What Makes a Good Puzzle? | Game Maker's Toolkit

Puzzles can be one of the most complex things in game design. In this video, I break down some great conundrums from favourite games, and share some knowledge from sharp puzzle designers, to find out what makes a good puzzle.

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Further Reading / Viewing

Level Design Workshop: Solving Puzzle Design | GDC

A Good Puzzle Game Is Hard To Build | Rock, Paper, Shotun

Games shown in this episode (in order of appearance)

Snakebird (Noumenon Games, 2015)
Braid (Number None, 2008)
Portal (Valve Corporation, 2007)
Stephen’s Sausage Roll (increpare games, 2016)
Induction (Bryan Gale, 2016)
Yono and the Celestial Elephants (Neckbolt, 2017)
The Talos Principle (Croteam, 2014)
Cosmic Express (Draknek, 2017)
Deus Ex GO (Square Enix Montreal, 2016)
Pipe Push Paradise (Corey Martin, 2018)
Inside (Playdead, 2016)
Lara Croft GO (Square Enix Montreal, 2015)
The Swapper (Facepalm Games, 2013)
Portal 2 (Valve Corporation, 2011)
The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom (The Odd Gentlemen, 2010)
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo, 2011)
Hue (Fiddlesticks Games, 2016)
The Turing Test (Bulkhead Interactive, 2016)
Black the Fall (Sand Sailor Studio, 2017)
Rise of the Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics, 2015)
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog, 2016)
Ittle Dew 2 (Ludosity AB, 2016)
Agatha Christie – The ABC Murders (Artefacts Studio, 2016)

Music used in this episode

Snakebird OST
k. Part 2 – 01 untitled 1, animeistrash

Nguồn: https://kulekov.com/

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23 thoughts on “What Makes a Good Puzzle? | Game Maker's Toolkit

  1. 14:50 I bought Talos principle during the virus. I think those puzzles were given to me in isolation

    I'll see myself out

  2. Pull the rug (that portal 2 puzzle) is one of my favorite puzzles ever. It is just so simple, and the solution is perfect. It is interesting to note that this is one of the rare levels in portal 2 where the solution in a speedrun is exactly the same as in a blind playthrough, because the central principle isn’t complex in a deep way, but in a sideways way. There is no extra complexity to confuse the player or to be exploited for alternative solutions.

  3. Dude, I agree with your idea of the catch as the crux of a good puzzle 100%. You'll also find it in a good mystery novel or show– How could the Countess's time of death be nine o'clock when she was seen on stage by one thousand operagoers at that same time? Something we are looking for in media is a contradiction that can be easily solved through some "elementary, my dear watson." It appeals to our desire for the world to be governed by limited, simple, understandable cause-and-effect rules, rather than the bizarre nonsense we are constantly confronted with in our daily lives.

  4. Amazing theories on puzzle construction! I came here because I got frustrated at a puzzle game called Filament. Although the game is very atmospheric and wonderfully put together, the puzzles inside of it are very difficult, not because they require you to think outside the box, but because they become overly complex, don't give you any starting point or sub-goals to try to complete in each puzzle, and effectively make nearly every puzzle a "guess and check" game where you try possibilities until you get the right one. The atmosphere and puzzle style is similar to The Witness, yet it misses that genuine puzzling feel in that game and which you lay out in this video! I can write a good review on the game now.

  5. Speaking of puzzle games, Filament contains all of this stuff—it’s very difficult by giving the player lots of assumptions but the “aha!” moment comes in soon enough.

    Its levels use elements in previous ones. New mechanics are taught but still become difficult over time (I managed to get stuck in a few light color puzzles)

  6. The footage of the fire sactuary from skyward sword when you mentioned the conundrum of not even knowing you could do something…. yeah that was me, to a t

  7. I realised just how out of my depth I was with puzzle design when I first tried to make a puzzle level in mario maker

  8. Great stuff man. Probebly my favorite video. And you have so much videos I like. Keep on the amazing stuff coming

  9. how you gonna talk about fantastic puzzle design and not mention memorrha, Riven, and The Witness. The amount of OMG Revelations moments, are through the roof in those games.

  10. 2:52 if you want to understand more clearly what he means, play Portal Stories: Mel. I think the door example is too simple, so "your brain wont try to explain it to you" more clearly. When you get to the non-overgrown chambers, you will understand what Mark meant.

  11. These look cool. but a blood vessel popped in my my brain when I was playing helltakers so I don't think I should play puzzle games anymore

  12. Puzzles are a difficult topic. With such a broad audience, puzzles have to be easy, so everyone can complete them.
    Often I was annoyed by Puzzles in Skyrim, because they were not challenging and not intuitive and I just wanted to progress the game. I wanted to play an open world game, not bad puzzles.
    Just turning some stone sculptures to Match the symbol on the wall is very basic.

    Also I did not know the solution for draugr vault doors, when I started playing.
    So in that puzzle, I had to brute force all combinations, which was not particularly fun.
    Where in hintsight I know to open the inventory and rotate the claw item to see the right combination.

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