Developer Diary #13: Tracing Puzzle Design
In one of our earliest posts you may remember we had originally intended to make one of the puzzles in NSB be a tracing challenge. In other words, you’d have to trace over lines to create a shape without going over any line twice. We ended up scrapping the idea due to technological constraints, as well as wanting to experiment and try other “school worksheet” type activities.
We didn’t come to this conclusion lightly; we actually spent time designing numerous puzzles to see how it would play out. The following two photos represent our favorites and will show you what we had in mind.
As you can see, this first one is very simple in presentation (please note since they are drafts the lines aren’t perfectly straight in ex. 4). We liked it enough but felt like it could use a bit more personality. Then we remembered how a typical school worksheet usually has some kind of visual theme that will appeal to kids. We decided space would be the best theme to go with.
Above are some space themed trace puzzles we thought worked quite well. You’ll notice that both the themed and non-themed puzzle sets have a variety of examples that differ in difficulty and length. The object is to start with a simpler example to orient the player with how the game works, and then elevate the difficulty smoothly from one puzzle to the next.
Tracing wasn’t the only puzzle type that we tried and scrapped. Tune in next week for a look at another type of challenge YoyoBolo experiemented with.