[Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Sat Dec 02, 2017 02:08

Wuzzy wrote:Sofar, I wonder how you managed to make sure that you can't jump over fences, even with sneak-jumping.


The collision box extends above the node, that's all.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Sat Dec 02, 2017 07:38

Stix wrote:Sofar i wish you would change signs so that their contents arent deleted whenever i press escape. this just happened to me when i was reading the sign you put in my box, pliz fix.


That will be fixed on the next deployment. Indeed that was a very frustrating little bug.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by Nore » Sat Dec 02, 2017 07:54

Wuzzy wrote:Sofar, I wonder how you managed to make sure that you can't jump over fences, even with sneak-jumping.

Hint: sneak is completely disabled :).
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by Wuzzy » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:23

Box 253 is broken.
+ Spoiler
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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Mon Dec 04, 2017 00:02

Wuzzy wrote:Box 253 is broken.
+ Spoiler


Yep, after you left the server I found indeed that 2 node creators were the cause of this, and I removed them. While testing, I had ran a different order and not encountered the issue - that's just inevitably going to happen, so please report issues like this.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by Wuzzy » Mon Dec 04, 2017 07:44

LOL.
Still broken.
+ Spoiler
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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Mon Dec 04, 2017 07:56

Wuzzy wrote:Still broken.


Try and take it a little bit more seriously. Someone actually worked on this for a while and spent time and effort on this. It's incredibly difficult for me to review this as thorough as 100 different players can together, as well. Mistakes happen.

I think what the builder intended to do was a misconception about how the game works. I've removed the offending node creators that would allow this. Of course, there could be other issues looking, so, if you still think it's broken, let us know.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by Wuzzy » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:26

The box seems fine now.
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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Mon Dec 04, 2017 15:49

Wuzzy wrote:The box seems fine now.


Thanks for testing it again!
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by twoelk » Mon Dec 04, 2017 16:22

so at last I had a new go at this server and had much fun.
I only solved the tutorial boxes and spent the rest of the time exploring but sofar I really enjoyed myself.
some required actions clearly exposed the limits of my old hardware, like precise jumping but I made it in the end :-P
 

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Updates.

by sofar » Tue Dec 12, 2017 06:52

Almost a month since I've last posted about updates to the project.

An important note is that I've posted about the Open Source promise when we reach 100 community contributed boxes! We are... at 57 boxes! I'm happy to see new builders and old players are coming back to add more content and make this important milestone possible! Please come help!

Lots of technical content has been done. I always try to be inclusive, so here's the list since 11/11:

- Jukebox node: These allow you to play, or stop the music in the box with mech connections. You can select all music tracks!

- Skybox node: Allows you to change the skybox, or even revert it back to the box default. You can change the skybox for the box to add a more dynamic atmosphere to your box.

- Node Creator: This node is now almost entirely unlimited, meaning you can place even mech nodes, and other useful nodes with it, like chests.

- Sounds for light bars coming on, new glass breaking sounds, stone placement sounds.

- Added "Creator Rules". You can read about them in the new hallway underneath in the library, or type "/rules creator".

- The detector node can be programmed to a specific frame with item.

- We lowered underwater bubbles and underwater sounds. This shouldn't affect the atmosphere much, but help with client network packet count, and give a better game experience.

- New boxes will "look" one node lower. The invisible barrier now extends to the x/z extremities, giving a bit more open feel when you're higher up in a box.

- The "door tool" can now move the box number! Use it on the wall with numbers to move it around!

And, last, the "new boxes" series can now be completed in random order! If you step on the series teleport pad, you will see a list of boxes, and you can select any of the boxes for play. If you have completed some of them, these will appear in green.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by Wuzzy » Tue Dec 12, 2017 22:30

Awesome! The box list is a very welcome addition and was much needed, thank you.

The game/server is getting better and better. One issue I still have is the general usability / convenience. There are some rough edges which confuse some players.

It is still way faster to just look up the box list in the browser and use “/enter”. I don't think that was your goal, right? xD
You always have to walk way too much to continue with the next level. When you start, you must walk to the Nexus and then to the Play island. If you leave a box, you get teleported to the Nexus, so you must walk back to the Play island.
It's obviously not good game design if using a browser is actually more efficient than the game itself.

I still think terminals must be simplified. They are too complicated for most players, as evidenced by the countless questions in chat. Many players don't know how to read files in the in-game terminals. Most players never used a real terminal application before.
Even if, the typing is inconvenient and stops the game flow.
Let's break down terminals to their actual gameplay function: The only actual purpose of terminals to players is to read text. This is not a good reason for having a full-blown command line.

