My last few puzzles were rather easy, or at least quite explicit with regard to what you had to do. Time has come for some change. A bigger challenge. Not too big in my humble opinion, but of course I am biased as the creator. Still full completion is probably not for everybody.

The difficulty at the beginning is that I am not telling you exactly what to do. This is intended. Do not ask questions what to do, you only risk spoiling something by accident and I won't answer anyway.

Later on as you realize what is it that I am asking of you, the complexity grows with each passing quiz.

You have around a week for first two giveways and 2 days more for the final 2 giveaways.

It took me around 5 days to prepare this puzzle. Solving of course is much easier than preparation, especially the early stages that aren't that complicated, but do not underestimate this challenge on later stages. First giveaway in the series should be easy enough to get to, though.

All I'm going to say regarding the solutions is this: all quiz answers, except on the final quiz, consist only of latin alphabet letters. The exception is the final quiz, where one of the symbols to use is + (a plus sign). None of the answers have spaces in them. I'd be surprised if you answered the first question without bruteforcing, props if you did, sorry if you didn't.

Also, I'm using itstoohard so remember casing doesn't matter and make sure your answer has registered if you don't see neither "Correct" nor "Wrong" it probably means it's a good time to reload the page. I'm not asking to end the answers with anything funky this time :) Also this is my birthday month so this is part of my running celebration. If you read through at least here, here - have a freebie. I have made and will likely make even more giveaways on that occasion so you may get confused which ones are for the puzzle but well, don't worry too much about it :P


The Shortest Journey, generation 1:


The timer (final two giveaways end 2 days later)



Solution


Difficulty at the beginning (䷂) ― generation 1

Like I said, the difficulty at the beginning was that you didn't know what the heck all this is about. So prepare for Captain Hindsight to kick you as it wasn't anything outlandish.

The challenge basically was solving a series of mazes. Your good, old, you-can-only-turn-90-degrees-and-move-one-square-at-a-time type of maze. Except the dimensionality was slowly rising up to and including five (sic!) dimensions. Obviously started much easier than that.

And by "solving" I mean finding a path from starting point to a finish point and presenting it step by step using symbols like N for North as directions. On most of the maps the starting point was marked by an open, rounded box with an x inside, while the finish was a similar box, but with an arrow pointing outside the box. And of course, as the title of the puzzle suggests, you weren't looking just for any path, but for the (a) shortest path possible.

Initially it was mostly about bruteforcing the N symbol and then figuring out why it was N, looking and comparing the pictures on gen 1 and gen 2. Perhaps guessing the symbols on gen 2 as well. Subsequently I gave a pretty good hint, Tramontane, which is a name for north wind to clue you into the first solution and generally to the principal winds / compass rose.

Also initially the purple circle and the Pentastar Alignment symbol weren't used. They were there for the final challenge. It was a shout out to some games I played recently, namely Darksiders and Batman, that had some puzzles that you saw pretty much too soon and couldn't do anything with them yet, until you got better gear/powers. Anyway like I said it was about comparing gen 1 and gen 2, what is common (the two boxes with x and an arrow) and how they are different (configuration is different, at first one is north to the other, then on the other map it's to the east).

Also, the I Ching symbols were there mostly for the flavor, like I said, so another point not to overthink. Sometimes they could be a slight hint. In this solution I present those symbols as they were, along with the names I was thinking about in given stage. You could copy-pasta them and search for example using http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/search.htm

The solution to generation 1 was then just a single N, for "one step north". You wouldn't know it by then, but it was easily solvable without any idea with the hints provided (sorry for the bruteforcing part, though :P even though I felt it's the way to go). With the Tramontane hint you could possibly even not have to brute force, but still wonder what it meant.

The Wanderer (䷷) ― generation 2

Yes, you are a wanderer, wandering around in mazes provided by me. One of the solvers actually told me he had a nightmare featuring my puzzle that he indeed was trapped in some kind of excavation and had to use my map to get out. What can I say xD

Generation 2 was still just a kind of one dimensional "maze", this time designed to introduce the symbols E and the opposite one, W. Standing for East and West. The solution was two steps east, EE.

