Wiki talk:Wiki

RFC: Puzzle Elements vs Solve Path vs Both[edit | edit source]

A Puzzle Element is a "building block", or atomic characteristic of a puzzle. A list of Puzzle Elements could therefore appear on each puzzle page that would collectively collate and describes the nature, appearance, topic and solving techniques that a particular puzzle entails.

A Solve Path is a descriptive excerpt that attempts to describe the puzzle from the solver's perspective (as opposed to any official solution write-up). A Solve Path could therefore appear on each puzzle page that helps provide a walkthrough of observations experienced by the solver when progressing through the puzzle.

This RFC seek opinions on which combination of these elements ought to be included in individual puzzle pages by default, and how you think that can be achieved in the most sensible way

Please express an opinion on the options below. A bolded Support, Oppose, or Neutral should be appended before writing further reasoning or discussion, and please be nice and descriptive for any "how" suggestions. Also note that you can express nested opinions on other people's suggestions if you feel this is warranted.

Do not use the "reply" button for initial comments; instead, edit this talk page like a normal page, add a new entry to the bulleted list by starting a line with *, then end your line with ~~~~ to sign your comment with your name and a timestamp. Soni (talk) 15:42, 15 March 2022 (UTC) & CoreyPlover (talk) 16:23, 15 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Only Puzzle Elements[edit | edit source]

We will use only Puzzle Elements in puzzle pages.

  • Neutral — I would prefer to include solve paths as well, but I’d be happy with this as a compromise as this would be the main impetus for me to contribute to the wiki. — Timwi (talk) 16:37, 15 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose - While not everyone is going to want to write solve paths for puzzle pages, it's something I'm very passionate about and I believe to be a key part puzzle pages. As mentioned below, I believe the solve path provides a uniquely solver-first perspective to puzzles, and should be present alongside the constructor-first perspective. Leveloneknob (talk) 16:47, 15 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    • Edit - Neutral, if something akin to CoreyPlover's proposal is used as the "minimum". Application of the flow present in the puzzle walkthroughs seems possible within it, which is a big part of my personal enjoyment in contributing to the wiki. I'm still a bit concerned about removing that "constructor's view", but perhaps phrasing the ordering as "the order in which a solver encounters elements" is sufficient to allow for the inclusion of the more structural elements that don't necessarily impact how one figures out how to solve the puzzle. Leveloneknob (talk) 23:14, 21 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support because I think elements are far more important and supersede the purpose of solve path often enough. Or at least, can be repurposed as such. Soni (talk) 08:23, 20 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support To be honest, I think cataloging puzzles in one place (option 4) is still a useful function of this wiki (and also one with minimal barrier to entry). Element cataloging is also useful, to be able to get similar puzzles / check if an idea has been used before (for the same reason /dev/joe's MH index is a great resource). I think if editors want to write solve paths then that is also fine, but it would probably be relatively lower priority for me. So the wiki should grow roughly in that order, imo --phenomist (talk) 21:46, 20 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support - I believe that inclusion of Puzzle Element (and the exclusion of Solve Paths) is the clearest, most objective, and highest benefit-to-effort approach for puzzle pages. It mirrors TV Tropes where articles include only a brief overview and an exhaustive listings of Tropes, but deliberately suppress detailed plot synopses, and I think this provides very clear and objective clarity for contributors to follow.
My proposal is to list each Puzzle Element in a bullet point list (nested or segmented if needed), and accompany each Element by a brief description that explains how the element applies to the puzzle in question. By using a suitable ordering and descriptions of Puzzle Elements we can encapsulate the Solve Path implicitly rather than explicitly. For example:
* "Trigram Rearrangement" - The trigrams provided in the original puzzle can be rearranged to spell quotes from famous people
* "Extra Letters" - ...except that each quote contains an extra letter that, in original order, spells SIMPSONS CAMEOS
* <Spoiler> "The Simpsons" - ...
All up, I believe that this provides the functionality of both Puzzle Elements and Solve Path with minimal effort and maximal consistency and objectivity. In addition, separated (in)line spoilers could also provides an additional useful feature whereby readers can gradually expose Puzzle Elements chronologically rather than having a full Solve Path revealed as an all-or-nothing spoiler chunk (—CoreyPlover (talk))

Only Solve Path[edit | edit source]

We will use only Solve Path in puzzle pages.

