[Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

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Re: I rewrote your subject line.

by sofar » Thu Sep 28, 2017 02:22

Wuzzy wrote:LOL. So first you created a purposefully complex tutorial designed to lock some players out of the game, and now you released tutorial videos for the turorial?

Tutorialception! xD


Also intentional, yes, it may be contradictionary but there's a point. The key is in the definition of the word some.

One of the things we want to avoid is lots of tablet players and players that are looking for online social engagements. I've done some online server surveying and it appears that high quality content and those types of players are not a good mix. I'm simply not interested in running a server so that 10 year olds can perfect their social interactions with peers while they should be doing their homework.

By requiring the players to spend 60-120 minutes by themselves (it took me 15 minutes myself to complete it for the tutorial videos, but I think most players will take somewhere between 1-2hrs), isolated from others, to understand what the server is about and why social interaction is secondary, we see most tablet players drop out within 3-4 minutes. I've been watching user agent strings and we can see that the drop off after the first puzzle is very, very large for tablet players. After that, most players actually have no issue going on, and that means...

Second, once people finish the tutorial, they've seen enough of the mechanics and concept that they're way better off equipped to go play with the box creation tools, but also are far more appreciative of the time and effort it takes, and are having a better time with the more difficult puzzles.

So, the tutorial will remain required. Now, while we've started I've already three times made adjustments to tutorial puzzles to increase the amount of players getting through each level. I have to redo the statistics but I don't aim to make the tutorial a hurdle for most of the players, just a tool to eliminate unwanted player audience classes and take some time to educate them.

I'm also very intentionally making it so that completing the tutorial is an achievement for the player, with the lobby reveal and all. The server is an experience and this is my view for it.
 

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Re: I rewrote your subject line.

by sofar » Thu Sep 28, 2017 02:34

Wuzzy wrote:LOL. So first you created a purposefully complex tutorial designed to lock some players out of the game, and now you released tutorial videos for the turorial?


Another thing of notice is that we have an explicit "hints allowed" policy. Having a good set of full tutorial walkthrough videos available is a way to provide hints to players at a time that we're not online to answer questions, or to those players who may not prefer to use chat.

I also never said that the tutorial was necessarily complex (as in, too difficult for a significant amount of players) or at least, that wasn't my intent if I did. My intent is that it eliminates players that don't like solving or making puzzles.
 

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Re: I rewrote your subject line.

by azekill_DIABLO » Fri Sep 29, 2017 14:10

sofar wrote:I also never said that the tutorial was necessarily complex (as in, too difficult for a significant amount of players) or at least, that wasn't my intent if I did. My intent is that it eliminates players that don't like solving or making puzzles.

Tutorial use is a very good idea. It isn't too hard and really helps you to get some habits in-game. However... a building tutorial could be very good too. Hard to do for sure, but really useful.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Fri Sep 29, 2017 15:45

I've created a Video Guide for first box builders:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4V5PR9Xh1s

While it's not a short video, it covers almost all the basics. Enjoy.
 

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Re: I rewrote your subject line.

by sofar » Fri Sep 29, 2017 18:04

azekill_DIABLO wrote:However... a building tutorial could be very good too. Hard to do for sure, but really useful.


Yup, I've been hinting at doing one already before, and I actually had already shot one but I wasn't happy with the result, so yesterday I took the time to break this out and record the sections I wanted and montage it together in blender, so, be sure to watch and leave a like or comments!
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by Fixerol » Fri Sep 29, 2017 22:59

Very nice server, I've passed all the boxes and quite liked it, more boxes will be even nicer, creative people are welcome to make new ones.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by v-rob » Sat Sep 30, 2017 16:51

I think this is a bug...

Every so often, I will randomly teleport to a position I was in about 1 second ago while playing. This happens multiple times in a row. I had it once happen on Treasure or Trouble, and once on an icy level (forgot its name) made by Stix (I think...).
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Sat Sep 30, 2017 17:04

v-rob wrote:Every so often, I will randomly teleport to a position I was in about 1 second ago while playing. This happens multiple times in a row. I had it once happen on Treasure or Trouble, and once on an icy level (forgot its name) made by Stix (I think...).


This likely means you're lagging. The core engine thinks you moved too fast because it hasn't received movement updates from your client, and all of a sudden you have moved a very large distance, so it puts you back where you were. Check your internet connection.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by v-rob » Sat Sep 30, 2017 17:09

That makes sense. I was experiencing some lag.
 

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Supported Versions

by sofar » Mon Oct 02, 2017 16:31

From yesterday, any client version older than 0.4.15 will no longer be able to connect to the server. I've seen a lot of people trying to play with 0.4.13 or 0.4.14, and there are too many issues with it (most notably, connected nodeboxes, light issues, etc) that we decided to reject older minetest clients a bit more aggressively.

