Game Design Music and Art

Puzzle Quest Post-Mortem – HanClinto



Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
So my wife called me while I was at work yesterday to let me know that my new issue of Game Developer came in the mail, and wanted me to guess which game was featured in the post-mortem.

"Finding Keepers?" I asked, hoping upon hope that it was unsolicitedly snapped up and made into a cover story.

"No, silly!" she replied, casually crushing my dreams. Rallying, I hastened to think of another game, which also was wrong. So I took my time and tried to think what she might find was cool enough to call me about at work. After a small and startling realization of what it might be, I more confidently queried:
"Puzzle Quest?"

I was right. It was Puzzle Quest -- a game that my wife and I have really enjoyed playing since we first heard about it on Penny Arcade.

It's a fabulous blend of RPG and casual Bejewled action, and I would be lying if it wasn't a large part of the motivation behind me wanting to make a match-3 style puzzle game for the recent Speedgame competition. The end result of Puzzle Quest is surprisingly charming and engaging -- it's a very well polished game that is smooth and satisfying to play.

But as the postmortem shows, this wasn't any casual marriage of methods. I don't know if anyone else found it amazing that they had a playable prototype in two months, but then proceeded to follow that up with approximately two years of polish.

Holy cow!

Did anyone else think that was amazing? It just further cements the idea in my mind that great art is done painstakingly, and that quality is never an accident. As Steveth45 was saying in another thread, polish is a very important part of what makes an idea valuable. Even if it's just a little gem, start small, polish it, and it can really take you places. I find it really interesting that the reason why Infinite-Interactive started so small with Puzzle Quest was just because they had been PC developers, and they wanted *something* (anything) to help them break into the console market, and so picked a small gem of an idea and brought it to a high sheen, in order to help them break into the market and open up larger opportunities for themselves. It seems that they did exactly what Steveth45 recommended in the "Ideas vs. Execution" thread, and so I thought it was pretty cool.

So just to follow up on that old discussion, it seems really cool that these guys spent such an incredible amount of time on polish, and to see how it really paid off.

The game has done really well. When first released, it had a really hard time staying on the shelf. I'm one of many many people who are anxiously waiting the PC (and maybe someday Mac) releases of the game.

Did anyone else read the article? I would link to an online version of it, but it doesn't look like it's shown up on Gamasutra yet.



[This message has been edited by HanClinto (edited September 13, 2007).]



Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
Ouch - looks like cool type of puzzle game but I was surprised that "puzzle quest" has lustful images of the game's characters.
I was just surprised to see that right in front, so I wanted to note about that. I guess that's more common to games today than what it was few years ago.

But thanks for sharing anyway. I wish they would leave that out.

Psa 32:5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

[VoHW] (Help needed) [Blog] (Contact) - Truedisciple (mp3)

[This message has been edited by jari (edited September 14, 2007).]

Super Angel Steve


Posts: 212
From: Staten Island,Ny
Registered: 05-10-2006
I Love a good Puzzle Game!

CCN's Resident Color Commentator!



Posts: 70
Registered: 02-10-2007
I really need to get this game @_@ I don't know whether to get it for the PSP or DS, though >.>