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Print at May 18, 2021 2:21:36 PM

Posted by Patetch at Jan 11, 2007 11:13:36 AM
Re: Puzzle Codename: Nibbler
I am not entirely certain how the cooperation aspect works in a crafting puzzle. How would it work to start at the same time? When someone clicks on 'Do yer job" do they have to wait until a few others do so also (like the parlor games?) Is it global, where the players do not need to be in the same shoppe, island, or even arch? Or would there be a station in a shoppe that requires several people to click on it to begin working together? Personally, I think one of the plusses of a crafting puzzle is the ability to do them whenever, without having to wait for others who feel like playing (like you do for the parlor games.)

I can see the cooperation if this were to be a foraging puzzle though, because that is pretty easy to start all at once. I definitely think foraging needs something to at least make it interesting. Of course, most people won't puzzle if they don't get paid so that would need to be taken into account somehow. As it stands it is not very profitable to use one labor hour to get one unit of fruit (often limes which are rarely worth more than one poe and the forager doesn't usually get anyway.) So maybe have it do something like, "for every x number of fruit total on the completed boards, a unit of that fruit is foraged." Possibly only collect the fruit that had the most? Would the gems on the board maybe go for valuable items like gold ore? Still keeping the gold ore random, but having gems increases the possibility, maybe. How about a final clue that shows up when the puzzle is complete along the lines of, "start at the limes go three paces north, two west and dig under the pomegrantes for treasure" (which, using my final board shown below should end up in only one spot) and scoring a bonus. Again keeping it random whether it is actually gold or something else, so that gold doesn't become too common. Fairness would also dictate that this would have to show up regardless of whether a person was able to successfully place everything or not, so the final board would have to change to a correctly completed one, otherwise only legs and ults would ever get the chance to find gold.

Would everyone be working from the same set of clues? I am assuming not, since the potential for cheating would be very high then. (A and B don't know how to play but C does and he just tells them the answers, thereby earning them all the cooperation bonus and raising their stats.) Although it could also introduce a very high end level of cooperation, if they had the same board with different clues (A says, "ok I have figured out that bananas cannot be in the two leftmost boxes in row D" and then B says,"my clues say they aren't in the rightmost boxes either." So together they would be able to deduce that the bananas are in the middle.) However, I am not sure what that would entail, how hard it would be to program, nor how easy it would still be to cheat.

Also, I would assume some sort of timer would be required to keep the players at about the same place. I would much rather see this game without a timer, the clues, especially on the harder levels take some time to figure out what they are actually saying, sometimes I need to read it five times before I know what it means.

Saying something is immediately above is quite different than saying somewhere above. Do the graphical clues reflect that?

Is there anyway to delete clues once they are completely solved? I usually like to remove them so I don't look at them repeatedly once solved, but maybe in this game where they are frequently reset it wouldn't matter anyway.

Looking at the clues depicted on the sample board, people might think that meant they were consecutively in that order. Using the column clue, MMPP, shown; people might wrongly deduce that it had to be either LLMMPP or MMPPLL instead of possibilities like MLMPPL or LMMPLP or LMMLPP and so forth. People who already play logic puzzles wouldn't have a problem with that but does that fall under the 'external knowledge' category or is that 'in-game learnable?' I certainly wouldn't want the clues to spell everything out, that doesn't make much of a logic puzzle, so there would have to be a balance of clues that mean exactly what they say and ones that could be open to interpretation.

Also, sometimes there is more than one set of clues for a row or column. How is that shown, and does it make it too easy to realize that using the clues together is a good idea? (Sometimes when they are written and a distance away from each other it is not immediately apparent to use them together.) Actually, I think I remember reading somewhere that there was a maximum of one clue per row / column at any given time, am I correct in that?

I played parfait on the rough level using the pirate english clues.
I had a hard time deciphering some of them and since this game would be using similar phrases, I will give my thoughts.
These were some of the clues I recieved:
A pirate couldna' keep his enemies closer than the limes in row A!
Upon first reading, I was thinking that it meant the limes were as far away as possible from each other. Then I remembered the saying, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" and realized that meant they were to be touching. I am not sure how many people would figure that out.
The pomegranates in row B have the limes blockaded!
Not too bad, this means that the limes are somewhere between the two pomegrantes. Although there will be people that won't figure this out, most will.
By the Powers! Row C be a complete fruit salad.
By the Powers! Row F be three sheets into the wind.
I thought these clues both might mean that no two same fruits were touching each other, turned out I was right, but I was not confident until I solved enough other clues to have some in the rows.
Brawwwk! All yer pomegranates in row D be found somewhere east of all yer limes, ye lily-livered landlubber!
Not a bad clue, I would suggest putting a compass rose on the board somewhere, though, I know there are a lot of people who confuse east and west (sad as that is.)
By Blackbeard's ghost! The mangos in column 3 be grappled, ye lily-livered landlubber!
At first I thought this was a mistake because I was thinking, "grappled to / by what?" Then I realized it meant they were grappled to each other.
What in the Seven Seas?! Each pomegranate in column 5 be grappled on the south side of a lime.
This clue could mean the complete opposite just by substituting 'of' with 'by' how well will this translate for those for whom english is not a first language?
Bah! Ye won't be finding any lime in column 6 that isn't cuddled up right above a mango, ye son of a biscuit eater!
Gadzooks! The mangos in row A be back to back again' all attackers, ye lily-livered landlubber!
Had to read these a few times to be sure I was right.
ye lily-livered landlubber! What in the Seven Seas?! ye son of a biscuit eater! ye scurvy dog! ye scoundrel! ye scallywag!
These were just plain annoying, actually, very annoying.

I did booch once, simply because it didn't "take" when I clicked on limes and I didn't notice it was still on mangoes when I tried to place the limes. Most logic puzzles I have played, it is right click to eliminate and left click to place, so my initial tendancy is to left click on the initial to place it in the block. However, after the first few booches (due to not reading instructions) I was able to adapt to this method so these controls could be added into Nibbler without too much difficulty. From the description I read it sounds like you will be able to cycle through options, this should be helpful as well.
My final board:

Some clues on suicidal:
By Blackbeard's ghost! Row E is the same fore to aft as aft to fore.
The seas must be calm, the fruits in row C can see their reflection!
Scuttle that! Ye won't be finding any ____ in row D that isn't cuddled up to the right of a pomegranate!
These actually were pretty good clues, having to work through other clues to be solved, yet pretty clear what they meant. (Aft to fore might be tricky but a pirate working at this level should know that.)

Now, I am not saying these types of clues shouldn't be used, every game has its own language to learn, just that they might need to be looked at to see how much external knowledge would be needed (how universal is it to know what 'three sheets to the wind' would mean and then be able to apply that to the game?)

I also realize that the easier levels have easier clues. The state the obvious "limes are in square D2" should be reserved to only the easiest levels and the frequency of them should be kept at a minimum, I checked out the learning level and most of the clues were like this. Then changing into elimination clues such as, "the mangoes are NOT in square F4" would be appropriate for the next level to help people learn that eliminating possibilities is pretty useful, especially when using sets of clues together.

I didn't see any "either / or" clues or "if / then" clues in any level, they are a nice variety and I would like to see them added to Nibbler, maybe at higher levels, if possible.
Pletoo of Sage

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