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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingRosetta - a short puzzle experiment v12 (minor update)
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Author Topic: Rosetta - a short puzzle experiment v12 (minor update)  (Read 8574 times)
Ninja Dodo
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2014, 02:00:27 PM »

Minor update.

Windows: http://www.ninjadodo.net/temp/LD19/rosetta_v12_win.zip

Ubuntu: http://www.ninjadodo.net/temp/LD19/rosetta_v12_ubuntu.zip

Itch.io: http://ninjadodo.itch.io/rosetta


Refined puzzle some more on page 2, changed res to 1024 and made some visual tweaks.
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Quicksand-S
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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2014, 03:36:27 PM »

I was really interested in trying this out.

It didn't turn out like I'd hoped. It didn't feel anything like I was deciphering hieroglyphics. I got to the third task just by dragging things around and hoping something would happen, because the goal and mechanics were unclear. I thought I'd actually be translating things to some degree, but this game doesn't seem to include any of that at all. It's really more about figuring out what can be clicked/dragged and trying to decipher the unclear messages about the point of each "level".

For example, the one with three cartouches just tells me what exists, not what I'm supposed to do to complete the "level". Then I see things like "but which ones?" show up and I'm not sure what it's asking about, so I just drag something onto that text and it disappears. I get no sense of accomplishment because either it was just asking me which thing had backward symbols (too easy) or I completely missed the point of the level and completed it by accident.

On the last level, I finally thought I'd get to decipher something. Then it just gave me all the answers, so that was no fun either. Another thing I found weird was how it seemed to combine the Greek alphabet with the Latin one (P? R?). I'm no expert on Greek, but I don't think I've seen those letters in Greek produce the sounds that the game claims they do.

I love the presentation style, and I really like the idea of deciphering things. I get the feeling that you don't trust players to actually do that, though (The last level strongly suggests that). It's possible that I just went into the game with an incorrect idea of what it was going to be. Ideally, I would love to see this game give clear goals and then let me solve the "puzzles" completely on my own. I realize that may not be what you wanted to make, though.
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« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2014, 10:15:15 AM »

Hi,

Thanks for the feedback!

It remains an experiment and (I feel) not an especially successful one at that, but I'll try and elaborate a bit on what I was going for.

The goal of the game is not to give you a bunch of Egyptian text to translate, which frankly I'm not qualified to design anyway - I am not an Egyptologist - but to recreate the moment of discovery experienced by Champollion as he put together the key parts of the puzzle, specifically replicating the steps he went through.

The idea behind all the hints and incidental text is they represent both what might have been actual notes (only not in French) and the extensive knowledge he already had which I can't expect the player to have.

The idea is the game only presents you with aforementioned things you have no way of knowing, and things you have already solved in previous pages... though this breaks down if you've managed to stumble through a solution without understanding why you solved it, which is a failure of the design.

For example, the objective on the page with the three cartouches is [SPOILER]to determine that one of the names on the obelisk matches the name repeated on the stone, and this name again corresponds to the Greek name PTOLEMAIOS (only actually in Greek letters that time), while the other must be KLEOPATRA.

The challenge on the last page is in recognizing the matching letters between the two cartouches, which was the last part of the puzzle in the actual deciphering.

The hint about the letter "T" may have been too much, though if you don't know that different glyphs can be the same letter it could easily throw you off the right solution and I felt since this is something that Champollion did know it was appropriate to show. You could add another layer by letting the player pick even the missing letters (K, A and R), though then I would have needed to add the whole alphabet to the page.[/SPOILER]

Quote
Another thing I found weird was how it seemed to combine the Greek alphabet with the Latin one (P? R?). I'm no expert on Greek, but I don't think I've seen those letters in Greek produce the sounds that the game claims they do.

I guess you're referring to the last puzzle? In this instance the player is translating directly to English/Latin as I felt the added layer of translating into Greek would have been too much for anyone not familiar with that alphabet. Also using the Latin alphabet here means you actually have to think about the name in familiar letters rather than just copying the symbols you saw on the last page. Debatable I guess, but that was why.

If I were to revisit the game I might add some of the other names Champollion used to try out his tentative solution and maybe even some texts, but for that I think would need to team up with an actual Egyptologist. I have shall we say a casual interest in the subject, and I've certainly tried to do my homework here, but I lack the depth of knowledge to attempt something more elaborate.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 11:31:46 AM by Ninja Dodo » Logged

Quicksand-S
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« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2014, 04:35:02 PM »

Interesting. Well, I do like the overall concept. You call it an experiment. Does that mean you're likely to make another game using what you learned from this one? I'd like to see how that would turn out.

What threw me off about the last puzzle was that the first letter in the name was K, rather than the English version using C. Since other parts of the game had used the Greek alphabet, and the font looked Greek-like, I really didn't see it as the Latin alphabet.

I felt like the last puzzle didn't require me to think about anything. It essentially says "this image translates to this" and you copy things over to the other name. I was shocked that I didn't even have to complete the name, since the missing letters were auto-filled once I copied over the ones I had. It just wasn't satisfying to me at all, because figuring out that the letters matched took no time. Maybe adding a bunch of other letters into the mix would've helped. I don't know.

I do really hope that you make another game like this, though. I'd love to see something similar with a bit more challenge and some more helpful "notes" (more clear about gameplay goals while still retaining their note-like style). I think that could be pretty great.
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« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2014, 11:14:31 AM »

Maybe it would work better to use typing for translation of individual glyphs instead of drag and drop, then you could easily leave the last letters up to the player. It's a tricky balance. I was worried I was already asking a lot of the player trying to piece together all these unfamiliar concepts, even with hints. Maybe it was the wrong call.

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What threw me off about the last puzzle (..) Since other parts of the game had used the Greek alphabet, and the font looked Greek-like, I really didn't see it as the Latin alphabet..

Makes sense. I went with K since the hieroglyphs don't differentiate between C and K and it was a "K" sound.

I don't have plans at the moment (busy with other things), but I'd be interested in expanding on this at some point. There's a lot more you could do with it. Specifically with this game you could go into more detail on the discovery of the stone and the earlier research that laid the groundwork for Champollion's breakthrough, plus his testing the solution on other names and texts, and maybe go into more complicated aspects like vocabulary and the lack of vowels. (though I'm pretty much out of my depth there)

I don't know if it would work as well with other languages as the deciphering of the hieroglyphs is more easily broken down into simple steps I think than the cracking of other famous scripts.

Besides language, this kind of thought-association mechanic could also work in other contexts. Someone suggested a detective mystery...

Could be interesting. Noir
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 11:30:10 AM by Ninja Dodo » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2014, 02:26:28 PM »

I actually think the thought-association mechanic could work much better in a mystery game, although you'd have to find a good way to keep people from randomly trying things without thinking. Maybe a "solution" in that sort of game would be to not tell the player if they're right or wrong. They would find out if they're correct by continuing their investigation. I think I've even seen one game that didn't tell the player if they were right at the end, after making an arrest.

Anyway, thanks for the link to Hellas. I never visit that forum. It looks kinda cool, so I'll probably check it out.
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