📖 Deconstruction

A puzzle that involves breaking apart objects to determine a pattern

A deconstruction puzzle requires the player to identify and dissassemble objects to work out a pattern or algorithm. The construction of the objects may be graphical, numerical, or lingual in nature.

Live Examples:

It's possible that deconstruction does not involve reverse engineering an algorithm, but could instead be used to identify missing parts, or similarity. Deconstruction focuses on the activity of breaking an object into parts. Only when combined without another puzzle type does that deconstruction gain meaning.

Paired Deconstruction

Objects often come in pairs, where the relationship between the pairs needs to be identified. You'll be given a code book identifying several known equivalences. Consider these simple constructions:

  • 🍁🍁 = 2
  • 📦🍁 = 6
  • 🍁📦🍁 = 7

Now if I ask you to say what is the value of 🍁📦🍁🍁📦 you will say 13. You needed to deconstruct the left-side to understand a few things:

  • Each component sums up to a total value
  • A 🍁 is a 1
  • A 📦 is a 5

This is fairly trivial example, where the construction is basic and easy to disassemble. The examples at the start of the article show more complex constructions, where the parts are truly combined into the whole.

This example is also a type of encoding as the left images are used to encode the number on the right.

Once I add the ability to insert images into these pages I'll be able to do some better construction examples inline.

Versus Decoding

Deconstruction is one manner in which a decoding algorithm can be found. Deconstruction can be used for other puzzle types, focusing on the act of breaking apart the pieces of a puzzle. Encodings can be done without constructions, or with trivial constructions that we don't think of as such.

Feedback on Working Draft

If you have any questions, need an example, or want clarification, then let me know. Ask on Discord or Twitter.

Assume everything in this reference is a working draft, there's prone to be some mistakes and inconsistencies. I figure it's best to publish and get feedback rather than write for years in secret. The terms will change, the structure will shift, and the bugs will be chased out. It'll take a while.