Throwing Out Ideas…

… to make room for new ones.

Not so long ago, I was asked to deliver a level-design for an imaginary computer game as a work example to a Game designer position. Suprisingly I didn’t get the position for lack of experience, what I did get was a rather nifty idea to be used in mystery or problem-solving games or anywhere you deduction would be part of the game. I’m describing it in this entry and if anyone sees any value in it or might use it in their own games, it would be nice to be told about it or credited in somehow.

The idea consists of gathering of assertions and then combining these assertions in a logical manner to reach, through possibly many steps, a final solution. An example:

  1. Jack married a girl that was in love with him.
  2. Jane was in love with Jack.

From here we can deduce that Jack married Jane. Of course you could combine more assertions at a time, but then you’ll have to think about the UI a bit more. A problem might rise from modality and how you carry them forward in your deduction e.g.

  1. Bob was killed by someone who hated him.
  2. Jack hated Bob.

Can we deduce from here that Jack killed Bob? Of course not. If Bob was the only person hating Bob, then yes, but as it stands, there might be other people hating Bob. In a game you might have a temptation to use these kinds of deductions that don’t carry the truth value logically. It does stand out however for anyone with an elementary grasp of logic, which I think people who enjoy mysteries and who-dunnits do have.

The solution would be to make sure the truth value is carried logically or you might resort a more game-like solution. Have the player character (or a suitable agent) solve modalities e.g. by going from “Jack might have killed Bob” to “Jack must have killed Bob”.

Of course there might be other solutions but it’s late already.