The "IT'S EASY!" challenge #1 - The Maze

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  • Welcome to the "IT'S EASY!" Challenge, part 1 of 6.

    Inspired from the "Oh it's easy, Construct can do anything that's in 2D" reply that I've seen a lot. I decided to create a few challenges, see just how 'easy' some things really are. I dunno, call it the virtual equivilant to Myth Busters, only with a much better looking host.

    <img src="http://steamgauge.com/misc/construct/challenges/its1.png">

    Challenge #1 - The Maze

    This is a maze. There is a mouse in the maze and it wants to get to its cheese but it doesn't know how. Can you help it? You must find a way to move the mouse from its starting point, through the maze until it finds the cheese.

    Download: here

    Rules:

    1) You cannot directly control the mouse or guide it manually. It must be entirely event, behavior or script driven, with no human intervention required.

    2) You may use any method (that does not break Rule #1) available within Construct to navigate the mouse to the cheese.

    3) You must use this maze and cap provided, and build upon that, however your chosen method of navigating the mouse through the maze should work on any randomly generated maze of this style and not be tied just to this single layout (so no set waypoints).

    4) You must post your cap and any files required but not an executable. This is so the results can benefit other users.

    5) Replying with "Oh it's easy" is not allowed, unless you also follow rule #4 as given proof.

    6) You cannot move the cheese from it's initial position in the maze, and the mouse must also start in it's initial position.

    7) You cannot go through the walls, or teleport, or jump over, or remove the maze. In other words, no cheating!

    The winning entry will be whoever comes up with the best or most elegant working solution to the problem. Challenge is open to everyone.

    End Date

    Midnight December 10th 2009 (Eastern Time, US)

    <img src="http://steamgauge.com/misc/construct/challenges/easy1.png">

    Good luck!

  • this is actually a really cool idea that'll be good to see the vast amount of ways to do things which aren't done all the time nice idea man, good job improving on the idea of that thread

  • this is actually a really cool idea that'll be good to see the vast amount of ways to do things which aren't done all the time nice idea man, good job improving on the idea of that thread

    Hahaha, thanks

  • Its easy.

    Okay, my entry is just stupid. But you'll love it.

  • PMSL! Brilliant haha, and dammit I thought I'd covered every eventuality with those rules too, curse you, another mouse!

  • Dude, your map is imperfect. I can't really use exact grid stuff with it!

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  • Aw, that's easy!

    Actually, it wasn't all that easy... it took me a lot longer than I thought it would. I thought I'd have it nailed in under an hour, but it took me closer to two. Then again, I'm not very clever

    Dude, your map is imperfect. I can't really use exact grid stuff with it!

    Yep, I ran into the same problem, though I didn't use any grid stuff. Because of the way it's drawn, I had some trouble with occasionally getting stuck because if my computer hiccuped then Mr. Mouse would drop frames and time-delta inside a wall. With a better designed maze this could be avoided pretty easily.

    Anyway, I think I have it all sorted out now. At least, the last three times I ran the maze Mr. Mouse got the cheese just fine.

    Download: http://www.box.net/shared/8p4iv3i27e

    I used 8 Direction (with the controls shut off, of course). The rules for the mouse are as follows:

    1. If there is an open path to the right, he turns right.

    2. If he hits a wall, he will attempt to turn right.

    3. If he can't turn right, he will turn left.

    4. If he can't turn right or left, he will turn around and go back the way he came (this is a last resort).

    It takes him a while to get the cheese, but he gets there eventually. My method is kind of crude, but hey... it works. I'm sure someone else could come up with a much more elegant and streamlined solution.

    Like I said he might still get stuck occasionally. If so, just restart the game.

  • Smart work. I'm happy with my memetic entry. c

  • http://dl.dropbox.com/u/629300/mipey_mouse.cap

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/629300/mipey_mouse.exe

    Easy.

    What is your score (in steps and seconds)? It can take as long as five minutes, if you are unlucky.

  • Interesting idea for a challenge I'm not sure about how useful it is to prove whether or not Construct can do anything - difficult logic problems are difficult logic problems, no matter what tool you use - unless the tool solves that specific problem for you, which general-purpose tools usually do not. By "Construct can do anything 2D", I think we mean limitations in Construct shouldn't get in your way and prevent you from making the game you want.

    In this case, though, Construct does effectively solve the problem for you

    <img src="http://www.scirra.com/images/mouseevent.png">

    If that's not a perfect example of events being a quick and readable way to do something, then I don't know what is

    I've attached a copy where I just added the RTS behavior to the mouse, carefully adjusted the settings, and added an event to move the mouse to the cheese. The RTS movement has a very decent A* pathfinding algorithm built in to it which will basically immediately work out the optimal path to the destination, then move the object along that path. The A* bit is great, but it seems the RTS behavior's code to move the object along the path is a bit ropey. It wasn't designed for small, enclosed layouts like a maze - it's aimed at wide open spaces with occasional obstacles. So I had to tweak the settings a lot, but now the mouse basically walks directly through the maze to the cheese.

