Map Puzzles

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Roots
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Map Puzzles

Postby Roots » Sat Sep 03, 2005 3:11 pm

I believe before we had agreed to have puzzles and more interactive setups on maps, because just walking around on maps all the time (like in most FFs) is incredibly boring. As I was writing the map code the other day, I had an idea on how we could make puzzles a little interesting. Remember Lufia II? For those who haven't played it (go play it), there are several special items for solving puzzles. For example, you can shoot arrows, lay bombs, etc.


What I was thinking was that each character in the game could have their own special map skill for solving puzzles. For example, Claudius uses his sword to cut down heavy brush blocking a path. Each map skill is unique to a certain character. That way, we can design puzzles to be dependant on having a certain character or set of characters in the party. I think that could make things interesting, and would also bring out more individuality/usefulness in each character.


Some other notes on map puzzles:

> When the player enters a room with a map puzzle, random encounters should be turned off. Its just annoying to be forced into battles when you're trying to think of how to solve a puzzle.

> The 'swap' button will change the active map character (ie, the sprite representing the party). Likewise, this also changes the active map skill that can be used.

> The 'confirm' button will activate the skill, but only in places where it can be used (we can't have people swinging/firing weapons in town everywhere......or can we? :huh: )

> If conditions are not met to solve a puzzle, there should be some sort of indication to the user so they don't waste their time.



What do you guys think? :)
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Burnsaber
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Postby Burnsaber » Sun Sep 04, 2005 4:09 pm

Cool. The same thing was also featured in Wild Arms 3. The puzzles weren`t difficult (as they shouldn`t be) and made the game bit less of "go to a dungeon to kill stuff" -game. Also in Wild Arms 3 you found new puzzlesolving equipment during the game, which was Uber-cool.

Some puzzle ideas;

- Mage(s) could have their spells instead of "puzzle-solver-items". You could for example, burn down a locked wooden door etc.

- There is a small canyon blocking party`s entry to an important area. Solution to this dreadfull situation is to have the party`s druid(if there are any) grow a tree and have Clauduis cut it. Ta-daa! Bridge is complete.

-  There is giant boulder blocking the path. Claudiu`s sword proves to be ineffeective. In order to break the boulder the player must freeze the stone with a "freeze"-spell and then hit it with the sword.

-  As the party steps into the room, they notice a *gigantic* golem standing there and it has something painted on it`s forehead. Before the battle starts, one characters mentions that  the afromentioned painting on its head is a rune of life painted with ink. Rune of Life is a magical rune that can bring unanimate beings to life and then, battle ensues. The golem could be imprevious to nearly all forms of damage and hits hard - so what`s the solution? Throw a "water" -spell at it`s head and the ink will be washed a way. No rune of Life -> no golem kicking ass.
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roos
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Postby roos » Sun Sep 04, 2005 4:48 pm

I like puzzles, it's a good idea. Burnsaber, cool ideas too :approve: I definitely agree about turning random encounters off during puzzles... Also I think your idea of "active map skills" is cool. And yeah, we should have a setting for each map that lets you turn map skills on or off.

I think they shouldn't be too overused though or it can get rather annoying for impatient players. Also they should be interesting or challenging. For example imo, there were some really annoying puzzles in Chrono trigger like where you had to go up to the crane and type "XABY" or whatever. I mean, that puzzle is so easy to solve that it wasn't even a challenge, it's just busywork. Worse yet, imo, is those puzzles where you get to a door, realize it's closed, then have to go all over the map looking for a switch that opens that door. Freaking lame, in my opinion.  :frustrated:

It would also be interesting to have situations where you can have multiple ways to do things (don't know if you would agree). Sometimes you're just sitting there trying to figure out "alright, what does the guy who designed this map want me to do?". By allowing multiple ways to solve a particular problem, it kind of leaves it open to the player's creativity.

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Burnsaber
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Postby Burnsaber » Sun Sep 04, 2005 6:31 pm

Roos has a point. Having multiple ways of solving a puzzle makes a lot of things easier.

1) It`s less likely for a player to get stuck in one puzzle.

2) It increases replay value. (Could i solve puzzle X differently this time?)

3) It encourages player to be more in-game than thinking "what does the game developer want me to do?" (as Roos said)

If we for example take a basic obstacle, like a locked wooden door, you can easily find several ways to get through it (with different setbacks for the player to handle).
1)Burn it with "fire" spell. (But you will lose mana)
2)Find the key. (You will have to fight the guard/monster with the key)
3)Find a another way around it. (Will take time and have the possibility of battles while finding the another way.)

Seems a lot cooler than "find the switch" for me.

-Burnsaber
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