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Adventure game puzzles. Which types you like most & least? Feedback appreciated for game dev

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Karlok - 26 July 2020 12:45 PM
GateKeeper - 25 July 2020 08:51 AM

For instance, in Pilot Brothers 3: Back Side of the Earth you need to arrange train cars to form proper train configurations, using three railtracks and a switch track.

If you think about that puzzle, it’s nothing more than a slider puzzle in disguise, but that disguise is kind of creative, I think.

Nope.

Lady Kestrel - 25 July 2020 03:52 PM

Although I haven’t played it, the Pilot Brothers train puzzle seems more like a Tower of Hanoi stacking puzzle.  They’re as ubiquitous as the paper under the door puzzles.

Yes, it’s a Tower of Hanoi puzzle in a kind of creative disguise. A very easy one too.

From Wikipedia:

The objective of the puzzle is to move the entire stack to another rod, obeying the following simple rules:

1. Only one disk can be moved at a time.
2. Each move consists of taking the upper disk from one of the stacks and placing it on top of another stack or on an empty rod.
3. No larger disk may be placed on top of a smaller disk.

It clearly isn’t a Tower of Hanoi puzzle, because only the first rule is applicable to that puzzle. Now someone could argue that it’s a modified version of Tower of Hanoi, which I think is a fair point, but at the same time it is a modified slider puzzle as well.

You move only one piece (train car) at a time. There is an empty space (switch track) that can be used to arrange the cars in any order.

And because of that empty space it differs from the said rules, and also, there are only two rules regarding the order: locomotives must be in front of other cars, and all cars must match, in other words, passenger cars for passenger train, and cargo cars for cargo train and so on. The cars behind the locomotive can be in any order, as they are identical, and that really makes it quite easy to solve.

     
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GateKeeper - 26 July 2020 05:11 AM

Sidekick High is an excellent example of a well-made timer game. You are given the task of escaping, and you have 60 minutes to do so. You know that if the time runs out, you will die. The timer is visible on the screen all the time, and there are no nasty twists to it, it’s very straightforward and fair.

Speaking of timed puzzles, Traitor’s Gate is a whole adventure game based on a timed puzzle. The puzzle being escape from the Tower of London, and you have 24 real-time hours to do it.

     

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@Gatekeeper: Nope, you can quote Wikipedia all you like. (Two rules, not just the first one.) It’s not a slider puzzle. It’s a simplified, very easy Tower of Hanoi.

     

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Karlok - 26 July 2020 01:09 PM

@Gatekeeper: Nope, you can quote Wikipedia all you like. (Two rules, not just the first one.)

Well, that’s very debatable.
If instead of 3 rods you have 3+1 rods (tracks), and that switch track can even have two pieces (cars) at the same time, I think the puzzle is quite different and I don’t think the second rule applies.

To me, it’s more similar to puzzles where you need to make some pattern in right order by moving pieces around. Of course you can’t move pieces sideways, which makes total sense in the train context.

     
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@Gatekeeper: I’ve noticed before that you go to great lengths to avoid admitting you’re wrong.

     

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rtrooney - 26 July 2020 01:03 PM

Speaking of timed puzzles, Traitor’s Gate is a whole adventure game based on a timed puzzle. The puzzle being escape from the Tower of London, and you have 24 real-time hours to do it.

I never managed to finish Traitors’ Gate. Hard, easy to go wrong. But I liked it.

Another timed game is Orion Burger, which I left unfinished many years ago because I found its time loop of 20 minutes too frustrating. One of my favorite twitch streamers only plays adventure games (and he’s very good at it). I often watch him play games I would never buy or games I gave up on. But while I was watching him streaming Orion Burger I suddenly got the urge to play it myself. Glad I did, it’s still a very enjoyable game, time loop and all.

     

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Karlok - 26 July 2020 01:26 PM

@Gatekeeper: I’ve noticed before that you go to great lengths to avoid admitting you’re wrong.

I have backed my argument by linking a screenshot and referring an independent source, and using that as basis of my own opinion. What you are saying, on the other hand, is more or less “GateKeeper is wrong, because I think GateKeeper is wrong”. Fine, you are entitled to your opinion, but if that’s the best argument you can come up with, I really can’t feel proven wrong here.

The way arguments work, if the opposing side can’t challenge the message, but start attacking the messenger, which you just did albeit in a very mild manner, it’s the most obvious indication that the statement by the other side (in this case, me) is correct because it cannot be challenged.

