Could "interactive puzzles" ever be on topic here?

An "interactive puzzle", can be for example a puzzle that is being run as a HTML5 project inside the web browser. (Or needs to be simulated in some way providing interactivity to the solver.)

For a rough example, the stackoverflow implements "snippets" inside the question/answer body. Hence, it is possible to run things like a simple dungeon crawler (click "Run code snippet" at the bottom of the code block to "play" it.) inside the post itself (using html and javascript). Perhaps people with knowledge in programming could implement interactive puzzles this way, within the answer/question itself.

If it is not possible to run it on the site itself, perhaps it could be hosted on a external site - but I'm not sure about this practice. If the puzzle depends too much on its "externally linked interactivity", then this is a problem?

Have similar things like this been discussed on the site in the past?

What is the closest thing to "interactive puzzles" that we have on the site so far?


1 Answer 1


The most SEish way to do interactivity is via Snippets, which are not supported on Puzzling. There’s really no opportunity to add other interactivity into Q&A here, other than what is allowed by the limited number of embedded handlers for things like MathJax or chess FEN/PGN blocks or the like.

Regarding linking to offsite resources to get around the on-site limitations, this comes up from time to time and the answer is pretty much always, “Don’t do that.” See Is using a personal website to host content for a puzzle frowned upon? and Where should binary files be stored?—and in particular, this answer to the latter question—for reasons why not, and alternatives to try.

I point out that last answer in particular because there are some good, reputable ways to embed information into a question that doesn’t suffer from some of the worse implications of essentially asking folks to download random files of unknown provenance off the internet. Red Herring Bonkers In The Red Herring Bunkers is a puzzle that makes good use of a 3D model viewer to allow users to “interact” with a building layout. There are also “imgur mazes” which leverage the nearly-first-class-citizen integration SE has with imgur to provide additional content that can be located by url hashes that can themselves be something solved for, providing rudimentary interactivity that way. Beyond these examples, though, there’s not much interactivity allowed by the format here.

I’ll reiterate a point made in the linked answer regarding binary files - other than images, puzzles should not rely on external data or viewers; such can be provided as optional detail on a puzzle, but the puzzle should be solvable from what is provided in the post itself. The pretty firm guiding principle here is that puzzles should be self-contained on PSE.


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