Friday, November 18, 2016

Day 16: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 16 - Lens 58: The Lens if The Puzzle
Puzzles make the player stop and think. To ensure your puzzles are doing everything you want to shape the player experience, ask yourself these questions:

What are the puzzles in my game?
There is the physical puzzle of piece placement, it was made less important when I removed the hex grid. It still comes into play a bit in the late game. The game is abstract enough and the point conditions are clear enough that strategy is mostly a puzzle in the absence of other players.

Should I have more puzzles, or less? Why?
I go back and forth on that. I kind of liked the tetris like quality of the piece placement, but I think the game is smoother and probably better without it. Mostly I think it slowed things down and got in the way of the players doing what they wanted to.

Which one of the ten puzzle principles apply to each of my puzzles?
The puzzle like aspects of the game are pretty light, but in the way that the strategy of the game is a puzzle you have the built in hint system of watching the other players trying to solve the same problems you are.

Do I have incongruous puzzles? How can I better integrate them into the game?
The piect placement puzzle is the most incongruous puzzle in the game, though the most explicit. Again, the rest of the puzzle like elements can just as accurately be described as strategy. Which I guess begs the question of whether abstract strategy games are PvP puzzles...