What to do and not what to do with Puzzle Design.

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Thomas Perrett or Robert Perrett

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Apr 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/1/98
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What to do and not what to do with Puzzle Design?
What games have good puzzle design?
What games have the worse puzzle design?
Some puzzles in most games are usually too illogical, arbitrary, and
don't relate to the story.

MY OWN OPINION:
I play tons of Adventure games and Buried in time is my favorite. It's
my favorite game of all time because the puzzles were logical, they
relate to the story, and didn't seem arbitrary.
They was some red herrings in the game. I thought those were fun and
they weren't tons of them.

What does everyone think of Puzzle Design?

You don't have to play Buried in Time to answer this message. LucasArts
games have good puzzle design too. If you never play either, I still
understand. I am using these as an example.


Susan

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Apr 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/1/98
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>What to do and not what to do with Puzzle Design?
>What games have good puzzle design?
>What games have the worse puzzle design?

>I play tons of Adventure games and Buried in time is my favorite. It's


>my favorite game of all time because the puzzles were logical, they
>relate to the story, and didn't seem arbitrary.

I agree with your thoughts about Buried In Time. But I'm going
to move into it a little deeper and probably raise more dander for the
trouble by suggesting Riven as my most recent best puzzle design
adventure. It's puzzles are _seamless_. But they are also abstract
in nature, i.e., they would be logical if you were Rivenese.

For poorest most recent adventure I will pick on Overseer. Tex
Murphy is the best part of the adventure but many of the puzzles are
not only not very seamless and stick out like a sore thumb but they
are timed as if there was some contest going on. Puzzles of this sort
remove me from the story and I can no longer stay immersed. Its like
having to put an interesting book down because the door bell rings,
then the phone, then its time for dinner, etc. Bear in mind that when
I speak of an adventure game I am not even considering any timed
action sequence type puzzle either. If you are going to include those
kinds of puzzles, seamless or otherwise then we are talking about an
Action Adventure.

Although I started off playing text only adventures I have
through the years drifted totally away from text. I notice that both
int-fiction newsgroups are included here and it will be interesting to
read their responses to this thread. The heavy text/aural involvement
of Starship Titanic has me very interested.

* Susan * <Sus...@att.net>
Outlaw Junk Email * Support HR 1748
Join the CAUCE at http://www.cauce.org/

ra...@pacbell.net

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Apr 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/1/98
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Thomas Perrett or Robert Perrett wrote:
>
> What to do and not what to do with Puzzle Design?
> What games have good puzzle design?
> What games have the worse puzzle design?
> Some puzzles in most games are usually too illogical, arbitrary, and
> don't relate to the story.

Worst puzzle set? Easy, GK2: Beast Within! Most of it's
puzzles were nothing more than clicking to advance the
dialogue, or pixel hunting the screen, or giving
the right thingie to the right person. And the remainder
isn't that much better either.
The best puzzle set? Pandora Directive! It has
an incredible mix of puzzles. It's also better than
GK2 in every other significant respect. Funny, I played GK2
right after PD, and given GK2's high ratings, I was expecting
something about as good if not better, so you can just imagine
my disappointment- the nerve of some people vis-a-vis awards
and ratings.


RвяO

Matt Kimball

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Apr 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/2/98
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In rec.arts.int-fiction Thomas Perrett or Robert Perrett <Use...@pacbell.net>
wrote:
: What to do and not what to do with Puzzle Design?
: What games have good puzzle design?
: What games have the worse puzzle design?
: Some puzzles in most games are usually too illogical, arbitrary, and
: don't relate to the story.

An author gets bonus points from me if the puzzle is seamless and
naturally integrated with the story. It does wonders for my
suspension of disbelief if the puzzle doesn't stand out as something
included arbitrarily, just to block the progress of the story. This
isn't the most important thing though.

Multiple solutions are fine, but they aren't necessary. However, I do
expect that the game react well to my attempts to solve the puzzle,
nudging me gently in the right direction. If I attempt to manipulate
the puzzle in some way, and I gain information about the puzzle in the
attempt, this is good. If I am baffled after attempting to manipulate
it, this is bad. The most frustrating experience for me is being
stuck on a puzzle without any feedback whatsoever.

You mention the LucasArts games. I think this is their saving grace.
In retrospect, the puzzles in Monkey Island are quite arbitrary and
illogical. But the game is constantly nudging the player in the
correct direction as he interacts with the game world. Think of
opening the safe, or getting to the Swordmaster's house; it would have
been difficult to solve these puzzles if one character didn't do the
same thing over and over, every time you ask him about those subjects.

Another thought: I am pretty tired of inventory based puzzles. If
your puzzles is simply a variation on picking up an object and using
it in the correct way at the correct location, I would be happier if
you just left it out and allowed me to progress through the story
without it.

On the other hand, I like interacting with complex mechanical system
puzzles. If you have a machine where I can tweak various parts to
produce a particular effect, I am happy with this. Maybe I can
combine mechanical object, or combine magic spells or something else
entirely. If you take this approach, make your code general enough
that there are lots of possibilities for the player. If there are
less than five possible combinations, each hand coded, this is boring.
If there are 2^16 combinations of gadgets, each producing subtly
different responses, this is good.

