Puzzle Madness

Posted by: Darleen03

Puzzle Madness - 05/19/08 06:02 PM

Hi, Boomers...

I would like to know "What Makes you Tick" when it comes to puzzles...

What puzzles would you like to see more of?

What puzzles you dislike & would like to see less of?

I would love to see more <Slider> & <Torn Pic> Puzzles
I dislike <Mechanical> puzzles

Thanks for your imput. wave
Posted by: Gobobby

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/19/08 07:20 PM

I do not want any puzzles. Puzzles stop the game and take you out of the game. You spend an hour solving yet another slider, color, sound, maze, or keypad puzle before you can continue playing the game. It gets tired very quickly. How many novels would you read if you had to solve a puzzle every few pages? Think of some of the classic adventure games such as Sybria I/II. I doubt that they conained a total of 2-3 puzzles. Increasingly, puzzles are a substitute for story. Some while ago I played a reasonably current and somewhat popular adventure game. Excluding puzzles, I completed the game in three hours. How much story could there be? In fact, this was not an adventure game. It was a puzzle game.

Understand, I make a distinction between puzzles and problems. Using what you have learned, logic, and what is at hand enables you to solve a problem. The game does not stop. You remain in the game. Let us be honest. Most puzzles are really very silly.
Posted by: Darleen03

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/19/08 07:27 PM

Hi, Gobobby

I never thought of it that way...You do make a lot of sense...But. there is not much to adventure gaming unless we have some puzzles in the game.. duh

Thank You.
For your input on the subject
Posted by: Becky

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/19/08 07:32 PM

I like all kinds of puzzles, though I'm not terribly fond of sliders, mazes, or timed challenges. I don't mind getting "stuck" from time to time, though if the story is very good, I do tend to be more frustrated with especially difficult puzzles right at the end. I want to know how the story is going to be resolved/how the mystery will be solved! Just personal preference -- I like the puzzle difficulty to decrease a bit for the last 15 to 20 percent of story-heavy games.
Posted by: mission

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/19/08 07:46 PM

Darleen, I prefer not to have any sliding, mechanical, torn pic, disentanglement, maze puzzles etc. in an adventure game.

These puzzles should stay at casual games where they are normally designed as a mini game within the casual game.

What I do like to see in an adventure game is inventory based puzzles where I collect objects and use/combine these objects to solve problems.

Posted by: Darleen03

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/19/08 07:51 PM

Hi, mission

You also make alot of sense...I do like inventory puzzles also immensely ..Where you put things together...

Thank You for your input

Becky....Your too funny...I love slider puzzles as long as it is not timed....Thank you for your input..
Posted by: Koalanut

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/19/08 07:54 PM


Becky, I agree with you about the puzzles that get so hard at the end that on a few I have given up. It just isn't fun anymore, but I would love to see the end of it.

I love all kinds of puzzles whether logic, mechanical, inventory, and even sliders ( I loved the little sliding puzzles that I could get when I was a kid). Sound ones or musical ones aren't too bad for me either cause I play piano and sing in church choirs. I just love the challenge of puzzles as long as they are reasonable and not extremely difficult. I like simple mazes, but I usually seem to just wander in circles cause I am trying to find things and seem go back the same direction I came from originally. All I ask for is NO TIMER hardwall !!! I am thankful for walkthroughs, especially MaG's when the going gets tough!!! thanks

Koalanut
Posted by: Darleen03

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/19/08 08:01 PM

Hi, Koalanut

Wouldn't you agree that some puzzles are needed in an adventure game? What would an adventure game be without some challenge?

Thank You for your input..
Posted by: Koalanut

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/19/08 08:20 PM


Darleen, I really wouldn't want to play an adventure game without puzzles. So I do agree that adventure games need puzzles that work well in the story. I love good story lines too. But I guess the best games are the ones with great stories and puzzles that fit with the story.

Koalanut wave
Posted by: Phoebe

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/19/08 09:39 PM

Hey Dar, wave

I really like of all the kinds of Puzzle, but i think the puzzles has that to be part of history, i hate puzzles it doesn’t make sense and also not like of games that are full of puzzles, the game becoming a little bored.

Love Maria hearts
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/19/08 10:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Gobobby
Increasingly, puzzles are a substitute for story.

I find it the other way around. There are very few puzzle/adventures being made.

Most of my favorite kinds of puzzles are those that aren't part of the story. They may or may not fit in with the gameworld. For example, I enjoyed playing Aura because of the puzzles and the pretty gameworld. I couldn't tell you much about the story though, except that there wasn't much of one.

