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Updated: Escape 200912250 (15 Jan 2010 at 22:00)
Escape is a block-pushing puzzle game I've been working on (in various forms) for over ten years now. Over Christmas break I quietly built a new version, the first in a few years. It wraps together a bunch of minor changes that I had made since the last release and switches some of the development tools, which means it's easier for me to now make new releases. Nobody cares about that kinda stuff, but I did also finally draw and add animations for teleporting (both the player and Dalek):

Escape guy teleport animation


The game upgrades itself, or you can download a fresh install if you don't have it and want to try. I got one report that someone had trouble upgrading, so you might want to save a copy of your game files before doing it (on Windows, just make a copy of the game's installation directory, on Mac, just make a copy of the Escape application icon, which is just the game folder). It works smoothly for me. If anyone has trouble, please post here with as much information as you can, so that we can fix it. Sorry, no linux binary for the new release, for now.

Despite no releases for a while, there's been a steady stream of activity in the Escape community. There are almost 3,000 levels built by dozens of different people, many with clever speedruns or creative subversive solutions. Some are just fantastic. Thanks everyone for their contributions!
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Adam (c-71-236-65-235.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.15.10 23:26:18
Oh wow! Could you make a new tarball at http://escape.spacebar.org/source/ so I can put out a new Fedora release?
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Tom 7 (c-71-206-239-200.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.15.10 23:56:54
Oops, thought I had already done that. Now it's there.
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Adam (c-71-236-65-235.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.16.10 09:19:39
Hooray!
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 01.17.10 11:26:40
Whew... No more scrolling down! Thanks again for the new version.
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 01.17.10 14:12:52
will there be any new blocks in the next version?
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 01.17.10 14:44:36
I Don't Know. Bots that run away from you, or "Shybots" would be interesting.
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Tom 7 (c-71-206-239-200.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.17.10 16:28:23
Next up plans are a rewritten level browser. No immediate plans for new blocks. Shybots is a good idea, but I'm worried that they'd spend all their time against the walls, with not much to do over there.
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 01.17.10 23:12:18
Can there be like a tile called CURTAIN, so you cant see whats under it. But if there is something under it there will be a black shade in the curtain, and to reveal what is under it ONLY in the LEVEL EDITOR with C.



Heres a bot that will be great for my next level - CopyBots - "Copybots copy your everymove like if you press right the bot goes right, and so on...
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 01.17.10 23:20:36
Umm... i cant download files...

dl51AF4583A
dl41AF43285
dl31AF41744
dl21AF468FC
Forgot to post animation.


It Says failed to remove dl______.deleteme to changlelog
OR failed to COPY dl_____ to COPYING
to animation


I even had the teleport animation but its gone!!!
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 01.17.10 23:22:05
and some file that ended with a D
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Adam (c-71-236-65-235.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.17.10 23:28:36
diff -ur escape-src~/upper.cc escape-src/upper.cc
--- escape-src~/upper.cc 2010-01-15 23:40:22.000000000 -0500
+++ escape-src/upper.cc 2010-01-17 23:23:42.747097347 -0500
@@ -364,6 +364,7 @@
/* everything is rooted within dirname */
nlf = dirname + DIRSEP + nlf;

+ util::remove(nlf);
FILE * a = util::fopenp(nlf, "wb");
if (!a) {
say((string)RED "couldn't write " + nlf + POP);
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 01.18.10 11:36:36
is that a script because i cant script
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 01.18.10 13:10:20
I'm pretty sure that's a script. I've used simple BASIC and GML(Game Maker Language, For the program Game Maker) scripts, I've looked at some of the escape code, and that looks like a script.
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 01.18.10 13:20:00
Oh, If you are in the same row or column as the Shybot, it will try to move out of the row/column you are in, But it won't try to walk into a solid object. This allows it to be "Forced" off the wall.
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 01.18.10 15:17:51
It's not a script, but it's the output of a programming tool called GNU diff, which lists the parts of the source code that have changed between versions.
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Tom 7 (c-71-206-239-200.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.18.10 16:22:11
Yeah, Adam is suggesting a patch to the update code that might help with the problems that some people are experiencing. It seems like it can't hurt, so I did add it. Unfortunately the update code can't be fixed by updating, if you can't update. :)

More information about updating problems is useful to me, because it's working fine on my computers. That makes it hard for me to debug.
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Kirima (54-180.60-188.cust.bluewin.ch) – 01.18.10 17:41:15
I did try to update directly, but now double-clicking the icon won't open the game. Just nothing happening! So I did manually download the zip-file: same problem, impossible to open the game. (iMac OSX Tiger 10.4.11)
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Adam (c-71-236-65-235.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.18.10 20:41:41
The patch is for downloading levels when the existing target is a symlink to a read only location. Otherwise, it won't fetch new levels on Fedora.
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 01.18.10 23:20:56
I think a malfunction is moving around and I'm obviously not the only person. First I have failure updating even though it says "update successful" when at the same time the game is completely resetting all my info by deleting my files, and now Kirima lost the ability to play after updating. It's not the old update problem from early beta 3 because back then the only problem was the update failed. I think we have found a worse problem, but so far only Kirima and I have had the problem so far. (to our knowledge).
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Tom 7 (mobile-166-137-138-037.mycingular.net) – 01.18.10 23:25:28
Max also had a problem running it on the Mac. N7, are you on OSX? What version? I'll look into it.
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 01.19.10 22:53:15
--- Um, I play on two computers, one Vista and one XP. The update should just download the new version and install that minus the levels you have already with an altered name in a new folder in the directory. --- Ex: Say you had Escape ver:3.1, the new escape should be like Escape ver:3.175 or something. That will allow an old backup of the game and rid of the dangers of the player's files being destroyed.
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 01.19.10 23:27:16
this is starting to get unaddictiong
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 01.20.10 19:10:35
We Need More Good levels and more stuff to work with in the editor, as things are starting to become boring. Going almost 11 seasons (2 and ¾ years) without a new tile/bot is really long.
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Tom 7 (c-71-206-239-200.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.21.10 00:12:49
Oh, too bad. Well, I guess there are problems with both the Mac and Windows versions. I'll look at them this weekend. It'd help me if you could describe more about what happened when it failed. Was it just escape.exe that couldn't be replaced, or different files? How did you notice you were missing esx/esp files? There isn't any code in the upgrader that should do anything with those files, so it's quite mysterious to me. Are you sure they're still not in the old installation directory or in the attic subdirectory?

BTW, if you want to upgrade manually in the future (and I understand why you'd want to do that, if you're afraid of losing your game data) all you have to do is download the installer or zip from the website. I want the in-game upgrader to perform the upgrade in place without any work by the user other than confirming. I obviously also want it to work correctly and not make the game unplayable (or worse, lose data!). I appreciate any help you guys can give...
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wowei (frnk-590fdb6e.pool.mediaways.net) – 01.21.10 09:23:40
hi Tom7, please update the link for "feedback" to this new thread. And while you're at it, you may update the download for linux.

I can imagine how difficult any debugging is, when you cannot reproduce an error, cause things dont go wrong on your own machine. Sorry, cannot give no helping hand, because after compiling with the new sources things are running smoothly here too.

I see some new animations but what else has changed? Is the bug gone that didnt set your shortest solution as default?

Thanks a lot and keep on the good work.
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wowei (frnk-590fdb6e.pool.mediaways.net) – 01.21.10 09:33:06
@devin and @n7dot there are almost 3000 levels for the game, and most of them are really nice and challenging, are you sure you are bored still?

i can see no progress with the invention of a "curtain"-tile, it is against the idea of having transparent riddles. any hidden information or randomness in a level is only one thing: bad style.
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Kirima (54-180.60-188.cust.bluewin.ch) – 01.21.10 17:42:54
Tom, I've sent you 2 screen-shots, hope it will help?!
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 01.21.10 19:55:53
It's also impossible to locate the good files. Oh, Tom, escape.exe was fine. Stuff like animation.png were unsuccessful, and all the stuff that I created was gone. The only stuff left was the stuff that comes with the game. Oh, and wowei, do you mean we need a link to the old thread?
here is the old thread's URL:

http://radar.spacebar.org/f/a/weblog/comment/1/898

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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 01.21.10 20:00:59
And No, I'm not bored already, but sometimes I wish the were folders like
"1-99", "100-199", etc. etc. in triage, but with "1-499", etc. first with the others in the big ones.
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 01.21.10 20:03:23
He means the escape.spacebar.org homepage still links to the 2007 release's discussion thread where it says "I appreciate your feedback." It should clearly point to this one now.

