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Typing in riddle answers instead of choosing a dialogue option

mechanic riddles dialogue difficulty hard

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#41
TRX850

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Hormalakh, it's not a bad suggestion, and reminds me of the early SSI games like Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds that came with a cardboard decoder wheel.

Perhaps P:E could include a region specific "virtual decoder wheel" ?

The issue with regional languages would mean that the actual answer to a puzzle would not necessarily require a literal translation of an English word. The purpose of the decoder wheel was to necessitate a process in which the player discovered a combination of symbols over time, via intelligent play, (it's called 'adventuring') that ultimately led to the wheel being used as a translation tool only, once prompted for an answer.

I too am not overly enthused by a system that allows a player to simply reload and try again if they get the answer wrong. Having said that, I totally understand why some players get frustrated by puzzles involving mathematics or logic where the wording of the question is not always crystal clear.

At least with the virtual decoder wheel example, answers to riddles could be different with each playthrough, compelling the player to discover a new combination of symbols each time.

Could be a can of worms to implement though, but hey, it's the 21st century and people are clever these days. :)

#42
Dream

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Ingame puzzles are cool but straight up riddles where you have to type the answer are annoying as ****.

What's the answer?

"Cloud"

"Wrong"

*reload*

"Clouds"

"Wrong"

*reload*

"Sky"

"Wrong"

*reload*, wrong answer x100

"**** it, I'm looking this **** up."

correct answer is... "a cloud"
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#43
Rubarack

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It wouldn't be that hard to get it to search for the word "cloud" anywhere in the text box ignoring capitalisation, so that cloud, Cloud, clouds, a cloud or the clouds would all work. Still, it's probably too much effort for the gain needed, the best solution is probably to hide the answers behind an "I'm ready to answer" option and have a much higher penalty for failing to answer after selecting that than for admitting "I don't know".

#44
TrashMan

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I loved those kinds of riddles. Actually made you really think.
WAAAAAY better than this "choose the obvious answer from the list".

And who the hell doesn't know english these days?

#45
TrashMan

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Ingame puzzles are cool but straight up riddles where you have to type the answer are annoying as ****.

What's the answer?

"Cloud"

"Wrong"

*reload*

"Clouds"

"Wrong"

*reload*

"Sky"

"Wrong"

*reload*, wrong answer x100

"**** it, I'm looking this **** up."

correct answer is... "a cloud"


I don't recall a single riddel in any of the old games that actually required an "a" or "the" before the actual answer.
Also, singular or plurar would be obvious from the riddle.

EDIT:
And riddles like such were usually used to open a passage/door/chest, meaning that the player could usually try again....or he had a way around.

Edited by TrashMan, 06 January 2013 - 12:51 PM.


#46
Dream

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I loved those kinds of riddles. Actually made you really think.
WAAAAAY better than this "choose the obvious answer from the list".

And who the hell doesn't know english these days?

I don't recall a single riddel in any of the old games that actually required an "a" or "the" before the actual answer.
Also, singular or plurar would be obvious from the riddle.

EDIT:
And riddles like such were usually used to open a passage/door/chest, meaning that the player could usually try again....or he had a way around.


It wasn't meant to be a direct example, but to illustrate the limitations of the system. Also while you were sitting there trying to be snarky about people not knowing English you managed to **** up spelling both plural and riddle.

#47
TrashMan

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So?
I don't see how my speed typo has anything to do with anything.

#48
Dream

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So?
I don't see how my speed typo has anything to do with anything.


Probably the fact that if someone who's espousing "everyone should know English" manages to fail at spelling things correctly then imagine playing the game as a non-native English speaker or someone who has dyslexia.

If my whole argument hinged on the assumption that people should be able to spell perfectly then I'd make damn sure I didn't spell things incorrectly while making said argument, but that's just me.

Edit: On that note, what if when Obsidian writes the riddle they **** up the spelling of the answer. Yea, QA should catch that and all, but we all know how great Obsidian is in that department.

Edited by Dream, 07 January 2013 - 03:07 PM.


#49
Lephys

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Edit: On that note, what if when Obsidian writes the riddle they **** up the spelling of the answer. Yea, QA should catch that and all, but we all know how great Obsidian is in that department.


