When designing Piczle Cross Adventure I try to keep in mind several types of players and cater to as many of them as possible. Let’s face it, everybody enjoys games differently and for different reasons. There is no “right” way to play games and though I try to “direct” the player somewhat in the end I don’t want to be too much of a dictator. As such there are various levels of completion for different types of players.
When it comes to clearing the logic-puzzles, due to the wealth of options I let the player mess around with, I’ve had to make some decisions on what constitutes a “cleared puzzle”.
For example, if the player starts with clue roulette, where a random row and column are automatically filled in when you start a puzzle, there should be some kind of penalty. Penalty is perhaps the wrong word here, because I do not want to dissuade people from using it. It is a handy tool for people who are struggling with some of the puzzles. Like Piczle Colors I do want to introduce a difference between using clue roulette and not using it.
Part of this difference will be a completion star. In the logbook you will see a solid star if you cleared a puzzle without clue roulette, and a star outline if you did use it. For some players even seeing the occasional missed star will be enough to replay the puzzle.
Another issue is the option to auto-correct mistakes. This option is usually turned off, but for players who find it hard to clear the puzzles it can be a useful tool to be notified when they draw a block in the wrong square. There is even an option, if you use this, to make correctly placed blocks un-erasable. This can be a real boon for struggling puzzlers, however, what is to stop people just drawing blocks all over the grid to clear a puzzle without trying to actually follow the logic?
Making a mistake with the auto-correct feature turned on, is made a little jarring, and causes a slight pause in the action. On top of that there will be a time penalty that increases with every subsequent mistake. Making one error, even two or three, should not be a big deal, but the more you make, the more time gets added to your timer, until it maxes out at 1 hour.
There is still nothing to stop brute forcing a puzzle by simply drawing a block in every grid square and have the game auto-correct it for you. If this is how you want to play a game you paid good money for (hopefully) then be my guest!
Where it all starts making a difference is in your completion percentage. If you are aiming to clear the game 100% you’re going to have to make an effort with the logic-puzzles.
Aside from map clearance, trophies and secrets each puzzle completed will count towards your 100%. However, puzzles that took over 1 hour on the timer, i.e. puzzles that used auto-correct and made way too many errors, hardly count at all. They count somewhat, but not as a “full puzzle”. Say, they count as one third of a cleared puzzle.
Then puzzles that were cleared using the clue roulette at the start count a little bit more, but also not as a full puzzle. On this same level are also puzzles that used auto-correct and had at least 1 mistake corrected. As long as the timer stayed below 1 hour these puzzles count as 2 thirds of a cleared puzzle.
Finally, of course, if you’ve cleared a puzzle without using clue roulette or auto-correct, within 1 hour it counts as a fully cleared puzzle in your game clear percentage. I’ve decided that you can actually have auto-correct turned on, but if you don’t make any mistakes, and so do not have auto-correct kick in for you, it will still count as a fully cleared puzzle.
The in-game puzzle logbook, once you find it, is a tool to help you with this as well. You’ll see at a glance what the status of a cleared puzzle is and if you need to reply it to get it cleared perfectly.
If you want that 100% completion rate, you’ll have to make the effort! If you’re not too bothered by such things, then just enjoy the puzzles your own way. Perhaps you can revisit some later to get them cleared perfectly, but it’s not a requirement. You can still find all the secrets and trophies and see everything the game has to offer, you just won’t see that magical “100% cleared” on your status screen.