I don't use Windows so can't give any advice on finding or recovering files.
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Tom 7 (c-71-206-239-200.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.21.10 23:40:24
Thanks, I had update the side link but forgot about the "feedback" text. Done now. I probably won't have time until the weekend to look at the update problems, but I will then. Thanks for the info everybody!
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wowei (frnk-590fd935.pool.mediaways.net) – 01.23.10 19:14:36
yup it was the text-link on homepage.

the new version shows only 10 levels instead of 19 in the quarantine-folder. is it a bug or a tighter test of what is an allowed level and not a "malformed" one?

is the md5-input (i-key) during play still necessary?

i'd very much like to have a hotkey for switching animations temporarily.
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 01.23.10 22:33:30
The malformed levels (including those 3 random levels from way back) are now no longer recognized as sane, and don't even appear in the level list. The list of regression tests now has those in a subfolder as though to say "The proper behavior for this test is that the subfolder shouldn't appear."

Until there's a dedicated animation shortcut, just remember that [ doubles as a "disable animation" key.
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wowei (frnk-590fce42.pool.mediaways.net) – 01.24.10 09:30:38
thanks for the [-key wink. btw how did you discover the malforming? as far as i remember now there was one level with a hidden panel somewhere. That one was extraordinary evil %-)
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Tom 7 (c-71-206-239-200.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.24.10 12:31:46
[ was exactly going to be my advice.
You can still load malformed levels if you navigate to them from the editor rather than from the main menu, but when it loads them it sanitizes them, which unfortunately for radiant's levels makes them unwinnable.

The i key was never necessary, but it's occasionally useful to me. Why do you ask? I guess it is easy to hit by accident, so maybe I should move it to the bookmarks menu or something.
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wowei (frnk-590fce42.pool.mediaways.net) – 01.24.10 15:22:08
yes tapped on it zillions of times. the i-key between step-back and step-forward is not exactly a very good choice for a maintaining feature. ... aaaand a help-key which lists all active hotkeys would be nice.
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 01.24.10 21:00:12
I was browsing through the source tree and noticed some insufficient checks in the sanitize function, so I decided to see what kind of levels could be opened up as a result of the shortcomings. 2647 is the one with invisible panels, and as bad as it is, it's easy to imagine much worse. Just be thankful the world will never see such things.
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 01.24.10 21:20:03
radiant's level 2647 should be a new, good hided block block on Escape beta 3
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wowei (frnk-590fcd8d.pool.mediaways.net) – 01.26.10 17:53:06
bookmark-handling in latest version is buggy:
1. "bookmark current state" only works once and only on empty bookmarks/solutions
2. making a solution default by pressing INS has opposite effect
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wowei (frnk-590fcd8d.pool.mediaways.net) – 01.26.10 18:14:45
oops, the bm-bug is just worse, it erases a solution, when you press "bookmark current state"
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Tom 7 (c-71-206-239-200.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.27.10 20:31:31
Thanks, I will look.
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 02.01.10 22:15:11
I can't unlink escape.exe while updating.
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Tom 7 (ip67-152-86-163.z86-152-67.customer.algx.net) – 02.04.10 10:53:33
Devin, what platform? Windows (Vista?)?
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Gil Anthony (adsl-99-33-23-174.dsl.bumttx.sbcglobal.net) – 02.05.10 13:48:44
Nice new graphic,could Escape go 3D? with a another 2D window to follow progress?
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 02.07.10 16:12:44
Windows...
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Tom 7 (166-205-139-170.mobile.mymmode.com) – 02.07.10 16:57:21
Which version? Vista?
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 02.13.10 00:04:27
i think so but im not sure. but its made by Emachines
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 02.13.10 00:13:28
I have a perfect level but it will require this:

Suggestions : BullyBot : Bully bots move in a pattern (clockwise and counter) the cant pass through teleports but they can kill you.

Switch Player Mode ; you have to switch characters by pressing a keyboard button. The players both have to find different exits to win.

--------

This is not what my place requires but it would be good.

Double Mode : Play escap e with a person directly from escape to play with you.

---------

This DOES NOT envolve the escape.exe bug.
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Gary (220.255.7.232) – 02.24.10 03:39:11
Congratulations for your new version of Escape.
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Bizkit (smtpout.national.edu) – 02.26.10 17:21:16
Hi. I just found and downloaded this game today. It's a pretty fun and unique game as is, but I do have a suggestion as to how to make it better. I'm not sure if someone has already suggested this, but I think it would be nice if the Solved! (# of moves) value changed if you do better another time through the level. Say, for instance, you solved a level in 20 moves the first time through. Then, the second time through you solved it in 16 moves. The result would still say Solved! (20 moves) rather than (16 moves). Can this be fixed?
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Bizkit (smtpout.national.edu) – 02.26.10 19:38:33
Nevermind, I figured out how to make it work :) You need to close out of the load level screen and then go back for the change to take effect.
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 02.27.10 20:13:39
Welcome to Escape!
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 02.28.10 09:50:15
Devin's Zoink : I found my Lost Levels HOORAY!!! I will be uploading then when i go to my Aunt's House. Well Look forward to it!
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wowei (frnk-590f6be0.pool.mediaways.net) – 03.03.10 14:55:15
Bizzkit, you found only a workaround for a serious bug and an elder bug that is.

We have to apologize, that bug-fixing isnt as high a priority as new animations or new sounds is. Who cares about bugs, when you can hear your machine say: beep wooosh zong ;)
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 03.03.10 21:09:57
Wowei's probably just teasing me, but for the record: I don't think sound and animation are more important than fixing serious bugs. Sound is a real old feature that I haven't worked on for years (and haven't even put out what I've done yet) because it's not that important. The reason to do the animation update was more about having a reason to do a new release with something to talk about (meaning more than a handful of minor bugfixes and behind-the-scenes invisible stuff). I needed to do a release because I wasn't even able to build the code on Windows or Mac because it had gotten so stale. It seems I even messed some stuff up, creating real serious bugs like the bookmark one you mentioned and the inability to run on some version of OS X. Those are top priorities.

The move counts not being up to date (it also shows "1 move" if you recover solutions or ctrl-0 them) is an old bug but I don't think it's very serious. Maybe I don't properly appreciate how annoying it is, though? In any case, my highest priority other than the bugs I mentioned above is a total redesign of the level browser, which you'll be happy to know ensures that things like move counts are always up-to-date. It also fixes some much more serious problems, like the slowness that comes from having several thousands of levels, and the sea of levels that makes it hard to find a good level to try or to feel like you've made progress when you solve it.

That said, I don't get a lot of time to work on Escape recently, mostly because of work. I wish I did...
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wowei (frnk-590fe243.pool.mediaways.net) – 03.05.10 07:04:50
good to hear that, Tom! So it seems my ellbow-bump in the ribs was a hit then. :) Wasnt' meant to hurt but only to wakeup someone.
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Kirima (54-180.60-188.cust.bluewin.ch) – 03.07.10 18:01:03
:-)
Tom, the new version doesn't work on my Intel Macbook either (Tiger as well). And BTW: "sound" doesn't sound like a thing I would want AT ALL! I really appreciate that this game is NOT making any weird ugly sounds at all.
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 03.07.10 22:11:40
Thanks. I still haven't gotten a chance to look into it...

