Software to design puzzles

  • #1, by marvelWednesday, 23. November 2016, 13:49 8 years ago
    Hey guys,
    how do you plan your puzzles? Do you have some kind of tool for it (like a mind mapping software) or are you using word/excel?

    I'm curious what you will come up with! grin


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  • #2, by NigecWednesday, 23. November 2016, 14:29 8 years ago
    Mind map software is pretty cool because you can plot how it should flow

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  • #3, by afrlmeWednesday, 23. November 2016, 14:42 8 years ago
    I second what Nige said. I recommend yEd or Mind Maple Lite (both of which are free), though I recommend Articy Draft 2 if you have spare money laying around (I recommend waiting for a sale though as it's quite expensive at retail value - I paid €99 (in a sale) for it, but it was on sale during Summer sale for about €65 or so).

    Why do I recommend Articy? Because it covers everything you would ever need for designing your game & in some cases what you create inside of it can be directly imported into various supported game engines (unfortunately not VS). It allows you to create node based blocks, profile templates, dialog & story scripts & is great for branching content & organization as you can link pretty much anything to everything you create.


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  • #4, by bananeisafreeWednesday, 23. November 2016, 15:57 8 years ago
    For mind mapping, after a bit of tinkering, I greatly reccoment (it's a webapp)

    Thought less customizable than Yed, it has the great advantage of allowing several people to work on the same file at the same time. You can use it in conjonction of google drive or Dropbox for even more sharing goodness.

    The main drowback (for me a least) being that it's a webapp. 

    But it's free, it's rather effective and there a  lot of tool for integration to other services, as well as plugins for browsers and the google suite.

    Articy looks damn fine indeed... I think I'll get it one day. But as of now, is more than enough.

    Another tool that I use and I reccomend (though a bit more underground) is CherryTree.
    It's basically a local wikipedia maker. It allows to create notes, organize them, create links to other notes, anchors, files etc ...

    It's kind of a powerhouse of notetaking and management.

    One of the advantage being that you can export whatever part of  your tree you wish as a Pdf or HTML file, allowing people to access it as if it was a wiki (with a map of the notes automaticaly created). 
    Plus it's totally free, so I would greatly reccomend you to at least try it.

    The main drawback is the lack of online sharing and silmutaneous editing.
    Though it has a portable version of the .exe, allowing you to install it on a USB / GoogleDrive / Dropbox etc ... along with the files you are working on. It's not perfect but it's more convinient.


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  • #5, by sebastianWednesday, 23. November 2016, 17:46 8 years ago
    I use mainly two tools:

    - yed for creating puzzle depending charts
    - yed for visualizing dialog options for my own written dialog system and a python script to convert the resulting .graphml file to a much simpler for my dialog system readable format (the dialogs in my game are often relevant for puzzles) 
    OneNote for sketching down the ideas and put together  all other related stuff (items, chars, etc) 

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  • #6, by afrlmeWednesday, 23. November 2016, 18:07 8 years ago
    I tend to split between an A4 lined notepad I keep on the edge of my desk & a small-ish whiteboard that I mounted above my desk for jotting & sketching stuff down - more to help me remember things though as my memory is pretty bad. I use Articy Draft for actual planning, though seeing as I'm not working on anything personal I tend to stick with the whiteboard & notepad for the most part as it's quite tedious & time consuming to setup templates in articy, so not much point unless I'm supposed to help with puzzle design or something which isn't something that comes along with freelance development. Mostly I just write scripts & debug things...


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