When thinking of games, how do we define puzzles? The puzzles on may encounter in a game such as Puzzle and Dragons, or Candy Crush, on it’s surface seems much different then puzzles one may encounter in a game like Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. However, the commonality of language reveals an underlying connection. I adapted something from this article on Scott Kim’s website which I think could be a useful definition for thinking of puzzles in general in games.
A puzzle can refer to:
- An original set of problems and solutions derived from the content and mechanics you have taught the player to use.
- A set of problems and solutions introducing a player to new content as an extension of something you have previously taught them.
- A scenario designed to lead the player to discover a strategy or new way to use a mechanic they have previously learned.
By extension, puzzle design could also refer to designing or creating any of the above. I’m sure there are applications and definitions of puzzles I have missed, but I just wanted to get these thoughts down.