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mrimer
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quote:
Blondbeard wrote:
My book has arrived as well, and it is everything I hoped for. I have just compleated area 3-4, and have to say it astonishes me how such a simple concept could become so tricky for me!

The math is very simple, and elegant, yet I had such a hard time figuring out the principles that would lead to victory. I so love it when the solution isn't just brute force, and trial and error, but rather figuring something out.
Thanks for the kind words for the puzzles, Blondbeard. I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed them up to this point. Having puzzles requiring figuring something out, as opposed to brute force and trial-and-error, was a design goal.
quote:
As a side note my six year old is mesmerized by the book, and the math behind it. He can't really do arithmetic yet, but he loves math. He can sit and stare at a page for an hour. He loves the dynamics between ATK, DEF and HP.
I think this is great! The puzzles are mostly for teens and adults, but I like how younger children can also get into the experience. I wonder how possible/effective it would be to make an interesting play experience that younger children could manage.
quote:
I also installed DROD RPG for comparrison. I love them both, but it really is a diferent flavour with the perfect information contained on a single page (or two) rather than the huge exploration element of DROD RPG.

It is also really nice with a book, that you can touch and feel, and keep in your lap, and move between rooms.

Thanks for the fantastic work, Mike (and the rest of you)! There is always the posibility that things will get too hard for me as I approach the end, but I've already got my moneys worth of excellent puzzles!
Thank you! I'm glad we met and maybe exceeded your expectations in the production, and also I appreciate hearing that playing these puzzles in a book provided a novel and compelling experience.
quote:

Any chance of a sequel?

I appreciate the encouragement to make more! I'd love to create another game like this as opportunity permits. If we get to that point, would you be interested in playtesting?
quote:
Edit: I told my son that it was the same person who had made DROD RPG and TLP, and that his name was Mike. He said: "In that case I like Mike!" I also showed him a little bit of TSS, and he just wanted me to keep going. He restated how he liked Mike when I told him that Mike had done that game too.
This warms my heart :)

Thank you for the kind words. I'm a bit in awe of having been able to produce a product that has broad value, and it's especially meaningful hearing positive feedback from young children, as it's always authentic. It's an honor to deliver something that provides joy. Please tell your son his comments touched my heart.

____________________________
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 07-09-2020 04:34 PM]
07-09-2020 at 04:34 PM
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west.logan
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I found 2-4 a little bit tricky trial-and-error for me, personally. The hints did help.
3-1 on the other hand I really enjoyed. It felt like there were quite a few options in enemies to fight and the the way the enemy stats varied by defense really helped me sort things through and figure it out. I think 2-2 and 3-1 have been my favorites so far.

I am curious why the decision was made to go with only one intended solution. I'm not complaining, but perhaps it does sometimes feel like I'm just trying to figure out how the designer's solution, rather than be clever on my own (not that I am but I occasionally enjoy the illusion). Was it too complex to make multiple solutions, with some more optimal than others, or did that break the story? I don't know how hard it is to design these puzzles, but perhaps one way of doing multiple solutions would be a ranking, with certain bonus puzzles being available only if you managed to conquer multiple ones optimally?

survive with 1 HP: Conquered
survive with 2 HP: Excellent
survive with 3 HP: Puzzle Master

(+8 HP from various puzzles gives you access to Bonus Room 1 or something like that)

Regardless, I do feel like this is stretching me and that's good! I've made a spreadsheet to keep tally of my stats and that has helped significantly I think.

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-Logan
07-09-2020 at 04:58 PM
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Blondbeard
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quote:
mrimer wrote:
quote:
Blondbeard wrote:
Any chance of a sequel?

I appreciate the encouragement to make more! I'd love to create another game like this as opportunity permits. If we get to that point, would you be interested in playtesting?


I would love to! I can't offer any promises as to how much I would be able to contribute, but it would please me greatly if I were able to help out.
quote:
Edit: I told my son that it was the same person who had made DROD RPG and TLP, and that his name was Mike. He said: "In that case I like Mike!" I also showed him a little bit of TSS, and he just wanted me to keep going. He restated how he liked Mike when I told him that Mike had done that game too.
quote:
This warms my heart :)

Thank you for the kind words. I'm a bit in awe of having been able to produce a product that has broad value, and it's especially meaningful hearing positive feedback from young children, as it's always authentic. It's an honor to deliver something that provides joy. Please tell your son his comments touched my heart.

I will do so :-). I will also be sure to show him more of DROD and DROD RPG in the future. He's a special kid, and I always do my best to encourage his special interests (luckely I know a bit at least about physics and math). I think he will be pleased to hear your words.