Both symbols could be bruteforced if you still didn't get the idea from the principal wind or North on generation 1 that I'm talking about the main compass rose directions. Even question 1 could be bruteforced if you noticed that I asked for the symbol used in Q1, meaning only this symbol is used there and no other symbol. My understanding is a few people did just that, guessed EE, but sadly still couldn't figure out it meant nothing more than "two steps East" :(

Treading (Continuing with Alertness) (䷉) ― generation 3

We continue our journey still not exactly sure what the future brings. But generation 3 is first more "legit" maze, two dimensional. Pretty easy though, if you had the idea already what my challenge is about. The W - E dimension (I called it Width) was introduced in generation 2, but the other dimension (persnally called it Length) only had N introduced. Obviously though, the opposite symbol was S (South) and that was a symbol used in the solution for generation 3.

Actually if you looked closely, you could figure out on this quiz that there could be many solutions even without revisiting a square, but I'm only looking for the shortest ones. And accepting all of them, in case of this maze there were 3 solutions, paths of length 8. Also another conclusion you could draw if you thought about it was that the maze fragments don't have a torus topology (do not wrap around the edges.. so the solution wasn't a simple N for instance, you had to go east, south and then west).

Enthusiasm (䷏) ― giveaway #1 (Indie Gala 6, 16 solvers, 9 entries)

Yay rejoice, you have actually grasped the idea behind the puzzle, that it was just a maze and you had to provide directions from start to finish. Have a giveaway for that, and continue forth!

Pushing upward (Ascending) (䷭) ― generation 4

We're growing a dimension and will now include going up (and down)! Probably one of the more meaningful hints in that whole I Ching ordeal.

This is a small 3D maze designed to gently introduce the third dimension (Height :] ). Again symbols could be bruted if you didn't catch the idea it's U for Up and D for Down. The picture had slices of 3D maze arranged vertically to show the third dimension. You could go U from a cell in 5x5 slice to the corresponding cell on a slice shown above your current one. Or D to move to the lower 5x5 slice/level.

Obviously the way down, north and up was shorter than staying on the same level and trying to go east, north and west.

The Well (䷯) ― generation 5

A full blown 3D maze. The Well. Seven 5x5 slices/levels. If I told you upfront what was the whole deal about, this would probably be the first real challenge you'd face. It also had the longest solution from all generations, 41 steps/characters long. You could've stepped on a path that was slightly longer but yeah, that's one of the tricky parts of the challenge. It's The Shortest Journey.

Quite a few of the solvers still did it by hand but from this point I would rather consider coding a solver. Anyone with computer science background should be able to EASILY code a solver for mazes like this. I mean, c'mon, it doesn't even really need A* algorithm for performance, simple Breadth-First Search would be plenty enough.

But I did at least try to make solving by hand a plausible endeavor. Seems two of the absolute solvers did it by hand even for the final challenge! Wow. Anyway BFS could've been indeed done by hand: just start at the beginning and mark neighbouring squares that are reachable in one step in any direction with 1. Then for each of those check for not yet visited neighbours one step away and mark them with 2. Unvisited, reachable in one step neighbours of those get 3. And so forth. Eventually you hit the exit and mark it with a number that signifies the length of shortest path(s). Now to recreate the path you could go in the direction of the decreasing numbers. Actually starting from finish would make it easier as backtracking the path would actually produce a proper path without the need to reverse the directions.

And that algorithm works exactly the same regardless of numbers of dimensions. Really if you figured out this part, getting at least to the 3rd giveaway (generation 7) should be perfectly possible.

Deliverance (Solution) (䷧) ― giveaway #2 (Metro 2033, 12 solvers, 0 entries)

Well so many people have Metro 2033 already, especially there's this THQ humble bundle now (THQ Swan Song? :( *sniff*). But yay, whoever got there really delivered :]

Of course, it gets more complicated. Brace yourselves.

Increase (䷩) ― generation 6

Complexity increases! Dimensionality increases! This is actually a four dimensional maze! The whole inspiration to my challenge came from a site that has a 4D maze thing going for it. Just decided to actualy take it up a notch and also obscure the whole idea so you had to figure it out.

How would you call a fourth spatial dimension then? It's not time, this is not a space-time continuum from relativistic theory, where the time actually is an imaginary dimension. This is real dimension in Euclidean space. Anyway I called it Spread.

This generation, much like generation 4, was a gentle introduction to the next (fourth this time!) dimension and symbols used as directions for that dimension: R (for Right) and L (for Left).

Much like slices of 3D maze put vertically above/below each other, slices (should I say hyperslices by now?) neighbouring in 4th dimension were put left or right to each other. And like you went up or down from 5x5 slice to the corresponding square in a slice above/below, you'd go to a corresponding aquare in a slice to the left or right in this fourth dimension.

