So we’ve done some 2D puzzles and some 3D puzzles.

It’s time to learn how to create your own game.

The first step in creating anything is brainstorming.

During this process, you simply want to let in whatever comes into your mind.

Don’t censor yourself.

In fact, brainstorming is something you should do when solving any problem.

It is part of the creative process and until you do it,

you won’t be able solve any problem or create any game.

Even though I’m thinking about a lot of things,

I’m only going to list some of the things

I’ve thought of since I want to show you how to put your thoughts into some sense of order.

The first thing I think of is a game

I played in high school when I was bored.

It requires two players. There was a square grid of dots,

and each player would take turns drawing a line between two dots.

The player who made the line that closed the box got one point.

I don’t know exactly how this will fit into my game,

but I don’t worry about that yet.

The next thing I brainstorm is another game in which

various shapes can be arranged to form one giant square.

This image makes me think of floor plans.

I imagine a bedroom with a bed, a nightstand, a door, a desk,

a window and a dresser. I look at these drawings

and think I have an idea for a puzzle.

What if there was a square grid representing a floor plan

and we had to fill it with furniture like a bed a desk a dresser and nightstand?

Yes, this could work. Now that we have an idea for a game,

we have to come up with the rules for the game.

In any game or puzzle there are rules.

These rules are not random;

they are created to make the game more challenging and thus more enjoyable.

The way we devise the rules is to try the game without rules

and see what could engage the intellect and make it harder to win.

In this case, we have a square grid and we must place furniture in it.

The two things that we haven’t added are a door and a window.

Here is our first rule:

No piece of furniture can be placed directly in front of a door or a window.

Let’s try it with this rule.

We can place each piece of furniture in the grid,

but while there are some places we won’t be able to put them,

it is relatively easy to fit all the pieces in the grid.

So we need another rule.

One thing that I notice in this solution is that all the furniture is flush against every other piece of furniture.

So if we made a rule that no shape can be flush with any other shape,

we would have one more thing that players would have to think about to solve the puzzle.

Trying this new rule, I see that it is quite difficult.

I have only a few possibilities to make it work,

and its not the easiest puzzle to solve.

I think I have solved it, but wait, I have misplaced one shape here,

so I need to try again. This is a good thing.

I have made a game that has some difficulty.

I try again and find the solution. It’s not a pretty floor plan,

but it solves the puzzle. Let’s design some puzzles now.

Now that we have our rules we can begin to design puzzles.

Usually for beginners a puzzle will be easy,

and then as a player gains experience the puzzles increase in complexity.

This is what we want to do here.

So we’ll develop four puzzles going from easy to hard or simple to complex.

There are three things that can impact the difficulty of our puzzles:

the size of the grid, the number of shapes to be placed,

and the presence of doors and windows.

In the first problem, we want it to be easy so that a player can get a feel for the game,

so the grid will be small and there will only be 2 shapes to place.

We’ll add a door, so that it’s not ridiculously easy.

So now we have to decide which shapes will go in the grid.

This is the fun part. All we need to do is draw one shape,

and so we know where we cannot place the next shape

we will place an X over any square that is off limits.

We see that we have a spot on the corner,

and we draw our final shape.

Now we bring out both shapes, clear the grid

and the puzzle is ready to go.

In the next puzzle, we want it to be more difficult.

But a player probably hasn’t figured out all the strategies yet,

so we don’t make it too difficult.

Our grid will be a big bigger, and instead of two shapes we’ll place three.

We’ll also place a door but forgo the window just yet.

Now we draw our shapes and X off the squares we cannot use.

Bring the shapes out of the grid,

clear away the X’s, and we’re ready to go.

Now we do it again, except this time,

we want a medium sized grid, 3 shapes, 1 door,

and now we’ll add 1 window.

Draw some shapes, X off the squares we can’t use.

Bring out the shapes. Clear the grid. Good to go.

Let’s draw one more.

Okay, so now a player should have a good understanding of the game.

We can mix things up.

Lets add a closet to our floor plan which gives it less space and a different shape.

We have a big room and 5 shapes to place in it.

We also have our 1 door and our 1 window.

We draw our shapes, X off the squares we can’t use.

Bring them out. And clear the grid.

When we bring them out notice that we’re also rotating them

and placing them at random places around the grid.

We don’t want to give anyone help to solve the problem.

Finally, notice that a way to make this last puzzle

even more difficult would be to make the grid smaller.

We won’t do it, but if you feel so inclined,

try to draw one more puzzle that makes this last puzzle more difficult.