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View Poll Results: Which method do you prefer for dealing with repeat letter usage?
Automatic Replacement (option 1) 30 25.64%
Visual Indication (option 2) 34 29.06%
Leave it the Heck Alone! (as-is) 53 45.30%
Voters: 117. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 04-13-2011, 08:24 PM
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Post New feature - input needed!

Hi folks -

A common request for cryptograms.org is to make it so that a user can't use the same letter twice on the same puzzle. Right now the system will allow you to make A into T and B into T, and won't show you there's an error. Some find this annoying because the error often won't become apparent until they hit submit.

I'm working on two fixes for this, and would like your input on which you feel is most beneficial (and least intrusive) for gameplay. You can try out the two options via the urls given below, but note that these urls are STILL TIED INTO COMPETITION. If you want to test them out and are worried the change in gameplay may affect your solve times, be sure to log out first before trying any of these test urls.

First option: If a letter is re-used, it is placed into the new box(es) and automatically removed from all previous placements. (If A was already T, and you mark B as now also being T, all A's will revert to blanks.) No warning or error message acknowledges the change.

Test this at: http://www.cryptograms.org/play8.php

Second option: If a letter is re-used, all previous placements of that same letter are shaded in pink to give visual indication of the double-usage. But both old and new placements retain the same letter - the user must make a decision to remove one or the other manually.

Test this at: http://www.cryptograms.org/play9.php

I'm including a poll on this thread to allow you to vote for your preferred method - either "Auto Replacement" (1st option), "Visual Indication" (2nd option) or "Leave it the Heck Alone" (if you prefer things as they are).

Thanks for your input!

Stephen
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2011, 08:40 PM
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Default Hi

I prefer to leave things as they were.

However, the first change is less intrusive to game play, I find.

The second one would be excellent for new players.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2011, 10:09 PM
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Default Visual replacement!

Hey,

There are so many times I screw up a puzzle because I put in a letter that's already there, and don't notice (especially on the really long puzzles).

ANYTHING that's an indication that a letter is already there is better than nothing! No matter what puzzle site - sudoku, other cryptogram sites, dropquotes, etc - if you can't put in a letter or a number because it already exists, it doesn't let you. It's a basic user experience piece that's missing, and seriously detracts, from the cryptogram experience.

Especially for beginners, this will really help to make the puzzles more user friendly.

I'm choosing highlighting the previous letter in pink, because if letters are going to be removed, I want to be able to easily see where the letter is being removed from so I can correct the word that they were in! (Because if one letter in a word is wrong, chances are high other letters in the word are incorrect as well). For instance, if I have "the" and then end up using an "h" somewhere else, then I'll end up with t-e. Obviously, that word is now not "the" so another letter in it must be wrong. But what if I don't notice this right away, and later in the puzzle I have "b - t"? I'll put a "u" there, making that word "but". And then maybe I'll have "y - u", so I'll make that "you". And so on - until soon the whole puzzle is completely wrong and confusing. If the "h" in "the" were highlighted to begin with, then I'd notice "the" is wrong, change the "t", and then correctly get "bar" (instead of but) and "yet" (instead of "you"). And so on and so forth.

For sheer user-friendliness and ease of use, I'm choosing the highlighting method.

Thanks!!
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2011, 10:59 PM
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jimdgar jimdgar is offline
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Default

I'm with Pootie on this one; leave things as they are. Making the game easier for newcomers is admirable, but it's already much easier than pen-and-paper cryptos due to auto-completion, letter counts, etc. Making a fundamental change like this breaks continuity with all the record times posted in the past.

-jimdgar
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2011, 11:22 PM
dpm39560 dpm39560 is offline
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Default Give Us The Option

For registered users, it seems it would be a fairly easy programming matter to allow each user to have a set of PLAY OPTIONS that they can change. E.G., "Show duplicates? (Y/N)" and "Eliminate Previous Entry when Duplicated?" and "Don't Show Duplicates" (radio button to select one of the three). Since you've already done the programming to do each method, all you need to do now is to let each user pick which to use. Presto, no more "Which way to go?" dilemmas.

Another option could be "Show On-Screen Timer?" Etc.

dpm39560 in MS
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  #6  
Old 04-14-2011, 02:49 AM
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Default

I'm voting for the auto-replace because it's faster than scrolling down to hit the reset button. A lot of the time, I start with 3-letter words and just randomly type whatever words look like they work. Between that and typos, I often have to go back and clear words. This way, I could change my mind as I go along.

The only thing I don't like about the highlighting is that it cancels the auto-advance until you fix the problem. Other than that, it is certainly a useful option.
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2011, 07:24 PM
BuzzBuzz BuzzBuzz is offline
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Default A suggestion

I notice that there are possibilities of getting one or more hints. I suggest that solution times and scores be compared only with other times and scores that use the same degree of getting hints. I suggest that the user should be able to specify for a session (multiple cryptograms solved in sequence while logged in) the degree of hints desired: no hints, 1 hint, 2 hints, 3 hints, 4 hints, max available hints (which would depend on the difficulty of each cryptogram). It seems unfair to compare times and scores using no hints with ones using the maximum available hints.
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2011, 09:04 PM
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pootie49 pootie49 is offline
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Default

If a player is getting hints then they arent competing in the monthly competitions.
I am fairly certain that only registered competing players are achieving scores which
appear on the boards.
So no one in competition is getting hints.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2011, 12:49 AM
fishbum fishbum is offline
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Default

I'm taking this opportunity to input a couple of things that made it more fun for me.
1. I am not a good typist so it often takes me a while to locate certain keys such as 'delete'.
I have a programmable mouse and programmed a button for the 'delete' function.
2. At one earlier time I was going to suggest to management that perhaps they could provide a drag-and-drop option for letters. I had this in mind because I would like to lean back in my chair and not have to sit upright to address the keyboard. (physical issues). Well, I have overcome this when I discovered the on-screen keyboard option. It also frees up one hand to hold my whiskey glass.
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2011, 01:29 AM
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pootie49 pootie49 is offline
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Default

Fishbum? The on screen keyboard... How does that work?

Do you just use your mouse to do the typing so to speak?

Isnt that alot of work? You would have to locate the letter with your mouse then
position it into the puzzle is that right??

Just curious Ive never used an on screen keyboard I dont think this old computer
even has one.

Thanks.
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