What should the trade off be to skip a puzzle that the player has trouble completing?

RetailDrone7576

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I've been looking into implementing a "skip" button for puzzles that can be used after the player takes too long or hits the reset switch too many times, should there be some sort of cost to use this? such as paying money or fighting a random encounter?
 

MushroomCake28

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Random encounter seems nice. Paying a certain amount of money sounds kinda douchey. If completing the puzzle gives the player a reward, then perhaps cutting on the reward or reducing its value would be more appropriate.
 

FleshToDust

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1000 pushups. I don't know that I've ever seen a game with a skip function like that. Not sure I'd like that.
 

shockra

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I remember a riddle in FF7 where you had to assemble a word using very obscure clues. There was no penalty for a wrong guess, and the options were fixed, so it was possible to "fumble" through by just guessing all of the options until you were right. But if you got it right the first time, you got a better reward.
 

M.I.A.

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I'd say reduce or remove the rewards for that puzzle. So if the reward for completing were to be, say an awesome Armor that absorbs Ice Elements, then when skipped, instead it rewards an Accessory that reduces Ice Elements by 1/4th. Or no reward at all even. So long as no story line or plot points are missable. :)

-MIA
 

Shaz

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Is it a mandatory puzzle? If not, a nice reward for completing it, or no reward for skipping it. If it IS mandatory, perhaps have two ways to get to the next stage of the game, but make the "skip puzzle" way take more effort/time to do.
 

Pots Talos

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Depends if this is a side puzzle or if you have to complete it to progress the main story.
If it is a side puzzle than I wouldn't even put a skip feature in but if you absolutely have to complete it to progress than you definitely need a skip feature.
In my game once the player fails 10 times there will be dialog from an npc or party member that mentions they figured out how to solve or bypass the puzzle and let's the player skip through if they want.
 

TheoAllen

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Whatever you do, do not cut something what I have earned like spending exp then make my level go down. I hate seeing something go down.
 

V_Aero

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In the Uncharted series a NPC will help you after x minutes. As the game has no items or gear at all you dont get a reward, neither by solving it yourself or not. I never used the function to let a NPC help me, it just doesnt feel satisfying when you havent solved it for yourself and the puzzles weren't that difficult.
 

Failivrin

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I like the concept of having an NPC help, if the NPC is also a minor puzzle. For example, IF you helped the kid in town find her lost puppy, she will help you find your way through the puzzle. You can make it more abstract and puzzly if the player has to walk back and ask the kid for help instead of pushing a switch for help. Put hints in the dialogue. For example...

Girl (puppy is lost): "Usually I'm good at finding stuff, but now I can't find my puppy! Have you seen her?"
Girl (puppy is found): "Thanks so much for finding her. You must be good at finding things--almost as good as me. I can help you find your way around [name of the level] if you need any help."
 

rue669

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To be honest, I wouldn't punish the player at all. Some people really like puzzles and other gamers absolutely hate them (I'm one of those). I remember an RM2K game used to have a lot of puzzles but you had the option to skipping them (even had the option of skipping battles). But that game was mostly about story and not so much on gameplay, so it sort've made sense.

If your game is a puzzle game, then probably not having an option to skip is good. Rather, have a system where you can ask for tips for a cost (a lot of mobile puzzle games have this--you spend some coin and you get a tip that helps you press onward).

I'm a big fan of rewarding the player as much as possible. So maybe after the puzzle is done there's a reward at the end. Not just progression but an item too (useful item). Maybe for not completing the puzzle and skipping it you miss out on that item (that isn't critical to the game but just makes it easier). Players like to feel they've accomplished something and are getting stronger and doing so through what they put into the game.
 

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