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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Indie RPG » Tactica: Maiden of Faith » Puzzles in RPGs

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May 7th, 2010, 12:00
I am woundering what people thinks about puzzles in RPGs, I for one enjoy a good dungeon puzzle.

One that I have is that you can push statues around and find some treasure chests, and also setup the stage for a battle, you'll know the enemy will get there after a certain amount of time, so you can kind of setup a labyrinth for them and put some traps in it.

Do you people think puzzles should be left out of the RPGs? or do you like puzzles in them? how hard should they be? What kind of puzzles do you like?
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May 7th, 2010, 12:09
I really enjoy them, as long as they have a logical solution.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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May 7th, 2010, 12:28
Imho depends on the *kind* of puzzle.

There are two in Drakensang 2, wich are frutrating mny players (me included). Especially a … what's the word ? "pushing puzzle". There is a kind of box with blocks/stones in it, and one is missing. Everything's scrambled, so the motiv, the picture must be put right by pushing the blocks to the right place. But you have only one "hole", so everything needs to be "pushed around". The missing piece is within the inventory.

That's the kind of puzzle that frustrated many players.

Aother one seemingly frustrated less, although it is difficult, too.

All in all, gamers seemingly don't want to solve puzzles nowadays anymore. expect to receive rants, flames, and outcries of frustration if you implement some.
You've got to withstand all of this.

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May 7th, 2010, 14:15
With the internet these days, there's no reason to get stuck on a puzzle. That makes life a little easier for you, since you don't have to design to make it do-able by every drooling idiot. That said, the ones that are the most frustrating are the random ones. Do something in a certain order. If there's clues or some logic to that certain order, that's one thing, but anything where the only option is trial-n-error gets a black spot.

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May 7th, 2010, 15:00
I love puzzles, but the 'thinking' ones. I hate jumping puzzles, or anything that has me doing precise things at exact times… it's my character who has 18 Dexterity, not me.

The only thing I don't like about them is that 99% of the time they are there for the player amusement only. Otherwise it makes no sense in the game world. Why would someone put it there a hundred or a thousand years ago? Almost no games give any explanation of why someone would go through lengths to do that when a simple door and key would serve the same purpose. Even a single passing conversation from the old man in the group would suffice, like 'Oh, this is the famous Puzzle of Aggamanon, he made it so, whoever solved it, would gain the hand of his daughter. She died unmarried'.
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May 7th, 2010, 15:16
That's the kind of puzzle that frustrated many players.
That kind of puzzle is kind a pointless I guess since it doesn't really have anything to do with the game… and also it is a well known puzzle which you can play elsewhere…

Oh, this is the famous Puzzle of Aggamanon, he made it so, whoever solved it, would gain the hand of his daughter. She died unmarried'.
Haha, excellent wolfing, I might take that line straight off

Don't worry about jumping puzzle or such as the game is turn-based.
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May 8th, 2010, 05:58
Death Snares FTW! Timed puzzles with instant death for penalty for failure. Bard's Tale 2.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of The Summoning was the puzzles as well, at least until the Teleporter Maze (I still have not gotten past that part!). There was another one that wasn't hard, but annoying due to the long walk from part to part, and the fact that if you lacked enough boulders/ballast in your inventory then you could be making trips to other parts of the labyrinth to find some.

As long as the puzzle doesn't involve spending 30 mins walking around from part to part, and has some logic behind it instead of arbitrary use of game mechanics to make it work, and you don't go in so blind that you don't even know what kind of puzzle it is, it should be fine.

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May 8th, 2010, 07:48
Puzzles for amuzement purpose? fine and dandy.
Puzzle that stops forward progress and makes the player go look up a solution is bad.
(thinking of the bridge puzzle drom DAO,maker blessed I loathed that puzzle,and cursed the designer for it)
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May 8th, 2010, 08:36
The Moredhel word locks from Betrayal at Krondor were a genius puzzle element to that game, IMO, and I can't believe nobody else has copied that part of the game. Anyhoo, I don't mind puzzles and things like that, but I really don't want to see puzzles like they have in HOG's that are totally unrelated to the overall story, for example. I like inventory based puzzles, though.
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May 8th, 2010, 08:44
Oh and I forgot Arcomage from Might & Magic (rpgs) was pretty good.
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May 8th, 2010, 08:49
Arcomage was a fun mini-game, rather than a puzzle!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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May 8th, 2010, 09:13
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Arcomage was a fun mini-game, rather than a puzzle!!
You're right, but I figured 'minigame' would be included in the conversation. It seemed to me the spirit of the original question was whether or not you like to have other things going on in your rpg's or if you just want character leveling, stats, etc.
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May 8th, 2010, 10:17
There could definetely be a mini-game for example in the tavren to earn money.
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May 8th, 2010, 13:17
Indy Jones had to solve a timed puzzle when he entered the temple in which the Holy Grail was.
Remember those big blades ?

And, of course, one when "securing" the Idol Of Fertility.

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May 8th, 2010, 13:36
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Indy Jones had to solve a timed puzzle when he entered the temple in which the Holy Grail was.
Remember those big blades ?

And, of course, one when "securing" the Idol Of Fertility.
I absolutely hate timed puzzles; they make me break out into a cold sweat at the mere thought, lol. Mostly because I'm not very good at them
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May 8th, 2010, 14:35
Originally Posted by damiarch View Post
Puzzles for amuzement purpose? fine and dandy.
Puzzle that stops forward progress and makes the player go look up a solution is bad.
(thinking of the bridge puzzle drom DAO,maker blessed I loathed that puzzle,and cursed the designer for it)
really?

All you had to do was find a correct patern which happened to be quite logical. If the puzzles in dragon age are considered unfair, it is no wonder that a puzzle is such a rarity in modern games.
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May 8th, 2010, 14:59
I think puzzles being a rarity in "modern games" also has something to do with the "ActionRPG"-Sub-Genre influencing everything.

If games, where slaughtering through a dexterity-check o your mouse-fingers become almost the norm, then the degradation of primary brain functions might be the logical consequence, rather cynically said.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 9th, 2010, 00:31
Though a quite accurate assessment!!

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May 10th, 2010, 22:52
Originally Posted by damiarch View Post
Puzzles for amuzement purpose? fine and dandy.
Puzzle that stops forward progress and makes the player go look up a solution is bad.
(thinking of the bridge puzzle drom DAO,maker blessed I loathed that puzzle,and cursed the designer for it)
I disagree. Puzzles can be part of the game just like any other thing. Just consider it like a different type of 'boss fight', instead of fighting a boss, you fight a puzzle. Just like with boss fights, you may need to try several times, and like some boss fights, you might actually prefer to google for hints on how to 'beat it' instead of coming with a solution on your own. Not all obstacles need to be in the way of a battle in cRPGs.
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May 12th, 2010, 12:41
Imho a puzzle could be learning to ride a horse - which is needed in later gameplay. For example.
And of course this wouldn't be a traditional kind of puzzle.

The kind of puzzle I think everyone knows is a treasure map torn into several pieces.

It could be a kind of receivpe, too. Torn into several pieces. Such a thing can be found in Drakensang 2 : It must be "pieced together", and the own hero cannot make much out of it, because it is so much ancient and requires highly specialized knowledge, so only a mage might be interested in in. In my case, I just sold it to one, then.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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