Puzzle Designers Wanted

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Jennifer
Puzzle Designers Wanted

We are looking for creative people to help with puzzle design.  The position calls for people who are good at designing original, fun, realistic, themed puzzles and working with a team of like-minded brainstormers.  Good written communication skills, openness to critique, and a friendly attitude are a definite must.  Besides designing individual puzzles, the applicant should be willing to incorporate their work into the game's broader documentation (i.e. the walkthrough) and explain how a player progresses through the Age and solves the puzzle.  Basic drawing skills are required; specifically, you need to be able to draw diagrams that are good enough for a concept artist to work from.  You must also be willing to familiarize yourself with the existing work on the game and create work that meets the game's puzzle design requirements.

If you're interested, post below.  We could use the help.  smiley

Al Edwards
Al Edwards's picture
Puzzle Designer

If I may be given an Idea of your story and plot. I may be able to help with puzzle design, though I would need assistance with the actual programing. I was responsible for the puzzle design for the URU age R'Oshanhnin Korvahkhn.

 

One idea, would be for a disguised puzzle: a clock that turns into a combination lock...

Jennifer
If I may be given an Idea of

If I may be given an Idea of your story and plot. I may be able to help with puzzle design, though I would need assistance with the actual programing. I was responsible for the puzzle design for the URU age R'Oshanhnin Korvahkhn.

I wish I could say I'd played R'Oshanhnin Korvahkhn, but my copy of Uru has gotten mislaid.  But I've read good things about it.  :)  Alright, I'll get you set up.  The programming should be no problem. 

Jojon
Ok, I'm here and listening --

Ok, I'm here and listening -- feel free to bounce any ideas that you feel not fully formed, off me, Wamduskasapa - I'll try my best to come up with responses that helps you solidify them. Do keep in mind, though, that my best may not be the best you have become spoiled with from others. :)

I'll try to find a few moments during the week, to try getting a feel for general and specific contexts we're supposed to fit into - any suggestions on a good place to start, Jen? :7

Al Edwards
Al Edwards's picture
Jojon Check out

Hey Jojon

 

Links removed "I apologize"

dtierce
dtierce's picture
I tried looking at the links

I tried looking at the links provided. Got "access denied" for both of them.

David Tierce

Jennifer
Hey David,

Hey David,

Only people with a developer's account can view those links.  Were you interested in joining the team?

Jennifer
Ok, I'm here and listening --

@Jojon--

Ok, I'm here and listening -- feel free to bounce any ideas that you feel not fully formed, off me, Wamduskasapa - I'll try my best to come up with responses that helps you solidify them. Do keep in mind, though, that my best may not be the best you have become spoiled with from others. :)

I'll try to find a few moments during the week, to try getting a feel for general and specific contexts we're supposed to fit into - any suggestions on a good place to start, Jen? :7

Sent you an e-mail--I'll get the calendar project going tomorrow. 

 

Fanni
Please don't post links to

Please don't post links to private documents in the public forum. :) Anyone who's interested in joining the developer team will be set up as a member with the ability to access the developers' boards. That's where such discussion should take place.

Sue
Puzzle design

G'day All,

               I would like to sign up for the puzzle design.

Jennifer
Heya, welcome back!    I'll

Heya, welcome back!  cool  I'll get you set right up. 

dtierce
dtierce's picture
Puzzle suggestion

A puzzle I've had in mind for some time has all the clues built in. It consists of a 3x3 panel surrounded by the D'ni number for 15 on all sides and corners. When the first square in the 3x3 array is touched, it lights up with the number 1. The second square lights up with a 2, etc. If the last one touched is touched again, it blanks out or "deletes" the last entry. If all 9 squares are touched, the squares blank out. If they were touched in the proper sequence to create a magic square, the lock is also released. Otherwise, the explorer starts all over.

 

There are actually many solutions. The test for a solution simply has to show that the magic square criteria is met when the 9th square is touched.

 

If more clues are desired, the surrounding numbers (15's) could light up green whenever a column, row, or diagonal was completed and added to 15. Conversely, the same indicator could turn red if the sum is incorrect.

 

Is this something like what you had in mind? I have more puzzles including one needing 4 people to solve. I had vague plans to use them in some ages I hoped to write for Uru, but it may be a *long* time before that happens.

 

David Tierce

 

Jennifer
Hm...  Well the magic square

Hm...  Well, the magic square puzzle has fallen out of favor in the game design community, I'm afraid.  smiley  We're primarily looking for puzzles that fit seamlessly into the gameworld, rather like in Riven.  Ilathid is also single player.  Would you still be interested? 

