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Puzzles, what are they good for?
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rtjhbfvsrry Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Puzzles, what are they good for?

Although Amnesia is scary enough to get many people to give up and not finish it. So yeah, managing to complete it is an achievment, but more of character than skill.
02-22-2013 12:00 AM
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Bridge Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Puzzles, what are they good for?

(02-21-2013 10:40 PM)DogFood Wrote:  @the dark side, thomas already explained why they don't make their games hard. Main focus of their games is immersion and experiencing the story. If a player keeps dying on 1 same location and is forced to repeat the same sequence all over again 15 times it 1. breaks immersion 2. annoys the player


FG games are not something that you say "I managed to complete it", its more of a "i managed to experience it"

It's not just about mechanical difficulty but also emotional difficulty. For example:

Spoiler below!
Pulling a lever that's on a timer and getting to the door it controls before it closes (from the Cellar Archives). How difficult is this puzzle? Not very. It's very likely you'll screw up on first attempt but once you understand how long it takes for the door to close simply getting there is easy. In fact, you can probably just run through the water and get there safely. Same for distracting the brute in the sewers. It's almost laughably easy.

And yet these two sections are some of the most horrifying in the entire game. If what Thomas means by streamlining puzzles is something along these lines, then I support it wholeheartedly.

Still, I think he is underestimating puzzles as a pacing device far too much. If the puzzles are fair, they not only create a sense of anticipation but they also allow the player to be spoonfed exposition in a seamless and non-transparent manner. The fact that some puzzles take a long time to finish makes the payoff all the more satisfying, but only if they are perfectly balanced. Puzzles that are too easy break immersion even more than difficult puzzles in my opinion, because if you encountered an actual "puzzle" in real life, that served the purpose of obscuring or protecting something, chances are it would be not only difficult, but impossible to anybody other than the designer to solve.
02-22-2013 12:13 AM
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Minecrawler Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Puzzles, what are they good for?

(02-21-2013 08:45 PM)the dark side Wrote:  probably,. im worried its going to be a very easy game... im not so happy about that, i dont like easy games, i like to Work for my ending cutscene! if i wanted to just experience a "story"... id watch Robocop.. if you know what i mean Smile

Exactly.
A shame Frictional Games wanted to remove all puzzles related stuff and make just a goal for dramatic story.

The name "Frictional" originally means that you have to work on mechanical and physical puzzles. And I like that in Penumbra and Amnesia and that's a main feature for immersion and experience!
I do not want to have a "special experiment" game like Dear Esther, where you absolutely can't do anything.

I think, puzzles are the most important feature in a game what stands for involving and immersing the player. Without puzzles, there's no experience!

Puzzles also should be so thoughtful and complex as possible.
Most puzzles in Amnesia were too easy. I prefer Penumbra's or Silent Hill's puzzles. In Amnesia you only have to pick up an item and then set it into a fitted place. Pick up and set in, pick up and set in...
This are puzzles for low brains.

Why I think Penumbra is the best experience, because there are puzzles more complex and tricky. You have to use physics and logics to build your own way out. For example the water cave shaft, where you have to use boxes and mount the ladder to climb into the spider tunnel etc. or the refinery stuff. Penumbra is full of very good puzzles and I like it when it's so hard that I don't know what do do next. If I make my thoughts about the locations and how to get forward, then it is immersion and experience!

Without puzzles or easy puzzles, the game will be easy and there is no experience at all. I do not want just picking up story notes what's the only feature in the game. There is no thinking!!!

And DogFood, you should play Call of Duty when you prefer easy games for mainstream. As you said, Frictional is making games for the experience, so why removing the puzzles then? To make a hard game because of the puzzles means not that the player is dying. So, hard puzzles will not pull out the player. In contrary, it will involve and immerse the player even more. Because you have to think what to do next and how.
(This post was last modified: 02-23-2013 04:32 PM by Minecrawler.)
02-23-2013 03:14 PM
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CorinthianMerchant Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Puzzles, what are they good for?

So Googolplex, how does it feel to be back as a new supercool alt?

Still hasn't gotten over the loss of wubwub...
02-23-2013 09:35 PM
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Kman Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Puzzles, what are they good for?

You know I feel like dark side and Googol were actually just one really awesome game dev that just had his brain cut in half making all of his ideas lopsided and stupid, and what we're seeing is the mindless babbling of those two halves. Because the problem with them is they're both WAAAY too far on either side of the story vs gameplay argument in video games. Dark side refuses to say that any game that's not purely gameplay focused and has the exact mechanics he wants can be good, and Googol refuses to say any game that isn't purely focused on immersion and story telling can be good. And they're both elitist assholes about both their stances and refuse to admit that anyone but themselves could possibly be right.

