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stigant
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I kind of agree with swivel. Unless changing the number of deflectors creates a puzzle with exactly one solution (I know I advocated this type of restriction earlier... my assumption was that there would only be one solution. I think adding some deflector clues would make this more plausible).

Another option would be to make the contest to find a solution with the least amount of deflectors. A scoring system like ricochet robots could be used. In RR, they present a puzzle each day. Solutions are gathered over the course of the day. The fastest solution sets the time limit (time limit = fastest solution + 60 seconds. For this puzzle, I would change this to be 1 or 2 hours or something along those lines), but most efficient solution (least moves) within the time limit is the primary scoring mechanism with solving time breaking ties. Multiple solutions for each user are allowed, but only the most efficient solution submitted before the time limit is scored.

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[Last edited by stigant at 02-09-2006 03:55 AM]
02-09-2006 at 03:54 AM
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Chalks
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I'm in... puzzle 2 please. :)
02-09-2006 at 05:05 AM
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techant
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:

The Actual Contest

You'll be racing against other players to solve a deflector puzzle first. Four different puzzles will be released at 6 hour intervals on February 20th, The idea here is that people from different time zones won't be unfairly disadvantaged. You'll be allowed to enter just one, so choose the puzzle time most convenient to you.
-Erik


Does this mean I can ignor this thred until the contest date/time or will there be some other activity that I need to keep checking for?

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02-09-2006 at 10:42 AM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
techant wrote:
Does this mean I can ignor this thred until the contest date/time or will there be some other activity that I need to keep checking for?

You can pretty much ignore it until contest time. You might want to check in a day or two ahead to see if there are any other announcements.

I'll be posting the 4 puzzles in 4 separate topics.

-Erik

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02-09-2006 at 11:24 AM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
stigant wrote:
I kind of agree with swivel. Unless changing the number of deflectors creates a puzzle with exactly one solution (I know I advocated this type of restriction earlier... my assumption was that there would only be one solution. I think adding some deflector clues would make this more plausible).

Yeah, I see the disadvantages now. I may just make the puzzles very large.
quote:

Another option would be to make the contest to find a solution with the least amount of deflectors.

Reasonable, but I'd like to stay fairly consistent with the rules I began with so people know what to expect.

-Erik

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02-09-2006 at 11:28 AM
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NiroZ
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geee, just spent a hour stareing at the puzzle, finally worked it out. i would have understood it alot quicker if you had simply said at the end:
assume each icon is shooting a unique laser, you must try and connect all the icons to their unique lasers, using deflectors when nessacary, and without deflectors overlapping.
note: deflectors are solid and will act the same to each laser that hits them

i was very confused by your explaination, but not harm done, just a sore head.

anyway, my answer (took about 10 min) was...
Click here to view the secret text

took me 10 min to input the answer tho, so i will have to find a better way to input them.

it's also interesting to note that most of the lasers fell into place accidentally.

sorry if i am already putting in the same answer as someone else, i just couln't be bothered to check.

so how big will the real puzzles be? (so i know how big to draw up the grid).
Click here to view the secret text


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[Last edited by NiroZ at 05-29-2007 11:25 AM]
02-12-2006 at 04:49 AM
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MeckMeck GRE
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Ill do Number 4
02-12-2006 at 09:49 AM
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Znirk
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I'll play one; can't yet say which.

Initially I had some problems with the explanation of the puzzle as well. It took me a while to figure out that "backward" and "forward" deflector thing (at first I expected the "backward" type to reflect in some counterintuitive way, but it seems they're simply "forward" deflectors rotated by 90°).

Here's my solution for the practice puzzle. Comparing this with other people's solutions, I predict I'll finish last time-wise, but win a special award for Unnecessarily Complicated Solution to a Simple Problem.
Click here to view the secret text

02-12-2006 at 01:10 PM
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ErikH2000
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I just got a little history lesson from Ed Pegg Jr. of Math Puzzle. The original game of Black Box, upon which this contest is based, was apparently invented by Eric Solomon and predates personal computers. I feel obliged to acknowledge the guy, since I guess a lot of people made Black Box games without giving him any credit. Eric had a book of his published in 1977, devoted to Black Box puzzles. Also, he's made a lot of interesting little java puzzle games you can play on his site. Check out Snakepit Mazes for a DROD-like experience. You will be fighting the urge to apply DROD rules of serpent movement. Hmm. It looks like Eric published his first game the year I was born. What a cool guy!

