The client wanted a series of puzzles that would teach players about the museum, but didn't necessarily have to be played all at once. It was an idea to have the puzzles connect in story, but could have breaks taken in between to allow for food and networking throughout the event in which the puzzles would be placed.
There were a few problems that we ran into during the development and play-testing of the puzzles...
Puzzle 1: ARAPAIMA This puzzle worked well in theory, however, many of our play testers didn't know what an arapaima was not could they easily find it in the museum. Secondly, it was taking far too long for players to finish the puzzle and guess the correct answer. The problem was that people had to read every plaque in the exhibits to find the scientific name of the animals. In order to fix this, we rewrote the puzzle so that players would have a better idea of what they were trying to find (players would know they have to find a bird instead of a turtle for example), and it gave the client a chance to point out which animals they wanted in the puzzle. Once all of the animals had been found, the highlighted spaces and letters would then spell out which animal the players would need to take a picture with and post to social media. This was important for the advertisement of the event to get the museum's name out with college students and people of that age group.
Puzzle 2: KRONOSAURUS This puzzle did not have to be re-writen in the same way that the arapaima one had been. While the original idea did work, it became too easy to place the pieces and 'free' the fossil. To make the puzzle more difficult for players, and add game play time, we decided to turn the dynamite explosion range into different shapes so that players had a limited number of objects to work with and it followed more of a traditional puzzle platform. This then proved to be a little difficult for our play testers, however after 'The Maniac' (the man responsible for blowing up the rock and freeing the original Kronosaurus fossil) helped them out a bit, they were able to complete the puzzle within a reasonable amount of time (ten minutes).
Puzzle 3: FLOWER GRID The puzzle required the least amount of editing seeing as how there were only sixteen questions maximum that would need to be answered by players. The answers to the questions would be placed around the Glass Flowers exhibit so as to allow players to explore the exhibit while learning about the glass figures in the cases.
Puzzle 4: MINERALS At first we believed that players would be able to find all of the minerals in a reasonable amount of time, however, much like the arapaima puzzle, there were too many specimen in the exhibit for the puzzle to be completed in a reasonable amount of time. We then added clues to the puzzles so that players would know which cases to look for in order to cut down on gameplay time. There was also the beginning problem where some of the same mineral would be in several cases, and it became a fact checking task in order to make sure that players were being directed to the correct case and, subsequently, mineral in order to complete the puzzle.