Sound will definitely be tasteful and optional, don't worry.
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(249.red-81-39-215.dynamicip.rima-tde.net) – 03.10.10 04:56:01
me gustaria saber cual es el truco para hacer aparecer objetos en el lugar donde ya hay otros, ¿ cómo se hace? se como hacerlos desaparecer, pero no se como hago para que en su lugar aparezcan otros y que además luego quede oculto en cualquier lugar de la pantalla. gracias me encanta el juego
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 03.10.10 05:23:17
Usted puede ver la capa de suplentes pulsando "Y" en el juego o en el editor.
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 03.14.10 00:45:20
After experimenting with my own edits to font.png, I must say that pie charts look a lot more functional for conveying D/S/R ratings than the different-width rectangles do.
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Lizzy (pool-96-235-40-38.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 03.16.10 20:44:38
Hey Tom,
I went to tech nights at CMU. I SAW YOU THERE!!! My friends and me were the ones that wouldn't stop laughing. If oyu dont remember thats cool, but maybe you remember us laughing at Liza J. We had so much fun. Hope you enjoied meeting us. WE had a blast.
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Isabella (pool-74-98-250-90.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 03.16.10 20:46:45
Hey Tom! I SAW YOU AT CMU! YOU WERE TEACHING US ABOUT GOOGLE ON MONDAY NIGHT!

BYE TOM!!!!!!!
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Lizzy (pool-96-235-40-38.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 03.16.10 20:47:52
Tom its Lizzy again. we just wanted to say thanks for teaching us and heping us learn about GOOGLE. or should i say GOOGOL. any way thanks again. SEE YA!!





PEICE OUT GIRL SCOUT!!!!
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Isabella (pool-74-98-250-90.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 03.16.10 20:50:45
THANK YOU TOM THE SEVENTH FOR TEACHING US ABOUT THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF GOOGLE AND OR GOOGLE!!!!!!!!










PEACE OUT GIRL SCOUT
(I WAS ONE OF THE GIRLS CRACKING UP THE WHOLE TIME)
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Lizzy (pool-96-235-40-38.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 03.16.10 20:51:53
So. Tom. we asked u how old u were and u said 7 in dog years how olr r u really?? u dont have to tell me....
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 03.18.10 00:15:22
Hi guys! Glad you enjoyed the thingy. I'm 30, isn't that old??
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 04.17.10 17:49:33
not really my dad is 48...
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Tom 7 (mobile-166-137-141-070.mycingular.net) – 04.18.10 15:54:56
I'm no dad! :)
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Bekah (pool-71-111-72-91.ptldor.dsl-w.verizon.net) – 05.23.10 16:21:38
Darn. I have the same problem as Kirima, updated on my Tiger iMac, and it won't open the game. If you don't have time to fix it, can you at least make the previous version available for redownload? I can't recover the old version. Should have looked at this page first, but didn't.

I'm not all that interested in new animations or sound, but if you're considering new tiles, I would be excited to see some. I remember my favorite tile from Chip's Challenge was "ice", where you slide in the original direction you left from and can't stop or change direction unless you reach a block or a curved edge tile.

30 is not old! I have to tell myself that since I will reach that age soon.
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Tom 7 (ip67-152-86-163.z86-152-67.customer.algx.net) – 05.24.10 22:32:41
I'll try to fix it! I don't have an old version, unfortunately. Does anybody? If so I can make it available on the site or even replace the current broken release.

Yes, ice is classic. Hard to implement in escape (at least if blocks can be on it, which is natural), unfortunately. The next priorities aren't animation or sound, but a reworking of the level selection menu, which is dying under the massive set of levels currently in triage. Some of it is already done, but arg, so many things to take up my attention! :) When you're 30 you'll understand.
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Kirima (104-48.4-85.cust.bluewin.ch) – 05.28.10 09:10:57
I do have the old version, if ever.
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Kirima (104-48.4-85.cust.bluewin.ch) – 05.28.10 11:41:38
Tom, you can download the old version from my website.
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Tom 7 (166-205-138-073.mobile.mymmode.com) – 05.29.10 15:06:17
Thanks to Martina's help, I replaced the OSX download with the previous version and disabled auto-update for Mac, until I've sorted out why it doesn't work on the older OS versions.
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Kirima (104-48.4-85.cust.bluewin.ch) – 05.29.10 15:49:13
Tom, I'm glad I could help! :-)
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Tinker (227.a2c-250-241.astra2connect.com) – 06.01.10 06:57:13
I had a really old version of this on my box that I just found but could not get it to work so I d/l the latest version for Linux from here.
The only executable in the package was escape.exe, which cannot be right I thought, but I tried to run it to see what happened, I marked it as executable and tried it from a terminal where I get the message command not found. running it as a script I get error message - error while loading shared libraries: libstdc++.so.5: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory, I am running libstdc++6.
If I try to run the program from a file manager it tries to run it with wine which also does not work.
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Tom 7 (63.161.156.66.customer.sprintlink.com) – 06.01.10 15:11:24
Oy, the shared libraries stuff turns out to be a nightmare. If you want to run on Linux, I recommend just compiling it yourself. This should not be hard, as long as you have the SDL development libraries. I think the HACKING file describes what to do to install the libraries and then compile. The executable is indeed called "escape.exe" on all platforms, even though that is only conventional on Windows.
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Tinker (227.a2c-250-241.astra2connect.com) – 06.02.10 07:02:00
OK d/l source and built it, seems to run OK. Saw the recommended to check for updates and clicked it, not expecting much to happen. It d/l several files and now I have the original problem back.
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Tom 7 (63.161.156.66.customer.sprintlink.com) – 06.02.10 11:47:54
Hah, yeah, don't auto-update :) I've been meaning to disable it for custom builds, but what you have now us the same build environment as me, so it's making the version that I would release, which has self-update capabilities. But it will just "update" to the binaries I released, which we know don't work on your system.
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Tinker (227.a2c-250-241.astra2connect.com) – 06.02.10 11:53:07
Guess I'll leave this another ten years perhaps it will be playable then.
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 06.02.10 22:45:34
If you've already built it then you're done, just don't auto-update or it will redownload the version that doesn't work on your system.
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Mystery^.^ (adsl-87-72-218.bna.bellsouth.net) – 06.13.10 12:28:04
I seriously thought this game died years ago XD
guess not...
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 06.14.10 18:15:33
Escape will never die! :)
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 06.16.10 22:09:37
I Haven't played in a while... It really is a nice game. Currently I cannot use my N7DOT file because it is on the XP which is not working right now. I know for sure the IDE cable is broken, but there might be worse problems. So for now I have to use the Vista. Hopefully the XP can be fixed.

Yeah, Escape is not gonna die anytime soon.
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 06.22.10 08:24:16
Advertise!
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landon (98.158.34.225) – 07.04.10 02:43:58
It's been a while, but I have something, THE HOMEPAGE:

Once you've installed it, Escape can upgrade itself and also >>>downloaded<<< the newest levels. Read the documentation for more info. You can also read the change log to learn what has changed between versions.

Really??
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Tom 7 (67.186.6.86) – 07.04.10 11:37:28
Thanks, fixed that typo.

devin: I actually do have ads on google for Escape (for example it might show for the search "download puzzle game"). But I think telling your friends is the best way to get more players. :)
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Anonymous (98.158.34.225) – 07.04.10 13:06:53
Seriosly, TRY LabVIEW.
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landon (98.158.34.225) – 07.04.10 13:07:38
Sorry that was me.
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landon (166.164.82.230) – 07.06.10 23:35:29
Escape should be a Wii Homebrew.
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Albatross (91.110.241.212) – 07.15.10 17:59:54
There should be an option to sort by level type e.g. levels that are primarily about pushing balls around would be grouped together if the user so wishes.
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 07.15.10 23:53:04
All the internet levels should be uploaded to Wii and Worded in the Title like line rider wii's Title
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devin (alpnggts202-dmz.mycingular.net) – 07.29.10 20:08:17
Devin's Zoink : My lost levels can't be uploaded because my aunt deleted the "escape but maybe ill find it in her Recycle BIn
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 08.05.10 14:35:15
No, I wouldn't want to accidentally brick my Wii trying to install The Homebrew Channel JUST to be able to play escape on the Wii.
How about a WiiWare game that uses the Nunchuck and Wiimote or the Classic Controller that is less than 500 Wii Points? It would be better as a Wii Channel due to update and level reasons, But I don't know how that could happen. Also, You Might be able to make a smart phone version of escape with PhoneGap.
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 08.05.10 15:47:43
New Block Idea: Glass.

-Glass Blocks Would look kinda like frosted glass, except that the stuff below would be visible. (Ex: If there is a red panel below it, you could see a faded red panel through the block.)

