Puzzles

Posted: June 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Interactive Fiction, production | 2 Comments »

The Puzzles Cycle has gone into Brutal Render.

It also stands as my least favorite editing job, ever, for myriad reasons.  The result of the editing job, I really really like. But the job itself? Egad.

First, the subject is obscure and ethereal, while also being of general interest and something people have opinions on – the worst of both worlds. Then, there was the process of piecing together many hours, dozens of them, to come up with the best statements that fit together – but it was all essentially about one subject. And then there was the part where I wanted it to be intensely interesting, even if you didn’t work with puzzles all the time. And finally, it had to flow as smooth as it could without dragging.

So it’s a short branch, under 18 minutes. It’s also packed with all sorts of opinions, people, and scans of design documents. And of course I put a few puzzles in.

I’m happy when I can take a subject I didn’t think anyone would cover and turn it into something giving that subject respect –  hence once of my favorite pieces of work, the Fidonet Episode of the BBS Documentary, which tells a 15-year arc of a story about a computer network and somehow generally ties it together enough that’s actually coherent and in some cases entertaining. So that’s definitely the case here.

I err in the side of short length because there’s not a specific story arc that’s being brought out in talking about puzzles – just a lot of different (well-spoken) opinions and ideas and a way for you to see how deeply these folks have thought about this specific angle of interactive fiction/text adventures. I’d rather have people wish there was more than have them wish there was less. As the raw interviews will generally be released, you can listen to some very smart folks say some very smart things for hours and hours if you wish – I just don’t know if you need that to be on an edited DVD.

What’s left now is the finish editing the Modern Cycle and the Infocom Featurette, and then we’re in the polish stage. Hooray!


2 Comments on “Puzzles”

  1. 1 Thom said at 4:51 am on June 7th, 2010:

    Since pre-ordering, I have been checking in on a weekly basis for status updates. Every update I read has me more excited and equally satisfied that Get Lamp is going to be as entertaining, informative and impressive as BBS continues to be.

    When this arrives, I have a feeling I’ll be taking a day off to watch it.

    Thanks for the updates and kudos to your dedication, mate!

  2. 2 Sean Huxter said at 6:39 am on June 7th, 2010:

    I have read a lot of articles on puzzle creation in IF. It’s difficult. So much so that even articles talking about it do a lot of handwaving and talk in very unspecific terms.

    General methods can be restrictive, transforming one thing into another, hiding something, assembling a working item, etc… eventually you’ve seen them all and the only variation is set dressing.

    Coming up with new puzzles that work in an IF framework is difficult, especially given the limitations of non-graphic output.

    I’d love to find or invent a suite of NEW puzzles that work well in an IF setting that both a) no one has seen before; and b) doesn’t confound players just because the concept IS new and unfamiliar that people won’t know how to solve them… where does that balance lie?

    I’m looking forward to this segment in particular.

    Sean.


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