What is appropriate as far as puzzles?

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danie...@hotmail.com

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Aug 15, 2004, 8:18:43 AM8/15/04
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If this is an inappropriate place for this, I apologize in advance, and
please disregard this post and/or tell me where an appropriate place
is. I've been playing/writing IF for a while now, but I'm new to the
community aspects of IF.

I'd be grateful to anyone who wants to weight in on this; first, a
little backstory -- I've been making zcode games for a while and
distributing them among some friends of mine. They seem to enjoy them,
and I was thinking of polishing one up and entering it in an IFComp,
but after reflecting on this for a minute, I realized that I have good
reason to believe that my friends are not a typical audience.
Specifically, there are certain types of puzzles that they enjoy which
other people might not, so I wondered what people thought of the
following types of puzzles in games.

(*) Variations on the random maze -- I hear that this is going out of
fashion, but on the other hand the maze of twisty little passages is a
classic. How do you feel about mazes which require you to make a map?
How about mazes which you can solve without making a map?

(*) Puzzles which require you to do some small amount of
pencil-and-paper calculation, or draw a diagram, to work out the
solution; including maybe a bit of arithmetic. If you object to this,
would you change your mind if there was a "pocket calculator" or
"sliderule" object in the game which you could type your calculations
into?

(*) Puzzles which might require you to look up information about
something on the internet / in an encyclopedia, i.e. a puzzle in which
you had to know whether certain fish lived in fresh water or saltwater.

(*) A piece of paper has a riddle on it; you are to solve the riddle
and type in the answer (or base your actions on the answer.) Here is
an example (which, of course, I will not be using in any game I
release):

Each time myself I find divided
In those smaller thirteen parts
Which, while not me, go inside me,
I simply add them back together
(Never having learned the fancier arts),
And then -- behold -- my whole
Is shown to be the sum of these parts.

My end, in your hands, is like as my beginning
As two brother peas in a pod of four;
Id est, once I've seen my first fifty centuries
I shall not hope for fifty more.

My gut feeling is to replace all of these types of puzzles with the
more "conventional," but I wondered what you guys thought. Also, if
there's a type of puzzle you really like or would like to see more of,
please tell me about that.

Jess Knoch

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Aug 15, 2004, 10:09:14 AM8/15/04
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danie...@hotmail.com <danie...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> [snip] I wondered what people thought

> of the following types of puzzles in games.
>
> (*) Variations on the random maze -- I hear that this is going out of
> fashion, but on the other hand the maze of twisty little passages is a
> classic. How do you feel about mazes which require you to make a map?
> How about mazes which you can solve without making a map?

Mazes are, more or less, 100% out especially in the Comp (IF you want a
popular game or a good score). Some would say they're out altogether. That
said, I have enjoyed a comp game or two with a maze in it. It was too long,
and I ended up unable to finish the game, so the game didn't score well, but
the maze was kinda fun. If you can solve it without a map it is a bonus, but
still risky. If you don't want a good score and don't mind annoying some
folk, do what you like.

> (*) Puzzles which require you to do some small amount of
> pencil-and-paper calculation, or draw a diagram, to work out the
> solution; including maybe a bit of arithmetic.

Sounds like fun to me! I think I included a puzzle like that in my comp game
in 2002, along with the "magic item that solves it" and no one complained
too loudly. To my face, anyway.

> (*) Puzzles which might require you to look up information about
> something on the internet / in an encyclopedia, i.e. a puzzle in which
> you had to know whether certain fish lived in fresh water or
> saltwater.

This one is a bit more risky than the last, but I seem to recall a
discussion from last year that I can't find. Hm. Maybe someone else will
chime in too, but for me I think I would rather everything be self-contained
within the game. Unless it's a subject area I actually am familiar with,
which I would be (inconsistently) pleased to see. The solution is to have
the information somewhere in the game: an NPC or encyclopedia, maybe.

> (*) A piece of paper has a riddle on it; you are to solve the riddle
> and type in the answer (or base your actions on the answer.)

