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May 31, 2018

NEW Game: Fuse Clues

This week, we launched a new Problem Solving game on web and mobile: Fuse Clues.

Fuse Clues challenges logical reasoning, or your ability to combine multiple cognitive processes to recognize patterns, draw conclusions, and make decisions. Fuse Clues requires logical reasoning skills to fix a power outage in an apartment building. You’ll go from apartment to apartment, restoring electricity to each by completing numerical patterns. For instance, you might be given the sequence “42, blank, 48, blank, 54,” plus a handful of other numbers — say, 44, 45, and 51. Given the sequence, which two numbers should be placed in the blank spaces to complete the pattern? (In this case, you’d place 45 and 51, so each number is 3 higher than the prior one.)

Once you’ve restored electricity, each apartment is illuminated, so you can see who the residents are and what they’re doing. Will, the Games Engineer who worked on Fuse Clues, explained, “We wanted players to feel engaged in the game, so we made each apartment unique and interesting to encourage them to keep playing. When we’ve tested the game with users, they’ve been really motivated to find out what’s going to happen in the next apartment, and the next.”

Developing Fuse Clues came with some hurdles. We wanted Fuse Clues to be rewarding regardless of where you fall on the quantitative spectrum: whether you’re a mathlete or panic when calculating a tip, the game’s been calibrated to remain both accessible and appropriately challenging for you.

“It was also really, really difficult to quantify how difficult the patterns are,” said Will. “Everyone thinks differently and has different capabilities. What one person thinks is challenging might be easy for someone else, so figuring out how to create the right levels in the game required a lot of thought.”

Ultimately, the answer lay in leveraging one of the team’s strengths: data. Will conducted user testing to collect a range of opinions about the game’s various patterns. From there, he worked with Lance, a Games Systems Engineer, to craft an algorithm that arranged all the possible sequence rules by the likelihood of a player correctly completing the pattern.

“Sometimes a player can sense the correct sequence even without fully articulating the pattern’s governing rule,” said Will, “ so now the algorithm also accounts for intuition, too.”

Ready to try your hand at Fuse Clues? Visit the Games library on lumosity.com or in your Lumosity app — you’ll find the new game in the Problem Solving category.

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