Rough Draft of Puzzle Patterns document

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Lance Campbell

Dec 13, 2020, 7:52:09 PM12/13/20
Rough Draft of Puzzle Patterns document attached.


Dec 14, 2020, 3:22:48 PM12/14/20
to Seattle IF
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:

Lance Campbell

Dec 14, 2020, 3:41:31 PM12/14/20
Thanks for the feedback. This definitely looks like a good set of next steps towards improving the model. I will play around with the ideas and keep testing with actual games and let you all know when I hit on something better.

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