  • Oppose except in the possible universe in which the solve path is presented primarily as a list of elements. I think that would be difficult to achieve across all puzzles and difficult to keep consistent though. — Timwi (talk) 16:39, 15 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose - Elements are one of if not the most important part of this wiki. As the goal is to break down puzzles into component pieces leaving those pieces out of the actual puzzle page doesn't make sense. While category lists accomplish a basic list, there's no room to make notes about how any specific elements are applied. Leveloneknob (talk) 16:47, 15 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose - I do not believe that a cohesive case has been made as to the benefit, purpose, or worthiness a "Solve Path" and I do not believe that a "solve path written from a solver's perspective" differs from the official solution in a material or useful enough way to make it beneficial or worthy of inclusion. Many official solutions already include a wide and diverse indication of elements such as flavortext allusions, inferences, intermediate steps, and even behind-the-scenes constructor notes. All up, I believe that Solve Paths add an impediment to wiki contribution without any measurable benefit. -CoreyPlover (talk) 12:36, 21 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Both Puzzle Elements and Solve Path[edit | edit source]

We will use both Puzzle Elements and Solve Path in puzzle pages.

  • Support. I think that both have a position in this world. The solve path should be an explanation of how the solver would approach the puzzle (all the way to the final solution), while the elements list would be a description of how the puzzle works/was constructed. The latter would also serve to categorize puzzles for people looking for puzzles with elements they like, and a way for solvers to “fanboy” about puzzles they like. They both have a place. — Timwi (talk) 16:36, 15 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support - The solve path and element list each bring information the other would not always involve. As I've mentioned elsewhere, the solve path is meant to be the solver's perspective, while the element list is meant to be the writer's perspective. A solve path may touch on avenues that were unintentional, or are otherwise not significant enough to be mentioned as an element. Meanwhile, an element list may involve aspects of the puzzle that are not necessarily important to solving the puzzle, but are important to how the puzzle is presented. By keeping both we're able to preserve both perspectives without over-filling one or the other. Leveloneknob (talk) 16:47, 15 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    • Currently, in-line spoiler tags would probably be the best option for the Element List. However, currently the in-line spoiler system is...a bit wonky. If we can achieve it in a better and more consistent way, then we can hide only the information that would otherwise spoil the puzzle, while retaining the visual length of that section. Full, drop-down spoiler tags for solve paths would still work, but if we get inlines working, then we can use that to retain visual length as well. In addition, it would allow us to break solve paths down into sections, possible spoiling each paragraph individually. Then, people can reveal it piecemeal. This could be particularly useful if someone wants to use the wiki as a solving aid, as they could read through the first half of a solution, and then finish on their own. Categories honestly could go either way; originally, there was going to be text on category pages for elements, but honestly people are going to be getting there from puzzle pages anyway, which will have links to their actual pages if they want more information. If category pages are auto-generated, can we still edit them to make notes on them about specifics (Like on "Politics", having a note next to a puzzle denoting a specific section of Politics (Political Speeches) for a puzzle), or should we just save that for the puzzle page itself? I'd lean towards the latter but idk. Leveloneknob (talk) 16:59, 15 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support if solve path for the puzzle is not available elsewhere. Neutral otherwise. Agree to the general points and the space they provide. Just not convinced that the general case for all puzzles should include both. Soni (talk) 08:23, 20 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose - I believe that this approach requires more content, creates unnecessary duplication, and introduces a significant barrier to more widespread uptake and contributions. See my proposal above that suggests how suitably ordered Puzzle Elements can create a "Solve Path" narrative without such additional work -CoreyPlover (talk) 12:36, 21 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Neither Puzzle Elements nor Solve Path[edit | edit source]

Use neither Puzzle Elements nor Solve Path in puzzle pages.