In the future, we'll also start rejecting 0.4.15, and only 0.4.16 clients will be able to connect. If you can't connect to the server, please read the error message and upgrade your client.
 

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118: The Treasure is Out There

by sofar » Tue Oct 03, 2017 06:56

Presenting box 118 by sofar: The Treasure is Out There

Image

I spent 20+ hours building thisbox, mostly building but I also wrote a significant new amount of code, and debugged many tools. This box features the new raillike nodes (lines, rails) and exploding TNT, an ingenious user-operable factory!

This is a very large box with abundant decorations and many many explorable locations. Expect to be in there for a while on your first attempt.

Play time: 30-40mins+
Speed run: 8min30sec
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by azekill_DIABLO » Tue Oct 03, 2017 16:05

looks wonderful (aka: not colorful :P) that railnodes and TNNNNNNT is a great addition!
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by TumeniNodes » Tue Oct 03, 2017 21:45

Going into "box 118", may be the last anyone sees of me :P This looks fantastic!

I am hopeful that eventually, someone may create a two player puzzle, where two players need to work together to figure things out and get through the box ; )
Such as, where both players need to work through their side of the puzzle, to unlock the next step for one another. I have seen these types of puzzles played by meaty & gunns of YouAlwaysWin and it looks like a ton of fun.
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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Tue Oct 03, 2017 23:17

TumeniNodes wrote:I am hopeful that eventually, someone may create a two player puzzle, where two players need to work together to figure things out and get through the box


It's certainly possible. I'm not opposed to it, either.

One of the reasons that it doesn't exist is that we really need to get more singleplayer content first. Once we have a solid user base where you can actively play with others together, then it makes sense to go work on that.

Essentially, if there are only 2-3 people playing at a time, we're not at that point yet. We need like 10+ people online on average to make multiplayer boxes worth the time and investment.

A second reason not to do this yet is that multiplayer is inherently frustrating and prone to trolling. It would take only one troll to ruin everyone's multiplayer experience, so again, we're not ready for that yet.

So, the best way to get to that point is to build a lot more decent, high-quality, singleplayer boxes so we retain existing players and get more and better builders, first.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by azekill_DIABLO » Wed Oct 04, 2017 15:54

TumeniNodes wrote:I am hopeful that eventually, someone may create a two player puzzle, where two players need to work together to figure things out and get through the box ; )
Such as, where both players need to work through their side of the puzzle, to unlock the next step for one another. I have seen these types of puzzles played by meaty & gunns of YouAlwaysWin and it looks like a ton of fun.

I'm not fan of two players boxes :| it should be optional.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by GreenDimond » Wed Oct 04, 2017 17:59

I would love 2-player boxes. Of course it would be optional. It would have to be. There would be a 'Multiplayer' series and a 'Singleplayer' series. When editing a box you can select multiplayer or singleplayer.

sofar: You could probably solve the troll problem like this;
Have a multiplayer series that has 2 plates to enter, both plates must be active and both players will be teleported. This way, both players have to agree to play with each other. To make sure people don't "hog" the teleporters (players that sit on a teleporter and wait in order to block people that want to play together) make sure there are at least 4 sets. also make sure they are at least 1 node apart so one player cant activate them at the same time :P

As for amount of players, there are plenty of times when multiple players are on. The above shouldn't be too hard to implement, but I can see that you wouldn't want to do it until more players are playing at once.
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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Wed Oct 04, 2017 18:47

GreenDimond wrote:sofar: You could probably solve the troll problem like this;


Ehh, you're not even close. This isn't even remotely the worst way that trolls could ruin the experience for others.

Anyway, the multiplayer discussion is kind of moot. Until there's 200+ boxes and a significant player+builder base active, I don't plan on even looking at what it would take to implement that. There's simply too much to do first:

- get the score section working
- make the series more dynamic and easy to work with for players
- revamp or tune the icon/category system

these are just 3 of the things that are really pressing, and will be consuming my time.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Wed Oct 04, 2017 18:49

azekill_DIABLO wrote:I'm not fan of two players boxes :| it should be optional.


Nobody would force you to complete multiplayer boxes, they would never be mixed with singleplayer boxes. (I thought that would be obvious... I'm not even sure why you would assume that it wouldn't be).

Anyway, entirely hypothetical and in no way are we going to do multiplayer boxes soon, probably never.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by jas » Thu Oct 05, 2017 00:33

Wow, just wow! This looks and plays very well, in my opinion. Some thoughts:

I take it there is or will be some leaderboard or stats page on the website? This has speedrunning written all over it.

I still think it's worthwhile considering bundling this up as a custom minetest distribution with sub-game, so that people can play this offline. I would go so far as to recommend changing the name, so you may have e.g. itb.exe. It's not like you are lacking content, here.