[Last edited by Blondbeard at 07-09-2020 05:03 PM]
07-09-2020 at 05:02 PM
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mrimer
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Blondbeard,
First off, congratulations on completing the game, and thank you for playing!
quote:
Blondbeard wrote:
Having compleated the game I have this interesting roller-coaster experience. I really enjoyed the start, and the end. There was a noticable dip in enjoyement for some of the puzzles between and including area 4-3 to 5-3.

Just as jlm I found 4-3 to be a really tough area. It kind of reminds me of DROD rooms refered to as "magic sequence"-rooms. You find the sequence of moves that just works, and I find it really hard to look at the puzzle in hindsight, and have the solution pop out at me.
Agree that 4-3 was a step up in difficulty. I think two types of keys contributed to that. I understand what you're describing, though I had a different experience with some of these puzzles. Simplifying 4-3 a bit might have been helpful (especially in hindsight of a couple USs being found).

Some context providing an alternative experience: playtesters and I felt that a good portion of the solution path was evident and there weren't that many points to puzzle out deeply. I actually tried to keep the potential paths rather constrained.

I'm going to evaluate the USs for what is reasonable and possible to modify here.
quote:
Before area 5-4 I kind of wanted to be done with the game, if this trend would continue. I really enjoyed the last three puzzles, though, and was quite sad when I was done. For me the last puzzles seemed to have some branching decissions that I could judge in advance (rather than just trying them out).

I could iteratively work out how and why to solve the puzzle the way I did, and had a few HP to spare. I also think the last puzzles where a bit more "open", and I really enjoy the idea behind an altar. I find it even more fitting for a confined game like TLP than for a big game like Tower of the Sorcerer or DROD RPG (where small deviations add up and makes the end-game trivial).
I'm glad the final puzzles ended on a high note for you.

Beyond 4-3, my personal play experience was as follows:

4-4: I didn't design this puzzle and got to play it fresh. It was challenging for me. I enjoyed peeling away layers of what is possible here. I needed a couple hints to solve it. I love the grappling hook element! I really like how it is used here and the way the map is laid out for its use. I agree it's difficult to perceive the right path here.

4-5: I agree this puzzle is challenging and a bit cluttered. Some of that was in the name of style, and I can see at least one area that could be cleaned up (reduced) without changing the puzzle. There are some crucial decision points around when to access the lever and when to fight Simulacra.

4-Secret: I didn't design this one either, but I appreciated the puzzle. Wanted to go with something simpler to feature three types of keys. I think there are some solid logical details to uncover in order to solve this puzzle.

5-1: It sounds like you're saying (in another post) this puzzle was relatively easy for you, being familiar with this type of puzzle element, correct?

5-2: Playtesters and I thought this was a great puzzle! (Don't want to go deeper into discussion without specific talking points.)

5-3: I didn't design this puzzle. I liked the venom mechanic, and I think there's a great linchpin in figuring out best use of the antidote. It was tricky for me and required multiple attempts to find this linchpin. I felt that the challenge level was appropriate for this point in the game.

Those are my thoughts in a nutshell. I appreciate hearing about your experience with these puzzles.
quote:

Again: In some cases it's probably just my brain that is not up to the job, and this will differ for different brains. But for my brain the difficulty of e.g. area 4-3 or area 4-5 is of a different kind than the difficulty of area 5-4. I did find 5-4 hard, but in a way where I could work towards a solution in a way that I could evaluate and understand.
That's a good point. There is likely truth to certain types of puzzles fitting better with certain types of players.

I didn't design 5-4. I agree it was well put together. Possibly, having puzzle areas where the layout is more spread out can help the player to take in the puzzle more easily.

I note there's a specific type of puzzle that didn't seem to be your cup of tea:

4-4, 4-5, 5-2, and 5-3 all involve a game element that morphs the puzzle space into something different. I think of these puzzles as having a key moment in the middle where the second half plays very differently than the first half. Maybe that type of puzzle is inherently more difficult to reason about.

Personally, this class of puzzle element was my favorite (though I only designed two of these four puzzles), so there's likely some truth to chalking this up as a personal preference.
quote:

In conclusion I would have liked to see more puzzles like those at the very end, and actually non at all of puzzles that seemed like "magic move sequences". I'm really happy the game ended on a such high note for me :).

I appreciate the feedback! Will keep this in mind for future work.
quote:

One final bit of feedback: I would have appreciated if it was explicitly written when a secret route was impossible. Something like: "This seems impossible right now. I may have to come back to this, somehow".

I've also heard from another player that the first secret route felt like a red herring. It wasn't intended to be such; this is good feedback for a change to clarify.
quote:
Thanks again, mrimer, and thanks to everybody who made this project a reality!
You're welcome! It's an honor to have brought it to light.