Here are some examples of "puzzles" I don't like that fit in with the story:
  • Stealth "puzzles"
  • "Puzzles" where your character can die by saying the wrong thing or not moving fast enough.
  • Inventory puzzles that depend solely on having the right object in your inventory -- in other words, "find the object" puzzles.
  • Conversation puzzles, especially those that result in "game over" if you make the wrong choice -- or having to start the whole conversation over.
  • Having to wander around looking for the next character with something new to say in order to trigger the availability of objects -- because if your character doesn't know he has a use for an object he won't pick it up. This is essentially trial and error.
  • Having to wander around looking for the next character with something new to say in order to trigger yet another conversation with some other character.

Puzzles I enjoy include
  • sliders
  • mechanical puzzles
  • logic puzzles
  • inventory puzzles of the kind found in "Return to Mysterious Island," where different objects can perform the same function, and where you can build new inventory out of objects that you find.

There are very very few games that have a story anywhere near as satisfying as a good book or movie. So when I want a story, I go for the book or movie. When I play a game, I want something a book or movie can't provide.
Posted by: colpet

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 06:19 AM

Jenny100 and I are of like mind.
For me, a game must have puzzles/challenges, and I think those type are becoming much less common.
Favorite puzzles:
- anything mechanical
- logic and math related
- spacial - both 2D and 3D - eg. mazes, sliders, jigsaws
- sorting out the back story by discovering clues in the environment
Puzzles I dislike:
- timed/stealth/dexterity
- inventory 'try everything on anything and everyone'
- conversation trees
- word and music based (I'm just plain bad at these)
Posted by: Cari

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 06:31 AM

To be fair I think that Gobboby has a strong point. I think that puzzles have long since been a waste of space. Anyone who has played AGs for a number of years has come across the same tired old puzzles again and again.

The worst are those with totally illogical solutions: Jam a lift, you have a solid steel bar, easy peasy, No that doesn’t work, try the top off a drink can that you can bend in half with two fingers, Bingo! The two ton life is jammed. Come on.

In the early years when there were no walkthroughs you had no choice but to persevere with the puzzles and their crazy solutions. Now games are hardly on the market when a walkthrough is available, which makes the time and effort in placing puzzles in a game in the first place a waste of time, you just read the answers.

I also agree with Gobboby that Syberia pointed the way forward, but though it’s now an old game, no one has learned anything from it, at least not in the games I have played since.







Posted by: dragonuk44

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 07:12 AM

I like the letter ones where you have to piece them togeather .Dont like mazes .I have no sense of direction and always go in circles
Posted by: Rushes

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 07:17 AM

Jigsaw/torn pic puzzles make me happy. Word puzzles of any kind. I also really enjoy chemical/sample analysis puzzles.

I don't like mazes, maths puzzles, or anything overly mechanical, because my poor wee brain just doesn't work that way.

And timed challenges are an abomination!
Posted by: Koalanut

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 09:48 AM

Quote:
I don't like mazes, maths puzzles


I don't mind some math puzzles, but the ones with the base some other number than ten. My mind just can't compute anything but base ten.

I love the games that are just puzzles like Pandora's Box, Safecraker, the Jewel of the Oracle (is that what is was called?), etc. I loved the puzzles. But it really wasn't an "adventure". The HOG games of the casual gaming are including more diverse puzzles and even some adventure now and I love it. But in an adventure game, I don't want to wander around aimlessly trying to figure out where the next puzzle is or what it even is because I don't really understand what is going on with the story.

Oh, I don't like dying either, especially if there is no second chance like Nancy Drew games, cause I forget to save or where I saved last.

I am sure that developers have problems trying to make a game that everyone would like. I thank them for all that they do to produce the games we have, whether or not I consider them a favorite game for me. thanks

Koalanut
Posted by: Mad

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 10:40 AM

Hi smile

An adventure game without puzzles wouldn't BE an adventure game as far as I'm concerned !!
And from silly puzzles to brain teasers - I want them !! yay

If all I am looking for is an intriguing story I will read a book or watch a film.

Really the only type of puzzle I do object to is the timed (or stealth) sequence that ends in death if I fail - and where I have to try over and over again before I can progress in the game. That can definitely get very boring mad

Traditional adventure games have always been full of puzzles .... so I don't understand why people who don't like puzzle solving would bother to buy them in the first place woozy

Cheers.

