Connect the pipes!
There's an auto-connect feature to help you (most of the time). It can be disabled through the pause menu.
Reset the cart to replay a game (sorry!)
Early but old wip, I don't think I'll have time to work on it for a while so here it is, instead of gathering dust all alone.
Yeah ... I'm not seeing a solution that would take less than an hour. Actually much longer than an hour. That's pretty stiff for a 1st level game.
The problem is once you get a match, you change one piece it disables 3 that were connected earlier. You try to change that, it changes back the one you just connected.
You might mess with the number of pieces (scale or count) and see if there's a simple way to make a 1st level playable where the player can visibly see an ending within a reasonable timeframe.
I wouldn't say an hour. I just did one in 18 minutes, and 5 of those were me wishing I could turn off autoconnect because I couldn't get anywhere with it on and constantly screwing up what I was doing.
I'd say get rid of autoconnect, or at least turn it off to begin with. I'm sure if you're playing properly and only make moves that MUST be made, it can help, because I assume it does the "if that, then no choice but this" thing, but for a n00b it's just confusing.
Edit: Yeah, I tried that with that knowledge, but even then it was more of a hindrance than a help. If you make an improper guess at what must be, it frequently destroys a lot of work you've done properly. If you could manually lock tiles into their current orientation, kind of like flagging tiles in minesweeper, it'd be more useful, but not with it just wide open like this. That, and/or trigger the autoconnect manually.
thanks for your time!
yep it's merely a prototype, needs a proper menu for sure (smaller sizes, classic/autocon). I think a multi-level mode with increasing board size could help get the hang of it.
the whole point of me making this IS the autoconnect twist. It completely changes the dynamic of the game. I like it, but I understand it might seem random and off-putting at first. it's important to plan your move. there's a time-out, so you can rotate left or right, double-tap or triple-tap before it triggers. for sure you can wreak havoc, but you also can make good repairs in just a few moves. I'm used to it, so for me it helps. most of the time it takes me around 80 moves and 2:30 to solve. also when above 3mn I'm usually stuck in a big loop with the last two loose ends and I just ragequit (ctrl-r). so I'm even thinking of a harsh mode with a 3mn time limit :)
I'm also thinking of really huge boards with a more refined autoconnect, that does a better job at solving a local segment. that would bring the game to a higher granularity if you will. but that might not be something for pico-8's 128x128 screen...
by manually locking tiles you're more likely to lock yourself out of the solution. but, there are "obvious" pieces that the autocon shouldn't change once they're in place (flat pieces along the borders or near a block for instance). I'll be sure to detect those.
I wonder if it would be worth sparing people the drudgery of going around the edge and fixing all the pipes and T-tiles that have to be parallel to the edge.
Like, just before starting, do a pass around the perimeter, e.g. pseudocode:
for t in all(perimeter): while points_off_map(t) do rotate(t) end end
Pipes and T-tiles would end up the way they have to be, while L-Tiles and comma-tiles at least wouldn't be nonsensical.
Just a QoL thing really. No one likes drudgery, they want to go straight to the clever bits. I've noticed a lot of puzzles do this, e.g. the floodfill of '0' tiles in Minesweeper, or the automatic placing of guaranteed-done cards on the four piles in Solitaire.
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