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Trickster
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icon Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+1)  
I've been avoiding public posting, but for the moment I have no choice. This is an issue that threatens to compromise part of the hold I've been working on for the past year.

mxvladi (Slava) has informed me that, in recent chat, TFMurphy expressed distaste upon learning "the bridge trick" (explained below in secret). I had no idea TFMurphy was unaware of this particular gimmick. I have been told (or maybe I imagined) that the trick has been used as a lynchpin in more than one hold, so removing it would likely ruin rooms that have already been published. More importantly (to me), the hardest secret in my upcoming hold is a four-chamber progressively-gets-harder room that teaches users how to perform the trick in different circumstances. Removing this trick would ruin a room really cool room that I (not to mention two of my testers) spent weeks on.

I'd like to see it remain. I agree the physics of it is questionable, and the fix to make results more intuitive would be easy enough to do, but I don't think it's too far outside the realm of "DROD exceptions" to be unfair to leave in. Personally, I discovered the trick on accident while experimenting because I wondered what would happen if I tried it. So even though it may be the less-obvious of two results, I don't think any result of the situation which causes the trick is 100% obvious.

For those of you unfamiliar with the trick, I describe it below, secreted for your virgin eyes. (It concerns how the game determines how replacement with pit and water occur when a bridge drops.)

Click here to view the secret text

Anyway, please respond with comments so I'll know if I have to scrap the room or not before things go any further. :|

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04-29-2012 at 11:01 PM
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Jatopian
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+4)  
This is terribly unintuitive and should be changed. Nevermind the whole "what bridges drop into is quantum" issue, pit platform should imply pit. It's right there in the name.

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04-30-2012 at 04:09 AM
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Jutt
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+2)  
This seems to be a matter of taste really. Personally I agree with Jatopian and would consider this a bug. I feel there must be either water or pit underneath a bridge, not a superposition of both.

IMO a platform over pit should count as open pit when dropping bridges, just as a platform over water should count as open water. This implies that the turn 1 behaviour where a bridge surrounded by pit platforms drops to reveal water, should be changed so it reveals pit instead.

PS.: I didn't know the rule that bridges reveal pit if there is at least one pit square adjacent to them. I have to admit it's a somewhat dangerous rule, considering that builders can change the properties of a bridge tile just by building water or pit around that tile. I guess we'll never get rid of the bridge ambiguity entirely.

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[Last edited by Jutt at 04-30-2012 04:23 PM]
04-30-2012 at 04:21 PM
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Jacob
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (0)  
Sorry to hear you're avoiding posting on the forum.

Does anyone know of any holds that require this behaviour?

(Trickster, quick, publish your hold and there will be an incentive not to change the behaviour)



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04-30-2012 at 08:21 PM
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Jatopian
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+1)  
quote:
Jacob wrote: (Trickster, quick, publish your hold and there will be an incentive not to change the behaviour)
Nope. Brain / force arrow interaction, anyone?

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04-30-2012 at 08:30 PM
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Schik
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+1)  
We're running a check to see if there are any published holds that exploit this bug.

Regardless, we've fixed bugs in the past that forced us to fix previously published holds because they relied on the bugs. Not something we *love* to do, but if it makes DROD better, it's worth the hassle.


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04-30-2012 at 08:32 PM
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+1)  
Well, looks like I'm in the minority here (since apparently it's already a foregone conclusion that this will be "fixed"), but I actually like the sound of this. Sure, it's somewhat strange behavior, but I feel it's a neat quirk that gives bridges some extra puzzle potential. I can't say I've ever seen it used before, but since it seems fairly clear that this would only be encountered if the architect intended it, a scroll could be used to at least hint at the behavior if it's really that big of a problem.

That said, even though I knew there was only a single set of bridge tiles, for some reason I always thought there were water bridges and pit bridges. :blush Goes to show that I haven't spent much time building rooms.

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04-30-2012 at 09:24 PM
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Dischorran
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (0)  
It's a pretty cool room that's dependent on this oddity, to be fair. But it is weird.

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04-30-2012 at 09:48 PM
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12th Archivist
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (-1)  
quote:
Schik wrote:
but if it makes DROD better,
Ah, but does fixing this really make DROD better? Is this behavior somehow less intuitive than, say, the interaction between unconnected immature briar and growing briar, or aumtlich beams having different behavior between cracked orbs and broken orbs? Like PMIT said, as long as the architect states this unusual behavior exists, the room should not be any harder to logically deduce than any other room.

Plus, I did make a pretty cool room revolving around the idea, and I would hate to have to trash it.

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05-01-2012 at 12:31 AM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+4)  
I'm pretty much just going to duck in, drop my opinions in here, and duck back out.

