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Curvy Copter Discussion(New)

Wish Lin

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Just an update, I plan to start practicing some curvy copter after my next competition. I just thought I would let you all know to revive this thread because I do think curvy copter could be a great official event some day.
Also just an update, I was planning on designing a (somewhat) speedsolvable curvy copter based on Lanlan's design, but I don't have a 3d scanner and my 123D design is clearly not good enough for the job. Waiting for my friend to lend me Solidworks.
 

Mike Hughey

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Thatt’s all right:) I’ll do a more formal one after a couple days.
Did this ever get done? If so, I'm sorry - I think I missed it.

I've about decided to go ahead and add all 4 events, since everything but Speed FMC was really easy to add (other than the scrambler, which I don't have to rush to integrate right now - I can generate those by hand for the first few weeks if necessary). I don't really have time to be creating the SVG file yet, though, so I'll probably just use the skewb icon for this event until I have time to make a better one. In fact, I will probably do that even if someone has an SVG file for the first week or two; it takes some effort even just to generate the icon font once I have the svg file, so I probably won't have time to even do that before Monday.

Ultimately, the icons have to fit some pretty strict guidelines to be accepted by the WCA as unofficial event icons. Please don't feel the need to make one for me if it's not convenient; I'd probably have to heavily modify it to meet those guidelines anyway, and they're not really documented anywhere - I've learned them through trial and error with my previous ones. (Some of the most obvious: grid must run 0 to 500 in x and y directions, spacing between pieces must be self-consistent and consistent with other similar icons already in the font, proportions must be reasonably correct with the real puzzle.)
 

KingCanyon

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Did this ever get done? If so, I'm sorry - I think I missed it.

I've about decided to go ahead and add all 4 events, since everything but Speed FMC was really easy to add (other than the scrambler, which I don't have to rush to integrate right now - I can generate those by hand for the first few weeks if necessary). I don't really have time to be creating the SVG file yet, though, so I'll probably just use the skewb icon for this event until I have time to make a better one. In fact, I will probably do that even if someone has an SVG file for the first week or two; it takes some effort even just to generate the icon font once I have the svg file, so I probably won't have time to even do that before Monday.

Ultimately, the icons have to fit some pretty strict guidelines to be accepted by the WCA as unofficial event icons. Please don't feel the need to make one for me if it's not convenient; I'd probably have to heavily modify it to meet those guidelines anyway, and they're not really documented anywhere - I've learned them through trial and error with my previous ones. (Some of the most obvious: grid must run 0 to 500 in x and y directions, spacing between pieces must be self-consistent and consistent with other similar icons already in the font, proportions must be reasonably correct with the real puzzle.)
Hey, I really appreciate your efforts to satisfy everyone’s wants for this weekly competition. You really help this community and I thank you for that.
 
Last edited:

Mike Hughey

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Now that I have gotten a curvy copter and more or less know how to solve it, and have competed in it for the Weekly Competition this week, I have a question. Before asking the question, I should probably mention that people who have objected that scrambling the curvy copter is sufficiently daunting that it is a major barrier to this ever becoming a WCA event. It would be interesting to see how much optimization is possible to the scrambler; perhaps if the scrambles were much shorter, it might be more possible. But it seems to me after learning how to solve it that at the very least, quite a few jumbling moves are required just to get it fully scrambled, and the final portion of the current scrambles that takes it out of cubeshape are probably half the total scrambling time, for me at least. So I really have doubts that any significant time improvement can be made on the scrambling, if we allow full jumbling.

