Puzzles in video games involve all sorts of mechanics, and one of the most interesting is a constructed language. But while constructed languages can be cool, they can also be frustrating to engage with. Using the recent game Tunic, I examine the basic problems and explore some basic ideas of how to deal with language puzzles from a design standpoint.
What makes a given game mechanic and a given genre “compatible”? As easy as it might be to say that some combinations aren’t compatible, the problem is actually much more difficult to solve, and demands careful attention.