The same thing that happens if it's a multiple-choice and they forget to include the correct answer in the reponse list, or accidentally code it wrong. QA missing a problem isn't exactly dependent upon the specifics of the problem. I'm not saying "And therefore everything you've said before was wrong." I just don't think "QA might miss it" is pertinent to how we answer riddles, specifically.

#50
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The same thing that happens if it's a multiple-choice and they forget to include the correct answer in the reponse list, or accidentally code it wrong. QA missing a problem isn't exactly dependent upon the specifics of the problem. I'm not saying "And therefore everything you've said before was wrong." I just don't think "QA might miss it" is pertinent to how we answer riddles, specifically.


True, if they straight up forget to include the right answer then yea it would be a challenge, but if they just misspell it then I think it'd still be possible to solve if it was multiple choice.

#51
Juneau

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typos, spelling level. all massive issues.

#52
TrashMan

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So?
I don't see how my speed typo has anything to do with anything.


Probably the fact that if someone who's espousing "everyone should know English" manages to fail at spelling things correctly then imagine playing the game as a non-native English speaker or someone who has dyslexia.

If my whole argument hinged on the assumption that people should be able to spell perfectly then I'd make damn sure I didn't spell things incorrectly while making said argument, but that's just me.


That is just you.
Who cares if you make a spelling mistake? I made mine because I wasn't paying attention. So what?
You can always correct it.

Apparently, people managed to play the old games just fine.
And btw - I'm not a native english speaker either.

#53
AGX-17

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Last I heard, P:E wasn't a text-adventure ZORK revival.

"What is the color of the sky?"

"blue"

"invalid response"

"Blue"

"invalid response"

"Blue."

"invalid response"

"Sky blue."

"invalid response"

"Sky Blue."

"You may pass."

Edited by AGX-17, 08 January 2013 - 10:50 AM.

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#54
Hormalakh

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There have been games that have overcome this problem in the past. One game that comes to mind is the Might and Magic World of Xeen series. These games required you to type in words but the letters were given to you through clues that you had to search for in the dungeon, for exaample.
Spoiler


The clues can be given and then you type in the code. This forces the players to actually play through the content instead of metagaming answers through a multiple choice quiz.

Of course, there were then the really difficult ones that required a bit of thinking, but even those only had rewards that were non-story driven and just gave you experience.

obviously, the developers can also make the riddles case-insensitive and punctuation-insensitive.

Edited by Hormalakh, 08 January 2013 - 11:12 AM.


#55
Hormalakh

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  • Crossword-type minigame -> I've never actually seen this, but limiting word length and cross-referencing letter locations might work out


Once again I'd have to recommend World of Xeen. There is a Dungeon of Doom, as it's called, that has one whole level dedicated to a crossworld puzzle. It's really an interesting way of doing it. There is a fairly long story before you get started about the adventures of someone on the world of xeen, and several of the words are highlighted in green. Then when you go through the level, you see how long each word is based on the pacing and the clue is given at the beginning of each series of steps. When you type in the answer, always an answer from the highlighted words, the floor below you changes from shallow puddles to stone, informing you that the answer was correct. The extremely big dungeon level rewards you with experience and the opportunity to delve further in the dungeon. The whole dungeon was optional however, and I'm not sure if it was because of the "difficulty" of the crossword puzzle or because of development time running out. It is, nevertheless, highly regarded as one of the best puzzles for M&M:World of Xeen.

#56
Dream

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That is just you.
Who cares if you make a spelling mistake? I made mine because I wasn't paying attention. So what?
You can always correct it.

Apparently, people managed to play the old games just fine.
And btw - I'm not a native english speaker either.


So your assumption is what? That every other non native English speaker speaks as well as you do?

#57
AGX-17

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There have been games that have overcome this problem in the past. One game that comes to mind is the Might and Magic World of Xeen series. These games required you to type in words but the letters were given to you through clues that you had to search for in the dungeon, for exaample.

Spoiler


The clues can be given and then you type in the code. This forces the players to actually play through the content instead of metagaming answers through a multiple choice quiz.

