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Old April 7th, 2017 (7:44 AM).
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Christos Christos is offline
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Puzzles were brought up in the Discord chatroom, and since we'll likely be having puzzles in gyms, caves and temples, we can use this thread to brainstorm.

Feel free to post general ideas as well as detailed ones if you have a specific gym/cave in mind.
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Old April 7th, 2017 (7:56 AM).
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It wouldn't be a Pokémon game if we didn't have a least one warp puzzle for a gym or secret base.
What are you so afraid of?
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Old April 7th, 2017 (8:09 AM).
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Dyskinesia Dyskinesia is offline
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    Okay, puzzles are something I've been thinking about a lot for my own hack, and I think that good puzzle design is something that would be super beneficial to having a fun and satisfying game. In my mind there's two main routes we could go with puzzles: The traditional Pokémon route, and the 2D Zelda route. Let me elaborate.

    Traditionally, the Pokémon games like to throw you into a puzzle scenario with there best ones, and there's not a ton of repetition of concepts in the puzzles. For example, there are only a few sliding-ice puzzles in FireRed, and the concept isn't explored a ton outside of the one cave. They typically associate a single puzzle type with a certain area, notice how the Rocket hideouts always have the tiles that make you slide in a given direction. Pokemon has a lot of cool basic concepts like this, but they're not pushed to their limits and they're not mixed together much if at all.

    Zelda games obviously have considerably more puzzles, and since the 2D games are very similar to Pokémon in how you move about the world, we can definitely take some inspiration from them. Zelda's style in regards to puzzles is to introduce you to very simple concepts like "Shoot the arrow at the eye", "Step on the pressure plate", etc, early game, then mixes and matches these basic puzzle elements in interesting ways as time goes on. More and more small elements like this are added, and the result is cooler puzzles, since you get to build off your knowledge of all the previous puzzles to find the solution for the current one.

    What that would mean in a Pokémon setting is that we would introduce puzzle elements early on, like boulder-pushing, ice-sliding, and teleport tiles, then maybe later in the game we would see a puzzle where we have to push boulders around on an ice floor to make it so we can navigate to the other side of the room.

    The main advantage of the traditional Pokémon system is that you don't need a lot of puzzles to make it work, as each one is standalone. If we want to have a lot of floor puzzles and make that a common part of getting through caves and other areas, then I suggest we go the Zelda route and really push what puzzles can be in a Pokémon game.

    Sorry if this wasn't incredibly clear, I'm not super good at explaining stuff ( x_x)
    Originally Posted by DizzyEgg View Post
    Has the potential to turn really bad which is why I'm all for it.
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    Old April 7th, 2017 (8:51 PM).
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    5qwerty 5qwerty is offline
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    Here's something I made up a while back for a gym puzzle:

    Another thing I was thinking of is to have a unusually hard puzzle that would be tedious to do trial and error for, but you could have an item or a tile (like "binoculars tile" or something) that lets you move the camera and view the room in its entirety. It's a way out if we want to do something super hard.
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    Old April 7th, 2017 (9:59 PM).
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    Dyskinesia Dyskinesia is offline
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      Originally Posted by 5qwerty View Post
      Another thing I was thinking of is to have a unusually hard puzzle that would be tedious to do trial and error for, but you could have an item or a tile (like "binoculars tile" or something) that lets you move the camera and view the room in its entirety. It's a way out if we want to do something super hard.
      I think if we're gonna have huge huge huge puzzles like I've seen in some ROM hacks, then some binocular thing like this would absolutely be needed. A huge puzzle that is just trial and error =/= a hard puzzle. Less emphasis should be placed on making sure that puzzles are difficult, and instead on making sure that they have satisfying solutions.

      Here's an example:


      This puzzle is huuuuge, so big that it's at the level where it's no longer a puzzle, and just trial and error. Even once you finish a puzzle like this, you're generally not super excited about it. You're not like "man, I love the puzzles in this game!", you're just more likely to shut off the game next time there's a puzzle.

      Small and simple puzzles with interesting premises and satisfying solutions should be the goal.
      Originally Posted by DizzyEgg View Post
      Has the potential to turn really bad which is why I'm all for it.
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      Old April 8th, 2017 (1:50 AM).
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      The Trick House in Hoenn was also an interesting place for puzzles. If we want to do a lot of puzzles, we can perhaps make such a place in the game as well.

      Other puzzles that come to my mind:

      Quizzes: can be about general Pokémon knowledge, the area (such as a question about the number of rocks on the outside of the cave) or really about anything else.

      Interviews: Not sure what to call this one, but what I have in mind is a guy asking questions about other NPCs. ("What is the favorite color of Gym Leader X?") The player then has to find out the answer to the question by either finding said NPC and asking personally or reading gossip magazines/watching television. This might easily being combined with the quiz above.