I am in favor of puzzles that can be solved by observing them and figuring out what happens before needing to experiment. In my opinion, solving puzzles in DROD is all about remembering a few rules, combining them, and applying them in interesting ways. I don't want to have to remember one little exception (in this specific situation, this will happen, not what you think would happen).

In addition, those of you who built rooms depending upon this behavior need to be less defensive and possessive about those rooms. Sometimes rooms just have to get thrown out. I should know; I had to get rid of five rooms in the Imperial Wandering mastery level because the behavior those rooms were dependent on (fegundo movement combined with an invisible player and placed decoys) was taken out of the game. I didn't complain; I just took them out, updated the hold, and that was the end of that story.

There are plenty of cool things in DROD that don't depend on edge case behavior that surprises the development team. There's a great amount of untapped potential even with staple entities like roaches, evil eyes and trapdoors.

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05-01-2012 at 01:07 AM
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TFMurphy
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+6)  
Okay, I'm first going to announce that the test spider case has finished. It found *no* demos in the Top 20 for any room that are even tangentally affected by fixing this.

Now, as for "the bridge trick" itself. First, I was well aware that a bridge that is adjacent to at least one pit tile would fall into pit rather than the default of water. Terrakept Resonant even has a room based around this. This was not what surprised me. What surprised me was Pit Platforms were not being treated as Pit.

So, yes, the "quantum nature" of bridges has been used in holds, but *not* with Pit Platforms.

I'll also address another point:
quote:
[Post Deleted] Trickster wrote:
Apart from the Turn 1 case, this only concerns bridges that touch open water.
This is untrue. It is possible to have a bridge in a room with nothing but Pit, Pit Platforms and Pit Trapdoors, and use certain techniques to cause that bridge to fall into Water rather than Pit. That realisation is what really showcased how unintuitive this mechanic is to me.

Before we bring Pit Platforms back into this, I think it should be noted that, without the intervention of a Builder, a Bridge would either fall into Pit or Water, and what it fell into did *not* change based on what happened in the room. I can write off Builders doing funny things to the layout of rooms and thus changing how certain elements work. Doing the same with Pit Platforms seems positively mystical.

===

There are a number of things we have to consider when we see a bug or other unintended mechanic. We ask ourselves how entrenched the mechanic is, how many rooms it affects, how intuitive or unintuitive the current mechanic is (as well as when fixed), how much sense it makes from both gameplay and practical avenues, and so on.

The failure of Pit Platforms to be considered Pit when a Bridge falls is not a mechanic that is relied on in any published room that I know of, and we could find no evidence of such a room in CaravelNet's victory demos. So it is not an entrenched behavior. (Disclaimer: we can't check for unintended solutions opened up by fixed, so by all means, if you know a room that relies on *not* dropping a bridge into water, then feel free to list it.) And I and others have listed why the current behavior can feel greatly unintuitive.

Lastly, you've brought up other ways the mechanic could be tweaked... but doing that actually *does* hit the "this affects published rooms" problem. And I'm less inclined to change that part of the way bridges work since we actually *have* known about that for a good few years, and it could seriously impact rooms that have no use for the mechanic at all. And it goes back to the 'quantum state' of bridges, where it doesn't really feel intuitive that the player can easily change what a Bridge can drop into.

===

So, yeah, given all of the above and the results from the test spider, I don't see cause to leave this behavior as is.

[Last edited by TFMurphy at 05-01-2012 02:37 AM : Forgot to mention trapdoors in the >Turn1 case.]
05-01-2012 at 02:28 AM
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quote:
Chaco wrote:
I am in favor of puzzles that can be solved by observing them and figuring out what happens before needing to experiment. In my opinion, solving puzzles in DROD is all about remembering a few rules, combining them, and applying them in interesting ways. I don't want to have to remember one little exception (in this specific situation, this will happen, not what you think would happen).
That right there is the essence of DROD. Good argument!
quote:
In addition, those of you who built rooms depending upon this behavior need to be less defensive and possessive about those rooms. Sometimes rooms just have to get thrown out.
Understood. I was a little too proud of my room, but there is that valuable lesson that it was just one room. It can always be replaced in the end.
quote:
I didn't complain; I just took them out, updated the hold, and that was the end of that story.
Mmm, alright. I was feeling annoyed that my work was not going to be useful, but you lost five rooms? I can see how hard you work on those rooms, so that must have been an unpleasant thing to deal with. But still, you rolled with it, and so can everyone else.
quote:
There are plenty of cool things in DROD that don't depend on edge case behavior that surprises the development team. There's a great amount of untapped potential even with staple entities like roaches, evil eyes and trapdoors.
Very well-said. Thank you, Chaco. You have taught me several valuable lessons for both DROD architecture and dealing with life's annoyances. :D
quote:
[Post Deleted] Trickster wrote: I invested a lot of time in the puzzles I added after one of my testers told me, "hey, you're using 12th Architect's favorite trick", which led me to believe that this was a known and intended behavior of bridge drops.
Where did you hear that? I never knew about the trick until I looked at that one room of yours.

