a real life lock and key, too), or the lava fragment, or even the infamous outcrppping.

But I couldn't help but love the game as I played it; it's tied for my number one favorite game, because the 'patter' and the dressing up were so good. Casting powerful spells is fun.

So I think you have a good point, and I'm glad that you pointed it out. (I know you said real-life situations, but it made me think of Spellbreaker anyway. For real-life situations i think of Gourmet)

_________________
-My IFDB name is Mathbrush (this was an alternate account I started because I was going to submit my IFComp game anonymously)


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:11 am
Posts: 2058
Location: US - Central
Although this is not specifically IF - The original Secret of Monkey Island has the "Three Trials" puzzle.

In order to become a pirate, Guybrush is ordered to complete three tasks by a row of pirates at a table (the door) to access the wider world in the game. This functions as a limited hub, and each of the quest "keys" are rather extended puzzles that can be tackled in any order, and I believe they all somewhat inform each other. By the time the player has solved all three trials, they are very familiar with the game and puzzle style and are ready to continue the adventure outside the starting area on Melee' Island(tm).
Attachment:
3trials_4993.png
3trials_4993.png [ 14.72 KiB | Viewed 348 times ]

_________________
http://hanonondricek.wix.com/pyramidif


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:21 pm
Posts: 219
Puzzles need not be isolated, and may not be limited to a "door" and a "key". There may even be multiple (conjunctive or disjunctive), or the "key" for one may be a "door" for another, or you may have a "anti-door" or "anti-key" sometimes, or some method of solving one puzzle may result in another being impossible to do, etc.

Do not isolate all puzzles individiually; there is no individual, just the entire game. (I suppose that is how you make up "holistic puzzlement"?)

_________________
.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:40 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:07 am
Posts: 8
Location: Toronto
zzo38 wrote:
Puzzles need not be isolated, and may not be limited to a "door" and a "key". There may even be multiple (conjunctive or disjunctive), or the "key" for one may be a "door" for another, or you may have a "anti-door" or "anti-key" sometimes, or some method of solving one puzzle may result in another being impossible to do, etc.


That's a structural/logical approach to puzzle design. It's interesting in its own right, but it's not what I'm focusing on. My approach is semantic/aesthetic. The two approaches are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they complement each other. The structural/logical approach looks at the chain of puzzles, while the semantic/aesthetic approach looks at the individual links. It looks at the "doors" and "keys" masquerading as other things and asks, why are some costumes better than others?

Say you're playing a game where you have to find seven keys to unlock seven doors with a matching colour scheme. Here the author hasn't even bothered to provide costumes for his "doors" and "keys". To avoid disambiguation issues, he has had to resort to an artificial colour scheme. Compare this to the waiter and tie puzzle. You immediately recognise the waiter as a "door" and the tie as a "key", and yet the puzzle seems more attractive, which brings us back to the question of why some costumes are better than others.

zzo38 wrote:
Do not isolate all puzzles individiually; there is no individual, just the entire game. (I suppose that is how you make up "holistic puzzlement"?)


If you zoom out far enough, the game becomes the "door" and player the "key". But what I'm focusing on is not the chain, but the individual links. I'm looking at the puzzle morpheme, the smallest unit of puzzley meaning.

craiglocke wrote:
I know you said real-life situations, but it made me think of Spellbreaker anyway.


The reason, I think, why it's so hard to come up with real-life puzzles is because in real life when a door is locked and you don't have the key, it's because you're not supposed to.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:56 pm
Posts: 5426
I think you're getting at the chain (tree) of goal prerequisites which make up the game structure. You need object X to reach object Y, and object Y to reach object Z, so X is a "key" which unlocks the "door" that leads to Y. And so on.

This is a useful abstraction. When I'm designing a game, I sometimes jot a note "need something in room R to reach room S, fill in details later."

However, it's not always a *perfect* abstraction. If you describe a game in this way, you are leaving out details which are not mere window dressing.

Consider this: a combination lock with a (fixed) combination which is written down elsewhere in the game. That's a key/door situation, but the "key" is pure information. The player could find it in a walkthrough, or guess it by brute force, and skip a large chunk of the game. (Famously, the fireplace code in _Myst_.) We have various strategies to avoid this problem -- if you think it's a problem. But to understand the situation at all, you have to dig into the abstraction and consider the details of *how* the "key" unlocks the "door".

Quote:
The quality of a puzzle depends largely on how well-camouflaged the "door" and the "key" are.


I disagree with this. From the player's point of view, the key/door model describes their *goal* in solving the puzzle, not the puzzle itself! "Getting through the iron gate" is a goal; "finding the iron key" or "finding someone to teach you lockpicking" or "figuring out that the rezrov spell works on the door" is a puzzle. They are rather *different* puzzles.

The quality of the puzzle is (of course) subjective and has many subtleties. You can abstract them away, but then you're not addressing puzzle quality any more.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group