      Classic maze: Basically any cave or other dungeon is a kind of maze, but I'm talking about an actual maze with small corridors, lots of them. To make this work, the view around the player needs to be shrunk.

      Ledge maze: As simple as it sounds, I think lots and lots of ledges can provide quite an interesting puzzle as well.

      Trash can puzzle from Vermillion City

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      Old April 10th, 2017 (8:12 AM). Edited April 11th, 2017 by luuma.
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      luuma luuma is offline
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        gen 5/6 strength mechanics are so much better than gen 1-4's it's not even funny, although afaik the only way to do them is to have four person events there at once. I'm no expert though!

        5qwerty's suggestions are really really good, and also totally achievable

        Here's a list of all puzzles done so far in pokemon. I've put more dashes next to ones that are fresh and easy to implement
        -vermillion gym
        -basic maze featuring e.g breakable rocks, trees, buttons that close doors
        -Invisible maze for people who find visual cues detrimental to gameplay
        -step limit maze e.g frlg safari zone, birth island
        ----Pokemon mansion switches (press a button to switch between green doors being open while blue are closed or blue doors being open while green are closed)/Mauville gym/new mauville
        -Pokemon Mansion balconies (walk around the lower floor to get an idea of what it looks like then use this knowledge to work out what hole/balcony to fall through in order to progress)
        -rocket warehouse Spin maze/seafloor caverns current maze
        -route 15 or something where trainers block the way if they spot you at the wrong time
        -silph co warp puzzle with a lift/sabrina gym warp puzzle etc
        This is much better done in Lavaridge gym, where warps directly correspond between an upper and lower floor. Also appears in canalave gym, and driftveil gym
        ----gen 3 silph co warp puzzle (a corridoor with warps on either side blocking access to an item ball, you have to use a warp then return to it in order to get to the item)
        ----Slide maze
        -frlg victory road buttons pressed by strength boulders
        -push strenghtboulders through holes to see them land the floor below
        -Strength puzzles
        -gen 2 toggle the correct buttons to disable all 4 doors (was this gen 2? the one where each button flips the status of two doors and a certain order of button pushing is needed to get them all done)
        -ledge mazes like the route down from blackthorn city
        -Winona's revolving door fiesta
        -Emerald mossdeep gym
        -wallace's gym
        -trick master quiz
        -Water level puzzle (crasher wake and cave on route 125)
        -Cycle fast mach bike puzzles
        ----Perspective hiding dp grass gym/location of shadow ball tm in b2w2
        -dp fighting gym
        -Bike jumps gen 4
        -Snowpoint Gym
        -gen 5 strength puzzles
        ----turnback cave/forest in gen 6/ desert in gen 7
        ----Mistralton gym in bw
        -Mistralton gym in b2w2
        ----Build your own maze in opelucid city gym/8th gym in gen 6 (loads of untapped potential here)
        ----The haunted house in b2w2 where the layout occasionally changes
        ----Odd One Out at the top of a volcano in gen 7 (just use movecamera commands)
        ----good old fashoined well hidden entrances

        I have a puzzle idea from my own game which was a set of robots that you could issue certain movement commands to. When they are moved to a certain location, you're allowed to progress. it worked pretty well :D
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        Old July 13th, 2017 (6:30 PM).
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        BugTypeAficionado BugTypeAficionado is offline
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          An idea I was thinking about was something similar to a couple of levels in Kirby: Planet Robobot.

          In one of the later levels of the game, there were several corridors with split paths, requiring the use of one of the abilities (ex: At a split path, one way provides you with a fire ability and stuff to burn, while the other provides you with an ice ability and objects that need to be frozen to complete other puzzles). Of course, the catch was that, before these corridors was a screen that gave a specific order of abilities (Ex: Ice, Spark, Fire, Sword), and the player had to remember which ability paths to follow in which order to complete the puzzle and get the reward at the end. This could be translated into a rom hack.

          At the beginning of an area is a sign or NPC, telling the player specific abilities in a specific order (for examples sake, let's say HMs are still used in this rom hack, so Strength, Surf, Rock Smash, Dive), and then the player is lead down a corridor until they reach a split path. One way leads to a Rock Smash puzzle, the other a Strength rock pushing puzzle. The Strength path is the correct way and leads the player to the next choice of paths, while the Rock Smash puzzle either leads to a dead end, a warp to the start, or some sort of constellation prize. The player has to remember which ability to use where and in what order to reach the end of the puzzle. You could have more than 4 steps or 3 or more puzzles at each step if you wanted to complicate things too. And if you wanted to take a Ruins of Alph sort of approach, instead of HMs, you could need to have/use certain items instead, like Repels, Escape Ropes, etc.
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