  • Oppose — writing either would be the whole appeal of contributing to the wiki for me. — Timwi (talk) 16:37, 15 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose - Otherwise all we're doing is listing puzzles with little to no additional information. Leveloneknob (talk) 16:47, 15 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Neutral / Oppose - For same reasons to those listed above. -CoreyPlover (talk) 12:36, 21 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

(...RFC cotd) How will we include Elements/Solve Path/Both[edit | edit source]

Please note all discussions and arguments for "How solve path/Elements should be within the puzzle page" (Example, list or also explanations; or alphabetical versus solve order) below.

  • Commenting on the use for solve paths: of course Wikipedia has plot synopses of various media, versus the trope listings. I also feel that Corey's scheme might not be feasible to capture detailed solve paths (for example, if you want to give a step-by-step solution into solving a logic puzzle, it's not clear that this can be feasibly broken up into chunks as proposed). And then there are certainly elements that are generally independent of the solve path. So I think I would want to generally separate these two, and probably order the elements alphabetically like it is done in TV Tropes.--Phenomist-alt (talk) 12:56, 21 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    • I don't think detailed step-by-step solutions (like logic deductions) are in scope for either Puzzle Elements or Solve Path. I could be wrong, but I thought "Solve Path" was distinct from a constructor's solution, and intended only to be an extremely top level walkthrough. -CoreyPlover (talk) 13:59, 21 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
      Solve Paths are for people to understand how to get from start to end in a puzzle. While for many this involves explaining the steps and providing a few examples as to how they apply specifically, Logic Puzzles may be an exception. Currently only one logic puzzle has a solve path written for it, and as a non-logic-solver, I was not able to provide a sufficient amount of information on the specifics of solving the logic. This does still retain it being different from a constructor’s solution, as from experience most logic puzzle solutions (beyond Zebra Puzzles) don’t go into detail on how they’re solved, specifically. Leveloneknob (talk) 18:00, 21 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]


RFC - The Scope of this Wiki[edit | edit source]

What is the scope of Puzzles Wiki?

Please express an opinion on these options below! A bolded Support, Oppose, or Neutral should be appended before writing further reasoning or discussion.

Do not use the "reply" button for initial comments; instead, edit this talk page like a normal page, add a new entry to the bulleted list by starting a line with *, then end your line with ~~~~ to sign your comment with your name and a timestamp.

Soni (talk) 03:31, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Option 1: Hunt Puzzles and similar only[edit | edit source]

This option limit our primary scope to Puzzle Hunts and Hunt puzzles. Some future delineation may be required to decide where exactly this line falls, but by and large, the primary scope of the wiki would be Hunt Puzzles.