But just for fun, imagine that we somehow were able to justify having fiully-jumbled (non-cubeshape scrambles) curvy copter as an official event. Would it make sense to allow "forcing" moves that are not necessary to solve the puzzle? As a very simple example, imagine a scramble (on a solved puzzle) like: UR+ UF+2. Now after those two moves, should it be considered illegal to make the move UR-? Of course, this is a silly example, since it wouldn't help anything to solve it, but it was easy to set up and shows my point. There are certainly situations where it is easier (fewer moves, or at least less thinking) to solve to cubeshape by forcing a move that really isn't possible on a fully rigid puzzle, but such that currently available, somewhat nicely-turning puzzles today easily allow such forcing moves. And if the event were to become popular, it's easy to imagine speed curvy copters being developed which are even looser for faster turning, which would make such forcing moves even easier to perform - probably even effortless to perform.

I think it's easy to see that watching for such moves would be a nearly impossible task to expect a judge to follow and prevent. And even if it were possible, requiring judges to watch for such forcing moves would create a confrontational situation very different from anything we have now in competitions, and so I doubt there's any way we would want to introduce such a requirement on judges.

I have to admit that I personally would love the idea of a fully shapeshifting jumbling puzzle (beyond what square-1 does today) becoming an official event, but does this problem prevent curvy copter from ever being such? There are a couple of ways I could see to solve it:
1. Simply don't scramble beyond cubeshape - do jumbling for moving centers, but always restore the puzzle to a cube at the end of the scramble. Then while such moves would still be possible, they would rarely if ever give an advantage, and therefore could be ignored. I must admit though that I find this somewhat disappointing, since I really like the additional challenge of trying to get it to cubeshape. Although I'm really, really bad at it - it often takes me more than 10 minutes just to get to cubeshape, making it sometimes more than half the solve.
2. Simply allow any move you can do on your particular puzzle, and don't worry about "illegal" jumbling moves - consider moves such as my UR+ UF+2 UR- example above to be a legal move.

I'm very curious what other people think about this. Kit mentioned to me in a PM earlier this week that he is often tempted to make such forcing moves, and I actually then realized I was probably making them without knowing they were even improper forcing moves. But whatshisbucket's excellent scrambler is apparently capable of getting to any "legal" cubeshape while clearly NEVER making such forcing moves - at least, I've never seen an example scramble where such a forcing move is done. I'm very impressed that it does that so well; I assume that is due to the work he says he used that was done by Matt Galla.
 

KingCanyon

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Now that I have gotten a curvy copter and more or less know how to solve it, and have competed in it for the Weekly Competition this week, I have a question. Before asking the question, I should probably mention that people who have objected that scrambling the curvy copter is sufficiently daunting that it is a major barrier to this ever becoming a WCA event. It would be interesting to see how much optimization is possible to the scrambler; perhaps if the scrambles were much shorter, it might be more possible. But it seems to me after learning how to solve it that at the very least, quite a few jumbling moves are required just to get it fully scrambled, and the final portion of the current scrambles that takes it out of cubeshape are probably half the total scrambling time, for me at least. So I really have doubts that any significant time improvement can be made on the scrambling, if we allow full jumbling.

But just for fun, imagine that we somehow were able to justify having fiully-jumbled (non-cubeshape scrambles) curvy copter as an official event. Would it make sense to allow "forcing" moves that are not necessary to solve the puzzle? As a very simple example, imagine a scramble (on a solved puzzle) like: UR+ UF+2. Now after those two moves, should it be considered illegal to make the move UR-? Of course, this is a silly example, since it wouldn't help anything to solve it, but it was easy to set up and shows my point. There are certainly situations where it is easier (fewer moves, or at least less thinking) to solve to cubeshape by forcing a move that really isn't possible on a fully rigid puzzle, but such that currently available, somewhat nicely-turning puzzles today easily allow such forcing moves. And if the event were to become popular, it's easy to imagine speed curvy copters being developed which are even looser for faster turning, which would make such forcing moves even easier to perform - probably even effortless to perform.

I think it's easy to see that watching for such moves would be a nearly impossible task to expect a judge to follow and prevent. And even if it were possible, requiring judges to watch for such forcing moves would create a confrontational situation very different from anything we have now in competitions, and so I doubt there's any way we would want to introduce such a requirement on judges.