The gadgets is Spider and Web are good at this, but it would have been
nice to have more possibilities. (I haven't finished it yet, so maybe
there is something that I haven't had to deal with yet). If I had to
wire up logic gates or enter simple programs on a keypad for a
microcontroller to use, then it would have been really exciting. But
this sort of thing probably only appeals to engineers. :)

Finally, ask yourself, do you really need puzzles at all? If your
story or world is interesting, I don't mind interacting with your
environment freely, without any impedence by puzzles. I think other
people feel the same way. (This comment is mainly directed at the
rec.*.int-fiction folks. I expect that the
comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.adventure folks feel differently because they
are paying so much for a game and they expect so many hours of
entertainment before they finish it.)

--
Matt Kimball
mkim...@xmission.com

David Morris

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Apr 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/4/98
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On Wed, 01 Apr 1998 18:47:23 -0800, Thomas Perrett or Robert Perrett
<Use...@pacbell.net> wrote:

>What to do and not what to do with Puzzle Design?
>What games have good puzzle design?
>What games have the worse puzzle design?
>Some puzzles in most games are usually too illogical, arbitrary, and
>don't relate to the story.
>


Slider puzzles, lots and lots of slider puzzles!

Just kidding ;-p

David

Veteran

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Apr 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/6/98
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Pandora's Directive?!?! Ugh! Any game that has a sliding tile puzzle
gets an immediate uninstall and return from me. There can't be a more
unoriginal puzzle in the world!

Veteran

Thomas Perrett or Robert Perrett

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Apr 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/6/98
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I don't mind any game that has a sliding tile puzzle as long as it
intergrates in the story and isn't arbitrary. It has to be in my OPINION
two or three of what I said. I'll try Pandora and see. Thanks.

>
>


ra...@pacbell.net

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Apr 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/6/98
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Newbie wrote:
>
> Pandora's Directive?!?! Ugh! Any game that has a sliding tile puzzle
> gets an immediate uninstall and return from me. There can't be a more
> unoriginal puzzle in the world!

LOL!
Newbie,
Only one or two of it's 100+ puzzles are "sliding", and
even they are certainly more original and more fun than "click
to advance conversation", "pixel hunt on the screen", "tansport
thingie to person" puzzles overloaded in many games, like GK2.
If you uninstalled and returned PD because of any puzzle,
then you might as well give up on adventure games.
Curiously, what do you have against "sliding" puzzles in
particular?


RвяO

Darin Johnson

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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ra...@pacbell.net writes:

> Curiously, what do you have against "sliding" puzzles in
> particular?

Well, from my viewpoint, they're tedious and not very entertaining.
They stops the story dead cold while you're tediously solving it. At
least with more normal IF puzzles, you're using your brain (you may
not be getting anywhere, and you may be frustrated and hate the
author, and the solution may be dumb, but at least you're using your
brain).

--
Darin Johnson
da...@usa.net.delete_me

Veteran

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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Newbie? I think not knucklehead. I've been gaming for well over 13
years. I've played over 100 adventure games, and sliding tile puzzles
have been around forever. They are boring, completely seperate from
the storyline, unimaginative and tedious. Other than that they are
WONDERFUL puzzles! So yes, if a game has a sliding tile puzzle, I'll
return it. That tells me the designer ran out of ideas and threw one
or two in just to artificially lengthen the gameplay. Any other
questions?

Veteran


> LOL!
> Newbie,
> Only one or two of it's 100+ puzzles are "sliding", and
>even they are certainly more original and more fun than "click
>to advance conversation", "pixel hunt on the screen", "tansport
>thingie to person" puzzles overloaded in many games, like GK2.
>If you uninstalled and returned PD because of any puzzle,
>then you might as well give up on adventure games.

> Curiously, what do you have against "sliding" puzzles in
>particular?
>
>

> RвяO


L. Ross Raszewski

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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In article <35295E...@pacbell.net>,

ra...@pacbell.net wrote:
>
> LOL!
> Newbie,
> Only one or two of it's 100+ puzzles are "sliding", and
> even they are certainly more original and more fun than "click
> to advance conversation", "pixel hunt on the screen", "tansport
> thingie to person" puzzles overloaded in many games, like GK2.
> If you uninstalled and returned PD because of any puzzle,
> then you might as well give up on adventure games.
> Curiously, what do you have against "sliding" puzzles in
> particular?
>
> RвяO
>

Um... I'm sorry, but I never had to do any pixel hunting in GK2. In fact, I
don't think I've played a graphical game since the days of AGI that required
any level of "hunt-the-pixel" Sure, most things are done by hunting an object
on the screen, but modern games are so generous about these things that itf
you're hunting a pixel, odds are you're just guessing. Hunt the pixel is the
graphical equivalent of Guess the verb, and fortunately, practically no games
implement these any more.

And although you weren't asking me specifically, I'll present my view about
slider puzzles too. It's really simple. Slider puzzles are "arcade" puzzles.
if I wanted an arcade puzzle, I'd play an arcade game. It's like the line
from a thread many moons ago about "artificial" puzzles: "Yes," the king says,
"You can marry my daughter, but first you must beat me at Boggle!"
Artifical puzzles show a lack of creativity from an author, as if they just
decided "Hell, it's too hard to make a puzzle that fits with the story line,
so... we'll make the player beat PONG to get to the next chapter.

