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Hi everyone, I am unsure if this is in the right section, sorry if it isn't!

Anyway, I am looking for ideas for puzzles in my RMMV project. I keep using the same old "find switches, move the rock, etc" puzzles and they're getting old fast, but I don't have any other ideas. What are some puzzles you guys like to use?

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  • Spining floor puzzles (Like Rocket HQ in Pokemon Red)
  • Data collection (Think how picking up a memo in Resident Evil might have a safe code in it);
  • Item collection (To unlock door to dungeon you need the Phoenix Mirror and Dragon Mirror for example);
  • Maze puzzle (Using layering and tricks to conceal pathways.
  • Riddles are under rated...

That's what I can think of just off the top of my head. Depending on the coding experience you also have things like picture sorting puzzles.

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If you're willing to do a bit of simple scripting, there are some youtube tutorials (including the necessary scripts) on sliding ice puzzles.  The item collection is much easier than it sounds to implement as it just recalls simple eventing (Conditional Branch> Item "Item name" in inventory = activate whatever your goal is).  I used it for two different puzzles in my little gamejam game, one for collecting insects to feed to monster flowers, and another where the character needed several keys (I think it was 5, but I'm to lazy to go check, and it's irrelevant).  Personally, I found these to be way to complicated when I made my last game because of time restraints, but I've been thinking of finding a place for them in the game I'm working on now.

While it's a bit complicated, there is always the puzzle where you have to move several rocks onto the proper switches that is quite a bit more complicated than the really simple moving rock puzzles (and tedious on the part of the developer.)

I had some fun with a pretty simple puzzle that was all eventing in which the character had to jump from platform to platform to get to their final destination.  I added in a key element and it made it a complex maze that was far more difficult than it looked on first glance.  The same sort of eventing that created this could also be used to create teleport mazes (like the Saffron City gym in Pokemon Red/Blue).

Traps can make a maze more interesting and can also be done 100% with events with a wide variety of potential consequences for players activating them.

Adding layered switches can bring a twist to the traditional "Find switch to open door, enter door" puzzles.  I set up a puzzle with events only where switches opened doors of the correlating colors and closed other doors of a different color.  This meant that players had to spend time figuring out the right order to open various doors if they wanted to move forward, and especially if they wanted to get the juicier treasures.

Finally, a fun puzzle that has been used but is a great puzzle built into mazes is the "identical room" maze.  All of this, of course, takes a lot of extra work because you're creating dozens of maps instead of a single one, but it's so easy to copy/paste maps and then just edit the transport events that it's not as much extra work as it seems.

Now, there's a bit of a cheat as well, as a puzzle can seem different to the player in spite of being essentially the same puzzle simply by messing around with the look and lore of it.  Instead of boulders that need to be moved, maybe animals and the movements are more extreme.  This idea is fun because you can also include trick puzzle pieces that throw players into a battle.

I hope this helped!

 

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Thank you both! I will definitely look into implementing these ideas! :D

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Be careful with your puzzles. Balancing is key. A tough puzzle that stops the player dead can hold them back from getting further in your project. Making these few in number and toward the end of the game is a very good idea as an indie project.

 

Puzzles that allow the player to move and play through the experience like mazes or platform jumping, pushing, interacting, etc, help keep the player engaged and adapting to new angles of approach. Keep this in mind, as limited as RMs are for this type of thing.

 

My favorite puzzles are the ones that seem rare, mystical, ancient, significant, because they are one of only a few true "puzzles" in the game. Ones that require brain power, observing the environment and accessing provided knowledge of history and lore in order to crack a clever code. Those puzzles that pay off in the end by giving access to something huge, valuable, important, etc.

 

Meantime the smaller, quasi-puzzle methods are great for prying some interaction and attention to the setting and plot out of the player. Having to locate items and use them the right way, push blocks over buttons, light torches, push an object out of the way and things of that nature are great for making dungeons more hands-on and interactive vs a simple step/battle grind one just wants to get through so they can reach the next set of shops.

 

Overall, think about more than what types of puzzle to use, and make sure you firmly tackle the application of the puzzle itself throughout the game.

Edited by That One NPC
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