Since I meet Jordi (our game designer) and from the very first day of working together, I tried to making him aware of my concerns about the puzzle design. Before hiring him I’ve been reading so much about the common mistakes some people did in past point and click games and I want this one to be perfect.
The puzzles need:
1. Clear objective, the player needs to know in every single moment what is the reason he’s about to do some stuff.
2. Clear signposting, you must give the player clues in order to solve the puzzle in the right measure, too much information and you’ll spoil the fun, too little information and the player will be wandering around until he stops playing your game.
3. Clear feedback, “I can’t do that” this is not an option for us, we are making a matrix to control all the possible combinations in order to give appropriate feedback.
4. Sense, it has to make sense, I’m totally against of puzzles that are designed to extend the gameplay without bringing any reward or fun at all apart from spending more time playing.
5. Fun, fun, fun! Even a puzzle is batshitcrazy it has to be fun, and make sense (even inside it’s craziness)
So I’m happy to say that after a few beating with a rubber baton, Jordi understands and now we are in sync with the objective. We have been spending a lot of time discussing the puzzles, knowing this is one of the most important bricks of this building.