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Puzzle Game Concept: given the solution to re-create the problem

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Hey guys, just thought this up a while ago and thought it was an interesting concept so i did a quick write-up. I'm attempting to keep it as simple as possible, while providing a tactical depth so that the puzzles can be hard. Just Thought you might take a look and provide insight or just say what you like about ti and what you don't.

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Name: Polar War (polar meaning polar opposite and war coming from its use in the game)

Genre: Puzzle (tactical analysis)

Core: A puzzle game where you are given the solution (end result) and have to re-create the problem

Focus: Tactical War

 

Overview

You are situated on a tactical map. There is another map that contains the ‘solution’ which is the end result of the puzzle. The enemy is assembled in their original positions, and your job is to assemble your troops into positions that will produce the same end result you’ve seen. Enemies will only advance and respond to the AI they were given (their actions are predetermined and you can see them).

 

You predetermine all the actions of your troops before the scenario begins, the scenario is then played out in a timely fashion and then checks if the solution created by your problem matches the solution given. Can be retried as many times as possible.

 

The Map

The map will be a flat board (10 x 20 grid) with terrains providing an environmental change within the game. For example, you can hide some of your troops in a river, or put a sniper above on a cliff. Each environment used properly gives you a distinct advantage, however your aim is not to defeat the enemy but rather re-create the scenario presented in the solution.

 

Terrains

River (Blue): Provides a place for Underwater Troopers (are not inhibited). Inhibits movement. Inhibits Equipment.

 

Cliff (Grey):  Provides cover and birds’ eye view for sniper. Improves range. Harder for enemy snipers to pinpoint your fire.

 

Sheer Mountains (cannot travel on) (Brown): Provides narrow entrances and exits. Demolitions occurring within the mountainous area causes a landslide and kills anyone within the open areas.

 

Starting Area (Green): place where you can situate the initial position of your troops. Enemy troops positions are predetermined

 

Troops (Black): A unit who is categorized as one of the following: Sniper, Demolitions Expert, Trooper or Underwater Trooper.

 

gamedesign2-mapgrid.png

Troops

Sniper: Long-range sniper. Once shot is fired, is revealed to other snipers.

                Decisions: Fire Specific Target, Move, wait for enemy sniper fire then kill them, reload gun

                May carry (cap 2): Rifle, knife, ammo

 

Demolitions Expert: An expert in creating explosions. Only one who can handle dynamite. Only revealed to enemy when activating explosives, or setting explosives (if within a certain radius)

                Decisions: Move, set up explosive, activate explosive, pass ammo, throw grenade

                May carry (cap 2): Dynamite, Timed Dynamite, ammo, grenade

 

Trooper: A frontal ground unit. Revealed to other enemies at all times.

Decisions: Move, Fire specific target, fire closest target, cover fire, reload gun, pass ammo, throw grenade

                May carry (cap 2): Pistol, Shotgun, knife, ammo, grenade

 

Underwater Trooper: A hidden ground unit. Invisible underwater. Revealed to all other enemies above water.

Decisions: Fire, Reload harpoon, Drag underwater and suffocate, pass ammo, come out of water, throw grenade

                May carry (cap 2): Harpoon, Knife, Ammo, Underwater Breathing apparatus, grenade

 

Equipment

Grenade: provides an explosion within a small radius. Can be held onto for greater affect. Can have more than one.

 

Dynamite (exclusive to demolitions expert): large explosive, can be set and remotely activated. Can have more than one.

 

Time Dynamite (exclusive to demolitions expert): large explosive, can be set to a time and activated when finished. Can have more than one.

 

Rifle: Instant kill when it hits. Requires a long reload. Shooting identifies your location to enemy snipers. Can only have one. Holds one ammo per clip.

 

Underwater breathing apparatus: limited time of 3 hours. Cannot be more than one per person. Cannot be reused.

 

Ammo: An entire reload clip for one gun, reloading early causes you to lose the rest of your last clip. Can have more than one.

 

Harpoon. Instant-kill underwater. Above-water, target gets maimed and loses one of its equipment (equipment loss is chosen). Cannot hold more than one. Holds one ammo per clip.

 

Pistol: injures on first bullet, kills on second. Cannot carry more than one. Holds 3 ammo per clip.

 

Shotgun: if within 2 squares, kills instantly. Outside of 4 yards, target is not affected. Cannot carry more than one. Holds two ammo per clip.

 

Knife: if within one square, a lunge attack maims target and they lose one equipment (equipment loss chosen). Second attack maims but no equipment loss and third attack kills. Cannot carry more than one.

Edited by ShiftyCake

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I have a question: If a given solution produces the correct end-result, does it matter whether it's the intended solution or not? In other words, is success measured by whether the prescribed final state is reached, or by whether the expected solution is used?

 

I'm inclined to argue for basing success entirely on reaching the desired final state, regardless of resemblance to the intended solution: it encourages player creativity and may encourage replayability; conversely, requiring a specific solution when others may produced the required end-state can be frustrating for players.

 

One other suggestion, if I may: when the player's attempted solution plays out, if it differs from the required end-state, highlight the differences so that the player doesn't have to hunt for them--small differences can, I feel, be somewhat tricky and frustrating to spot. Come to think of it, this might be best as an option: that way players who want to play the hard way can do so freely, while those that want the help can have it.

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I have a question: If a given solution produces the correct end-result, does it matter whether it's the intended solution or not? In other words, is success measured by whether the prescribed final state is reached, or by whether the expected solution is used?

 

I'm inclined to argue for basing success entirely on reaching the desired final state, regardless of resemblance to the intended solution: it encourages player creativity and may encourage replayability; conversely, requiring a specific solution when others may produced the required end-state can be frustrating for players.

 

yes, as the long as the problem you create attains to the solution you're shown then it doesn't matter how you reach that point. I did some thought as well, and reached the same conclusion you did. Requiring a specific solution isn't necessary and hinders far more than it helps.

 

 

One other suggestion, if I may: when the player's attempted solution plays out, if it differs from the required end-state, highlight the differences so that the player doesn't have to hunt for them--small differences can, I feel, be somewhat tricky and frustrating to spot. Come to think of it, this might be best as an option: that way players who want to play the hard way can do so freely, while those that want the help can have it.

 

I disagree with making it compulsory, as quite a bit of the challenge will originate in determining what you need to change in order to change the result. As an option I'd say it'll work quite well, for a harder or easier difficulty level. I might put it in as an extra feature when the core game is finished.

Edited by ShiftyCake

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I disagree with making it compulsory ...

Erm... I did suggest that it be an option... o_0

 

 

Yeah that's why I said having it as an option was a good idea. I was just responding to your whole train of thought, as you suggested both the compulsory and option aspect.

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