Hearthside Chat: The Puzzle Lab with Giovanni Scarpati & Max Ma


Greetings, and well met. My name is Giovanni Scarpati, I’m a designer on the Hearthstone team. In Kobolds & Catacombs, you dungeoneer
deep into the depths of the Kobold mines. In the Witchwood, you champion new heroes to face off against Hagatha
and the monsters outside Gilneas. But in the spirit of the Boomsday Project, you’ll be doing something
a bit more experimental: puzzles. When you enter Dr. Boom’s Puzzle Lab, you’ll be met with a screen similar
to those of previous Solo Adventures. This is Boom Labs. We do good work for bad ends. Each lab represents
one of four different puzzle types: Lethal, Mirror, Board Clear and Survival. However, this time, you can progress
through labs in any order. If you get stuck or want to try something,
you’re free to jump around. Within each Puzzle Lab,
You’ll have the opportunity to help each of Dr. Boom’s
head scientists and their assistants with experiments by solving puzzles. The puzzles start off easy
to teach you the basics but get more complex
as you progress through the labs, occasionally throwing in new,
unique cards to spice things up. This puzzle’s a real twister! When we decided to do puzzles,
we knew we wanted different kinds. Lethal was an obvious choice. These types of puzzles have circulated
since the dawn of Hearthstone. Time to put this Necrium to good use. It’s content you run into naturally, from big tournaments to daily play. The objective is straightforward, clear,
and is a great starting point for anyone. But, since this is single player,
we get to introduce weird new mechanics in situations
you would otherwise never run into. With Lethal locked in,
we did some brainstorming. What are other twists
on Hearthstone’s gameplay? Survival came about
as a sort of reverse Lethal. Are you the new test subject? I will light the fuse! You’re not often in a situation where
you get to maximize healing on yourself. We originally called it the Death Ray Lab, with one of Dr. Boom’s
giant inventions pointed at you, charging up
over the course of three turns. However, after playing with the idea, we decided to make all of the puzzles
take place over one turn, so you didn’t spend too long
looking ahead, and so that restarts felt fast and clear. Board Clear was also a natural type
of puzzle for Hearthstone. You’re always trying
to control the battlefield. It wasn’t enough by itself. I mean, this is Dr. Boom’s lab, after all. I’ve untangled the hose, boss! It’s not a true Board Clear unless you try
to blow up all your own minions as well. Suddenly, your minions that summon
other minions with their Deathrattles don’t feel so helpful, and, of course, a single card like Defile
can open up a whole new subset of puzzles. For the final lab
we wanted something different, something strange. Mirror puzzles require you
to think outside the box and play Hearthstone like never before. Here we go again. I’ll ready the minions, sir. In Mirror puzzles,
copy your opponent’s minions exactly, from their position,
to the attack and health. While it starts off simple, you realize
that, unlike the rest of the puzzles, your goal is shifting because of how you
can interact with your opponent’s minions. Do I heal their minions to match mine
or just get rid of both? Given the unique objective,
there’s paths to different solutions, and the community will surprise us
with some of their own creative answers. Whenever we create
new missions for Hearthstone, we make sure it’s got the same sense of
polish and charm as the rest of the game. When it came to the Puzzle Lab, we had a ton of puzzles,
but had to figure out how to display them while still retaining
Hearthstone’s usual look and feel. That’s where the user interface,
or UI, comes in. To share more info about that,
here’s Max Ma. Thanks, Giovanni. On the Hearthstone team, we believe that the best UI is invisible. This means the interface shouldn’t get
in the way of players enjoying the game. But when you have
over 100 puzzles available, suddenly the UI becomes
very visible and in-your-face. Imagine selecting a puzzle, loading up the game,
finishing in a couple of minutes, then backing out to select the next one, and repeat this over 100 times. Nobody wants that. So, in the early stage of UI design, we decided to stack the puzzles
into groups of 8 or 9, which is what we felt was the right amount
of content per play session. That way,
seeing as there’s just 1 loading screen, it would allow you
to enjoy Puzzle Labs for much longer. Also, if you decide
that you need to take a break, you will be able to leave at any time and come back later
to resume where you left off. Next, let’s talk about
transitions between puzzles. When you successfully solve a puzzle, everything on the board
and in your hand vanishes and is replaced by new minions
and new cards for the next one. There is a lot going on behind the scenes to ensure the transition
is fast and smooth. And this is something that seems easy, but took us a lot of time
to get it to feel right, so that everyone will be able
to spend more time playing and less time waiting around. We know Puzzle Labs can get challenging, and we want to make our players
feel comfortable with experimenting, being creative, and most importantly, unafraid of making mistakes. So we added something
just to help you with that. It’s the reset button. If you find yourself stumped –
cast the wrong spell, attacked the wrong minion, or did things in the wrong order – that’s OK. All you need to do is hit
the reset button and try again. We actually got a little help
from Giovanni as we were designing the UI. Remember the sliding panel
on the puzzle-selection screen? It was initially meant to slide off
completely to reveal each lab, but Giovanni stopped at my desk, saw an early sketch
of that screen and said, “Oh, that looks like a progress bar.” And that made us think, “What would a progress bar look like
in Dr. Boom’s lab, where explosives are lying around?” That’s where we came up with the idea
of using a sliding blast-proof door to slowly unveil each Puzzle Lab
as players progress. Thanks, Max. We’ve shared a lot about the Puzzle Labs, but we need to talk about
its finale before we end. The puzzles ramp up in difficulty as you work through the different labs. But the most difficult puzzles of all
are against Dr. Boom. Boy, are these puzzles rough! Science is the answer! What was the question again? In a play test, a group
huddled around some final designers trying to solve the final
Dr. Boom Board Clear puzzle. Watching them tag-team the puzzle and attempt different solutions
was hilarious. Having people stop by to watch others
solve puzzles or spitball solutions was commonplace in development. You’re onto something fun when your coworkers don’t want to stop
“testing” the new content. Dave Kosak, the lead mission designer,
spent over an hour being stuck on a puzzle and couldn’t help test the rest because he absolutely refused
to look up the answer. We had a ton of fun
crafting these puzzles, and can’t wait
to see you experiment with them. Dr. Boom has hired you to do science, so go forth and do science
in whatever order you want. We’ve built the Puzzle Labs
to be just that. We hope you enjoy it.

