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Oneiromancer
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Both in CaravelNet chat and on the forum, I've seen a lot of comments like "XXX room is awesome, who made it?" or "I hate XXX room, if I ever find out who did it..." Well, here's a comprehensive list of all the puzzle rooms in TCB and who created them. Myself (Neil if you didn't know), Adam (Alefbet), and Clayton are all specifically interested in what rooms people liked, what rooms they didn't like, and why, to help us make even better holds in the future.

I will try to refer to secret rooms simply as "secret" instead of listing the actual coordinates, but if I miss one, please let me know and I'll correct it. The levels are in order of how they show up in the editor for me, not necessarily in order of the story (although it should be correct except for the first two). Also, there are a few cases where one person made the original room and someone came in later and made some changes...in these cases, the original author should be attributed.
Click here to view the secret text

Thanks!

Game on,

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[Last edited by Oneiromancer at 04-10-2007 01:02 PM]
04-08-2007 at 04:36 PM
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Elfstone
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I'm genuinely surprised - Erik doesn't make puzzles?

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04-08-2007 at 05:11 PM
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Oneiromancer
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That's correct, Erik doesn't really make puzzles any more. After the original KDD, Erik made Smallsome Swicks, and I believe most or all of the demo levels of JtRH (but I could be wrong on that last one).

Erik made several non-puzzle rooms in TCB, and wrote the overall story, but that's not what this post is about. Non-puzzle rooms are much harder to quantify who did them so I only focused on puzzle rooms (and that's all Adam, Clayton, and I really wanted feedback on anyway).

Game on,

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04-08-2007 at 05:40 PM
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Briareos
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quote:
Elfstone wrote:
I'm genuinely surprised - Erik doesn't make puzzles?

Same here...

np: Sage Francis - Different (Personal Journals)

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04-08-2007 at 05:41 PM
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rowrow
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If anyone still remembers this, awesome, but if not its a liiiiitle late so its my fault for not asking earlier:
How about the puzzle rooms for jtrh?

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04-08-2007 at 06:52 PM
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NiroZ
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Who designed the cutscenes?

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04-09-2007 at 02:11 AM
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eytanz
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The actual cutscene scripting was mostly done by Mike and myself. The dialogue was mostly originally written by Mike, then it went through an extensive round of rewrites by me, and a second, even more extensive, round of rewrites by Erik. There are exceptions to all of this, though, especially the gossipers, which were created by Clayton and edited by Erik, without any intervention by myself and only some technical tweaks by Mike.

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04-09-2007 at 02:23 AM
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Oneiromancer
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Well, I guess if we really want to answer that...I did most of the Slaymaster's Hall and Stalwart Army, based on Erik's original script. So I didn't come up with the ideas, I just put them into practice. Mike then cleaned everything up and made other improvements as well. I think those are really the only non-puzzle rooms I had any hand in.

Game on,

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04-09-2007 at 02:45 AM
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eytanz
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quote:
Oneiromancer wrote:
Well, I guess if we really want to answer that...I did most of the Slaymaster's Hall and Stalwart Army, based on Erik's original script. So I didn't come up with the ideas, I just put them into practice. Mike then cleaned everything up and made other improvements as well. I think those are really the only non-puzzle rooms I had any hand in.

Game on,


Oh, I didn't realize that - I thought those were Mike's. Sorry about that.

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04-09-2007 at 02:46 AM
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Pinnacle
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By the way, great job on Torture Chambers!
Reminds me of Channel One Suite, actually. Very fun level.

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04-09-2007 at 02:50 AM
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Yellow_Mage
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Torture Chamber 1S 3W was godlike. But Holding Vats 2S 3W didn't make any sense, dood. I still don't understand why there was 4 adders in that room...

I have no hate for any rooms... those that are saying they hate XXXX room send them over to me, ok?

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Click here to view the secret text

04-09-2007 at 05:12 AM
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Tahnan
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quote:
Yellow_Mage wrote:
Torture Chamber 1S 3W was godlike. But Holding Vats 2S 3W didn't make any sense, dood. I still don't understand why there was 4 adders in that room...

TC: 1S3W was incredibly clever. (I'm coming to like platform manipulation rooms; RH: 1N2E was also cool. The fact that I did it thirty moves faster than the previous first place might indicate how well I've gotten a sense for platforms. (Compare it to my barely-top-twenty place for the room one to the west of it.)

On the other hand, I don't understand how you could have done HV: 2S3W without all four adders playing a role.

quote:
I have no hate for any rooms... those that are saying they hate XXXX room send them over to me, ok?

