Puzzle Solving... or Problem Solving? - evolve-gaming.com

Puzzle Solving… or Problem Solving?

Game Maker’s Toolkit
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Most puzzle games are about discovering the one, designer-intended answer to a conundrum. Let’s look at a different take on the puzzle genre, which takes inspiration from real-world problem solving.

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Sources

Play Zach’s games

Gamasutra: “New educational video game used in schools”

Gamasutra: “Postmortem: Zachtronics Industries’ SpaceChem”

Rock Paper Shotgun: Zach Barth talks about Minecraft

Games shown in this episode (in order of appearance):

Infinifactory (Zachtronics, 2015)
The Talos Principle (Croteam, 2014)
Snakebird (Noumenon Games, 2015)
Portal (Valve Corporation, 2007)
Limbo (Playdead, 2010)
The Swapper (Facepalm Games, 2013)
Mini Metro (Dinosaur Polo Club, 2015)
Kerbal Space Program (Squad, 2015)
Spacechem (Zachtronics, 2011)
Minecraft (Mojang, 2011)
Infiniminer (Zachtronics, 2009)
The Codex of Alchemical Engineering (Zachtronics, 2008)
Bureau of Steam Engineering (Zachtronics, 2008)
KOHCTPYKTOP: Engineer of the People (Zachtronics, 2009)
TIS-100 (Zachtronics, 2015)
Human Resource Machine (Tomorrow Corporation, 2015)
Quadrilateral Cowboy (Blendo Games, 2016)
World of Goo (2D Boy, 2008)
Bridge Constructor (Headup Games, 2012)
The Witness (Thekla, Inc, 2016)

Music used in this episode:

Human Ingenuity (Infinifactory)
Working (Spacechem)
Resource Site 528.81 (Infinifactory)
In Motion (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)
Opening (Spacechem)
Proving Grounds (Infinifactory)

Clip credits:

“Minecraft Compact Calculator” – FVDisco

“Minecraft – The ICE GPU 2.0” – FVDisco

“Minecraft 8 Track Music Sequencer” – FVDisco

“Infiniminer Demolition Fun” – betasword

Contribute translated subtitles –

482 Comments

  1. Hey you should try this puzzle i got:
    It's called final work of Operational Systems 2

  2. welp so look at that, people being educated, by video games.

  3. I accually love these problem solving games like automachef where you create a automated cooking restaurant even though I am acually proberly learn how to really code because these types of games are fun

  4. "Infiniminer, the inspiration for minecraft"
    not only the inspiration, minecraft is literally an infiniminer clone at its roots.

  5. The good old times when this channel only had 16K subscribers… 845K was inevitable

  6. In the aspect of problem solving, check out Pixel Starships.

  7. I know this is old by now, but I just found this channel recently, and every new video I watch makes me want to buy a new game. I'm holding back for now, but I'm definitely gonna cave if I keep seeing these cool games on your channel!

    I love it though, these videos are great!

  8. The witness was a bit boring, beautiful but boring^^

  9. Zelda Breath of the Wild is kinda both it feels like

  10. I found myself pausing every 6 seconds to say to myself, "Yes, a thousand times, yes." As for favourite one, has to be SpaceChem, I actually did a high school reporting project centered around SpaceChem and foldit (a protein folding game that has made some developments in cancer research apparently).

  11. this will teach kids to become hackers before any watchdog game does.

  12. I liked Space Chem for a while, but as it got harder I thought it was too much like real work and wasn't exactly all that fun and I didn't feel like completing the game even though I wasn't too far away. At least with Factorio I was able to complete the nominal goal of the game, even if I thought that continuing to scale up my factory to mine and process more and more materials faster and faster was not anything that could be considered "fun", and instead would be something I would expect to get paid to do. Likewise, in Don't Starve, there's so much work that you have to do to survive, and food eventually spoils and you want to farm stuff soon after it respawns so you have to regularly do that, that playing that game became too much like an actual survival simulation and less of a game. In all three cases, I played through most of the game getting to learn all the mechanics, but when faced with the enormity of just how much work it was to go further, I decided it was far more worth my time to go play something else. There are lots of really good games and only finite time to play them.

  13. Wanna know a truly problem solving game, go to CodeChef. Com

  14. I prefer finding the solution(s) than inventing them

  15. Opus Magnum is a great game sinilar to the slchemy one you discussed, as its actually based on old alchemy and its super fun to play, as its incredibly open-ended

  16. i'm kinda sad he didn't talk about besiege

  17. BotW followed this principle quite well actually.

  18. SpaceChem was one of the first games I owned on steam. I have so many good memories with it. Was one of my introductions to the indie scene along with braid and super meat boy.

  19. Infinifactory sounds like The Absurd: The Videogame.

  20. I never though I'd hear you try to spell "Конструктор", but here we are 😅

  21. it would be interesting to use this principle as a mechanic in a traditional puzzle game. like you need to manufacture the piece you need to reach a key on the other side of a locked door or you need to program a robot to do something that looks like wasting time while you run around tossing a counterbalance so you can hit 3 switches at the same time

  22. You just summed up in 6 minutes in what other these hack youtube channels have tried to describe in mere hours.

  23. Hey hey I don’t appreciate the hate for Math Blaster that game was 🔥

  24. bruh im an electrical engineering student and youre talking to me about designing integrated circuits to a specification in a GAME
    inb4 i try it and its actually fun, might help me work with motivation

  25. Discovery versus Exploration…I think might have been a better title. Maybe for a future video. I remember people making videos about the base human drive toward Discovery and Exploration. Who was it, Extra Credits???

  26. My best problem solving game: Python.
    And I play at job 🙂

  27. Where would Baba Is You fall under this system?
    On one hand it feels like a puzzle game in the sense that every level has a main solution.
    But on the other hand it feels different, somehow, from the normal puzzle game. Not entirely sure though.

  28. 3:13 nah programming is more like trying 5 hours to understand why your code doesn't work to realize that you are just stupid the next day.

  29. those games would frustrate me to no end…

  30. yeah programming is fun but holy fuck does it hurt my head

  31. I'm so happy my friend showed me Infinifactory. I've put 180hrs into it and I still haven't beaten all the levels. Much of my time has been going back and improving old solutions or perfectly optimizing solutions for the 3 criteria. Portal 2 is still my favorite puzzle game, but Infinifactory is by far my favorite problem solving game

  32. You: "Puzzle Solving… or Problem Solving"
    Me: "It's the same picture"

  33. 4:58 Oh good, I was just typing a comment about Human Resource Machine, then looked up and saw I didn't have to 😂

  34. Baba is You is designed like a problem solving game but since there's never more than 1 solution it's kinda reverted back to puzzle solving game.

  35. a̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰̰

  36. I agree that it would be more fun/educational/interesting to invent a solution for a puzzle but don't you think it's a bit harder in the making to create a puzzle that would be opened with more than one key

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