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What kind of puzzles do you enjoy? (if any)


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I thought the Dragon age origins puzzles were ok actually. I mean some were a bit easy and some required a bit of thought. I see some people here bragging how they were too easy but I have to disagree, and I really liked the word puzzles in the sacred ashes quest, true it would have been better without the multiple choice answer system but thats unavoidable

I think for a word puzzle,

They were required main quest puzzles so they had to be solvable by the overwhelming majority. Im ok with much harder puzzles but only to unlock optional loot rooms for example.

 

Now Skyrim's puzzles are the prime example of how not to do it (sorry skyrim, i still love you) They were overly simplistic and dull.

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I'm highly in favor of the majority of puzzles being optional. Also, I think it works very well when optional puzzles are integrated into other optional aspects of the game (exploration, lore, etc.). Some examples made in this thread already have touched on this. Maybe you COULD buy a book (in-game item) on the history of some ruins, or talk to some certain NPC and learn all about stuff (both completely not required for any reason whatsoever to get through the game in a variety of ways). The mandatory story might actually take you through these ruins, but, if you've read the book or gotten info from the NPC, you'll notice certain markings on the wall, or you'll know to look behind some specific column (something you really couldn't notice, and instead have to know exactly where to look).

 

The complexity of this could range anywhere from "Oh, there's a secret door to a treasure room" to "Oh, there's a secret door to a gigantic puzzle room with a treasure at the end." I'm even all for the rock/switch to that door/room not being interactive (even though you, the player, might know where it is) unless your character knows about it (from using the book or talking to the person.)

 

Obviously, that's all got to be done properly, but, it just seems reasonable that the person who doesn't mind taking their precious time reading about lore in games and exploring the nooks and crannies of their environments would be the same person to not mind (and rather enjoy) taking the time to solve in-depth puzzles. Everything already co-exists peacefully (secrets in dungeons are already there, whether you're an explorer or not, and lore is all part of the game world whether you learn about it/put it to use or not), so those who'd rather not "waste time" on such things can go on about their business without a care in the world, and those who love such things get actual, in-depth implementations of them, and it all fits like a glove. Maybe even a mitten.

 

 

(EDIT) What I'm against is the "let's put puzzles in that you have to do, but let's make their simplicity and lack of time requirement a priority so that they don't annoy people." That's just literally self-defeating. The people who want puzzles get "technically a puzzle" excuses for puzzles, and the people who don't want puzzles are still having to put up with puzzles. So, in that respect, I would definitely say that IF they're going to decide that mandatory puzzles are a good idea in any capacity, then they need to go ahead and make them solid puzzles and not worry about making sure they only take 15-seconds. That isn't to say they SHOULD take 30-minutes and an advanced knowledge of 15th-century European Literature to solve. But, that's a balancing concern that's in place even without arbitrarily lowering the complexity threshold with no regard for how complex the puzzle even needs to be purely to serve its purpose as a puzzle (as opposed to just some switch on the wall or something that takes time and effort to get to).

 

Also, I just want to point out that I actually rather LIKE the notion Skyrim used of inspecting inventory objects and finding information on them that may be pertinent to puzzles and optional quests and such. The problems in Skyrim were not that method, but that implementation (Skyrim did not invent the "inspect items to find clues" mechanic). The "clues" in Skyrim were basically just door codes, so there wasn't any figuring out. There was only the middle man of having to get the door code off the claw, then input it on the door. The other main problem was that you couldn't find any information that helped you in any way on ANY other items in the entire game. Just those claws, and just for those doors.

 

That's like implementing changeable equipment in a game (as opposed to fixed equipment the whole time), but only having 1 weapon and 1 set of armor in the entire game. Or buying a refrigerator, then simply filling it with ice and using it as a cooler.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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My favorite puzzles: how far can I get without attacking an enemy? How far can I get without any items (money included, if it can be dropped)? Though before solcing any of them, it's usually a good idea to solve the big one: how do I beat this game?

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Something that stretches the mind, makes it stop and wake up. Some of the riddles on the Moredhel boxes in Betrayal at Krondor were quite twisty, lore puzzles that require me to learn certain aspects of the gameworlds backstory are always nice, because i'm getting enmeshed in the lore and that is being rewarded, and i've always liked those which are simple tests of logic.

 

The statues of two children with identical clothing and long blond hair stand on a stage, their hair is drawn over their faces and hangs down to their waists, so that they appear to be virtually identical. In pre-pubescent trilling tones they each speak:

 

"I am a girl." Says the child on the left.

 

"I am a boy." Says the child on the right.

 

"One of us always lies, and one always tells the truth." They both intone.