I noticed that myself and another player were separate during the tutorials (haven't passed them yet), and that we weren't cooperating together on the same puzzles. I'm reading the previous two posts, and thinking cooperative play between two or more players is planned for the future. That would certainly open up a whole range of new opportunities! [edit: oh.]

Best wishes and good luck on this most impressive endeavor.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Thu Oct 05, 2017 01:07

jas wrote:I take it there is or will be some leaderboard or stats page on the website? This has speedrunning written all over it.


This is what the "scoreboards" in the Scores section. We still have to code this up. There's so much work to do...

jas wrote:I still think it's worthwhile considering bundling this up as a custom minetest distribution with sub-game, so that people can play this offline.


It's worthwhile to offline players, but nobody else, since content can't flow back to the community. So, this isn't anywhere near on the priority list, and I frankly don't care about offline players for this project. For other projects, it's completely different. So, extra work, without getting much back - I'd rather spend my time talking to builders and ask them what's missing that would make box building easier and better, for instance.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Thu Oct 05, 2017 07:13

The_raven_262 outdid themselves and built another fantastic box

Image

Box number: 168
Title: Land of snow and sorrow
Play time: 1hr+
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Thu Oct 05, 2017 07:24

New features!

- Erasing your box is now possible. Edit the box and press the "Wipe everything in this box". You will be asked to *confirm* this by typing a one-time pincode and pressing "erase everything" again, so there's no accidental wiping. Once wiped, it's all bye-bye though! No backsies! We do keep some backups, but please do not rely on those.

- New nodes: hardened clay! Marble Pillar! Podzol! Mycelium!

- TNT! there's a diggable (by hand!) version, and a non-diggable. Trigger it to create an explosion! Doesn't hurt players!

- Wires (4 colors) and rails! Cosmetic, nodes, only.

- Node creator makes "air" by default, which will allow you to break any node. If you don't want air, punch a node while wielding the creator to fill it with the node you want it to create.

- Fixed liquid animated textures to be 16px.

- The Furnace makes fire sounds when on, and can be turned on/off by triggering it or untriggering it.

- Better "hint" textures (e.g. ladder)

- light fixes and falling player fixes. Well, workarounds.
 

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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by Wuzzy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 13:23

Current list of known box IDs:

2 See through maze
3 Smallbox
4 Spring birds
5 mystery cave
6 Hop Scotch
7 You wouldn't want to dig it, would you?
8 Gasp! Don't fall!
9 The lonely treehouse
10 Once upon a fall
14 Tutorial - part 1
15 Old men don't sleep
16 Tutorial - part 6
17 Tutorial - part 2
18 trap bridge
19 Tutorial - part 3
20 Tutorial - part 5
21 A easy parcour
22 Underground
23 Waterproof
24 Tutorial - part 4
25 Never odd or even
27 Tutorial - part 7
28 The Ruins
29 Tutorial - part 8
32 The Siege
40 There Snow Way Out
44 You're Screwed!
51 A house in the woods
56 Think beyond the surface!
59 Sunset of a world
76 Volcano
78 Lily Pond
80 Castle
81 The office
86 Lava Park
87 Earthquake
88 Acme Lava
90 Flood!
91 MOON BOUNCE
93 Factory Design Flaw
95 Courtyard
100 Spring Prairie
101 Yet Another Box.
114 UP
115 Nothing To See Here
117 One one seven
118 The treasure is out there.
120 A forgotten box
121 Police Public Call Box
137 Escape the Castle
140 Treasure or Trouble?
168 Land of snow and sorrow
173 Minor Problems

Note: Boxes written in italic can't be accessed with /enter. But they could (in theory) be accessed by the mini temples, if you're lucky. These boxes are not very good, however.

Box number: 168
Title: Land of snow and sorrow
Play time: 1hr+

Hey, I won this in less than 52min! I was surprised to see how long I played.
I agree, great box, not easy.


@sofar: Which kind of backup strategy to you have for the levels? What happens if the server burns down? What happens if you suddenly get abducted by aliens? ;-)
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Re: [Server] Inside The Box [Puzzles]

by sofar » Thu Oct 05, 2017 15:53

Wuzzy wrote:@sofar: Which kind of backup strategy to you have for the levels? What happens if the server burns down? What happens if you suddenly get abducted by aliens? ;-)


I won't divulge the actual operational details, but we regularly dump and backup all the data, including pulling those backups off the server.

We could this way restore every box, and the lobby, even, I have scripts to extract and re-upload a box (and we've used this before as at one point we did accidentally wipe a box at one point). Rebuilding the server should also be fairly trivial, as the server runs almost entirely from a deployment git branch and all the assets and code is under version control and stored in several places.
 

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