Break Into Us
June 27, 2020 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Break Into Us
I made a web-based puzzle game. Players must solve clues to reduce the possible permutations for a series of combination locks and get them open. There are a couple of deliberately-easy tutorial levels at the start, but once you've solved the first one you can jump to any lock you please.

It all came about after a friend, three months ago, shared with me a puzzle of this type that she'd seen at work. I noticed that it was like playing Bulls and Cows (which in turn is like Mastermind) but with a sufficiency of "wrong" guesses made for you, in advance.

Sometimes my brain won't let go, though, so after I'd solved it, I felt the need to write a computer program that could solve it. Then I wanted to expand that into a computer program that could generate puzzles of this type. Long story short: I accidentally made a game.

The full story, plus an explanation of how the generator works, is on my blog.
Role: Programmer
posted by avapoet (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

These are neat and I like them but I've run into some difficulties. Maybe I'm misreading the meaning of the clues. When a clue says "one digit is right and in the right place", does that definitely mean that only one digit is right and the other two are therefore wrong?
posted by jacquilynne at 11:49 AM on June 29


I love this, and looking at your blog I also love your pi calculation method. Nice work!
posted by Literaryhero at 6:22 AM on June 30


This is really fun! I'm going through a lot of stress right now and this is exactly what I need to distract myself before bed. You've made my day.

Minor UI complaint if you feel like fixing it: in my browser (Chrome on ChromeOS), clicking one of the buttons to change the combination automatically scrolls the screen to line up the lock at the top of the screen, which a) can cause some of the clues to scroll off the top of the screen, and b) can move the "unlock" button immediately underneath my mouse, meaning that if I'm clicking twice to adjust a digit by two or more steps, the second one ends up attempting an unlock instead.

jacquilynne, I think that's right. I'm mentally adjusting that to "only one digit is right and it is in the right place" and so far I'm solving all the puzzles.
posted by biogeo at 11:07 PM on June 30


Having fun with this at work! Shhh don't tell
posted by one4themoment at 6:46 AM on July 1


jacquilynne, I think that's right. I'm mentally adjusting that to "only one digit is right and it is in the right place" and so far I'm solving all the puzzles.

I figured out what was tripping me up -- it does mean only one digit is right and it is in the right place. But what it *doesn't* mean is that the "right" digit can't *also* appear elsewhere in the response.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:16 PM on July 1


As an additional note on interface -- it would be nice to be able to link to specific puzzles to send them to other people.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:29 PM on July 1


Lock 023: Monster doesn't seem to be accepting the right answer. I've convinced myself with both a logical argument and a handwritten solver that there is only one solution, so it's not a case where the puzzle has multiple solutions but is only accepting one of them.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 4:02 AM on July 5


I thought it was just me: I've worked through that one twice, very thoroughly the second time, and got the same answer both times but it still won't unlock.
posted by biogeo at 12:03 PM on July 5


I was able to unlock 023 but just tried it now so maybe it has been fixed?
posted by jacquilynne at 3:19 PM on July 5


this is delightful. thank you!
posted by sums at 10:24 PM on July 5


I was able to unlock 023 but just tried it now so maybe it has been fixed?

I tried it again and it still didn't unlock. What was your answer? Mine was
spoiler784X

posted by J.K. Seazer at 1:28 AM on July 6


So, that's interesting. If I enter your answer - same as my answer -- into Chrome on Android, it unlocks. If I enter it into Chrome on Windows, it does not.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:35 AM on July 6


Interesting. I tried on Firefox and Chromium for Linux, and neither worked.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 4:38 PM on July 6


I've solved all the locks now, and even got Chrome on Windows to accept my answer on 023. So I feel very satisfied with myself.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:07 PM on July 28


« Older Kaggle Birdcall Identification Competition...   |   Messages From Sagittarius A*... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.