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May 2017 Time Trial

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This one's a good one.



This time we are running the competition in Lynx! (Of course I forgot to change the file to default to that, so that's why the version is 1.1.)

The first level in MS would just have a touch too much boosting so I thought more people would enjoy it in Lynx. I will of course still be interested in seeing your MS routes, so send those too even if we are concentrating on Lynx in the competition. (I'll even try to figure out what your route is worth in Lynx for you if you want.)


The first level, Frozen Polyominoes, is one of those chip collecting levels with shapes, but this time the chips surround the shapes instead of forming them. Can you recognize this set of polyominoes, that is, what characteristic defines them? The second level, Linked Lite, is a shortened version of one found in lookatthis's 60 Minutes.dat. I found it to be a fun monster manipulation level, and I hope you will too.


Usually we add up the remaining seconds on the levels to determine a score, but this time the disparate nature of the levels calls for something a bit different. A gain of one second in the first level does not feel the same as in the second one, due to both the open nature of the first one and the equalizing last room of the second one. Thus, we'll see what happens if we consider the seconds in the first level to be twice as valuable than those in the second for scoring purposes. 






Details (including the deadline of JUNE 11th):



  1. The person with the highest score, counted by doubling the remaining time on the first level plus the remaining time on the second level, wins! (The third level in the set is not used for the competition.) There may be a tie in overall score.
  2. This competition is primarily meant for Lynx rules. You may send in MS solutions as well, but it will be judged separately.
  3. Please send your solutions (either the tws file or avis) to my own email valeosote at hotmail dot com.  I will strive to respond to your message by a confirmation that your score has been recorded.
  4. The levels aren't hard to solve but getting a great time does require some insight. Don't be afraid to send in your solutions even if you sense they aren't perfect, and simple casual solutions are also appreciated. You may enter if you solve at least one of the levels, but solving both will obviously place higher.
  5. Submission deadline is June 11th, 2017 where you live. I will judge the submissions without warning during the following days but will accept submissions until I do. If you need a more specific time, you can always ask. To avoid losing on time (it is a time trial after all), get your solutions in early rather than later! You can send in improvements while the competition is running, so there is no downside to sending in something you know might not be your best effort if you had forever to work on it.
  6. This is part of the 2017 season of the Chip Cup. The winner will be awarded 15 points, second place 12, third 10 points, and so on. If you win a competition here for the first time, you receive the "You're Winner!" award. All participants who haven't participated in a Time Trial earlier receive the "Run, Chip, Run" award. The quickest MS solutions may be awarded an additional 5 Chip Cup points.
  7. The designer of the levels and any others who have seen the levels in advance, may enter the competition. Please be fair and do not abuse this rule; it is meant to maximize the fun, not provide an advantage.
  8. The levels may receive an update within the first week of their release. This will only be done if there is some significant problem with the first versions of the levels. Please contact me if you suspect something is off.
  9. Do not post your solutions or solution times or share them with others before the competition results are announced. All times will be published at the same time, and the quickest solutions will eventually be released.
  10. As an exception to the above rule, a participant may 'freeze' their scores at some point after submitting their own solutions. They will not be able to submit any more updates after this, but they may talk about the levels and their times with other people who have frozen their entry. I may update a public list of people who have frozen their score.

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Personally, I feel that seconds on both levels have similar value. The last room of Linked Lite may equalize in (roughly) 8 move increments, but this just means you skip a second on every other gained cycle. The remainder of the level is a lot more prone to large gains than Frozen Polyominoes is.


Perhaps instead of seconds being twice as valuable, the decimal of Frozen Polyminoes could matter?

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I want to try the score doubling on the first level, you know because I like playing around with voting and ranking systems :)

It's not just about the equalizers in the second level, but also how just two moves in chip collecting levels like the first one can require a completely different take. I suspect that the range of scores submitted to the first level will be much smaller than for the second level. And now that I have worked on them myself, I see that my initial score on the second level had more to gain than on the first level. I think both these speak in favor of some kind of weight on the scores. It will be interesting to see if the rankings would change at all if we did it differently (I suspect they might not), but let's just use what I first announced. I don't want to be looking at decimals on Lynx solutions!


