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Picross Is Cheating


#1 Access_Denied   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   2838 Posts   Joined 13.1 Years Ago  

Access_Denied

Posted 25 March 2008 - 04:17 PM

So I recently started playing Picross. I had never done nonograms before, but I was instantly hooked. (I love puzzles.) But, as I progressed through the levels, I noticed they were getting too hard. I found myself guessing at some of the spots. Then I checked out this nonogram solver.

http://www.griddler.co.uk/Solve.aspx

I put in one of the puzzles, and just as I thought, they're impossible to solve without guessing. The solver uses only logic, no guess and check. The black spots are where a dot goes, a white spot is where there isn't a a dot, and a gray spot is a place that it can't figure out.

I hate the 'auto-correction' in the first place, but now the game forces you to use it. If I hit a roadblock in a puzzle, I type in the puzzle in the solver. When the picture comes up, it looks exactly like what's on my DS, because the solver has hit the same roadblock.

The game is really fun, but I wish it has actual puzzles that didn't force you to guess? Anyone else feel the same way? Or better yet, anybody else even like this game?

#2 Mr Unoriginal   Cheap Amish Gamer CAGiversary!   7456 Posts   Joined 16.6 Years Ago  

Mr Unoriginal

Posted 25 March 2008 - 04:27 PM

How far into the game before this happens and after it starts happening is it every puzzle? I really want to pick this game up as I love these types of puzzles.

Shipwreck really loved this game too and I think finished every puzzle. Never mentioned what you are saying.

#3 Access_Denied   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   2838 Posts   Joined 13.1 Years Ago  

Access_Denied

Posted 25 March 2008 - 04:35 PM

I can't really name exactly what point in the game, but I'd say around the second level of puzzles in 'Normal Mode'. And I'm going to try a few more solvers, just to see.

#4 WalkinPneumonia   Professional Cheap @$$ CAGiversary!   774 Posts   Joined 15.2 Years Ago  

WalkinPneumonia

Posted 25 March 2008 - 06:00 PM

I agree. I really like this game, but there are times where you're forced to guess.

#5 Snake2715   Gotta Have Your Toys... CAGiversary!   8551 Posts   Joined 16.7 Years Ago  

Posted 25 March 2008 - 06:06 PM

I can't really name exactly what point in the game, but I'd say around the second level of puzzles in 'Normal Mode'. And I'm going to try a few more solvers, just to see.


Thank god I am not crazy. I had been moving along on this game a few puzzles a night while the wife chilled to the TV.

Then i started having to guess and was like WTF?

i played 5 or so where I was sure I had to guess and then never picked it back up, off to goozex it went....

NOT because it was not fun anymore, just that other games caught my interest and I had gotten my use out of the game.

#6 wubb   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   20114 Posts   Joined 16.6 Years Ago  

Posted 25 March 2008 - 06:30 PM

I certainly had to guess on the harder ones at times but I couldn't say if it was truly required or not.

#7 yayece   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   297 Posts   Joined 15.0 Years Ago  

Posted 25 March 2008 - 10:27 PM

I certainly had to guess on the harder ones at times but I couldn't say if it was truly required or not.


Hmm... I'm not sure how to explain this best, but I think that they should all be solvable logically. Take with a grain of salt, as I haven't played much Picross.

People playing Sudoku probably ran into similar complaints, on difficult puzzles. i.e., you're "forced to guess" at a certain point. However, assuming that there is only ONE correct solution, then you are never forced to guess, and you should always be able to find the solution logically. It's just that your (and the solver's) search depth needs to go one or two levels deeper, and incorporate multi-variables, instead of the easy/obvious logical steps.

Haha, shoot. I just realized that this just might be semantics. It's probably difficult to consider more than a few permutations at once, and will just reduce down to guess and check out of practicality.