Um, heh, I did that one in my 2002 game also. People didn't mind the riddle
so much (although they did call it "old school"), as they minded the strict
way they had to enter the answer. So I think it's okay to have riddles like
that, especially if there's some kind of reason behind besides arbitrary
puzzle-implanting. Crazy Uncle who liked riddles, or some other explanation.
And some of us don't get puzzles, *especially* in a time limit like the
Comp, so be sure to include either an alternate solution, or the riddle
answer hidden somewhere, or a good hint system, or at the very least, a
walkthrough with the answer.

> My gut feeling is to replace all of these types of puzzles with the
> more "conventional," but I wondered what you guys thought.

I think all of them can be safely worked into a game, except the maze. Your
game will be called "puzzley" and a "puzzle-fest" but that is no insult.
Some of us find puzzles very entertaining. You might look at 2002's Color
and Number and the associated reviews to see what people liked and didn't
like about that very puzzley game.

--Jess


p.s. What's the answer to the riddle? I hate being stuck :-)


PaulCsouls

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Aug 15, 2004, 1:38:51 PM8/15/04
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>(*) Variations on the random maze -- I hear that this is going out of
>fashion, but on the other hand the maze of twisty little passages is a
>classic. How do you feel about mazes which require you to make a map?
>How about mazes which you can solve without making a map?

I like mazes, but you need to make it a little more interesting then
dropping a lot a stuff to get your bearings.

>
>(*) Puzzles which require you to do some small amount of
>pencil-and-paper calculation, or draw a diagram, to work out the
>solution; including maybe a bit of arithmetic. If you object to this,
>would you change your mind if there was a "pocket calculator" or
>"sliderule" object in the game which you could type your calculations
>into?
>

I like calculations and pencil and paper stuff. It's a lot more
interesting than the 'peg in hole' finding junk and trying it games.

>(*) Puzzles which might require you to look up information about
>something on the internet / in an encyclopedia, i.e. a puzzle in which
>you had to know whether certain fish lived in fresh water or saltwater.
>

I'd say yes but you never know whether other sources have the same
information. Latin name for a butterfly, atomic weight of aluminum,
speed of light, etc. The US often has different spellings than the
English. There could be variations in the answers to a simple
question. You almost need to make it multiple choice. It's better if
the game supplies information and you can use the information to solve
puzzles along the way.

>(*) A piece of paper has a riddle on it; you are to solve the riddle
>and type in the answer (or base your actions on the answer.) Here is
>an example (which, of course, I will not be using in any game I
>release):
>
>Each time myself I find divided
>In those smaller thirteen parts
>Which, while not me, go inside me,
>I simply add them back together
>(Never having learned the fancier arts),
>And then -- behold -- my whole
>Is shown to be the sum of these parts.
>
>My end, in your hands, is like as my beginning
>As two brother peas in a pod of four;
>Id est, once I've seen my first fifty centuries
>I shall not hope for fifty more.
>

I like those too.

>My gut feeling is to replace all of these types of puzzles with the
>more "conventional," but I wondered what you guys thought. Also, if
>there's a type of puzzle you really like or would like to see more of,
>please tell me about that.

What is more conventional?

Paul C

Daphne Brinkerhoff

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Aug 15, 2004, 4:26:45 PM8/15/04
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<danie...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:cfnkb3$b...@odah37.prod.google.com...

my two cents:

> (*) Variations on the random maze -- I hear that this is going out of
> fashion, but on the other hand the maze of twisty little passages is a
> classic. How do you feel about mazes which require you to make a map?
> How about mazes which you can solve without making a map?

This is tricky. I can't say no, but I can say it had better be different
than what's already out there, or I will just sigh and roll my eyes and, if
the game has other appealing aspects, slog through the maze to get to more
fun stuff. On the other hand, if you have some really new variation, then
it could be fun.

Mazes where it's just "drop stuff and make a map" don't appeal to me. A
nifty maze was the one in _Augmented 4th_.

