This is a problem I notice with a lot of the ‘escape the room’ flash-based games and such. The logic is very frustratingly based on either idioms that are local or translated from another language.
If (for example) I was doing a Maryland-themed game and wanted puzzles to involve things like how to tell male and female crabs apart (hint: if the abdomen ‘middle piece’ is long and thin like the Washington monument, you’ve found a boy crab) I should recognize that a lot of people would give me blank stares if I brought that up in conversation (you are doing that right now, aren’t you?) and that I need to hide that knowledge in the game somehow.
Also, ‘point and click’ adventure games need to adopt some sanity measures. If you’re combining things, you need to support both ways of doing so or at least hint if it almost works one way. For example, if you need to cook spaghetti (perhaps to make a wig like in Day of the Tentacle) you should accept that while the intended process may be:
- place pot on stove
- place water in pot
- place pasta in pot
- use stove
Understand thay it’s ok if the user wants to ‘put water in pot’ before putting it on the stove (it’s the way I’d do it normally at home) and maybe even put the pasta in before anything else. And even using the stove without a loaded pot should respond with, “You should put something to cook on the stove before you turn it on.” to show that what I’m doing is almost right.