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#1 2013-11-16 14:57:17

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

[Off-topic] Intricacy

I hope Jason won't mind me abusing his board like this. I'll keep it short.

I have written a game, partially inspired by and significantly informed by The
Castle Doctrine, and I thought this would be a good place to make my first
public announcement and call for testers.

The game is called Intricacy. It is a competitive puzzle-design game:
something like what The Castle Doctrine was for a few weeks with versions 6-8,
before Jason purposefully changed its direction.

I hope some of you will give it a go.

http://mbays.freeshell.org/intricacy/

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#2 2013-11-17 04:09:16

ukuko
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 333

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Any chance of an OS X binary?

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#3 2013-11-17 06:27:05

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Nice game zed! Just completed the tutorials - that last one is tricky.

So how does the "competitive" element work? Do you need to prove a lock is solvable to post it?

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#4 2013-11-17 07:32:05

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

ukuko: I'm afraid I can't make an OS X binary myself - it seems you really
need to have a Mac to compile for one. It should be possible to compile it
from source, though.

JWG: Thanks for testing this out! And yes, you have to do a self-test much
like in TCD (but without risking anything). The overgame is a little
complicated - but I'm hoping it's possible to figure it out. It's designed to
be resilient to sock-puppet abuse.

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#5 2013-11-17 07:42:39

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Yeah, I seem to be figuring it out now smile. I'm not really sure what it means to store notes in a lock though and what do numbers next to account name mean? (generally -2 or -1).

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#6 2013-11-17 09:09:18

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

I guess I'd rather not explain these things - if players can't figure them out after playing the game for a while, it's a bug in the ui design. Though it should be easier to figure out with more active players.

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#7 2013-11-18 07:25:29

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Finished all the current locks - I got stuck for a while on some, not realising I could peel mobile circles away from walls with the arm. I think the arms could be a little shorter, the way they move and interact can be a little counter-intuitive. I guess I should give a shot at creating a fiendishly difficult lock. I filled in my slot B with a more interesting one that is still fairly easy. It doesn't really make use of all of the features though, thinking of clever ways to use springs is tricky.

It looks like the number next to user names is a score tally that is +2 if you've completed all their locks and they haven't got any of yours, and less if they have gotten your locks. I've still no idea how to use notes, whenever I right click on them it says I do not have access. Perhaps I need to fill all three slots?

Last edited by joshwithguitar (2013-11-18 07:30:01)

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#8 2013-11-18 08:40:03

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Damn, you're good! I hoped ZED:B would last longer... the solution you found
wasn't the intended one, but I'm not sure it was much easier than the intended
one!

I'll try to make one which will stump you when I have time.

If it turns out to be too hard to make sufficiently difficult locks in such a
small space, I can always increase the lock size. But I'd like to see how it
pans out with this size first.

You may be right about the arm graphics. I'll experiment.

You're right about the number being score, I'm glad you could figure this out
- but the reason you're maxing out at +2 is that you only have 2 locks.
Players get a point against you for each of your lock slots they can access -
and if there's no lock, they can trivially access it.

For notes: yes, you need to fill all three. This would happen more often with
a larger player base!

I was going to have it that getting one or two notes gives you hints to the
solution, but that got dropped from the final design. I'm considering bringing
it back. But the only non-gameable hint I can think of is to show the final
solved state, which isn't always much use.

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#9 2013-11-18 16:55:13

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2013-04-01
Posts: 1,231

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Great to see this posted here, Zed.

I'm going through the tutorial levels now.... and wishing for a RESET button.  I see UNDO.... but sometimes I get many moves in before I realize that I made a mistake right at the beginning.

Also, I can't figure out what the little button with three yellow hexes on it does (I click, and one turns green, another red, and then one piston turns red in the level that I'm in, but that piston isn't needed to unlock the lock...).

Also, people have accused me of making obtuse user interfaces.... but... ahem!

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#10 2013-11-18 17:48:01

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Hi Jason, thanks for giving it a go, and not objecting to me hijacking your board!

I suppose there should be a reset button. I didn't put one in because I worried the UI was already overloaded, and holding down 'undo' has the same effect, but you're probably right that it should be there.

The button with the hexes alternates between colouring modes - in one, it uses the 5-colouring (sic) theorem to ensure that adjacent pieces get different colours - that's the only way it's playable in curses. The other mode has the colour depending on the number of springs in the shortest chain of springs to a stationary piece.

And I don't know, the UI is as pointed and direct as I could make it. Difficult to puzzle out for a new-comer, of course - but I'm assuming that the kind of people who could possibly enjoy a game like this are also the kind of people who will be happy figuring out on the fly how to play it at all!

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#11 2013-11-18 18:57:51

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

I've replaced by lock B with a more tricky and (hopefully) less broken one. Now to solve the new ZED A.

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#12 2013-11-18 19:26:11

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Solved ZED A but got a bit too wrapped up in it and left my house for more than 5 minutes, came back to find $40,000 worth of money and tools stolen and my house reverted to its original state.

Oh no! Now my game is stuck on the "Press '%' to quit" screen and I don't want to quit as it will make my remaining $20k suddenly vulnerable.

