Taking a fresh look at my long-stalled magnum opus. (“Magnum” in this case being a synonym for “bloated.”) In order to win the game, the player needs to have three NPCs in a particular room, plus a bunch of chimpanzees. The chimps need to be equipped to do a certain thing, and the player needs to be in possession of four different items. The absence of any of those items will not be fatal, but it will force the player to go off and get whatever is missing, which could involve solving a few other puzzles.
This is a combinatorial explosion. Very bad design. But for plot reasons, I’m stuck with it.
I’m thinking of organizing it as a set of several scenes. These scenes will only run in that one room, and each will probably have bits of text that will nudge you in the right direction. Plus, the NPCs will be able to make intelligent comments based on which scene is running. Yeah, that makes sense. But it’s still a horrid tangle.