#8 MorbidEclipse   Starbuck: Galactica's CAG CAGiversary!   76 Posts   Joined 13.4 Years Ago  

MorbidEclipse

Posted 25 March 2008 - 10:47 PM

Hmmm I never looked into it, however I did finish Picross, without using any guides. I am however heavily into regular pen&ink "picross"/nonograms/Hanjie. There is always a solution to the puzzles, because they do (for the most part) make an actual image.

#9

Guest_Apossum_*

Posted 26 March 2008 - 12:18 AM

You definitely have to guess. It's not hard to hone in on a likely area, but there are plenty of times where it's too tough to narrow it down to one square. really turned me off from the game.

#10 defiance_17   You're bastard people. CAGiversary!   2371 Posts   Joined 16.1 Years Ago  

defiance_17

Posted 26 March 2008 - 12:51 AM

What turned me off was that as the puzzles got harder, they were taking upwards of a half an hour for me to solve. I stopped playing at that point.

But yeah, you do have to guess on the later puzzles. It's still an amazing game.

#11 DocRamon   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   630 Posts   Joined 16.6 Years Ago  

Posted 26 March 2008 - 03:52 AM

well... i guess that it depends on your definition of logic.

yes, perhaps, mathematically speaking... you're forced to guess. but looking at the design of the puzzle, being forced to guess isn't always much of a guess, because the picture will make more sense only with certain squares on or off.

that's something a human can do that a computer program can't... analyze the creative behind puzzle and "logically guess" appropriately.

#12 Noodle Pirate!   My Cat > Your Cat CAGiversary!   2302 Posts   Joined 16.2 Years Ago  

Noodle Pirate!

Posted 26 March 2008 - 04:17 AM

There is an option to get a hint on the harder ones. It will randomly pick a horizontal and vertical line to fill in right when the puzzle starts. That helps you over the hurdle of guessing enough to be able to finish the puzzle. It makes the hard ones much more enjoyable and less painful to complete.

#13 PrarieD0G   Hikikomori CAGiversary!   1891 Posts   Joined 13.2 Years Ago  

Posted 26 March 2008 - 04:22 AM

Yeah, I always use the hint option. It makes a lot of the puzzles a lot less painful to complete, heh. I still find myself guessing at times though because I get lazy, heh.

#14 Gothic Walrus   Goo Goo G'Joob. CAGiversary!   10005 Posts   Joined 17.0 Years Ago  

Gothic Walrus

Posted 26 March 2008 - 04:52 AM

There is an option to get a hint on the harder ones. It will randomly pick a horizontal and vertical line to fill in right when the puzzle starts. That helps you over the hurdle of guessing enough to be able to finish the puzzle. It makes the hard ones much more enjoyable and less painful to complete.


There's also the overlay option, where you can try moves on a temporary board that you can either dump if you don't like the outcome or apply to the real puzzle.

#15 mcelfour   Level 10 Lord CAGiversary!   622 Posts   Joined 15.2 Years Ago  

Posted 26 March 2008 - 11:41 AM

There's also the overlay option, where you can try moves on a temporary board that you can either dump if you don't like the outcome or apply to the real puzzle.


There is only this option on the free play mode or whatever, not normal mode, iirc.

I'm also glad that I'm not the only one. I have Mario's Picross from back in the day, and while I never finished 100%, I got a long way into that game. I never felt like I had to guess. It really ticks me off to have to guess! I don't like using the hints, so that leaves me with some dang hard puzzles. I have put this game down, partly due to this issue.

My other issue: How can they not fit the whole puzzle on the lower screen? AHHH! They fit 15x15 puzzles onto the original GB screen, and you cant seem to figure out how to do it and look nice on the DS?!? I hate switching tools and moving around all the time. This game is vastly inferior to Mario's Picross IMHO. I feel bad, because I want to love this game, but find I can't. Maybe someday I'll forgive it for it's failings.