-Erik

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02-14-2006 at 08:03 PM
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Mattcrampy
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Just to confirm, I'm doing puzzle 3. (I said I was going to confirm later, and this is it.)

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02-14-2006 at 10:35 PM
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Tahnan
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
I just got a little history lesson from Ed Pegg Jr. of Math Puzzle.


(aka xeipon)
02-15-2006 at 06:42 AM
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Dali
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Black box is a game a little bit different from this month contest. Infact, here are the differences, in order of importance:

- The Deflectors aren't the same. In this game, there are ''Diamond shaped'' so it deflect differently from laser coming from many ways.
- It's a 11*9 grid, and in the contest it's 8*8.
- There isn't 'laser shots' in the east side.
- We can know by clicking on these 'laser shots' where the laser must go, and in green it shows if it's correct (in green) after placing the deflectors, that makes the game a little bit easier.


[Last edited by Dali at 02-15-2006 04:08 PM : errors]
02-15-2006 at 04:07 PM
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Yellow_Mage
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Sign me up for the first puzzle, Numero Uno.

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02-18-2006 at 02:35 PM
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The_Red_Hawk
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Sign me up for Puzzle 1 please. :)

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02-18-2006 at 04:13 PM
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Chaco
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Those who haven't signed up, hurry! The first puzzle starts tomorrow.

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02-18-2006 at 05:30 PM
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Banjooie
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Do we have to sign up beforehand? I can't promise which one I hit, it'll depend on my schedule, but..
02-18-2006 at 06:01 PM
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KevG
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Banjooie wrote:
Do we have to sign up beforehand? I can't promise which one I hit, it'll depend on my schedule, but..


No need to sign up. Eric said earlier in the thread that you just have to submit an answer for one of the puzzles.
02-18-2006 at 06:11 PM
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Banjooie
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I thought so, Chaco was confusing me.
02-18-2006 at 06:12 PM
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Chaco
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I was under the impression that you did have to sign up to participate, but as already mentioned it didn't matter which puzzle you did.

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02-18-2006 at 09:35 PM
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ErikH2000
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You do not have to sign up or make any declarations--that's just for bravado and morale. Pick one puzzle at any time you like and post one answer to it.

Note that puzzles won't be posted in this topic. I've set up separate topics for each. They are:

Puzzle 1
Puzzle 2
Puzzle 3
Puzzle 4

Man, I love all the contest gadgetry Schik made for me. I used localtime tags, unhidetime tags, and submission topics. Oh, and there will be rank points (another Schik invention) handed out later too. This is the preferred forum software for running contests, to be sure.

-Erik

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02-19-2006 at 10:36 AM
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agaricus5
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Umm...

The contest time for puzzle 4 appears to be at 18:00 GMT tomorrow, but apparently will only be revealed in 1 day and about 5 hours (as it's 12:10 now, that corresponds to it starting at 17:00). Which is it?

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02-19-2006 at 12:09 PM
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Chaco
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Oh, goodie. *prepares self*

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02-19-2006 at 03:09 PM
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agaricus5
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ErikH2000 wrote:
For every contest, there is pretty much always a collection of ways to gain an unfair advantage that can't be enforced against with rules. This would be one of them. I have to rely on people's honor not to use it.

Oh, and to save me time drawing (since I'm a bad at visualising these kinds of things), am I allowed to use a tool to help me by tracing the rays and their destinations automatically for me (it doesn't solve the puzzle, but it can tell me what happens if I place a deflector in a certain square).

Or would that be cheating?

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02-19-2006 at 04:13 PM
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Chaco
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I think it would unfairly help you solve the puzzle faster, since you'd be able to see results of placing deflectors faster and thus gain an advantage.

