I remember reading something on game design or puzzle design that talked about, among other things, whether to have the player encounter the problem first, or the solution first (e.g. should the player find a key lying around, and later find the locked door it goes to, or should the player encounter the locked door first and then look for the key)? It might have been an article linked at IF Wiki. I’ve been looking through those but so far can’t find the one I’m thinking of. Does anyone remember the article I’m talking about?
You might be thinking of Ron Gilbert’s Why Adventure Games Suck from 1989 (“Backwards Puzzles”).
That was it! Thanks!
This topic was covered a couple weeks back during a discussion about The Dreamhold on Adam Cadre’s Radio K podcast. Mild Dreamhold and Wishbringer spoilers.