The solution to this one is just two steps right - RR.

Progress (䷢) ― generation 7

Nice progress! This is actual full blown 4D maze, 5x5x5x5 squares! There were 2 possible solutions, each 21 steps long.

The BFS algorithm I described in generation 5 works here perfectly fine, just like I said. Except you have 4 dimensions now which means up to 8 possible neighbours not just 6 (one step in any of the directions N, E, S, W, U, R, D, L). Not sure if manual solvers did it the BFS way but when I was solving the mazes generated on the page I linked I just wandered helplessly around trying to build a path partially from the end, partially from where I am now, but that way isn't really helpful in finding shortest path, just some path.

Approaching goal (䷒) ― giveaway #3, Darkness II (9 solvers, 6 entries)

Indeed you are nearing the final challenge! It's right there, on this 3rd giveaway out of 4.

Return (䷗) ― generation 8

Okay.. what's going on.. It's a 3x3x5x5 hyperslice, but it doesn't have those boxes that marked start and finish so far! Instead it has a purple crossed out circle. And that omnipresent pentastar alignment symbol.

It is the final challenge!

It is.. a five dimensional maze, consisting of all prior generations (sic!) "stacked together" and "aligned" according to pentastar alignment mark. So yes, that introduced yet another dimension!

Was running out of ideas so just called that dimension Generations, hence the names of quizzes. And symbols used for directions in that fifth dimension were + and the opposite one, -. I never told you which direction is which, but that was just a 50/50 guess at this point. In the end, - was used to go to the generation with a lower number, and +, the opposite one - generation one higher. Dunno maybe I could call the directions more like "Forward" and "Backward" but ended up with +/- and put that in the OP.

And your goal, as the I Ching symbol suggested, was to return to the Generation 1. Remember that purple circle mocking you at the beginning that you couldn't get to? Yes, this is your final goal. So solution to the final quiz is a five dimensional path from purple crossed circle (a symbol for vector sticking out outwards.. like an arrow seen from the feathered behind.. also meant to correlate with the boxes that had x in them as start) to the circle with a point inside (symbol for vector sticking out inwards, as in an arrow seen from the pointy end).

So in the end, this was a 5 dimensional hypermaze, 8x5x9x5x5, and 4D hyperslices for generations 1 thru 7 were mazes on their own (except obviously full 4D potential was unlocked only from the 6th generation, and 3D was from generation 4).

There were 10 possible paths of length 29, mostly using - direction but I made sure to use also the + direction (although just once near the end).

This again worked exactly the same like prior mazes, just you had one extra dimension which meant 2 extra directions, and the maze consisted of all generations. The same way as you used U to go to a corresponding square on a 5x5 slice above, you'd use - to go to a corresponding square on a 5x5 slice on the prior generation. And + for the opposite direction. You just needed the alignment mark to know which slices neighbour which in that fifth dimension.

At first I was briefly considering to use orienterring symbols that require a use of PMS Purple color and mark a start with equilateral triangle and finish with a circle that has smaller circle inside, but in the end opted for other markings vector related (American people could also thinkg of the goal as.. Target logo, lol). Sorta left the color but with the RGB it's hard to say if it's a proper color (PMS is a printing standard not screen color standard).

Abundance (Goal Reached) (䷶) ― final giveaway, Serious Sam 3 BFE (5 solvers, 1 entry)

Lucky single entrant :) At least they did have it on their wishlist and already had some fun with it :D Congratulations!

(Well, that's something you have to be prepared to suck up if you're making not exactly easy challenge)

But I hope all other solvers at least enjoyed the journey. The Shortest Journey.

To me making a challenge like this is a form of art, but I dont expect anyone to really understand that :D Though I hope at least some of the solvers appreciate it and the detail and thought I put into these.

Like I said I was inspired by a 4D maze representation I saw on one site. But I actually started whole design with creation of a 3x3x3x5x5 hypermaze, then expanded one 4D hyperslice to a 5x5x5x5. The Well (3D maze) was generated separatedly apart from the "face" slice that was aligned with other generations (the final path went through the left eye xD ). Remaining early generations were designed by hand with a special care to cause the + direction to be used. Incidentally, one of them has a 2 square chamber that is not reachable at all from any of the starting points via any of the 5 dimensions! :D

Whole maze creation was an algorithm designed and implemented by me, it was essentially selecting two points and then randomly drilling tunnels simultaneously from both sides until they meet - but with some limit so they don't meet too soon. But I would tweak the result manually, sometimes selecting new starting and ending points. I also obviously implemented a solver that would give me all possible answers, and the pictures are pretty much screenshots from the GUI of my app. Coding such a solver should be easy for anyone pretending to have any sort of computer science background :P In hindsight, I could probably include a textual input because probably generating an input for your program was the worst part if going the coding route.