-Since the stuff below would be visible, you can put special floors under it. (Rough, panels, non-raised colored floors, traps, and slick (Will be explained))

-Glass acts like Steel on Normal ground, Spheres on Slick, and like a normal red block when on rough.

-Glass will shatter on contact with stationary blocks (blue block, hole, black, electric) while on slick.
(Ex: You push a glass block upwards on a slick towards a normal blue block, like in the diagram below (s = slick, g = glass, n = normal floor,
b = blue block):

bbbbbb
bssssb ^
bsssgb |
bnnnnb g
bbbbbb

On contact the glass shatters. if you pushed it towards the normal floor, however, it will stop on the floor.)

-Glass Can be Colored.

New Block Idea: Slick.

-Slick is a slippery floor that glass and daleks will slide around on until they hit something or move off the slick.

-There can be panels on slick.

-Daleks can break on bombs, hugbots, and other daleks on slick just by sliding into them, and if the level maker switches on 'slide kill', they can kill you if they bump into you. (If not, they must be right next to you to kill you.) Slide kill levels will have electrified daleks (they will have a lightning bolt pic on the side of them)

This might take a lot of effort, but I can see how new and challenging levels could result from this.
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 08.09.10 19:16:11
For Dalek movement on slick, If They bump into you means if they slide into you from a distance, and when slide kill is off they must already be next to you when they make their move.
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 08.10.10 22:58:34
I wish there was a video of The Dalek Question being solved that I could see, since it seems that it is now impossible.
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 08.11.10 03:31:45
The Dalek Question is not solvable at all under the current ruleset, but under a much older set of rules (fixed over 5 years ago) a Dalek that moved from a panel directly to an electric field would fail to register that it stepped off the panel, with the effect of creating a permanent flip. Levels that relied on that interaction, as with all such interactions that get written out of the game, are now only in the quarantine folder, where they aren't backed by a guarantee of solvability.
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 08.11.10 15:08:56
Bot Idea: Reverse Hugbots And Reverse Daleks.

-The Only Difference Between normal and reverse bots is that reverse bots prefer to move up or down rather than left or right, essentially following the reverse of the asymmetry.

??? Idea: Ghosts?

-They can get Flipped Into Bizzaro world

-They can move over black, electric, and raised colored floor as well as anything the player can walk on

-They will push like hugbots except when moving off electric (then they kill)

-They are destroyed when they are in the normal world and you pick up the last heart that is in the normal world

-Lasers pass through them

-They can't press panels but can press wire buttons

-They won't move in bizzaro world but will follow you when in the normal world

-They can destroy Hearts if they move over them

-They pass through bots and ignite bombs

Any Thoughts about these or glass/slick?
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Eric119 (c-67-176-48-146.hsd1.co.comcast.net) – 08.11.10 20:32:45
I have found a way to get the game to give you the solutions to any level and have used this to obtain the solution to "block cipher".

To do this, edit your player file and copy the entry for a solved level, but alter the MD5 hash to match the level you want to have a solution for. Then play that level and go to the bookmarks menu. The solution download button will be there. (This is odd because in other respects the game still treats the level as unsolved.)

So, Tom 7, are you going to bother fixing this? A complete fix will require both the game and the server code to be updated and will break compatibility with previous versions of Escape.
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 08.11.10 22:24:30
That is really weird. Talk about Ultimate Spoiler. Don't Know what
Tom 7 will say, but I can predict that it is something he would want fixed.
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 08.12.10 01:48:12
The same could be accomplished by tracking down whichever source file it is that controls the download of solutions, and commenting out the check that requires a level to be solved before it puts the button up. Or heck, since the game connects on port 80, that probably implies there's a simple Web address you could visit to nab a solution.

While there's no way to stop a determined cheater this way without mandating a solution upload with every rate that purports to solve the level, I don't think Tom seems to mind the security situation that much--he includes his own player file in the source distribution, from which you can instantly crack over 2000 levels...and that's not even the worst of it. Unless someone repeatedly moves all of his levels to the graveyard, or starts swiping all the solutions and reposting them in comments, it's just not that high a priority.
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 08.12.10 11:48:34
But then again... the side effects and effort needed make it not as worthy to bother. Besides, Once you have done the player file hack, trying it again on a new level automatically makes your file on the player selection screen say:

_____.esp --ERROR-- (-1)

The _____ is what ever your file name is.
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 08.12.10 19:20:33
Yeah, radiant's right: I'm not trying to keep a determined player from discovering solutions, just preventing spoilers from being too tempting. I probably should be testing something internally to prevent solutions that verify for some other level from being treated as correct for another level just because they're under that level in the file. Not sure what's going on, but that sounds like a pretty easy client-only fix (mainly for the purpose of catching accidental corruption). I'll keep it in mind for the fabled in-progress rewrite of the level browser, which includes the player solution database.

Please don't abuse my player file. :)
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Tom 7 (mobile-166-137-142-079.mycingular.net) – 08.12.10 20:38:52
I certainly do want to add more bots. I had intended to make lots, but when I saw how complex Hugbots and Daleks made the game, I decided not to pile it on, until we had figured all the corners out. I think we have (and bombs too), so I'm up for more. Sideways bots doesn't really appeal... When I introduced that asymmetry (regretful) I thought of it as adding a new fundamental axis to the game, so that anything asymmetric should follow that in the future. Ghosts (something like that) is a good idea; I like the idea that they'd move over stuff the player and blocks can't. I think one thing the next bots should have is the property that they don't get stuck on the player. Hugbots are great, but the stuck gameplay is well tapped out. (I have some other ideas for thus but haven't implemented them yet.) Any ideas? As a technical matter, no entities can go in the bizarro world, nor can two entities be on the same square (so a bot can't "pass through" a bomb, which is also an entity (bot)).

BTW, there's also a technical limitation that regular blocks (like your proposed glass) canonly be on plain floor or panels. It's not just about visibility.
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 08.15.10 19:37:12
The Idea for ghosts going in the bizzaro world has to do with the fact that often people who say that 'they've seen ghosts' will say that 'the ghost will disappear'. That and bots can't do it.

Floor tile idea: Trap doors. They flip the entire grid with the bizzaro world counter-part. You could also make certain spaces immune to flipping this way. Any spaces that are immune to flipping like this will show a small colored dot on them the size of a text 'bullet' (•) when you press 'd'.

Back to ghosts.

Ghosts can't destroy the last heart on the normal world (they don't know if that would be suicide for them). They also aren't natural creatures, and they aren't bots obviously, because if they were bots, wouldn't that totally get rid of the point of them being 'ghosts' in the first place?

Ghosts aren't from the 'material world', and since they are aberrations in the game, they can pass through things. (in real life some people say that they have felt 'ghosts pass through them'.) I think that when it tries to go through a dalek, the dalek should blow up like a bomb, and then the ghost stands where the dalek was. When the player pushes a bomb, the bomb ignites, ticking down until it blows up. The ghost does the same thing, except the bomb implodes immediately, the ghost is unharmed and it moves to where the bomb was. Ghosts are kinda like clouds. Stuff can be in clouds.

The story for ghosts in the game would be that they are creatures that somehow got stuck in a place unknown to them. Daleks and Bombs pose a threat to them, so they destroy them when they can. They originally traveled from their home world to the 'normal world' by getting 'flipped' by a batch of malfunctioning remotes that got activated by one of their creations which happened to have a striking resemblance of daleks.

Surprisingly to them, they can move in the normal world just fine, but when they go to the bizzaro world, they are helpless, and they don't ever even find out they were there, even when they are in the normal world. The ghosts look to you for help, but the normal world is completely unknown to them, and they have no idea what things do and how things react to different things. They destroy the hearts in boredom, leaving the last one and not realizing that taking the last one will send them back home.

Fine, Glass cant be on color or rough.

Tile Idea: Negative. Negative is like normal floor, except that bots that go in it get flooded with negative energy, ruining their circuits, and ghosts that go in it get reverse-polarized and turn into dust.
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 08.18.10 15:29:19
There should be a button in the editor that switches the tile bar with an entity bar - therefore allowing faster entity placing and making more room for buttons on the top.