I'm pretty ready to freeze my scores, so can't wait to see what you guys will send in soon!


EDIT: Forgot to announce the Early Bird Bonus! If you submit your solutions by May 21st, you get an additional Chip Cup point!  1star

Edited by M11k4
Early Bird!

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EDIT: Forgot to announce the Early Bird Bonus! If you submit your solutions by May 21st, you get an additional Chip Cup point!  1star


Will I still get this bonus if I submit before this date and send improvements after the date?

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Will I still get this bonus if I submit before this date and send improvements after the date?

Yes. I can't think of a reasonable restriction on this that wouldn't just make things too complicated, so I'll rather err on the side that sounds more fun :)

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1. M11k4_________ 15pts 191*2 + 302 = 684 (198MS & 306MS)
2. rubenspaans___ 12pts 188*2 + 300 = 676
3. Ihavenoname248 10pts 189*2 + 296 = 674
4. Bacorn_________ 8pts 186*2 + 288 = 658
5. tjrowe_________ 7pts 193MS & 276MS -> ??? Lynx :)
Thank you, thank you, thank you very much. I am accepting all the congratulations in my email inbox. I'm setting up paypal and bitcoin avenues too if you wish to show your great appreciation that way. Then I'll probably make myself a new award here on CC Zone for the most awesome ways to win a competition run by myself. Please, you may stop with the applause already.
But seriously I really thought these were fun levels to work on. I even heard from two other members that they had worked on the levels but didn't end up receiving solutions from them. The odd way to sum up the scores did not change the rankings this time, but the range of scores still indicate that it was a decent method this time around. Earlybird bonuses of 1 Chip Cup point each go to Ruben, IHNN, and Bacorn, congratulations on that too! (I don't think it's in the spirit of the game for me as the organizer to get this.)

Solution videos:



Both levels saw a variety of tactics, as you can see them in the videos above, but I have more to say about Frozen Polyominoes. I enjoyed working on it in Lynx rather than MS, but finally did also try to build a route for MS as well. I was able to perform the results by the help of a program called Hourglass, just to see how much it could score. I drew out the path I had for Lynx, as well as two paths for MS (click on them to enlarge):

TT 17.4 A - Frozen Polyominoes - Lynx route

TT 17.4 A - Frozen Polyominoes - MS routes

The first image is the Lynx route shown in the video as the first solution. The colors show the order I came up with the route, red-orange-purple-blue. In the second image I tried to compare two MS routes, but it turned out pretty full and not as clear as I had hoped. Can you tell which route is two moves more efficient? It does show how Lynx and MS routes for this level look very different. In Lynx any time you step on ice it adds to the time, but in MS boosting means you should prefer stepping on a single tile of ice whenever you can! Even in Lynx it feels odd when the path crosses back on itself, which comes up a few times and happens on ice, but in MS there are more 'back and forth'-sections. I still have no idea if some completely different approach would work better in MS.

Here's a run down of all the scores I have for this first level, just for fun:
179 Lynx score if you go back and forth (horizontally, though vertically is only a move slower)
183 IHNN's first submission, using skates
185 Ruben's first submission, using skates
186 Ruben's second submission, no skates
186 Bacorn's submission, exiting NE
187 IHNN's improved solution using skates
187 Ruben's third submission, delayed use of skates
188 Ruben's final submission, delayed use of skates
189 IHNN's final submission, no skates
189 what the current best MS solution route scores in Lynx
189 Miika's first solution
190 Miika's improved solution
191 Miika's submitted solution
191 Miika's solution in the video, [1.5] moves quicker than the previous one

193.0 MS Tom Rowe's submission

196.0 MS using back and forth method, horizontally

198.2 MS using back and forth method, vertically

198.2 MS Miika's submission using the path first used to score 191 in Lynx

201.8 MS what the better 191 Lynx route is actually worth in MS

204.2 MS what one of the paths drawn on the map is worth

204.6 MS what the other path on the map is worth

205.0 MS the solution shown last in the video


Hopefully you enjoyed this competition and these results. I would love to hear any comments or feelings you had about them.


That's it for now! Let's wait a bit more for the CCLP4 dust to settle and then we can jump in again to more optimizing in this environment!  :glider:



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