I for one liked GK2's puzzles, because they weren't ARTIFICIAL. Now, some
puzzle-lovers would call these non-puzzles, and a game entirely composed of
them "puzzleless" You weren't playing "hunt the pixel" in Gabriel knight 2.
The "puzzle" was "What do I have to do now" If you want artifical puzzles,
play the 7th guest. I for one am sick and tired of people spoiling games
(breaking mimesis?) by tossing in things unrelated to the game in the form of
"arcade" puzzles.

(Yeah... makes sense... the guy wants to keep security tight here, so he puts
a lock on the door that can only be opened by playing "Mastermind" with the
locking mechanism...)

Examples in all kinds of IF:
1. The Leapfrog puzzle from Buried in Time (which I didn't really mind,
because I'm so good at the leapfrog game)
2. The "Lights Out" puzzle from Return to Ringworld
3. The mastermind game from The Mind Electric
4. The puzzle from Jigsaw (sorry, Graham)
5. the door to Dr. Macabre's maze from Noctropolis
6. The Gateway control puzzle from Phantasmagoria 2


Now, I still enjoyed all of these games a great deal, but these "puzzles"
which I'm sure many would tout as briliant examples of a wide variety of IF
puzzles, and which some would call the only "real" puzzles in some of these
games are not my idea of a "good" puzzle.

Comments?

-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading

Phoebe M. Fuentes

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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Veteran wrote:
>
> Newbie? I think not knucklehead. I've been gaming for well over 13
> years. I've played over 100 adventure games, and sliding tile puzzles
> have been around forever. They are boring, completely seperate from
> the storyline, unimaginative and tedious. Other than that they are
> WONDERFUL puzzles! So yes, if a game has a sliding tile puzzle, I'll
> return it. That tells me the designer ran out of ideas and threw one
> or two in just to artificially lengthen the gameplay. Any other
> questions?


But returning a game just because it has a sliding tile puzzle is a
little silly and extreme. No big deal! Solve the puzzle and move on
with the story then. Overeacting just because you hate a certain puzzle
would make you lose out on an otherwise satisfactory adventure.

And what's with this blanket statement that sliding puzzles are boring,
so on and so forth? You're only speaking for yourself. Don't worry
about speaking for the rest of the people.

Phoebe

--
************************************************************************
Phoebe M. Fuentes pho...@earthlink.net
************************************************************************
Dans ce miroir /\ rorrim siht nI
Je suis enclos vivant et vrai / \ laer dna evila desolcne ma I
Comme on imagine les anges \ / slegna senigami eno sA
Et non comme sont les reflets \/ snoitcelfer sa ton dnA
- Guillaume Apollinaire
************************************************************************
Phoebe's Heaven On Earth: http://home.earthlink.net/~phoebef/
************************************************************************

Lars Duning

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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Darin Johnson wrote:

>
> ra...@pacbell.net writes:
>
> > Curiously, what do you have against "sliding" puzzles in
> > particular?
>
> Well, from my viewpoint, they're tedious and not very entertaining.
> They stops the story dead cold while you're tediously solving it. At
> least with more normal IF puzzles, you're using your brain (you may
> not be getting anywhere, and you may be frustrated and hate the
> author, and the solution may be dumb, but at least you're using your
> brain).

My rule of thumb is that a puzzle is bad when I start thinking about how
to write a program to solve it, instead of solving it manually.
--
Lars Duening; la...@cableinet.co.uk (Home)

ra...@pacbell.net

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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L. Ross Raszewski wrote:
>
>
> Um... I'm sorry, but I never had to do any pixel hunting in GK2.


That's not true, there were several instances where some
object was relatively "hidden", and you had carefully move the
cursor all over the screen to find it. I referenced a walkthru
a few times only to be informed to keep hunting for "hidden"
object. BORING !
I much rather solve a "sliding" logic puzzle where some brainwork
is required and real logic is involved than a tedious any pixel
hunt. All in all, as a game of puzzles, I found GK2 very pathetic.

RвяO

ra...@pacbell.net

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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Newbie "Veteran" wrote:
>
> Newbie? I think not knucklehead. I've been gaming for well over 13
> years. I've played over 100 adventure games, and sliding tile puzzles
> have been around forever. They are boring, completely seperate from
> the storyline, unimaginative and tedious. Other than that they are
> WONDERFUL puzzles! So yes, if a game has a sliding tile puzzle, I'll
> return it. That tells me the designer ran out of ideas and threw one
> or two in just to artificially lengthen the gameplay. Any other
> questions?

