Eterna game quest

New idea for quest based structure of the game.

Mat sent me a chat log from a discussion that Brourd and Adrien. Brourd and Mat have been discussing this as well.

Feel free to dream along with us. I’m sure you got lot of great ideas out there. But first a cleaned up outline of the discussion, so you get a rough idea about where to dream from.

Adrien: Basically sebon read and combined a bunch of getsat posts, and decided that the best thing we could do for the game is combine the challege puzzles into a quest like structure … with the ability to skip puzzles
Brourd: what kind of quests have the dev come up with
Adrien: @brourd: well, I don’t think the quests are settled yet and we’re thinking of asking players to contribut – but some of the earlier features are beng phased in
Adrien Treuille: one could be skipping puzzles, which makes a lot of sense.
Brourd: @ adrien, the puzzle skipping feature is an excellent idea
Brourd: something we have needed more, since the “next puzzle” function stops at my last three unsolved puzzles

Here is my input on the quest idea:

The possibility to skip puzzles, will keep more new players. The very skilled players, that may quit of irritation of not being able to adjust the game to their puzzle solving skills, but also the more insecure players that may skip the game, because they get stuck on one puzzle. Those players might be great, if they just get to learn the rules first.

Actually a lot of the new players have been asking for this.

Dicey also mentioned this idea: [puzzle rating and comments] encouragement to comment/rate (vote) difficulty on puzzles after solving (looking at) them without needing to navigate to out of the puzzle solver (maybe by “pop-up” - with a setting to also turn off said pop-up if desired). Quote from here.

Which I think will be helpful for the quest structure, so easy puzzles don’t end up last in the quest and hard puzzles don’t end up early, just because newbies voted the easy ones hard and the veteran players only voted on the middle hard ones as easy. More votes = better idea of the level of hardness.

Thoughts on how the quest structure could be:

  • Theme based, with raising levels (Fractals, dragons… (okay, we don’t have any easy dragons).
  • Element based, eg. group zigzag puzzles in one category.
  • Level based, group puzzles together after level.
  • Puzzle grouped on size, eg. Small puzzles, big puzzles, as I regularly have heard some players complain about the lag in the big ones or just prefers to solve small ones. Others will be attracted to as big puzzles as possible.

I would love if part of the quest structure was that one should unlock the player puzzles. (At 20000 points, like the puzzle maker) That way we will avoid new players gets stuck on Brourd’s puzzles - they generally don’t want to listen to us if we try to guide them elsewhere :slight_smile: - and it will be an achievement when they get in. Also the unsolvable series should be locked for new players - as they seem to be a magnet and stopping block to new players too.

It would also be fun if one able to solve puzzles made by one player. I remember having players asking to be able to see all puzzles by one player and then try crack them. Ok. I’m aware that Brourd’s puzzle will have the same moth light effect as the unsolvable challenge puzzles. :slight_smile:

Just like Brourd said the puzzles suggested for solving should have a wider range. I usually get the same 3 puzzles suggested that I just can’t solve. So having like 15 to choose between would greatly improve that function. And those suggested should be at level with what one have solved so far, or the easiest of the puzzles left to solve if one has finished most of the puzzles.

Another old post I’m seeing now… Being able to navigate by puzzle type would be good, also the popup (how about one if you click the puzzle name as well?). The locking technique described as well. Next puzzle thing add will, though less so.

Btw, was there difficulty at one point? Don’t think I’ve seen that.


I have tried answer the best I could. I’m not sure I understood all of what you asked about. Feel free to reformulate what I missed out on.

On the puzzles sorting, we have gotten some of these options. We can sort after length (size) and sort after type (Switch or single state). We can also now search for puzzles by a single player and for a specific puzzle (Very apprechiated!). For difficulty we can now sort after numbers of solvers of a puzzle, which is actually way better than the voting optimization that I originally suggested. Just to give an example on that player judged hardness can vary a lot: Brourd’s and Hogla’s easy is very different from the average easy.

I still think it could be fun to have a few theme based categories. But what Mat and I really wish for the future now, is that some of the best player made tutorials, will end up in the tutorial category, for the benefit of our new players. Some of us have started a collection of tutorials here.

Teaching and tutorial puzzles

I forgot about the couple. Theme would be nice though.

Your comment on tutorials goes along with my idea:…

I like the idea of additionally being able to sort on Theme and Element based puzzles.  The “Next Puzzle” could use some improvement.  When I go to use it, it usually sends me to a very low-difficulty puzzle.  Eli’s request for adding player-made tutorials to the tutorial category is wonderful, I think.

My home page invites me to the Labs first, then shows recent projects then puzzle progression.  How does a new player know he/she should scroll down to puzzle progression and when?  

My progression takes me to a 12 block page of puzzles for that progression level. I don’t recall seeing this when I started the progression, it just kept presenting puzzle after puzzle.  I can manually click on any puzzle, but I can’t select ordering by number of players solved or $.  There is no link to challenge puzzles or player puzzles as yet.  

I would like there to be a link to challenge and player puzzles that have been filtered to be as easy or easier than the progression level.  Right now, there seems to be a disconnect between challenge/player puzzles and the progression puzzles.  

@whbob: The page now varies between players.  Since you have completed the lab puzzle progression, they get moved to the bottom of your page.  If you hadn’t they would still be at the top.

@ Omei: Thanks, I wondered if things changed for each player depending upon where they were in the progression.  I have finished all of them.  

I’m using Chrome and I don’t have any links or filters at the bottom or anywhere else on the 12 block level pages.

When a new player starts they would probably assume that the progression path was the way to begin.  For my home page, the way to get to challenge puzzles is by an icon on the side project section at the bottom of the page.  To go to the player puzzles, I have to open resources and click on player puzzles.  There is also a link to challenges there.  New players may not connect that challenges are puzzles to select and play. So, maybe I can’t see what a new player can see, but my concern was that new players should be made aware of the interconnection between progression, player and challenge puzzles.  

This is, for the most part, very much on purpose (and probably in part due to my insistence on multiple occasions). The site was redesigned in such a way to shift focus from challenge/player puzzles to the lab. The challenge and player puzzles can consume a significant amount of effort for very little real gain, and often detracts from effort spent on the labs, where the most benefit lies. Personally, I still find fault with Eterna’s structure, as the “game” is still pretty much presented to be solving the puzzle in Vienna within the Flash game, as opposed to that being one tool available. While that fit well initially when Eterna launched, it has become increasingly less and less relevant, and less able to gamify the things that Eterna wants to get from players (generally either analysis or solutions that work in the lab).

@ LFP6: Thanks.  What might be used rather than Vienna?  Would NuPack provide better analysis etc.?

It’s not really using something “instead” of Vienna, or that something would do better. What I’m saying is that Vienna is one tool, as is NuPack, etc. Solving the puzzle in the game interface ultimately means nothing, so why are we presenting that as the “goal”? At least, there is little feedback to suggest otherwise. Think about it. With something like Foldit, you are trying to increase the score of your puzzle within the game, but we don’t have any such indicator here (that makes sense for us to use, at least). There needs to be a clearer indicator of success tied in throughout the site, and a clearer interface for achieving success, whatever “success” might mean.