puzzles/minigames in games

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are you in favor of small puzzle/logic minigames ?

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jack1974
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puzzles/minigames in games

Post by jack1974 »

I have another poll to make :) In one of my upcoming games (temporarily called "The Hospital", with sci-fi setting) the writer wanted to add some logic-based puzzles. Stuff like binary/hex code, schemes and so on.
I was wondering what people think of them? if are fun, or if they would skip them completely (we would in any case offer an option to skip them) and so on. So I get a feedback of what people want, obviously if nobody is interested I wouldn't probably want the writer to spend time on that instead of the plot :)
fleetp
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Re: puzzles/minigames in games

Post by fleetp »

Among the charms of the Vera Blanc games (in addition to Vera and Eva) are the mini-games. I say include mini-games and puzzles, but add a 'skip' feature for those people who don't like such things.
Last edited by fleetp on Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Why? I like big ones, that's why.
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Franka
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Re: puzzles/minigames in games

Post by Franka »

The problem with most of these kinds of puzzles is that we have almost always seen them before. The get-across-the-river puzzle in SOTW was cute because it was tailored to the game and had funny dialogue to go with it. If that's the kind of puzzle, I can live with it. If it's just straight up solve-this-random-puzzle-to-proceed, I probably can't be bothered, because been there, done that. Unless they're exceedingly clever puzzles, but I wouldn't really expect that to be the case.
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jack1974
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Re: puzzles/minigames in games

Post by jack1974 »

I'm not the best to judge the puzzles quality honestly. I think they're very clever but might be wrong. Anyway writer lurks the forums so maybe he could post an example of it :)
I was worried also because the only game where I put minigames before was Vera Blanc and we all know how poorly that went :lol: but probably the minigames aren't the reason of it.
Rebly82
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Re: puzzles/minigames in games

Post by Rebly82 »

fleetp wrote:Among the charms of the Vera Blanc games (in addition to Vera and Eva) are the mini-games. I say include min-games and puzzles, but add a 'skip' feature for those people who don't like such things.
I agree with Fleetp! You can put the puzzles/mini-games in, but add a skip feature for those who aren't good with it. I like the idea, and I feel different things can keep a game fresh and interesting. :)
aeroprism
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Re: puzzles/minigames in games

Post by aeroprism »

Hello all. I am the lurking writer jack1974 mentionned.

What I wanted to do was fairly simple: At first, I had more of a "minigame" idea in mind but I quickly moved toward a true puzzle concept that would be satisfying and not repetitive to play. I want the player to feel like he is really interacting with a game that challenges him to think.

Without spoiling anything: the player character in this game interacts with computer systems in a very up-close and personal fashion. I want puzzles that reflect that. The player may need to hack a software lock, break into an archive, take over a system, decrypt a password etc.

I had three types of puzzles I wanted to use and if I want to make things more complex, they can be intertwined with one another. Note that ALL puzzles come with tutorials and/or tools/references so the player is never left alone to deal with something impossible to guess. I provide the tools, it's up to you to use them.

-Simpler puzzles: BIN to HEX (and vice-versa) conversions. Not much to say there. The computer tells you 0110 0101 1100 1111 1010 1110 1011 1000, give the solution in HEX. If all else fails, Google is your friend.

-Reasoning puzzles: Logic gates. Using concepts like OR/AND/NOT etc, the game provides a schematic of logic gates and gives the entry values. The player must use these values to follow through the gates and determine the output. This is by far the hardest to understand without a proper example but I don't want to give too much info just yet. Bonus: Why limit ourselves to already existing logic gates? I can invent more interesting ones for the game and make things a bit different.

-Complex puzzles: Decryption, plain and simple. I provide you with hashed text, a cypher and a set of rules to use them. It can be as easy as "the computer displays <SDFGTH>, replace the letters with their corresponding numeric values" to more complex and interesting encryption algorithms.


This is just me probing the water. Nothing in there is set in stone, I'm just looking for feedback and opinions. I look forward to writing this game for you all.
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ValHallen
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Re: puzzles/minigames in games

Post by ValHallen »

aeroprism wrote: -Simpler puzzles: BIN to HEX (and vice-versa) conversions. Not much to say there. The computer tells you 0110 0101 1100 1111 1010 1110 1011 1000, give the solution in HEX. If all else fails, Google is your friend.
65CFAEB8?
Troyen
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Re: puzzles/minigames in games

Post by Troyen »

I think a lot of it is about setting the right expectations. If you have 20,000 words of story and then suddenly have a giant logic puzzle that can take a long time to figure out before you can continue with the story, people might get upset. If the puzzles are quick or interspersed more frequently, then I think it might go over better.

Some other things to consider:
- Perhaps making solving all of them not necessary, as long as the player solves "enough". Magical Diary is a good example, there are magic tests but you can fail a few and still get the good endings based on your other decisions in the story.
- A similar idea is to have various levels of "success" on the puzzle. Maybe someone can ace it, maybe someone gets most of the solution, maybe someone fails - but instead of stopping the story, have the result affect the narrative.
- Have the difficulty of the game affect the difficulty of the puzzles. Easy would be designed for people that mostly just want to read the story. Hard/Nightmare for people that want a challenge.
- The length of the puzzle also affects the pacing of the story. I'm more likely to find some way to skip an hour-long puzzle in the middle of an action scene just to get back to the story than if it was in a quieter moment or if it was the focus of the scene.
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jack1974
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Re: puzzles/minigames in games

Post by jack1974 »

We were thinking to have an Easy mode that would let player skip completely the puzzles, since might not be everyone's cup of tea :)
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Franka
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Re: puzzles/minigames in games

Post by Franka »

Of the examples provided, the only one I would be interested in solving, would be the reasoning puzzle. But that's just me, a fish in the ocean. BIN to HEX is something I let a calculator solve and decryption is a perfect example of overused puzzles.

I'm more interested in the setting/story right now though. :wink:
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