  • Support, but with deliberately wide definition of 'Hunt' - I think having limited scope is preferred for getting focused content drafted and added to the wiki. And I think the fundamental thing that makes "Hunts" interesting to this community is essentially "anything with meta puzzle(s)". Most Escape Rooms, Rally-yes, Treasure Hunts, etc are differentiated in that they are just sequential unlocks and essentially just a race to completion without a meta puzzle. However, I do also believe that there is probably scope for notable stand-alone puzzles if they have a "mini-hunt" like progression within themselves. - CoreyPlover (talk) 04:00, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support - I think, especially in the wiki's youth, that having a focused subject matter and working to flesh out that content is more important than being inclusive of all puzzle types. I believe we should aim to make this wiki the de-facto place for puzzlehunt information, and once that goal is realized, broadening the scope of the wiki. Mononoko (talk) 03:55, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
  • Support (With Exceptions) - While I think the primary purpose of this wiki is to collect hunt puzzles/solutions/elements, there definitely should be room for information about puzzlehunt-adjacent topics. However, since we 1) Can't do detailed info on Escape Rooms without attending, nor should we (This falls under the same "No Details" rule as Puzzle Boat/P&A), and 2) Have better resources at hand for detailing ARGs (like Game Detectives Wiki), I don't see a point to handling these other puzzle-y things in the same way that we handle hunt puzzles. I think there is definitely merit to having pages dedicated to these things, but as broader concepts. Escape rooms should still have a page, due to there being multiple puzzle hunts with puzzles that are presented as Escape Rooms, with links to other resources that better deal with the IRL aspect of them. ARGs could be listed, but due to their variability in puzzle content probably shouldn't have the same kind of attention as hunts do. Treasure Hunts...well, those are variable. Some treasure hunts are actually puzzle hunts, and those should be case-by case. Rallyes also have some outside resources that we'd be better off pointing towards, but having a page on Rallyes is still important, due to the presence of (once again), at least one Hunt Puzzles that is also a Rallye. In my opinion, we're a wiki that does two things: 1) Collects information about Puzzle Hunts and their puzzles, and 2) Acts as a resource to teach people about puzzling as a whole, which often overlaps with these adjacencies. Leveloneknob (talk) 04:03, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support per Mononoko and Leveloneknob. It need not be a decision for the forever, but I would like a restricting of scope that focuses on both Puzzle Hunt and Hunt style puzzles. I agree with L1K on the "General concept of what an escape room etc is" but not necessarily specific escape roooms. Otherwise we need to dilineate accordingly to decide which is "Hunt puzzle". Soni (talk) 06:16, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Neutral I think while I agree with the general tenor of this option, I think that for historical purposes it would be good to be relatively lenient on the definition of a puzzle hunt, especially for earlier hunts when the structure was somewhat less well-defined. I don't believe that a meta structure is strictly required for a puzzle hunt; for instance, earlier CiSRA hunts had no meta. Rather, the content of the puzzles probably matters somewhat, but this is not actually that easy to formalize. I describe what I believe to be a reasonable extent for our current purposes of the wiki in the later options (mainly, include treasure hunts, which should cover most of puzzle hunt forebears). --phenomist (talk) 09:54, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support. Hunts are distinct from ARGs in that ARGs are intended to be completely collaborative (at least in my understanding), which is better suited for the ARGs' individual communities. Escape room info is problematic as it could be viewed as cheating (escape room leaderboards never really expire in the same way that hunts stop recording solves after solutions are out.) ev (talk) 04:20, 9 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Option 2: Inclusion of Escape Rooms[edit | edit source]

Hunt puzzles, plus Escape Rooms and similar.

Option 3: Inclusion of Rally-yes[edit | edit source]

Hunt puzzles, plus Rally-yes and similar.

Option 4: Treasure Hunts and ARGs[edit | edit source]

Hunt puzzles, plus also Treasure Hunts, Alternate Reality Games, and similar.

  • Oppose per L1K's comment above, unless it is ARGs or List of ARGs Soni (talk) 06:16, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Weak Support (treasure hunts only) I actually think the line between Treasure Hunts (or even, hunts that purport to be treasure hunts) and Puzzle Hunts is the closest, especially when looking at this from a historical perspective. Consider that the MIT Mystery Hunt originated as (essentially) a treasure hunt. And hunts like DASH unlock things in a linear fashion, with the directions being fairly abstracted away (you get the next location when you submit the answer to the previous answer, through Cluekeeper). A bit more traditional, but still allowing for reasonable amounts of flexibility, are e.g. the Arizona Treasure Hunt and the Herald Hunt, where the answer that you get from solving puzzles can be crossreferenced with a table, allowing you to get corresponding information. This is incidentally how earlier The Games operated. What might possibly be different is the quality of the "clue", often being a lot less rigorous than modern hunt puzzles. --phenomist (talk) 06:53, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Neutral-ish? - Okay as I mentioned under Option 1, ARGs already have a good, detailed database. Treasure Hunts (in the sense of a linear series of puzzles leading to an ultimate goal) do not have such a database. This would be both a good reason to consider THunts in the future, if we can find sufficient information on them. HOWEVER, there is also (as phenomist said) a very fine line between THunts and PHunts, and often that line gets crossed by either. As such, we may have to make judgement calls before we start shifting full attention to Treasure Hunts. Leveloneknob (talk) 20:09, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Option 5: Logic Puzzles[edit | edit source]

Hunt puzzles, plus other logic puzzles of all types, including Logic Puzzle "hunts" like WPF and Sudoku Mahabharat.