Mad wave


Posted by: Volkana

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 11:05 AM

I like puzzles as long as they stay in one place... What i'm trying to say is that i don't like those whose you must wonder in more then one places in order to have them solved... I really like the puzzle you have to make all the lights turn on or slider pictures...
Posted by: Becky

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 11:06 AM

Some people enjoy exploring the kinds of environments that you find in adventure games, and they enjoy being part of an interactive story. These are provided by adventure games more than any other medium (that I know of, anyway). This type of experience can be gained by using hints or a walkthrough to get though the puzzles if the player doesn't want to spend a lot of time solving the puzzles.

Posted by: dragonuk44

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 11:06 AM

No I like the puzzals and I wish they would make some new games like Pandoras box
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 12:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Koalanut
I love the games that are just puzzles like Pandora's Box, Safecraker, the Jewel of the Oracle (is that what is was called?), etc. I loved the puzzles. But it really wasn't an "adventure".

I agree. But there seems to be some disagreement about where to draw the line. For example with Shivers and 7th Guest, both of which have you wandering around a house or museum doing puzzles -- Where is the difference between those games and Safecracker, where you also wander around a house doing puzzles?

I'd still like to see more games like Jewels of the Oracle and Jewels 2, which few people would argue are puzzle games rather than adventure games. I've looked for similar games at Big Fish, but haven't seen any. What Big Fish calls "puzzle games" don't seem much like Jewels of the Oracle at all, and are often timed (yecch!). Something like Jewels of the Oracle would make an excellent casual game because you can pick it up and play it for a few minutes at a time.

Quote:
The HOG games of the casual gaming are including more diverse puzzles and even some adventure now and I love it.

As usual I had to think a bit before I realized what the acronym was. Hidden Object Games sound too much like searching for inventory to me. If anyone knows of a casual game with puzzles like Jewels of the Oracle (or Safecracker for those who haven't played the 13-year-old Jewels of the Oracle), I'd be interested to know what it is.
Posted by: Rushes

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 01:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
If anyone knows of a casual game with puzzles like Jewels of the Oracle (or Safecracker for those who haven't played the 13-year-old Jewels of the Oracle), I'd be interested to know what it is.


I'd say Azada comes pretty close. It's an excellent casual game with many puzzle variations. It's timed, though!
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 01:59 PM

Now see, the timer spoils it.
Why do they assume everyone wants a timer?
Posted by: GBC

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 05:57 PM

I love puzzles (as long as they are not timed). I think adventure games with an equal amount of puzzles is challenging and adds to the adventure.
Posted by: Darleen03

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 06:10 PM

I have to agree.....

Please leave the timed puzzles out....I think I can deal with most anything...But the timed thing..
Posted by: Gobobby

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 07:14 PM

The answer is very simple. Just put a box next to the puzzle. If you want to continue playing the game, just click the box. Otherwise, solve the puzzle. There are several games that now allow you to do that. I believe "Keepsake" is such a game. As I remember, that is also true of the "Tex Murphy" games.

It would be an interesting experiment if all games had this option. The wheat would be separated from the chaff. If you clicked on all the boxes and finished the game in an hour, obviously it was not much of an adventure game.

Understand, again, that I make a distinction between puzzles and problems. The standard keypad is a puzzle. It is solved by trial and error. No intelligence is required. A problem, on the other hand, requires that you retain game information, analyze, apply logic, and search for a solution. As you understand, there are a limited number of puzzles. We see the same ones (or minor variations) in every game. Problems can be infinitely varied, limited only by the imagination of the game creator. Have we become conditioned, do you think, to believe that every adventure game must contain the same puzzles as every other aventure game?
Posted by: Becky

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 07:27 PM

Gobobby -- no, we haven't been conditioned to expect the same puzzles. Although I occasionally encounter puzzles that are similar to others I've seen before, I would not consider this to be the rule.

I don't think I would separate out "puzzles" from "problems" myself.
Posted by: Andromus

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/20/08 07:35 PM

Puzzles I like:
Mechanical puzzles
Word puzzles
Self contained puzzles (if they're original or have some twist to them)

Puzzles I dislike:
Illogical inventory puzzles
Classic puzzles that get reused too often (like sliders, jumping pegs, Tower of Hanoi)
Posted by: Argyle1968

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/28/08 02:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Gobobby
Puzzles stop the game and take you out of the game. You spend an hour solving yet another slider, color, sound, maze, or keypad puzle before you can continue playing the game.

Understand, I make a distinction between puzzles and problems. Using what you have learned, logic, and what is at hand enables you to solve a problem. The game does not stop. You remain in the game.


That's a pretty good distinction between the two main types of puzzles, IMO. And like you, I prefer the "problem" kind, that integrate into the story. For example--figuring out what the levers in Myst did and then ultimately pulling the right combination. Games like Barrow Hill and Lights Out and Scratches really worked for me because it felt like I was trapped in a mystery that I had to think myself out of. Usually, if faced with a logic problem in "real life", it isn't something like a slider puzzle.