If you add ghosts you might want to make an entity bar, since the top bar of buttons is full at default size.

Another Idea: Cannons.

-Cannons would count as bots. (makes sense, right?)

-If you step on a fuse targeting the cannon, or if you or a bot step anywhere directly ahead of it (even if your on the other side of something), it will shoot a cannon ball that will travel across the level until it hits you, a wire, a bot, a block, a laser, or the edge of the level, and then the cannon ball will explode like a bomb.
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 08.18.10 15:29:39
Any Thoughts?
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 08.19.10 15:11:37
Anyone?
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mathgrant (c74-197-23-194.dh.suddenlink.net) – 08.19.10 18:03:01
I love this game. The fact that the difficulty of each custom level is graded by the players makes it a snap to choose an easy or a hard level (depending on one's skill level or mood).

My main request is to add an option to make one's shortest solution the default solution, instead of having to change the default solution manually every time a shorter solution is found.
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N7DOT (c-71-231-161-95.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 08.20.10 16:43:11
Sorry, But the fact that the browser won't show your fastest solution automatically is a serious and elder bug and since it was found there hasn't been a good way around it. Tom tries to help make the game better and fix bugs, but for now there isn't much to be done about that bug. BTW, do you have an idea about ghosts for a new entity?(discussed up above aways. ↑)
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N7DOT (c-71-193-160-67.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.23.10 17:27:15
Was anyone else kept from accessing escape.spacebar.org or any other part of spacebar.org yesterday and the day before? It started immediately after I submitted Data Chip 1.
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Tom 7 (static-96-235-41-114.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 08.23.10 18:18:52
Sorry, yeah, the server was wedged for a while and is fixed now.
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N7DOT (c-71-193-160-67.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.23.10 19:13:21
I Hope my most recent ghost ideas have been heard.

Idea: Number blocks.

They can trigger normal panels and corresponding number panels.

they are other wise like maroon blocks.

Another ghost Idea: Ghosts can go over holes and won't make traps activate (they don't actually touch the traps)
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 08.23.10 20:43:40
How are number blocks at all different from just adding more colors to red/green/blue blocks?

Also, the first version of Data Chip 1 (level 2959) gives a 404 when fetched, which prevents the in-game updater from ever completing. Right now the only ways to get the levels after that are by patching the client to continue after download errors, or fetching the files from a direct browse to escape.spacebar.org/triage (you probably want to sort by modified date, to find the levels more easily and to rename them with the correct level numbers).
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N7DOT (c-71-193-160-67.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.24.10 22:47:05
It could be interesting to have prismatic(rainbow) spheres/steel/panels, and even prismatic floor/lights.
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N7DOT (c-71-193-160-67.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.24.10 23:14:51
Basically I Submitted a level at just the right moment to create a server-made phantom 'level' that isn't really a level at all that for all intentions hopefully will never happen again. Tom, Please Move Level 2959 to Quarantine or some other folder where levels not meant to be in minor league, graveyard or triage go AFTER you allow the game to continue downloading when a download error occurs. It might be interesting to have record of this.

BTW, the comment above about prismatic stuff has nothing to do with radiant's comment before that.
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Tom 7 (static-96-235-41-114.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 08.25.10 11:29:49
Yes, not your fault... I will tend to this problem when I have a free hour. It should be easy to fix.
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N7DOT (c-71-193-160-67.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.25.10 13:51:15
I can't believe I am the first one to have the server turn one of my levels into a severely malformed level.
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N7DOT (c-71-193-160-67.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.25.10 21:49:50
In The mean time, New Block Idea: Steel & Sphere Sliders

They are like spheres by shooting or steel blocks by getting to be able to push 2 or more in a row (depending on the kind)

They are like sliders in that they can only go up & down or left & right (if a 0/1 button is pressed, they switch just like sliders.)

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N7DOT (c-71-193-216-20.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.26.10 12:02:10
For the time being DON'T TRY TO DOWNLOAD TRIAGE WITH THE LEVEL AUTO-DOWNLOADER. 2959 is a Serious problem and due to it you cannot download triage levels 2960+ in the normal fashion.
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Kirima (104-48.4-85.cust.bluewin.ch) – 08.26.10 12:51:26
Is there a possibility to manually download the levels for OSX?
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N7DOT (c-24-21-194-207.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.28.10 16:45:49
I don't know. I Use Windows. Radiant is the only one playing the levels after 2959 that I know of. Radiant, What Operating System do you use?
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N7DOT (c-24-21-194-207.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.28.10 16:53:30
T
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N7DOT (c-24-21-194-207.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.28.10 16:59:04
Sorry for that previous post, accidentally hit post.

I just got a mystery bookmark (?) using the current version(?!?!?) after trying to make a fix to the cook by radiant. at move two the player dies and then there are 512 'moves' (a power of 2 and 2 moves less than my solution).
If I optimize won't it go down to 2 moves?
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Gil Anthony (adsl-99-41-206-24.dsl.bumttx.sbcglobal.net) – 08.28.10 20:55:42
Dear Tom,

Since level 2959 I can't load new levels from N7DOT. Do you or N7DOT help me fix this?
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 08.28.10 21:45:09
I fixed the level 2959 problem, I believe. I just deleted it and all the comments/solutions/etc. It probably was the same event (probably some rare bug of mine) that wedged the server last weekend. Sorry about that.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-194-207.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.29.10 14:49:05
Before 2959 went bye-bye, you couldn't download ANY triage levels beyond 2959 PERIOD. Oh well.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-194-207.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.29.10 18:39:37
Tom, can you make it so that if a portion of the level never makes it when uploading it, Escape will say:
"Error: Phantom 2959 Uploaded - Level file severed in transit. Please try re-uploading again at another time."

And then the server will get rid of the level.

BTW, If you make note of fixing this occurrence, can you mention that I accidentally uploaded 2959, since now there is no level page proving That I uploaded it?
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Tom 7 (static-96-235-41-114.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 08.30.10 16:57:22
I don't actually know what happened with that level, so I don't know how to detect the situation in the future. I'm hoping it will just not happen again, or only once every few years, which is easy to fix manually. The client should not do what it currently does when the server reports an error; I already made a note of that but it's not a high priority.

If you want credit for 2959, just upload that level again. :)
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Kirima (104-48.4-85.cust.bluewin.ch) – 08.30.10 17:53:04
Tom, thank you for fixing it! :-)
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N7DOT (c-24-21-194-207.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.30.10 21:51:59
Well, It already was (Data Chip #1 instead of just Data Chip 1) As soon as I could I re-uploaded it.

There can't be a level 2959 without server side level edits, and you can't just 'remake' an 'original' since the point of original is that it is unique and the first of its kind. That is why I pushed not deleting it, preferred editing the game to just let the download continue when errors were encountered, and wanted to keep it as a record of the incident.

But it is likely too late. Unless you have 2959 in your recycle bin or stored some other place, I'll have to figure out how to upload again at the exact same time as the server was to wedge again, and then if it was to be 'the' 2959 it's level number would have to be edited to say 2959 instead of some other number.

2959 has been thrown into the world's recycle bin and wiped from existence. The true file is dead.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-194-207.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.30.10 21:56:27
And for the re-upload at the same time as wedge idea I just posted, It Still won't be the original. I hope there is still a copy somewhere.
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 08.31.10 18:25:38
Ideas :

Deminor Block - A de-minor block lets other pushable blocks pass but after 3 pushes nothing can pass through.

Rabid Bot - If any heart is collected the bot multiplys itself only my main bot (Firstbot made) can multipy the Rabid Bot acts like a Dalek

Line Bot - The Line Bot travels in a straight line always Right If hit something / exept teleports, it turns around. If the Line bot hits a teleport it acts like a Dalek if not it mostly stays like a hugbot. The Line Bot cannot be pushed. If touched it zaps you and you get the static.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-194-207.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.31.10 19:12:31
I had an Idea: Paths.

