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Should We have more events instead of two added for 2020 competitions?

Should more than two events be added for the 2020 season?

  • Yes: Add all four events.

    Votes: 4 9.1%
  • Yes: Add three events.

    Votes: 5 11.4%
  • Yes: Add three events, though the event I hope is third is likely not going to be added (Explain.)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No: Only two should be added.

    Votes: 8 18.2%
  • I don't care.

    Votes: 7 15.9%
  • I'm okay with up to 4 events being added if Mike can handle the work

    Votes: 20 45.5%

  • Total voters
    44

Sion

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As we all know, Mike Hughey wants to add two events for the 2020 season. However, looking upon the four candidates, I realized that the four candidates are all significantly different from each-other.

15 puzzle would bring a non-twisty but competitive puzzle into the mix. It's also a very friendly event to get involved with for newer cubers. I would argue it's the new clock, in the sense it's a flat puzzle, if that makes sense.

Curvy Copter would bring an exceptionally challenging but new experience into the mix, and would allow the community to experience the evolution of a puzzle and its solutions that we haven't had since the 1980s it seems.

Speed FMC is fascinating, since in a way, it's like speedcubing, but with a pen and trying to be efficient, racing against the clock as you try to make an efficient solution.

Mirror blocks are an unusual take on the most popular event of all: 3x3. While it is the least unique, for many newcomers, it could be a challenge worth getting into.

In this regard, I find it hard to really say that only adding two would give these candidates justice, though I do feel a choice should be made.

In this sense, I'm posting a poll to see if the community would want to see more than two events added. Please vote with what answer you feel justifies your opinions best. As of writing this thread, Speed FMC is overwhelmingly first and 15 Puzzle is a very firm second, Curvy Copter is at third with just one more vote than Mirror Blocks, which is in fourth.
 

ProStar

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I think it depends on how many votes are cast for each event. If more than two events are overwhelmingly over the 22 vote criteria, then I say add them. If a third/fourth event is barely over 22 votes, then don't add it.
 

Sion

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I think it depends on how many votes are cast for each event. If more than two events are overwhelmingly over the 22 vote criteria, then I say add them. If a third/fourth event is barely over 22 votes, then don't add it.
People could always start off as being skeptical, and start to warm up once an event is in effect.
 

Kit Clement

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I think the main reason that we aren’t going to add more than two events is because it is a lot of work for Mike Hughey and his time is limited. I too would enjoy more than two being added, but I would not want to pressure Mike into doing any extra work than what he has already done / is doing.
Came here to say the same thing.
 

ProStar

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I think the main reason that we aren’t going to add more than two events is because it is a lot of work for Mike Hughey and his time is limited. I too would enjoy more than two being added, but I would not want to pressure Mike into doing any extra work than what he has already done / is doing.
The hardest part of adding an event would be something that has weird rules. For example, team events would require Mike to figure out how the event would work, make a list of guidelines, and most importantly, do a bunch of coding to implement it. Not all events have those problems. For example:

Mirror Blocks - Same scrambler + rules as 3x3
15 Puzzle - Scramblers exist, he'd have to implement one and make a(likely short) list of guidelines
Curvy Copter - He'd have to figure out how jumbling would work, although I believe scramblers exist
Speed FMC - Although not that hard overall, this would be the most difficult to add. Mike would have to code in a function that automatically determines the person's score(since time matters, in addition to score). Scrambles would be the same as FMC, and most rules would also come from FMC, with the addition of a few more.

(@Mike Hughey Correct me if I'm wrong on anything I said)
 

Kit Clement

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The hardest part of adding an event would be something that has weird rules. For example, team events would require Mike to figure out how the event would work, make a list of guidelines, and most importantly, do a bunch of coding to implement it. Not all events have those problems. For example:

Mirror Blocks - Same scrambler + rules as 3x3
15 Puzzle - Scramblers exist, he'd have to implement one and make a(likely short) list of guidelines
Curvy Copter - He'd have to figure out how jumbling would work, although I believe scramblers exist
Speed FMC - Although not that hard overall, this would be the most difficult to add. Mike would have to code in a function that automatically determines the person's score(since time matters, in addition to score). Scrambles would be the same as FMC, and most rules would also come from FMC, with the addition of a few more.

(@Mike Hughey Correct me if I'm wrong on anything I said)
Even if a scrambler already exists elsewhere, implementing it into the competition website is non-trivial. The language that the scrambler is written in and the language that the SS comp uses is likely to differ. Mirror Blocks is the only event of the four that adds nothing to Mike's time as it just requires copying a scrambler that is already implemented into the competition.
 

ProStar

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Even if a scrambler already exists elsewhere, implementing it into the competition website is non-trivial. The language that the scrambler is written in and the language that the SS comp uses is likely to differ.
That's true. He could probably use another event as a template and replace it with the notation for the new event though.

I'm not 100% on that, as I've never done programming involving that type of thing.
 

Sion

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We already have the equipment for Curvy Copter (It was worked on extensively during the 3rd quarter of this year.)

The only really tough one is SpeedFMC.
 

ProStar

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We already have the equipment for Curvy Copter (It was worked on extensively during the 3rd quarter of this year.)

The only really tough one is SpeedFMC.
Mike himself said that Speed FMC wouldn't be that hard, but definitely the hardest of the four nominees.

