JJ, that is awful. Best wishes. I hope what can be taken care of, is.
As for my game:
[spoiler]I had another idea that never really panned out. Maybe I’ll use it next year. The puzzle came up some time around lunch on October 31st, which left not a lot of time to write in details. It arose from another story and idea pile which I junked, but I wrote some ideas for later.
However, what I -was- able to do was to look at the puzzle I got and try to make it robust and be sure it was solvable. I think I was real traumatized as a kid when I was given a 15-puzzle in an unsolvable formation. Or maybe I never really grasped the solution. Either way I was left feeling I wanted something simpler, and with a 3x3 map in my aborted game, I figured–what if, we could have a puzzle where certain people couldn’t run into each other? Originally, I had Republicans and Democrats, ridiculous even during election season, where if they ran into each other
(political ranting snipped)
Then I thought different types of warring undeads in a cemetery. But I decided on something that’d give a semblance of a story: big bullies vs little kids. I figured I could throw in some 80s nostalgia and silly quotes & so if people got stuck the kids would be fun to listen to.
Seeing if the puzzle was solvable wasn’t so tricky for me, as it’s the sort of thing I like to pay attention to. In my scratch I had reds and blues and
And the game wants
Now the reds probably should go down and right, and the blues should go up and left. Note there are only four moves, max, each move (three after the first, as there’s no point undoing,) and you want to make sure you leave a decent choice for the next one. From there I started pushing things around on scratch paper until I found a solution. Then I tried proving it was the best one, and I figured I could have a bit of fun with the ending if you got things done in 20 moves.
I figured it would take 2 hours to type the code, and I wrote in a bunch of edge cases and important rejects I had to test.
I had 15 minutes let when I submitted to Duncan just before midnight pacific time, I think (2 AM my time–so I got that procrastinatin’ rush in. I was both on time and not on time!) and he was gracious enough to allow me a few minutes to plug a hole I forgot with the time I had remaining.
I’m pleased with the puzzle as a puzzle. The story’s lacking, but I concentrated on the random talk-text and the mechanics, and I think that worked well, even if I could clue things better. The only bad part is, I can’t really use this puzzle in a bigger game, but I feel like it was a successful experiment, given the time I actually came up with the idea.
I should’ve alphabetized the streets to help the player. Part of me said dude, nothing fancy, go with 1st & Adams, 2nd & Bridge, 3rd & Canal, or something. But I do get distracted by cheap jokes–the names were especially confusing, as rock-paper-scissors sort of rotates, so you can’t tell which is at one end. Also, I’ll add scenery details post-comp. That’s even more important than clarifying the walkthrough/proof etc. (Oh, the incomplete sentence was a joke. I wrote the walkthrough first.)
Oh, one last thing: there’s a big hole in my game. I don’t know which kid belongs in which house, in which area! You can’t know that, and they’re probably wrong. I saw this around 9 PM. I hope it’s immersive enough nobody cared too much, but if anyone has a solution to help storify things, I’d love to give credit in my post comp release.[/spoiler]