  • Support. Unlike other puzzle types, I consider Logic puzzles, and Logic puzzle events like WPF events to be puzzle-hunt-adjacent enough. It also is a community with significant overlap with ours. So including notable standalone logic puzzles, notable logic puzzle blogs either as their own page or in a list (Prasanna Sheshadri's blog, Bachelor Seal etc..), and "logic puzzle contests/hunts" sounds in the scope of this wiki to me. Soni (talk) 06:16, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support only genres (for now) Genres are naturally going to be added as a result of puzzle elements, and it's worth expanding these articles to include, say, techniques to solve various genres (as it would help the solver to solve these puzzles as well). Of course logic puzzles part of hunts (e.g. Portals, MITMH 2013) are acceptable for inclusion, but I don't see adding other standalone logic puzzles since very few of these have enough material to write an article. The next area of expansion would probably be logic puzzle events, but those feel already quite far removed from puzzlehunts. --phenomist (talk) 06:58, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Neutral-Oppose (for now) - As mentioned, "Puzzle Types" is going to be a big part of the Elements section, and I wouldn't be surprised if the logic and word puzzle types end up being EXTREMELY well-filled-out due to their prevalence as standalone puzzles, with or without word-or-phrase final answers. However, I don't see logic puzzles without the gimmicks of puzzlehunt logic puzzles as being significant enough to warrant individual pages, unless they do something new. Puzzle Hunts that are primarily/exclusively comprised of logic puzzles that are still within a Puzzlehunt structure would be an exception in my eyes, primarily because they would (presumably) be doing a lot of new/different things with whatever genre they present. I don't know how deep things go, but I think opening the door to "standalone logic puzzles" is a very big decision that I'm wary about making. Leveloneknob (talk) 20:09, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Option 6: Word Puzzles[edit | edit source]

Hunt puzzles, plus other word puzzles of all types.

  • Cautious support. Same criteria as Logic Puzzle, but Word Puzzle have even more overlap with Hunt community. I suppose we will both have to decide on this, and decide what Word Puzzles are hunt puzzles (which to me, is just "Does it have an extraction"). But otherwise, if there's suitably notable word puzzles, standalone or blogs/NYT crosswords etc, I suppose they could have their own page? I'm a lot more undecided on this that Logic Puzzles Soni (talk) 06:16, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support only types for now. Same logic as logic puzzles. Types are covered under puzzle elements. Some puzzles might be more discrete and could potentially have a page written (e.g. Ucaoimhu cryptics) but seems alright to expand to this later.--phenomist (talk) 07:03, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Neutral-Oppose (for now) - See my Option 5 explanation but replace "Logic" with "Word". It makes sense, probably. While there's certainly more word puzzles used in hunts, standalone word puzzles (whether it's the Junior Jumble or individual NYT Crosswords) that don't have single answers don't have the same merit as an equivalent hunt puzzle. As with Logic Puzzles, word puzzle types are going to get VERY filled out, and I don't doubt that we'd have room to link to particular collections or blogs that focus on these kinds of puzzles. Leveloneknob (talk) 20:09, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Option 7: CTF / Challenge sites[edit | edit source]

CTF's are very technical series of challenges (think: decrypting modern ciphers, reverse engineering programs, exploiting security vulnerabilities), run at a fixed time, solved by teams, and you gain points for obtaining the answer. After the event runs, teams often write up solutions and the process for getting there for individual problems.

