Message #839

From: Melinda Green <>
Subject: Re: [MC4D] Introducing "MagicTile"
Date: Tue, 02 Feb 2010 18:11:11 -0800

Roice Nelson wrote:
> Hi Melinda,
> Thanks for all the great feedback as usual! These suggestions will
> all really help the polish, and most should be easy to knock out
> (though I was thinking to take at least a couple weeks rest from
> coding first). It’s funny, the solve beep was definitely annoying me,
> yet I never considered to do anything about it.

Yeah, well we had lots of the same issue in MC4D and I’m probably going
to start sounding like a broken record when I start suggesting that
similar actions in this puzzle follow the MC4D patterns… In this case
MC4D gives a beep when solving a partial scramble, and a fanfare on a
full solve, but no action for otherwise creating a pristine state.

> I’ve responded offline to some, but a public thanks to the others who
> have been giving feedback and support as well! I always appreciate
> the positive responses :)
> I’m a bit bummed about how impossible the hyperbolic panning feels at
> this point. I had significant drawing performance issues on the
> infinite tilings, and the way I got around it was with OpenGL
> rendering caching (display lists). When a twist happens, that caching
> is invalidated for only the affected stickers. This is why
> performance on the puzzles with fewer colors is poorer, since a twist
> invalidates more and requires more to be drawn without the cache.
> Perhaps what could be done is to only show cell outlines during a
> pan. Another thought I had was to try to use texture maps
> (create needed textures of the current state on the fly to then use
> for the panning), though that sounds quite involved. The hyperbolic
> panning and drawing for the hyperbolic games at
> <> are ultra smooth, and I can tell they are
> using textures. Anyway, I’m worried I’ve gone too far down the wrong
> path to handle this fundamental feature well, which is disappointing.
> There’s another hurdle as well I won’t bother going into, but maybe
> some good solutions will present themselves.

Seriously, I think that you’ll be fine if you just disable all panning.
Doing it "the right way" seems way out of scope for its importance. That
said, I very much like your idea of only drawing outlines during
panning, so if that’s relatively easy, then I endorse that product
and/or service. One more possible approach: The MC4D way! :-)
Ctrl-click a face to snap it to the center. Maybe confusing without the
animation, so I’m liking the outline idea more and more.

> On the plus side, it seems the {3,7} and other puzzles without simplex
> vertex figures likely won’t require a great deal of work. After
> Alexander’s suggestion of the {4,4} and {3,6}, I made a one line
> change to quickly look at the possibility of those, and while there
> were plenty of problems, I was surprised how well it went without any
> real effort… only a partial explosion :)
> Also, I’m not sure, but I wonder if the "Klein’s Quartic" puzzle is
> the dual {7,3} you are looking for? As far as I know, the only way to
> fit together a repeating set of heptagons is with 1 or 24 in the set,
> and Klein’s Quartic does have 56 vertices (corresponding to the number
> of triangles at the link you sent). Or maybe you are looking for a
> Euclidean {7,3} "infinite regular polyhedron", though I have no idea
> if such a thing is even possible. (?)

The Quartic thing should have triggered that memory. Indeed I’m sure
that this is indeed the duel I was looking for. If you can support the
{3,7} version, that’s great but not important.

> Lastly, I’m curious more about your twisting problems on the complex
> puzzles. It is only the clicked face that matters (and faces are
> currently demarked by yellow lines, though I’d like to make that
> configurable). The particular stickers clicked don’t matter, and
> slices are controlled with number keys. Sorry I didn’t follow that
> particular comment better.

I just found myself very confused sometimes with highly scrambled
puzzles, often getting twists that I didn’t expect. Just like how
highlighting in MC4D is helpful feedback for what will come, I would
love to see the "active" face highlighted. Simply thickening its edge,
or drawing that edge in a highlight color, or brightening all tiles in
that face (the MC4D way) all work for me!

Fun stuff!!

> On 2/1/10, *Melinda Green* wrote:
> 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!
> -Melinda
> 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 :)
>> __._,_.__