So I suggest to simplify the formspec. First, remove the command line completely. Instead, just show the list of all files directly and a “Read file” button. Double-click on file name or clicking the “Read file” button displays the file in a new panel. This new panel shows file name, file text and the “Back” button. The “Back” button brings you back to the list of files. That's it!
With these changes, terminal confusion should finally go away.

The higher box “look” is also welcome, but I thought you meant you have fixed the boxes in which you bang your head against the invisible ceiling (my head still hurts! xD).

Random suggestions:
- Always teleport the player to the Play island after leaving a box you just played, instead of teleporting him/her to The Nexus. The tutorial might be an exception here
- Show per-box high scores and personal best in the New series formspec
- A special per-box scores terminal would also be useful
- Rename “New” (the “series”) to “All Boxes” or something similar. I think the name “New” doesn't make sense anymore. Most boxes aren't new anymore, and most boxes in there are already of high or very high quality. I rarely gave 3 stars or less for any box.
- Add signs (or something similar) to the mini temples, showing the box name and/or number
- Add “/leave” command to leave a box, for completion's sake. It's inconsistent that there is “/enter” but not “/leave”.
- Add restart button and/or command, for those silly speedrunners. :D (will be useful for parcour levels)
- Explain terminal usage in the tutorial, or simplify them as I suggested above. Remember that terminals are no longer optional thanks to Terminal Trouble. In the subway box, there is a terminal with a trigger as well.
- Show in the tutorial that you can sometimes pick up the item from item frames. This was a major gotcha for me

Bugs:
- Master Series: If you enter the pad while having already completed this series, a formspec with a message appears (this is not the bug). Since recently, it now goes away if you click on the text message above. This is wrong, dialogs should not disappear if you click on text.


Edit: Thinking about terminals, text files and signs: ITB will face a major challenge when client translations go live in the next stable Minetest release. Do you have any plans how to deal with this? I suppose translating all the box signs and terminals won't be easy.
Maybe it would have been better to just ban all text from boxes and communicate information by other means. But I fear it's too late for that now.
I'm especially concerned about box 246, which has a riddle which only works in the English language. Translating the riddle is not an option since the answer must be given in English. This will be a big problem later. I suggest to remove the riddle or replace the puzzle with something that doesn't depend on language.
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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Wed Dec 13, 2017 06:06

You post too many pieces of feedback in one comment. It'll be hard to discuss them if we're discussing separate things in one reply, so I'm going to reply back in pieces.

Wuzzy wrote:It is still way faster to just look up the box list in the browser and use “/enter”. I don't think that was your goal, right? xD
You always have to walk way too much to continue with the next level. When you start, you must walk to the Nexus and then to the Play island. If you leave a box, you get teleported to the Nexus, so you must walk back to the Play island.
It's obviously not good game design if using a browser is actually more efficient than the game itself.


I don't want the lobby to be a thing that is devoid of players, and all that players do is sit around in the same spot and disappear all the time. You're asking me to make the lobby largely useless, in a way, and as a game designer, I want to ignore it for the most part.

I may end up making some things a bit easier, for instance, after playing a box, put the player closer to, or in the play section. Same for when a player is done building something.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Wed Dec 13, 2017 06:09

Wuzzy wrote:I still think terminals must be simplified. They are too complicated for most players, as evidenced by the countless questions in chat. Many players don't know how to read files in the in-game terminals. Most players never used a real terminal application before.
Even if, the typing is inconvenient and stops the game flow.
Let's break down terminals to their actual gameplay function: The only actual purpose of terminals to players is to read text. This is not a good reason for having a full-blown command line.

So I suggest to simplify the formspec. First, remove the command line completely. Instead, just show the list of all files directly and a “Read file” button. Double-click on file name or clicking the “Read file” button displays the file in a new panel. This new panel shows file name, file text and the “Back” button. The “Back” button brings you back to the list of files. That's it!
With these changes, terminal confusion should finally go away.


The terminal is a deliberate design element. Instead of making it stupid, I'd rather make it actually do more. This isn't done to confuse players, but honestly, people who fail to use the terminal after repeated directions are just not people I want to change the game for?

So, none of your requests fit in my vision for this element of the game vision I have. Sorry.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Wed Dec 13, 2017 06:20

Wuzzy wrote:ITB will face a major challenge when client translations go live in the next stable Minetest release. Do you have any plans how to deal with this?