  • Neutral-Support - Okay look. I've watched my compsci roommate do some of these and I was baffled. I don't know how many of these things are out there, but if there ARE a significant amount, I think they could be worth it to explore. CTFs tend to walk the line between ARG Puzzles and Puzzlehunt Puzzles, in that they usually have a solid structure, but the topics involve a lot more probing and teamwork (and are often more tech-sided). At a minimum, I definitely support a page about CTFs. I'd want to do more delving into whether or not there's enough to warrant expanding the range of the wiki to them (there probably is!) AND whether or not the type of problems are things the average Puzzle Enjoyer would enjoy reading the specifics about, but for now it's firmly on the "Consider" list. Leveloneknob (talk) 20:09, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Option 8: Stand-alone puzzles[edit | edit source]

Hunt puzzles, plus other standalone puzzles of all types.

  • Oppose. Any puzzle not in above categories will likely be either not notable, or have an assortment of categorising issues. I would rather focus on the core of the wiki as Hunt and Hunt-adjacent puzzles. Soni (talk) 06:16, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Shelve for a different RFC. I think after we determine the high-level scope, we can then discuss notability guidelines. For example, stand-alone hunt puzzles - puzzles that could appear in a hunt (main criterion - it extracts to a typical answer) but don't.--phenomist (talk) 07:07, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Shelve For Later/Neutral-Support (for Hunt Puzzles) - I agree with phenomist that this is a more extensive thing, I think. However, I think that standalone Hunt Puzzles (as in puzzles that result in a word-or-phrase Final Answer) would be something that would at least fit on the wiki as it currently stands. I know the puzzlehunt community often produces standalone puzzles, and it'd be a similar opening of a door to allow just anyone to post their puzzle on the wiki and make a page for it, but there are definitely some standalone puzzles I could name that I wouldn't be opposed to having on the wiki. Leveloneknob (talk) 20:09, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Option 9: All of the Above[edit | edit source]

  • Support, with caveats (and also deprioritize until later) I think ultimately, this is probably the option that creates the least questions of "what is a X puzzle?". But for that matter, I would say that the individual notability criteria for the different types of puzzles has a fairly wide range. For instance, we can catalog as many individual hunt puzzles as we can, but maybe for treasure hunts/rallyes/ARG's, it might make sense to only have pages for the top-level franchise, or second-level "hunt"-equivalent (i.e. not one page per clue). Escape rooms could be per company, I suppose, since we probably couldn't get much sourced material for each room. There are also other types of less-hunty puzzles (e.g. logic puzzles could be per genres, plus it could be integrated with "hunt puzzles that use a certain genre" elements. Puzzle games (most likely at a game-level page, not a page per level), mechanical puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, I guess should be evaluated on notability.)--phenomist (talk) 03:40, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose. The oppose is already implicit in my other !votes, but also saying so here. I think until the wiki gets a critical mass, adding to our scope drastically will not be a good idea. But also, I am generally going to be opposed to any such additions before we check with the involved communities whether they want to be included in the Wiki. It only makes sense as a effort with the internal involvement of the communities before the coverage. It's both more logical and encourages community involvement, which is what a wiki is about. Hence, oppose until the situation changes (and then can change my !vote) Soni (talk) 06:16, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose (specific instances)/Support (General Information) - Overall, my view is that as a puzzle wiki, it's our job to inform people about all the different types of puzzle media out there, and let people decide what they want to be interested in. However, our secondary job is to catalogue and archive puzzlehunts. I believe we should accept all of the above as puzzle events/types we should write about, but while the focus is still on Puzzlehunts and bringing new people specifically into the puzzlehunt community, our focus regarding non-puzzlehunt content should be on Educating but not Archiving. We don't need to collect every Rallye/Logic Puzzle/Escape Room/NYT Crossword/ARG Puzzle, but we DO need to let people know that they're out there, there are other very good resources for them, and they are still part of puzzling as a whole (especially if people are coming from one of these other focuses TO puzzlehunts). Leveloneknob (talk) 20:09, 8 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]