I have to admit that I personally would love the idea of a fully shapeshifting jumbling puzzle (beyond what square-1 does today) becoming an official event, but does this problem prevent curvy copter from ever being such? There are a couple of ways I could see to solve it:
1. Simply don't scramble beyond cubeshape - do jumbling for moving centers, but always restore the puzzle to a cube at the end of the scramble. Then while such moves would still be possible, they would rarely if ever give an advantage, and therefore could be ignored. I must admit though that I find this somewhat disappointing, since I really like the additional challenge of trying to get it to cubeshape. Although I'm really, really bad at it - it often takes me more than 10 minutes just to get to cubeshape, making it sometimes more than half the solve.
2. Simply allow any move you can do on your particular puzzle, and don't worry about "illegal" jumbling moves - consider moves such as my UR+ UF+2 UR- example above to be a legal move.

I'm very curious what other people think about this. Kit mentioned to me in a PM earlier this week that he is often tempted to make such forcing moves, and I actually then realized I was probably making them without knowing they were even improper forcing moves. But whatshisbucket's excellent scrambler is apparently capable of getting to any "legal" cubeshape while clearly NEVER making such forcing moves - at least, I've never seen an example scramble where such a forcing move is done. I'm very impressed that it does that so well; I assume that is due to the work he says he used that was done by Matt Galla.
Where does it say such forcing moves are illegal? I do understand however that these moves are not natural to the nature of the puzzle, but is there really any way for people to prevent this officially? Even if judges were assigned the task of looking for these unnatural forcing moves, there would be bound to be mistakes. Since jumbling is only a portion of the solve, I'm inclined to allow the forcing, as I don't really see anyway to prevent it effectively. That being said, it would be nice if puzzle manufacturers could find a way to prevent the puzzle from doing this. I think it may be pretty difficult to keep the curvy copter as a speed puzzle while preventing this unnatural move. I would like to be wrong about that though. Perhaps there is a cube mechanism that prevents these unnatural moves while still maintaining the puzzle's speed. If anyone has an example like this, I would love to here about it.
 

One Wheel

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I personally don’t find scrambling all that bad. Notation is actually pretty good, and I’m pretty sure I’m 2/2 for correct scrambles. 1/2 for solves, and that one took looking up last corner algs. Cubeshape still has me flummoxed on the second scramble. I’m not sure about the illegal moves, functionally it seems about like a corner twist, except I’m not sure about whether it would ever be an advantage.

As far as the WCA, I suspect that, like higher-order dodecahedrons, this could only be seriously considered for addition after a reliable and affordable mechanical scrambler is developed. This would of course require a standard for the exact angles of non-180 degree turns, and would answer @KiT Clement’s concern about checking scrambles.
 

Kit Clement

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One thing that I think would be a big improvement on the scrambler: when it's in the second phase of jumbling, I often get lost in the scramble as when I read the first two moves of a jumbling move, I know the next 3 exactly and don't look at the next moves, and often end up losing my place. I think that using some form of notation like RedKB's JR/JL plus cube rotations would be much easier to read than spelling out all 5 moves of the jumbling move. We could use something like J/J' or J+/J- to indicate that you do clockwise or counterclockwise moves to set up the jumble around the current UF edge.

While not as clean, we could also do something like (UF J+) to indicate a clockwise setup to a jumbling move around UF, or (BR J-) to indicate a counter-clockwise setup to a jumbling move around the BR edge. This eliminates dealing with rotations, but I personally prefer the rotations.
 
