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Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Darleen03] #330881
05/20/08 07:14 PM
05/20/08 07:14 PM
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New Mexico
Gobobby Offline
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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?


The cleanest thing in your house is your cat
Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Gobobby] #330890
05/20/08 07:27 PM
05/20/08 07:27 PM
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Stony Brook, New York, USA
Becky Offline
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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.

Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Becky] #330892
05/20/08 07:35 PM
05/20/08 07:35 PM
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Pennsylvania
Andromus Offline
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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)

Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Gobobby] #335126
05/28/08 02:00 PM
05/28/08 02:00 PM
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Argyle1968 Offline
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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.








Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Argyle1968] #335209
05/28/08 04:53 PM
05/28/08 04:53 PM
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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


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Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Volkana] #335230
05/28/08 05:24 PM
05/28/08 05:24 PM
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Stony Brook, New York, USA
Becky Offline
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I'm thinking about what Argyle just said. Gobobby, would you consider the lever-pulling challenges in Myst to be puzzles or problems?

Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Volkana] #335235
05/28/08 05:31 PM
05/28/08 05:31 PM
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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

Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: LindaMarion] #335236
05/28/08 05:37 PM
05/28/08 05:37 PM
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UK
Rushes Offline
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That sounds like peg solitaire, LindaMarion. I enjoy those types of puzzles. smile


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Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Volkana] #335239
05/28/08 05:43 PM
05/28/08 05:43 PM
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Posts: 19
N. KY, USA
cl0vis Offline
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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.


// cl0vis
// standing on the shoulders of giants,
// leaves me cold -- Stipe
Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Becky] #335305
05/28/08 07:32 PM
05/28/08 07:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
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New Mexico
Gobobby Offline
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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.


The cleanest thing in your house is your cat
Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Gobobby] #335315
05/28/08 07:47 PM
05/28/08 07:47 PM
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Stony Brook, New York, USA
Becky Offline
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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.)

Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Becky] #335356
05/28/08 09:19 PM
05/28/08 09:19 PM
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N. KY, USA
cl0vis Offline
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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.


// cl0vis
// standing on the shoulders of giants,
// leaves me cold -- Stipe
Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Becky] #335478
05/29/08 07:51 AM
05/29/08 07:51 AM
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Argyle1968 Offline
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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.








Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Argyle1968] #335517
05/29/08 09:12 AM
05/29/08 09:12 AM
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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.


Last edited by Carousal; 05/29/08 09:14 AM.
Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Becky] #335783
05/29/08 07:03 PM
05/29/08 07:03 PM
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New Mexico
Gobobby Offline
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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.


The cleanest thing in your house is your cat
Re: Puzzle Madness [Re: Gobobby] #335824
05/29/08 08:05 PM
05/29/08 08:05 PM
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southeast USA
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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.

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