Puzzle Ship: Two Different Aesthetics

For my final project, I am intending on making a puzzle box in the shape of a tall ship (large sailing ship like the ones in Pirates of the Caribbean). This would fit a maritime aesthetic, since it is an aquatic vehicle. To consider different aesthetics my project could take, I considered the minimalism and industrial aesthetics.

The minimalism aesthetic is characterized by smooth and clean lines, white or shades of gray for color, and having not a lot of “stuff” going on. Here is the sketch I came up with for it:

With minimalism, I need to be pretty creative with the puzzles I am including on the ship. There can’t be a lot of visible marks or buttons, since that would detract from the look. With this design, I would use hidden panels that open when puzzles are solved, as well as capacitive touch sensors and invisible ink so I can hide buttons and puzzle clues.

For the industrial aesthetic, I thought a cargo ship would fit:

There is a lot more going on with this aesthetic, so I would be able to play around with the elements on the ship such as the cranes and cargo crates for puzzles. Having the players “complete” parts of the ship with objects they find would be an interesting puzzle that doesn’t involve codes or buttons (which are easy to overdo).

The issue with both of these aesthetics is that I would need to either find a kit to build the ships, which could be difficult to do, or make them from scratch, which I don’t have time for. For my original idea, I have already found plenty of options for kits that I could make the body out of, which simplifies the process a lot.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Pere Roquet Arroyo
    March 19, 2023 7:44 pm

    Alex, I love your idea of incorporating different aesthetics into your puzzle box design. The minimalist approach seems challenging yet rewarding, and the industrial aesthetic allows for more freedom in designing puzzles. Both aesthetics would be visually striking and immersive for the players. Good luck with your project, and I look forward to seeing the final result! What material are you planning to make it from? Wood would be complicated but would also look awesome.

  • Hey Alex. I like how much thought you put into each design aesthetic and their resulting positive and negative design aspects. It’s cool to see how much flexibility your project has as so many different aesthetics can be applied. If you were to pick one from the minimalist and industrial aesthetics which one would you pick? Also what type of kit do you plan to use? Will you be fabricating any aspects of the project yourself?


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