Message #837

From: Melinda Green <>
Subject: Re: [MC4D] Introducing "MagicTile"
Date: Mon, 01 Feb 2010 19:39:21 -0800

Wow, Roice does it again!!!
What a gem this is. It’s amazing how these things look infinite but
they’re not.

* Hyperbolic panning is the most obvious missing control, but you noted
that in Help > Mouse Commands. It’s not strictly needed since there are
no hidden sides, but it feels incomplete without it. Don’t sweat it if
it’s hard. I’m sure it’s easy to get used to without it though in the
meantime I would suggest disabling panning.

* There seem to be some twists on the more complex puzzles that I can’t
seem to get to. That could be because I’m not sure where to click. A
mode to highlight all of the pieces that will move if clicked would be
great. Just highlighting the circle border would be plenty helpful.

* I recommend supporting resizing via the mouse wheel, even if it’s
available via other gestures.

* The alert sound on all solved states gets annoying. I suggest only
doing that for true solutions even if only partial scrambles, but not
when a pristine puzzle is given one twist and then immediately the
inverse twist. Alert on Help > About seems unneeded.

* I suggest defaulting the window to a square main panel. Doesn’t seem
to be a reason for a landscape layout unless you add the preferences
panel there.

* Hotkeys for all of the Options menu items would be nice.

* Is there a reason that the Properties editor is modal? If it can be
made modeless that would make it easier to experiment with the settings.

* Line thickness of zero doesn’t seem to work. BTW, this is the only
actual bug that I’ve seen so far which means that it’s *really* solid.

* Please put the puzzle name & size in the title bar.

* Save & Open log files. Useful for difficult puzzles and needed if you
plan to support records for first & shortests.

* Number One on my wishlist? The {7,3} duel of the physically possible
{3,7} <>. this
{3,7} is by far my favorite infinite polyhedron.

Great work, Roice!

p.s. No problem discussing this on the 4D list. Even tangentially
related subjects are fine so really anything regarding twisty puzzles is
perfectly appropriate here.

Roice Nelson wrote:
> Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful feedback on my question this
> week. I appreciate it, and it was good to get your perspectives.
> I think I’m ready enough to share a first pass of the new Rubik
> analogue I started playing with before the MC4D 4.0 fun, which I
> mentioned the possibility of here
> <> some time
> ago. While you might observe it doesn’t quite fall into the category
> of hyperpuzzles, it does in at least once sense mentioned below :D
> Here is the page with the download, pictures, and a video
> <>. To describe the analogue
> idea, I’ll just quote the beginning of the explanation on that page:
> This program aims to support twisty puzzles based on regular
> polygonal tilings
> <> having
> Schlafli symbols <> of
> the form {p,3} for any p>=2. That is, all regular tilings of
> polygons with two or more sides, where three tiles (puzzle faces)
> meet at a vertex. The Rubik’s cube is the special case where faces
> are squares (p=4). The other familiar special cases are the
> Megaminx (p=5) and the Pyraminx (p=3), although you’ll discover
> the last takes a slightly different form under this abstraction
> (akin to Jing’s Pyraminx
> <>). All the other
> puzzles are new as far as I know, and some may be surprising, e.g.
> the puzzles based on digons
> <> (p=2).
> Each 2D tiling admits a particular constant curvature (homogenous)
> geometry. The geometry is Spherical for p=2 to p=5, Euclidean
> (flat) for p=6, and Hyperbolic for p>=7. Since you can’t
> "isometrically embed" the entire hyperbolic plane in 3-space
> <>,
> I have a connection to hyperpuzzling
> <> even though I’m
> talking about 2D tilings!
> …
> I’ve actually only solved the 3x3x3 on it so far, and I wonder if it
> may be more fun to watch than play! I’ve been calling it MagicTile,
> though perhaps there could be something better? As with everything,
> it is a known work in progress (the length of the task list has grown
> to scary proportions). I have no plans for further development at the
> moment, though I’ll happily fix any glaring bugs.
> Enjoy!
> Roice
> P.S. This is the only "twisty puzzle" group I’m active in, so if any
> of you are also members of other groups and think they would be
> interested to hear about these new puzzles, I’ll appreciate the
> exposure :)
> __._,_.__