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02-19-2006 at 04:37 PM
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ErikH2000
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agaricus5 wrote:
The contest time for puzzle 4 appears to be at 18:00 GMT tomorrow, but apparently will only be revealed in 1 day and about 5 hours (as it's 12:10 now, that corresponds to it starting at 17:00). Which is it?

18:00 GMT. Both of the tags have the same Greenwich time, so I guess there's some bug in the unhidetime tag. Probably something related to daylight savings time. For me, the unhidetime tag displays a local time consistent with the preceding localtime tag. For you, I guess it doesn't.

-Erik

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02-19-2006 at 07:27 PM
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ErikH2000
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agaricus5 wrote:
Oh, and to save me time drawing (since I'm a bad at visualising these kinds of things), am I allowed to use a tool to help me by tracing the rays and their destinations automatically for me (it doesn't solve the puzzle, but it can tell me what happens if I place a deflector in a certain square).


You can use a tool if it or functional equivalents are publicly available for free on Mac, Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD. So for example, a word processor or spreadsheet is fair, since there are free versions of these available for the 4 platforms that DROD supports. A macro program that runs on your spreadsheet is not fair, because it won't be available to everyone else.

I don't want to craft a legal document explaining what can or can't be done. Generally, if everybody else here can use the tool, then it's fine. So hopefully people can understand the spirit of the competition from that.

-Erik

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02-19-2006 at 07:32 PM
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dividendD
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Sign me up for Puzzle 1.
02-19-2006 at 07:35 PM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: Deflectomundo! (0)  
For anyone who would like to use the DROD editor as a visualization tool, I have this quick hack I made to show deflectors on the DROD room. I'm going to give instructions here for people who haven't even installed DROD or tried it, since I believe there may be a few from my rampant promotions. To those same people, I'd say that figuring out something equivalent with a word processor, spreadsheet, or image editing program wouldn't be very difficult. So don't worry if you don't want to do this.

1. Install DROD. The demo can be found at: http://caravelgames.com/Articles/Games_2/DownloadJtRH.html . Make a note of the directory where DROD is installed, i.e. "c:\\program files\\DROD - Journey to Rooted Hold".

2. Copy the attached file in this post (Style1Tiles.png) and the attached file in the post after this one (Style1Tiles.tim) to the "data/bitmaps" directory relative to the DROD installation directory. So it depends where you installed DROD, but it might be something like "c:\\program files\\DROD - Journey to Rooted Hold\\data\\bitmaps".

3. Start DROD. If DROD is currently running, exit it and restart.

4. Choose "Build Levels" from the main menu. When prompted for name of hold and level names, enter "Deflectomundo" or anything else that suits you.

5. Click on the "Orb" tab on the left panel. It looks like a shiny brass ball.

6. Click on the icon in the left panel that looks like a diagonal line. This is the deflector graphic. Now that it is selected, you can draw that deflector on the grid to your left by left-clicking. You can erase a deflector on the grid by right-clicking. Pressing "Q" and "W" will alternate between the two types of deflectors.

Play with it a little and you'll see how you can make boards that will match your ideas of how a puzzle could be solved. There is no feature to calculate the paths of the lasers; you would just need to trace the path with your eyes. I imagine this setup may offer a small advantage over pencil and paper.

The changes made here to show deflectors mess up the actual game. If you want a working installation of DROD, then you can delete or rename the two files that were copied to the directory.

-Erik

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02-19-2006 at 08:42 PM
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ErikH2000
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And the second file that needs to be copied is attached.

-Erik

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02-19-2006 at 08:43 PM
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agaricus5
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quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
You can use a tool if it or functional equivalents are publicly available for free on Mac, Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD. So for example, a word processor or spreadsheet is fair, since there are free versions of these available for the 4 platforms that DROD supports. A macro program that runs on your spreadsheet is not fair, because it won't be available to everyone else.

Does a set of standard functions on a spreadsheet (like "if" statements and mathematical operations) count as a "macro"?

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02-19-2006 at 10:56 PM
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