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Typing in riddle answers instead of choosing a dialogue option

mechanic riddles dialogue difficulty hard

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62 replies to this topic

#1
Hormalakh

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So I've been playing and replaying some of the older IE games and some other cRPGs these past few months and I've noticed that a lot of the riddles in the games are riddles that I couldn't remember the answers to many years later. I thought it was good fun having to figure out the answers again.

However, as soon as I looked at the answer choices, the solutions were simple enough. All I had to do was pick the right choice (or reload and pick the right choice (or reload...)). Anyway, it would be nice if either on hard difficulty or as a game option, we would be able to type in the riddle answers instead of picking from a dialogue option. Might and Magic III:Isles of Terra is the only game I've played where I could/had to type in riddle answers through keyboard and I really enjoyed having to figure out the solutions.

Anyway, it's worth bringing up. Computer AI is nowhere near being able to accept dialogue that is typed, but at least we can do a simple

IF (typed answer) = "actual answer" THEN correct() ELSE incorrect()

for riddles. It would be enjoyable and definitely harkens back to the good old days when video games were actually tough because of the riddles. For those of us who want to just go through the story or who don't have a strong background in English, we can remove this option to get through the riddles. I can see this being a problem for localization and translations, but hopefully there is a workaround.

Oh, and don't make it case-sensitive.
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#2
Few

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That is pretty awesome idea, it just probably isn't do-able. You would have to fairly simplistic riddles so the answer was only one, maybe two words. Would be amazing if it was realistically achievable though.

#3
Fluffboll

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If you also take into consideration that a lot of people that will play this game will do so in a secondary language it can become a huge problem due to spelling or not understanding the riddle or lots of other reasons.

I like the idea, I just don't think it would work.
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#4
Ieo

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If you also take into consideration that a lot of people that will play this game will do so in a secondary language it can become a huge problem due to spelling or not understanding the riddle or lots of other reasons.

I like the idea, I just don't think it would work.


I don't think it would work well either and would be too awkward to implement; it's true that riddles in general would have to be translated anyway, but there are other ways to make the "multiple choice" aspect less obvious.

Modern CRPGs these days give only 3-4 dialogue options at most for NPC interactions, so riddles under those conditions are generally lame. PS:T, however, could have dialogue options up to around 20 or so. Add 15 possible riddle answers and suddenly the playing field widens considerably.

Besides, there are other creative ways to implement the riddle mechanic. In BG2, there was a room containing riddles that could only be solved by physical objects.
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#5
Nerei

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While I like the idea, it has some late 80's early 90's adventure game feel, I am not sure it would work well.
For one I remember several times in those games where I basically had found the solution, but did not know exactly what words they where looking for. Hunting for the right word (or the right spelling of the word) for 5-10 minutes in thesaurus is not exactly fun.
It is something that could be helped by having it recognize multiple words, but as has already been mentioned having english as a second language will hurt it somewhat.

As mentioned by Ieo instead having 15+ options for a riddle is probably a better alternative.

#6
rjshae

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Taking the crossword puzzle approach might help a little. If you knew the answer was 6 characters long, that would help avoid the situation of knowing the right answer but not typing in the right word.
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#7
Hormalakh

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I loved 80's games. :(

Like I said, it would be nice if it could be an option you can add/remove before you start a new game, like path of fury or ironman mode.

Another possibilitiy is to make it data-driven, so that any localizer can make the necessary adjustments. Especially if you think more than one answer should work. Also, you can update riddles every so often with fan-made "mods" that change the riddles for you.

You have a file called "riddle.dat" or something, where you can adjust riddles' translations as well as add in riddle answers that you think should also work.

This shouldn't be *that* hard to do.

Just throwing out ideas.

Edited by Hormalakh, 26 October 2012 - 07:56 AM.


#8
Hassat Hunter

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Don't think it would work, the 15-options indeed sounds better.

Alternative words for the same, non-native english speaking people (like me) etc. make it something that would probably irritate more than add variety.
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#9
jivex5k

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I'm on board with the general sentiment that this would be awesome if they could figure out how to do it well.

That being said, If they can't I'd be fine with a crapton of similar answers.

#10
Metabot

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Sorry but the game shouldn't be made lesser because of different languages. It is going to be translated anyways so the riddles would be rewritten in whatever language in a way that would make sense for those languages.

#11
Hormalakh

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Sorry but the game shouldn't be made lesser because of different languages. It is going to be translated anyways so the riddles would be rewritten in whatever language in a way that would make sense for those languages.


So what're your thoughts. Should we have typed-in riddles or no?