#16 wubb   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   20114 Posts   Joined 16.6 Years Ago  

Posted 26 March 2008 - 01:33 PM

My other issue: How can they not fit the whole puzzle on the lower screen? AHHH! They fit 15x15 puzzles onto the original GB screen, and you cant seem to figure out how to do it and look nice on the DS?!? I hate switching tools and moving around all the time. This game is vastly inferior to Mario's Picross IMHO. I feel bad, because I want to love this game, but find I can't. Maybe someday I'll forgive it for it's failings.


Use the D-pad for input and not the stylus if you haven't changed already. Then you can just work off the top screen where it shows the entire puzzle.

#17 Access_Denied   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   2838 Posts   Joined 13.1 Years Ago  

Access_Denied

Posted 26 March 2008 - 01:51 PM

I just played a puzzle, and it was pretty easy to solve. And the solver also solved it. I'm going to start doing this to all puzzles, to see if the ones I get stumped on, are the ones the solver gets stumped on. Maybe it's just me, but I swear some of these force you to guess.

BTW- I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks the zoom system sucks.

#18

Guest_Apossum_*

Posted 26 March 2008 - 02:00 PM

well... i guess that it depends on your definition of logic.

yes, perhaps, mathematically speaking... you're forced to guess. but looking at the design of the puzzle, being forced to guess isn't always much of a guess, because the picture will make more sense only with certain squares on or off.

that's something a human can do that a computer program can't... analyze the creative behind puzzle and "logically guess" appropriately.




Umm, so how is it not a guess than? Even if you think you know what the picture is going to be, you still won't know the exact place to put a square. you can use the numbers and the picture all you want, you can guess "appropriately," but nothing guarantees that you'll get the right square.
This goes for mathematics or some creative process.

This wouldn't be a problem if the game didn't time you. but I don't think people play Picross just to make pretty pixel art.

#19 ThatDamnDave   It's spaghetti time CAGiversary!   1532 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

ThatDamnDave

Posted 26 March 2008 - 02:19 PM

The overlay system is the key to the free mode puzzles. As far as the Normal level ones, I'm on Normal level 6 and I think I've just given up and guessed 2-3 times on all those puzzles. So, I'd say it's a rare occurrence, though it can happen.

#20 Access_Denied   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   2838 Posts   Joined 13.1 Years Ago  

Access_Denied

Posted 26 March 2008 - 03:16 PM

Normal Level 6? I thought there were only 4 levels to normal mode?

#21 wubb   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   20114 Posts   Joined 16.6 Years Ago  

Posted 26 March 2008 - 03:37 PM

Normal Level 6? I thought there were only 4 levels to normal mode?


Ut oh.

#22 ThatDamnDave   It's spaghetti time CAGiversary!   1532 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

ThatDamnDave

Posted 26 March 2008 - 04:15 PM

Normal Level 6? I thought there were only 4 levels to normal mode?


Heh, Wubb is right. Just when you thought the game was endless, it starts unlocking more levels. Ut oh indeed.

#23 Strell   LOBSTERS!....IN MY PANTS! CAGiversary!   26583 Posts   Joined 16.8 Years Ago  

Posted 26 March 2008 - 04:29 PM

I might be echoing some comments here, but the element of guessing is indeed in the game.

However.

There's still a discrete logic applied to it, even in those scenarios. I learned this on the later puzzles - the overlay option is what taught me this - that there is indeed a sense of order even when you're confronted with a puzzle where logical means cannot be used directly.

In other words, if you're stuck, you have to try and pick the area that's going to be the easiest to attack. What I found is that you could overlay a chain of squares and almost instantly tell if the rest of the numbers work or not. Let's say you were stuck and you look at the bottom-most row. The final number in it is a 6, so you've got a big chain to work with. Then, given what you've already ruled out, you see that the chain of 6 can only work in maybe four spots.

The point is that you can test those four spots really quickly, and determine where the chain works and doesn't work given the constraints of the numbers. Sometimes, you don't even need to overlay anything, because you'll see "Ok if I put the chain there, it's going to wreck X number on X line." Which means you can rule that out. And usually this will even kill a few other options, so you can determine where that chain has to go even if pure logic placement couldn't.