When you make a path in the level editor, you will click the path button and click the bot/ghost that will follow it. Then you click and hold the right mouse button and drag it over the tiles you want it to follow. If you want to make the path loop, just end the path it's start.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-194-207.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 08.31.10 19:22:57
Any thoughts on previous ghost ideas? Here is one more: If you try to 'push' a ghost, it will move out of your way (to your player's right) BEFORE you move.
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Eric119 (do.math.colostate.edu) – 09.01.10 17:13:14
I think the "paths" idea would best be done by combining it with the line bots, by having tiles that change the direction that line bots travel in.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.01.10 21:59:14
Good Idea, except maybe having the direction change points not be an actual tile, but be like where you select the direction there is a button that selects what direction you want the next 'change point' to be, then you click the 'place change point' button and click where you want to put it. There should be line bots, line daleks and line ghosts, so you have a variety of options instead of just one. Also, I had previously posted something similar to the rabid bot - The Mombot.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.03.10 17:47:51
Did the server get wedged this morning again? Since I live in the Pacific Standard Time zone, which is 3 hours behind the east coast, time is 2:42 PM here. It started happening before Noon PST.
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Tom 7 (mobile-166-137-143-213.mycingular.net) – 09.03.10 19:37:21
Yeah, it did. :( it needed a hard reboot, dunno why...
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.04.10 15:38:56
Maybe it needed some sleep after staying on so late.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.05.10 14:27:47
Tom, I found a disturbing bug in the level editor.

I loaded up Settling the Dodge-ball War (the hugbot version of the Dodge-ball level without electric I'm making) in the level editor And the level didn't take up the whole window (full screen) and it had cut part of the level off and displayed yellow arrows that said there was more level. The amount of level visible at one time was the same as you would get from non-full screen mode. Every other part of the editor is fine. What is going on? (I fixed it by restoring down the window and maximizing again.)
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.05.10 14:40:32
Another thing, Tom. Can You please make an easier way to copy a bookmark from one level and paste it in another than Then typing in an MD5 string or Ctrl-0? I want to copy radiant's speedrun into a mod to a dodgeball I'm making that requires you to beat it in 93 moves and you can't destroy any hugbots, And I wish I could hit a link on radiant's speedrun, click the level I wanted and have it copied.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.05.10 15:09:23
Sorry for constant posts, but small animation bug: So I Push an sphere and it comes to rest in between two spheres. A hugbot pushes the three spheres, but they can't move. However, it shows you and the hugbot doing it at the same time, So the animation looks like a sphere flips from the bizzaro world, (not that it does) Gets pushed by the hugbot (sphere doesn't go anywhere) and then you push a sphere at it and the two spheres merge, All in rapid succession.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.06.10 17:36:10
Too bad summer is ending.
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Goldi (adsl-10-114-128.mia.bellsouth.net) – 09.07.10 19:59:25
I have just stumbled upon Escape (since there was never a Chip's Challenge for mac) and I'm working on the tutorials... but I just cannot get past the 21st tutorial. I move up the first bomb so that I can move around the area. I move up a second bomb to get the top laser out of the way. I move over a third bomb to blow up a fourth bomb. I then take over a fifth bomb, move it over on top of the grey circle so that the hugbots can move and get the grey squares by the exit out of the way. After that, I can't figure out what to do with the last bomb. I know I can't blow the bomb group as that destroys that exit door.

Does anybody mind please telling me what it is I'm missing?
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Goldi (adsl-10-114-128.mia.bellsouth.net) – 09.07.10 21:30:38
I finally got Tutorial 21!!! I finally figured out that I had to push that last bomb to the left, up, down, and back to the right!
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Tom 7 (mobile-166-137-133-172.mycingular.net) – 09.08.10 00:54:39
Glad you figured it out on your own! :)
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.09.10 16:18:47
that one stumped me too :L
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.09.10 19:28:27
Yeah Originally I Got stumped by the later tutorials ex. bombs, transponders and remotes.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.14.10 18:49:25
Trying to think of a new level that will actually be good. School cuts time too, so I have less time for Escape.
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.18.10 10:43:47
I have a good level and I am going to keep trying it until I win it. I named it Double Trouble.

Do proffesionals like you Tom 7, noname, radiant do?
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.18.10 14:22:56
I know some older levels like pieguy's revenge of the computers series was cpu-generated. Most levels however aren't.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.18.10 14:24:43
Btw, That comment and this one were submitted on a wii.
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 09.18.10 14:51:18
Not sure what you're asking? I think making a great level takes a lot of time and hard work. Newark-Liberty Airport, which if had to pick one would be it, took me about a week's worth of long nights polishing it. Even when the levels are computer-made (EWR has some computer-made parts) I usually write new software for the level, and I always work on it and refine the concept to make sure that what comes out is good. IMO one really good level is worth 50 mediocre ones.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.18.10 18:02:58
I Don't Know How I'm going to make a difficulty 6+ level again unless I mod one though...
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.18.10 19:15:09
OOH mod one of mine O.E I like to see how the turn out for the fun of it. just don't do double trouble.
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 09.18.10 19:25:09
If anyone wants to tweak their program data files, get soniccenter.org/sm/esc/font.png and save it over top of the existing font.png. Really makes it a lot easier to distinguish at a glance what's a 5 and what's a 6 and so on, doesn't it?
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.19.10 18:00:23
Did you Make that or Tom or someone else?
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.19.10 18:03:08
How do I save over the existing?
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.19.10 18:04:17
wait, the White 0 and White 10 are completely the same...
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.20.10 18:31:08
So... How?
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.20.10 19:29:26
I Just Got Another Ridiculous Bookmark. It is similar to mjn's Mystery solution, but it doesn't solve anything. It's some thing that has to do with bookmark recovery in the editor.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.20.10 21:21:37
It Would Be Cool to make a collaborative level made by several people.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.20.10 22:42:57
Please Don't submit level #3000. I Want to Make it But can't tonight.
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.21.10 12:58:44
lets save level 3000 and make something with everyones help
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.21.10 18:42:12
Yeah, I Think That is a better idea.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.22.10 19:35:14
Ok, Devin, Could you Start the level #3000 level? When You Are Done With Your Part of the level, send it by e-mail to: kx739@hotmail.com
Then I'll add something To it And send it to whoever wants a part (someone has to do it).
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.22.10 22:04:16
BTW, The Above plan is how we could possibly get the level together. Tom, I hope you and some of the other pro's can get a part in making it.
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.23.10 18:16:43
how are you supposed to email a level?
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.23.10 18:32:57
Oh I can Email You a Photo!
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.24.10 18:45:18
Ok, I'll do my best to edit the level
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.24.10 18:51:43
It Might not be the same room at the end of my edit but I'll do my best.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.24.10 18:53:57
Another problem is bot #1 is on a wire so the wire might get changed.
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.24.10 19:20:26
bot 1 is on a vertical line... wire... i dont care which way you edit it but not too much...
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.24.10 21:45:19
Mostly, when I make room levels I end it where it started.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.24.10 22:21:18
Your wire puzzle is still a wire puzzle.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.24.10 22:43:54
Who Should I Send Level 3000 to? I Don't Know If Tom will be able to work on it.
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.25.10 09:40:06
N7dot send me a pic of what you have at

jerkbike101@gmail.com
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.25.10 11:37:51
Okay, I'll Do that.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.25.10 12:57:16
It won't be ready yet, though.
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.25.10 17:26:29
ok
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.27.10 16:13:50
RUINED!
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.27.10 22:19:59
Darn, And some of those people whom I hoped could get in on it did it. Grrrrrr.
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wowei (frnk-590f7a81.pool.mediaways.net) – 09.28.10 11:46:56
okay tweeties, i always thought generation 2.0 was _not_ a synonym for brain 0.0, was i wrong with that? all your last comments here are hardly to be considered as feedback, are they?

You have to know, that there's a brand-new and wow so damned cool invention, it's called e-mail. you may try it, it's free!
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.28.10 18:51:06
Yes. But, Not all of us know each others e-mails, so how else do we communicate?

Besides, we WERE going to use e-mail to send it around.
and...
The feedback thread, I have only used for escape-related comments.

The Only player e-mails I know are Tom's and Devin's.
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 09.28.10 20:05:03
Wowei I don't have any of those I have a G-Mail not E-Mail...

Get raedy when they invent F-Mail. :P
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.29.10 22:45:11
G-mail Is E-mail provided by Google, just for the record.
I just wanted to make sure the connection was made.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 09.30.10 20:12:44
The editor's 'not-realize-the-window-size-changed' thing happened again.

