Thursday, November 7, 2013

Puzzle Tweaking - Tale of a Wooden Stick

After upon a time there was a wooden stick, a stick so firm, a stick so stuck it could not be noticed upon without having the touch of many small, busy hands.

And so this tale beings.

These days we released a new gameplay video. Maintaining to the Amnesia tradition it is a single single clip, displaying a sequence from the game. This time it's about exploration and puzzle solving. It is the puzzle element that this blog post will discuss, as it took fairly some time for us to get that puzzle appropriate.

The puzzle is that the hatch is too heavy to lift by hand, but by using a crank and pulley contraption the player can open it. Sadly one thing is wrong with the crank/pulley and the player has to figure out what it is. It turns out that a modest piece of wood has been jammed into one of the pulleys, making it not possible for the crank to pull the rope going through the pulley.

This distinct piece of wood took very a lot of tweaking in order to make it noticeable. For each and every test session we found that there was often 1 or much more testers that got stuck on this puzzle. They basically could not find what was wrong, most important, they did not notice the wooden piece at all. More than and over we tweaked the puzzle, we added descriptions and interaction messages, we changed the texture of the wooden piece, we added some faint light to show it clearer in the dark, there are some particles coming down from the wooden piece when you pull the crank, we produced the model larger and we changed the angle it is stuck in. We even added an alternative answer to the original answer (not saying what the solutions are, in-case you like to solve the puzzle in an additional way than what is shown in the video).

Ultimately, we hope, for the adore of all puzzles, that this puzzle has been tweaked to perfection and that none of you will get stuck on it*.

*If you watch this video, it would be quite strange if you did. :)

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