Yes well get to AF: 2S and tell me that again. I won't say I hate it, so Yellow Mage won't come after me, but I will say that I'll be quite pleased never to have to play that again.
04-09-2007 at 08:47 AM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
Elfstone wrote:
I'm genuinely surprised - Erik doesn't make puzzles?

I would really love to make some puzzle rooms. I've always enjoyed it. The problem is just that I never have time with all the other DROD tasks I need to work on, and other people step in quickly to make excellent puzzle rooms.

-Erik

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04-09-2007 at 12:36 PM
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Oneiromancer
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quote:
Yellow_Mage wrote:
But Holding Vats 2S 3W didn't make any sense, dood. I still don't understand why there was 4 adders in that room...

The intended solution is to fill in the "lock" with adders, not to jimmy open the door with a tar baby. To the best of my knowledge, none of the testers found that unintended solution. It would technically be easy to fix, I think, by extending part of the room by 1 square, but it's probably too late now.

Game on,

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04-09-2007 at 01:04 PM
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AlefBet
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I would like to get this thread back on target if possible. I want to know what people think of aspects of puzzles.

Were some too quirky? Too arbitrary? Too counterintuitive? Did they give you a thrill of satisfaction when you spotted the tricks to them, or when you finally mastered the horde techniques, or the timing info? Were there too many red herrings? Not enough? Were the puzzles too specific? Would they have been better if each room had two or three general strategies for beating them that all worked? And so on....

I'd like to see thoughts on lots of the puzzles, not just mine. I'd like to know what Eytan did that worked or what Neil did that could have gone further.

Be kind and use [secret] tags responsibly and liberally. I'd suggest something similar to:

Oremites, 1N:
Click here to view the secret text


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04-10-2007 at 12:37 AM
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Jatopian
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quote:
AlefBet wrote:
Would they have been better if each room had two or three general strategies for beating them that all worked?
I would generally say No.

However that secret room in
Click here to view the secret text

Deep Uncturage was pretty fun, though. Y'know, I think I'd have ended the demo just before Under the Library; I really was not too excited at the end of the non-deep Uncturage.
What is an Uncturage, anyway?

[this suggested change was made to the TCB demo -- mrimer]

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04-10-2007 at 03:41 AM
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Yellow_Mage
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quote:
Oneiromancer wrote:
quote:
Yellow_Mage wrote:
But Holding Vats 2S 3W didn't make any sense, dood. I still don't understand why there was 4 adders in that room...

The intended solution is to fill in the "lock" with adders, not to jimmy open the door with a tar baby. To the best of my knowledge, none of the testers found that unintended solution. It would technically be easy to fix, I think, by extending part of the room by 1 square, but it's probably too late now.

Game on,


I watched other demos and I saw people using tar babies... tsk.. :P wish I'd thought of that. I actually got stuck on this room because I was too focused on the Adders.

I actually used an adder for that and I cut it down to to two square length. Extending the door wouldn't work (I thought about fixes already). I could do the same with an adder if you made the door longer but I would cut it down to a length of 3 so I could get through the door but not the adder, which is why it won't work that way. The only way it would of work if there was two seperate doors and two pressure plates so you couldn't cut the adder length down, but would require much more editing.

Hey, Alphabet, I'd love to do a critique, heh, I'll do a partial one now...

Quest For Knowledge (not much to say really):
Click here to view the secret text


Deep Uncurtage 1N, 4E:
Very good room.

Echo Chasms 1N 1E:
Click here to view the secret text


River Dugan 2S:
Made me hate water skippers.

5S, 5E:
I felt that the checkpoints were in the wrong places. I had to restart this room so many times from scratch... *sniff* could be just that I move oddly...

Holding Vats 3S 2W:
Click here to view the secret text


Archival Catacombs 3S 2W:
Wicked. Nice bit of tension there.

Rasarus Archipelago 2W:
Click here to view the secret text


The more I look at Gel the more I think it quite pretty to cut since you swing more than stab.

Goblin's Eye View 2N 1W:

Click here to view the secret text


There were other comments I'd liek to make but they are on secret rooms that I haven't done.

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Click here to view the secret text

04-10-2007 at 03:48 AM
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voyager
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I'm game; here are some of my favorite rooms (and a couple least favorite...):

Favorite:
HV 2W:
Click here to view the secret text


PH 4N1W:
Click here to view the secret text


FR:
Click here to view the secret text


RH 2E:
Click here to view the secret text


AF:
Click here to view the secret text


Hate/Love:
RH 2N1E:
Click here to view the secret text


Just Hate:
OBG 2S:
Click here to view the secret text


UL 1W:
Click here to view the secret text


I wish I could comment on every room; there were so many that I liked. TCB is a wonderful hold in terms of puzzle variety and multifaceted challenges. Aside from that one thing I mentioned, I think it's a splendid expansion of what DROD was before.

