For Super Hexagon creator Terry Cavanagh, working on his most recent title, Naya's Quest, was a "playful process, a process of discovery," the developer told IndieGames.
Naya's Quest is a browser-based isometric platformer that requires players to solve puzzles by manipulating their surroundings with a strange device. Cavanagh said that the game's most frustrating aspect isn't actually its puzzles. Instead, it's the game's lives system, which knocks players back a room every time they fail.
"This was a pretty scary thing to add to the game, and understandably a lot of people hate it," Cavanagh said, "but I feel like the game is ultimately stronger with it, as it guides players towards playing it the way it's supposed to be played."
According to Cavanagh, lives add consequence and force players to think about their actions. The worst thing players can do is to approach Naya's Quest as a trial and error title.
"Really think, not just jump about and hope for the best," Cavanagh said. "Without this consequence, it's actually completely possible to stumble blindly through the whole game and not develop the spatial understanding that the game's trying to induct. If you're playing in such a way that you're dying a lot, then yeah, that's gonna be frustrating for sure."
Naya's Quest is available as a freeware title through Cavanagh's website.