Puzzle Fuzzle

Remaking The Infinite Ocean is an interesting challenge; a lot of it has been very easy, but some parts of the process have had me badly stumped. The numeric puzzles are the biggest obstacle – while I had a basic idea of how to make them more accessible, translating that to something even remotely elegant while also preserving some gameplay has been quite difficult. Finding passwords is central to my understanding of the story, so I can’t remove that aspect, but experience shows that the old implementation was just too frustrating for most people.

The new version takes a slightly different approach, treating passwords almost like inventory items, and allowing you to combine passwords via drag & drop. Finding them is also easier: the game plays a sound to let you know when you’ve found one, and when reading journals etc. there’s a scanner option which highlights them in the text.

This way, the puzzles are more visual and more accessible, while still fitting with the setting and plot.

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6 Comments

  1. I’m looking forward to the remake. I really enjoyed the original, especially with how you had hidden one particular password. The story, the imagery, the black and white setting, all were also very well done.

  2. Well, this time around the passwords will be much easier to find. But the story is the same, and that’s what matters to me; even though I’ve gotten better as a writer, this is a story that I still find meaningful, and always will.

  3. Isxek

     /  August 29, 2010

    Looking forward to it too. I’d like to see what effect a “game-making” tool like MMF will have on the game, especially since almost all that you wrote were pretty much “handcrafted,” so to speak. 🙂

  4. Not that big an effect, I fear… but we’ll see.

  5. Museum's Guard

     /  August 30, 2010

    Well, I actually liked the old-school password implementation. It made things quite real. I believe that is the right word, “real”: it all was something the player actually went through, a story of things that indeed happened while the game was being played. I felt like I was in the game, not outside, playing it. Let’s see if I still feel it with the new version. On a side note, I think people get frustrated with just too many things.

  6. I liked it too. But given that – while more game-like and perhaps less immersive – the new method still makes sense in the context of the story, I was willing to make the game more accessible.