Cocoon is an absolutely staggering achievement in game design and puzzle creation. The fact that there are people out there smart enough to create content like this is truly amazing, and you can read more on why in our review. There are some serious big-brain moments in Cocoon, but it turns out one of the game’s simplest puzzles gave the dev team tons of trouble.

In an interview with Polygon, Cocoon designer and director Jeppe Carlsen spoke about one puzzle that the team put a ton of work into in order to get things right. You might think this would be a late-stage puzzle with tons of moving parts, but actually it’s something players encounter early on.

This puzzle pops up at the start of the industrial world, and it involves two rotating doors and two switches. All the player has to do is use their orb in the two switches to line up the doors, allowing passage through. It really isn’t any sort of stumbling block for the player, but it was quite the opposite for the devs.

“That puzzle has [been] iterated so many times, and it is literally the simplest thing in the world. It’s ridiculous. To begin with, the puzzle had different logic for the rotating doors — a bit similar, but different. So at that time, when you put on the switch, both of the doors rotated, and when you let go, you had to let go so that the doors put a line in the middle. Apparently, people found that extremely difficult. They would play the game for seven minutes or something.

This [puzzle] has been through so many iterations of different tactics for the doors and different variations of the same puzzle. It took a very long time. And then I thought I had it, but then I couldn’t develop it, and like just — so many versions of rotating doors. It became almost like a production joke about those rotating doors. They worked out eventually, though.”

[Cocoon designer and director Jeppe Carlsen]

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