The only games I really liked that had puzzles for the sake of puzzles were the Shivers games, but those had such a strong and involving backstory that I didn't really mind wasting time on the puzzles. It actually gave me time to think through other puzzles, or problems. Besides, those Kachinas in Shivers 2 were positively ghoulish and creepy-looking and kept me entertained while I worked on the puzzles!

To me, Obsidian represented the best integration of story and puzzles that I've ever seen, but that's because the whole thing was so surreal that none of it felt weird or out of place--it was ALL weird.







Posted by: Volkana

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/28/08 04:53 PM

Now that i'm thinking of it the worse kind of puzzles for me is the sound puzzles... I couldn't finish any of them in any game... wink
Posted by: Becky

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/28/08 05:24 PM

I'm thinking about what Argyle just said. Gobobby, would you consider the lever-pulling challenges in Myst to be puzzles or problems?
Posted by: LindaMarion

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/28/08 05:31 PM

it was so very many years ago argyle1968 that i cant remember details but i do remember shivers-1 was a very good game.i remember one puzzle i couldnt do it was a well known one were you had to move buttons over others taking them away i forget the name of that type
i must have done it cos i finished the game whole but i know i couldnt solve it.so there must have been a bypqass system or else he full instructions were written in some walkthrough
Posted by: Rushes

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/28/08 05:37 PM

That sounds like peg solitaire, LindaMarion. I enjoy those types of puzzles. smile
Posted by: cl0vis

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/28/08 05:43 PM

I was actually writing something at work on this topic (while wasting time)! I'm not a big fan of puzzles. The original Sierra Quests will always be the standard definition of an adventure game for me, and they rarely included "puzzles". Sometimes they destroy any realism or immersion the game had created up to that point.

Can someone explain to me why aliens keep putting locks on doors that take 3 minutes to figure out? Why do criminal masterminds use locks where you can see the tumblers?? Why do the bad guys leave the solution to their puzzle locks in the same room as the lock itself???? Also, as people have pointed out, the puzzles are getting really repetitive. That's not fun. Oh boy, a slider. Oh boy, I get to punch the buttons until they are all it. Oh boy, I get to line up all the circuits. Blech.

I do enjoy playing with "mysterious machines" though.

Should inventory based puzzles be called something else? I like those, unless the solutions are so bizzare you have to resort to trying all combinations of items and hotspots. Return to Mysterious Island handled the inventory really well.

While I don't care for dialogue trees too much, I do like having good dialogue that is itself a puzzle. Meaning that you have to pay attention to figure out what to do next.

I think Pandora: Black Plague was great "puzzle"-wise. You either had to use real world physics to get past the problem, or use logical inventory items that could be combined. You were sometimes required to read something in order to know what to do next. Adventure game stories have problems to over come. In the past this often required abstract puzzles. But with 3D worlds and real world physics, you can solve the problems in a realistic way. Get rid of the monsters chasing you down in Penumbra and it's (almost) perfect.

Oh, and since I'm, like, tone deaf, I can't stand sound puzzles. I have to get my wife to help me.
Posted by: Gobobby

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/28/08 07:32 PM

Becky, I have never played any of the Myst games exactly because they contain so many puzzles. I understand though, from reviews, that the games do contain some problems. Gorgeous graphics though.

Imagine that instead of purchasing the video game "The Adventures of Great Hero" you purchase and install the "Great Hero Puzzle Set" containing only the puzzles in the game. You click the mouse. "READY FOR PUZZLE # 1? It is a keypad puzzle which you have seen at least a dozen times. By trial-and-error again, you enter the correct sequence. Musical fanfare. "CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE JUST WON 250 POINTS! READY FOR PUZZLE #2? You can solve all the puzzles in the game without ever playing the game because the puzzles are not integral to the game.

If you play an "adventure" game and solve all of the puzzles in the minimum amont of time, complete the game in 25 hours, and spent 20 hours solving the puzzles, have you really played an adventure game?

My favorite game is "The Moment of Silence." It was not very popular. Those of you who have played the game, of course, will remember the "antenna" sequence at the end of the game. You are required to remember what you learned earlier in the game, use "the little grey cells," do some arithmetic, and carry out the appropriate action. The game continues. The tension mounts. Of course, unlike the keypad puzzle, you had to first determine what had to be done.