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05-01-2012 at 02:30 AM
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (0)  
quote:
[Post Deleted] Trickster wrote:
quote:
12th Archivist wrote:
quote:
[Post Deleted] Trickster wrote:
I invested a lot of time in the puzzles I added after one of my testers told me, "hey, you're using 12th Architect's favorite trick", which led me to believe that this was a known and intended behavior of bridge drops.
Where did you hear that? I never knew about the trick until I looked at that one room of yours.
Someone called it "(someone's) favorite trick", and I didn't remember who they referred to. I guess it wasn't you. That means there's someone else out there who has used it.

I'm going to go off and be depressed for a bit following TFMurphy's response, but I do understand, and I admit I would likely vote the same way in his position. It just really, really sucks for me. There's no behavior similar to this in the existing puzzle elements, and no way to script it back in. I've just lost one of the best series of puzzles I ever made. :(

On the bright side, I may now return to quiescence, which judging from the continued bump war will likely make more than a few people happy. :shutup
I think I said it was Chaco's trick after something in something. Terrakept Resonant, maybe? (Sorry, Pearls - I'm not caught up. :))

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05-01-2012 at 03:13 AM
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slimm tom
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+1)  
I very strongly remember a published room in which the player must cause a bridge to drop into water instead of pit, to allow a waterskipper to move through. What I don't remember very strongly is if this room uses this trick, and in which hold it is located, but I'll try to search for it this afternoon.
05-01-2012 at 01:08 PM
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TFMurphy
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quote:
slimm tom wrote:
I very strongly remember a published room in which the player must cause a bridge to drop into water instead of pit, to allow a waterskipper to move through. What I don't remember very strongly is if this room uses this trick, and in which hold it is located, but I'll try to search for it this afternoon.
First off, that's probably Terrakept Resonant, where there are no Pit Platforms at all in the room.

Secondly, the only types of rooms we can't easily check for with the spider are those that are unscorable, and those that *fail* if the player causes a bridge to be dropped into water because the only pit edges it has are blocked by Pit Platform. (It's easy to check that a demo no longer works, but difficult to check that a room has a new unintended solution.)
05-01-2012 at 01:32 PM
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quote:
slimm tom wrote:
I very strongly remember a published room in which the player must cause a bridge to drop into water instead of pit, to allow a waterskipper to move through.


Although it wasn't a water skipper, there was a room in the "Cheap Tricks" compilation hold, one of Chaco's rooms if I remember correctly, that required you to drop a platform that became water underneath. No idea if it's relevant to this discussion or not, I was lost about the second post :)

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05-01-2012 at 01:35 PM
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martz
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+1)  
I believe the room in question is a secret room from Finding the First Truth which highlights the difference in bridge interaction between "Trapdoor" and "Trapdoor (over water)" but there are no platforms in this room.

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05-01-2012 at 02:11 PM
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slimm tom
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martz wrote:
I believe the room in question is a secret room from Finding the First Truth which highlights the difference in bridge interaction between "Trapdoor" and "Trapdoor (over water)" but there are no platforms in this room.

Thank you martz, that was indeed the room I had in mind, and looking at it now confirms that it's not related to the discussion here.
05-01-2012 at 02:23 PM
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mrimer
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+2)  
I'll pop in to say I agree with everything TFMurphy addressed here. It is a complete programmer oversight that pit platforms are not treated as pit in this context, and I think this should be fixed.

Trickster, I'm really sorry about this causing problems in your room designs. This does come up, as veteran players can attest, but we'll work to minimize this possibility of simple coding oversights with future new game elements and features as they are implemented.

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05-01-2012 at 05:24 PM
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Trickster
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In the hopes that someone can get a little enjoyment out of the work I did on the room in question, in Architecture I have posted a small hold featuring both the room itself, and a postmastery version of one of the chambers (the latter of which not even my testers have attempted so far).

Please enjoy it while you still can!

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05-10-2012 at 04:28 AM
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mrimer
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+1)  
Thanks for posting that, Trickster. Seth and I played through it last night (not completely, I admit), and there is a kind of visceral pleasure in getting all the platforms placed right in order to form additional water regions. Maybe we can come up with a decent water/terrain modifying element for 5.0 that could work somewhat similarly to this.


Edit: I see that TFMurphy has committed a fix for this, so the unintended behavior will be removed in version 4.0.2.

