Brainstorming some puzzle ideas

Regular readers will know that for the last few years I have been busy making a Christian point & click adventure game – a Bible-teaching game pitched at teenagers, born out of my evangelical convictions that it is through the word of God that God works to bring new life. It’s slow going, but I can thank God for a good month where, with a lot of help from friends, I’ve made some real progress on designing the puzzles that make up the game.

Now with 25% less content!

As with most creative endeavours, I face a constant battle with scope creep. What started off as a small-scale project designed to test the waters had gradually evolved into an epic four-act beast. As an independent developer with no funding and even less spare time to work on the project, the odds of actually finishing such a game aren’t good. And so, over the weekend, I more or less decided to completely remove the whole of the first act from the game. I’d realised some time ago that it contained absolutely no genuine Bible content whatsoever – it essentially just formed a rather long-winded setup for act 2, where the player first meets the prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 8. To make my decision even easier, it doesn’t even really appear to have affected the story in any significant way.

Of course, cutting such a large chunk of the game out does come with its personal costs. One of my favourite characters resided in that section of the game, not to mention some great puzzles. But the advice I seem to come across over and over again is that if the ideas were really as good as you thought they were, they’ll find a way to resurface somewhere else. If not, then maybe they weren’t really all that after all.

What Next?

The reduced scale of what’s left of the game makes my task considerably easier. It has probably set me back by a couple of weeks, but I’m still hoping to make the most of the momentum I’ve built up over the last month and try to finish off my “puzzle design” document by the end of February – a cross between a flowchart and a game walkthrough that contains a complete description of every puzzle and how it fits into the story, as well as giving a feel for how the puzzles work together for a satisfying experience. Once that’s complete, I’ll have a much clearer idea of who all of the characters are and the different locations they reside in.


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