That's kind of the key to the later puzzles. You can't do direct logic, but you can reason out pretty quickly where something does and doesn't work. A computer wouldn't find it because it's not immediately noticeable, but a human player can quite easily. But you'll likely come across situations where - even in guessing - you can rule out a lot really quickly.

In short, the big hint is to find as long of a chain as you can, since chances are good that it has the least number of options on where it is placed. Then you can probably rule something out really quickly. This has the added bonus of usually creating a domino effect, which will let you get through the rest of the puzzle with relative ease.

I just recently picked it up again, because I swore to myself I'd finish all the puzzles (even the gigantic ones). And I've found that it's still pretty straightforward, even if I do have to overlay here and there.

#24 yayece   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   297 Posts   Joined 15.0 Years Ago  

Posted 26 March 2008 - 05:55 PM

Sometimes, you don't even need to overlay anything, because you'll see "Ok if I put the chain there, it's going to wreck X number on X line." Which means you can rule that out. And usually this will even kill a few other options, so you can determine where that chain has to go even if pure logic placement couldn't.


See, that's kind of what I was trying to get at... Again, we might just be arguing semantics in the end though. It's really this line:

you can determine where that chain has to go even if pure logic placement couldn't

The thing is though... You have figured it out using pure logic placement. The game just required you to think 2-3 steps past what you're accustomed to, and in a different way. Instead of one or two hints telling you a correct placement, you have a bunch of hints telling you which placements are incorrect. From that, you can infer the correct one.

But again... In the end, I'll concede that this may just be arguing semantics.

#25 Strell   LOBSTERS!....IN MY PANTS! CAGiversary!   26583 Posts   Joined 16.8 Years Ago  

Posted 26 March 2008 - 06:34 PM

I went back and read your post, as I had glossed over the rest of the posts beyond the OP, and we are indeed saying the same thing.

It's not semantics, it's just different words saying the same thing (as there is a difference between the two). Where as I've given a concrete example, you've said the same thing with more direct mathetmatical terms (permutations being the key give-away word here).

You're saying to think multiple steps ahead where I just directly described it. But it's definitely the same thing.

I will say, however, that to an extent that is still borderline guessing. You mentioned that there is only one ultimate answer, and as such, you should be able to arrive at it logically. Well...yeah, but that's kind of harping on "the ends justify the means." We're all talking about the means specifically right now.

In the end, we're saying the same thing. I'm completely sure of that.

#26 ThatDamnDave   It's spaghetti time CAGiversary!   1532 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

ThatDamnDave

Posted 26 March 2008 - 06:53 PM

Just to clarify from all of the in-depth discussion:

The game is fun.

#27 defiance_17   You're bastard people. CAGiversary!   2371 Posts   Joined 16.1 Years Ago  

defiance_17

Posted 27 March 2008 - 03:01 AM

Just to clarify from all of the in-depth discussion:

The game is fun.

/thread

#28 wubb   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   20114 Posts   Joined 16.6 Years Ago  

Posted 27 March 2008 - 05:54 PM

I did love this game and would pick up a Picross 2 in a heartbeat.

I finished every puzzle, every dowloadable puzzle available to download at the time I sold it and some puzzles from fellow CAGs. (Some of the custom puzzles are awesome.)

#29 ThatDamnDave   It's spaghetti time CAGiversary!   1532 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

ThatDamnDave

Posted 27 March 2008 - 07:29 PM

That's impressive Wubb. That's a long, slow climb.

#30 ArthurDigbySellers   Not exactly a lightweight CAGiversary!   3418 Posts   Joined 16.1 Years Ago  

ArthurDigbySellers

Posted 28 March 2008 - 12:20 AM

My wife has finished Normal mode and is now at about level 7 in free mode. She has never once complained about having to guess. I think she does use the hint option, however.