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Character Development and Storytelling for Games, Second Edition by Lee Sheldon

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PUZZLING DEVELOPMENTS

Obstacles are common to all dramatic media, and puzzles, as Bob Bates points out in his sidebar, are one of the obstacles that gamers face. The difference is that puzzles the audience must solve are the province of interactivity alone. We might think that mystery novels share puzzles with us; and it’s true when we talk about the game the writer plays with the reader and the puzzle of the crime. Clichéd dialogue like “There’s still a piece missing.” and “It all fits!” refer explicitly to the puzzle aspects of a mystery story.

But the enjoyment of the mystery is not only that “game.” The reader need not figure out the puzzle of “Whodunnit?” at all to enjoy it. Even more significantly, the reader can continue from the beginning ...

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