Of course, there were then the really difficult ones that required a bit of thinking, but even those only had rewards that were non-story driven and just gave you experience.

obviously, the developers can also make the riddles case-insensitive and punctuation-insensitive.


How is trial-and-error guessing from a list of options different from trial-and-error guessing from a series of letters or syllables? How is it metagaming?

#58
Fearabbit

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If I were to design a riddle where players had to type in their answers, I'd make sure to do two things:

1. Allow more than one possible way of writing it. "Wind", "The Wind", "A Breeze"... whatever comes to mind.
2. Instead of checking if it's the same word as one on my list, I'd simply check how many of the correct letters were used (and also how many letters were used in general).

The chance that someone accidentally finds the right solution is still pretty slim but the chance of not accepting the right answer because of typos is greatly reduced. Say your system accepts the answer if it has 50% of the correct letters in it and also isn't 50% too long or too short: If the solution is "Wind" or "Breeze" as above, the system would accept "dniw", "winnt", "briese"... I'd say even a dyslexic wouldn't normally write the word in a way that this system wouldn't understand it.

And I'm no programmer. I bet these people know all kinds of crazy algorithms to make sure the computer understands what you try to tell it without accidentally accepting a wrong answer.

#59
Hormalakh

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There have been games that have overcome this problem in the past. One game that comes to mind is the Might and Magic World of Xeen series. These games required you to type in words but the letters were given to you through clues that you had to search for in the dungeon, for exaample.

Spoiler


The clues can be given and then you type in the code. This forces the players to actually play through the content instead of metagaming answers through a multiple choice quiz.

Of course, there were then the really difficult ones that required a bit of thinking, but even those only had rewards that were non-story driven and just gave you experience.

obviously, the developers can also make the riddles case-insensitive and punctuation-insensitive.


How is trial-and-error guessing from a list of options different from trial-and-error guessing from a series of letters or syllables? How is it metagaming?


Trial and error guessing from a list of options already tells you all the information you require. It gives you all the options possible and severely limits the options for the player. You aren't really guessing/metagaming from a series of letters unless you're absolutely sure you have all the information. For the LABORATORY example, if you hadn't found the BO clue, you might still be able to figure out LABORATORY with the incomplete information. Or maybe you're not sure if its LABORATORY or LAVATORY since you're not sure if a BORA or a VA exists or not.There is still a challenge involved there of trying to solve puzzles without having all the clues in front of you.

The other aspect is that these typed-in puzzles can act as in-game obstacles for developers to help maintain some sort of path for players without forcing it upon them. If you've found the clues in the universe to help you solve the puzzle, then you may proceed to the next section of the game. But if you are able to guess the answer (or if you are replaying the game and don't wish to repeat certain portions of the game world) then you can by-pass this obstacle. You do not have this option with a multiple choice riddle because the answers are limited and thus such riddles can only act as extremely weak/low obstacles for the player.

You can also always have riddles with limited or no clues (all the letters aren't given to you) that further challenge the players. Perhaps these riddles might be included for rare items or experience, but I doubt that most players would want them on plot-driven aspects of the game.

Edited by Hormalakh, 08 January 2013 - 02:30 PM.

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#60
Hormalakh

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I did want to point out an observation that I've had about this.

In older games, where the obstacle to finding the answer to these questions was extremely high (there was no internet and hints were only found through expensive phone calls or limited strategy guides), developers continued to utilize such puzzles/riddles for their audiences, without much furor. However, now with the unlimited supply of solutions and strategy guides available at the touch of a mouse button through the internet, suddenly the furor has increased? For the players who don't like such puzzles, the answers can be quickly found online and they do not limit their gameplay. Whereas for players who would rather solve such puzzles without the hints given by a multiple choice, they/we do not have such an option.

It seems a little backwards to me. If you get frustrated by the puzzle and want to just move on, look up the solution online. If you want the challenge, it's there for you. Even I, from time to time, don't really feel like solving word puzzles, and I'll just look up the answer online to bypass a specific puzzle. I guess there are more elegant ways to give players "hints" but I don't find it to be too big of an issue when I can't solve the puzzle.

Edited by Hormalakh, 08 January 2013 - 02:37 PM.






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