Still, props to those who solved the high end quizzes by hand! :D

Award (2 years ago)

Oh btw, Happy Thanksgiving :)

Award (2 years ago)

If someone's curious, there are by now 2 solvers for the first giveaway and 1 solver for the second, although without entries yet. So it had been proven up to that point at least (btw first itstoohard quiz solver is me).

chour (2 years ago)

Got a little bit stuck. Bookmarked for fresh mind :)

Harvey (2 years ago)

Reporting in saying I am starting now! Also Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday Month!

:3 Good luck!

BTW by now one solver got to the 3rd giveaway

Award

(2 years ago)

Award (2 years ago)

There's a solver to whole challenge now (well they got it a while ago now, just steamgifts was down and then I was asleep). That at least makes it solvable.

Three solvers for first, two for second, one for third & fourth.

Award (2 years ago)

Hmm okay let me clarify, the first answer really is just a single letter that you pretty much have to guess without any hint. And then going forward figure out / reverse engineer that answer. Perhaps even quiz 2 won't be too clear until you guess the symbols there as well.

I may crack later on and provide some hint to make the beginning somewhat easier, because I don't myself like the bruteforcing that much, but in the end I decided that that is the way to go initially. Bit mindless but not hard.

That was cruel! I only hope my findings will be somewhat useful further in the puzzle.
P.S. On second thought some things were lying on the surface (dummy me!).

chour

(2 years ago*)

It's probably easier than you expected. Did you solve it by now? Don't see you on the first giveaway page but yeah, steamgifts was down. You didn't contact me tho for further steps in such case.

Award

(2 years ago)

Award (2 years ago)

Hmm SteamGifts acting up lately a bit.. If you came to some giveaway but can't reach it because SG is down at that moment, I guess you can try catching me online and asking for further progress (ofc proving you did answer the quiz)

cams02 (2 years ago*)

The weird symbols you are using as the link for the next puzzle doesn't show up on my iPhone.
Do I need them later?

*sigh*mumble*mumble* fine I'll answer.. these are mostly for flavor, vaguely related; aren't essential, but on occasion may be considered a hint to what is going on

Award

(2 years ago)

They're not showing up on my computer either. Win7x64, latest Chrome. Which is a common setup, so I don't know why others aren't having the same problem.

I just see the 'symbol not found in this font' placeholder each time. I wonder if I've done something in my Chrome settings that messed things up.

q00u

(1 year ago)

Can anyone screenshot them? I feel like I'm soooo close. Just need Gen 2 Q1

bobofatt (Support)

(1 year ago)

I can see them if I copy and paste them into Office (libreoffice in my case). But, they are not a clue for G2Q1 as far as I can tell.

q00u

(1 year ago)

Award (2 years ago)

Just an update on solvers: 4/3/1/1

BigBadGoat (2 years ago)

Dunno why, but it doesn't take WTF as an answer.

DarkArrow (2 years ago)

I can't resolve the first one, am I tard?

Okay, I bruteforced the answer but I still don't know why the answer was that. I'll try to find out before I continue.

DarkArrow

(2 years ago*)

Well, read what I wrote :] Basically I unfortunately don't expect the first one to be solvable without guessing, the second one comparing the two pictures you can get an idea, but still maybe too vague and more guessing required for symbols. But once you've solved gen 1 and gen 2 you should get an idea what's going on looking at solutions for those. At least for gen 3, which leads to the first giveaway.

Award

(2 years ago)

I got some vague ideas while solving gen 1, but just looking at gen 2 contradicted my ideas. :(
I'm at gen 3 now, and I'm still very confused.
But oh well, gotta keep thinking and thinking. :)

cams02

(2 years ago*)

Award (2 years ago)

Update on solvers: 5/3/1/1 (at least as far as comments on giveaway pages go.. but steamgifts was bit upset lately)

Okay, due to steamgifts getting somewhat upset for a long time interfering with my puzzle, and a bit because of some tiny stings of remorse for forcing people to bruteforce, I shall provide a pretty big hint: Tramontane.

