Thanks for sharing this, Lance! As I continue thinking about how this would be used by designers/developers here is what I would want from this list:
- A list of taxonomic entries (such as Column A: Common Puzzles, Column B: System-dependent Puzzles, Column C: Modifiers and Intensifiers, Column D: Puzzle Aesthetics, etc). This would help someone peruse your entire catalog without needing to scroll through definitions/examples, but would be a nice jumping-off point for discussions.
- Justifications for the various taxonomies. What kinds of puzzles are atomic and can't be reduced further? Which are seen everywhere but are actually 3 puzzle atoms in a trenchcoat? Which puzzles can be combined with any others? Which can't? Why?
- One justification that sticks out in my mind is the feeling the puzzle generates in the player (beyond frustration/apathy). Does a particular logic lend itself to examination of the player character? Considering the emotions of others? The attributes of objects within the game world? When I'm playing a game and I come across a puzzle of a particular nature does it increase tension? Does it slow down the story pace or make me feel safe?
- A formula for generating ideas. A list is interesting, but a method helps designers who are stuck or are looking to curate a particular play experience.
- Example: For a hard puzzle: Pick one puzzle type from Column A, Pick a system from Column B, Pick two Modifiers from Column C and an Aesthetic from Column D
Best of luck in your research! Here are a few articles I read online that may interest you: