Lightswitch screenshot


Guess what items are in the dark room to turn on the light!


Compatibily Check
Presented by grummi

Stop reading my mind!
Presented by paulpaterson

Secretly Modern Art
Presented by paperstarships

Soothing music and visuals
Presented by faircall

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Ratings (show detail)

Overall: 3.8
Fun: 3.4
Production: 3.4
Innovation: 4.4

6% respondents marked the game as not working.
Respondents: 14


File Uploader Date
Lightswitch examples.png
Example art
cyhawk 2014/10/12 19:44
Few more missing words added.
cyhawk 2014/10/12 18:24
Improved rendering, added missing pictures
cyhawk 2014/10/12 14:53
Saturday midnight version
cyhawk 2014/10/12 00:05
Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 00.46.24.png
Lightswitch screenshot
cyhawk 2014/10/11 22:47

Diary Entries

Minimal design, maximal speed

While everyone else in PyWeek has complete mastery of design scope and time management, we often run into trouble with at least one of these. Not this time though! We tentatively agreed on a design on Thursday. I wrote a custom drawing program on Friday and spent most of Saturday drawing pictures. In the evening Alex wrote the first lines of what would become the game.

I thought we only had 4 hours left, so I decided to help out and write the game logic. (The dozen lines or so that implement our humble design.) It turned out the timezones were on our side and we actually had 6 hours until the end. Chris and Andras were surprised to learn that we were actually participating, but were quick to join the effort. With all this we were able to add "luxury" features, such as a victory condition and sound effects.

Time to check out everyone else's games now!

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Quantity over quality

The game includes 1616 drawings. Almost all are of fish, flowers, or disfigured stick figures.

(These are, unfortunately, not even representative of the overall quality.)

I wrote a simple drawing program for this massive amount of art, because I wanted to be able to:

  • Record the timing of the strokes.
  • Jump to the next word with one key press.
  • See the Wikipedia entry for the subject.

You can check out the drawing program and other marvels in our GitHub repo.


The question on everyone's mind...

Having played through our game, no doubt the question everyone is asking is: What, exactly, is the best possible word to open with? "Millisecond" is a strong contender, checking for a bunch of individual letters and for a double letter. "Doll" is also up there, along with "firewall"... and surely it can't be "aardvark"...

This turned out to be a reasonably interesting problem: complicated enough structurally that there was no simple direct solution (well, that I could find, anyway :), large enough at 58 rules that it can't easily be brute-forced, but not so large that it's obviously out of reach. And indeed, after a bit of tinkering and solving some sub-problems, and then throwing 30 odd cpu hours at it, the answer is:

*drumroll* (that's for effect, the answer is not "drumroll")


The is solving for the minimum average number of words needed to determine which rule is in play (and that minimum average is ~6.79066667), using only the 1616 words we have pictures for. An interesting variation would be to solve for the minimum average number of words needed to get 5 points, though I'm not sure that's computationally feasible.

Anyway, full solution available here.

And now back to rating all the other games. :)