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iPad: Big Bad Sudoku Book in store NOW!!

04-07-2010, 07:57 PM
#1
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 60
Big Bad Sudoku Book in store NOW!!

It was actually out on the 3rd, but I added 5 more promo codes and placed them in the old thread at: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=50582

We should probably move the thread here since it's no longer an 'upcoming game'. Can an admin do that? Thanks.

Last edited by badweasel; 04-07-2010 at 08:52 PM.
04-07-2010, 08:29 PM
#2
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 127
Thank you! I took the second from the last. Your app is beautiful. I have never been interested in Soduku but now I definitely am. Are puzzles randomly generated?

04-07-2010, 09:46 PM
#3
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,766
This is a really beautiful game. I really like the way that the pencil marks and actual numbers are both always accessible. Most you have to chose 1 or the other.

Your hint system is fun. The ability to highlight various aspects is really quite clever. I have seen these highlights individually in apps but never applied the way you have done.

The only issue I have seen is there is a square that flashes in the lower left near the hint area when the solved graphics are going.

Are there sounds? I didn't hear any and my volume is up full. Is there an option to turn them off that I missed?

I don't have suggestions that I think are needed for this, but some obvious considerations - option to highlight cells or numbers that are incorrect, undo and redo, sounds unless I am just missing them.

Oh, one thing I REALLY liked - if you accidentally enter a large number in a cell with pencil marks, when you erase the number, the pencil marks are still there. That is very cool.

Very nice overall. Just curious also if these are hand designed, or randomly generated?

GameCenter ID : oldestgamer
04-07-2010, 10:06 PM
#4
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 60
big bad sudoku book for ipad puzzle generation

Quote:
Originally Posted by missalexis View Post
Thank you! I took the second from the last. Your app is beautiful. I have never been interested in Soduku but now I definitely am. Are puzzles randomly generated?
The short answer is "no".

But you just asked a nerd a very nerdy question and I can't resist, so you're going to get the long nerdy answer as well...

Puzzle generation can be complicated. You can't just randomly create a puzzle at a certain difficulty level. What you have to do is create a completed puzzle, back it out to a certain level of completion, and then attempt to solve it to see how hard it is.

We first wrote some custom code for solving puzzles which was quite a challenge. Using different techniques, our code works on rows, columns, and blocks simultaneously to eliminate cell possibilities (candidates) and recursively answer cells as it finds singles and hidden singles. What's great about this method is that it is very fast. In a single cycle the code can solve an easy to medium puzzle. Because as givens are being entered into our puzzle grid they give off enough clues about the rest of the puzzle that it is completely solved before it even gets to enter the last given. So that's cool, right?

But that's not what makes a fun game.

So instead of focusing on this awesome AI puzzle solver / puzzle generation engine that no one will ever see, we decided to spend our energy on making the gameplay fun and the gesture based UI natural and easy to use.

Since you nabbed a code please check it out and report back here on the gameplay. For everyone else who doesn't have it yet I hope to have a video up soon. In the mean time I suggest you check out the picture based tutorial at:

www.tomorrowland.com/bad-weasel

It's especially good to read if you've not played much sudoku before.

But getting back to your question. The nerd in me wanted to include our awesome puzzle generator and eventually I will add it in. But for the 1.0 release we wanted it to be ultra solid and stable and fun and easy to play. So we focused on that. We want our puzzle generator code to be tested more, be rock solid, and to be able to create puzzles of a consistent difficultly level before we release it. We didn't want paying end users doing beta testing. And having unsolvable or non-unique puzzles would stink.

For version 1.0 puzzles are generated using a very large batch of 'seed puzzles' that we know are good, fun, and have a consistent level of difficulty. From these seeds we can generate over 36 million different sudoku puzzles. When generating the seeds we double-verified uniqueness and solvability before accepting them, plus we re-verify and ensure solvability in game during the re-generation process.
04-07-2010, 10:21 PM
#5
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 60
thanks for the comments

Thanks for your comments! It helps to know what is important to people. I wasn't sure if people cared about sound or not, but it is planned for an update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pluto6 View Post
This is a really beautiful game. I really like the way that the pencil marks and actual numbers are both always accessible. Most you have to chose 1 or the other.

Your hint system is fun. The ability to highlight various aspects is really quite clever. I have seen these highlights individually in apps but never applied the way you have done.

