Puzzles for a cave dungeon

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by KChasm, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. KChasm

    KChasm Villager

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    I've been trying to plan out the layout of a dungeon that's a more-or-less natural cave system underground in-game, but I'm having trouble coming up with good "puzzles" for the area—you know, "button in Room A removes obstacle in Room B," "feed these three items into the whachamacallit to open the door," "shuffle around these tiles and when you get them right the way clears up"—those kinds of things.

    The problem is that while those things don't feel too out of place in a temple, or some crazy guy's mansion, there's no reason for those kinds of things to be in a natural cave system.

    Does anyone have any ideas that could work better? Or do you think I ought to just throw my hands up and go with buttons and tiles and sticking crystals in crystal-shaped indentations in walls and the such anyway and pretend that doesn't not make sense?

    Some ideas I have been able to come up with:
    • Sokoban with boulders
    • Push a boulder down an incline or through a hole in Room A—they'll demolish an obstacle in Room B
    • As a last resort: magical sigils that have been applied to walls and such, the erasing of which will deactivate gas/locks/etc. Different from a button in that an evil wizard can just slap a sigil on any old surface whenever.
    ...Anyway, thanks for listening to me yak. Even if nobody comes up with anything, just writing this all out has made me feel awful better.
     
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  2. bhindi1224

    bhindi1224 NOT Indian Okra

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    It seems that any puzzle, other than moving materials to clear an obstacle or stacking materials to get to a door, would be man (spirit/deity/etc.) made anyway. I don't think you'd lose the immersion just because the puzzle might seem out of place. Maybe a wall of electronics might, but sigils and such seem fine. It totally makes sense to me that someone would excavate an area, or find a naturally occurring opening, and store things there that were blocked from outside looting.
     
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  3. mauvebutterfly

    mauvebutterfly Veteran

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    A few more suggestions:

    1. A series of unstable floors (or old bridges over chasms) that collapse when the player walks over them. The player needs to find a path through to the treasure without getting trapped, or needs to find a path that takes them through every island.

    2. A digging game where the player is trying to clear a level or get access to an item. Possibly using match-3 mechanics or boulderdash mechanics.

    3. A maze. In particular, something involving pushing boulders into pits to transfer them between levels where they are needed in specific spots below.

    4. Something involving animals or wildlife. Use specific items or techniques to lure animals to specific locations (stealth mechanics) or require certain interactions between animals and have to manipulate them into position.

    5. Torch lighting, or some other interaction between light or fire and darkness.

    6. A platforming segment, assuming your game allows for that kind of thing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    #3
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  4. Canini

    Canini Veteran

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    Assuming your cave has monsters, perhaps some sort of puzzle involving their attacks? If your game has monsters attacking on the map, perhaps you could have some sort of dragon-like creature that spits fire and the player has to lure them close to blocking vegetation and vines.
     
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  5. KChasm

    KChasm Villager

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    Thanks for the suggestions. It's helped me put some ideas together, and I think I can build up enough puzzles to get to the next part of what I want to make. Again, thank you very much!
     
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  6. Lnik3500

    Lnik3500 Master Troll

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    in my game, I used holes to make my puzzles, To get around in my dungeon, you need to fall down holes and land at good place to advance in the dungeon and work around cliffs and other thing like that
     
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  7. cekobico

    cekobico Veteran

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    On-the-go crafting-your-way-out kind of puzzle.

    A quick scenario in my head goes this way:
    > Player enters a dark cave, given only a fog-of-war style of vision. Objective is to look around for a way to make fire.
    > Player encounter an old abandoned campfire; skulls and skeleton can be seen around. Seems like an adventurer who traveled this way didn't last long (could indicate a boss monster mauled him to death and still present nearby). Nearby the campfire, you spotted a flint stone and attempted to make a torch with the woods from the campfire. Now you can navigate the cave a bit better.
    > Along the way, you encountered a route that might lead to next room, but your way is separated by a river. You find few boulders nearby you can pick-up and throw or push into the river for a makeshift bridge.
    > You encountered a dead-end but you can see a cliff above you. Kill some nearby feral creatures, skin them with your knife and tie the leather into a rope for you to climb the cliff.
    > You stumbled upon a frozen area. Frozen icicles blocked the narrow paths you need to go through. But, few rooms back, you encountered an Fire Sprite that drops the item Flame Core (possibly a damage item to deal AOE fire damage?). Backtrack and round up 2-3 to melt the icicles along the hall.
    > Still elementally-themed, a river blocks your way to go to the other side. Backtrack to find mobs that drops something ice items and freeze the river for you to pass through.
    > ...list goes on. Basically, overcoming the cave environment with present materials/resources and craft tools on the go to make your way out.
     
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