What do you think about this puzzle quest? and puzzle quests in general?

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hi guys, i have been thinking about some events that i want to put into my game, when i start doing more detailed things anyway, one of them im not sure about though i like the idea of it, i basically have 2 questions here, one is referencing a puzzle i have been playing with the idea about, but the other is pretty broad ranged,

what do you think about puzzle quests?
i know some people think there annoying, and sometimes even stupid, like pokemon having to move stones onto triggers to open a door, or drop a stone down a well so you can use it on the next level, these are pretty basic, but then you get other things like, FF10, having to move gems around a room and open each door in a order other wise you have to come back latter and do it again, or run a horrid race and get a ALMOST impossible 0.00 time (did it on my 2en try by the way,)

what do you think about this small puzzle?

in a man made cave, seeking out hostage's taken by some orcs but you dont know how many there are, you know though that you can beet them,
in the cave you find 1 room, it has a chimney in it, you can hear voice's at the top of it, and know thats were the hostages are, you travel around and find a locked door,
how do you get in,
1 there is a small chimney back in the other room, its too small for a human, even a dwarf, but a child or nymph would be able to get up there,
2 search for a key, you have come across some orcs on the way,
3 alert the orcs inside and try to brake down the door,
4 convince the orcs to open the door, fighting you or getting away b4 they are killed,

these are only basic options but i would not give the answers like this in game, the puzzle is save the hostages from the orcs without the orcs killing them, each method would have a different set of event tied to them,
for example if you send a nymph up the chimney the main party is weakened and the nymph is alone, given this the main party would meet with several new orcs along the way back up to the door,
if you search for the key you may find one, though there is a chance that some of the hostages will be killed,
brake down the door, the hostages in included in the battle and will most likely die,
convincing a orc to do anything is hard, so giving up there hostages, would be extremely hard and long

keep in mind with this quest, its a quest i have been thinking of, i cant say i have seen anything like this b4, but i have only ever seen 1 set of games that could have this in it,
Nymphs = nymphs are similar to halflings though halflings are more like humans, were nymphs are more like elves, but given that they are also of the fey, blood of the fairy,
nymphs are long lived, and by the time they are treated as a adult in the nymph culture, were they leave home and make there own life, there still only about the size of a human baby, as they get older, they do get a little bigger, but they never get any bigger then a 10 year old human child,
nymphs are focused on magic and speed, were they have fast attacks they have very little defence, due to there size

in my game i going to implement a system were size is taken into account,
 

Kuro DCupu

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The first one you mentioned is a kind of errand. It was meant to be easy and make you feel smart as a content filler. It's a break for your mind to progress from point A to point B. It's as good as a filler for a game with over 10 hours gameplay but cannot be overused.

The second one is based on CYOA (Create Your Own Adventure) element. Some affect story progression, some affect your growth. Sometimes there can't be a wrong or right answer. Sometimes it just extra that doesn't effect anything. It's just all about player experience.

I say neither both of them can be called puzzle because real puzzle in story based game are supposed to be optional, challenging / secretive and rewarding.
 

KazukiT

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The first one seems like a standard puzzle you would find in an RPG, but sometimes its good to have them to break up the gameplay.

The second one is like a Chose Your Own Advenutre sort of thing just like what Kuro DCupu stated. It allows for a flexible story that has various ways of unfolding.
 
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The first one seems like a standard puzzle you would find in an RPG, but sometimes its good to have them to break up the gameplay.

The second one is like a Chose Your Own Advenutre sort of thing just like what Kuro DCupu stated. It allows for a flexible story that has various ways of unfolding.
The first one you mentioned is a kind of errand. It was meant to be easy and make you feel smart as a content filler. It's a break for your mind to progress from point A to point B. It's as good as a filler for a game with over 10 hours gameplay but cannot be overused.

The second one is based on CYOA (Create Your Own Adventure) element. Some affect story progression, some affect your growth. Sometimes there can't be a wrong or right answer. Sometimes it just extra that doesn't effect anything. It's just all about player experience.

I say neither both of them can be called puzzle because real puzzle in story based game are supposed to be optional, challenging / secretive and rewarding.

the sort of game im aiming for is sort of a create your own adventure, though i was thinking of it as a puzzle, giving this option to the player is setting them to make a choice as well work out how to protect the hostages, or there own party member's, though the problem solving is what i was aiming at here, the quest was just a example i had on hand,

personally i think pokemon and several other games have over used the moving stones into place, onto a trigger to open a door, in games like zelda it was great but now, yeah its easy and it allows the player to catch up, mentally, but im sure there are other methods better then moving a stone around, give the stone some weight have it fall backwards and crush pikachu when using strength... if you dont press the A button enough,
sorry im being a bit of a smart ass there but there is a point to to that, why not push for something new rather then use the same old thing,

most of the puzzles im working with so far are simple math, something like fight a zombie and as it returns to death it gives you a number, mixed with a very simple riddle, add those numbers, feed the total into a stone obelisk and it opens a door, if you get it wrong, it revives the zombies, another would be things like toggle switches in the right order, or have the right key in the right switch,
 

HumanNinjaToo

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I like puzzles. I enjoyed the puzzles in Lufia 2 RotS very much, and I've been a fan of puzzles in RPGs since then. What I don't like is when they are too difficult, usually because the clues are too vague.

