Making puzzles for an adventure game is difficult and we really underestimated how difficult it is especially for our kind of game.
At the beginning we defined a lot of points we wanted to fullfill with our puzzles
- Every puzzle is meaningful and storydriven.
- There are no dialogs, no inventory and no minigames in the common way. The only possibility to signpost is on a visual or an aurally level.
- The way to work a puzzle out is not too logical but playful. But also not meaningless and unpredictable. The way a puzzle progresses feels fluent and intuitiv
- The puzzles reveal bit by bit the story of our world. And the influence of the player increases with each puzzle step.
Besides we love the idea of integrating old children book mechanics like
- Where is Waldo?
- Pop Up books where some content is hidden
- and all the other hidden objects books …
Plus there are some issues we have to handle due to our current world concept
- There are no different Levels, every puzzle has to work in the same environment.
- To fit our world in a 360 *360 degree view the distance between the player and the game world has to be quite large. If the world is too close, it’ll feel very cramped. In addition, the view of the Occulus Dk 2 is not perfectly clear. That means, our visuals have to be striking and very easy to read.
Games like Samorost have proven that it is possible to tell a engaging story in a extremely playful and unique way. But we are still struggling with the story and the design of the puzzles: Often the ideas just won’t fit in our world, sometimes the puzzles are too complicated, sometimes they are just too boring.
Our alternative fallback plan is to discard the focus on narration and concentrate on a playful interaction with the world throw simple game mechanics. Good examples for that kind of games are the Grow games series or Vectorpark games.