100 thoughts on “Hearthside Chat: The Puzzle Lab with Giovanni Scarpati & Max Ma

  1. I'm excited to solve hearthstone puzzles. This is something that has not been in hearthstone before and the trial and error aspect of it really complements the boomsday project theme.

  2. Great Video, but ‘geeeeohvanni’ should embrace his Italian heritage and start to pronounce his name the right way!😉

  3. So it's essentially like what Duelyst has with their mini challenges
    One turn to kill the general using various interactions and mechanics

  4. Glad that you can jump around if you get stuck, I still haven’t beaten Lord Marrogar, which barred me from the entire adventure.

  5. So after people bitching about how Faeria copies HS (surprise, it does not), HS started to copy Faeria's puzzles. Good job

  6. So… we get rewards? or is this a 1 time playmode again that you will only touch if you get the daylie quest for it?

  7. I'd like it if we could see more of these guys. The premise was very well explained by Giovanni and seeing more of Max would be great.

  8. It might be the lighting and camera but Giovanni is looking a bit jaundiced. I hope it is nothing but it is worth checking out.

  9. i hope they wouldn't stop on this, and next feature will be creating custom puzzles from society and exporting them like decks – it's absolutely genius. i remember a lot of time spending on chess puzzles, it was cool

  10. It's kind of strange blizzard would let something like that into the game. Just think about it! All answers will be on the internet

  11. So if you get the card back for this adventure, it means you are smart!

    Or you looked up the answers on Google…

  12. I really like how this looks.. except, what are the rewards going to be? Previous solo play content gave out legendaries for play or other individual cards. Will we be seeing the same, here? I read someplace that at the end, after Doctor Boom is defeated the end price will merely be a card back.

    If that's the case I'm a bit disappointed. I really hope that's not how this will wrap up!

  13. 1:02 Lethal Puzzle Solution: dark bomb a 1/5 then mortal coil it. Mortal coil a 1/5. throw your 5/5 Doomgard into one of the 1/5 to break up the defile, then Play the Defile. Hit the face with your minions and then HellFire for Lethal!

  14. That's great!

    The UI fluidity has a stroke of design genius for sure! Especially the reset button being there, so clean, and just replacing the otherwise useless end turn button. It's amazing! The new(?) seemed nice, too!

    Love puzzles, can't wait!

  15. And the final reward is……nothing just rage. Thx Hearthstone team for making this expansion with so op cards. I will finally uninstall this and play something else.

  16. I just got the mission "I can´t even!", and the fact that it doesn´t take 33 odd played cards to complete infuriates me!

  17. I like how this is going.
    Making players think first before placing everything down. But I wonder what is rewards are. Hopefully more card packs.

  18. How come in the description it says Puzzle Labs will release Aug 21 but on that day in Hearthstone in solo adventures it says it’ll release in a week. I’m not genius but, 28 is definitely 21 guys.

  19. Will be great if each puzle give an card or toll to get throuth to next one. Or sominthing like this… will fell more engaged to solve each puzzle.

  20. how do you solve the puzzle of getting into the puzzle lab without it crashing on your phone?

    AdventureBossCoin.SetPortalMaterial – failed to load texture for boss
    AdventureBossBOT 1-2(clone). Texture:
    Assets/Game/Cards/22
    BattleBots/BOTA BOSS 14h/HS14-134 H.psd

  21. Wow, the developers did such an amazing job on this one! This is hands down the best content they ever added to the game!

  22. Why do people still play this p2w game ? Only fking expensive decks are worth playing rest are just waste of time. Pure bullshit

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