Award (2 years ago)

another update on solvers: 7/4/2/1

bobofatt (Support) (1 year ago)

Stuck on Q1 of second puzzle... got Q2 and Q3 =\

Tried some connections but getting nothing :( I can't see the link symbols either.

I can't figure it out either. I tried brute-forcing it, but nothing. I managed to brute Q2 and Q3, and from Award's hint here, I think I have a handle on the symbols, but I still can't figure out G2Q1.

q00u

(1 year ago)

That's where I'm stuck, and while I've had a lot of ideas, can't quite get it right.

bobofatt (Support)

(1 year ago)

Award (1 year ago)

Solvers: 8/4/2/1

Lol, a perfect geometric progression by 50%. :p

cams02

(1 year ago)

^This guy made my day

Flammable

(1 year ago)

DarkArrow (1 year ago)

Dude, the last one is tough. I get the idea of what I have to do, but I can't find the right answer. I've been stuck for more than 7 hours, but I'll keep trying.

Like I said, the difficulty at the beginning is not knowing what to do, otherwise it's easy.. While later you should have pretty good idea what to do but it's not easy anymore.

There are 10 possible answers for the last part in case you wonder. Just like for gen 3 there are three possible answers.

Award

(1 year ago)

is there more than 1 possible answer for gen 5 as well?

trunk89

(1 year ago*)

nope

(also, in case it wasn't clear, I'm looking for a specific type of answer and it just happens that for some generations a few answers would fit the bill and I'm accepting all these as correct answers)

Award

(1 year ago*)

weemadarthur (1 year ago)

I think I understand the message of the 3 symbols on the first grid. You're telling me GO to TARGET and buy an XBOX.

hehe subliminal messages for Black Friday, sure

Award

(1 year ago)

Award (1 year ago)

solvers: 9/6/3/1

DarkArrow (1 year ago)

I give up with the last one. At least for some days. I'm tired of it. I can't find what I'm doing wrong, or what I could do better. My respect, sir.

Remember there's a 50/50 chance regarding how to use the final two symbols as I am not explaining that anywhere. Someone apparently got hung a bit on that and that is a silly thing to get blocked by that far into the game.

Also the accepted solutions on each quiz all have a special quality to them you should realize or else you may find something that looks like a solution but really isn't.

Award

(1 year ago)

alamarjan (1 year ago*)

Ok, got some time to do it at last. Thanks, it was quite cool :)

Gratz :3

Solvers: 10/6/4/2

Award

(1 year ago)

Alekzander (1 year ago*)

Yay, I'm at the final puzzle.

I don't exactly understand what I am supposed to do there =) A bit of a change after the ones before.

Indeed, solvers now are 10/7/5/2

Award

(1 year ago)

Award (1 year ago*)

bumpity bump. number of solvers doesn't seem to have changed, so let me vary a bit and put number of entries instead: 6/0/3/0

also the symbols I'm using for links that some of you may not see due to the font not supporting them (any modern OS and browser should support unicode, just not every font supports every symbol and instead shows some replacing symbol like a square), again, these are mostly for flavor somewhat related to what's going on, the name of them may sometimes be some esoteric hint, otherwise there's no need to look too deeply into them.

0 entries for the last giveaway? Can't we know what game is it so we can decide if it is worth the headache? lol

DarkArrow

(1 year ago)

If you have to ask, probably isn't worth the headache :3 I'm doing this mostly for the puzzle/challenge's sake, although the stuff I'm giving away isn't too shabby. At least 3rd/4th. But no, I'm not telling exactly what is it. Maybe I'll spill some beans later on about entrance fees, but that's it and I wouldn't even count on that.

Meanwhile, one more entry level solver (and entry), so the tally atm is at least 11/7/5/2

Award

(1 year ago)

I'm still... "taking a break"... yeah... that's it... Generation 7's been tough, though I admit I haven't spent as much time cracking it as I could -- I'll definitely get it before the timer runs out though, it's assuredly solvable unless I've accidentally done something horribly wrong somewhere (pretty sure I haven't... who knows).

godprobe

(1 year ago)

Award (1 year ago)

aaaand there's a third solver of the final challenge so it's up to 11/7/5/3 now.

chour (1 year ago)

A third solver's friendly bump.

And words of encouragement: You! Can! Do! It! Too!