> (*) Puzzles which require you to do some small amount of
> pencil-and-paper calculation, or draw a diagram, to work out the
> solution; including maybe a bit of arithmetic. If you object to this,
> would you change your mind if there was a "pocket calculator" or
> "sliderule" object in the game which you could type your calculations
> into?

I like this, period. Having an object in the game can be helpful, but not
necessary, imho.

> (*) Puzzles which might require you to look up information about
> something on the internet / in an encyclopedia, i.e. a puzzle in which
> you had to know whether certain fish lived in fresh water or saltwater.

I'm with others on this: it's best if the game contains the encyclopedia,
etc. For example, see the _Worlds Apart_ documentation about ferals, or all
the documents in _Christminster_.

> (*) A piece of paper has a riddle on it; you are to solve the riddle
> and type in the answer (or base your actions on the answer.) Here is
> an example (which, of course, I will not be using in any game I
> release):

Can I second Jess Knoch's request to post the answer? :)

Also, I like riddles, but it would be nice again if there was an in-game way
to solve them as well, maybe some alternate puzzle to solve or something.
I'm thinking of, for instance, the "all the king's men couldn't fill it up"
(or whatever it was) puzzle from Zork 2. I never ever would've got that
without the walkthrough.

> My gut feeling is to replace all of these types of puzzles with the
> more "conventional," but I wondered what you guys thought. Also, if
> there's a type of puzzle you really like or would like to see more of,
> please tell me about that.

I can't get enough Myst-style physical puzzles, like the towers in _So Far_
or some of the puzzles in _Inevitable_.

--
Daphne


danie...@hotmail.com

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Aug 15, 2004, 7:49:03 PM8/15/04
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Okay, I tried to post this earlier and it hasn't shown up all day, so
maybe there's gonna be a huge quadruple-post here in a minute, but on
the other hand maybe I just screwed up posting. Anyway, the answer to
the puzzle is 8128; now see if you can figure out why.

Jess Knoch

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Aug 15, 2004, 10:41:11 PM8/15/04
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danie...@hotmail.com <danie...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Okay, I tried to post this earlier and it hasn't shown up all day, so
> maybe there's gonna be a huge quadruple-post here in a minute, but on
> the other hand maybe I just screwed up posting. Anyway, the answer to
> the puzzle is
.
A
.
w
e
e
.
b
i
t
.
o'
.
s
p
a
c
e
.

> 8128; now see if you can figure out why.

Ah! 8128 is a perfect number. I think I get it, all but the part about 50
centuries. Btw, it turned out to be a math puzzle, which means I approve
mightily, but I wouldn't be able to solve it under the pressure of the comp
time limit. In-game hints, or out-of-game hints, are your best bet with
these types of riddles. Thanks for the brain teaser :-)

Jess


S

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Aug 15, 2004, 11:47:29 PM8/15/04
to

<danie...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> I wondered what people thought of the following
> types of puzzles in games.

Are you entering the comp to spread your games to a wider audience, or
specifically to try and win? If you just want to share your game and have
fun, then make a game you would enjoy playing. If you are entering to win,
then forget what you enjoy, take a statistical survey of what everyone
likes, and create a game optimised to appeal to the greatest number of
people.
You can also aim for something in-between these two extremes.

Regarding the specific puzzles you mentioned:


> (*) Variations on the random maze

Some people will barf the instant they see, hear, or smell a maze. I
think they're kind of fun. One thing I would recommend is to make sure your
maze has a unique gimmick, rather than being the "twisty passages" maze with
different text. The point of the maze is that it's a geographical puzzle,
so it shouldn't be a repeat of a puzzle we've all solved before (i.e. Zork).


> (*) Puzzles which require you to do some small amount
> of pencil-and-paper calculation, or draw a diagram, to
> work out the solution; including maybe a bit of arithmetic.