Rubbish. There are all different, and with differing degrees of
separation from the story. For instance, The sliding numbers puzzle
in PD was part of opening a safe. You had to find the combination
as well as how to rotate the numbers properly. That's fairly
integrated. You are drawing a very silly conclusion. And there are
much more unimaginitive,and tedious puzzles than "sliding" puzzles,
if you have a bone to pick.
You are just probably at a loss when faced with logic puzzles;
stick to games loaded with "click to advance conversation", give
thingie to right person, and simple inventory manipulation type
puzzles - about as imaginative as clicking a TV remote! :)

RвяO

Joe Mason

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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In article <6gcjdk$fb9$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,

L. Ross Raszewski <rras...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>3. The mastermind game from The Mind Electric

I have to disagree with you here. I thought the mastermind game did fit the
storyline - after all, you were dealing with something that had no other way
of communicating. For a being that thinks in binary, communicating a number
by playing "mastermind" seems fairly logical. Its simply treating the number
as a bitmask, except in decimal instead of binary. Also, it may have had the
rules of the game in its memory banks somewhere (filed under human culture),
come upon it when searching for a way to communicate, and assumed the PC would
be likewise familiar.

What might have been needed was a clue that the head was thinking of the box
numbers as bitmasks. But then, what the game needed generally was more clues
on how to think - the on-line hints did a great job of rationalizing the
answers, but a lot of the puzzles left me wondering how to get there from here.

Joe


Jason Compton

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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Joe Mason (jcm...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca) wrote:
:
: numbers as bitmasks. But then, what the game needed generally was more clues

: on how to think - the on-line hints did a great job of rationalizing the
: answers, but a lot of the puzzles left me wondering how to get there from here.

That was exactly my problem with Mind Electric. Dyer had some good ideas,
but they only came out once you read the hints. The game itself seemed to
me to be a fairly disconnected and uninteresting series of events. Once
threaded together with the hints, I could say "Ah, ok, that's what this
was about."

--
Jason Compton jcom...@xnet.com
Editor-in-Chief, Amiga Report Magazine VP, Legacy Maker Inc.
http://www.cucug.org/ar/ http://www.xnet.com/~jcompton/
Choose and renounce... throwing chains to the floor.

Darin Johnson

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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"Phoebe M. Fuentes" <pho...@earthlink.net> writes:

> But returning a game just because it has a sliding tile puzzle is a
> little silly and extreme. No big deal! Solve the puzzle and move on
> with the story then.

No big deal? What if solving it takes hours? I am not good at those
puzzles. I always solve them, but it takes me a very long time. If
they've got a horrible interface, say the pieces slowly slide in
position, looking real cool but taking 2 or 3 seconds, it can easily
take hours. Maybe there's a quicker way of solving them than I do it,
but to me, it's somewhat like being given a towers of hanoi puzzle
with lots of disks.

(now maybe the real puzzle is trying to figure out how to get around
it without doing it, ala Zork Zero, in which case it'd be ok)

--
Darin Johnson
da...@usa.net.delete_me

ra...@pacbell.net

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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FYI, PD has a good hint/cheat section built-in, that'll let you get
around difficult puzzles, as well as two difficulty levels of play.
Unfortunately Mr. Newbie A.K.A. "Veteran" probably didn't even
bother reading the manual to find out about it.


RвяO

ra...@pacbell.net

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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L. Ross Raszewski wrote:
>
>
> I for one liked GK2's puzzles, because they weren't ARTIFICIAL. Now, some
> puzzle-lovers would call these non-puzzles, and a game entirely composed of
> them "puzzleless" You weren't playing "hunt the pixel" in Gabriel knight 2.
> The "puzzle" was "What do I have to do now" If you want artifical puzzles,
> play the 7th guest. I for one am sick and tired of people spoiling games
> (breaking mimesis?) by tossing in things unrelated to the game in the form of
> "arcade" puzzles.
>
> (Yeah... makes sense... the guy wants to keep security tight here, so he puts
> a lock on the door that can only be opened by playing "Mastermind" with the
> locking mechanism...)
>
> Comments?
>

I agree that the 7th Guest logic puzzles were very removed
from the storyline, besides that I completely disgree. For
one, PD's logic puzzles were more integrated that 7G's;
but moreover these logic puzzles tend to have more
originality and variablity about them than silly storyline
non-puzzles. There are much more fun, for me anyway, than
running around to give "thing" to right person, or clicking
to advance dialogue, or "who do I contanct next?".... At least
PD had a very diverse puzzle set , as well as a good hint/cheat
section built-in. OTOH I found GK2's especially tedious, partly
because even the dialogue puzzles involved no decision making,
99% of the time you just clicked repeatedly to exhaust the
dialogue choices and gain the points.

RвяO

GLYPH

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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Lars Duning wrote:

> My rule of thumb is that a puzzle is bad when I start thinking about how
> to write a program to solve it, instead of solving it manually.
> --
> Lars Duening; la...@cableinet.co.uk (Home)

Excellent rule. I was going to post something similar, but you've
worded it perfectly.

- GLYPH

Laurel Halbany

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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On Tue, 07 Apr 1998 02:23:35 -0400, "Phoebe M. Fuentes"
<pho...@earthlink.net> wrote:

>But returning a game just because it has a sliding tile puzzle is a
>little silly and extreme. No big deal! Solve the puzzle and move on
>with the story then.

Assuming that a) you *can* solve the puzzle and b) you could do so
without screaming and tearing your hair out. Which is why walkthroughs
and/or hints are important: not everybody can figure out your
five-disc Towers of Hanoi puzzle, or cares to even if they could.

