Puzzle design books and readings


Any recommendations about puzzle design books or readings? I´ve found that I am pretty bad at designing puzzles. My testers are always lost and very often they don´t even have a clue about what´s happening in my games. Sometimes I think I´ve designed an easy one only to find that it is nearly impossible. And then, I try adding hints to fix the problem and the puzzle becomes so diminished that maybe it isn´t a puzzle anymore.

Anyway, I am looking forward to plunging into some good analysis.


Some links from when I was thinking about this stuff:


Not a book, but Elyot Grant’s three-part talk will give you lot of food for thought.

EDIT: I don’t feel like I talked this up enough. It’s probably the only thing I’ve seen or read that gets at the heart of what a puzzle is and why you would design one. It gave me a new way of looking at puzzles, which I think is pretty actionable, or at least will become a part of your thinking when you design a puzzle.


More miscellaneous articles:


Thanks everyone for the ton of interesting readings.

“Why adventures suck” left me intriguing, so I will begin by that, but I think I will devour everything.

Hopefully, my next project will benefit from all these analysis.

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I wish I could recommend my own page about puzzle taxonomies, but I barely started it. It’s too incomplete and superficial to be of any use yet.


Sounds interesting. Please, do it once you feel you are ready for that. And, as they say: the more the merrier.