Dakuoburibasudo...
Dakuoburibasudoragonshido's picture
Probably not needed, but worth a go.

Hello, there I'd like to say first off that I've been keeping an eye on this project close enough to when you first up the website and that I have never been more amazed to see such a thing coming together. You have the highest of praises coming from me. Anywhoos, I'd like to think you have somebody already handling this, but I'd like to offer my services with some historical context to the puzzles. Adding narrative flavor and detail to things is about all I'm good for. I could workout a story behind each puzzle such as why it was made, who made it (when appilicable), some minor facts worth noting possibly. If there are any journals related to these puzzles I'd love to work on writing out the little story bits that explain what the puzzle is about and how to solve it.

I am Colonel Devyn Mosyk of Imperial Red Watch. Get back in line there General.

Jennifer
Heya there.    Thanks for all

Heya there.  smiley  Thanks for all the kind words!  (Gosh, you've been around awhile.)

I'm honestly not sure how much work there would be for you, but if you'd like to take a look at things, I wouldn't mind seeing how you could enhance the game.  But fair warning--you would have be highly self motivated when it comes to digging through the game's documentation.  This is a large, complex project in varying stages of completion, and if you want to tweak the backstory you really will have to understand the Whole.  In practice this means that you will probably have to read carefully through a hundred pages of storyline documents, puzzle descriptions, character sheets, journals, and other gamefiles.  I'm serious here.  There are very high expectations in this area. 

So, let me know whether or not you would still interested in that level of commitment.  I don't want to discourage you, but I don't want to disappoint you either--because if you don't read the documentation, your time on team will not be much fun for either you or me.  :P  There are a lot of areas (art, modeling, etc.) that wouldn't require you to understand the whole game before you can start work, but the backstory is an area that requires pretty in-depth knowledge before you can make meaningful contributions. 

Whatever you decide, I am grateful for the offer.  smiley

Hollister
Hollister's picture
Design Team

Is this also where I should apply/request to join the development team? I'd like to assist with programming as well as level design, music, and pretty much in any other area I could be of assistance. Please do let me know if you're interested and I'll provide further information.

Jennifer
Hey there!

Hey there!

Well, we sure could use the help. :) But first, could you tell me a little about your experience? I.e, what other projects you've worked on, etc? And if you have any examples of your work, that would be good too. Just something to assess your skills with. :)

Hollister
Hollister's picture
Sure! My go to engine is

Sure! My go to engine is Unity, so I can make a compilation of gameplay from a few of my projects. One project is an MMO, but it's not complete, haha.

Most of the projects I've worked on are my own, however I make minigames (Lua) for a game called Transformice, I've developed my own private (MMO, authoritative) server for it as well as player bots (Python) and many other things. I've made mods for Minecraft, as well as Bukkit plugins (Java) and scripts in CommandHelper (MScript). Recently I've starting the steep learning curve to Unreal Engine, but I haven't done too much in that. I can at least send some screenshots of my games, if you want, if not video. I'm also very involved in the music world, and I love composing, as well as playing Piano, Drums, Duduk, and singing. Please do let me know what else I can do.

Jennifer
That all sounds great. :)

That all sounds great. :) Mkay, let me see if I can get ahold of one of our programmers--Marianne, Mikey, Eric? Any questions for him?

You've actually come at kind of a good/bad time for us. Long story short, I had to vanish like five months ago to work on another project (let's just say it was that or bankrupcy) and have been totally out of things. Which was unfortunate, since I'm doing most of the modeling, and without any renders or animations, there was nothing to feed into the game engine. As a result, we've pretty much been on hiatus all summer. But hopefully that will be over at last. :) (I got a new job just this month which has opened up my free time again.) So, let's see if we can gather everyone up again.

Hollister
Hollister's picture
Sounds good! And also my

Sounds good! And also my first question would be what engine are y'all using? I have more questions, but I'll save them for later.

Jennifer
It's a home built one.

It's a home built one.

Hollister
Hollister's picture
Oh wow, that's awesome! Can't

Oh wow, that's awesome! Can't wait to see.

Oh and also I wanted to reiterate that I'm very interested in composing the soundtrack, if you're interested. I'm a huge Jack Wall fan, and actually learned how to play Duduk because of Myst. I can compose and record the music, I have friends who play the instruments that I don't. So let me know if you're at all interested.