ITB doesn't face a challenge, at all. If you look at the playerbase, you'll see that our audience is global, and none of the players have voiced concerns about the game being English. As a matter of fact, for a few weeks we had a small group of russian players play on it without any comments on language issues.

I know you're not a native English speaker, and neither am I, but it's not up to me to make a dubbed version of ITB, and honestly I think it would be detrimental.

Wuzzy wrote:I suppose translating all the box signs and terminals won't be easy.
Maybe it would have been better to just ban all text from boxes and communicate information by other means. But I fear it's too late for that now.
I'm especially concerned about box 246, which has a riddle which only works in the English language. Translating the riddle is not an option since the answer must be given in English. This will be a big problem later. I suggest to remove the riddle or replace the puzzle with something that doesn't depend on language.


Absolutely. Not. None of this. No.

Once we reach 100 community submitted boxes, and we release the code, people can make localized versions of this server, or localized clientside translations, if they desire to, which may be a far better way to make this game accessible to geo's where ITB is inaccessible now due to language issues, but it's not something I am even willing to accept or spend time on right now. It is simply not needed to make the project succeed in the long run. If that actually would be required to make the project succeed, it would have already failed. It is purely a bonus if there are translations.

I know you're a bit of a translation fanatic, so I understand your position. I just don't share your sentiment, and I know the cost of doing localization from several professional projects, and I know it's not economically viable at this point in time to spend time on that.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Wed Dec 13, 2017 06:29

Wuzzy wrote:Random suggestions:
- Always teleport the player to the Play island after leaving a box you just played, instead of teleporting him/her to The Nexus. The tutorial might be an exception here
- Show per-box high scores and personal best in the New series formspec
- A special per-box scores terminal would also be useful
- Rename “New” (the “series”) to “All Boxes” or something similar. I think the name “New” doesn't make sense anymore. Most boxes aren't new anymore, and most boxes in there are already of high or very high quality. I rarely gave 3 stars or less for any box.
- Add signs (or something similar) to the mini temples, showing the box name and/or number
- Add “/leave” command to leave a box, for completion's sake. It's inconsistent that there is “/enter” but not “/leave”.
- Add restart button and/or command, for those silly speedrunners. :D (will be useful for parcour levels)
- Explain terminal usage in the tutorial, or simplify them as I suggested above. Remember that terminals are no longer optional thanks to Terminal Trouble. In the subway box, there is a terminal with a trigger as well.
- Show in the tutorial that you can sometimes pick up the item from item frames. This was a major gotcha for me


Some of these are on our TODO, and make a ton of sense, like the item frame item being able to pick up. That is an obvious element we missed.

I don't think we'll ever put a "restart" button available on the inside of a box, it just goes against the idea that it should be about solving the puzzle, and it would make builders forget about the requirement that boxes are required to remain solvable at all times. That people can leave and re-start it that way is fine, we're not here to promote lazyness.

I want to offer player score data up to a certain level of detail. There's no reason to display that a person ranks 271th, so I won't ever do that (it'll likely just show "not ranked" if below the top 20 or so). I do want players to be able to see what boxes they completed, and up to some level how well they did, but this actually requires a lot of work, and therefore will take some time.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by Wuzzy » Wed Dec 13, 2017 13:06

I may end up making some things a bit easier, for instance, after playing a box, put the player closer to, or in the play section. Same for when a player is done building something.

Thanks. :-)

ITB doesn't face a challenge, at all. If you look at the playerbase, you'll see that our audience is global, and none of the players have voiced concerns about the game being English.

This reasoning is flawed. To voice concerns here you first need to speak English. :P A lot of young children don't speak English. I really don't understand your semi-opposition to translations.
I dislike the ideology that everyone must speak English.
But I do understand your position that it's not of high priority right now. So this can wait.

I want to offer player score data up to a certain level of detail. There's no reason to display that a person ranks 271th, so I won't ever do that (it'll likely just show "not ranked" if below the top 20 or so). I do want players to be able to see what boxes they completed, and up to some level how well they did, but this actually requires a lot of work, and therefore will take some time.

I was more thinking about the best time/damage/deaths/score. For parcours knowing the best time (or top 3? top 10?) makes a lot of sense IMO.
Basically parcours were the only reason I had this idea. xD
So yeah, not really important.

The terminal is a deliberate design element. Instead of making it stupid, I'd rather make it actually do more.


Then at least explain the terminals properly in the tutorial, please. Is it really to much to ask to tell the players the must type in “list” and “read <file>”? Or, when the terminal opens, automatically show the help message (at least in tutorial).
My suggestion was not making terminals stupid, but more convenient to use. Under my suggestion, they would still have the exact same functionality, but without the typing.

You completely ignored the convenience argument. No matter your skill level, typing is always more tedious than clicking. Especially on mobile.

I'd rather make it actually do more.

I didn't know you actually plan more features. My rationale was that a full-blown command system doesn't make sense if terminals only serve a single function. Since that may no longer be the case in future, my rationale is no longer valid.
This sounds interesting. What other features do you plan with terminals?
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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Wed Dec 13, 2017 17:20

Wuzzy wrote:
I'd rather make it actually do more.
I didn't know you actually plan more features. My rationale was that a full-blown command system doesn't make sense if terminals only serve a single function. Since that may no longer be the case in future, my rationale is no longer valid.
This sounds interesting. What other features do you plan with terminals?


- read, write memos to other players
- query and view score data for the player
- for builders: get statistics about how players do in your own boxes

These are along the lines of what I think is relevant and what would make them much more attractive to use.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by twoelk » Wed Dec 13, 2017 21:43

it didn't take me all that long to start exploring the contents of the terminals but I knew the concept from real life. I have used commands in terminals for decades.
but
most "normal people" today, just as years ago, still avoid black screens with a prompt and blinking cursers. there is a reason that GUI's are a significant part of the success of computers and other electronic devices.

while I understand the reasons why you chose the concept of querying a terminal I would have really liked it if somebody would have for example expanded the wiki-mod, books, server-info or something similar.

but then again you sort of said you are not targeting non english speaking kids, too young to have experience with terminals ... so things probably work as intended :D
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Thu Dec 28, 2017 06:21

Very short update:

- I've spent an inordamant amount of time on security, resulting in some significant recoding of how formspecs are handled, which has resulted in some cleaner code over the past few days, but nothing that players should notice, since it's all under the hood. However, in the long run, it should help us to keep the server running without interruption.

- I've also put a bunch of really high rated boxes in the "master" series that have been up high in the box rankings for a while now. I will in the future remove some less high ranked ones from the master series.

- I fixed glass step/place sounds. Yes they where awful :)

- You can now put signs with text into a node creator. This allows you to make changing signs. Don't abuse it!

As you may have noted, the 'new' series can now be accessed randomly. In the future I think we'll make the master series work in the same way, especially since they are the most difficult boxes.

Thanks for everyone who has been building. XMas holidays don't give much time for building boxes as family and events take up everyones calendar. We'll get back to it in 2018!
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Thu Dec 28, 2017 06:41

Oh, forgot to note that we have several new light-emitting nodes (block-shaped) that can now be used to light up your puzzles. They come in the switchable type and in an always-on type, and various light levels.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by v-rob » Thu Dec 28, 2017 07:10

Problem: Because of the higher ceiling node height, placing an entry/exit door at the top of the box makes a hole in the entry/exitway because the ceiling nodes override the entry/exit marble nodes.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Thu Jan 04, 2018 22:52

Image

Current tutorial progress chart. The drop after 1 is logical, as many people don't understand the game purpose.

The decline in players making it through 3 and 4 is also fairly logical. At that point you'll have spent 15-30 minutes and it doesn't get easy (jumps, some more challenging puzzles).

I'm really happy to see after 5 or so we're really not losing much players anymore. It shows me that the tutorial could probably be a little bit shorter, but it doesn't matter too much - everyone works their way through it!
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by Inocudom » Mon Jan 08, 2018 19:56

sofar wrote:Image

Current tutorial progress chart. The drop after 1 is logical, as many people don't understand the game purpose.

The decline in players making it through 3 and 4 is also fairly logical. At that point you'll have spent 15-30 minutes and it doesn't get easy (jumps, some more challenging puzzles).

I'm really happy to see after 5 or so we're really not losing much players anymore. It shows me that the tutorial could probably be a little bit shorter, but it doesn't matter too much - everyone works their way through it!

Believe me, sofar, RichieFromBoston would not be surprised by this at all. Intelligence really has gone down the tubes, and this chart proves it. Looks like that trend needs to be reversed somehow, or humanity is done for.

Still waiting for KingGGaming, Hexa, and MeleeWizard to play on this server. It will shine in the light of their striking personalities. Of course, you yourself should ask them to come and play, because it is pretty much a universal law that people will ignore me no matter what.
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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by Wuzzy » Sat Feb 17, 2018 08:57

When will there be a new box?

It has become so silent around this server. Deadly silent, almost. Please let this game not be dead already. :-(
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