 

You can answer the riddle correctly, or rely on your special skills to move on: For instance a wizard might try to dispel the magic of the lock, the thief might figure out a way to open the lock without the test, the cipher might call up the souls of the children and have them whisper the answer to him, while the fighter might wrench a statue from its base and smash a hole in the door.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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"One of us always lies, and one always tells the truth." They both intone.

 

If they BOTH say it, then we have a paradox. :)

 

Seriously, though, good example. And also... BETRAYAL AT KRONDOR!!! ^_^

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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"One of us always lies, and one always tells the truth." They both intone.

 

If they BOTH say it, then we have a paradox. :)

 

 

No, we don't.

 

All these riddles are insoluble as they're stated here. For all we know, everybody could be normal people who sometimes lie and sometimes tell the truth, in which case you can't deduce anything about what they say. You need some sort of meta-information to make the riddles soluble. For example, that they either always lie or always tell the truth. In which case this riddle would have a solution (it's not a paradox).

 

(I love these problems, btw. Got a great book full of them. Called What Is The Name Of This Book, by Raymond Smullyan.)

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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^ Well, I was just joking with him, because I figured what he meant anyway.

 

But, all I was getting at was, IF it's true that one of them always lies and one of them always tells the truth (which is the established basis of the riddle), then both a person who never lies and a person who ALWAYS lies cannot both say "One of us always lies, and one of us always tells the truth." It'd be the same thing as if they both told you that 2+2=4. That's all I meant. 8P

 

If it wasn't intended for the lie/truth absolute to be definitely in effect (like you said, how do you know that statement's true in the first place, just because they said it), then I apologize.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Bad puzzles that are too hard/annoying to solve are often cause save scumming. Can't lay the blame with one specific sort of puzzle type either. You'll always get someone who just isn't as capable as someone else solving a puzzle and they'll just resort to trial and error. I personally find riddles and word plays particularly annoying. Language just isn't my speciality.

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But, all I was getting at was, IF it's true that one of them always lies and one of them always tells the truth (which is the established basis of the riddle), then both a person who never lies and a person who ALWAYS lies cannot both say "One of us always lies, and one of us always tells the truth." It'd be the same thing as if they both told you that 2+2=4. That's all I meant. 8P

 

 

Actually, with that extrinsic assumption, and an additional one that neither is hermaphroditic or genderless...

 

 

 

...they're both liars, which makes the one on the left a boy and the one on the right a girl.

 

The statement "One of us always lies, and one of us always tells the truth" can't be true, because if it was, both of them could not state the same thing. Therefore it must be false. The statement is false if either both always tell the truth, or both always lie. Since it is false, it must be the latter. Ergo, they're both liars. From which it's easy to deduce their gender.

 

IOW, it has a solution, meaning that it's not a paradox.

 

If they were saying "Both of us always lie," it would be a different matter.

 

 

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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That's one to PrimeJunta, took me a week to figure that out when I first read it.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Easy inspirational puzzle picture, and it is often used in games for some "deciphering" or to move blocks of stones into a certain pattern:

pictur4.jpg

 

Some tools I use to practice reaction (APM, Micro and precision) with puzzles and similar:

Mission Red (Dispell Magical Trap? Kingdoms of Amalur had some weird thing that I never understood... clicking on "circles" to pop is much easier to grasp and understand the concept of)

Brain Age Part 1 (Scroll down to see more parts and other puzzles)

Brain Training (Loads of puzzles/reaction-games~ really good)

Edited by Osvir
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I enjoy puzzles that rely on your observation. My favourite is probably from Riven, where you see objects that vaguely look like eyes in walls. when you look at them from a certain perspective, they represent an animal. (you can hear their animal call too, and since some of these animals can be found on the islands, you can eventually figure out which call belongs to which animal, the animals whose call you haven;t heard can be found by process of elimination.

When you later come across a room with many stones with animals depicted on them, you can figure out which stones to press.

 

Another example for riven is a dark tunnel, where if close a door you find it's more or less a switch. things behind other things which means you have to rely on observation too.

Now many of Riven's puzzles were based on perspective and clearly the top-down isometric games are going to have to have different challenges. But I don't mind some silent puzzles that don't appear in your journal till you've solved them which rely heavily on observing and joining the dots together.

And those who don't have the intellect to solve the puzzles, well, they might fail to recognise there was a puzzle at all so they won't miss it.

Edit: and should they be determined, they can always use the internet to cheat.

Edited by JFSOCC
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Actually, with that extrinsic assumption, and an additional one that neither is hermaphroditic or genderless...