What about riddles that need numbers as answers instead of words? Algebra anyone?! :D :D :D

I really liked the genie question from BG2 when you enter's Kalah's circus in Athkatla. That was a great (and tough!) riddle. I actually tried figuring it out once using math and it took me a good 5 minutes :p I really liked it.

There are also some riddles that aren't "what is the word that describes my definition?" type riddles. There are ones where the answer can be found in the world, but you have to find the paper. Baldur's Gate 2 had another one similar to this: it was the human skin armor quest. The answer could be solevd from the letters that the tanner gives you but once you knew the first three or four letters, it didn't matter what the rest of the puzzle was because you could always "game" the multiple choice questions into figuring out which was the right one.

So, to conclude, if it's a definition type riddle, that's fine, keep it multiple choice (but give us lots of choices), but if it's a number riddle or a riddle where the letters matter and you need the in-world items to figure out the clues, then make those typed-in!

P.S. I really recommend you guys to play the old Might and Magic 3:Isles of Terra game. It does a really good job of this "typed-in" riddle. Almost all the answers can be fond in-game (there are a few that are practically impossible) and I think PE could have a similar application. The questions aren't definition-type riddle questions. The riddles are thing that you needed to have read somewhere else in-game (for the most part).

Edited by Hormalakh, 26 October 2012 - 09:51 AM.


#12
SophosTheWise

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Difficult, really difficult to pull that off so that it won't be frustrating, I think. How do the semantics of an answer work? Does it recognize similar answers/similar words like perhaps or maybe? Do articles get recognized? Problems with plural/singular? These are only a few of the problems that would come up with that idea. Even though I'd love it, personally.

So I'd be okay with 15 different answers - everyone who has ever done a multiple-choice test in college/university knows that those can be incredibly difficult.

#13
Heresiarch

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I liked the concept in Wizardry 8. There was a riddle about the "wind of the past". While the riddle was pretty easy, answering it correctly felt more gratifying than riddles in IWD2, for instance, where you could just glance through all the answers and pick the correct one in 5 seconds.

#14
HansKrSG

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Sorry but the game shouldn't be made lesser because of different languages. It is going to be translated anyways so the riddles would be rewritten in whatever language in a way that would make sense for those languages.


There are a lot more languages than what the game is going to be translated to. Personally I don't want the game translated to my language (Art works better in its native language, translations never do the original justice), but there are times when things that can be obvious to a native English speaker, are things I will struggle with. I understand most words in the English language, and the words I don't understand I can often guess the meaning of, with contex. Now, if one of these words is an answer to such a riddle, I would not be able to guess it, because it simply isn't in my vocabulary. I understand that I could get a dictionary to try to find the proper word, but that sounds like a boring thing to have to do.

#15
Paragon_Of_Insanity

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It would be way more viable to select the answer through a vocabulary menu. You have your own vocabulary of premade words, you just type half the word and the vocabulary suggests some possible words that you might want to say; or just look through the "Actions", "Places", "People", etc. menus and look for the word that you want to say.

#16
JFSOCC

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for math puzzles it could be a possibility.

#17
Skapanza

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I'd really love to have the option to type in answers. That being said, even the old way with options was pretty memorable. I chuckle to myself every once in a while when I see a riddle and immediately think of an ancient stone face saying "Put your hand in my mouth". The 15-options are a pretty good way to go if we can't type them in, and possibly incorporating some sort of penalty for failed guesses, be it monster summoning, a poison dart, etc.

#18
JFSOCC

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I'd really love to have the option to type in answers. That being said, even the old way with options was pretty memorable. I chuckle to myself every once in a while when I see a riddle and immediately think of an ancient stone face saying "Put your hand in my mouth". The 15-options are a pretty good way to go if we can't type them in, and possibly incorporating some sort of penalty for failed guesses, be it monster summoning, a poison dart, etc.

when that was an option in some games I'd do it deliberately wrong so I could get some extra XP.
that said, we won't have to worry about that in PE, so yeah, good idea.

#19
wanderon

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Did I mention I hate riddles and silly puzzles? :banghead:

sings: workin' on mysteries without any clues... :no:

Thus it is my sincere hope any strategy added to make them more difficult will be accompanied by a difficulty slider or on/off switch... :disguise:

#20
Huinehtar

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I could be interesting, but that would give a lot of work... And "typing only" would be disturbing for lots of people.

But why not an option like this in Fallout? to ask something you type to a NPC?

I think it's a good idea to implement some Easter eggs. :p

Edited by Huinehtar, 28 October 2012 - 11:58 AM.






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