Mind games and conundrums
Puzzles and riddles were always a big part of the fun in Might & Magic games. Let’s have a look at some of the enigmas you’ll find in Might & Magic X.
A classic for tile-based games, a pressure plates puzzle requires you to find the correct order to walk on them. Usually the goal is to light up all pressure plates, but there’s almost always a trick. For instance, maybe walking on a plate deactivates the adjacent plates.
Looks simple? Wait until you reach the Chamber of Air in the Elemental Forge. There, you need to walk on several pressure plates to create a walkable path on floating platforms…
We haven’t used traps that much in Might & Magic X, but when we did we made them deadly. Take this room of the Tower of Enigma for instance. The large bloodstain should give you a hint that this room is more dangerous than it looks. Where is it safe to walk? Maybe careful observers will be able to find a hint…
…Or you can use the Clairvoyance spell to detect the traps. That also works :p
Your sense of orientation will be put to the test as you’re being teleported from one room to another. Can you find the correct path without losing your mind?
The whole team has fond memories of the text riddles found in the old Might & Magic games, so we wanted to bring those back. You’ll even have to actually type the answer – in our opinion it makes solving the riddle much more rewarding than just choosing the correct answer from a list. They are usually not so hard, but several of them require thinking outside of the box in order to find the answer.
Some riddles are classics from the Might & Magic franchise, such as the one above. So simple, and yet more than one adventuring party couldn’t solve it.
But there are also some new riddles as well.
Possibly the most difficult riddle in the game is one that require knowledge of a rarely used word (actually the translators cursed us for this, since said word does not necessarily exist in all languages). It was a tribute to the Drawkcab Monks of Xeen, which were also teaching a word many of us had no idea existed before playing the game.
Want to give it a try? Here’s the riddle.
History is told, forgotten, and can be told again.
What is put on parchment never remains unchanged.
Always truth can be washed away and rewritten,
But the spectre of past words seldom completely fades.
If you already know the answer, please do not post it in the comments yet, let’s not spoil the fun!
To wrap-up this article about puzzles, we asked a few questions to Angela, of the Level-Design team, who created most of the puzzles found in Might & Magic X…
When you need to create a puzzle, how do you approach this task?
At first I think about the possibilities offered by the available interactive objects and the dimensions of the puzzle. Then I will shift to the brainstorming phase and note every idea that comes to my mind. If there aren't enough ideas I will add a research phase by looking what other games (digital and non-digital) did or searching for mathematical puzzles and start brainstorming again. After that I will evaluate everything, choose one of the puzzle ideas and try to make it fit in our game.
In your opinion, what makes a good puzzle?
There are a lot of things that I have to keep in mind while designing puzzles. Good signs and feedback are essential as the player has to understand what's happening so he can solve the puzzle without relying on written hints. A varied range of different puzzles helps to give them a sense of uniqueness while each one must fit into the environment and context of the dungeon. Also, most of the time the player must be able to turn around and solve the puzzle at another time which means not being trapped in the puzzle.
Of all puzzles you've created for the game, what's your favourite?
There is one puzzle that is inspired by Minesweeper. I like this one the most because Minesweeper is one of my favourite games :)