L. Ross Raszewski

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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In article <352A6B...@pacbell.net>,

ra...@pacbell.net wrote:
>
> L. Ross Raszewski wrote:
> >
> >
> > Um... I'm sorry, but I never had to do any pixel hunting in GK2.
>
> That's not true, there were several instances where some
> object was relatively "hidden", and you had carefully move the
> cursor all over the screen to find it. I referenced a walkthru
> a few times only to be informed to keep hunting for "hidden"
> object. BORING !

As you say. I dunno, perhaps there was a major revision between your copy and
mine, as this is not one of the games I've done any pixel hunting in.

> I much rather solve a "sliding" logic puzzle where some brainwork
> is required and real logic is involved than a tedious any pixel
> hunt. All in all, as a game of puzzles, I found GK2 very pathetic.
>
> RвяO

Okay, "as a game of puzzles"... by your definition of puzzles, I suppose you
are right. Personally, I don't much care for a puzzle that's only purpose is
to be a puzzle. If I want brain teasers, I'll get a book. Brain teaser style
puzzles are about the least attractive thing for me in IF

L. Ross Raszewski

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
to

In article <352A71...@pacbell.net>,

ra...@pacbell.net wrote:
> You are just probably at a loss when faced with logic puzzles;
> stick to games loaded with "click to advance conversation", give
> thingie to right person, and simple inventory manipulation type
> puzzles - about as imaginative as clicking a TV remote! :)
>
> RвяO
>
This is a fair assessment, though you come off as if you're trying to say "You
just don't like logic puzzles because you're too dumb to solve them" (I'm
sorry if you're not, but that's ceretainly what you sound like. But you're
underrating non-logic puzzles.

No game has ever featured a "click to advance conversation" puzzle. "click to
advance conversation" is an INTERFACE feature. It's like saying that the save
menu is a puzzle. THe "puzzle" is "What do I need to ask this person in order
to find out what I need to know?" There is NOTHING imaginative about a logic
puzzle except its implementation. Every logic puzzle in every game I have
every played I have seen somewhere else before -- usually books of brain
teasers. A real, worthwhile puzzle is one that is inherantly endemic to the
STORY. A sliding tile puzzle, or a maze puzzle isn't really an IF puzzle,
it's an artificial obstical, tossed in to hinder the player. Want a game with
great logic puzzles, play tetris. IF isn't about logic puzzles, it's about
story puzzles

ra...@pacbell.net

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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L. Ross Raszewski wrote:
ating non-logic puzzles.
>
> No game has ever featured a "click to advance conversation" puzzle. "click to
> advance conversation" is an INTERFACE feature. It's like saying that the save
> menu is a puzzle.

No game??? That's exactly what GK2 does, over and over again.
It gives you dialogue choices which you simply have to exhaust to
advance the story and gain points. That's true with almost all
of it's dialogue "puzzles". You don't use the save menu to
gain points or to advance the game, it's not even in the game
proper.
You could say that these GK2 puzzles are soooo pathetic that
they are not even puzzles, but just "interface". Makes no
difference whatsoever! A rose by any other name would smell just
as sweet, and a pathetic\inferior puzzle set by other name would
still be just as pathetic and inferior. In PD the dialogue puzzles
have to worked out, not just exhausted. You make the wrong choice
from the menu and the other fellow would either refuse you, kill you,
ignore you, or branch you into a different path. You have to come
up with the correct choice(s), not just exhaust the choices.


RвяO

Veteran

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Apr 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/8/98
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Have you noticed that you pretty much seem to be all alone on this
issue? I guess you like boring unimaginative puzzles because you're a
boring unimaginative person! Seems "logical" to me!

Veteran

> Rubbish. There are all different, and with differing degrees of
>separation from the story. For instance, The sliding numbers puzzle
>in PD was part of opening a safe. You had to find the combination
>as well as how to rotate the numbers properly. That's fairly
>integrated. You are drawing a very silly conclusion. And there are
>much more unimaginitive,and tedious puzzles than "sliding" puzzles,
>if you have a bone to pick.

Veteran

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Apr 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/8/98
to

Wrong again moron. Once you switch to the "easy" version, you cannot
switch back to the harder one and lose quite a few puzzles in the
process. Or did you not bother reading the manual yourself?

Veteran

Phoebe M. Fuentes

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Apr 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/8/98
to


I'm referring to Veteran's somewhat immature overreaction to returning
games just because it has one puzzle he doesn't like. It doesn't even
have to be a sliding tile puzzle. He would still have missed out on an
otherwise satisfactory game. As you had mentioned, there ARE
walkthroughs and hints for such things to get past those difficult
instances, should you be unable to solve them on your own, and move on
in the adventure. I guess that didn't occur to him to use one.

ra...@pacbell.net

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Apr 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/8/98
to

Veteran wrote:
>
> Wrong again moron. Once you switch to the "easy" version, you cannot
> switch back to the harder one and lose quite a few puzzles in the
> process. Or did you not bother reading the manual yourself?