    It's pretty surprising to see how bad the RTS behavior fared with the default settings, it gets stuck pretty quickly. I guess it needs a redesign if I ever get round to it. The mouse also has to be very small and use the smallest cell size available in the RTS behavior, since the walls of the maze mark entire cells as solid, and the entire map would be marked solid with a large cell size.

  • I'll just leave this here....

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/666516/mousecow.cap

    Note you need the perlin plug

    Warning it eats up ram from the array..., I'll change it to loops later.

    Any way this really isn't a challenge, given the rts, and line of site plugs.

    [quote:33beue9b]In this case, though, Construct does effectively solve the problem for you

    Edit yeah what he said

  • Well, RTS (with the A* algorithm) is more of a brute force solution - it checks all possible solutions to the problem, then picks the shortest path.

    My project has the mouse actually looking for the cheese rather than telepathically know the location and path thereof. It is fun to watch it get lost near the goal and wander back, looking for another path

  • <img src="http://www.scirra.com/images/mouseevent.png">

    Well then.

    Honestly I didn't even consider trying the RTS behavior because I didn't think it would work with a single complex object like that. I assumed it went "around" obstacles, but not necessarily "through" them. I've hardly ever used RTS behavior before though so I'm not really familiar with it.

    dl.dropbox.com/u/629300/mipey_mouse.cap

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/629300/mipey_mouse.exe

    Easy.

    Ahaha, he hates dead ends so much he poops on them. I love it.

    Really nice movement, too.

  • Wow, these are ALL awesome entries! The best part is how creative people are being! Though Mipey had the best use of poop I've ever seen haha. Thats a similar method (minus the poop) to how the robotic mice work isn't it? With the sensors around it detecting a blockage and then turning to try another route. When I came up with the challenge, that was the method I had in mind, and using the turn right rule that I heard works well in mazes (supposedly if you only take right turns you can solve it.. never tried that though, not many mazes round here hehe).

    I dunno about you guys but it is really interesting seeing everyones different approaches, working from scratch with nothing but a maze and a mouse to start with. Kinda like those experiments you could do in some physics classes at school, only far more interesting and fun!

    Interesting idea for a challenge I'm not sure about how useful it is to prove whether or not Construct can do anything - difficult logic problems are difficult logic problems, no matter what tool you use - unless the tool solves that specific problem for you, which general-purpose tools usually do not. By "Construct can do anything 2D", I think we mean limitations in Construct shouldn't get in your way and prevent you from making the game you want.

    I think it's fun, besides you guys should be flattered. Sooo often these days you read about some piece of software that can do this and that, but when you install it, it falls way short, or you discover you need a PHD in advanced programming languages or something, to do all but the basics. Which pushes out a large number of people. Yet so far I've not seen something construct can't do (within reason obviously), and for something requiring zero coding, that's a first, you gotta admit. Then the fact it's completely free. I mean, that's bloody impressive if you think about it

    Even the crowd simulator Massive needs a lot of effort put into it to create an agent to be able to do this, and that thing is built for this sort of problem!.. that and thousands of Orcs..

    [quote:2405opg2]In this case, though, Construct does effectively solve the problem for you

    <img src="http://www.scirra.com/images/mouseevent.png">

    If that's not a perfect example of events being a quick and readable way to do something, then I don't know what is

    Dammit! I thought I'd made the maze unnavigatable for that behavior!

    [quote:2405opg2]I've attached a copy where I just added the RTS behavior to the mouse, carefully adjusted the settings, and added an event to move the mouse to the cheese. The RTS movement has a very decent A* pathfinding algorithm built in to it which will basically immediately work out the optimal path to the destination, then move the object along that path. The A* bit is great, but it seems the RTS behavior's code to move the object along the path is a bit ropey. It wasn't designed for small, enclosed layouts like a maze - it's aimed at wide open spaces with occasional obstacles. So I had to tweak the settings a lot, but now the mouse basically walks directly through the maze to the cheese.

    It's pretty surprising to see how bad the RTS behavior fared with the default settings, it gets stuck pretty quickly. I guess it needs a redesign if I ever get round to it. The mouse also has to be very small and use the smallest cell size available in the RTS behavior, since the walls of the maze mark entire cells as solid, and the entire map would be marked solid with a large cell size.

    Have all the commercial RTS games do the same task, and honestly I don't think they'd fair much better, in many cases they'd probably be much worse (granted, they'd probably need to lower the quality of the pathfinding to handle hundreds of units, but still, with cpu power and memory these days that's not much of an excuse for many of them). I've never seen an RTS capable of navigating something as complex as a proper maze, not without some intervention from the user to "help it along" as it goes. So I'm with deadeye on this, didn't think the RTS behavior would have a chance getting around this maze. I'm beyond impressed at it even reaching the cheese. Not only that, but I watched my cpu usage while it was running a few times, figuring it would be really chewing it up on something like this. Didn't barely twitch.

  • About always turning right in mazes - that wouldn't work in part of the maze where you'd keep cycling if you stuck to your right

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