Sounds good to me. I would probably enjoy a non-mathematical (but still
"visual") puzzle more than an intense mathematical one. I'm good with math,
but I don't exactly do it for fun. :^)


> (*) Puzzles which might require you to look up information
> about something on the internet / in an encyclopedia

Yes, in fact these can be really interesting. BUT... you had better
make sure the answer is correct, accurate, and not culturally biased.


> (*) A piece of paper has a riddle on it; you are to solve the
> riddle and type in the answer (or base your actions on the
> answer.)

Answering through actions is probably safer interface-wise. As above,
you should make absolutely sure the riddle has a logical answer, not based
on cultural knowledge or idioms. (See Zork's "diamond maze" for a bad, bad
example of breaking this rule). Riddles are a bit risky -- they can become
a show-stopper even if they were intended to be easy.


S.

danie...@hotmail.com

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Aug 16, 2004, 2:02:43 AM8/16/04
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50 centuries = 5000, 50 more = 10000; i.e. the number is less than ten
thousand; this simply reinforces the "four-pea pod" idea. (There are,
no doubt, larger perfect numbers which happen to have the same first
and last digit in base ten, and we want to eliminate those from the
consideration)

I had been wary of using this riddle after a friend of mine (who, to
give a quick impression. was working on quantum computing when we were
in high school together) told me that this riddle was just too hard. I
figured if *he* had an objection to it, certainly almost everyone
would, but I'm glad to see that there is an audience for this sort of
thing. Judging from the reaction I'm getting, I'll probably include
some riddles like this in the game, albeit toned down a little and with
smaller numbers.

danie...@hotmail.com

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Aug 16, 2004, 2:10:40 AM8/16/04
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My intention was to take a game which I have already written and do a
little retooling to change the target audience. Clearly I had to take
out the parts which required significant knowledge of group theory to
solve the puzzles, and I was just wondering what else I should modify.
I mean, if people just don't like mazes, it doesn't seem quite
sportsmanlike to ask them to go through one.

I'm somewhat-seriously thinking about replacing StrongSub as a way of
short-circuiting the maze, since I've read that some people don't like
it, i.e.

> n
You are in the maze.
> (expletive) the maze
Okay, you're at the end of the maze. But you don't get the five
points. Nyah nah.

Opinions?

Michael

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Aug 16, 2004, 10:30:59 AM8/16/04
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"danie...@hotmail.com" <danie...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<cfpj50$5...@odak26.prod.google.com>...

Ha! I like that, and your game would have the honor of being the first
game to implement Strong as a puzzle solution (I'm probably wrong,
though. Am I?). Also, you could have a lot of fun with the hints for
that maze...

Michael

Michael

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Aug 16, 2004, 10:34:45 AM8/16/04
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"S" <do...@spam.com> wrote in message news:<5_VTc.4478$Tr.2...@news20.bellglobal.com>...

> <danie...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > I wondered what people thought of the following
> > types of puzzles in games.
>
<snip>

>
> > (*) Puzzles which might require you to look up information
> > about something on the internet / in an encyclopedia
>
> Yes, in fact these can be really interesting. BUT... you had better
> make sure the answer is correct, accurate, and not culturally biased.
>

As long as it's not another zodiac puzzle. Christ, I don't know what
it is about adventure games and the #&$!ing zodiac, but alot of
designers seem(ed) to be just aching for an excuse to stick it in
somewhere.

Michael

Hans Fugal

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Aug 16, 2004, 1:24:16 PM8/16/04
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I'll throw in my $.02

danie...@hotmail.com wrote:
> (*) Variations on the random maze -- I hear that this is going out of
> fashion, but on the other hand the maze of twisty little passages is a
> classic. How do you feel about mazes which require you to make a map?
> How about mazes which you can solve without making a map?

I don't like mazes. I like physical and geological puzzles, to an
extent. E.g. I loved A Change in the Weather but got bored with the
timing puzzles about halfway through.

> (*) Puzzles which require you to do some small amount of
> pencil-and-paper calculation, or draw a diagram, to work out the
> solution; including maybe a bit of arithmetic. If you object to this,
> would you change your mind if there was a "pocket calculator" or
> "sliderule" object in the game which you could type your calculations
> into?

A small amount, great. Beware, your idea of small amount is probably way
too much, if my assessment of your expertise is correct. :)

> (*) Puzzles which might require you to look up information about
> something on the internet / in an encyclopedia, i.e. a puzzle in which
> you had to know whether certain fish lived in fresh water or saltwater

I personally LOVE this sort of thing. It's part of why I love IF - to
explore new cultures and subject areas. But you ought to somehow imply
that they need to know the specifics about that certain fish. If you
just mention that it's a so-and-so fish in the description it's hardly
fair to expect people to know all about so-and-so fish. But if the PC is
a fish-ologist or the game somehow makes a big deal out of what species
the fish is, it would be the impetus to go look it up in an encyclopedia
or on-line.

I think this is an excellent opportunity for non-giveaway hints too.
Maybe in the way of virtual feelies or something. I agree that it's nice
to have the answer somewhere in the game, but when you pick up an
encyclopedia and it tells you about so-and-so fish when you read it,
that's a little obvious and boring. I liked the encyclopedia-like thing
in augmented fourth, but I bet it was a lot of work.

My first IF game was Trinity. It took me years to solve because when I
started I was just too young and didn't get some things and didn't have
the history background. But I kept coming back to it (roughly every six
months or so) and it was a thrill when I found I could make a little
more progress now. When I was finally old enough I figured out I needed
to look up the history (most of my troubles were in New Mexico) and only
when I had done some outside research was I able to complete the game.
It was very satisfying. You need to ask yourself if it fits in the
IFComp genre though...

> (*) A piece of paper has a riddle on it; you are to solve the riddle
> and type in the answer (or base your actions on the answer.) Here is
> an example (which, of course, I will not be using in any game I
> release):

I'd probably stop right here, no matter how interesting it was.
Especially for a math riddle. I'm not bad at math, and almost enjoy the
application of it, but I don't think it's fun in and of itself. My
brother, otoh would probably love it.

This reminds me of a game I tried recently, from last year's competition
IIRC. Risorgimento Represso was fun and interesting, but in the end I
tired of it because it involved too much chemistry, and I've never liked
chemistry. :) So maybe I just contradicted myself on that external
knowledge point...

Michael Roy

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Aug 16, 2004, 6:28:12 PM8/16/04
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Michael wrote:

> Ha! I like that, and your game would have the honor of being the first
> game to implement Strong as a puzzle solution (I'm probably wrong,
> though. Am I?). Also, you could have a lot of fun with the hints for
> that maze...
>
> Michael

I can't recall where I saw it, but I think there was a fairly old game
with something similar to the following:

--

The bear is guarding the bridge.

> (STRONG) BEAR

The bear is so startled by your action that it loses its footing and
falls off of the bridge.

--

Anyone else remember this?

Michael

Carolyn Magruder

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Aug 16, 2004, 6:30:40 PM8/16/04
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> "danie...@hotmail.com" <danie...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<cfpj50$5...@odak26.prod.google.com>...
> > My intention was to take a game which I have already written and do a
> > little retooling to change the target audience. Clearly I had to take
> > out the parts which required significant knowledge of group theory to
> > solve the puzzles, and I was just wondering what else I should modify.
> > I mean, if people just don't like mazes, it doesn't seem quite
> > sportsmanlike to ask them to go through one.
> >
> > I'm somewhat-seriously thinking about replacing StrongSub as a way of
> > short-circuiting the maze, since I've read that some people don't like
> > it, i.e.
> >
> > > n
> You are in the maze.
> > > (expletive) the maze
> > Okay, you're at the end of the maze. But you don't get the five
> > points. Nyah nah.
> >
> > Opinions?

