Puzzle-Making Practice "Down the Street" (WINNER ANNOUNCED)

Started by heltenjon, Mon 15/04/2024 13:32:04

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The Rules!

Participants write entries that must do the following:
1. Use at least 3 of the provided elements (inventory, NPCs, a piece of the room like a cabinet or faucet etc.)
2. Give a step-by-step walkthrough of your puzzle solution.
3. Don't add new elements. For example, if the room is a forest, breaking a thin branch off a tree makes sense unless the host said the trees were huge and tall. But adding a hollowed-out stump with a bear sleeping in it is too specific. Assume all important elements have been mentioned by the host.
4. Keep any dialog elements summarized rather than typing out the whole conversation (for example, "threaten the mailman", "ask the child for advice", and so on, instead of giving every spoken line).

Each contest runs for two weeks to allow for a good number of entries, and then it switches to voting for one week. The participant whose solution gets the most votes gets to come up with the next scenario! (Please also provide a link to these rules). Current entries until March 20th.

Voters use the criteria of:
a) how logical the puzzle seems
b) how creative or unexpected (but still sensible) is the use of elements
c) how satisfying is the solution (Is it too simple? Way too complicated? Or just right?)

Here we go!

Down the street

Premise: It seemed like a good idea at the time. You were late, and taking a shortcut through Small Street would make up the time you lost and then some. But getting through to the other side looks a bit more difficult than you thought.

You are wearing:
  • A baseball cap
  • Sunglasses
  • A T-shirt
  • Shorts. In the pockets you find
    • Your wallet
    • your most prized possession
  • Sneakers
  • A piece of jewelry
  • A backpack containing two items of your choice.

In the street you see:
  • The local bully
  • Rows of houses with gardens.
  • An angry dog. It's on a leash, but you're in doubt that it can hold the dog if it pulls hard.
  • A small children's playground.
  • An old man known by everyone for talking and talking and not letting you go.
  • An old woman, working in her garden
  • A hot dog stand
  • An abondoned children's pool filled with water (in a garden)
  • Typical stuff like trees, mailboxes, etc.
  • A couple of parked cars.
  • A ball in the ditch by the road.
  • A volleyball
  • The one person in the world who should not see you in this place now

Your goal is to avoid all obstacles and take this shortcut down Small Street.
Logical items (garden tools, toys in the playground etc. are allowed)

Please submit your entries in the next 14 days. You have until April 29th. Good luck!


Bumping this up. Haven't thought of a solution yet, but I'm on it.

@heltenjon Just want to clarify the goal. The obstacles to be avoided are the bully, dog, the old man, and the only person who shouldn't see you here?
They/them. Here are some of my games:


Quote from: RootBound on Fri 19/04/2024 19:08:41@heltenjon Just want to clarify the goal. The obstacles to be avoided are the bully, dog, the old man, and the only person who shouldn't see you here?
Yes, though I'm open to other interpretations, as long as it makes the game flow.


I hope someone is considering entering this. It would be too bad if I killed off the contest by delivering a theme noone liked. Five days to go.



Deadline today, although extensions will be given if needed. @RootBound - are you still in?


I admit I completely forgot about it. '^^ Will see if I can come up with something today.
They/them. Here are some of my games:


This is just to let you all know that the "Puzzle-Making Practice" has been added to the Competition Topics Master List for future reference.


Ok, I've got a solution!


You can't believe your rotten luck that at the other end of the narrow street stands the WORST PERSON you could possibly run into: your ex-boyfriend, a security guard at a museum, who you screwed over to steal your most PRIZED POSSESSION--a priceless Egyptian Amulet made of blue gold! If he sees you he will definitely call the police! Who are already not far behind you! It's too late to turn back.

You frantically take note of each obstacle and formulate a scheme-- but it will never work unless you do everything in exactly the right order, without drawing too much attention to yourself too quickly.

First you need to steal several hotdogs from the HOTDOG STAND, but it takes a few tries because you have to keep looking at your PHONE (from your BACKPACK), to assuage the suspicion of the vendor, and you can only steal the hotdogs while his back is briefly turned. It takes quick reflexes.

You stow TWO HOT DOGS for later use.

Next, you engage the GARDENING WOMAN in conversation, but you have limited time because the TALKATIVE OLD MAN is already approaching. His arms look strong and wiry, and if he clutches your arm, there's no escape.

You convince the GARDENING WOMAN you're fascinated enough by her work that she goes inside to get a gardening magazine to show you. Acting quickly, you snatch up the WATERING CAN from her garden and dash across the street to fill it from the KIDDIE POOL. The OLD MAN is right at your heels!

You dump the WATERING CAN over the OLD MAN'S head. He is so stunned he cannot speak!

Now you're beginning to cause a scene, so you have to keep moving. You grab the abandoned VOLLEYBALL and throw it right at the BULLY, hoping to start with the upper hand.

The volleyball bounces right off the bully's face. But you've only made him angry! Before you can run, he storms up to you.

Mini-game: dodge the bully's punches long enough to stick the HOT DOGS in his pockets. Then lure the BULLY to the DOG.

Sure enough, the DOG breaks free of its leash and starts chasing the BULLY.

At this point the street is in chaos. Your best bet is to use the other item from your BACKPACK: a lockpick. You use it to break into the nearest PARKED CAR and wait for things to die down.

But it isn't that easy. When you emerge from the vehicle, you face obstacles in both directions. The soaked OLD MAN is walking straight toward you again, ranting because you broke into his car! In the other direction is the WORST PERSON, your museum security ex-boyfriend, whose face fills with shock and anger as he recognizes you.

He makes to reach for his phone. You have only seconds to act.

You reach into the OLD MAN'S MAILBOX next to his car, take out a PACKAGE, and throw it to your WORST PERSON ex-boyfriend, yelling that this is the stolen amulet and you had it hidden here all along.

He takes the bait and catches the package, despite knowing you must be lying.

And finally, the last piece falls into place. The OLD MAN starts ranting at your ex-boyfriend to give him his package back, and grabs the WORST PERSON by the arm with his infamous grip strength. He talks and talks and won't let your ex-boyfriend go.

Now is the time! You run as fast as you possibly can out the other end of the street, exiting into the next room.

Anybody else want to throw something in and make it a proper contest?  :)
They/them. Here are some of my games:


Congratulations goes to RootBound! Even as a winner by default, this is a very good solution to the obviously not-too-good setup of mine.

I liked
that you linked your most prized possession to the person you didn't want to meet.The minigame ideas also sound very fun, and I can visualize the old man with the strong grip (I see him with Popeye arms), ready to tell stories about anything.

I haven't made a non-entry for the scenario, but I thought it would be interesting to
perhaps solve the design by making the player character something unexpected. Perhaps the player is a bigger bully and may greet the local bully as a friend, or accomplice? Or perhaps the old men is actually trying to reveal something of great importance, but has to speak in code, because someone is watching him.

Other praise or comments for RootBound's solution is welcome before we lock the thread. RootBound, you may start the next one at your leisure.


I thought about why I didn't feel inspired to join this one. I think it was the following:
The other rounds so far had one goal and several options provided how to get there.
This time there was one goal and several obstacles that keep you from getting there.

I think I prefer the first setting.



Hi @cat
Yes, I haven't forgotten, I've just been focused on other stuff.  :)  I have something in mind, and can hopefully post it this week.
They/them. Here are some of my games:

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