If that was YOUR problem it's easily solved. You just start
a new game or save a new series.Some "Veteran" you are, Newbie!
If you couldn't solve that, then no wonder you are so irritated
by "slider" puzzles, you should be playing Disney games! LOL.
BTW, even in easy mode it has more puzzles than the
vast majority of other games; ooops you missed that as well -
no surprise.

RвяO

Brian (THE DEVIL)

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Apr 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/8/98
to

In article <35295E...@pacbell.net>, ra...@pacbell.net writes
>Newbie
Hey! I'm the newbie! (-:
BRIAN(The Newbie)(_)
(")U
(_)|
/ \|

ra...@pacbell.net

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Apr 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/8/98
to

Phoebe M. Fuentes wrote:
>
>
> I'm referring to Veteran's somewhat immature overreaction to returning
> games just because it has one puzzle he doesn't like. It doesn't even
> have to be a sliding tile puzzle. He would still have missed out on an
> otherwise satisfactory game. As you had mentioned, there ARE
> walkthroughs and hints for such things to get past those difficult
> instances, should you be unable to solve them on your own, and move on
> in the adventure. I guess that didn't occur to him to use one.


Our so called 'Veteran' even has problems understanding the
utility of the save feature. So you can't expect him to
understand and use hint sections, when he still hasn't mastered
elementary interface routines. Given that, I can see why he
was so frustrated.

RвяO

NickA

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Apr 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/8/98
to

In article <3528435...@news.earthlink.net>, jo...@mbayweb.com (Veteran) wrote:

> Worst puzzle set? Easy, GK2: Beast Within! Most of it's
>puzzles were nothing more than clicking to advance the
>dialogue, or pixel hunting the screen, or giving
>the right thingie to the right person. And the remainder
>isn't that much better either.

On this I have to agree, the worst was that whole "throw the lily in the lake"
fiasco. What imaginatively bankrupt designer pulled that ridiculous (and
totally illogical) idea out of their butt? I confess that I don't get the
whole appeal of that game. Something tells me that if it weren't released by
Sierra, it would have been roundly ridiculed by critics and players alike.

ra...@pacbell.net

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Apr 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/8/98
to

NickA wrote:

> On this I have to agree, the worst was that whole "throw the lily in the lake"
> fiasco. What imaginatively bankrupt designer pulled that ridiculous (and
> totally illogical) idea out of their butt? I confess that I don't get the
> whole appeal of that game. Something tells me that if it weren't released by
> Sierra, it would have been roundly ridiculed by critics and players alike.

I know!
The ones I object to the most are the, "find the invisible hair
in thicket" routines she pulls, and "ooops you missed those few
pixels right at the edge of the screen, so better carefully move
cursor all over all screens to make sure", yiiiikes. Re story: I
expected the climax to invovle some incredible 160lb werewolf,
instead she gives us this 40lb dog. All that FMV and technology
and THESE are the THE werewolves ?! Abandon mouse, LOL!
Overall, I give it a generous 5/10. And if it weren't for the
photographic reproductions from the Bavarian sites, substituting
as a tour, even 3 would've been too generous.

RвяO

Laurel Halbany

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Apr 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/8/98
to

On Wed, 08 Apr 1998 11:58:31 -0400, "Phoebe M. Fuentes"
<pho...@earthlink.net> wrote:

>I'm referring to Veteran's somewhat immature overreaction to returning
>games just because it has one puzzle he doesn't like. It doesn't even
>have to be a sliding tile puzzle. He would still have missed out on an
>otherwise satisfactory game. As you had mentioned, there ARE
>walkthroughs and hints for such things to get past those difficult
>instances, should you be unable to solve them on your own, and move on
>in the adventure. I guess that didn't occur to him to use one.

Venetian aside, the thread was about dos and dont's of puzzle
design--I would agree that it pays to remember that lots of people
dislike certain kinds of puzzles (Towers of Hanoi, chess questions,
whatever) or that certain puzzles require specialized knowledge
players may not have or be able to obtain easily (I wouldn't, for
example, be likely to ask players to guess the five parts of the Apgar
test).

Dave G.

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Apr 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/8/98
to

Veteran wrote:
>
> Have you noticed that you pretty much seem to be all alone on this
> issue? I guess you like boring unimaginative puzzles because you're a
> boring unimaginative person! Seems "logical" to me!

As a boring unimaginative person myself, I make the curious observation:

If I find a puzzle to be boring and unimaginative, I actually tend NOT
to like it!! (I know what you're thinking: weird, huh? Hey, that's
just the way I am.) On the other hand, if a puzzle is OBJECTIVELY
boring and unimaginative, as you seem to imply, well then, that's a
different matter altogether.

(I have, by the way, been known to enjoy a bit of boring unimaginative
ham from time to time.)

Dave

Dan Wood

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Apr 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/9/98
to

Veteran wrote:
>
> Have you noticed that you pretty much seem to be all alone on this
> issue? I guess you like boring unimaginative puzzles because you're a
> boring unimaginative person! Seems "logical" to me!
>
> Veteran

Now, I have been reading this thread for the past few days. All that I can
dredge from it is that Veteran, an obvious intellectual, would prefer to have
his games tax his intellect in a different manner than Rayo. Rayo, on the
other hand, likes a particular type of puzzle, one he obviously has enjoyed
and is welcome to his opinion.

