I'm struggling a bit with a design aspect of my game, and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas/approaches I haven't considered. In my game, the player often pressed buttons to cause other nearby devices to turn on/off. Sometimes this is completely unambiguous, as there's only one nearby object, so it's clear that the button will affect that object. But it gets more complicated when there are multiple objects, and potentially multiple buttons. The most basic approach to this is just to keep the button extremely close to the thing it activates. For example, a button embedded in a door probably opens the door. A button on a moving platform probably makes the platform move. In those cases, I don't think anything else is necessary. But in my case, buttons activate things that are potentially across the room, and for various reasons, couldn't be physically located directly next to the device. So, the question is: What are ways to show the interconnection between buttons and the devices they control, when the two could be quite a distance from each other? Approaches I've seen or considered: The button has a screen that simply says what it does. But if there are several of the same kind of thing nearby, it's not as clear which will one of those things will be activates. The button has a physical wire connecting it to the device it activates. You see this approach in Portal and the Witness. The really nice thing is how unambiguous it is. You can immediately see, visually, what affects what. It's very clear. But, it's pretty annoying to put down the wires/cables connecting things, and those approaches feel remind me so much of those two games that it would feel like a real rip off. Placing a symbol of color on the pair of items. For example, putting a greek letter next to the button and the thing it activates, or putting a light of the same color next to each. I think the player could come to understand the idea, after some training, but it lacks the clarity of the "wires" approach. It's also not always simply to place the symbols so that they'll be highly visible. Finally, a non-approach: Don't tell the player anything, and let them monkey around with all the buttons until they know what affects what in any given location. At first this kind of seems like a problem solving step, so maybe it feels good gameplay wise. But, to me this weakens puzzles a bit. I'm not a big fan of puzzles that require trial and error. Making the player press a bunch of buttons to learn what they do before they even really start to solve the puzzle feels a little unfortunate. Anyway, I wondered if anyone else had some ideas on this topic. Again, the major goal is that ideally the player would know visually what a button will do before they press it.