Semjay wrote:You are also limited by what the avatar is able to do, don't you think?
You might think of a good puzzle but then find it can't be done.
This is definitely good advice. Avatars can't do much besides running, pressing buttons and climbing ladders. Always assume they have only one arm, with no opposable thumb and wearing a boxing glove
And some puzzles are just too hard to implement properly anyway. Don't design your whole Age/story around a puzzle, you risk wasting a lot of time. Think your Age first, add puzzles later (you will probably get ideas while building anyway).
Semjay wrote:What can you do? I've been trying to think... Some very simple things can be "dressed up" and appear more complex than they really are.
Due to the limited interactions, puzzles are usually just button pushing anyway. So yeah, I would say properly dressing them up to hide the solution in plain sight is the best thing to do. Especially when you can seamlessly integrate them in the Age design (easy to say but hard to do), add some red herrings that make sense being there, etc. Riven is the reference.
After spending entirely too much time trying to make Ages (and not releasing a single complete one), I can say puzzles are going to be a pain to design and wire anyway. Properly dressing up a simple puzzle is usually better than half-assing a complex puzzle, IMHO.
Semjay wrote:What else can you think of? What puzzles have you seen that you really liked? And can you explain how they were created!?
I don't have a lot of suggestions for this topic. This may sound weird, but I dislike puzzles. I don't know, I view them more as an artificial lock than a proper challenge for your skills or creativity. And they have no replayability.
Uru's (and EoA's) puzzles are fairly meh overall. Cyan tried a lot of ideas to work around the limited interactivity, to the point that most puzzles are hardly puzzles anymore. I don't dislike it though - most puzzles aren't really challenging, but at least they make the exploration fun.
I play Myst mostly for the environments. Nowadays when I build things in Blender, I focus more on how to make the environment itself a traversal puzzle, a bit like Dark Souls does. Chain narrow corridors with wider open areas. Go up then down. Walk across narrow paths where there is a risk of falling. Branch the path and let the player choose which one he will take. Reconnect pathes together. And secret passages ! Etc. Obviously this doesn't include being ambushed by zombies or walking across deadly traps
but at least it makes walking around more interesting, especially if you manage to provide the player with some nice sights.