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 The Great Experiment (Page 2 of 7) Previous Page Next Page
Editor Top Down View After creating several small puzzle maps it was time to build something bigger and better. The map Edge of Forever was my next big project and its goal was to create a single player experience using only the vanilla Q3 engine.

It may seem like a crazy idea to build puzzles with a limited amount of components, but the fun comes from the challenge! Initially the puzzle designs were just simple switches combined with specially choreographed events, but eventually after much experimenting the puzzles became interesting locks instead.
Click on the above image for a larger version
Editor 3D View The best puzzles are the ones that make the player feel like they are really clever for solving it by themselves. At the foundation of any good puzzle is the visual language and how a player understands this can often be the line between frustration and success.

The map Edge of Forever tried to create a common set of components (switches, buttons, timing tricks) that were visually consistent and gradually introduced. This did not always go as planned but it did help players recognize interactive objects from their background.
Click on the above image for a larger version
 Examples    
Edge of Forever - Puzzle 1
  Puzzle 1
This puzzle is from the map Edge of Forever and was designed to show the player how to operate switches and use them at specific time intervals to charge up a battery.

The visual clue for the timing of the switches was a pair of coils on the ceiling to avoid cluttering up the floor space. Unfortunately most players do not look up and some people found it easier to hit all the switches until the puzzle was complete.
  Puzzle 2
This puzzle is from the map Edge of Forever and was designed to show the player how to operate switches and use them multiple times to charge up a battery.

The visual clue for the use of the switches was a pair of cables on the floor merging into one, hinting at multiple use of the generators to fill up the battery. Most players struggled with this puzzle because they were expecting the switches to be used only once.
Edge of Forever - Puzzle 2
Edge of Forever - Puzzle 3
  Puzzle 3
This puzzle is from the map Edge of Forever and was designed to show the player how to use multiple buttons to open a lock.

The visual design was four huge chains linked to heavy weights blocking an iris in the floor. The player had to remove all of the weights from the iris and when one of the buttons was used, two other chains would be affected. This puzzle was the most successful with players for complexity and completion.
  Puzzle 4
This puzzle is from the map Edge of Forever and was designed to be a machine that develops with the player unlocking the various parts with different switches.

The visual design was a machine that grows out of the floor and through the interaction of the player becomes the visual clue of where to go next. The machine was split into two stages and involved operating switches within a certain time frame.
Edge of Forever - Puzzle 4
Edge of Forever - Puzzle 5
  Random Crazy Logic
This example entity logic was designed to setup a couple of the puzzles randomly each time the game starts.

The code for random numbers in Q3 seems to produce the same number several times in a row, which is not really ideal! This logic makes sure that the random function eventually gives a different number and sets up several puzzles differently.
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Creating Terrain -
Terrain Blending -
Rockwall Corridors -
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2 Point Clipping -
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3D Puzzle Scripting -
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