My conclusion?

Never the twain to meet. Stash 'em back in yer slacks, guys. I can't barely
see the good coding help in rai-f for all the foreskin flapping.



> > Rubbish. There are all different, and with differing degrees of
> >separation from the story. For instance, The sliding numbers puzzle
> >in PD was part of opening a safe. You had to find the combination
> >as well as how to rotate the numbers properly. That's fairly
> >integrated. You are drawing a very silly conclusion. And there are
> >much more unimaginitive,and tedious puzzles than "sliding" puzzles,
> >if you have a bone to pick.
> > You are just probably at a loss when faced with logic puzzles;
> >stick to games loaded with "click to advance conversation", give
> >thingie to right person, and simple inventory manipulation type
> >puzzles - about as imaginative as clicking a TV remote! :)
> >
> > RвяO

-
Dan Wood
dw...@digithought.com

Phoebe M. Fuentes

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Apr 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/9/98
to

Laurel Halbany wrote:
>
> Venetian aside, the thread was about dos and dont's of puzzle
> design--I would agree that it pays to remember that lots of people
> dislike certain kinds of puzzles (Towers of Hanoi, chess questions,
> whatever) or that certain puzzles require specialized knowledge
> players may not have or be able to obtain easily (I wouldn't, for
> example, be likely to ask players to guess the five parts of the Apgar
> test).

It is not set in granite that everyone MUST stick to the topic of the
thread. Regardless of what any FAQ says, many times on these newsgroups
a thread has meandered to other topics related to it -- or are you and
Veteran the only ones allowed to do that? As I have said before, it is
silly to overreact over one inane puzzle. I say play the entire game
and then judge whether it's worth getting rid of or not.

Aside from that, I agree with you that games shouldn't have specialized
knowledge if it is meant for the general public or to have irrelevant
puzzles interwoven into the story -- it just breaks the flow -- unless
the package specifically says that it is puzzle-oriented and created for
those who love puzzles. Even then there should be some cohesive
organization of the puzzles rather than just placing them in some
haphazard fashion.

Veteran

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Apr 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/9/98
to

Hmm, you didn't answer a single point I made. I don't want to "start a
new game", it's obvious I can do that. The point was that after
switching to the easier mode, you can't go back to the harder mode
without starting a new game. Did you get that? Am I going too fast for
you?
And again, I'm not concerned with how many puzzles it has compared to
OTHER games, going to the easy mode means there's a large part of THIS
game that I won't be seeing. I'll ask again, do you understand that?
Are you capable of understanding that?

Veteran

P.S. And my Veteran handle doesn't have anything to do with the net,
it reflects my previous active duty military status. Understand that
bonehead?

ra...@pacbell.net

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Apr 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/9/98
to

You can't switch back to hard? Biiiig deal!
You should have saved your game, idiot. In any case, you should
have known that from the beginning, if you had read the short
manual, as you say you had (yeah right).
PD has greater replayability than most adventure games
and you are knocking it because of it. What an idiot !


RвяO

IF

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Apr 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/9/98
to

Gentlemen,

This is not a thread which I have been interested in, nor is it any of
my concern, but I'm going to step out on a ledge here, because of some
things which have gotten said. This ng has, in the time I have been here,
been exceedingly pleasant, and flames, when the have occured, have been mild
and quickly extinguished. Your conversation has been just the opposite of
what we've come to expect on this group. Step back and take a look at
yourselves: Two grown adults fighting, with vicious terms, about the merits
of a computer game. Is this rational? In the interests of peace here, I
personally would ask that is such pot-shots are to be taken, you do so
privately, by e-mail. Certainly, not everyone on the group feels this way,
I speak only for myself, but I have never seen the terms "bonehead," or
"idiot," or any of the other deragatory terms you've used ever appear
seriously on this newsgroup before, and it upsets me to see them now.
Thank you for allowing me to speak my mind on the subject.

Ian Finley


ra...@pacbell.net

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Apr 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/9/98
to

Veteran wrote:

> P.S. And my Veteran handle doesn't have anything to do with the net,
> it reflects my previous active duty military status. Understand that
> bonehead?

I understand you as liar, and a bad one at that.

Just two days ago, you were a 'Veteran' because of 13 years of
computer gaming, and 100 adventure games played. Then you
unwittingly show your cluelessness about the utility of the
save feature, and now all of a sudden you are 'Veteran' because of
military duty. :))))))))))))))


RвяO

Mark J Musante

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Apr 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/9/98
to

IF (mord...@ix.netcom.com) wrote:
> In the interests of peace here, I
> personally would ask that is such pot-shots are to be taken, you do so
> privately, by e-mail.

Hear, hear!


-=- Mark -=-

Veteran

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Apr 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/10/98
to

Sir,

I certainly respect your opinion and 99% of the time would agree with
it. All I did was to respond to this thread with a calm post about
sliding tile puzzles. The other party immediately jumped in and
started with personal attacks. I'm sorry, but I can't let such things
just fall by the wayside. Before his post, I never said a single
derogatory thing about him (as I'd never come across him before). He
just seems to be the sort who throws out insults with anyone who
doesn't see the world exactly as he does. A simple apology would end
it post-haste........

