Pages 11-12: Gutenberg’s printing press


  • Due to the player's small size, s/he is actually on the mechanical apparatus of Gutenberg's Printing press.
  • The player is standing on the paper of the printing press which is continually moving.
  • If the player stands still, the direction of the paper will cause the player to fall off the press and die.
  • The player must use the words on the press as platforms to jump across and reach the end of the paper.
  • Standing on different combinations of words causes magical effects that are both an advantage and a hindrance to the player's progress.

Layout of puzzle

The two pages have been arranged like a printing press. The words on the page move forwards. After every three seconds, a new line of text appears at the top, the other lines shift down and the bottom line disappears.

From the player’s perspective, the lines are really platforms that the player must use to reach far side (which is where the printing press mechanics are located). If the player falls off the word platforms and on the blank paper, s/he will start rolling off the page until s/he falls out of the book.

With each moment, the lines of text move backwards, so continually moving forwards is vital if the player wishes to reach the goal. If the player is standing on the last line as it disappears, s/he will fall out of the book.

Mechanics of puzzle - the effect of stepping on words

Each time the player steps on the word, it appears on the screen. When the player steps on a full stop or exclamation mark, a sentence forms. The contents of the sentence have various effects:

In this example, the player’s jumping actions have produced the sentence ‘the power-up arrives’. This causes a power-up to appear. The text briefly turns white allowing the player to collect the power up without inadvertently creating any more sentences.

In this example, the monster creates the sentence ‘the monster comes’. This produces an extra obstacle for the player to avoid.

Here, the player has written the sentence ‘Magic the arrives’. This is a non-sense sentence, which produces a printing error. The lines of text temporarily stop moving forwards as the press grinds to a halt. An error alarm sound plays, and a voice saying ‘reload the presses’ is heard.

However, the player cannot rest. The old page with an error slides of to the right (and off the book), while a new page slides on from the left. The player must run to the end of the old page and jump across to the new one if s//he wishes to remain in the book.

With pages replaced, the press continues and the text on the page starts rolling.

A sentence is only formed when the player steps on a full stop or exclamation mark, so if the player accidentally starts creating a non-sense sentence, s/he can prevent a printing error by avoiding the aforementioned punctuation symbols.

Jumping on certain symbols can give the player useful advantages:
! – Exclamation mark: Doubles the effect of a sentence (e.g. produces two power-ups or two monsters)
« - Double arrow: Deletes any words that are on the screen. This is useful if the player is in the process of creating a non-sense sentence.
§ - Correction symbol: Rewords any non-sense sentences to make sense (e.g. ‘magic the arrives’ becomes ‘the magic arrives’.

How will the player learn the solution?

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The player will learn that they must jump on the words and that the words have an effect on the environment through trial and error. They will learn this quite quickly as it impossible to pass the initial line of words without learning these mechanics.

The player’s vocabulary from previous book world experiences will allow them to know that falling out of the book will cause them to exit the world. If not, they will learn this through trial and error.

The changing of the pages is forewarned with dialogue and the visual clue of the pages sliding off the book.

The functions of the symbols are a slightly more complex technique that is learnt through trial and error. However, this page of the book is located in a trickier part of the library and so advance skills are required to retrieve the page. Hence, the complexity of symbols is an acceptable increase in pace.

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Book of world history Library Level Pages 79-80: The landing on the moon
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