In a video interview posted over at the Sega blog, lead designer of The Cave, J.P. LeBreton, explains that devising the game’s puzzles presented a unique kind of challenge.
Double Fine’s LeBreton, who also worked on BioShock, explained that the trick is to find the good kind of “being stuck.” Providing just the right amount of information is paramount when designing any game’s puzzles. But he learned that a straight-up adventure game like The Cave presents additional hurdles at the user-testing stage.
“You don’t have clear metrics like you do with a game that’s based around combat, where you can say, ‘OK, they died this many times and they took this much damage, and we’d rather it be this way, so let’s put more health packs or whatever in the level,” he begins.
“With [The Cave], it was more just like, ‘Well, they were stuck in this area for a long time. A, are we OK with that? And B, what do we want to do about it? Do we want to give them a hint in this direction? No, that’s too much of a gimme; let’s figure out something else. Or let’s just leave it, because it’s actually good because it’s late in the game, or it’s the right kind of difficult puzzle for this kind of situation.’”
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