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Caravel Forum : Caravel Boards : General : Twisty Little Passages (Crowdfunding project for a puzzle dungeon crawl adventure game book)
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mauvebutterfly
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quote:
averagemoe wrote:
I just know that someone is going to try to recreate all these puzzles in DROD:RPG.

Maybe, but I don't think they'd be very good in RPG based on what we've seen here. It looks like there is intended to only be one exact solution, which takes out the fun of optimising that you'd see in RPG. It would be a fairly simple matter to port over though; I just don't see the point of doing so. Let it exist as a separate medium as it was originally intended to be.

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01-27-2019 at 06:08 AM
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mrimer
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ErikH2000 wrote:
It might be worth explaining the calc in just one location of the book, even tucked in an appendix. I agree there's some satisfaction in knowing the numbers aren't arbitrary.
Appreciate the suggestion! Trying to think of how to get this right, so it's not too much, not too little information.

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I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.
01-28-2019 at 04:41 AM
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File: TLP Book tutorial puzzle prototype v3.pdf (10.5 MB)
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License: Public Domain
icon Re: Twisty Little Passages (+1)  
Refined some borders and coloring on the TLP 1-4 puzzle spread. Removed an unnecessary column from the damage tables.

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Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.
01-29-2019 at 03:46 PM
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ErikH2000
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mrimer wrote:
Refined some borders and coloring on the TLP 1-4 puzzle spread. Removed an unnecessary column from the damage tables.

Nice.

Just noticed that I missed part of the puzzle -- the skull is a queen roach. I think my eye just read the skull as decoration flavor.

I think the icon for the queen roach could be more representative. Maybe an outline silhoette of the first roach icon. The skull seems like a generic indicator of death or danger.

-Erik

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01-29-2019 at 04:01 PM
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mrimer
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ErikH2000 wrote:
Just noticed that I missed part of the puzzle -- the skull is a queen roach. I think my eye just read the skull as decoration flavor.

I think the icon for the queen roach could be more representative. Maybe an outline silhoette of the first roach icon. The skull seems like a generic indicator of death or danger.
Ah, I appreciate you mentioning that. I was thinking of using a skull icon as a common representation of a boss monster. I plan to have a legend of common icons at the start of the book, e.g., key, lock, elixir, and boss.

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Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 01-29-2019 10:46 PM]
01-29-2019 at 10:27 PM
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What's the overarching structure like? Is it essentially a linear sequence of puzzles or are there things like alternate exits leading to bonus puzzles or branching paths?

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01-30-2019 at 04:44 PM
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mrimer
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Pinnacle wrote:
What's the overarching structure like? Is it essentially a linear sequence of puzzles or are there things like alternate exits leading to bonus puzzles or branching paths?
Great question! Kieren and I considered both approaches and decided on a linear series of puzzles, with a focused, cohesive story line and progressive building of concepts/elements on other elements. We concluded this would provide the strongest puzzle design and narrative experience, which feels like the right approach to focus on for players at large.

I'm excited by the possibilities of alternative paths to bonus areas, though my impression is that these would need to be designed extremely carefully to avoid compromising the core puzzle. If we get into stretch goals in the campaign, we could definitely consider bonus puzzles included in this way.

Would love to hear your thoughts on what you'd like to see.

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 02-03-2019 04:10 PM]
02-03-2019 at 04:00 PM
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mrimer
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While there's still time to make additions, I'd like to hear your thoughts on any puzzle mechanics you'd like included.

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 02-03-2019 04:34 PM]
02-03-2019 at 04:34 PM
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Interesting concept.

I can think of two simple mechanics for creating bonus puzzles.

1. Each puzzle has different colored keys. Individual puzzles can have hard solutions which allow collecting extra keys, which can be used in special puzzles.

2. I'm not sure how preserving stats between puzzles will work. Suppose most puzzles can be solved one way which will result in specific stats at the end. After finishing a puzzle series, send the player back to the start with for example an extra key. This would allow breaking the original puzzle, but would allow reaching bonus goals. Designing puzzles which solve both ways can be interesting.

If it is still relevant, I would be interested in designing and/or testing puzzles.
02-04-2019 at 01:46 PM
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mrimer
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bbb wrote:
I can think of two simple mechanics for creating bonus puzzles.

1. Each puzzle has different colored keys. Individual puzzles can have hard solutions which allow collecting extra keys, which can be used in special puzzles.
Thanks for sharing your ideas! I'm not sure I understood this first one. Would you please elaborate?
quote:
2. I'm not sure how preserving stats between puzzles will work. Suppose most puzzles can be solved one way which will result in specific stats at the end.
Yes, exactly. We've designed the puzzles with a single valid solution in mind, so stat carryover is according to that expectation, which keeps it simple.
quote:
After finishing a puzzle series, send the player back to the start with for example an extra key. This would allow breaking the original puzzle, but would allow reaching bonus goals. Designing puzzles which solve both ways can be interesting.
I hadn't thought of that. It does sound interesting!
quote:
If it is still relevant, I would be interested in designing and/or testing puzzles.
Thanks for the offer. I'll PM you.

