From time to time someone mentions an intriguing puzzle idea or such, and I try to implement it in Inform 7 as an experiment. Most of these ideas have later proven either trivial or impossible or ended up in my Scroll Thief notebook, but there are a few which fall into a different category. I doubt I’ll ever legitimately use these in games, but they were interesting to code and might be helpful to someone else. So I figured I’d post the code snippets as mini-examples for anyone who wants them.
- Spellbreaker Cubes - The coin-weighing puzzle from Spellbreaker, with its nasty twist. The game doesn’t track which coin is fake. Instead it keeps a list of possibilities, which are slowly eliminated as the player weighs them. When they select one at the end, if there is any other possibility at all, that one will be chosen instead. So luck will never be on your side.
- Sylladex - The intentionally annoying hash-map Sylladex from the webcomic Homestuck, with a sample puzzle. You can’t supply nouns with your verbs: instead, the noun is chosen based on a simple hash of the command. So to search a box, you first need to pick it up by calling it a CHEST (hash 9), then LOOK IN it (hash 9). LOOK INTO (hash 2) would instead examine a METAL KEY (hash 2). It’s even worse than it sounds. I considered trying to make an actual (mini-)game out of this mechanic but it was too frustrating even for me as the author.
- Autumn Leaves - The solitaire card game by Toby Ord implemented in Inform. I like this game, it’s relaxing and has a nice combination of luck and skill.
I’ll add more here if they come up.