Although I have to say I found it easier than JtRH all in all - I only used a few hints, and only in levels prior to OBG. That could just mean I've gotten better since JtRH. We'll see if the secret rooms bring me to my knees, I guess.

Thanks for the sublime puzzling experience, you crazy architects.

[Last edited by voyager at 04-10-2007 06:45 AM]
04-10-2007 at 06:41 AM
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Krishh
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quote:
voyager wrote:
RH 2N1E:
Click here to view the secret text


UL 1W:
Click here to view the secret text




Uh, both of those rooms can be solved quite easily once you figure out the solution, so your frustration possibly comes from trying to solve them in a harder way than is necessary.

Click here to view the secret text

04-10-2007 at 02:10 PM
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stigant
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I'll post a list of my favorite rooms when I finish and have some time to reflect and write comments. But I've been working my way through Upper Lowest and Lowest Proper, and I'd like to make some critiques on these rooms before I forget:

The builders are an insidious element. I see great puzzle potential (indeed, some of that potential is realized in a number of these rooms) and great abuse potential. In particular, I thought that UL 1S1W is abusive. On most of the other rooms, I waded in, found that my simple minded solution wasn't going to work and why, fixed it and beat the room. On this one, I've finished it (based on hints from Oneiromancer), but even in hindsight, I can't see why those hints make a difference or how I could have logically reasoned myself to that solution.

Also, I really enjoyed UL:2N1E, but I don't think my solution was intended. I was able to get the mud to grow and fill most of the room. Was anybody else able to do this or did everybody go for the efficiency route illustrated by the top few demos?

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04-10-2007 at 02:38 PM
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voyager
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quote:
Krishh wrote:

Uh, both of those rooms can be solved quite easily once you figure out the solution, so your frustration possibly comes from trying to solve them in a harder way than is necessary.


Click here to view the secret text


Thanks. Funny how DROD and self-inflicted pain seem to go hand in hand.
04-10-2007 at 04:28 PM
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Tahnan
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So I have neither time nor energy to do a room-by-room analysis, and very few people would want to read it anyway. But I'll say, let's see, that this whole thing was fantastic from the points of view of design, writing, and art; I don't know that I've got any criticisms of those.

So, let's see, puzzles. I really liked the fegundo-controlling rooms. I found I:N, 1N1E to be really tedious, but looking at the high scores, I think perhaps I did it wrong. (I'm always fascinated to take six hundred moves to do something, thinking, "Wow, that was so horribly roundabout and dreadful", and get second place with it. This wasn't one of those.) Other rooms on that level were a little tense and frustrating, but overall very satisfying.

I got a little tired of pressure-plate locks, especially those that involved getting a snake to just the right length to go into one. What else...platforms are cool; bridges are all right. Clone potions, very neat. Oremites and other swordless puzzles, also very neat; the puzzles in which you have to manipulate or kill enemies without being able to stab them are a lot of fun. (Though I did get a little tired of Golem Manipulation in OBG: 1E and 1S1E.)

Aumtlichs: very cool. I liked pretty much all of FR; using various walls and mirrors and roaches to block an aumtlich's view of me were a surprisingly different kind of challenge than anything in DROD 2.0, more different even than swordlessness. (We've all seen rooms in 2.0 where your sword is made ineffective because you can't turn, or what have you.) I think it's a great element.

Ah, and then there's AF. As I think I noted above, AS: 2S is one of my least favorite rooms in the hold. Specifically,
Click here to view the secret text


Other rooms on the level were more tractably challenging; I thought 1W was yet another great use of stuffswitching. 2N1W felt a little tedious--I walked in, saw roughly what needed to be done, and walked out to tackle 2S1E again instead. But it wasn't so bad once I got into it; and I liked the other rooms in the level.

And then builders, which I agree with stigant are insidious. They aren't quite random, but they aren't quite predictable, either. Thus, I walked into LP: 1N1E...

Click here to view the secret text


Many other builder rooms were no better; LP:1S1W felt like a lot of trial and error, for instance. UL:1S1W was, as stigant said, particularly egregious in this respect; I beat the room, but I have to admit I'm not really 100% sure how I did it, and I think at some point I thought, "How much longer do...oh, wait, I'm done? Really?"

The most successful of the building rooms, I felt, was UL:2N1E, where it was very clear what the builders would do and when they would do it, and they were there to supplement the solving, not to interfere with it. (In some cases, like UL:1S, they were just another timing mechanism.)

