Using custom commands for puzzle purposes

Hi All,

I am facing the challenge of adding custom commands to my game for puzzle purposes. Let me describe the scenario I am thinking of:

  1. The player needs to trigger the start of the puzzle. In my example, sitting down in front of the chessboard starts the chess puzzle. I can then provide some introductory text explaining the challenge and which custom commands are available to the player. I understand I can use e.g. “RULES” to allow the player to re-read the rules when needed.

  2. The player needs to be able to abort the puzzle. In the example, getting up would abort the attempt and the puzzle would be reset (leaving the puzzle in an unfinished state may be less desirable? Should I use a RESET command instead?)

  3. The player needs to be able to use commands related to solving the puzzle. In the example, providing chess moves to checkmate the enemy King.

Technically I can use a scene to implement this (provide the intro text, and using the running scene to decide on the allowable commands during the scene.)

My concern is mainly with the command set used for (3.) Those commands would not make sense outside the scope of the puzzle (nor would they be handled at all because the scene is not running.)

What would be a good way to deal with this? If I don’t do anything I would get stuff like:

> w
> p7f
You can't see any such thing.
That's not a verb I recognize.

Feedback would be very much appreciated!

1 Like

I’d say “You only need to do that when playing chess” would be a good response, since it can be confusing for a player if a valid command sometimes gives a default errors - you can do that with a check rule giving the response if the scene isn’t playing (it’s very unlikely a player would type those unintentionally before getting to the chess puzzle so I wouldn’t worry about it being a potential reveal, though if you’re differently inclined it’s easy enough to add an additional check to see if the player’s been to the room with the chess puzzle).


You could also change the prompt when the player is working on a puzzle to make it clear that the special puzzle-specific commands are now going to be accepted.