 

-snip-

 

 

I may be super confused now, but that solution was for the scenario in which it wasn't necessarily absolute truth that one of them did, in fact always lie, while the other always told the truth, correct? In other words, if they BOTH say "One of us always lies, and one of us always tells the truth," then that claim can't actually be true, right? I'm just making sure I'm not going crazy...

 

I think I get that solution, in the event that you don't KNOW the claim to be true, and that you just have their word to go on.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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@Lephys: Nope. It was for the scenario with the premises:

 

(1) Each one either always lies, or always tells the truth

(2) Each one is either a boy or a girl (but not sexless or hermaphroditic)

 

 

 

You've got half the solution. You've deduced that the statement "One of us always lies, and one of us always tells the truth" must be a lie. From that it follows that both of them must be liars. From that it follows that the one who says is a boy, must be a girl, and vice versa. There's no paradox involved.

 

OTOH if both of them said "Both of us always lie," we would have a paradox: if the statement is true, it must be false, which cannot be. So in that case the logical deduction must be that premise (1) is invalid. If this is the case, we can only deduce that (a) neither one always tells the truth, and (b) one or both of them must be a 'normal' who sometimes lies and sometimes tells the truth. But we can't tell which sex each of them is, since both could be 'normals' who might be lying about it, or not, as they please.

 

 

Edited by PrimeJunta

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Ahhh. I see, I see, :). Thanks for that. I assumed that I was meant to assume (upon reading the initial riddle presented by Nonek), and that was my mistake.

 

So, yeah, to get back on topic, I think riddles like that might be a little outside of the scope of what the average player wants to be required to solve, just to progress in the game's story. BUT, I fully support them in optional content, so long as it's not completely standalone and clashing with the rest of the game world... like... "board this optional ship to take this optional voyage straight to majestically optional PUZZLE ISLE! Each puzzle earns you a Pat-On-The-Back +1, 8D!!!"

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I don't really mind, provided it's not yet another version of the towers of hanoi (vel sim.) or a pointless reaction-time test. As others have said, it needs to fit in with the world and the setting.

 

Which reminds me of another point: enough with the temples with pointless sequences of rooms. People do not, in general, build temples full of pointless rooms full of guards and treasures. They usually construct them quite carefully, with purposes in mind for separate spaces. So why do almost all RPG temples tend toward "treasure room A, guard room B, treasure room C" design? We get almost no hint of any sacred purpose to the building. You might as well scrap the word 'temple' and just call them all 'sacred banks'.

Edited by Darth InSidious
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This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.

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I'm a big fan of puzzles, and I actually like really challenging ones.

 

That said, I can totally understand from a game development standpoint that it is a bad idea to make really challenging puzzles a required part of a game because a lot of players don't like puzzles and will get very frustrated if they are forced to do them.

 

Even optional puzzles run the risk of upsetting players because they can't finish some side quest, or get some loot without having to go through an exercise they don't enjoy.

 

That said, I don't think puzzles should be absent from games. I think you can come up with areas that do in fact have challenging puzzles, but you don't necessarily have to do them.

 

For example, you are trying to get into some room, you can solve some puzzle to safely get into the next room, or you can bypass the puzzle and set off an alarm that will send waves of enemies out at you, but once the enemies are defeated, you still get to move forward. I know for myself 9 times out of 10 I'd go with the puzzle, but its nice to have an alternative for those who don't want to.

 

1.) I like puzzles/riddles that encourage me to learn more about the game world.

 

I also very much agree with this. Skyrim has gotten a bit of flack in this thread for some of the simple puzzles, and I do agree that a lot of them were boringly easy, but it did have a few nice gems hidden in there mainly in the form of reading books and journals you could find. I remember a lighthouse dungeon where there was a high level locked door, you could always pick the lock, but if you found a journal in the building, and read it all the way through, you would see that there was a mention of where a key was hidden written in there.

 

In the same dungeon you could find another journal from the lighthouse keeper's wife that was mostly just describing their life there, but it records one conversation where the keeper says that when he dies, he wants his remains placed in the lighthouse's fire. In another area a decent distance from the journal you could find the remains of the keeper, and if you brought them back and placed them in the fire, you'd get a really nice buff on your character. While those puzzles weren't particularly challenging, I did like feeling rewarded for investigating, and I definitely remembered that dungeon more than most.

Edited by Thingdo
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I remember the puzzles (well to say they were puzzles is an utter disgrace for an actual puzzle) in Skyrim. Right in the first dungeon you had to find a certain symbol for a door. Well, I thought, I'm going to search this place. I inspected all of the walls, tried to find similar symbols, tried a few combinations based on my "research" only to find out that the correct answer was on the dragon claw (or something like this). So it wasn't even a riddle. That made me mad.

 

But did it say it was a riddle?