"3. Speed FMC is pushing it on difficulty to add. Certainly not as difficult to add as team events, but might still involve a lot more coding than some other events. But it does seem like a fun idea, and i should be able to reuse a lot of the current FMC code, so if it passes, I will probably try."
 

Kit Clement

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That's true. He could probably use another event as a template and replace it with the notation for the new event though.

I'm not 100% on that, as I've never done programming involving that type of thing.
Coding a scrambler isn't about creating a random set of notation. It's about generating a state randomly and then finding the set of notation that generates that state. That's far more complicated than you're making it out to be.
 

Sion

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Coding a scrambler isn't about creating a random set of notation. It's about generating a state randomly and then finding the set of notation that generates that state. That's far more complicated than you're making it out to be.
That should be easy for Curvy copter, especially since tons of work has already went into it in 3rd quarter 2019, courtesy of whatshisbucket.
 

ProStar

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Coding a scrambler isn't about creating a random set of notation. It's about generating a state randomly and then finding the set of notation that generates that state. That's far more complicated than you're making it out to be.
Sorry, I don't know much about that type of programming. What you're saying makes sense though, it's not just random moves.
 

One Wheel

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Mike has done a great job running the competition, if he wants to add four events that’s great. If he decides that adding anything is just too much work this year, that’s great too. Personally I would love to see about a dozen different events added, but I know that’s not going to happen this year.
 

Mike Hughey

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That should be easy for Curvy copter, especially since tons of work has already went into it in 3rd quarter 2019, courtesy of whatshisbucket.
Somewhat true. The scrambler is random-state and has already been written (and all the notation has already been worked out - it might be able to be improved, but it certainly is sufficient for implementation today as-is), and I have essentially been given permission to use it. But it will require integrating into the website, which will require some rework of the code since it is in a different langauge.

As mentioned earlier, mirror blocks is very easy to add, requiring only the work necessary to add a new event - I get to use the same 3x3x3 scrambler with no changes.

15 puzzle will require me to find a random-state scrambler I can use, or else write one myself. I know cstimer has something, and the nature of cstimer is such that I should be able to "steal" the code for it, but I probably wouldn't take the code like that without permission. So since it's looking likely 15 puzzle might make it through, anyone who can point me to a public-domain scrambler for 15 puzzle would be greatly appreciated!

I do suspect that the hardest part of adding speed FMC is actually the statistics. I might try to find a way to half-implement it the first week so as to buy me some time - I might need to do some statistics post-processing the first few weeks to properly handle it. But I will need to at least figure out a method of storing the results that I'm happy with before the competition starts, and that may be the trickiest part to be sure I'm getting right.
 

Mike Hughey

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Sorry for the double post, but I'd like people to see this because I want to see a discussion about it. I'm not really opposed to adding more than 2 events (assuming I can find the time the week after Christmas to make all the changes). But I kind of dislike removing events. (It complicates the statistics, and invariably disappoints at least a few people who were enjoying the event, and also leaves some events around, like 4x4x4 FMC, which many people would like to compete in someday, but are unable because it has been removed.) So if we do add all 4 events, I'd like to have some comfort with the idea they will probably remain indefinitely. We don't really have most of the problems here that are present in WCA competitions with too many events - there's no real reason not to have a bunch of events here. But there is definitely some opposition to the addition of some events, and I'd like to have some comfort that I'm not adding too many events that might someday be scrapped. That's why I was proposing a maximum of two events.
 

Kit Clement

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If there was a choice for "I'm okay with up to 4 events being added if Mike can handle the work" in the poll, I'd choose that option. I'm voting for the "all four" option though with a clear intent of not putting pressure for Mike to do more work. :)

I've seen some say that they like the weekly comp being something that you can feasibly do in a week, but I don't see it that way. I personally already don't have enough time to complete all of the non-6/7BLD events currently within a week without drastically reducing effort on some (especially FMC), and would rather have the SS comp be a place where you can compete in cool events that don't necessarily have a home anywhere else.
 
Last edited:

Sion

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If there was a choice for "I'm okay with up to 4 events being added if Mike can handle the work" in the poll, I'd choose that option. I'm voting for the "all four" option though with a clear intent of not putting pressure for Mike to do more work. :)

I've seen some say that they like the weekly comp being something that you can feasibly do in a week, but I don't see it that way. I personally already don't have enough time to complete all of the events currently within a week without drastically reducing effort on some (especially FMC), and would rather have the SS comp be a place where you can compete in cool events that don't necessarily have a home anywhere else.
Added!
 

xyzzy

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I know cstimer has something, and the nature of cstimer is such that I should be able to "steal" the code for it, but I probably wouldn't take the code like that without permission. So since it's looking likely 15 puzzle might make it through, anyone who can point me to a public-domain scrambler for 15 puzzle would be greatly appreciated!
Hm, I thought csTimer had a random-state scrambler, but the one there seems to be random-move. qqTimer does have one, though. Maybe contact qqwref or Ben about this?

One thing to note re: curvy copter and 15 puzzle is that the random-state scrambles are going to be relatively long. A 15 puzzle solver that optimises for single-tile metric (like the one in qqTimer, I think) will have average move counts around 40-50 (god's number for multi-tile metric is only 43, so it probably wouldn't be as bad with an MTM-based solver). The curvy copter solver/scrambler that whatshisbucket wrote seems to take over a hundred moves on average, although that's counting all of the orbit-swapping moves; with the shorthand notation, it takes around 70 moves.
 

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