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Inside your main 7x7
Now that I have gotten a curvy copter and more or less know how to solve it, and have competed in it for the Weekly Competition this week, I have a question. Before asking the question, I should probably mention that people who have objected that scrambling the curvy copter is sufficiently daunting that it is a major barrier to this ever becoming a WCA event. It would be interesting to see how much optimization is possible to the scrambler; perhaps if the scrambles were much shorter, it might be more possible. But it seems to me after learning how to solve it that at the very least, quite a few jumbling moves are required just to get it fully scrambled, and the final portion of the current scrambles that takes it out of cubeshape are probably half the total scrambling time, for me at least. So I really have doubts that any significant time improvement can be made on the scrambling, if we allow full jumbling.

But just for fun, imagine that we somehow were able to justify having fiully-jumbled (non-cubeshape scrambles) curvy copter as an official event. Would it make sense to allow "forcing" moves that are not necessary to solve the puzzle? As a very simple example, imagine a scramble (on a solved puzzle) like: UR+ UF+2. Now after those two moves, should it be considered illegal to make the move UR-? Of course, this is a silly example, since it wouldn't help anything to solve it, but it was easy to set up and shows my point. There are certainly situations where it is easier (fewer moves, or at least less thinking) to solve to cubeshape by forcing a move that really isn't possible on a fully rigid puzzle, but such that currently available, somewhat nicely-turning puzzles today easily allow such forcing moves. And if the event were to become popular, it's easy to imagine speed curvy copters being developed which are even looser for faster turning, which would make such forcing moves even easier to perform - probably even effortless to perform.

I think it's easy to see that watching for such moves would be a nearly impossible task to expect a judge to follow and prevent. And even if it were possible, requiring judges to watch for such forcing moves would create a confrontational situation very different from anything we have now in competitions, and so I doubt there's any way we would want to introduce such a requirement on judges.

I have to admit that I personally would love the idea of a fully shapeshifting jumbling puzzle (beyond what square-1 does today) becoming an official event, but does this problem prevent curvy copter from ever being such? There are a couple of ways I could see to solve it:
1. Simply don't scramble beyond cubeshape - do jumbling for moving centers, but always restore the puzzle to a cube at the end of the scramble. Then while such moves would still be possible, they would rarely if ever give an advantage, and therefore could be ignored. I must admit though that I find this somewhat disappointing, since I really like the additional challenge of trying to get it to cubeshape. Although I'm really, really bad at it - it often takes me more than 10 minutes just to get to cubeshape, making it sometimes more than half the solve.
2. Simply allow any move you can do on your particular puzzle, and don't worry about "illegal" jumbling moves - consider moves such as my UR+ UF+2 UR- example above to be a legal move.

I'm very curious what other people think about this. Kit mentioned to me in a PM earlier this week that he is often tempted to make such forcing moves, and I actually then realized I was probably making them without knowing they were even improper forcing moves. But whatshisbucket's excellent scrambler is apparently capable of getting to any "legal" cubeshape while clearly NEVER making such forcing moves - at least, I've never seen an example scramble where such a forcing move is done. I'm very impressed that it does that so well; I assume that is due to the work he says he used that was done by Matt Galla.
Where does it say such forcing moves are illegal? I do understand however that these moves are not natural to the nature of the puzzle, but is there really any way for people to prevent this officially? Even if judges were assigned the task of looking for these unnatural forcing moves, there would be bound to be mistakes. Since jumbling is only a portion of the solve, I'm inclined to allow the forcing, as I don't really see anyway to prevent it effectively. That being said, it would be nice if puzzle manufacturers could find a way to prevent the puzzle from doing this. I think it may be pretty difficult to keep the curvy copter as a speed puzzle while preventing this unnatural move. I would like to be wrong about that though. Perhaps there is a cube mechanism that prevents these unnatural moves while still maintaining the puzzle's speed. If anyone has an example like this, I would love to here about it.
What if manufacturers made curvy copters that made illegal moves turn well and be part of the mechanism, thus making them legal.
 

One Wheel

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Does anyone know if these “illegal moves” can result in a state that cannot be solved without the same kind of move? I got a shape state that stumped me for two days until I tried forcing a turn past a corner like the move @Mike Hughey was talking about. Once I forced that cube shape was trivial. I suspect I may have made one of those moves inadvertently.
 

