Monday, January 30, 2006

Paheli – Behind the screens

Chaos is off the hook and I can’t help myself from blustering a bit about Paheli, the online puzzle which I made for Chaos Moksha 2006, our annual cultural fest. With 9821 (7125 unique) page loads in just 17 days; average of 577 (419 unique) page loads per day; 1389 (888 unique) being the maximum page loads on any particular day; more than 1600 comments on the blog that discusses clues which is after deleting 200 odd comments that contained more-than-explanatory hints or offensive words; threads in different discussion sites like Pagalguy, Orkut etc; a few blogs dedicated to clues, Paheli was an unexpected success; it rocked and is still ON!

The concept of the game was taken from Notpron of and Klueless of IIM Indore and was duly acknowledged. I had to do a lot of simplification in the game concept from the above sites as the people we expected to play Paheli weren’t geeks who go through a source code check and URL renaming for cracking a level.

While designing the game, I had to keep in mind that each and every level has to be more challenging than the previous one, with an increasing level of toughness. It shouldn’t be that easy to drive people away subsequent to a cake-walk feeling about the game and in addition, it shouldn’t be that tough to kill their interest out of frustration. One of the levels had a flaw in it, which was corrected at a later stage. Except for this I think Paheli performed well. DD helped me when I ran out of ideas for new levels.

Spanned over an exigent ** levels (I am not disclosing the total number of levels as it may kill the spirit of the game), Paheli is enough and more to set one’s gray cells on fire, till he/she finishes it and preparing such a battle field was one of the challenging errands I have done off late. I didn’t know php coding before I started Paheli and our server supported only php. So I had to learn it with the help of Google, design the game and implement it with so less time in hand. A few nerds of my institute put me through tough interludes while the game progressed as they cracked levels before I added more, which resulted in a lot of night outs conceiving new levels. But yeah, at the end of the day, I have to agree that it was fun making Paheli.

We plan to keep Paheli online for a while. If you haven’t tried it yet, this is done exclusively for you. :-)