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In any case, I'm interested in things you would like to see in any new version of the puzzle players. For example, would you like to be able to colour pencilmarks in the number-placement puzzles, or to be able to arbitrarily place symbols on squares? And would you like to always be able to have a problem in a puzzle highlighted, when you click 'check' and it's wrong (such as a disconnected loop in slitherlink, or an incorrect clue in hanjie)?
I have two main reasons to rewrite the player:1) To support lots of new puzzle types that are too complex to implement to be worth adding currently2) To form the core of a new app (phone, tablet) version of Puzzlemix
There are also interface considerations, since the player needs to be fundamentally compatible with all the ways it might be played:* Must be playable on desktop and laptop computers with keyboard and mouse (or other pointer device)* Must also work on touch screens, without any other input device, such as a computer touch screen or a tablet screen* Must be able to shrink to a version, even if simplified, that works on phone screens
I would also plan to have support for handwriting interfaces, such as the Apple pencil, and in particular to allow freehand markings, but these wouldn't form part of the core parts of the player so I'm going to ignore that for now.
Here are my own ideas of things I'd like to add:1) Save and replay solves, with timings2) Lots of new puzzle types3) Better touch device support4) Option to display time while solving5) 'Start button' and instructions flash screen on first opening (permanently dismissible if desired)6) Highlight one logic error when checking and incorrect7) More advanced pencilmark support8) Ability to highlight certain numbers or symbols in placement puzzles (like sudoku)9) Option to add extra notation to loop and shading puzzles, to keep track of notes (e.g. to add a small symbol to the corner of a square, as a pencilmark)10) Mouse shortcuts for symbol entry in placement puzzles, so you can play without a keyboard or touch screen
Conversely I think I'd remove most of the solving aid options that are currently in the player, and have just a few core ones, including a small number that are on by default such as intelligent colouring in the slitherlink player. I feel they clutter the interface, and hide the more important options for new players.
As an aside to the player updates, I also want to add user profiles (which would be entirely optional), so you can better keep track of how you're doing against other solvers, and add a small amount of biographical information if you wanted to.
Of course it's almost impossible to predict what the future trends and likes will be.My save guess would be: Create a VR-player with the grid on the one side and some cubes on the other. The player has to actually walk to one side of the virtual room to pick up a number and take it to the grid. Perfect combination of brain and body work...
But back to today's issues:The best idea seems to be to create an adaptable player (that seems to have been always your choice anyway).a) The player picks if he wants your suggestions like 4), 5), 6), 8),... also for helping tools. There should be a side bar (or bottom bar for portrait) that should be pretty empty to begin with. The user can decide what helping tool tiles are arranged in what order (and how full and/or distracting it has to be) - by activation.b) I don't know if touchscreens can do that by now concerning shading puzzles: Three buttons on one side (black, white, empty), hold one and "click" with another finger. If not, you have to toggle - but I think that's what the current player does.c) I don't know if it is desireable to scale the puzzle up larger than screen size. Then it might be easier to enter pencil marks/allow bigger puzzles.
Maybe this design idea works for placement puzzles on touch devices: you click one cell you want to edit. An interface-circle pops up and shows two rings with all possible numbers, like a clockwise sorted dart target. You click the inner number and the big number appears, pop up circle closes. If you click the outer number, you select a pencil mark. Pop up stays open, so you can select more or unset. In the center you have a close button and maybe two other buttons "set all", "clear all". Outside of the circle (with some distance) the user can choose to add "add valid", "remove invalid" and other help otions.First I thought the pop up circle appears above the cell, but then it would make other cells invisible. So the user has to decide where it has to pop up...That might be called "pick and play"... but this idea probably exists already...
just my 5 "make no" cents...
Thanks for asking our opinion!
You can however view other players' statistics and comments in the tables above.
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