Yeah, I read it the first time you posted it. It's pretty well-written and makes some good points. Are you Randy Smith?
I don't want to get too deep into it, partly because I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek with my "moron" restatement. I'm pretty confident that no one here is a moron. Probably. But also because this thread is about sock's map, not the theory of puzzle design. That said, I can't resist making a few quick remarks. Sorry sock...
�Exhaustive searching� is a player behavior that I interpret at design failure � if your players have to search exhaustively, then clearly they don�t really know what to do and you need to improve the design.
But what if exhaustive searching is what a particular puzzle is about? I enjoy
searching! If the environment is an interesting one and I find interesting things, I'm the guy who takes twice as long to play some games as other people since I wander around and look in all the nooks and crannies. Is that weird? Well...yes, but there are other people who also enjoy exploring.
You could replace "exhaustive searching" with any game behavior (sneaking? shooting? hiding? solving puzzles?), and the statement would still be right in some cases, but very wrong as a blanket statement or general rule.
Slide 16: Are players dumb? No.
<--Yes they are. Lots of people are dumb, and while gamers aren't necessarily a perfectly representational slice of the whole, I think it's still close enough. Call me cynical.
Hell, in the exhaustive analysis of the first room
in Portal (slides 119-130), Randy points out that there are a couple of ways to get stumped on that puzzle, and I'm sure that a few people did. Those people probably shouldn't be playing puzzle games, and I'm sure as fuck not going to design puzzle games for them
. Which brings us to:
Slide 28: the >99% rule
Sorry, but I disagree completely with this. Are you going to tell me that >99% of Portal players solved every puzzle in that game? By themselves? Without looking at walkthroughs? Nope. Didn't happen. Hell, Randy himself (if that's not you) admits to getting stumped, and he's obviously a puzzle game kinda guy. Same with the Myst/Riven/etc. series. Same with any number of great puzzle games. I don't really think that it ruined those games' reputation for quality...
Sorry, I could say more, but this already ended up longer than I intended.
tl;dr - This map rocks, sock rocks, puzzles are cool, some people are dumb and/or not good at puzzles.
(also, Spirit, that's just mean--I was all excited there for a second)