Friday, May 9, 2008

Shining some light on Light Box

With my Grandmother's funeral on my mind I forgot to post this yesterday, though I did remember to update the Blazing Games site. I am finally going to post my guide to Light Box, but lets first take a look at what was posted on Blazing Games. The first of two episodes of One of those Weeks for this month was released. I plan on having another double release in July and one episode every other month so One of those Weeks will be ending this year. The making of One of those Weeks will take a little longer and I have another thing One of those Weeks related that I may be doing but won't go into any details until I know for sure I am going to release it.

Light Box is a black box style of game and as such reverse engineering of an object strictly by studying the inputs and the outputs. The goal is to recreate the original light box results, which may not necessarily result in the same layout but due to the simple nature of this game more often than not your clone box will be part for part identical. One of the nice things about this game is that there are many ways that one can use to solve the puzzles. The most entertainment comes from figuring out your own procedure for solving the game yourself, but today I am going to go over my procedure for solving the game.

The first step in my procedure is to simply to take a look at the test results and see if there are any correct entries which match up horizontally or vertically. The thought here is that these columns are statistically highly unlikely to contain any prisms. While it is certainly possible for there to be a multi-prism layout that fakes this result, this will happen fairly infrequently.

The next step is to take a look at the test results that are only halfway solved. The most common cause for this is a prism that has it's point towards the matching slot. While this may not always be the case, when it is, the placement of the prisms becomes abundantly clear. Some of these may be overly complex in which case I tend to just make note of them and continue on.

My next goal is to go through all the remaining non-matching slots and see if there are any obvious prisms. If there are only one or two outputs then it is simple to find the obvious placement of a prism that will give you the desired results. The nice thing about this is that often the solution to the more complex non-matching slots will become clear as you solve the simple slots.

Finally comes the assembling of the complex slots. Occasionally you will find a slot that simply will not work with the existing layout of prisms. In these cases, removal of some of the prisms is required and re-thinking of the prisms is required. While this is frustrating when it happens, actually solving these puzzles tends to be really rewarding.

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