____________________________
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 07-09-2020 07:42 PM]
07-09-2020 at 05:19 PM
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jlm
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quote:
mrimer wrote:
Agree that 4-3 was a step up in difficulty. I think two types of keys contributed to that.


Ho, this was the aspect of 4-3 that I most enjoyed! I found it fun to work out the grab an axe to get a key (and loot) to get an axe (and loot) chains.

quote:

4-4: I didn't design this puzzle and got to play it fresh. It was challenging for me.


Curiously enough, I found 4-4 to be on the easy side, while also one of the most fun areas I've done. (I haven't done Ch. 5 & 6 or the secret areas yet.)

I figure this just demonstrates how subjective puzzle ratings are.
07-10-2020 at 01:47 AM
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Blondbeard
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Time to get a little bit more specific :). I guess we all have our own way of rating DROD holds. When it comes to enjoyment anything above 5 is "enjoyable", and a rating of 5 would be where I feel quite neutral about having played the hold. Deviations from a 5 follows some kind of bell-curve.

On this scale I would rank TLP as a whole as a 9 with a difficulty of 5. Keep in mind that the sum is almost always greater than the sum of its parts.

My experience from 4-3 and beyond:

4-3:
quote:
Some context providing an alternative experience: playtesters and I felt that a good portion of the solution path was evident and there weren't that many points to puzzle out deeply. I actually tried to keep the potential paths rather constrained.

That's the problem, though. The portions of the path that was "evident", or not so hard, was too "eveident". And for me the constrained path in the beginning was invisible among all the paths I tried and tested, since it didn't feel obvious that I couldn't make some of them work. Not even when I had compleated the puzzle did the correct path clearly stand out to me. This I find problematic, since it just feels as if I happened to stumble into something that worked.

Enjoyment 4, difficulty 6.

4-4:
I too loved the grappling hook element. I also liked bringing back two out of three sacred treasures. I found this puzzle to be a bit easier than many of the others, and my only complaint would be that the math-part (keeping multiple steps of a solution in my mind) was a bit hard.

Enoyment 8, difficulty 4.

4-5:
I really enjoy the idea (both of the switch and of the key-trading), but found the puzzle too constrained, and that the one correct path (in some regards) just didn't stand out. There was no obvious way for me to value the "needless" loss of a key so many moves into the future. I just had to try a lot of moves over and over and over.

Enjoyment 5, dificulty 6.

4-secret:
I kind of wish it was a little bit harder... felt a bit out of place, even though it was a solid puzzle.

Enjoyment 6, difficulty 3.

5-1:
This one is tricky to judge, since it was way too easy for me. I can see multiple ways of doing a puzzle containing witches more challanging, and looked forward to more puzzles like this when I first saw (and wrote about) it.

Enjoyment 7, difficulty 2.

5-2:
Again I love the concept, but it feels too constrained. There are so many paths I tried, and they don't stand out as obviously false. Loking at the official solution it don't stand out, and I managed to find a US
Click here to view the secret text
. Ironically I think this puzzle (to me) would have benefited from being a 2-spread puzzle, with a bit more of an open layout.

Enjoyment 5, difficulty 6.

5-3:
Ugh! This I found to be a mess to calculate, and to keep multiple steps in my working memory. I also find it hard to grasp what a point of poison means, since it's so dependent on how many monsters you encounter afterwards. Yeah, I probably would find better strategies if I played a whole game with spiders, but I don't want to ;). I actually happen to have quite strong evidence that sugests that my working memory lies significantly below my ability to reason logically. Maybe that is a problem here, that may be a bit unique to me.
Click here to view the secret text


Enjoyment 4, difficulty 6.

5-4:
I really enjoyed this! Just to be clear: The solution "doesn't stand out", but I know the gist of it, and it feels logical and very doable to reason about. There are many posibilities that can be easily weighed aginst each other. Both the herbs and the alter feels very interesting. If I compare to 4-5 it felt more possible to judge the pros and cons of a certain timing.

Enjoyment 9, difficulty 6.

5-secret:
I feel as if this should really have been spread out (2-page-spread), and I would have liked for the rules to have been eaven clearer. That "accessible" means where you could have reached and picked up a treassure. Or maybe it could have been a bit reduced in scope. This is also a puzzle with messy arithmetic. It works as a last puzzle, a final challange, but I'm certanly glad not every puzzle was like this.

Enjoyment 6, difficulty 8.

6-1: Neat idea, neat concept! Once you have a feel for the different elements, how they interact and the number of resources it is very doable (for me) to make sound strategic decissions.

Enjoyment 9, difficulty 6.

