Puzzle Adventures

I loved all of the early RPG adventures I played.  I enjoyed the combination of story and puzzle.   Two of my favorite series have Kickstarters:

7th Guest: the Collector

7th guest kick

and from the creators of Myst a whole new game  Obduction   (just a few days left, jump in there NOW!)

obduction kick

I’d love to see these succeed not only so that I can play through a game written by developers who created some of my best game experiences, but because if you look for an “Adventure” game now you find a timed hidden picture puzzle game.  These have some plot to them but the action is constantly stopped with another hidden picture scene, and these become boring and repetitive (do you PLAY so that you can deal with boring and repetitive or would you like to leave that behind at the end of your work day?)

Let’s go beyond these and think our clever thoughts.   Here are a few things for you to read so that you too begin wishing for more clever adventures:

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131326/designing_and_integrating_puzzles_.php?print=1      What makes a good puzzle game?  Classical Adventure Games.  Action-Adventure Games with an Emphasis on Action.  Mixed Action Adventure Games.   The Golden Rules for Integrating a Puzzle.  Integrating a Movement Puzzle.  Integrating a Goal Puzzle.

gamasutra designing puzzle

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/189266/The_technique_LucasArts_used_to_design_its_classic_adventure_games.php     Make it Bushy.  Work Backwards.   Too easy? Break Something.  Too hard? Branch Out.   Break up Story With Gameplay and Vice Versa.

gamasutra lucasarts

https://vagrantcursor.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/choice-vs-puzzles-in-adventure-game-design/    Examines the gameplay and puzzle choices in Telltale’s The Walking Dead

vagrant cursor puzzles

http://owlcave.net/2012/07/17/how-to-design-adventure-game-puzzles/    Puzzles should exist to provide pacing to the narrative….

owlcave puzzles

http://frictionalgames.blogspot.com/2013/02/puzzles-what-are-good-for.html    “A puzzle should make players to do something in such a way that they feel they came up it themselves.”

frictional Games puzzles

http://www.adventuregamers.com/articles/view/24000    If Not Puzzles, What?   Adventure Gamers “Three Pillars of an Adventure Game are Story, Exploration and Puzzles”.

Adventure gamers on puzzles

Connected Realms


The List of Realm Connections keeps changing.  It seems to be a mostly smooth transition, except for Nessingwary which experienced the loss of player characters in large numbers.  Some players report that they still don’t see many other players.  Small PVP realms which merged and are now overwhelmingly Horde are a despair to the Alliance players on those servers.  Some realms describe overcrowding, and the inability to get quest mobs and resources because of increased competition.  Very long dungeon queues are also reported (40+ minutes).   WOW Insider reports subscribers are down another 100k to 7.6 million (still a hefty number of paying customers).  I had thought that once these realms had the new connections, CRZ, hated by most, including me, would disappear.  It appears that is not the case, and that CRZ remains, which ratchets up the competition to do anything in the play world, and in some cases keeps you connected with realms who really should be off in a corner alone somewhere.   There is anticipation that a new expansion will be announced at Blizzcon this weekend, and all will be well.    I’ll work to keep the connections list and this pithy paragraph updated as new information comes in.


wow connected realms


Completed Connections

  • Aegwynn and Gurubashi
  • Anub’arak and Chromaggus/Garithos
  • Auchindoun and Laughing Skull
  • Balnazzar and Warsong
  • Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher
  • Blackwing Lair and Detheroc/Dethecus
  • Blood Furnace and Mannaroth
  • Burning Blade and Onyxia
  • Chromaggus and Garithos
  • Daggerspine and Aegwynn/Hakkar
  • Dalvengyr and  Dark Iron
  • Dentarg and Whisperwind
  • Drak’Tharon and Firetree/Rivendare
  • Dunemaul, Maiev, Boulderfist and Bloodscalp
  • Hakkar and Aegwynn
  • Haomarush and Detheroc/Dethecus/Blackwing Lair
  • Nesingwary and Vek’nilash
  • Rivendare and Firetree
  • Stonemaul and Bloodscalp/Maiev/Boulderfist/Dunemaul
  • Tortheldrin and Frostmane

Future Connections

We currently anticipate two additional batches of realm connections as indicated below. We do not currently have a date for these connections, but will provide further updates when we can.

​Batch 1

  • Scilla and Ursin
  • Undermine and Anvilmar (on hold)
  • Malorne and Firetree/Rivendare/Drak’Tharon
  • Quel’dorei and Sen’jin
  • Gul’dan and Skullcrusher
  • Echo Isles and Draenor
  • Fizzcrank and Aggramar

Batch 2

  • Lethon and Detheroc/Dethecus/Blackwing Lair/Haomarush
  • Smolderthorn and Chromaggus/Garithos/Anub’arak
  • Gorgonnash and Warsong
  • Winterhoof and Kilrogg
  • Lightning’s Blade and Burning Blade
  • Cairne and Perenolde

Batch 3

  • Azshara and Azgalor
  • Nathrezim and Chromaggus/Garithos/Anub’arak/Smolderthorn
  • Nazgrel and Vek’nilash/Nesingwary
  • Fenris and Dragonblight
  • Arygos and Llane

Plans for these connections may change at any time, but we’ll provide additional updates on specific dates for future connections here as we can. Please note that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.