Author Topic: Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!  (Read 5954 times)

Offline jkefka

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Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!
« on: April 16, 2010, 01:11:44 PM »
I've heard the scoring system is still in a bit of flux, so this puzzle may need tweaking to work with later releases, but here it is in its first state.  I know of one solution, but it's possible there are others, and I'd love to see them!  That said, and this is the only hint I'll give, I am almost certain that you HAVE to do it with only one click, so if you come up with a solution feel free to post a capture of it before you set it off here.  I can also provide my solution on request, though I'm going to let other people try to figure it out first :P  The image here is the starting configuration.



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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 01:31:21 PM »
Cool! :)

This is a good example of a very different type of "game" within the fairly broad engine; though I guess in this case it's pretty close to the "you must clear this in one move" puzzles, but the restriction is much softer, and in theory could really be its own branch of puzzle.

Any feedback on the level editor?  I'm planning to add undo when the feature set is more stable.  More objective types are also planned, that sort of thing.  But if you have any "I really wish it could do this...", please let me know.

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Keith
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Offline jkefka

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Re: Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2010, 01:44:43 PM »
The level editor is pretty smooth, I have to say.  One minor quibble I have is that the control pane blocks off part of the grid on my display (this on my macbook, it may be less of an issue on my winbox at home).  Generally, at least being able to move that around would be nice.

Also, I might like the ability to swap blocks that I've already placed on the board, rather than replacing them individually.  I don't know what the best way to go about that interface-wise would be, but especially for tweaking puzzle levels like this one it would be a little more convenient to be able to drag something that's already on the board to another position on the board directly.  An "undo" function might also be nice.

If you want to get really slick, you could put in little icons next to the board itself that allow you to add or subtract rows and columns on the fly, but I would regard that as a luxury rather than a necessity.  Being able to "rewind" your tests or have them play at a slower speed would also be very cool for designing more intricate puzzles, though again this is something that would be more of a luxury.


EDIT: Whoops, I see you already mentioned the undo feature.

Also, your comment about the puzzle type is exactly right.  The neat thing about score-based puzzles is that, in theory, there are multiple ways of achieving the same end.  For the initial build, I made the score cap very close to what is (as far as I can tell, at least) the highest possible score on the level, but if you cut that in half it would still be challenging, but there would probably be more ways to do it.  I threw this together during my lunch-break (ok it spilled over by a half-hour or so) and haven't played around with it more than I needed to to make it work, so there's a whole lot of options with this puzzle and this kind of puzzle that could be explored.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 01:55:15 PM by jkefka »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2010, 01:57:44 PM »
The level editor is pretty smooth, I have to say.
Glad to hear it :)  There's a fair bit left to add, but the general feel should remain the same.

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One minor quibble I have is that the control pane blocks off part of the grid on my display (this on my macbook, it may be less of an issue on my winbox at home).  Generally, at least being able to move that around would be nice.
Hmm, it won't move as is? ... Yea, just fired it up, and I'm able to drag the "Level Editor" palette window by left-click-and-drag on the actual "Level Editor" header text (or to the left or right of it).  I think the mechanic could be made more apparent, but does that work for you?

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Also, I might like the ability to swap blocks that I've already placed on the board, rather than replacing them individually.
You mean clicking on block1 on the grid and then clicking on block2 on the grid and having it switch the positions of block1 and block2? ... Oh, later on it sounds like you basically mean click-and-drag for blocks, like with sprites in the Theme Editor.  Sounds doable, just want to make sure I understand.

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An "undo" function might also be nice.
Personally I'd find it pretty necessary for serious editing, though folks have different habits using this sort of thing. Haven't done undo yet since the feature set is in flux, we were on a tight timeframe, and it will mean quite a bit of overhaul to basically turn every action into an entity.

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If you want to get really slick, you could put in little icons next to the board itself that allow you to add or subtract rows and columns  on the fly, but I would regard that as a luxury rather than a necessity.
Hmm, I don't think that would be difficult to do, though I'm thinking it may confuse folks with all those extra buttons... perhaps an alternate mode triggered by the Other button and/or a special keypress (one for add row/col, one for subtract row/col).  I'm not sure we'll have enough editor-polish time for something like this, depends on what other cool ideas we have to implement, but I'll keep it in mind :) 

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Being able to "rewind" your tests or have them play at a slower speed would also be very cool for designing more intricate puzzles, though again this is something that would be more of a luxury.
Rewinding the simulation is pretty much out, iirc; it's not impossible but it's several metric tons of work.  Basically I'd suggest video capturing and going off that for a frame-by-frame analysis.  But sim-slowdown is already in, I believe, though perhaps not exposed via a keybind to the end-user.

Thanks for the feedback :)
Keith
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Offline jkefka

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Re: Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2010, 02:21:50 PM »
Ah, you're right about the drag-and-drop.  It does work for me, I just didn't know it was there.  You could probably make that transparent just by adding a little line to make that look like a title bar, so people recognize it as something you can drag around.

As for the block-swapping, I was thinking either the click-one-and-then-the-other method or the drag and drop method would work.  I personally would prefer the drag-and-drop just because it feels a little more intuitive for me, but I also figured that it might be harder to implement.

New general game hitch, though: I'm getting all kinds of glitches trying to change my resolution.  That's likely to be a macbook thing, I'll pin down exactly what the symptoms are and put it in a bug rept.  I only bring this up because if I could push up to a slightly higher resolution the window would be out of the way, as you can see it's currently just a little awkwardly big on my screen.