OK, long enough, and I should get back to work.
04-11-2007 at 12:07 AM
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Beef Row
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
quote:
Elfstone wrote:
I'm genuinely surprised - Erik doesn't make puzzles?

I would really love to make some puzzle rooms. I've always enjoyed it. The problem is just that I never have time with all the other DROD tasks I need to work on, and other people step in quickly to make excellent puzzle rooms.

-Erik


Maybe you could do a nice little hold like Smallsome Swicks in your spare time. Though I realize DROD is already somewhat a spare time activity. But it would be nice to see, if you ever found the chance.

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04-11-2007 at 12:15 AM
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Oneiromancer
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Thanks for the feedback, Tahnan. AF 2S wasn't meant to be as hard as people found it to be, although originally it did: at first it didn't have a mimic or a second platform--you were supposed to do it all with Beethro. The gel section was just too hard though--so I added the mimic. Then there just wasn't enough space, so it was also too hard. So I added the second platform (and the puzzle to unlock it) so that you could have the mimic on the second platform cutting the gel, with Beethro out in the middle of the room and free to move (but swordless now), which should have been easier. Watcher's demo is pretty much exactly what I intended with that room, except that it wasn't intended that the platform be freed without dropping the red door. Either it didn't come up during beta testing or I missed it, or I didn't know how to fix it...it's too late now.

Game on,

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04-11-2007 at 02:02 AM
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silver
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funny, I found the other draft of the room (which I'm neither confirming nor denying exists) much much easier. MUCH.


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04-11-2007 at 02:44 AM
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On that room, I think it would have been nice to have a bit of dialogue pointing in the direction of the second platform. It seems like pretty much everybody misses it, and attempts the harder way.

I thought the best room on LP was 1S1E. I didn't like any others on that level, as told in my review.

RD Northern secret was also a bit tedious.

I liked the room in DU with 7 eyes, and pure manipulation.

Overall, I don't really recall any "favorite" rooms. They're all pretty high quality. There were definitely some rooms that made me feel great after I beat them (platform rooms in TC, FR), but no real favorites.

Oh, and Stalwarts are tough to keep alive.

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04-11-2007 at 12:36 PM
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Doom
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Ah well, might as well add my room comments here. As an overall picture I agree that most of the rooms in TCB were great, so no matter what the second half of this post might sound, don't think I disliked playing the hold! Some spoilers in the form of secret rooms and solution details will follow.

Favourite rooms in TCB:

Click here to view the secret text


Rooms I didn't like so much:

Click here to view the secret text


Sure, there were other rooms I didn't mention that were fun like some platform rooms. There were also some others that were unnecessarily tedious. But these are the ones that I remembered originally (not) liking the best when looking at the image database.

Finally, something I just remembered at the end of this post: Slayers were terribly underused. Since they were to just suicide almost immediately most of the time, it might've been a better idea to stay away from introducing a complex element at all in puzzle rooms...
04-11-2007 at 02:11 PM
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stigant
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quote:

Click here to view the secret text


that is completely different from my opinion of this room. For one thing:
Click here to view the secret text

Personally, I struggled on the left side, but again because I missed something right in front of my nose
Click here to view the secret text

Overall, I really liked this room.

quote:
Click here to view the secret text


I was a little annoyed with that, but again, I went looking for it. It had to be there somewhere. I liked this room, though it was a little long. Not quite as good as that one room with the mimics moving the three platforms back and forth, but not bad either.

quote:
Click here to view the secret text


I can see that, though I found a solution pretty quickly (very little trial and error) after putting all the details together. I liked this room, actually. It reminded me of a puzzle in another hold (I can't for the life of me remember where) involving golems and moving through a grid. You had to figure out how many legs on each row and column you could use without moving the golems too far.





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[Last edited by stigant at 04-11-2007 03:01 PM]
04-11-2007 at 02:59 PM
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mrimer
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icon Re: Personalized feedback on TCB (0)  
quote:
stigant wrote:
quote:
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I can see that, though I found a solution pretty quickly (very little trial and error) after putting all the details together. I liked this room, actually. It reminded me of a puzzle in another hold (I can't for the life of me remember where) involving golems and moving through a grid. You had to figure out how many legs on each row and column you could use without moving the golems too far.
Could be from JtRH:L16 (iirc). Adam made the room I'm thinking of there.

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04-11-2007 at 04:53 PM
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voyager
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icon Re: Personalized feedback on TCB (0)  
There was a room like that in Chaco's Hold too.
04-11-2007 at 06:16 PM
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