Now that the dust has settled down on the new website I can finally get back to developing Pawns. I recently reached the milestone of 50 puzzles (including the 9 tutorial puzzles), my original target goal.
For fun I made a private build of Pawns which allows puzzles to be defined in a text file. I gave this to a friend of mine, who soon designed two fun new puzzles of his own, the first ever Pawns puzzles not designed by me. Here’s a screenshot:
I’m delighted by this, but it presents me with a dilemma. It would be fun to create an editor for the puzzles and see what people come up with, but it would be a lot of work to support it. For starters, the Pawns engine will run most puzzles I throw at it, but certain complex situations confuse it. This is easily avoided when I design puzzles, but to support arbitrary puzzles from other people I’d have to rewrite the game innards. That’s on top of the effort to create a bulletproof editor, and a way to trade or submit puzzles.
Something you hear a lot these days is how fostering communities will make or break your game. And it’s true, some games take on a life of their own when the players are given the tools to extend them. I suspect Pawns is not one of those games. However, if you are someone who loves Pawns and want to try making puzzles for it, let me know.