Message #1272

From: Andrey <>
Subject: [MC4D] Re: Announcing MC4D for Android
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2010 05:31:01 -0000

I don’t think that it’s good idea to hide controls of the central face. If you can’t twist both central face and invisible face, it gives the next level of difficulty - and in this case i’m not even sure that all scrambles of "unrestricted" cube are solvable.
To solve the invisible face only is the same as solving of the first layer of 3^4. May be it will give interesting puzzle - I’m not sure. For me it doesn’t look elegant enough.
But 2^4 (with recentering!) may be good puzzle for Android - not very large and not very difficult, easily can be solved in one session :)


— In, Melinda Green <melinda@…> wrote:
> Andrey,
> Yes, the UI could be implemented as you describe; I just don’t like
> moving more towards the 2^4 interaction model. While I don’t like that
> interaction model, I must admit that it does work for the 2^4 and so I’d
> rather just offer that puzzle instead, especially as I found that it is
> much more amenable to such a small touchscreen display.
> It’s interesting to hear you talk about the challenge of dealing with
> one face that is always invisible. I didn’t think much beyond convincing
> myself that It would still be possible to solve, but now that I think of
> it as an interesting challenge in itself I find it kind of intriguing.
> I’m wondering just how interesting we could make it if it were the main
> focus of an Android puzzle. for example, we could also hide the opposite
> central face because its controls are not really needed, plus it is too
> small to be very useful on a small screen and removing it would help to
> declutter the display. You could still stash pieces on the central face,
> you just wouldn’t see part of it. Next I think it would be fun to only
> color the stickers on the pieces that are part of the outer face and
> just render the rest of the stickers as gray. The challenge is then
> simply to solve the invisible outer face. It is a completely different
> puzzle from the full cube but it sounds sort of magical to solve an
> unseen puzzle and it lends itself perfectly to this new platform. It’s
> easy enough to try so I think I will!
> -Melinda
> On 11/27/2010 1:31 AM, Andrey wrote:
> > Melinda,
> > Isn’t it possible to consider face of the cube 3x3x3 as one large sticker without cracks? I don’t know how you find the sticker for the point of click - if you use some graphic features for that, then "large stickers" will be difficult, but if it’s pure mathematics (in my programs it’s the case), then there should be no problems in implementation and in the usage.
> > 3^4 with one hidden face should be very different puzzle - with its 2 kinds of 4Cs and 3 kinds of 3Cs… and with invisible stickers that will be discoverable by twists only :) Interesting. And I’m sure that the set of scrambled positions for this puzzle is the same as for 3^4 without restrictions - so everybody can try it in MC4D :)
> >
> > Andrey
> >
> > — In, Melinda Green<melinda@> wrote:
> >> Andrey,
> >>
> >> I like your idea for double click rotate-to-center. I don’t think that
> >> Android touch events recognize double clicks but I could try to detect
> >> that. For now I’m going to not introduce 4D rotations just to try to
> >> keep this as simple as possible while trying to make it somewhat useful.
> >> I’ve updated the app to not add scramble twists of the outer face, and I
> >> only use slice mask = 1 so all scrambles should be possible for users to
> >> undo. I also tried to make the autorotation less sensitive. I think
> >> these are good improvements. Clearly this is still difficult to use with
> >> any accuracy but see what you think.
> >>
> >> It is an interesting suggestion to try to restrict to only 90 degree
> >> rotations and just go by the 2D sticker polygons like with the 2^4. I
> >> don’t think that will avoid all the miss-clicks because it would still
> >> easy to click between the cracks and hit some completely unexpected
> >> sticker. I spent some time tonight experimenting with switching to the
> >> 2^4, and with the above improvements (plus only using 90 degree scramble
> >> twists) I found it to be quite workable. The simplicity may make users
> >> happier but then I balked when thinking about how to explain the
> >> polygon-based twist UI. Thinking of the typical user who doesn’t read
> >> instructions I worry that they’d have even less chance of figuring out
> >> what’s going on. I started feeling that it might be impossible to make
> >> the UI both discoverable and useful. That made me leave it as a 3^4
> >> which is mostly just good for demos but not really good as any sort of
> >> puzzle, practice or otherwise. The 3^4 just has too many stickers for a
> >> smartphone screen, and the 2^4 UI works pretty well but is screwy. I’m
> >> very open to any suggestions.
> >>
> >> -Melinda
> >>
> >> On 11/26/2010 9:35 PM, Andrey wrote:
> >>> Melinda,
> >>> I think that I can suggest a couple of things for Android version.
> >>> First, it may be better to keep only 90-degrees twists. And select axes of twists by large faces of cubes, not by stickers. That is if you click a corner sticker, axis of rotation will depend on the face of this sticker that you clicked.
> >>> Second, 4D dragging is a funny thing, of course, but for the real puzzle it’s enough to give users "recenter" command. I don’t know possible Android commands, but something like double-tap could do the trick (if such thing exists there).
> >>> With this two options (and without autorotation!) it may be very possible to solve a puzzle in one session before phone’s battery goes empty :)
> >
> >
> >
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