Say the phrase “puzzle games” and many people think of games like Zuma or Tetris — but add in everything puzzles have to offer wider gaming experiences, and the broad and storied genre encompasses everything from the classic Secret of Monkey Island to Ico and Portal.
How can games approach puzzles as successfully-integrated components of their experience? At the Game Developers Conference Online, Singapore MIT GAMBIT Game Lab’s Clara Fernandez Vara says puzzles have something crucial to add: “that moment when we realize—’I got it’—we feel clever, and feeling clever is fun.”
In the aim to challenge players, she says, many designers can get bogged down trying to prove what good designers they are, but it’s giving the player that sense of satisfaction and clever-feeling—what Vara calls “insight”—that should be the goal.
Read the rest at Gamasutra—“GDC Online: Making Puzzles And Writing Work Together”