My Game Design

September 14, 2021

How do You Design a Good Puzzle Game?

Puzzle games are one of the most popular genres in mobile game development. It doesn't matter if you want to create arcades or puzzle games, there are many things that you will need to know. Creating classic match 3 puzzle games has become boring for most developers these days.

That’s why they are looking for new ways to improve the puzzle game genre. A great puzzle should have a solution that is fair and clear. One of the biggest requirements that players demand is “more levels” which means you need a bigger storyline and more different puzzles.

Players that excel at the game should demonstrate skill in problem-solving, not guessing or random behavior. This means that a puzzle with a solution that follows these rules might be boring because it's trivial! That's fine because it will help you shape your next project towards something more engaging to players of all skill levels

The Mechanics of a Puzzle Game

Game mechanics refers to the rules, settings, challenges, and so forth created by the developer. The successful game mechanics are often appreciated by players. Game mechanics are the core gameplay style of the game, which decides the game play's module(game rules). 

A good puzzle game should be able to pull the player into a new and unique experience. With an interesting story and a creative way of solving puzzles. Unlocking part of the story or instructions next time is the challenge, which allows the player to grow with the development of the story.

To be able to produce a really good puzzle game, all elements should be thought out again and again. Here are some basic steps you can take to develop a perfect puzzle game. Puzzle games are defined by their core mechanic. The player fundamentally changes something in the world, and that change has consequences.

Example -  A platformer makes the protagonist fall/jump/run differently based on the rules of gravity or physics, a fighting game makes characters perform moves, An RPG is largely about equipment, An interactive fiction is about progression through text, etc. That said, it’s not enough to have mechanics, they need to be interesting to use.  Each mechanic must have a clear weakness or trap to fall into.

Developing Your Ideas

The first step in the development of a puzzle is coming up with an idea. This sounds easy, but it is probably the hardest part of puzzle design. The reason for this is how open-ended the process is. In most other art forms, you have a clear goal or a specific result to achieve.

To succeed you must translate their idea into something they can recognize as their own. With puzzles your goal is not nearly as clear, after all, who will know if you succeed? You must come up with a puzzle that will be fun and challenging to solve without any limitation on how you go about doing it.

Developing video game puzzles is an art where all the pieces come together; you might get inspiration from books, movies, real-life issues - the works! When I started to develop my first game, I was hoping that my puzzle game idea would be accepted by the game development company, and make it eventually to the top video game charts.

But it took me some time to get realistic and realize that even with an excellent work of art, people will still ignore it unless I prove its potential through successful promotions. You’ll need persistence and willingness to learn how to promote via social media channels.

Choosing Mechanics

The main mechanic of your game will be the puzzle itself. The puzzle can vary from a very straightforward problem that’s meant to showcase a specific solution, to a more abstract and open-ended one that lets the player find their solutions. A secondary mechanic is something else that you want to explore within the current puzzle or challenge.

These can be ambient mechanics or actions for players to do while working on the puzzle, which simply affects the environment and doesn’t require any thinking. Or they can be concrete problems for players to try and solve along with the problem that has been presented.

Puzzle games ordinarily have a core mechanic and various secondary mechanics. Secondary mechanics should help explore the main one by shaping it in some way or by revealing a facet of it. Three primary puzzle game genres exist maze puzzles, match-3 puzzles, and scenario puzzles.

A game developer can create puzzles in many different ways. The important thing is the logic needed to solve the puzzles in many video games is quite easy, even if you haven’t played one of its kind before. Puzzles are built to challenge the player’s mind and require several layers of thinking for them to be properly solved. The secondary mechanics should help explore the main one by blocking it in some way or by revealing a facet of it.

Understanding mechanics

A good mechanics puzzle game should explain itself. It should offer a lesson, a new way of thinking about things, a new perspective. If it doesn't, then you haven't done your job as a developer. If your puzzle is hard to explain, then the rules aren't clear and the player might be struggling because of it.

They could also be considered as organized collections of force multipliers. From a developer's perspective, Game Mechanics can be thought of as powerful tools, they are deployable tools whose function is to multiply output force. Developing a good puzzle mechanic for a video game is essential to establishing the difficulty of the puzzles.

There are many different types of puzzle mechanics and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. If your goal is to create a challenge for your players, you should consider the puzzle's gameplay, level design, and narrative aspects before deciding on which type of puzzle mechanic you want to use.

Since the dawn of interactions, humans have found delight in solving puzzles, be it physical or digital. The good game design turns this into a compelling experience that keeps players engaged and continually challenged. The qualities that make for a good puzzle design are common sense.

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