 

Some of the best puzzles are the ones with the simplest answers we overlook initially. While I could certainly see frustration getting stuck on that towards the end of what's essentially the first real dungeon of the game-- I think that in a game like P:E where there may be multiple approaches, not every puzzle is an elaborate riddle that outsmarts you but is hidden in plain sight.

 

If you can still get past it via other means, perhaps involving more work\resources expended, then if it really becomes an object of frustration you can take the pass. Also, someone said something about relegating these to mostly side-quests, and honestly that + advantages in the Main Quest (like they can make certain fights or dungeons easier or tilted in your favor but not totally needed) with maybe one or two really necessary things to do to advance the plot that require a bit of a sit-and-think.

 

Also, relegating it to such means making it a complex, research-required riddle is x10 more feasible: I'm certain the folks at Obsidian are more than capable of doing this sort of thing, they just don't want to punish the average player. Sawyer seems quite concerned about being too hardCore in the latest dev diaries, and I think this'd fall under the same tree.

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I also very much agree with this. Skyrim has gotten a bit of flack in this thread for some of the simple puzzles, and I do agree that a lot of them were boringly easy, but it did have a few nice gems hidden in there mainly in the form of reading books and journals you could find. I remember a lighthouse dungeon where there was a high level locked door, you could always pick the lock, but if you found a journal in the building, and read it all the way through, you would see that there was a mention of where a key was hidden written in there.

 

In the same dungeon you could find another journal from the lighthouse keeper's wife that was mostly just describing their life there, but it records one conversation where the keeper says that when he dies, he wants his remains placed in the lighthouse's fire. In another area a decent distance from the journal you could find the remains of the keeper, and if you brought them back and placed them in the fire, you'd get a really nice buff on your character. While those puzzles weren't particularly challenging, I did like feeling rewarded for investigating, and I definitely remembered that dungeon more than most.

 

I LOVE stuff like that! It's pretty much optional, but the fact that it exists enhances the game world so much. I hate it when there are simply books and journals lying around, just in the event that you happen to love to read text for reading's sake. But then, any necessary book just automatically assumes your character got anything even potentially useful out of it, simply by picking it up, and marks your quest tracker/minimap with stuff (i.e. "Find the hidden key that the book you didn't read told you about! 8D").

 

Not that I think that everything should require reading 20 pages of game-world literature to figure out, but, I think that particular Skyrim example was spot on. Anyone who doesn't ever want to read a single page of a single book can lockpick that door if they want to get to what's inside. But, the people who happen to enjoy reading get to take the time to find the key, and they get an easier time of opening the door (even if they already could have lockpicked it). Completely optional, yet so contributory to the available gameplay experience.

 

The burning of the remains is a little more vague. It still fits, but, you don't really KNOW that burning a guy should really produce any effect at all, whereas you inherently know that a key is made to open a particular lock. You just have to be a bit careful with things like that, because you'll start running into journals that describe how such-and-such always wanted to punch Harry the Town Guard in the face, and you're wondering "Well, if burning that guy where he wanted to be burned produced some beneficial effect, then maybe...! *punch*... *ARRESTED!* ... Awwwwww... -___-"

 

Like I said, it's not wrong, it's just walking a fine line.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Let's start with those I don't enjoy... Riddles for riddles sake, math puzzles (find x numbers whose total is y), player reaction based puzzles (good riddance to QTE's too), Towers of Hanoi and floor jig saw games. Probably a few more, but those stand out in my mind.

 

Those I like are unfortunately few and far between in games, being investigative "detective type" puzzles (work out who did what and why), discovery type puzzles (i.e. need to explore places and people to gather the knowledge to solve a task, sometimes integrated into the quest structure and therefore "transparent"), some "adventure game" type puzzles (you discover a number of things during the game, only to discover later that some of them have secondary uses). Probably a few more, but rarely ever the multiple choice/press the right button sequence ones.

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I'd enjoy any problem from a CS course textbook.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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I like puzzles where what you are supposed to do is clear. I hate puzzles where there are no instructions at all.

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Let's start with those I don't enjoy... Riddles for riddles sake, math puzzles (find x numbers whose total is y), player reaction based puzzles (good riddance to QTE's too), Towers of Hanoi and floor jig saw games. Probably a few more, but those stand out in my mind.

 

Those I like are unfortunately few and far between in games, being investigative "detective type" puzzles (work out who did what and why), discovery type puzzles (i.e. need to explore places and people to gather the knowledge to solve a task, sometimes integrated into the quest structure and therefore "transparent"), some "adventure game" type puzzles (you discover a number of things during the game, only to discover later that some of them have secondary uses). Probably a few more, but rarely ever the multiple choice/press the right button sequence ones.

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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