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[Last edited by mrimer at 05-10-2012 05:36 PM]
05-10-2012 at 05:35 PM
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mrimer wrote:
Maybe we can come up with a decent water/terrain modifying element for 5.0 that could work somewhat similarly to this.
I'd settle for full scripting-based control of tile contents.

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05-10-2012 at 11:22 PM
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Rheb
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+2)  
Ok, so I see this discussion has been settled, and maybe the best decision was made. I just wanted to drop in and say that I do not fully agree with Chaco (and many of the other posters). Some of the best DROD puzzles I've played have made it completely impossible for me to figure out how things will play out before I fiddle around a bit. These puzzles have let me discover quirky interaction between elements and then forced me to move on from there until I can find a way to finally solve the room.

A big part of the DROD experience I think is the discovery of game mechanics you can use. Just look at Advanced Concepts.

I did kinda like this quirk. Yeah, it's not intuitive, but to me, very little of DROD actually is once you start piling up the more complex elements.

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05-11-2012 at 02:44 AM
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Jatopian
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This explains a lot about your architecture. :(

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05-11-2012 at 03:01 AM
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Syntax
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quote:
Jatopian wrote:
This explains a lot about your architecture. :(

Does it? I agree with Rheb's analysis
05-11-2012 at 03:10 AM
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Jatopian
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I think what we want is something that is like this quirk, in that you can change the state of a mass of floor by surrounding it with stuff or not, but which also is flawlessly consistent with sense. I played some of Trickster's doomed room and enjoyed some of it.

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[Last edited by Jatopian at 05-11-2012 03:16 AM]
05-11-2012 at 03:16 AM
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quote:
Jatopian wrote:
This explains a lot about your architecture. :(
Aww, did you have to add the sad smiley? I guess I had it coming though...

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05-11-2012 at 02:53 PM
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You know what, I don't think this is as obscure as a niche of 2*2 surounded by walls, with the qourners cut open being possible to fill with a blob of tar, provided the tar can grow in from all the four qourners. No way! Is it Arena 3 that uses this already existing trick?

I would also like to point out that if you think this is an issue it's reaaly stupid to produce items like stalwarts, slayers, guards, aumtlichs. And the diference between how babies interact with shallow water. DROD is filled with quirks, and this one, IMO, isn't even close to sound like one of the more serious ones (the most serious being the stalwart, which is all about finding the quirks).

[Last edited by Blondbeard at 05-11-2012 04:05 PM]
05-11-2012 at 04:04 PM
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quote:
Blondbeard wrote:
I would also like to point out that if you think this is an issue it's reaaly stupid to produce items like stalwarts, slayers, guards, aumtlichs. And the diference between how babies interact with shallow water. DROD is filled with quirks, and this one, IMO, isn't even close to sound like one of the more serious ones (the most serious being the stalwart, which is all about finding the quirks).

I think there is a grand difference between complex-ruled behavior (babies on shallow water, stalwarts, slayers, guards - although they aren't that bad, you just need to learn a couple of rules) and something completely against common sense. There is still pit touching the bridge, just obscured by platforms, why should it turn into water? It's as if a baby produced by killing tar would be mud if it was surrounded by mud and other tar babies, not really sensible.

quote:
You know what, I don't think this is as obscure as a niche of 2*2 surounded by walls, with the qourners cut open being possible to fill with a blob of tar, provided the tar can grow in from all the four qourners

This is very clear with the rules - tar grows into tar and if after groing it can't form a stable tar it will create a tar baby.

Nevertheless I personall think the way it behaves right now has a puzzle potential as Trickster proved with her room, despite it being against common sense and logical evaluation ;). \

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05-11-2012 at 04:26 PM
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stigant
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icon Re: Discussion on the "bridge trick" requested. (+1)  
I think the difference between the "bridge trick" and some of the other quirks is the likely hood of stumbling on to the quirk with experimentation. For example, it doesn't take that long in a room with tar/mud babies and gel babies and shallow water to realize that some babies can walk on shallow water and some can't. Was the decision about which can and which can't arbitrary? Yes, and you'd probably be surprised that ANY can, but in any room that requires this, you'll see the rule immediately. Same thing with the 4-corner tar growth. It's unexpected, but any room which requires knowledge of it will make the quirk obvious at the first spawn cycle without the player having to do anything special. Now the bridge trick, on the other hand, requires a player (who has no knowledge that there's any reason for there to be something quirky going on) to accidentally stumble into a situation in which a bridge is completely surrounded by platforms to trigger something that is completely unintuitive. Almost nobody will stumble on to this little quirk by accident.

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05-11-2012 at 04:59 PM
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