Is looking around a room and finding an eyeball in a wall really super fun for people? Like, the game is 3D now so everything isn’t laid out before you like a map anymore, so I get that there’s this sense that you walk into a room and aren’t getting all the information about the room right away. But is stopping your forward motion, stopping everything to look for a diamond to whack that’s in a soulless crevasse in the wall so you can open a door that leads to another room with a locked door and some other silly open-sesame trick… is that fun?! Is this what you want?!
Let me explain something. A puzzle is something you have all the information for. The only thing standing between you and the solution is your own ability to put the pieces together in the right way. The satisfaction you obtain from solving a puzzle is from the “a-ha!” moment when the pieces fit and you have only yourself to blame for it.
If you’re missing a piece, how are you even supposed to get to a conclusion? You rack your brain; run in circles; go, “what do I fucking do?!” until you find the last piece on a whim and suddenly it all makes sense. You say, “Well shit!” or, “Ah, come on!” The satisfaction doesn’t come from the door opening, it comes from the puzzle itself. If the puzzle itself isn’t satisfying, well there you go. The puzzle itself isn’t satisfying.
Arin Hanson just ripped apart my favorite game, and I am very okay with that. Great video on game design and (ultimately) Nintendo’s return to the origins of the Zelda franchise. Worth every second.