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Video: Designing puzzles that make players feel smart
February 11, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff

February 11, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff
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More: Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Design, Video



GDC Vault offers for free a lecture from the 2009 Game Developers Conference on how to design puzzles effectively to help players feel smart, given by Tiger Style's Randy Smith.

Rather than providing too much advance information or dumbing the challenge down, Smith argues for user-centered puzzles that provide "guidance on demand." He shows Tomb Raider and Portal puzzles as excellent examples that scale to the players' needs and provide more hints only if necessary.

In this presentation, Smith covers puzzle structure along with six principles of user-centered design: visibility, affordances, mapping, visual language, feedback, and conceptual models.

Check out the free video here.

Session Name: Helping Your Players Feel Smart: Puzzles as User Interface

Speaker(s): Randy Smith

Company Name(s): Tiger Style

Track / Format: Game Design

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC China already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscriptions via a GDC Vault inquiry form.

Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can find out more here. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins.

Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from other events like GDC China and GDC 2013. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.


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