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 02-04-2019 01:55 PM]
02-04-2019 at 01:55 PM
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bbb
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1. In the context of DRODRPG, you could have 4 levels with no backtracking. The first would have only yellow keys and doors, the second only green keys and doors, and the third only blue keys and doors. The final level would be a bonus level where you spend the keys for a final score. If it is not a final level, you can lose all keys after the fourth level.
02-04-2019 at 05:32 PM
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mrimer
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bbb wrote:
1. In the context of DRODRPG, you could have 4 levels with no backtracking. The first would have only yellow keys and doors, the second only green keys and doors, and the third only blue keys and doors. The final level would be a bonus level where you spend the keys for a final score. If it is not a final level, you can lose all keys after the fourth level.
Ah, I get it! Neat idea.

We're generally planning for there to be a single correct solution for each puzzle (at least in this book -- it's always possible, based on success, that the formula could be expanded in future works).

I'm trying to think how this concept could work under this constraint. Your ideas?

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 02-04-2019 06:25 PM]
02-04-2019 at 06:25 PM
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bbb
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If having a unique solution is a strict rule, the other idea is probably better. Otherwise, it should be possible to design a puzzle such that all solutions finish with the same character stats, while allowing multiple paths with optional bonuses.

Obviously, not all puzzles have to have a bonus.

And regarding the skull image for a boss Erik mentioned above, maybe draw a roach queen representation in the skull. Then it will be clear both that it is a boss, and what type of monster it is.

[Last edited by bbb at 02-04-2019 08:53 PM]
02-04-2019 at 08:27 PM
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mrimer
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I appreciate the feedback!

It is possible, but rather difficult, to design alternative paths that end up the same. I have a concern that adding multiple paths to victory might water down or confuse the puzzles, which I would see as a larger negative to the experience than the benefit alternative solutions might provide.

None of the iconography is final, and I'll try making some changes to make information clearer. I'll also try to get some good testing in with physical prototypes prior to the campaign.

That said...while a lofty goal, I'm not sure it's going to be possible for the iconography alone to serve as a replacement for reading rules and instructions.

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 02-10-2019 03:58 PM]
02-10-2019 at 03:56 PM
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mrimer
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I'm working toward running the KS campaign for TLP in the month of May (assuming the necessary preparation is done by that point).

Prior to that point, I'd like to prepare some physical prototype demo books for review/preview sites.

Would anyone here, who publishes LPs or game reviews, be interested in receiving a prototype demo copy for purposes of providing a published written or video review that I could reference in the campaign?

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Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 02-10-2019 04:03 PM]
02-10-2019 at 04:02 PM
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File: TLP Book demo puzzle 1-1.pdf (11.2 MB)
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License: Public Domain
icon Re: Twisty Little Passages (+3)  
I've been working away steadily on this project with the core team, who have been super helpful in providing content, making suggestions and catching issues along the way. I want to publicly thank Kieran, Nuntar, bbb and Erik for their involvement. The project wouldn't be at its current level of quality without them.

I now have a demo version ready to print prototypes of for early review!

To celebrate, I'm posting a copy of the very first (tutorial) puzzle level here so you can see more of what this project is about, catch a glimpse of the story and how the design is shaping up.

(View at 100% to see what the printed page will actually look like.)

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 03-12-2019 02:08 AM]
03-12-2019 at 01:57 AM
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martz
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I'm not sure whether the text has been finalised or proofread yet, but in the 4th paragraph I'd possibly change one of the two bolded words below:

"Suddenly, in an unusual twist of fate, an unusually massive
eruption shakes the mountain from its very core,"

I don't really have any experience with books of this nature (aside from some of the Fighting Fantasy books when I was younger) but I'm certainly intrigued by this project and will definitely consider purchasing when it's completed

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Without struggle, there is no progress, so get up, get out, and go make the rest of your life the best of your life; you deserve to live the life that YOU want to live...

Progress - Gavin G
03-14-2019 at 09:46 AM
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Dying Flutchman
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Would it be a hold statement to say that a "twist of fate" is always unusual :)

But I love the design. I would be curious to see how more complicated puzzles work out in terms of keeping track of the route through the room.

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[Last edited by Dying Flutchman at 03-14-2019 11:22 AM]
03-14-2019 at 10:58 AM
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mrimer
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Thanks for the interest! I appreciate the feedback. No, the text isn't finalized yet, and please do share any proofread edits or nitpicking. I've removed both of the bolded words. I agree with both your points and in this case, less is more. :thumbsup

I'm working toward running the KS campaign in May. I'll be posting news as I have it up to that point and beyond. If you want to stay looped in, please opt-in to the Caravel newsletter.

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Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 03-14-2019 12:58 PM]
03-14-2019 at 12:55 PM
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KituU
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wow! i was very much surprised, it is so fantastic !! great

So, where will the explanatory instructions be ?
maybe beginner players may need a little more explanation about the game mechanics

The key icon is beautiful but a little difficult to see, (do not know the final size of book)
03-15-2019 at 11:45 PM
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mrimer
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Thanks for the feedback!

There will be a few pages of explanation at the beginning of the book for beginners to learn how everything works.

