How to use music to make your puzzles more fun

Designing a satisfying puzzle is hard. But there's an effortless way to help you get there: music. 

We're emotional animals. What moves us are emotions, not logic - even if we like to pretend the opposite. That's why using music to motivate and reward players for progressing in your puzzles is super effective. A good soundtrack sneaks through our brain's back door and reaches emotions effortlessly. 

But you have to use it right.

Here's one of my favorite ways of doing it: Ask your music composer to make three or more versions of the puzzle background music - Low, Medium, and High intensity.

When the puzzle starts, play the Low-intensity version. 

When the player gets ~30% closer to solving the puzzle, change to Medium intensity. 

When she gets ~70% there, change to High.

This makes the puzzle more satisfying: The music changes make the player feel her progression emotionally, not just rationally. 

See how I did it in FixFox with four intensity levels: 

This is easy to implement using FMOD or Wwise. Ask your composer about it!

Save this post on Instagram for later use: 

Games with good music sell more

I'll teach you how to ensure your game ends up with a great soundtrack.

Join my newsletter