Veteran

>Gentlemen,
>
> This is not a thread which I have been interested in, nor is it any of
>my concern, but I'm going to step out on a ledge here, because of some
>things which have gotten said. This ng has, in the time I have been here,
>been exceedingly pleasant, and flames, when the have occured, have been mild
>and quickly extinguished. Your conversation has been just the opposite of
>what we've come to expect on this group. Step back and take a look at
>yourselves: Two grown adults fighting, with vicious terms, about the merits

>of a computer game. Is this rational? In the interests of peace here, I


>personally would ask that is such pot-shots are to be taken, you do so

Dylan O'Donnell

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Apr 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/10/98
to

IF <mord...@ix.netcom.com> writes:

>
> Gentlemen,
>
> This is not a thread which I have been interested in, nor is it any of
> my concern, but I'm going to step out on a ledge here, because of some
> things which have gotten said. This ng has, in the time I have been here,
> been exceedingly pleasant, and flames, when the have occured, have been mild
> and quickly extinguished.

[snip well-phrased appeal for reason]

Just on a point of information for those that haven't noticed (since
Ian refers to "this ng" in the singular), this thread is crossposted to
three groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.adventure, rec.games.int-fiction and
rec.arts.int-fiction. Not that that should matter, since I'm sure the
readers of each of those newsgroups likes to think that their group is a
polite and civil place of discussion...

--
: Dylan O'Donnell : "The only thing necessary for the :
: Demon Internet Ltd, slave deck : triumph of evil is for good men to :
: http://www.fysh.org/~psmith/ : do nothing." -- Edmund Burke :

Joe Mason

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Apr 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/10/98
to

In article <352D0A...@pacbell.net>, <ra...@pacbell.net> wrote:
>You can't switch back to hard? Biiiig deal!
>You should have saved your game, idiot. In any case, you should
>have known that from the beginning, if you had read the short
>manual, as you say you had (yeah right).
> PD has greater replayability than most adventure games
>and you are knocking it because of it. What an idiot !

Not to pick on your point of view - more to pick on both of you.

You know, we here on r.*.i-f almost never get into pissing contests like this.
We fully understand that different people like different kinds of puzzles, and
we don't get our asses in a knot over it. I wonder why that is?

Could it be that shelling out hundreds of bucks for committee-written games and
constantly wondering if they're actually any good is leaving you tense? Could
it be that the thought of wasting your money is raising your blood pressure?
Are you obsessing more about getting your money's worth than about having fun
with the game?

You should step outside the world of commercial adventures, and try something
with absolutely no strings attached. Grab a copy of the Frotz interpreter for
DOS or Windows at

ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/infocom/interpreters/frotz

and then use it to play any of the fine games at

ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/games/infocom

Of course, there's some real crap there - but unlike commercial adventures, you
don't have to pay for the crap, so you can delete it without guilt! Just
imagine the freedom...

And, because these games are written by individuals with a real love of their
craft, not by some committee in marketing who thinks their ideas will sell,
the ones that are good are better than any commercial game I've seen. Bar
none.

Here are some of my recommendations - though I should warn you, my tastes run
towards the more difficult end:

Curses, by Graham Nelson - curses.z5
Jigsaw, by Graham Nelson - Jigsaw.z8
So Far, by Andrew Plotkin - SoFar.z8
Spider and Web, by Andrew Plotkin - Tangle.z5
Delusions, by C.E. Forman - Delusns.z5
The Edifice, by L.P. Smith - edifice.z5

Joe

Veteran

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Apr 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/11/98
to

Sigh, I'm so happy when the other side proves my point.........

Veteran

>You can't switch back to hard? Biiiig deal!
>You should have saved your game, idiot. In any case, you should
>have known that from the beginning, if you had read the short
>manual, as you say you had (yeah right).
> PD has greater replayability than most adventure games
>and you are knocking it because of it. What an idiot !
>
>

> RвяO


Steve Young

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Apr 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/12/98
to

On the 8th March Ra...@pacbell.net wrote in message
<352BEA...@pacbell.net>...


> The ones I object to the most are the, "find the invisible hair
>in thicket" routines she pulls, and "ooops you missed those few
>pixels right at the edge of the screen, so better carefully move
>cursor all over all screens to make sure", yiiiikes.

This is true of nearly all adventures, not just this one, so it is a bit
unfair to single it out.

> Re story: I expected the climax to invovle some incredible 160lb werewolf,
>instead she gives us this 40lb dog. All that FMV and technology
>and THESE are the THE werewolves ?! Abandon mouse, LOL!

I thought it was a good ending and the werewolfs very very impressive,
hardly dog sized, and I don't even like arcade sequences in adventures
normally. But this was so easy I enjoyed it.

> Overall, I give it a generous 5/10. And if it weren't for the
>photographic reproductions from the Bavarian sites, substituting
>as a tour, even 3 would've been too generous.


If this is worth 5/10 you must be a hard marker, because it was one of the
better games made in recent years. You don't by any chance work for one of
these gaming magazines which are always marking down adventures,
particurlaly if they are hard, logical and involve using you brain.

Steve

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