6-2: I actually found this surprisingly easy, making it on my first try. I also managed to have 8 HP left rather than 1
Click here to view the secret text
. It was fun to weigh different routes against one another, and try to optimize my use of resources.

Enjoyment 9, difficulty 5


In conclusion I think I do like "[puzzles that] involve a game element that morphs the puzzle space into something different". In fact my very favourite puzzle is 3-4 (enjoyment 10, difficulty 6). And there are some ideas that could have been explored more (like the Grappling Hook, or witch-type monsters or ghosts for that matter), but when I feel unable to reason about a solution in a meaningful way I don't really enjoy it.

When I just try different routes, and eventually stumble on a solution, and I just don't see how I was supposed to reason my way to that solution.

An optimal puzzle (for me) includes quite a bit of exploration, getting familiar with the puzzle and its resources and elements. And in the process of getting familiar with the elements and the layout the solution becomes progressivly easier to reason about. Like "I really need ATK as fast as possible", or "I deffinitly will have two keys that should just save HP". Or
Click here to view the secret text
.

Edit: I realize I'm trying to convey rather vague feelings here. All I can do is to try, and hope that some of it makes sense. I also want to make clear that the ratings I have listed does not reflect the quality of the puzzles. In fact I think that the quality of all the puzzles are top notch. I also realize that most playtesters probably had a good feeling about the puzzles I didn't enjoy so much. When I write my personal enjoyment rating of a puzzle it is just that. Not something that should be interpreted as if I think a certain puzzle is bad.

[Last edited by Blondbeard at 07-10-2020 11:51 AM]
07-10-2020 at 08:02 AM
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mrimer
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quote:
Blondbeard wrote:
Time to get a little bit more specific :)
Thank you for the additional detailed thoughts, Blondbeard.

A lot to digest here! I believe I understand the points you're making. It's helpful for me to think on these points in order to design the best puzzles possible. I'll be pondering all this for a while. I appreciate the glowing words of praise for the puzzles! Glad to hear you especially liked 3-4. That was fun to design. Yes, a core goal of puzzle design was to allow teasing out linchpin(s) in each area through exploration. If the math or layout is too messy, or there wasn't a clear linchpin, I agree it would interfere with that goal.

____________________________
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.
07-14-2020 at 09:56 PM
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icon Re: Twisty Little Passages (+2)  
At the request of mrimer this is my solution to the final puzzle. It's not presented in a pretty way, but I hope it will be possible to follow. If not just ask me.
Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by Blondbeard at 07-16-2020 06:16 AM]
07-16-2020 at 06:10 AM
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The spitemaster
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I finished 2-4 with 6 hp left. Did anyone else get that or did I just do my math wrong?

I did... A does not connect to B apparently.
I just got the book this past week. Canada has been delayed shipping. It is very enjoyable.

____________________________
Last night upon a stair
I met a man that wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
I wish that man would stay away

[Last edited by The spitemaster at 07-17-2020 10:01 PM]
07-17-2020 at 09:51 PM
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mrimer
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quote:
The spitemaster wrote:
I finished 2-4 with 6 hp left. Did anyone else get that or did I just do my math wrong?

I did... A does not connect to B apparently.
Correct. A matches up to A, as I understand you figured out. Apologies for the confusion.
quote:
I just got the book this past week. Canada has been delayed shipping. It is very enjoyable.
Glad to hear you've received the book and that you're enjoying it! :)

____________________________
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.
07-20-2020 at 06:05 PM
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mauvebutterfly
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I got my copies a few days ago too. Looks like Canada has finally figured things out.

____________________________
106th Skywatcher
07-21-2020 at 01:50 PM
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mrimer
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I've just released updated version 1.02, with adjustments to address the puzzle issues mentioned above. These are the change notes:

quote:
Here are some puzzle updates to address alternative solutions or minor nits that were uncovered after initial publication.

3-Secret: Very minor map graphical tweak for improved route clarity.

4-3: Minor map changes to smooth out the difficulty curve for this puzzle and address some unintended solutions. New solution paths provided. Hints updated.

4-5: Improved solution! Reduced topmost elixir from 8HP to 6HP. Updated hints and official solution path.

5-2: Minor elixir modification to address unintended solutions.

5-4: Minor map changes to address unintended solutions.

6-1: Minor map change to address an unintended solution.

6-2: Modified a few enemies and tweaked some elixirs to address unintended solutions.

Metapuzzle has been slightly modified, where relevant.


I'm feeling good about all these changes.

The e-version PDF is updated, which anyone with a license can download. I'll also be posting errata with the changes on TLP's BoardGameGeek forums:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/278373/twisty-little-passages/forums/0


____________________________
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.
08-07-2020 at 12:59 AM
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