Jennifer
We might be able to use you

We might be able to use you for the music, but no guarantees. Basically, the music is going to be put in near the very end of the game. We've learned from experience that it's just not a great idea to try and do it before the designing is finished.

Okay, so I'm going to upgrade your account so that you should be able to see the developer section of the forums...

Hollister
Hollister's picture
Awesome! Without knowing

Awesome! Without knowing exactly how far along you are, I'd like to point out that the soundtracks for Myst/Riven/Exile/etc. were made before the game was even near playable. I'm not sure what that means in regard to this project, and I'm not trying to be pushy so please don't take it that way, I just thought I'd mention that since I'd noticed it.

I was so eager to help with it, I'd already actually worked out somewhat of a theme on the piano and Duduk by just looking at the scenery provided in the screenshots I saw.

Either way, do let me know how I can get started with the programming side of things!

Oh, and as a sidenote, I thought I'd mention I'm an actor as well. So I could audition to play a role in the game, if you're interested.

Marianne
Marianne's picture
Hi,

Hi,
the source code is currently hosted on projectlocker.com hosting, with SVN source control.

Now I think the time has come to propose a move somewhere else though. Why? ProjectLocker is a fairly obscure platform, at this time it seems buggy (getting "error 500 internal server error" when trying to use it), I just can't find any way to access it at this time, either through SVN or through the web interface.

Now what do I suggest? I suggest we just make the engine open-source and host it on github (one of the most widely used platforms out there if you hadn't heard about it). Now you might be thinking "but we don't want to make ilathid openly available yet!" and that's right, the trick here is to only host the engine there, but keep all of the assets privately on btsync. This way we are publicly hosting an open-source adventure game engine, but not the actual game itself. I think this would finally allow us to get some proper source code hosting...

If you do not like the idea, we'll need to find another plan - I can't seem to make projectlocker work at the moment

Hollister
Hollister's picture
That works for me! Let me

That works for me! Let me know once/if this happens, and I can start helping out after the move.

Jennifer
JuniorGenius--

JuniorGenius--
Okay, so there are a couple things we'll need to do in order to get you set up. First, can you install BitSync ( https://www.getsync.com/platforms/desktop ) on your computer? We use this to share gamefiles. I'll give you the appropriate password via e-mail when you have it installed.

I wouldn't mind hearing that theme you made. :) And don't worry about being pushy; always share your ideas freely. I would be fine with adding tracks if we had the game's overall architecture "frozen," but I do think we're there yet. You don't want to design a beautiful theme for an area which subsequently gets cut.

And acting too, eh? What have you done?

Marianne--
I think you have a plan there. And I understand what you mean about putting keeping the assets separated from the engine, so we'll be good as far as that goes. I hope you can still access the code on Projectlocker, or are you completely blocked out? O.o

(And we should probably continue the discussion of the migration in the actual Programming subforum, if you could start a new thread there?)

Hollister
Hollister's picture
Ok, I downloaded it! Do you

Ok, I downloaded it! Do you have my email?

Also I'll keep that in mind :) And I'll be glad to put together a demo when I get a chance. And that's fair enough about the architecture, however perhaps I could make some more general atmosphere in the meantime. Just a suggestion.

Oh and as far as acting, I've been in more shows than I can count in community theater, and several main stage as well. In fact I just got back from callbacks for a musical, so I'll see how that goes! I haven't done much in TV or Movies, although I do have some auditions coming up. ^^
I've sung at Universal Studios, Spago, and (with my choir) The Walter Reed Army Medical Center and The Capitol. Amongst other things.

Hollister
Hollister's picture
Alright- I recorded a demo,

Alright- I recorded a demo, put it together in GarageBand, then it all got lost thanks to GarageBand. I actually blew out my voice screaming in rage.. I'll probably try again tomorrow.

Jennifer
Bummer about losing the music

Bummer about losing the music! I just hate it when stuff like that happens. In Blender (the 3D modeling program I use) they don't have a "save" prompt when you quit--the program just quits and dumps your work. Truly an evil feature. It's gotten me many a time.

Wow, you're actually an experienced actor. :) We'll have to discuss this further on the private section of the forum.

I was just going to e-mail you at the address you used for sign up--would that be a good one for you? :)

Hollister
Hollister's picture
Oh man that really sucks

Oh man that really sucks about Blender, I had no idea! The demo is coming along great, I'm recording the violin part with my friend right now.
I'll gladly talk with you more about acting :)
And yes, that email address works perfectly, thanks!

Jennifer
Sweet. :) I'll look forward

Sweet. :) I'll look forward to hearing it.