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Players Making Decisions: Game Design Essentials and the Art of Understanding Your Players by Zack Hiwiller

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18. Puzzle Design

It is one of man’s curious idiosyncrasies to create difficulties for the pleasure of resolving them.

—JOSEPH DIE MAISTRE

Puzzles have been an essential part of games since early in the dawn of play. Much like how in today’s video-game market shooters are the genre du jour, at one time the best-selling genre was the text adventure. In text adventures, the primary antagonist was a series of puzzles. Many modern games, such as Portal or Tomb Raider, have environmental puzzles that players are required to solve to continue in the story’s progression. The iOS game The Room was at the top of the sales charts for a number of weeks in 2012, selling over a million units despite being entirely made up of a series of puzzles.

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