I wouldn't really classify your scenario as a puzzle though. Picking options on how to carry out a story event isn't really a puzzle IMO. But I do like when quests have different outcomes depending on the actions you choose. It doesn't need to be super elaborate to keep my interest, and I like options like that in RPGs.
 

Tai_MT

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I'm going to end up breaking up my post here for clarification. You'll see why when I'm done. Anyway, incoming block of text.

My Opinion On Puzzles in RPG's
It is a rare event when a puzzle in an RPG isn't tedious to me. Tedious. Monotonous. Boring. Impractical. Immersion Breaking. Unrewarding. Takes too much time.

Put simply, I'm not playing an RPG for a puzzle. I'm just not. If I want to play a puzzle (and I do love puzzle games), I'll play a game specifically geared towards creating puzzles and making those puzzles as entertaining as possible.

In terms of your example from Final Fantasy X with the sphere puzzles... Yeah, I didn't like those. I found them boring and tedious. They slowed the entire game down. Destroyed my immersion. Offered me nothing interesting in terms of story or content. The first one I found interesting because what were these things? They looked like technology, but tech was outlawed and destroyed by the Big Bad. Who created them? Why? What was completing them supposed to prove? Who resets the puzzles between Summoners? Especially ones where you blow up walls?

All questions that never get answered.

Basically, I think puzzles in an RPG are a waste of time and effort on the part of the dev. Especially since the moment I see one of these things in a game I'm playing, I go grab a guide to get the immediate answer rather than solve it myself.

I'm playing an RPG for the story, characters, lore, and maybe the combat if it's good enough. I'm not playing to flip switches, figure out which item will make the fish sing, reset clocks, find which mouse has the key, or whatever else. I'm not here to have your game grind to a freakin' halt just because you couldn't think of anything compelling to do in terms of content for your game.

That being said...

Puzzles As Progression
If your goal is, instead, to offer multiple progression paths as a form of "puzzle", then I'm fine with this. I deeply enjoyed this mechanic in Deus Ex when my character build determined what options I had available to me in order to progress the plot. I could talk someone into letting me through this door, or I could hack a back door to get into the facility, or I could set off a distraction and get the guards to leave the doors unguarded, or I could smash a weak wall in the back of the facility, or I could infiltrate through a sewer entrance... Etcetera. Etcetera. I found this to be a lot of fun. It made any playstyle viable and lead me to carefully consider my options in how to proceed.

However, in a game like "Deus Ex", you are given the opportunity to "gather intel", which is half of the fun of a system like that. The ability to explore all my options before choosing one is what made something like that a lot of fun. Did I want to hack into the back door? I could... But, talking my way in might mean less security to deal with. But, if I just smashed into the wall back here, I bypass all the security devices like cameras and tripwires and instead alert the immediate guards... but, it's literally the room I need to be in. But, if I sneak in through the sewer, it opens up into the armory and I can get a lot of goodies before getting to the room I need to be in, and can probably hack all the cameras and robotic security too.

But, that's the key. The ability to gather intel on the situation before making a decision. On top of which, consistency in what sorts of actions produce which sorts of results. Smashing walls almost always alerts nearby guards as it's very noisy. If those guards are near alarms they can pull or they radio in, you've got a lot of problems. But, if you can dispatch the guards quickly after smashing the wall, then nobody knows you've done it. Hacking almost always leads to super high security areas where you are pretty much guaranteed to need to stay out of line of sight of cameras and robots. Talking your way in almost always guarantees an easy route up to a point, but then you need to do a second level of intel gathering to decide the best way to get to the objective after that. Getting in through an alternate route that isn't likely guarded means that while you're behind all the security, it's often far away from your objective and you now have to watch even harder for security as you move forward since you won't have most of the advantages of any other way in... but you got some sweet loot for doing it.

Without a sort of consistency in how you approach the "solutions" to a given problem, it's just going to be a savescum game. Save before making a decision... make it... see what result you get... it's not all that optimal... reload... pick something else... etcetera... etcetera... etcetera.

Basically, you need to make each option an actual solution in which you can get the absolute best outcome. If you have options that don't lead to the best outcomes, prepare to have your players savesumming and getting annoyed with you. Every option needs to lead to the best outcome, provided the player knows what to expect with their choice and can mitigate all the downsides to each choice.

In such a system, the puzzle shouldn't be, "which solution is the right answer?", the puzzle should be, "can I mitigate all the downsides using this answer?"
 

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