The only issue I have seen is there is a square that flashes in the lower left near the hint area when the solved graphics are going.
You found one of about 3 cosmetic bugs I just noticed this weekend which are on the list to fix asap. Most of the testing was done in landscape so I missed seeing that flashing square. It will be fixed in the update which we're working on now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pluto6 View Post
Are there sounds? I didn't hear any and my volume is up full. Is there an option to turn them off that I missed?

I don't have suggestions that I think are needed for this, but some obvious considerations - option to highlight cells or numbers that are incorrect, undo and redo, sounds unless I am just missing them.

Oh, one thing I REALLY liked - if you accidentally enter a large number in a cell with pencil marks, when you erase the number, the pencil marks are still there. That is very cool.

Very nice overall. Just curious also if these are hand designed, or randomly generated?
Sound is coming in the update. Puzzle generation I just answered above in this thread.

My take on undo redo was that when I play I usually find a mistake in one of my answers that was like 5 moves ago. So instead of a traditional undo which would kill the last move, I did the rub-out gesture which un-does any previous move (as opposed to the most recent move). Just rub on a cell with your finger to see it erase. Either a small back and forth motion or circular works good. Erasing a 9 leaves behind the image of a wiped away 9, entering a 1 there and then rubbing it out adds to the smudge. It's one of my favorite features.

As for incorrect numbers, Get Hint will first tell you if you have any incorrect number and highlight it RED. It only does one at a time so that you can get as little or as much help as you want. One of the things I didn't like about (large game company)'s sudoku game was that it just told you the answers when you asked for help. So I wanted this to be subtle levels of hints.

I really need to do a video tutorial and also want to have better instructions in game. Working on that stuff now. Thanks for your comments.
04-07-2010, 10:42 PM
#6
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,766
Thanks for the explanations.

I tried out the erase and agree it is a very nice feature. I think this may be the closest to a pencil and paper sudoku that I have played with gorgeous graphics and some great features that pencil and paper don't have.

I think I found a bug. Start the game. Hit + to get a new game. Chose expert (may work with other levels as well). I entered a number in a cell. Exited app, on resume the game is now labeled as easy. The numbers are all the same, but the "easy" is now in the upper left corner.

GameCenter ID : oldestgamer
04-08-2010, 03:46 AM
#7
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 60
Nice find

Quote:
Originally Posted by pluto6 View Post
Thanks for the explanations.

I tried out the erase and agree it is a very nice feature. I think this may be the closest to a pencil and paper sudoku that I have played with gorgeous graphics and some great features that pencil and paper don't have.

I think I found a bug. Start the game. Hit + to get a new game. Chose expert (may work with other levels as well). I entered a number in a cell. Exited app, on resume the game is now labeled as easy. The numbers are all the same, but the "easy" is now in the upper left corner.
Wow, you guys are good. I found that bug this weekend too. Its on the list for this first update. Again it's just a cosmetic bug. The difficulty label always defaults back to easy even though your 'expert' (or medium or hard) game is still in progress.

I might as well tell you the other bug we found. If you complete a puzzle and go to the help screen while 'solved' is up you can't get out of it. Just hit home and jump back in to the game and it will start a new puzzle.

Thanks for all the nice comments. -Michael
04-08-2010, 07:44 PM
#8
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,766
Thanks for the explanations. I am betting this will be my main Sudoku app.. It just does things much more intuitively than most of the other ones that I have tried. Not necessarily all the features that some others have - but I don't need / want them - my favorite way is still just pencil and paper, but this app gives that same comfort feeling, and is gorgeous to boot...

GameCenter ID : oldestgamer
04-09-2010, 02:53 AM
#9
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by pluto6 View Post
Thanks for the explanations. I am betting this will be my main Sudoku app.. It just does things much more intuitively than most of the other ones that I have tried. Not necessarily all the features that some others have - but I don't need / want them - my favorite way is still just pencil and paper, but this app gives that same comfort feeling, and is gorgeous to boot...
Thanks for the great review.
04-09-2010, 08:33 AM
#10
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 24
Multiplayer?

Looks interesting. Will you be adding a multiplayer mode (that locks out the hinting feature)? Nothing fancy, just a timing thing.

My family does pencil and paper sudoku challenges when we see each other and since I and my GF have iPads itd be fun to get her up to speed on that tradition. :-)