Ghost: Threshold Example

This piece of the final design shows just how tragically far the game had migrated from its starting vision, to the point where people were saying "Well, Myst wouldn't have done it that way..."

I ended up designing and cataloging many maps, rooms, puzzles and other design elements for a game that was very different than any of us had originally conceived. One of many such areas is shown in the example below.


10. Get BioChip

Puzzle Logic

To get the BioChip it is necessary first to drop the laser security field that blocks access to the container. This field is illustrated by the diagonal dashed lines in the schematic. When the laser field has been dropped (Security Rotation #1), the player may open the hood of the container. The hood will rotate back (ala Jetsons) with a puff of vaporizing Nitrogen to reveal the chip on a small pedestal. The player may zoom-in on the open hood (just for coolness points, to get a close-up of the chip and its surroundings), and from that scene they can pick up the chip as an inventory object.

Puzzle Solution

It is presumed that the laser field around the chip container has been dropped.

   Move to Level 4, location 4, facing West.
   Click on the hood.
    Click on the revealed chip, the scene moves to a zoom-in.
    Pick up the chip and place it in inventory.

Puzzle Clues

N/A. There are a fair number of story points associated with this container and the chip itself, however, that will be encountered via the Ghost as the player works through this puzzle.

Scene Identification

Location 4. Level 4, Facing West, and Zoom-in: The laser field may be obscuring the containment tank in which exists the chip. The tank should be very modern, surrounded by ominous equipment and machinery whose purpose is unclear. The zoom-in occurs when the hood is open.

Final States

The hood on the container will always close when the player leaves this scene, except when moving to the zoom-in (the zoom-in only occurs if the hood is open). As such, this puzzle appears the same from any position, but the condition of the laser security field may vary, and must appear correctly on or off when viewed from different scenes within the lab.


Name, type, description



Laser Security Field. Clickable, Animating barrier. This barrier may or may not be present depending on whether or not the player has done the proper security rotation.

Clickable, On/Off.

The laser field has a particular sound when on which should be notably absent when gone.

Hood. Clickable, Animating hood which covers the BioChip container.

Clickable, Open/Closed, Animating (to switch states)

The equipment holding the chip should have an ambient that suggests mechanical life.

BioChip. Inventory object. Can only be taken from the zoom-in scene that becomes available once the hood is open.


User Actions

User Action



State Changes


Enter Scene

Security field active

The security field covers the puzzle elements. They cannot be accessed


Security field ambient is heard

Security field inactive

The hood is closed.


Click on Security Field


N/A, Cannot activate remainder of puzzle


Click on Hood

Hood open

Zoom-in to hood chamber, BioChip

Switch scene

Hood closed

Hood opens via animation, puff of vapor

Hood opens via animation

Hood opens, vapor

Leave Scene


Hood closes when player leaves scene

Hood closes via animation

Hood closes




Design Index

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