This is a simple marketing (and also game design) tactic: by presenting a riddle you can grab people’s attention. Chances are that you are reading this sentence mainly because you saw the title of this post and wondered what the answer is. This is about presenting a riddle. This tactic is about asking questions instead of giving answers right away. Riddles can be used in marketing: by asking the audience whether they want to know the secret of something is a fine way to generate interest.
(Of course balance is needed)
Lost tv series asks much more questions than it presents answers. The first season was awesome, but after that people started to get tired of not getting any further with things: more and more questions appeared. (I still watch the series by the way) So, like everything in life, balance is needed.
In game design this same system can be used: instead of telling user a story, you can let show a mystery that reveals slowly… (or perhaps turns into a bigger mystery at some point).
They say that curiosity killed the cat, but we humans don’t really care. We are curious creatures. We want to see mysteries – and also answers to them at some point.
And like the marketing courses suggest: give people what they want.
(Oh, almost forgot. The answer is: “red paint”.)