But whatever dude, let’s agree to disagree, continuing this doesn’t seem to serve any purpose. Those who seriously want to analyse the nature of said puzzles have probably enough information to go with already.

     
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rtrooney - 26 July 2020 01:03 PM
GateKeeper - 26 July 2020 05:11 AM

Sidekick High is an excellent example of a well-made timer game. You are given the task of escaping, and you have 60 minutes to do so. You know that if the time runs out, you will die. The timer is visible on the screen all the time, and there are no nasty twists to it, it’s very straightforward and fair.

Speaking of timed puzzles, Traitor’s Gate is a whole adventure game based on a timed puzzle. The puzzle being escape from the Tower of London, and you have 24 real-time hours to do it.

Is there any source that tries to list all, or even some timer-based adventures? I don’t think there is, but it would be interesting to read.

     

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When people say slider or slider puzzle they’re usually thinking of sliding tile puzzles.
Sliding tile puzzles can have different size or shape pieces, similar to this one that Gatekeeper posted a picture of

or they can be a standard 4x4 like the well known “15 puzzle” that many of us received as kids. See picture at the wiki
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_puzzle
Then there are 3x3’s, 5x5’s, 2x5’s, etc. different sizes, all on a grid and with individual pieces the same size.

They’re not entirely different from Tower of Hanoi in that some pieces will be blocked, but not in the same way.

Now looking at the puzzle Gatekeeper posted

There’s a similar puzzle in the game “PuppetShow: Destiny Undone.”

Not exactly the same, but the same idea.

In a way they’re kind of like a horizontal Tower of Hanoi—maybe call them Traintracks of Hanoi.
But one feature of Tower of Hanoi is that you can only stack pieces on smaller pieces, and every piece is a different size. 
With Traintracks of Hanoi there is an engine and then there are the rest of the train cars. Maybe the cabooses is also different. The object is to sort the trains by color/style and put the engine in front and the caboose if present in the back.

I’m going to say Traintracks of Hanoi is not Tower of Hanoi and is not a sliding tile puzzle either. They may be related puzzles but they aren’t the same.

Worse than either of them is what I’ll call Potholes of Hanoi. There was a horrible one of these at the end of Reah: Face the Unknown. Instead of a stack of different sized discs on the left-hand spindle that you have to move the the right-hand spindle, there are 3 holes in the ground and you can only see as deep as the piece on top. You have no idea how many pieces you have to move. You think you got to the bottom of the hole because that last piece is so small—and then there’s another one below that, and you thought you were moving the pieces to the hole on the right and it turns out you were moving them to the middle hole, which is no good and means you have to do it all over again. There’s no way of knowing how many pieces deep it is because you can only see the pieces on top of the holes.

There is another Hanoi-type puzzle I’ve seen in a lot of Casual adventure games, where you have 4 totem poles, each with 4 pieces and each a different color. The pieces are all scrambled up. Not only can’t they be stacked more than 5 pieces high, but you can’t put anything on any of the top pieces. You are usually offered one or two empty spots, where you can put pieces, though you may not be able to stack other pieces on top of them.

     
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Speaking of timed puzzles, Traitor’s Gate is a whole adventure game based on a timed puzzle. The puzzle being escape from the Tower of London, and you have 24 real-time hours to do it.

I finished Traitors’ Gate (apostrophe missing on jewel case & CDs Pan ). I did use a walkthrough to get past that rabafratzin gas puzzle and in another spot that I kept doing wrong and dying, but it was fun to play a game in a place I’ve visited in real life.

     

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@Gatekeeper: I’ll explain what I meant by “you’ll go to great lengths to avoid admitting you’re wrong”.

Rule #2: Each move consists of taking the upper disk from one of the stacks and placing it on top of another stack or on an empty rod. Replace the words disk, stack, and rod by the corresponding elements in your puzzle and the rule literally applies.

Here’s what you do.

You use the 3 wikipedia rules to determine if that particular puzzle is a tower of hanoi.
You decide that rule #1 applies.
You decide that rule #2 does not apply because “instead of 3 rods you have 3+1 rods (tracks), and that switch track can even have two pieces (cars) at the same time”.
There is nothing in #2 about 3+1 rods etc, yet you dismiss rule #2.
There is nothing in #1 about 3+1 rods etc, yet you accept rule #1.
Either you accept the rules if they apply or you don’t use them to determine whether that puzzle is a tower of hanoi.