My opinion: that's hysterically funny! Unfortunately, we now know how
it works... :(

~Carolyn

Adam Thornton

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Aug 16, 2004, 6:30:44 PM8/16/04
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In article <2ocqnvF...@uni-berlin.de>,

Michael Roy <inv...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>I can't recall where I saw it, but I think there was a fairly old game
>with something similar to the following:
>
>--
>
>The bear is guarding the bridge.
>
> > (STRONG) BEAR
>
>The bear is so startled by your action that it loses its footing and
>falls off of the bridge.
>
>--
>
>Anyone else remember this?

Scott Adams' _Adventureland_.

Actually, what was going on was that the Adventure International games
used a two-word, three-letter-per-word parser.

The real solution was YELL BEAR. SCREAM was a substitute for YELL.
And, because of the three-letter parser, SCREW was a substitute for
SCREAM. For *years* I thought SCREW BEAR was the actual solution to the
puzzle.

Adam

Michael Roy

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Aug 16, 2004, 7:04:51 PM8/16/04
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Adam Thornton wrote:

Aha! Wow, three letters... I knew that the SA's ran under pretty tight
conditions, but that's really stringent. It's an interesting example,
anyway. Certainly could be used as a reason not to update a parser when
creating a port (though granted, not a very compelling one).

Either way, it's good to know that that wasn't the intended solution.
I'd hate to write a series of invisiclues-style hints for that.

Michael

Joel Brackenbury

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Aug 16, 2004, 8:19:49 PM8/16/04
to
Didn't Neil James Brown's _A Week In The Life_ require (STRONG) Friends
as a solution to one of its puzzles, or am I confusing it with something
else?

Michael Chapman Martin

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Aug 16, 2004, 7:26:53 PM8/16/04
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danie...@hotmail.com <danie...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> n
> You are in the maze.
>> (expletive) the maze
> Okay, you're at the end of the maze. But you don't get the five
> points. Nyah nah.
> Opinions?

As many have already said, this is hilarious. But it shouldn't be a
puzzle, it should be an undocumented synonym for > SKIP PUZZLE or some
such. The idea of optional puzzles is a nice one, but it shouldn't be
secret how to skip it, or it might as well be mandatory.

Of course, it also implies...

> (expletive) it all
OK, fine.
*** You have won ***

Do you feel better now?

--Michael

Giles

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Aug 16, 2004, 9:13:33 PM8/16/04
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"danie...@hotmail.com" <danie...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<cfpim3$5...@odak26.prod.google.com>...

You know, I didn't pick up on the perfect number aspect, but I did end
up with 4004, which is both divisible by 13 and has 'two brother peas
in a pod of 4', eg two zeros enclosed in 4s, plus 'my end is like my
beginning' in that it's a palindrome. The 'once I've seen my first
fifty centuries' seemed to imply that it hadn't happened _yet_ and was
thus less than 5,000 - but I can see this is tenuous/arbitrary with
the solution in front of me.

Papillon

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Aug 16, 2004, 9:55:47 PM8/16/04
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On 15 Aug 2004 05:18:43 -0700, in rec.games.int-fiction you wrote:

>(*) Variations on the random maze -- I hear that this is going out of
>fashion, but on the other hand the maze of twisty little passages is a
>classic. How do you feel about mazes which require you to make a map?
>How about mazes which you can solve without making a map?

The maze as a puzzle is annoying. Dropping items and trying to map locations
is annoying. The gameworld itself is already mazish enough - I *do* play IF
by walking around and drawing a map by hand. I don't mind mapping, but I
expect to be seeing interesting things while doing it. Wandering empty halls
in a giant mansion looking for the one room with an object in it is fine as
long as I can get out of it again once I find it.

>(*) Puzzles which require you to do some small amount of
>pencil-and-paper calculation, or draw a diagram, to work out the
>solution; including maybe a bit of arithmetic. If you object to this,
>would you change your mind if there was a "pocket calculator" or
>"sliderule" object in the game which you could type your calculations
>into?

Small amount of calculation and scribbling is fine. Substitution ciphers are
fine, although the amount of text you have to decode should be strictly
limited. (This is fun for a sentence but not for a page.) Basically, the
concept of a *little bit* of work to achieve an effort is a good thing.

