In this post:
- Guidelines I'm following for this puzzle series.
- Puzzles I have so far.
- Seat-of-pants planning.
I ended up coming up with a framing story for the puzzles I'm making, about a ship's alchemist who gets stranded on a mysterious island. I'm aiming for a somewhat different feel compared to the official puzzles, in which there's a sense in which some reagents are processed into an explicitly "used-up" form. The other idea I have, which I haven't really written down, or put into practice, is to focus on how certain transformations only go one way:
- There's no way to undo the glyph of animismus
- There's no way to transmute higher metals to lower metals.
So, this alchemist, Vislav Peterson, is going to be working to extract lower metals from gold alloys, and using reagents produced by previous reactions to create "gilded" versions of those reagents to dispose of the gold.
So far, I've done two puzzles, and started a third.
- The first is to convert "seawater" to distilled water. My choice for seawater was a water with three salts, evenly spaced. I thought I was making this too easy, but then it turned out to be fiddly, so I think this is a good basic puzzle.
- Later on, when Vislav first discovers the gold, he uses an "elemental acid" to extract it from the ore and spin it into wire, creating two depleted byproducts.
I've added a puzzle between these, for the synthesis of the elemental acid, but I don't yet have a good idea of what to put in.
I think for most of these puzzles, I want to avoid the glyph of disposal and Van Berlo's wheel. Vislav does not have access to the last resort.
I was going to put up gifs of my solutions to my puzzles, but these files are big bois, and I don't want to put up images that are larger than every other image I've uploaded, combined. Maybe I'll make this a GitHub project or something, since the actual puzzles are, in fact, encoded in tiny tiny text files. Or maybe I'll start using Steam again, but this is the first time I've done anything vaguely like missing it since I stopped, so I'm not ready to go back yet.
Anyway, now that I've proved to myself that writing this framing stuff is good enough to produce puzzles from, I think the next step is to actually flesh it out and figure out where it's going.
Next time, maybe I can put together a specification for this stuff like the one for UWG that I, um, started and didn't come back to.