OreKehStrah

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I personally still stand by my view that it would be better to first experiment with curvy copter without using jumbling moves. The notation/scrambles would be cleaner, 2D images wouldn't be a problem, the solve would still be unique and non-trivial as an edge turning puzzle, and the problem of legal vs illegal moves is avoided.
Of course, the fact that jumbling uses all the puzzle's potential is great, but I think that if we really wanted to push for CC to get added officially, not using jumbling would imo drastically reduce the difficulty/headache, while not sacrificing too much solve complexity. The solve is still unique as an edge turning puzzle, and is still non-trivial without jumbling. I personally find jumbling to be annoying to deal with, which of course does bias my opinion here, but we're all biased to our opinions, and no one is right or wrong in that regard.
 

One Wheel

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I personally still stand by my view that it would be better to first experiment with curvy copter without using jumbling moves. The notation/scrambles would be cleaner, 2D images wouldn't be a problem, the solve would still be unique and non-trivial as an edge turning puzzle, and the problem of legal vs illegal moves is avoided.
Of course, the fact that jumbling uses all the puzzle's potential is great, but I think that if we really wanted to push for CC to get added officially, not using jumbling would imo drastically reduce the difficulty/headache, while not sacrificing too much solve complexity. The solve is still unique as an edge turning puzzle, and is still non-trivial without jumbling. I personally find jumbling to be annoying to deal with, which of course does bias my opinion here, but we're all biased to our opinions, and no one is right or wrong in that regard.
The problem with that is one of adjudication: since there are states that require jumbling to solve, if a competitor reaches such a state then how do you determine whether the puzzle was accidentally jumbled during scrambling (justifying an extra attempt in a competition, although not as significant for the WC where competitors typically scramble their own puzzles) or if the competitor introduced jumbling moves (in which case the competitor could choose between using jumbling moves to complete the solve or taking a DNF. It’s kind of like scrambling a 4x4 as a 3x3, except it’s a lot easier to introduce jumbling than to introduce parity accidentally.

Edit: plus jumbling is cool.
 

Kit Clement

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Eliminating jumbling as a whole seems drastic and takes out the part of the event that makes it unique. Without jumbling, curvy copter is honestly a fairly trivial puzzle with bad ergonomics. I think it's not much more difficult logistically to include jumbling in scrambles and have all scramble states in cubeshape.
 

One Wheel

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Eliminating jumbling as a whole seems drastic and takes out the part of the event that makes it unique. Without jumbling, curvy copter is honestly a fairly trivial puzzle with bad ergonomics. I think it's not much more difficult logistically to include jumbling in scrambles and have all scramble states in cubeshape.
That seems like a reasonable compromise, although fixing the shape is a fun step. Two possibilities: I mentioned above a mechanical scrambler, if that was readily available would it negate the need to check scrambles? I suspect that this would be at least a couple of years out, and the scrambles used now in the WC have three pretty clear phases, would it be feasible to draw scrambles in those three phases? 2-D for after the non-jumbling phase and after cube-shape-with-jumbling, and a rotatable 3-D computer model for after shape-shifting.
 

OreKehStrah

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The problem with that is one of adjudication: since there are states that require jumbling to solve, if a competitor reaches such a state then how do you determine whether the puzzle was accidentally jumbled during scrambling (justifying an extra attempt in a competition, although not as significant for the WC where competitors typically scramble their own puzzles) or if the competitor introduced jumbling moves (in which case the competitor could choose between using jumbling moves to complete the solve or taking a DNF. It’s kind of like scrambling a 4x4 as a 3x3, except it’s a lot easier to introduce jumbling than to introduce parity accidentally.

Edit: plus jumbling is cool.
If the scrambles are done without jumbling correctly, then there shouldn’t be a need to perform jumbling moves during the solve.
 
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