Maybe if we just fused you two together we'd get a huge elitist asshole that at least had some decent ideas on game design. I guess the world will never know...

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(This post was last modified: 02-23-2013 11:00 PM by Kman.)
02-23-2013 10:58 PM
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Minecrawler Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Puzzles, what are they good for?

You guys are shameful. There's nothing more to say.
02-23-2013 11:15 PM
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Zgroktar Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Puzzles, what are they good for?

Excellent blog entry, I could agree with most of the points mentioned. To me personally the puzzle game mechanic is an outdated concept that is really starting to feel primitive, it just doesn't find its place well in the new revolutionary games such as Amnesia or Dear Esther. It breaks the flow because it often feels forced in to the games as there is not yet satisfactory alternative to it. It is much to predictable, and many times can it could be easily distinguishable from the game, and not feel like a organic part of it.

Because of the reasons mentioned above, I am not particularly satisfied with Amnesia's or Penumbra's puzzles, and playing those game I rarely took greater notice or interest in them. I agree there should be a challenge in a game of course, but I do believe we could all be more creative and represent the challenge in other ways than classical puzzle. I will elaborate on that later Smile.
02-25-2013 05:15 PM
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Rapture Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Puzzles, what are they good for?

(02-25-2013 05:15 PM)Zgroktar Wrote:  Excellent blog entry, I could agree with most of the points mentioned. To me personally the puzzle game mechanic is an outdated concept that is really starting to feel primitive, it just doesn't find its place well in the new revolutionary games such as Amnesia or Dear Esther. It breaks the flow because it often feels forced in to the games as there is not yet satisfactory alternative to it. It is much to predictable, and many times can it could be easily distinguishable from the game, and not feel like a organic part of it.

Because of the reasons mentioned above, I am not particularly satisfied with Amnesia's or Penumbra's puzzles, and playing those game I rarely took greater notice or interest in them. I agree there should be a challenge in a game of course, but I do believe we could all be more creative and represent the challenge in other ways than classical puzzle. I will elaborate on that later Smile.
I hope so, because "puzzle game mechanic is an outdated concept" and "revolutionary games such as Amnesia or Dear Esther" confuse me.

On the 2nd part, their is nothing revolutionary about either. They are just done properly to suit different the people's personalities and likes/dislikes.
02-26-2013 02:57 AM
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Zgroktar Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Puzzles, what are they good for?

(02-26-2013 02:57 AM)Rapture Wrote:  
(02-25-2013 05:15 PM)Zgroktar Wrote:  Excellent blog entry, I could agree with most of the points mentioned. To me personally the puzzle game mechanic is an outdated concept that is really starting to feel primitive, it just doesn't find its place well in the new revolutionary games such as Amnesia or Dear Esther. It breaks the flow because it often feels forced in to the games as there is not yet satisfactory alternative to it. It is much to predictable, and many times can it could be easily distinguishable from the game, and not feel like a organic part of it.

Because of the reasons mentioned above, I am not particularly satisfied with Amnesia's or Penumbra's puzzles, and playing those game I rarely took greater notice or interest in them. I agree there should be a challenge in a game of course, but I do believe we could all be more creative and represent the challenge in other ways than classical puzzle. I will elaborate on that later Smile.
I hope so, because "puzzle game mechanic is an outdated concept" and "revolutionary games such as Amnesia or Dear Esther" confuse me.

On the 2nd part, their is nothing revolutionary about either. They are just done properly to suit different the people's personalities and likes/dislikes.

I will be short. My statements represents the idea that video games are becoming more than video games, and they are just starting to shine the brightest. Esther and Amnesia, although not perfect games, are treading this new path, they are revolutionary in the approach, setting and essence, and they provide an experience much deeper than other video-games so far, to me they represent a promise for something far greater than before.

And considering puzzles, they are too many times just superficial and artificial, they lack the tact to be felt like an organic part of the experience, they were not a problem in the past, but their concept requires a radical alteration for the future. I believe that this will be done
in the new games from both thechineseroom and Frictional Games
02-26-2013 10:02 AM
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Kman Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Puzzles, what are they good for?

Zgroktar just hit the nail right on the head. Pretty much my exact thoughts on the matter.

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02-26-2013 10:48 AM
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