Entries from The Gameshelf tagged with 'puzzles'

Quern: Undying Thoughts: design ruminations

When the Obduction kickstarter fired up in 2013, it seemed like a good moment for adventure games in general. With Unity3D well-established and the Unreal 4 engine coming up, small teams were in a good position to produce really stellar...

My Obduction nonreview

Obduction is a really good adventure game. You should play it. I finished the game a week ago and I've had a heck of a time thinking of anything to say. To be sure, my Myst review was written in...

Point-of-view in The Witness: design ruminations

I played The Witness to an ending, and then I went back and played until I had finished it to my satisfaction. (504 +82. I looked at just two hints, and no thanks, I am not going to beat the...

Soma: meanderings by a wuss

(This post will be generally spoilery for the setting and background of Soma. I will avoid specific plot details, however.) I've had Soma on my stack for several months. Last month I pulled it off the (virtual) shelf to take...

The Room 3: design ruminations

(Or "roominations", har har.) I have finished The Room 3, third in the series of gorgeous puzzle-box games for touchscreen. I didn't know it was in production -- The Room 2 seemed to wrap up the storyline, such as it...

Designing alchemy in a puzzle game

A question about Hadean Lands from the tweet gallery: "Have you written anything about how you approached designing the alchemical system?" Excellent question! The answer is "No, but I should, shouldn't I," yes okay. (Thanks @logodaedalus.) My twitter-sized reply was...

The Talos Principle: design ruminations

As it happens I replayed Portal 2 right before The Talos Principle launched. That's gotta be the last thing a game designer wants to hear, right? "We don't use the term 'Portal-like', but, sure, Talos is... wait, you just replayed...

Raetikon, Fract

This week I tried two different puzzle/exploration games. They were both pretty cool, but I only finished one of them. Does this mean I am going to delve into details of game design? Yes! Oh, sure, it'll boil down to...

Emergent gameplay vs whatever the other kind is

I spent the weekend at a delightful little game-dev conference at NYU. Much cool stuff happened there. However, I want to focus on Saturday morning. Saturday's first talk was by Warren Spector, who has recently switched from developing games (Deus...

Slash Fiction and other puzzles

As I have done every year since 2004, I spent the second weekend in January playing (or solving, to use the field-specific lingo) in the MIT Mystery Hunt. I always feel quite privileged to play; each hunt iteration represents a...

Dan Feyer Facts

Dan Feyer won the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament this past weekend. Andrew Greene has collected a list of #ChuckNorrisFacts-style jokes about his preternatural grid-filling abilities, penned by those who were humbled by him in person. A sampling: I once had...

Thumbdrive Riddler is never gonna give you up

Last year at PAX East, an anonymous riddler dropped a stack of mysterious USB thumbdrives in the People’s Republic’s hospitality suite. The Wingding characters emblazoned upon them, it turned out, were the first key to cracking the code-based puzzles found...

Puzzle structure in 2015

I recently read Tony Bourdain's Medium Raw, which was a fascinating look into the world of people who are really, really interested in food. I like food. These people think about food more than I do. So much so that...

Friday linkdump: Three stories about cubes

OK, two of them are about dice. Your Uncle Dudley’s Knucklebones appears to be the online gallery of a dice collector (with a casually Google-resistant identity). The mysterious blog contains only two posts, but the enormous latter entry contains many...

Similar journeys in very different games

I have lived in Boston for ten years, but I had never seen the swan boats before Saturday. The event that got me exploring my own burg was DASH, an annual puzzle competition that takes place simultaneously (time zones be...

Follow the MIT Mystery Hunt on Twitter

I am once again participating in the MIT Mystery Hunt this year, playing on the team "Immoral, Illegal & Fattening", a group of 40 or so solvers out of the many hundreds of hardcore puzzle fans in attendance. This will...

The longest day of the year

Today is the longest day of the year! And so is tomorrow! Yes, I know the equinox was two days ago. Nonetheless: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER TWENTY-THIRD THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER TWENTY-FOURTH [ed: not "twenty-second" -- thanks, Elizabeth!] A tie, as you see, with...

Bram Cohen's puzzle shop

I recently discovered through Twitter that Bram Cohen, best known as the creator of BitTorrent, is also an aficionado of three-dimensional construction puzzles (e.g. the Soma cube). He has lately taken to designing puzzles himself, and now sells several original...

Matt is speedcubing again

My friend (and several-time Gameshelf TV star) Matthew Morse is getting back into speedcubing, the ancient art of solving a thoroughly scrambled Rubik's Cube wicked fast. He started out by buying a new cube, since his old one, while a...

Grim Fandango puzzle design document

Another in our series of historic game development trivia! (This is completely coincidental, stuff just keeps popping up.) Tim Schafer at Double Fine has posted the puzzle design spec for his classic adventure game, Grim Fandango. It is that game's...

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