A “Diegetic” Attempt to Improve the Puzzle

Puzzles can be ludic as they are meant to be. But to convey a consistent gameplay experience, being ludic is not enough. A good puzzle in a adventure should be in the adventure, that is to be “diegetic”.

In the design of the original puzzle 2 (shown below), the tracks may not be well explained from a player’s view — what’s the point of setting up tracks in Tesla’s laboratory  even in a half-fictional game context?  In addition, it doesn’t contain adequate ludic elements of electricity.

a2 tracks puzzle

An attempt of improvement was made to make it more “diegetic”.

First, the whole track system has been redefined as a AC/DC power dissipation simulation experiment left by Tesla.

In the room there are some high-resistance circular plates which can be rotated to form a circuit to conduct both AC & DC power form generators to motors. Both AC and DC motors are connected to an elevator through the power transmission.

Notice that a plate in the centre is missing, only the DC circuit can be established to partially power the elevator though the DC motor. Notes around the room indicate that DC power loses current easily over long distances (simulated by the high-resistance environment in this situation).
The elevator can only take the player down to a storeroom where the missing plate is located when powered by the weak DC current.

Now the player has to figure out a way out since they are now trapped in the storeroom, for the DC current is too weak to pull
the elevator back upstairs. Then other puzzles involving ladder assembly and trapdoor lock picking can kick in. After the player successfully get back to the upper room with the plate found, the AC circuit can be completed and then leads to the AC motor puzzle. Finally after it is solved, the elevator is powered by the AC motor, which runs on the strong AC power, it can take the player up to the next puzzle room.

a2 tracks puzzle _2


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