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Aporia As a Promise Requires Trust

In puzzle design, apoira—the state of puzzlement—can be used to promise a resolution: eureka. But in order for that promise to hold, for the player to believe that their puzzlement will lead to eureka, they must trust the puzzle.

Elyot Grant expands in a few different ways:

That is: unclear rules, interactions, consequences, or goals can lead to a loss of trust.

Exceptions exist: The Witness, for example. But these work because the player’s trust is built up throughout the game.

  1. Elyot Grant. 30 Puzzle Design Lessons, Extended Director’s Cut” (external link). 1 September 2021. Accessed 29 May 2023.