DarkArrow (1 year ago)

Pfffft I can't. Will you tell us the answer when the giveaway ends? Because I really want to know what the fuck am I missing. I'm sure I have to be doing something wrong, but can't find what. I feel dumbass x_x So much time spent on it and can't get it D:

I don't think I'll provide the exact answers, just the key - explanation what all this was about.

Okay though... since all three solvers so far had the game and you actually seem to want it, let me throw you a bone. Or three. Not sure if it helps, tho'. The final answer is 29 symbols (characters) long and it uses all symbols from previous generations plus the two new ones, too. Also that unicode symbol in the final link is probably most helpful of them all (as a hint to what's going on).

Award

(1 year ago*)

I just see squares as the links >.< What browser and codification are you using with your browser? I'm on Chrome and Unicode (UTF-8) Changing the codification makes the symbols squares turn into other symbols, but I don't know what codification gives the right symbols.

And now you say that, I'm sure I was doing something wrong as my "best score" was 37, is that symbol really that important?

DarkArrow

(1 year ago*)

Ok, this is ridiculous, but I can see the symbols with IE9 I'm making the puzzle from the scratch.

DarkArrow

(1 year ago)

Didn't quite catch that. You mean, you turned on IE9 instead of Chrome and you do see the symbol? What do you mean "from scratch"?

Anyway the encoding should rather stay as some Unicode encoding, most likely utf-8, that's what steamgifts is using I think, it's more of a matter what font is used. You can still copypasta the symbol to some other application that maybe has more fonts (some word processor) or, the best option, do unicode character search using that symbol. Real world problems ;) You gotta know how to solve these too. Anyway the symbol isn't THAT important, even if it is most meaningful of them all, it just confirms/hints what you have to do, but chances are you do know what to do, just have troubles finding the proper solution.

Award

(1 year ago)

29 symbols??? O.o
That must be huge very very complicated grid. I wish I could just have a glimpse of it.

cams02

(1 year ago)

Generation 5 is the longest, still. Doesn't mean it is most complicated one, though.

Award

(1 year ago)

Oh wait.

You said in the first post: "The exception is the final quiz, where one of the symbols to use is + (a plus sign)."

So I thought you didn't need to use the opposite sign. Do you need it?

DarkArrow

(1 year ago)

Yes I did make sure that you need to use both of the new symbols in the solution.

Award

(1 year ago)

Oh crap. Well, then I think I need to have a new huge look to the puzzle. Thanks for the help. Now it's time to show myself I'm not a dumbass D:

DarkArrow

(1 year ago)

DarkArrow (1 year ago)

Done <3

Gratz :3 At least the final giveaway has an entry now. Also there's a one up move from 1st to 2nd, which also has an entry now.

So, it's 11/8/5/4 now for solvers.

Award

(1 year ago)

Award (1 year ago)

Hey ho, let's go / (Go Go Go!) Turn up the beat, yeah

bumpin' in my thread, oh yeah, bumpin' in my thread

Award (1 year ago)

There were 2 bonus giveaways in the OP, one linked directly and the other hidden in the source code. Both are finished now. There's a day left for first 2 giveaways from the puzzle, and three days for the remaining two.

Award (1 year ago)

okies it looks like solvers stand now at 13/8/5/4

Zlia (1 year ago)

Well, reached Generation 3 by brute-forcing and STILL don't see the connection. And too little time left, so I guess you got me this time. :D

Same here.

cams02

(1 year ago)

well the last two end on Sunday so you do have more time for the latter giveaways. You may be reading too much into the surrounding stuff?

C'mon this is a very easy thing, of course in the hindsight, but really it's nothing outlandish. No special knowledge needed whatsoever besides understanding what do the symbols from gen1, q2 and gen2, q2 & q3 mean. I provided one extra hint to help understanding them, but again, don't dwell too much on that hint once you can answer to yourself what those letters mean, that's it.

All you need to know is understanding about those 3 symbols/letters and then what the pictures have in common and in what part do they differ. And why the answer for the first one is just single letter that means specific thing.

You can do this guys xD

Award

(1 year ago)

wait what gen3?! I thought after you reached gen3 you should have pretty clear idea what's going on.. so you kind of bruted gen2 q1? And can't figure out why the answer is what it is? C'mon... Reset your brain or something. Hard reboot I guess is what is needed and a fresh look on the q1 in gen1/gen2.. because quite frankly I can't add anything more. If you know all answers for gen1 and gen2 and understand what the used symbols/letters mean, REALLY it's all you need.