I recently played the newest entry in a justifiably popular adventure game series. Near the end of the game a life is in immediate peril. Death. Quick action is required. Then? You must solve three puzzles, starting with a slider puzzle. C'mon!
Gimme a break! That's when I gave up on the game.
Posted by: Becky

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/28/08 07:47 PM

So a "problem" is a challenge that you could not solve without remembering information given earlier in the game? (Perhaps an example would be the code-breaking puzzles in The Experiment where you have to read emails that explain how to break the codes.)

A "puzzle" is a challenge that can be figured out entirely on its own, using either trial and error or the puzzle's own internal logic without reference to any other part of the game. (Perhaps an example would be the "Sudoku" puzzle in The Secrets of Atlantis: The Sacred Legacy.)
Posted by: cl0vis

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/28/08 09:19 PM

If you really like "puzzles", go buy a DS and the game Professor Layton. It's essentially 120 some puzzles held together by a think plot. It's all about puzzles that have almost nothing to do with the story. Some of the puzzles are pretty good. And if you get a DS you can play the Phoenix Wright games, which are basically adventure games. Oh, and get Puzzle Quest if you like bejewelled, but always wished you could kill zombies by playing it.
Posted by: Argyle1968

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/29/08 07:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Becky
So a "problem" is a challenge that you could not solve without remembering information given earlier in the game? (Perhaps an example would be the code-breaking puzzles in The Experiment where you have to read emails that explain how to break the codes.)

A "puzzle" is a challenge that can be figured out entirely on its own, using either trial and error or the puzzle's own internal logic without reference to any other part of the game. (Perhaps an example would be the "Sudoku" puzzle in The Secrets of Atlantis: The Sacred Legacy.)



That's one way of looking at it. When I think "problem", that usually conjures up "engineering" while "puzzle" is more of a game. Let's see....um, in Riven, figuring out what the controls in the sub did, and how they affected the movement, that would be what I would call a "problem". Whereas the safe locks in Safecracker or Stauf's puzzles in T7G and T11H were more of the puzzle variety. IMO a puzzle is more of a hurdle to get from one part of a linear storyline to another, while a problem is something that requires experimentation, other bits of info, as you said, and some deductive reasoning.







Posted by: Cari

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/29/08 09:12 AM

When I started playing AGs I delighted at solving the puzzles and being rewarded in advancing through the game. But as the years went on the puzzles became ever more repetitive, many became an attachment, not a part of the game, illogical and the just plain silly.
I think that the developers, well at least some, tried something new by introducing action, stealth etc into games but for the majority it wasn’t a success and has been largely dropped from AGs games.

I honestly feel that the way forward is in multi layered games which will allow you to progress through the logical and right decisions you have make in order to proceed. The game will allow for character development, far more interesting plots, and various paths to follow to reach the conclusion, plus the feeling that you are an actual part of the game as it unfolds.
Whether they will include puzzles as we know them, I don’t have any fixed views, but with or without them they, in my opinion, will be far more interesting to play.

The downside is that they will be more expensive to produce and to buy.

Posted by: Gobobby

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/29/08 07:03 PM

Pretty close Becky. A problem, though, need not always require retention of previously learned data. In some cases, yes. Rather, solving a game problem requires several elements, data retention may be necesary to solve this problem but not another problem.

There are three distinguishing features of game puzzles. First, they are solved by trial and eror. No intelligence is required. You just plod along. Second, puzzles are immediately obvious. You see a maze in front of you, and you know that you must solve a maze puzzle. A problem may be more or less obvious, but it is not immediately obvious. Third, puzzles are not unique. Every problem is unique. The keypad on the wall is a keypad puzzle. The "tumbler" puzzle in "Still Life" is a keypad puzzle. In "Dead Reefs" you plunk some piano keys. It is a keypad puzzle.

Of course the averarching importance to gaming is that problems are an integal part of the game while puzzles are simply tacked on, usually as a substitute for story.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Puzzle Madness - 05/29/08 08:05 PM

I don't consider trial and error to be much of a puzzle at all. It's more a test of patience and lacks any real "puzzling." But when I do encounter trial and error it is usually in the form of figuring out who your character is supposed to talk to next or go next or do next in order to pull the trigger that will advance the plot. But what I've just described is the kind of thing you're calling a "problem" because it is advancing the plot.

IMO a puzzle is best solved by logic, whether it is to complete a standalone puzzle (like the ones in Shivers or Safecracker) or whether it is a puzzle that is more integrated with the plotline. To claim that one should be called a "problem" and the other a puzzle is arbitrarily imposing your personal preference on a definition. Where it might be acceptable to say a "problem" is a type of puzzle, I can't agree with saying one of the most common types of adventure game puzzle is no longer to be called a "puzzle" but must be called a "problem" instead.