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Isometric Puzzles

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I am thinking on what kind of puzzles can be added to an Iso Game? I started developing my engine after playing Ultima Online for a while, but somehow, the hack and slash combat, and the key-door puzzles dont seem fun enought to me, I would like to add something different, but I might have got in a mind block because I cant come up with anything, do you have any Ideas? or maybe some games I could look at to get some ideas? Thanks. Edited by - kwizatz on February 4, 2002 7:15:09 PM

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Why not add in a huge maze-like labrynth that the player must walk through? If you wanted to you could also have a monster in the center that the player must find and defeat.

"If patience is a virtue, and ignorance is bliss, you can have a pretty good life if you''re stupid and willing to wait"

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Super Mario RPG had an iso maze that was mostly invisible because most spaces where hidden by top-layer blocks. Devious.

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Add a story and some random quest. :D
You can add so some puzzle based on light if your engine allow this.
Example: there are two torch on the the wall, a door and an text on wall like "Of darkness come the answer" (sorry for my english).
The player must launch a speel of ice ball on the torch to turn them off and open the door.

I see this idea in Shadowlands a isometric game on Atari ST and Amiga (maybe on PC too but i'm not sure).

Edited by - Chagarou on February 6, 2002 6:05:41 AM

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It was truly fun trying to figure out some of the levels Westwood games- Red Alert II and Emperor: Battle for Dune, especially. Interesting, as one wouldn''t think of having to "figure out" too many things in an RTS Game.
In red alert there is a huge variety of unit types, and it usually boils down to using just the right unit with the just the right ability to accomplish an obvious goal. In one level, you got three Yuri''s (mind control- one enemy unit within range becomes your follower). You had to get into a heavily-defended base, using those units you could control to negate those you couldn''t. The goal is to take over one certain unit (the president of the US).
Other missions in RAII and Emperor started you off with only a few units, who basically had to survive baseless, sneaking through a massive assortment of different enemies to get to a certain point, then they would either be saved, or come across troops on your side, giving you the ability to create a base and wreak revenge on those same units you had to run from before. THAT is particulary satisfying.
Question: are we talking about an RPG, RTS, Shooter...? I''m guessing RPG (from the "key-door" puzzles).

Another thing to do to increase the appeal of a game, is increase the varieties of play. If your tired of hack and slash... is there any way you could create traps? Is there the possiblity of magic, or other types of weapons? A simple game economy (dead monsters drop gold coins) with "stores" possible throughout the game? (Buy heal potions, better weapons) Or, how about this: Just make the monsters respond differently to the "hack and slash" combat... make one stop cold... display "AHHHHHH!" on the screen and make it run away. For even more fun, have it come back with half a dozen of its friends.

*Sigh!* I love brainstorming. Blast me an email if any of the above sounds appealing- I have more "on tap"...

---email--- Tok ----surf----
~The Feature Creep of the Family~

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Guest Anonymous Poster
One way that many games have added puzzle elements is by taking activities in previous works and elaborating on the system that came before.

One example of this is the Civilization series of games. Each one took elements of the empire-building genre and elaborated it into a large part of the game structure. Before civilization 2, cities were just places that produced military units. But civilization transformed city management into a large part of the gameplay.

Another example is Thief, which de-emphasized many of the twitch elements of FPS games and elaborated on concealment and suspense.

One way for you to apply this to your puzzle quest is to find an activity in your game that right now requires just a click of the mouse to activate a character''s skill. Then do some research on the activity and pretty soon ideas for puzzles and such relating to that activity will begin to form.

-D

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Ack. On my first example I meant ''before Civilization 1''.

-D

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