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Making a puzzle harder
Answer
1/28/09 4:48 AM
I'd like to take a picture and make the puzzle harder, without adding a border or background squiggles. This is a question I'd like to ask andreasss!

Anyway, consider the picture below. I feel like this is a picture BEGGING to be hard, time consuming, and very fun. But every change I try makes it unsolvable! I've tried things like adding a stripe to his pants, giving his shirt black polka dots, removing some of the gray in his clothes, adding a gray "aura" line around him... Nothing works. It either makes the puzzle easier, or unsolvable. Bah.

Help a fellow learn how to make better hard puzzles, please.

Note that I've only solved one or two hard griddlers in my time. Maybe if I solved more andreasss puzzles I could learn his secret, but I'm not that skilled yet! :oops:
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Attachments: dancer.PNG (17.4k)

RE: Making a puzzle harder
Answer
1/28/09 5:33 PM as a reply to hi19hi19.
Hi
You can find some tips here.
Michał

RE: Making a puzzle harder
Answer
1/28/09 6:59 PM as a reply to hi19hi19.
This is of course a difficult and important question for griddlers authors. I think it's probably more effective to start by making a puzzle that looks difficult, and then make changes from there, trying to reduce the number of circles. Like in Oskar's link, there are many ideas for what is likely to be a hard or easy puzzle, so try to avoid completely filled in areas or predictable outlines. One idea you could use to make your puzzle more interesting is to add a 4'th color for shading in his clothes, and then that would probably give you the freedom to remove some of the gray. You could alternatively make this a dual outline puzzle, where you remove the gray that is not right by the black, then you could add some pink for the hands and face to serve as a starting point. If you're looking for ideas to make puzzles more difficult in the future, I recommend solving some tough puzzles. One thing I've noticed is that many of the toughest puzzles on the site are animals. This is because the author has a lot of freedom to change individual cells and still give the impression of something being hairy. Pyramid's guard is a perfect example of this.

RE: Making a puzzle harder
Answer
2/5/09 4:11 AM as a reply to xitvono.
So I've been working at getting high point value puzzles without lame borders. I actually had one puzzle make it through the verification process and was about to be published before I decided I really didn't like the picture. This is one of my more recent attempts- I like the picture a lot. However the more "fur" I add, the harder it gets, but the uglier the picture becomes, too. Also, even with all this fur and complicating elements, the puzzle barely scratches 2.5 million and I feel it's much harder than that. Does this picture have potential to be a lot harder? What do I do to make it stay pretty? Am I missing some trick? I've already spent half an hour trying likely squares to remove, but a lot of them have no effect on point value at all or straight up make it unsolvable.
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Attachments: polarbear.PNG (18.0k)

RE: Making a puzzle harder
Answer
2/5/09 11:27 AM as a reply to hi19hi19.
I'm not very good in creating really good puzzles, so I won't help you very much, but please, don't try to make puzzle as hard as possible, but make them looking as good as possible. As time will go on, you'll have more experience, you'll know how to make them good ( hard and beautiful).
Regards
Michał

RE: Making a puzzle harder
Answer
2/5/09 2:39 PM as a reply to Oskar.
I agree with Oskar, making a nice picture should be any authors first goal. High points and / or midtime is secundary to that.
I rather solve a nice picture with few points than a ugly picture with lots of points.
And as Oskar also says: experience will bring better results.

So don't start creating the hardest griddler you can, but start with making (smaller) easier griddlers that look good and work your way up to the harder griddlers.


This is my opinion as a non-author, a solver.

RE: Making a puzzle harder
Answer
2/5/09 6:22 PM as a reply to DAC99.
I suppose that's what I've been doing, just learning what makes for high midtimes and high points through practice and always trying to get nice pictures.

I would like to note, I've published my breakdancer picture now. It's called "Breakdancer in Blue" and I think I did a good job of making it interesting and a bit tougher while retaining a pretty cool picture... Check it out! emoticon

RE: Making a puzzle harder
Answer
2/5/09 10:04 PM as a reply to hi19hi19.
Hi,

First of all, let me say I love the image! One of your best so far, I think. As for making it harder/giving it higher points, it's mostly a matter of perseverance. You said you've spend half an hour searching for higher points. I know some of those high-points-puzzle-authors and all will tell you the same: The time it takes to solve a puzzle is far less than the time it takes to create one. Some of those great puzzles you find in this site took days of work to be created.

Keep this in mind if you are aiming for a puzzle with over 4 hours of solving! (and when you are solving Miss Tress...)

Out of a technical point of view - I think if you want higher points, you'll need to get less fur, not more. But I do like the fluffy feeling your bear has now, so for me 2,5 M would be enough!

Jelga

RE: Making a puzzle harder
Answer
2/6/09 5:22 AM as a reply to Jeltje.
I agree with Jelga about the polar bear; I think it has a nice furry look. One thing I would like to mention. You don't have to try to get the maximum possible point score for your puzzles. I typically try to make my puzzles difficult, while giving them enough points to be worth solving. I think if you make a puzzle with more points than that, then the puzzle seems "cheap"

RE: Making a puzzle harder
Answer
2/6/09 8:27 PM as a reply to xitvono.
Thanks for the suggestions. For the polar bear, I actually removed the outline color and replaced it with the darker of the two fur colors. In effect, I completely removed one of the four colors. That alone made it gain about a million points, plus I spent a good 4 hours more on making it harder without sacrificing artistic merit. i've submitted it now and forget what the final point value was, but it was a good deal higher than 2.5 million emoticon

Thanks again people. I'll keep making puzzles for sure, from the easiest minimalisms to multigriddlers with millions of points!

RE: Making a puzzle harder
Answer
2/6/09 10:27 PM as a reply to hi19hi19.
I'm not surprised to hear that you did that with the border of the polar bear. The fur probably won't give you a lot of points unless the solver has to work *through* it to finish the puzzle.

RE: Making a puzzle harder
Answer
8/9/09 12:17 PM as a reply to xitvono.
So here I am checking out the forum less than 48 hours after solving "Breakdancer In Blue"... a puzzle that I started at LEAST 25 times and couldn't make any progress...

If only I'd read this forum (and yes that's cheating I know LOL)

If I can throw in my own two cents; I think some of your puzzles are getting harder but I think you're possibly going to lose the integrity of the art in the process.

There are some designs that are naturally high point ones (and having read your other post about hypothetical high point puzzles; I see the trick now LOL) - There are a lot of ship/boat griddlers with immense points that look somewhat right - but there are other high point puzzles that it's about the points and NOT the finished look - and those infuriate me beyond words.

It's a lose/lose situation I suppose - there are some solvers that want these ridiculously high pointed puzzles (I'm barely in the top 700 on that list because the mid-times on those puzzles truly scare me away); and there are some solvers that want to enjoy the finished work.

You have a very creative mind hi19 and I think you can find a good balance - I was pretty impressed with the breakdancer puzzle (considering the alien series LOL) and you obviously have artistic talent. I'd say go for the finished results looking good (but not making them throwaways either) - but that's just my own 2 cents*

*clearly because I simply don't know HOW to solve those crazy point ones - heck I'm still stuck on one of your color smalls - Kansas or something emoticon

Keep up the great work - it's hard to keep everyone happy and I hope you take no offense by my comments - I'm a fan of yours (there are a handful of people, you included, who I always like to see new puzzles from) - I just have to admit you're making me think too hard and I don't wanna think - it hurts my brain!

Thanks! emoticon

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