It Is weird. It's Minor but really, really weird, but I can easily see might be the problem.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 10.03.10 17:22:42
I really want ghosts to be added to the game. I think It would be nice to have a new feature since there haven't since remotes, which was a while ago.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 10.03.10 22:08:39
Can Anybody Get to the bottom exits in my Cheating Death Level?
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 10.07.10 16:54:48
I have a question N7DOT... how did you come up with your name?
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 10.07.10 16:55:28
Mostly my usernames are Fruz Pruz Nepomuceno and Turx and Xolion
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 10.10.10 16:42:31
I can't remember why or when I came up w/ the user name N7DOT. I like the number 7, and the rest just came to me.
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 10.12.10 17:40:59
I can't find anymore LOST LEVELS
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 10.12.10 21:22:41
Gonna make another level.
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Devin (143-240-255-66.hesenergy.net) – 10.15.10 12:05:29
Is this a bug? When I clicked the quarantine section I saw the Impossible levels too. Max's Blank and White and the Malformations the sizes were in RED.
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John Lewis (adsl-64-217-181-241.dsl.lgvwtx.swbell.net) – 10.15.10 17:57:17
Tom (or anyone else) - does anyone know of a way to get in touch with Joshua Bone? (preferably e-mail)

Thanks!
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 10.16.10 01:31:55
Devin: If you load from the editor, it lets you open broken levels (and it repairs them).

JL: I don't have his info, sorry...
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 10.23.10 12:17:20
Another server crash seems to have happened yesterday.
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Tom 7 (166.137.142.20) – 10.23.10 15:10:57
Yeah, it got wedged and I had to reboot. Should be ok now!
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 10.23.10 16:13:35
Here is something I noticed:

•Since 2959, the server has been getting wedged at an increased rate.


I don't like the sound of that.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 11.06.10 22:46:36
That roughly 24-hour server wedge just proved my point. Is there any reason for the constant 'wedge-wedge-wedge'?
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radiant (68.33.36.11) – 11.07.10 01:38:49
This particular downtime was preceded by 500 errors on all spacebar pages before the server became unreachable, something I didn't notice on the previous two outages.
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Tom 7 (67.186.6.86) – 11.07.10 21:44:49
It was the web server flipping out, so it was first serving 500s and then just refusing connections. Dunno what's going on, but I haven't had time to look into it yet. Doubt it has anything to do with Escape, don't fret. :)
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 11.08.10 19:00:43
I Updated my Bot slide level to 50 moves or less required and the window somehow says the solution is 55 even though I know that isn't true, and that it is impossible, since at move 51 you get fried.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 11.16.10 19:03:33
The Editor Erased My Elegant Solution just because I changed the name and saved! I was going to Upload it just so people could see it the solution (this Is still a level I made!) but it deleted it! Why?!?!?!?!?

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

'______ is not happy'
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 11.16.10 20:08:40
Solutions are associated with levels by the hash of their content, so if you change the level (even just the title) the solutions aren't associated any more. The editor does try to see if the solutions work for the new level when you save, so it must have been a bit more complex than just saving. But you can probably get back the solution by selecting the level from the load screen and pressing ctrl-0, then typing the name of your player file. This tries out all the solutions in that file and if any work, saves them with the level.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 11.17.10 18:32:21
Ctrl-0 has never ever worked for me, even if I know it should give me one, and it looks like my bookmark recovery system is broken.
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 11.17.10 22:37:32
What does it do?
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 11.18.10 18:55:17
The Ctrl-0 just says 'couldn't find solution' or something like that, even if there is a solution in the same folder. The recovery didn't recover a solution yet again - even though the change didn't matter (it didn't effect gameplay, just a fix).

It seems I am unable to get a decent style score on anything even if I put alot of work into it.

P.S. Any Thoughts On Ghosts? (scroll up and you will see it at some point)
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 11.18.10 20:27:05
Is There Any reason why spacebar.org is so slow?

I think all this server screwiness could have to do with a virus, worm, or some other thing like that. These sorts of things can result from that sort of thing. Our Computer with my main N7DOT.esp File started throwing blue screens at times during start-up and then had a fake anti-virus software pop-up at one point (it was named something like YGOKblahblahblahblahblah.exe) before eventually displaying nothing but a black screen, no computer hard drive noise, period (turns out it's IDE cable's main hard drive connector plug was severed right off when checked after it stopped working).

I suggest a thorough anti-virus scan with a high-quality anti-virus software (better than Norton or AVG or maybe Avast!).
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 11.18.10 20:28:35
There is a bad level in one of the folders, apparently. (i think graveyard)
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 11.18.10 21:52:30
Ctrl+0 within a level takes no arguments, and only checks the bookmarks for that particular level to see if any solutions pass through the same gamestate you're in right now, and if so then finish the level by appending the rest of the moves. It's useful if, say, you find a 2-move improvement early on in a long level but don't want to bother with remembering the rest of the moves. It won't look at solutions to any other level.

What Tom is suggesting is Ctrl+0 at the menu where you select a level, which then pops up a text input where you type in "N7DOT.esp" or whatever player file you want to look through. Then it proceeds to try out every stored solution in the file on every unsolved level in the folder you invoked Ctrl+0 from, and whenever it finds a match, copies that solution to associate it with the new level and moves on. This will take a while and can't be interrupted.

And I doubt any of those AV programs will do any good on a Ubuntu box.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 11.19.10 10:06:38
Well... of course the AV programs are basically useless on an Ubuntu, since it's Linux and I don't think I've heard of a virus that attacks any sort of Linux OS, and I don't even think people care about attacking that system. I know Macs can, even though that doesn't happen as often.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 11.20.10 21:06:33
Idea: Portals.

•They are tiles that are like floor in a way that things can pushed into it.

•When something gets pushed into it, the object vanishes through the portal and immediately re-appears out of thin air at a chosen destination and moves in the direction it was originally pushed in. If the object would move into a wall after moving, would spawn on a non-floor/panel tile, and is a tile (not a bot, ghost (currently just an idea) or player), the object will not pass through. ex:
p=portal; b=bot;c=player;s=steel;f=floor;w=wall;


,cfffwwwwwww
.ffff.p.s.s.s.s.s.b

(dest 11 right, 2 down)

becomes...
,fcffwwwwwww
.ffff.p.s.s.s.s.b.s

p.s. here is a cipher to crack
(same cipher each time)

phrase 1:E GSATCL AC CTTL AR E GSTACL ACLTTL
phrase 2:FAUT AR UOCTM
phrase 3:FIT QEDU ZTGOST FIT RFOSU

Can you solve them?
hint: o is o
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 11.20.10 21:07:59
portals may allow for stuff like rubik's cube levs.
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 11.21.10 20:19:18
So basically like CC teleports, except you can't do partial posts or other such techniques, and it even breaks Escape's #1 guiding principle (finitism)?

When I was thinking up my first "real" level, I wanted to put portals to use, but I chose to go in a direction that worked with the game as it existed. The result was "Portal 17," which I don't know if you've played yet, but it might be a taking-off point to consider.

ignlatfjhkpdyqoucsremvwxzb
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Anonymous (203-160-113-77.callplus.net.nz) – 11.25.10 03:49:41
I mentioned this once before as a bit of a joke but it's becoming really annoying: Why can't I type apostrophes or speechmarks in comments? They did start working for a while but that stopped at last server crash... is this a regional issue?

Used ctrl-0 to solve Control Boxy'd, but only after seeing noname's spoiler. Glad to know what it's really for.



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Dave (203-160-113-77.callplus.net.nz) – 11.25.10 03:57:47
I'm Anonymous, so what's new?
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 11.25.10 16:41:28
Did that test work for you?
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 11.26.10 12:01:30
Radiant's right (and thanks for pointing it out): The reason why teleports don't move you when you exit them is because every move has to finish in a finite amount of time. Teleport loops are trivial to construct. Allowing them to pass material through creates even more weird corner cases like you have in Chip's Challenge. Though I love that game and even its quirks, the intention is for Escape to have a cleaner semantics. Actually, you can be pretty confident that any object from CC, Adventures of Lolo, or Deadly Rooms of Death, I've thought about how it might integrate with Escape. (There are a number of things I think would integrate well and are on my long mental wishlist..)