The final book will be 8.5" x 11".

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Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.
03-16-2019 at 12:51 AM
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KituU
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mrimer wrote:
The final book will be 8.5" x 11".


very nice size !

silly question: will the marker be included witk the book ?
that would be nice for a gift, as then it can be played right away.
03-18-2019 at 06:48 PM
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mrimer
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KituU wrote:
silly question: will the marker be included witk the book ?
that would be nice for a gift, as then it can be played right away.
Not a silly question at all.

Yes, I'm planning to include a marker or two, shrink-wrapped with the book.

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.
03-19-2019 at 04:54 PM
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mrimer wrote:
quote:
KituU wrote:
silly question: will the marker be included witk the book ?
that would be nice for a gift, as then it can be played right away.
Not a silly question at all.

Yes, I'm planning to include a marker or two, shrink-wrapped with the book.

Mister Imer, is it too late to get in on this thing?

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03-24-2019 at 04:38 PM
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mrimer
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Trickster wrote:
Mister Imer, is it too late to get in on this thing?
Hi, Trickster! No, it's not too late. How would you like to be involved?

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.
03-25-2019 at 02:13 PM
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Just wanted to say a little late... the demo puzzle looks great. I appreciate the little touches like the tight passageway, which are just flavor, not influencing the gameplay--but nevertheless fun.

-Erik

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youtube (archive of live streams, and some animated videos I made)
03-31-2019 at 07:25 PM
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mrimer wrote:
quote:
Trickster wrote:
Mister Imer, is it too late to get in on this thing?
Hi, Trickster! No, it's not too late. How would you like to be involved?

Er, I mean is there a Kickstarter or something I need to fund in order to get the book? I would like to enjoy this thing you have made.

____________________________
Trickster

Official Hold Progress
Click here to view the secret text

Favorite Unofficial Holds (I need to play more!)
Click here to view the secret text

My Holds
Click here to view the secret text

03-31-2019 at 10:56 PM
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mrimer
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Ah, sorry, derp, I get it now :)

Thanks for your interest! Yes, I'm planning to run a Kickstarter very soon in order to fund the book's publishing. I'll post some more solid news on that over the next day or two.

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 04-01-2019 12:12 AM]
03-31-2019 at 10:59 PM
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File: tlp prototype pages.jpg (294.6 KB)
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icon Re: Twisty Little Passages (+4)  
Our team has been actively working away on the art, graphic design, puzzles and play testing for Twisty Little Passages, and everything is shaping up nicely!

Yesterday, I produced the first prototype copies at a local print shop.



The prototypes are slimmed down "demo" versions of the book intended for early reviews/previews. They feature puzzles from the first chapter of the book, Kradra Dungeon. The first puzzles introduce the player to the basic game mechanics, core puzzle concepts, and teaching how to apply them one by one, then incrementally layering one concept on another.

There will be 25 puzzles/levels in all. The first puzzles are intended to be relatively easy, and difficulty will ramp up steadily all the way to expert-level puzzles by the end of the book. I'm anticipating that playing through all the material will take between ten to thirty hours, depending on how much of a puzzle wiz you are and how liberally you make use of hints and solutions along the way.

I'm working towards running a Kickstarter campaign in about a month, or as soon as we're ready, in order to illustrate and publish the entire book in a high-quality offset print run for everyone who wants a copy. We are shooting for 500-1000 project backers or more in order to cover costs to provide the best quality production. This is crucial in order to complete production of the book, and I'll be using personal funds to invest in a significant advertising campaign for broader coverage. If you have suggestions for potential reviewers who could provide more project visibility, I'd appreciate you sharing them. Also, as you may know, many Kickstarter campaigns stand or fall on word-of-mouth and other high-impact forms of endorsement, and we would like to request your involvement and thank you in advance for helping to spread the word when the campaign goes live if it seems interesting to you.

I'll be posting a lot more material on the project at that time, both here on the Caravel site, on the Kickstarter page, and other relevant sites such as Board Game Geek. I'll be posting in-depth articles about the process of working on the project, principles of puzzle design, and lessons learned along the way.

This project is a labor of love we feel passionate about, and we would love to have your involvement, especially during the campaign, participating in conversations about the project and in providing suggestions for finishing up the final 5% of game material.

If you're interested in receiving news about the campaign as soon as it's live, please sign up for the Caravel Illumination:

www.caravelgames.com

As an aside, I've noticed that, for reasons unknown to me, the Caravel list of newsletter signups was truncated at some point.
If you're not receiving the Illuminations in your e-mail box, please don't be shy -- you are always welcome to sign up again!

Stay tuned during this month for more news as we get ready to run the campaign!

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 04-01-2019 01:18 AM]
04-01-2019 at 12:38 AM
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icon Re: Twisty Little Passages (+1)  
Damn, I'm late for the hype train. This whole project looks really, really cool, and I love the idea. As you said in the OP, I think there's never really been anything quite like this done before.

About how far through designing the puzzles have you gotten, in terms of your own plans? I would be honored to playtest whatever you have if you would allow it, although I can't give any promises about how well I'll do.
04-02-2019 at 04:23 PM
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