We wanted to make the difficulty progression in Blockwick 2 a bit smoother and slower than in the original, so after building near 250 puzzles, we decided to enlist a band of fearless puzzles testers to help us sift though them and rate them according to difficultly and enjoyability.
After solving a puzzle, a screen would pop up that asked the player how difficult and fun they thought the puzzle was. We then waited about a month to let the puzzle testers have at it. After this testing period, we gathered all the ratings into a spreadsheet along with time spent on each puzzle, moves per puzzle, and other related info, and filtered it through two algorithms designed to suggest each puzzle’s difficulty and likability. We then color-coded this data for easier analysis.
It’s often surprising which puzzles are found difficult or easy. We can be quite certain a puzzle will be rated very difficult only to find most players had no trouble at all with it (and vice versa). Same goes for enjoyability. I think this comes from just being too close to a project; you lose perspective. Getting outside feedback is essential.
A big thanks to everyone who helped us play through the early versions of the game and rate puzzles! We really appreciate your feedback!