I won’t reply to anything else you have to say about this.

     

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Karlok - 26 July 2020 05:43 PM

You use the 3 wikipedia rules to determine if that particular puzzle is a tower of hanoi.
You decide that rule #1 applies.
You decide that rule #2 does not apply because “instead of 3 rods you have 3+1 rods (tracks), and that switch track can even have two pieces (cars) at the same time”.
There is nothing in #2 about 3+1 rods etc, yet you dismiss rule #2.
There is nothing in #1 about 3+1 rods etc, yet you accept rule #1.
Either you accept the rules if they apply or you don’t use them to determine whether that puzzle is a tower of hanoi.

OK, that was a good argument!  Thumbs Up

But the Hanoi thing has three rods. Even if those rules don’t exactly state that, it’s the principle of the game. The game wouldn’t work with only two rods, and anything over three would radically change the nature of the game. Admittedly, however, there are some variations with more than three rods, but in those cases the extra ones would behave like the three other ones, which is not the case here.

Wikipedia: “The Tower of Hanoi (also called the Tower of Brahma or Lucas’ Tower[1] and sometimes pluralized as Towers) is a mathematical game or puzzle. It consists of three rods and a number of disks of different sizes, which can slide onto any rod.”

Britannica: “Tower of Hanoi, also called Towers of Hanoi or Towers of Brahma, puzzle involving three vertical pegs and a set of different sized disks with holes through their centres.”

Oxford Reference: “A logical puzzle, frequently studied in cognitive psychology and used as a test of problem-solving ability, consisting of three pegs, on one of which are placed a number of discs of varying diameter, the largest at the bottom and the smallest at the top (see illustration).”

I think those serve as an example of what encyclopedia tells us about the game.

If we also accept the rule “Each move consists of taking the upper disk from one of the stacks and placing it on top of another stack or on an empty rod”, then by default the moves are limited to those three rods.

So a piece coming from rod A, can go to either rod B or rod C, with no other alternatives.

Now, in the case of that train puzzle, every piece coming from A will absolutely without any alternative go to “rod D” (the switch track), and from there it can go to B or C, but it can also remain in D, as there is space for two pieces.

So while the rule doesn’t exactly state anything about the number of rods, the puzzle mechanism contradicts that rule by simply existing. 3+1 isn’t the issue really, it could be 4+2, and it still wouldn’t work.

     
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Thanks for the feedback. I am having a creative block at the moment & wanted to see if anyone has good ideas. I will credit anyone here that contributes to the final puzzle sequence, (either screen name or IRL name, whichever you prefer in the video to show off the gameplay I am making next, as well as the final game).

Details:
The game started with our protagonist locked in a bedroom (yes, like classic crimson room flash game).

I wanted a 3 part puzzle sequences before she can make it out of the room. I have the third part mostly done, which involves discovering via deduction board (see image)that the key to the room is hidden behind the mirror in the toilet.

But I need some cool puzzle ideas before the 3rd puzzle (that open room’s door). You can assume the toilet door is locked as well (maybe required a key or something creative to get in).

I have a basic idea of a safebox locked by a combination lock, & clue to the number combination is on a postcard, but there isn’t enough beef. I had an idea of unlocking a locker, & finding a screwdriver which can be used to open a vent that connects the room & toilet, but it seems illogical to have a vent between a bedroom & toilet.
Anyway, I have done the UI for a combination lock. See below.
https://twitter.com/LindenerGames/status/1286714688240328710?s=20

Does anyone have any good ideas of puzzles? I know its pretty open, but I think it will be fun.
  Wink

     
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crabapple - 26 July 2020 04:49 PM

or they can be a standard 4x4 like the well known “15 puzzle” that many of us received as kids. See picture at the wiki
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_puzzle
Then there are 3x3’s, 5x5’s, 2x5’s, etc. different sizes, all on a grid and with individual pieces the same size.

I used to play these when I was a kid, but instead of numbers, we have pictures of superheroes like Wonderwoman & batman.

     
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starseeker - 27 July 2020 07:33 AM

Thanks for the feedback. I am having a creative block at the moment & wanted to see if anyone has good ideas.

This is the wrong way to go starseeker - either have a break from the game to have a think about what you can do or try to engage the services of someone to collaborate with you.  Smile

     

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