Help with some Atlas puzzles

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WayneCa
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Joined: 2014-07-13

The thing is, once I gave you the solution, it's very hard to learn anything from it. Even if you remember the solution 100%, it doesn't really help you in the next puzzle that you cannot solve.
It's best to learn thru struggle. Better yet, is to learn the basic tricks in solving Sokoban levels. Stopheart gave a very good summary in his tutorial. I will try to translate that summary and post it here.

If all I was doing was memorizing your solution I would agree with you. However, I am not just memorizing the solutions you provide. In fact, I cannot off the top of my head remember any of the solutions.

What I do is study the moves. I pay attention to how I have to move the pusher and the boxes. When I cannot see the solution, it is mostly because I am not seeing how many ways there are to move. I keep trying different moves I see, but I become bogged down and cannot see new moves. I really don't like having to ask for help with these puzzles, but I find myself getting stuck, and when I have had success with so many other puzzles I just cannot understand why I can't see the solutions to the few that remain.

I return to the puzzles I have solved and try to see where I figured out one of the tricks you refer to and try to use that to help with the puzzles I get stuck on. Many times, I end up more confused than enlightened, but I keep muddling through until I find a solution, or until I get so frustrated that I have to leave that puzzle alone and move on.

If you can translate the tutorial Stopheart made, I will happily absorb its contents.

ben
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Joined: 2012-04-02

>>> If you can translate the tutorial Stopheart made, I will happily absorb its contents.

So far, I only translated the summary for general solving techniques.

The tutorials are nice, but there are many diagrams involved to explain things. This site is not a good place to do it.
If I translate the info and posted it somewhere, I will let you know.

In case you wonder where the original info is, it is here:
http://bbs.mf8-china.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=67457

You do not need to register to see the content.

You may try to use a translator and see how much you can get out of it.

Once you get thru the basic stuff, I suggest you to read the more advanced tutorials on later pages in the same thread. A few of them explain the keys on solving MF8 competition levels. Each tutorial tries to explain a concept or trick in solving levels.

Reverse mode was mentioned, but there is no details on how to do it.
That's because reverse mode was explained via discussion on QQ -- a chatting platform similar to IRC.

Note to site operator: If the above link violates any rule on this forum regarding posting links to other site, feel free to remove it.

WayneCa
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Joined: 2014-07-13

Thanks for the translation, ben. I have looked at the site through Google Translate, and the translation is not so good. I will be studying your translation. I perused it quickly this morning and it seems to have much good advice and tips. Hopefully this will help me get better at learning how to solve puzzles that seem to be difficult when they are not.

I have been studying your solution to the top quadrant of four zorros. I still have not gotten it, but I will get it at some point. Again, for me it's not about duplicating your moves. It's about understanding how to move the pusher and the boxes to achieve solution. Once I get it, I will be able to solve other puzzles with similar difficulties.

Thanks again for your help. It has been instrumental to helping me learn more about solving puzzles. Smile

WayneCa
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Joined: 2014-07-13

I have finally gotten a handle on the four zorros problem. I have not only solved the puzle, but have solved it with fewer moves and pushes than the example you provided. The first time I noticed while solving it that I could make one move differently than what I had been doing and found that I had shaved off quite a few moves. The end result was 457 moves and 84 pushes. While re-solving the puzzle, which I kept having the result of 461 moves, I found another move that I changed the order of (earlier rather than later), and solved it with 447 moves and 84 pushes. In doing all this, I began to understand how to move the boxes around, and applied that to dungeon of horrors. I came closer to solving it than I have before. I believe that I am well under way to knowing how to work around deadlocks.

Thank you for your help, Ben. Your insights have been indispensible.

WayneCa
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Joined: 2014-07-13

Dungeon of horror is now solved. I still have some studying of the solution to do before I will be comfortsble however. I am still not sure how I got it done, and (as it was with four zorros) I will keep studying the solution until I get what is happening.

ben
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Joined: 2012-04-02

Hi Wayne, for "four zorros", I saw you mentioned about number of moves and saving (and shaving) moves.

I think saving moves (and shaving moves) should not be on any solver's mind.
If your goal is to optimize moves, use an optimizer, it can definitely do a much better job than most human. Of course, for the best results in doing optimization, it's best to learn some basics about optimization and utilize the skills and figure better ways to optimize already computer-optimized solutions. I will not go into doing optimization here.
I just want to stress that, for solving, you should focus on what's key, not the number of moves or pushes. I never care about moves. If someone solved a level in 100 moves and I solved it in 100,000, so what? I solved it.

For "four zorros", it's obvious that the other 3 sides can be made look like the "up" side. Also, for the "left" side, H9 can also add a wall as well.
Since H9 is empty, that means the left hand side can be solved easier than the other three side.

For all the sides, the key to win is to know what goals must be able to fill in order to win.
Looking at each section, it's easy to see that you need to be able to fill these before to close the 3 goals on the outside:

UP: N4, N6
RIGHT: V11, X11
DOWN: N15, N17
LEFT: D11, F11, H9 can be turned into a wall

For this level, it's easy to analyze the goals.

As you can see, to make things as simple as possible, just use the same moves for the "up" and it will work for all sides.

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