Oh, I had another idea I forgot to mention: while the drop-down block select, direction select, special block select thing works pretty well, I actually found myself wishing for a kind of palette, at least for the color blocks.  I'm thinking a color palette as small icons in a grid to the right of the "current block" pane (you could do a 3x3 or something), and just spacing out the drop-downs for direction and special blocks.

Also, while using the arrow keys for navigating around the grid is not a bad idea (are you planning to give it the option of a keyboard-only interface at some point?), I would actually prefer the arrow keys be hotkeys for the direction of the block you're placing.  Obviously this is suboptimal for the bidirectional blocks, but for your standard up/down/left/right blocks I think it would be just a little quicker.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2010, 02:34:00 PM »
Ah, you're right about the drag-and-drop.  It does work for me, I just didn't know it was there.  You could probably make that transparent just by adding a little line to make that look like a title bar, so people recognize it as something you can drag around.
Yea, I used to have it in a box but then we switched the underlying window implementation; not sure we can put lines wherever we want on that one.

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As for the block-swapping, I was thinking either the click-one-and-then-the-other method or the drag and drop method would work.  I personally would prefer the drag-and-drop just because it feels a little more intuitive for me, but I also figured that it might be harder to implement.
Click-and-click would be easier to implement, yes.

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New general game hitch, though: I'm getting all kinds of glitches trying to change my resolution.  That's likely to be a macbook thing, I'll pin down exactly what the symptoms are and put it in a bug rept.
Please do, it's currently pretty messy in fullscreen mode, though windowed should be fine.  Not sure about macs though. 

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I only bring this up because if I could push up to a slightly higher resolution the window would be out of the way, as you can see it's currently just a little awkwardly big on my screen.
Is it on 1024x768 right now? In windowed mode it should allow up to 1280x768.

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Oh, I had another idea I forgot to mention: while the drop-down block select, direction select, special block select thing works pretty well, I actually found myself wishing for a kind of palette, at least for the color blocks.
Yea, initially it really was a palette with everything on there, but you had to scroll vertically even on the largest res, which is not good imo.  A separate color palette window would be cool but the windowing system gets really bork-bork-bork when you get into overlapping windows, etc.  Right now I'm wrestling with the tooltips on the game style dropdowns on quick game and custom game, and I can't get the silly things to draw in the right order, since an engine-internal thread so helpfully handles the draw order of windows for me, and apparently a call to "BringToFront" is more of a suggestion.  All that to say that separate palette windows could have its own problems :)

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Also, while using the arrow keys for navigating around the grid is not a bad idea (are you planning to give it the option of a keyboard-only interface at some point?)
The game is playable via keyboard (currently the G key is emit-stream, F+arrow-keys is direction-change, and V+arrow-keys is reverse-direction-change, working on the keyboard rebinding UI soon).  I imagine most editor UI functions will be key-bindable at some point, though some things are better suited to mouse.

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I would actually prefer the arrow keys be hotkeys for the direction of the block you're placing.  Obviously this is suboptimal for the bidirectional blocks, but for your standard up/down/left/right blocks I think it would be just a little quicker.
Give F+arrow-keys a try :)
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Offline jkefka

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Re: Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2010, 02:48:41 PM »
F + arrow keys works, but I have to move the arrow cursor to the placed block in order to do it and it feels a little awkward because the cursor moves off the block when it changes direction (I would find it more intuitive if it stayed on the block until you took your finger off the "F" key).  

That wasn't actually my idea, though.  I was thinking, for the purposes of editor mode, that the arrow keys could basically be used as hotkeys for the directions in the "directions" drop-down menu, i.e. not for blocks that are currently on the board, but for the next block you are about to place.  That would make it so you wouldn't have to go back to the drop-down menu every time you wanted to put down a block facing a different direction.  It's just one of those little things that feels like it should be there and isn't.


EDIT: speaking of hotkeys, you could hotkey 1-9 for colors selection and make it really quick to pick your next block.  Red block facing left? 3 - L arrow - click!
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 02:50:41 PM by jkefka »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2010, 02:53:39 PM »
Yea, I was thinking that keybinding the main palette choices would be a great thing :)
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Offline Fiskbit

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Re: Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2010, 05:01:10 PM »
I haven't been able to get enough points yet, but I've been able to clear all the blocks and get 60,360 points with the attached solution (start at the slightly off-color cyan block). Tough puzzle. It's interesting to see how you start getting a feel for the puzzle as you're going along. :P
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Offline RCIX

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Re: Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2010, 05:32:22 PM »
This may seem like a dumb question... but where exactly do i put it? :)
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Offline Fiskbit

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Re: Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2010, 06:06:29 PM »
I made a User Puzzles folder in my copy of the game and put them there. \Tidalis\RuntimeData\Logic\LevelFolders\User Puzzles

I'll update the forum thread with this information.
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Offline regnared

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Re: Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2010, 06:44:52 PM »
I really like this new type of puzzle 'rule' going to try it out!  ;D
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Offline x4000

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Re: Score-based puzzle, pretty hard. Feedback welcome!
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2010, 11:05:36 AM »
I have not added this one to the Community Brainteasers for official version 1.005, unlike the other puzzles that were submitted so far, mainly because this one is old enough and score dependent that I'm not sure if it still works in the latest versions of the game.  If someone can verify if it does (I stink at puzzles), I'll be happy to include this in the next round of community brainteasers packaged with the game.   Or, if this doesn't work with the score changes, but jkefka wants to tweak it for the new rules, then that's cool too.

Just wanted to note why it wasn't put in!  Two others from jkefka were, though.
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