I'd like to put forth an idea which I think could simultaneously address two heavily discussed topics on Puzzling.SE:-
- Adding more content about puzzle creation itself (in addition to being a repository of high-quality puzzles)
- Rewarding good puzzles by awarding the questioner more than +5 per vote
About puzzle creation
While Puzzling.SE originally started out as a site to learn about creating and solving puzzles, and some meta-posts state that posting and solving puzzles created by others is kind of a way to learn about puzzles, there isn't actually much insight on offer on what really went into making those puzzles.
There are several great puzzles on this site, and it would be interesting as well as educative for others to learn things about how their designers created them, such as:
- The source(s) of inspiration
- How the puzzle started and evolved, ideas that were discarded or added along the way, and why
- Any resources or programs that were used to research or produce the content
- What the OP learnt from solvers' responses to the puzzle
The proposal is to allow the OP to share their story by (optionally) posting a self-answer with this description. Each such answer could have a brief standardized heading, possibly with a meta-post link, to explain what it is and that it's not an answer to the puzzle itself. This post would typically be posted after the puzzle is solved.
Rewarding good puzzles
Now anybody who reads this special answer and appreciates the work behind the puzzle can choose to upvote it, thereby awarding an additional +10 points. For puzzles that were copied (with due accreditation) from another source such as a puzzle book, no such narration is possible, and thus good but unoriginal puzzles would not be unduly awarded additional points. Similarly, regular questions that aren't puzzles would only receive the standard +5 points.
Pros and cons
Advantages of this approach:-
- This mechanism would work without requiring any site-specific code changes.
- Moreover, it allows a finer level of control than a blind +10 per upvote (as described above).
- Bounties can also be awarded to this answer in lieu of the question. [Thanks, @Ian MacDonald for this suggestion.]
The few potential concerns that I can think of are:
- This additional post should be genuinely interesting and not degrade to something like "Please upvote this answer if you liked this puzzle"
- It shouldn't be abused to place hints to the answer of the puzzle itself
- A really interesting post could get more upvotes than the accepted answer (i.e. solution) and earn the "Populist" badge
- If this proposal goes through, there may be an initial spurt of people trying to mass edit their old questions.
I think all of these can be dealt with, and overall this approach would make puzzling more interesting and rewarding.
A sandbox for sample commentaries on puzzle creation has been created.
There is also a question on how these samples should be standardized in format.