tags: fodder published on:
Why offer clues? Why make it any easier than it has to be?
There is a sense of implied cruelty in being difficult. The implied cruelty implies a implied potential of reducing the difficulty.
This implication is not always true.
In most cases the levels of difficulty are static because of the world's current state. No model of the world can be simple.
All possible models of the world have to be equally difficult to be stable.
So the existence of clues is essential for any possible navigation of a model, any possible game world.
Clues do not need to be overtly stated. Clues are perfectly acceptable if they themselves have to be unravelled. Sub-textual clues are acceptable.
What is a standard descriptor of a clue? How is a clue different from a give away, from a hand-held guided pathway out of the dense world?
A puzzle has to be first graded. A world has to be first traversed and difficulties of that traversal have to be marked and mapped to open them up to be conversation material.
Who can do this? Can any player do this or does the player who performs this grading need a special filter? Does the player who performs the grading need to have any additional checklist to parse the complexity of the world in question and to suggest appropriate or necessary clues.
These questions become important for framing any self-critical position.
After a point every self-critical position needs to be justified by supplemental facts about the nature of questioning, in this case, about the grading. How did the questioning begin? Did you peg the world's level very low, much much lower than the average mean intelligence of the player? By recommending the specific clues that you recommended did you end up making the puzzle a give away?
Clues are not keys, they are pieces of a key with an expiry date.
If you lose too much time in finding the pieces and in actually trying the key that gets put together, the lock might change its time.
Locks agree to open. The act of opening them is not a brute-force attack but rather an agreement between the lock and the world that needs to access the world beyond the lock. For clues to offer an insight on the mystery, the mystery has to agree to open up, agree to be accessed.
But mysteries do not want to be accessed by everyone. They do not want themselves to be diminished by having too many eyeballs stare at them. Being seen causes corrosion. To avoid corrosion we need to save ourselves for the moment when we are radiant, radioactive and brilliant. All vectors can be graphed and all waveforms have fluctuations, either subtle or coarse. And vectors of the self are fragile and susceptible to conflicts.
If mysteries want to decide their destiny, they want to select the clues that can unlock them and the clues that can't. Sometimes empathy is the key, sometimes density.