>(*) Puzzles which might require you to look up information about
>something on the internet / in an encyclopedia, i.e. a puzzle in which
>you had to know whether certain fish lived in fresh water or saltwater.

I like this sort of thing, honestly, although for politeness you might wish
to hint that the information has to be found outside of the game and be sure
it's not ambiguous. (All the herb/gemstone information in Passing
Familiarity was found on the web, but since there are so many *different*
versions of what gems and herbs mean, I wouldn't have expected people to
guess from the web alone, I put my versions into the game.)

>(*) A piece of paper has a riddle on it; you are to solve the riddle
>and type in the answer (or base your actions on the answer.) Here is
>an example (which, of course, I will not be using in any game I
>release):

I somewhat dislike riddles because if you just don't get it, you can't
progress. You can't get partway to the answer and get a helpful nudge.

---
Hanako Games
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Paul Drallos

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Aug 17, 2004, 12:59:38 AM8/17/04
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Papillon wrote:

> The maze as a puzzle is annoying. Dropping items and trying to map locations
> is annoying. The gameworld itself is already mazish enough - I *do* play IF
> by walking around and drawing a map by hand. I don't mind mapping, but I
> expect to be seeing interesting things while doing it. Wandering empty halls
> in a giant mansion looking for the one room with an object in it is fine as
> long as I can get out of it again once I find it.
>
>

In a game I'm working on I have, what I believe, is a rather unique maze-like puzzle. It might be better described as an anti-maze. It's a bit hard to describe without giving too much away, but the player won't immediately even know he's in the maze (or anti-maze.) The trick of it is to remain in maze because it's all too easy to wander out. I don't know if this has been done before, but I'm kind of excited about seeing how it will be recieved.

Esa A E Peuha

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Aug 17, 2004, 5:05:38 AM8/17/04
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ad...@fsf.net (Adam Thornton) writes:

> The real solution was YELL BEAR. SCREAM was a substitute for YELL.
> And, because of the three-letter parser, SCREW was a substitute for
> SCREAM. For *years* I thought SCREW BEAR was the actual solution to the
> puzzle.

Did it accept SHOUT BEAR? If so, then SHOOT BEAR would have worked as
well, even without anything to actually shoot the bear with... :-)

--
Esa Peuha
student of mathematics at the University of Helsinki
http://www.helsinki.fi/~peuha/

Peter Killworth

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Aug 17, 2004, 6:17:40 AM8/17/04
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For what it's worth, I tried hard to make any maze in my Doom games
(CtDoom.z5, etc.) unique. In Last Days of Doom, for example, there were
two mazes where the player was given the ability to redesign the maze
rather drastically (one of the two wasn't even a maze; you could walk
anywhere). Curses, too, had a (much more limited) redesign of a maze,
and very nice it was too.
Peter K.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Prof. Peter D. Killworth, James Rennell Division for Ocean Circulation
and Climate, Southampton Oceanography Centre, Empress Dock, Southampton
SO14 3ZH, England.
Tel: +44 (0)23-80596202 Fax: +44 (0)23-80596204
Email: P.Kil...@soc.soton.ac.uk
Web: http://www.soc.soton.ac.uk/JRD/PROC/people/pki/
Editor, Ocean Modelling: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ocemod/
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Matthew Russotto

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Aug 17, 2004, 10:43:24 AM8/17/04
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In article <FacUc.1521$8M2...@newsfe1-gui.ntli.net>,

Infocom's Shogun required "(STRONG) Mariko". I have to admit I
laughed my (NOT QUITE SO STRONG) off when I tried that and got a point
for it. Of course, Leather Goddesses allowed quite a bit of that, but
you expect it there.