Seriously I want to smack you. Do me the honors and smack yourself please xD

Award

(1 year ago*)

SMACK!!!
I honestly thought a lot about gen 1, 2 for the whole week. Really.
I've been looking at the 3 grids whenever I had free time.
Yet, I'm still clueless. Sorry for failing your puzzle.

Sigh... This looks like it would have been a very fun puzzle if I just knew what to do...

cams02

(1 year ago*)

:( Well I guess sorry for making it too hard at the beginning >.> You probably will kick yourself after I explain the thing :( It's really nothing far fetched, you guys prolly overthinking that part a lot. Dunno.. focus on what's common on those two generations and how that common thing is actually different.. eh

Award

(1 year ago)

Smacks self. Oww! I should really stop smacking myself so realistically.

Well, I tried that. Several times in fact. But if you insist I'll try some more. I'm more or less in a semi-holiday now so at least I have free time from now on. :D

Zlia

(1 year ago)

Award (1 year ago)

Meanwhile, one solver moved from 1 up to 3, so it's 13/9/6/4

Award (1 year ago)

A wild solver appeared for gen3/giveaway #1 just in time to enter it! Hour and a half left for the first two. Giveaways #3 and #4 have 2 days more. 14/9/6/4

Cymbaline (1 year ago)

At the final challenge and once again I have no idea what should I do, or how to use those "new things" :D
I'll try it tomorrow, too tired now :D Very creative puzzle :)

Award (1 year ago)

Okay, the first two giveaways have ended, it's two days now left for the final two. First one was Indie Gala 6, the other was Metro 2033. The only entrant to the latter withdrew before it finished because they think of getting THQ bundle. Yeah. I suppose everyone and their dog will have Metro 2033 now, so I'll probably throw it out as a public giveaway :3

But they also made it to the third giveaway, so the solvers is now at 14/9/7/4, and entries at #/#/4/1 (# because they're finished anyway)

Tadabadatum! I finally won a puzzle giveaway!

Alekzander

(1 year ago)

Yes indeed, gratz :) Now go solve the final challenge, too :P

Award

(1 year ago)

Award (1 year ago)

bumpity bump at least as a sore on conscience for the solvers who progressed quite a lot but that hadn't solved the final challenge yet :3

Award (1 year ago*)

15/10/7/4 for solvers :3 still some movement happening I see, good (16 hours left)

Award (1 year ago)

Well it's over now, winner of the third giveaway hasn't been selected yet for some reason but the last one received just one entry so I suppose I know who that is ;) Finished at 16/11/8/4 solvers I think, 9/0/6/1 entries. I'll explain what was this about bit later though like 4 words would be enough I guess. Or maybe even one ;) But I want to write something longer :3

Award (1 year ago)

Explanation posted. I'm not posting exact solutions to the bigger challenges to leave it to anyone interested in solving this after actually getting an explanation what was it about, because it's still some kind of an interesting challenge with all the frustration of not knowing what's going on stripped off.

Thank you for participation!

...
The entire time... I had the start and end backwards...

Are you sure you don't want to write solutions on a seperate page or something (like pastebin maybe?) you said you recommend making a program, but not everyone could do that.
Anyway even though I was stuck at the very beginning, this was an awesome puzzle! Even better to know that even gen 1 was just a tiny part of the huge overall maze! :D

Btw, do you remember that puzzle game I introduced to you before? Are you enjoying it?

edit: Solved up to gen 7. Doing it by hand wasn't that bad. It was very fun. :)

cams02

(1 year ago*)

Thank you for the deep puzzle! Sadly I feel I gave up too soon, after I couldn't brute G2Q1. I knew it had something to do with directions (you gave overwhelming clues for that), but I hadn't pieced together that one of the symbols was you, and another was the destination. Even though you TITLED the puzzle The Shortest Journey!

Really, spectacularly well done, even though I barely scratched the surface.

q00u

(1 year ago)

Your puzzles just keep on impressing me Award, they're always very worthwhile to solve and seriously creative. You're a master puzzle maker. =)
I only reached generation 7 in time, but I will definitely revisit it to solve the rest later, because yes, it's a very interesting and fun challenge!

Nfreak

(1 year ago)

q00u (1 year ago)

Just finished solving all but the final puzzle by hand. This was seriously a lot of fun! This is now probably one of my top 3 favorite puzzles I've ever seen on SG.

This topic is now closed.