The Unbearable Awesomeness Of Being

Thursday, November 18, 2004

To Play The Impossible Play

The Theory Of Fun website (Not linked because of religious reasons) sustains that people seek but are bored by routine in games. Personally, I'd say people seek but are quickly bored by easy rewards in games. However, I like their idea of making puzzles the maker doesn't know the solution of. Games are usually a challenge of wits or skill between the player and the creator (Kojima knows that), and if the maker is dumb, the player will win easily.

The HAWT solution of the moment is to use other players instead. But is it possible to, say, guard a sidequest item behind a monster you have no idea whether anyone will be able to defeat? I managed to do that in DROD once, with a corridor 4 tiles wide full of goblins. I had no idea how to get through it, and some testers showed me. (I forgot again.) DROD makes this easy to do, since the 'large mob of goblins' monster can vary between utterly deadly in open quarters to dead meat in a narrow corridor. Just add and remove walls to suit the difficulty to your liking. Of course, there -was- the possibility the thing was impossible, in which case I might have been lynched.

Perhaps the way is to make a random or genetic puzzle/monster builder, with a solver that ensures there is SOME way to defeat it. Make a couple of hundred, scatter them across the countryside, and watch the players make for your throat.


  • Mm, I was considering doing the auto-building-and-checking thing for my boring Sokoban clone, because I couldn't be bothered to make more than six levels - that you'd just need to set up a random, finished gamestate and have an agent walk around pulling the blocks backwards at random for a few hundred turns - but never got around to it.

    I did find some pre-existing Sokoban level generators, somewhere - I think they went to the trouble of working out minimum solve paths, afterwards, as well. But I couldn't get it to work.

    By Blogger Kevan, at 11/22/2004 12:54 PM  

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