Joel Brackenbury

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Aug 17, 2004, 4:41:03 PM8/17/04
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Matthew Russotto wrote:

> Infocom's Shogun required "(STRONG) Mariko". I have to admit I
> laughed my (NOT QUITE SO STRONG) off when I tried that and got a point
> for it. Of course, Leather Goddesses allowed quite a bit of that, but
> you expect it there.

In defence of Shogun, I think it did allow "Make love to..." as an
alternate verb phrase in that case - not that our dirty little minds
would ever come up with something as genteel as that... :)

Cedric Knight

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Aug 17, 2004, 6:19:01 PM8/17/04
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FWIW I think this is /far/ too hard, even if failure to solve it doesn't
close off a section of the game. Anyone who can't figure out why the
answer is correct when they see it is going to be quite annoyed. A
riddle or puzzle solution, like the punchline in a joke, should take a
few seconds at the outside to comprehend, otherwise it's in danger of
seeming arbitrary or esoteric. If there was a list in the game of
numbers like 8128, or a lot more context that would clue players into
doing research into the necessary area of arithmetic, it might just
work, but I doubt it.

To get a good score in the Comp, or an XYZZY nomination, a puzzle should
be soluble without any hair-pulling by at least 90% of players, and of
the 10% who go to the walkthrough, 90% should at least understand the
solution. If it's produced outside the Comp, and you can imagine people
trying to solve it for weeks, then different standards apply.

I mean... I hadn't even worked out the answer was supposed to be a
number.

Cedric

Quintin Stone

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Aug 18, 2004, 10:15:18 AM8/18/04
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On Tue, 17 Aug 2004, Cedric Knight wrote:

> To get a good score in the Comp, or an XYZZY nomination, a puzzle should
> be soluble without any hair-pulling by at least 90% of players, and of
> the 10% who go to the walkthrough, 90% should at least understand the
> solution. If it's produced outside the Comp, and you can imagine people
> trying to solve it for weeks, then different standards apply.
>
> I mean... I hadn't even worked out the answer was supposed to be a
> number.

I began my approach my thinking about objects that are made up of 13
distinct parts. (It didn't take long for me to abandon the riddle.)
When I saw the answer, I felt the riddle itself didn't sufficiently clue
that the solution was a number. But then, riddle-puzzles in a game
shouldn't exist inside a vacuum, so maybe proper integration into IF
would have solved this.

/====================================================================\
|| Quintin Stone O- > "You speak of necessary evil? One ||
|| Code Monkey < of those necessities is that if ||
|| Rebel Programmers Society > innocents must suffer, the guilty must ||
|| st...@rps.net < suffer more." -- Mackenzie Calhoun ||
|| http://www.rps.net/QS/ > "Once Burned" by Peter David ||
\====================================================================/

Weird Beard

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Aug 18, 2004, 7:13:17 PM8/18/04
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"danie...@hotmail.com" <danie...@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:cfnkb3$b...@odah37.prod.google.com:


> Each time myself I find divided
> In those smaller thirteen parts
> Which, while not me, go inside me,
> I simply add them back together
> (Never having learned the fancier arts),
> And then -- behold -- my whole
> Is shown to be the sum of these parts.
>

I would have picked something like flag, colonies, or something like that.

danie...@hotmail.com

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Aug 18, 2004, 9:54:13 PM8/18/04
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I think that'd violate the adventurer's bill of rights -- no puzzles
which require you to be an American.

Gene Wirchenko

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Aug 18, 2004, 10:30:50 PM8/18/04
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Weird Beard <weird...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:

I was thinking of a deck of cards as it has thirteen values.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko

Computerese Irregular Verb Conjugation:
I have preferences.
You have biases.
He/She has prejudices.

Carolyn Magruder

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Aug 20, 2004, 6:32:09 AM8/20/04
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"danie...@hotmail.com" <danie...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<cg1185$1...@odbk17.prod.google.com>...

> I think that'd violate the adventurer's bill of rights -- no puzzles
> which require you to be an American.

What if I set my game in colonial America? ;p

eaje...@search26.com

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Dec 7, 2004, 4:54:25 AM12/7/04
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