Update: it looks like my game actually crashed despite it still responding to me. I was able to open a new instance and found yet another $10,000 stolen already.

Last edited by joshwithguitar (2013-11-18 19:33:55)

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#13 2013-11-18 20:04:38

iceman
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 687
Website

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Ah, I was wondering why there were $20k in a completely starting house... I thought I had miscounted the amount of zeros, but lo-and behold, there was 10k in my bank afterwards!!!


Fortress Theory Mod - New objects, tools, and paintings!

I keep dying of a natural cause - Stupidity
The biggest thing that Castle Doctrine has taught me is that the price of your house is proportional to the stupidity of the mistake that kills you.

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#14 2013-11-18 21:07:42

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Dammit, I'm determined to have you solve that lock the way it's meant to be solved! Hopefully this time it's bugless...

(unlike the game, I've found a fair few little bugs already as a result of this testing!)

Also: I can't solve the new JWG:B!

Last edited by zed (2013-11-18 21:41:05)

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#15 2013-11-18 22:53:24

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

zed wrote:

Also: I can't solve the new JWG:B!

smile, I wish I could watch through your attempts! I guess the ability to undo makes being able to watch through failed attempts impractical.

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#16 2013-11-19 11:04:24

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

JGW:
> I wish I could watch through your attempts! I guess the ability to undo
> makes being able to watch through failed attempts impractical.

Yes, precisely. And moreover, it would be in the interests of players *not* to
send their failed attempts to the server, since that might highlight bugs in
the lock to the owner. I'm trying to avoid a situation where the official
client isn't the best client from the player's point of view.

Jason:
> Also, people have accused me of making obtuse user interfaces.... but...
> ahem!

Actually, would you mind expanding on that a bit? I know the *game* is
confusing at first, and beyond something as dull as a help page I don't see
much that can be done about that, but the SDL UI was designed to be
accessible (while not getting in the way of experienced players). I'm not
really sure what 'obtuse' means here, but I'll happily hear criticism and/or
suggestions!

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#17 2013-11-19 17:16:32

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

zed: Oddly the playback of you solving JWG:B doesn't go anywhere near actually completing it. You didn't use your administrator rights to "solve" it did you? tongue (I imagine it is just a bug).

Was my solution to (the now scrapped) ZED:A more what you were aiming for?

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#18 2013-11-19 17:56:40

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

That's a bug! The cached solution to the old lock isn't getting overwritten, so it's trying to apply that solution to the new lock, with bizarre effects. I'll fix it in the next version, but for now a workaround is to delete your cache - I'm not sure exactly where it goes on windows, but there should somewhere be a directory in your user settings called something like 'intricacy', and below that a directory called 'cache'. If you delete that directory, the correct solution will be downloaded from the server when you try to view it.

And: no, you found yet another bug in that lock! I've replaced it yet again, with what I believe is a bugless version - and I'm sure enough of that that I've put my solution to JWG:B behind it.

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#19 2013-11-19 19:28:52

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Thanks! I can see your solution now. Where were you getting stuck before?

I solved ZED:A again, and in a pretty similar way to the older version so I don't think you've fixed it. I did this before deleting the cache - do you need to solve the lock the notes are behind before you can view other peoples solutions to your locks?

Also, your new ZED:C seemed even easier than the last, is there a bug in it as well?

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#20 2013-11-19 19:37:54

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Argh! Yep, bugs abound... remarkably tricky to ensure there's no easy solution.

You can always view solutions to your own locks.

It took me a while to see how to push stuff up from the se side to the nw side in JWG:B... I'm pleased to see that even this "ice-world-sokoban" fragment of the game is kind of non-trivial (though also non-original).

Anyway, I fixed that bug with cached solutions, along with a few others, and added a couple of little convenience features. New version up at http://mbays.freeshell.org/intricacy/.

Last edited by zed (2013-11-19 22:56:46)

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#21 2013-11-20 09:17:42

ukuko
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 333

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Working my way through the tutorials. I'm enjoying myself whilst feeling supremely stupid.

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#22 2013-11-20 12:21:38

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

ukuko: excellent. Does that mean you managed to build it on OS X? Was it painful? Any way I could make it easier? Can I have and distribute the resulting binary?

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#23 2013-11-20 12:45:28

ukuko
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 333

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

I tried (briefly) to build on OSX but I was having trouble installing Haskell's SDL packages. I will give it another go when I have a moment but for now I've been playing it on Windows.

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#24 2013-11-20 12:57:48

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

OK. I've no idea how OSX is set up, but somehow you need to install SDL (the C library, version 1.4 (*not* the recently released version 2)) in such a way that the headers and library are available. Then "cabal install SDL" should work. Hopefully.

Edit: actually, it might not be that simple - there's a note on http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/SDL that it has problems with OSX...

Last edited by zed (2013-11-20 12:59:34)

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#25 2013-11-22 22:52:00

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: [Off-topic] Intricacy

Finally solved ZED:B - had to leave it couple of times and come back, that was certainly tricky. I'm guessing this is what you finally had in mind? Still having troubles thinking up any good ideas for using springs as an effective puzzle element.

How on earth do you create mobile circles with springs attached (like in TST:B)? I've got some ideas of how I could use those, but it won't let me make them.

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