The doc that Radiant is referring to that describes the "Escape laws of physics" is here:

tom7misc.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/tom7misc/trunk/escapex/design.txt
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 11.26.10 12:05:35
Dave: I have two ideas about what this might be. Are you using a custom (hear "custom" means non US English) keyboard layout? If so, SDL has some sloppy notions of how to map those keys to keyboard symbols, which I use throughout the game. I've heard complaints that on the German keyboard (QWERTZ) that some punctuation keys like '?' don't work in some contexts. I'm interested in fixing this, because Escape is played around the world.

The other possibility is that due to another SDL bug (or at least oddity), if you alt-tab away from Escape or to it, the modifier key can stick, because the game only receives one of the "ALT" key up or key down events. I think I could work around this with some difficulty; I've been hoping that SDL would just fix it but probably not, since it's been years now. If the game seems to strangely be ignoring some keys, try pressing the modifiers.
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Dave (118-93-197-215.dsl.dyn.ihug.co.nz) – 11.26.10 17:23:14
Thanks Tom. My keyboards are standard US (I assume) but my OS regional settings are different. Should I discover anything which might help you'll be the first to know...
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Dave (203-160-113-53.callplus.net.nz) – 11.30.10 02:11:14
The problem still persists... However, I have had a couple of days with one machine fine and the other not so clearly the problem is not at your end. At the moment both wont behave (not tried the laptop). No amount of playing with modifiers seems to help. Je ne sais pas...
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Dave (203-160-113-95.callplus.net.nz) – 12.01.10 03:38:23
Tom:
On this Vista machine (keyboard is standard US) I just changed the keyboard input language from 'English (NZ) - US - International' to 'English (NZ) - US' and hey presto, problem instantly gone. It appears Escape (SDL?) cannot deal with the way the "international" setting in Windows buffers chars 22, 27, 60, 5E, and 7E. I had no idea it was set up this way because I am not the main user.

It is going to a bit of a pain changing keyboard language each time I want to play escape and then change it back because my wife wants to send a quick email!

This is not the whole problem - I still have no idea why it comes and goes and why it is apparent elsewhere. Anyway, it's a start and, Tom, it looks like your theory #1 is looking very promising .-)
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 12.01.10 07:12:22
So I've been hacking away at the code and managed to create functional hotkeys to display the fuses on inert bombs, and to fade out the bots so you can see what's under them. The thing is, these can be plausibly keyed to "show [f]uses" and "see through [b]ots", or to "see [b]omb length" and "[f]ade bots", in either order. Right now I have the former, but does anyone have a preference for either of these (or for something else, since either permutation requires bumping the [B]ookmarks hotkey off of B)?

I also have a menu in place (keyed as "Show/[H]ide") that finally creates visible toggle switches for these and the existing information hotkeys. Could I get put on the SF project (SF: "anonycat") in order to add these and future changes?

(Unrelated note: It just occurs to me, after building version 2010 - 12 - 01 - 0, that such a version number reads more naturally as 2010 - 1 - 2010.)
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Dave (118-93-232-58.dsl.dyn.ihug.co.nz) – 12.01.10 14:49:55
You could use "Bomb [C]ountdown" or, alternatively use the same hotkey as edit mode: "Ti[M]er". Personally, I don't like the idea of reallocating existing hotkeys. "[F]ade" is good. M and F are next to N and D respectively on a standard keyboard so that would have the effect of grouping similar functions.
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Dave (118-93-232-58.dsl.dyn.ihug.co.nz) – 12.01.10 15:01:07
What would be really cool is a way of clearly seeing destinations like you can in edit mode by dragging the cursor over over a cell. The D hotkey needs to stay but it so often just throws up a mess of undecipherable spaghetti or overlapping lines.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 12.02.10 20:49:20
Get ready for Binary Ruiner and some Simple Calculators!
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 12.02.10 22:03:28
note: binary ruiner doesn't ruin binary. :) its a level.
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Hai 5 (212.23.103.30) – 12.07.10 17:48:12
Zum Verückt werden aber Wirklich gut!

Danke aus Germany
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Pasha (217.118.66.102) – 12.12.10 15:37:45
Thank you for the game from Russia, I play it already five years, but cannot solve very many levels, for example, of Brian Potetz. Can it be, that some levels are unsolvable?
And it is a pity that I can download only 5 my own levels. I have many labirinths, and they're really funny.
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 12.12.10 18:09:53
In order to upload a level in the first place, you have to provide a solution string, and the server runs a lightweight version of the game where it can verify that the solution works. If it doesn't, the level is rejected. So if a level is on the server, it's already been tested to be solvable.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 12.13.10 00:05:15
Radiant is right. Every level except for a few in the quarantine folder are possible. Also, maybe you should make more of your mazes have multiple connections, then turn the maze into more of a puzzle, like Safety Security by Gary (but try to come up with your own idea!).
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Dave (203-160-113-52.callplus.net.nz) – 12.14.10 23:49:27
These 5 levels were all uploaded on the same day. I seem to recall talk of Tom putting a limit on the number of levels one person could upload in a day (after the events of a December last year).

I don't know if he did it or not, but it may be worth trying to upload again.
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Dave (203-160-113-16.callplus.net.nz) – 12.16.10 23:01:49
The server is back up but no level uploads are possible.
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Dave (203-160-113-16.callplus.net.nz) – 12.16.10 23:30:47
Sorry Tom, that was a bit too vague to be useful. Error message is: upload failed: fail (bug): bad level/solution (or out of disk space). Solution checking/optimisation is working fine. Solution downloads are also working fine. Thanks, Dave.
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Pasha (217.118.66.102) – 12.26.10 18:59:05
Thanks, radiant, thanks N7DOT. Thank all of you. I have understood it just after that message. Now, I am thinking to make a really difficult round, but it will be a secret. The mazes are not so interesting, though if you want I can upload them. And maybe we get acquainted. What are you usual names? Dave is David, if I'm not mistaken. And the other? And how old are you?
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Landon (64.sub-97-194-52.myvzw.com) – 12.31.10 22:27:40
And weren't CC portals set up in sets of four?
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 01.01.11 12:38:39
Not necessarily, but their destinations were dynamically recalculated based on the direction you entered one and whether the others were blocked in that direction, and that's why you can't simulate their behavior very well here.
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Dave (118-93-203-168.dsl.dyn.ihug.co.nz) – 01.21.11 15:35:48
Following on from the comments in level 3128, i.e. that editor can load 'insane' levels.

Just noticed the old discussion on that very matter here. The I hotkey is also a legacy function. I used to find it incredibly irritating as it is so easy to hit by accident, however, since I have recently discovered its usefulness my opinion has changed somewhat. Tom, In the event that you do ever find the time or inclination to build an updated version, can I submit a request that this function stays in.

Would it be possible for it to load a solution by level number as an alternative to manually typing the MD5? I have no idea how the game indexes levels during runtime so I appreciate that this may not be feasible.
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 01.21.11 16:15:18
Right now the client has no real concept of level number, just that the server assigns file names to its stored levels in a certain convention so that most of the files you download happen to have names matching lev####.esx.

I was just looking at adding a few features that read the level number from the filename and adding them to my hacked version of Escape (to include a Ctrl+J key on the level select menu that jumps to the level without having to scroll untold distances down the list); that "i" replacement might be one to consider but it really doesn't mesh well with the way the player file is laid out. (Solution import with the i key currently only needs to looks at the player file, which doesn't even mention filenames.)

How about the idea of ctrl+i on level select to copy the level's md5sum to a "clipboard" variable, which would then be the default value that the md5 entry field is prefilled with? Certainly a lot easier to code than the alternative?

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Dave (118-93-203-168.dsl.dyn.ihug.co.nz) – 01.21.11 17:49:23
I like this idea. Obviously, searching by level number will only work on downloaded levels anyway, this idea would extend to 'mylevels' too. Right now I am looking up MD5s on the website, I haven't worked out a simple way to extract the MD5 from the game for a level I have edited, and this is where the I function would really come into its own.
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 01.21.11 18:09:37
There's an obscure little feature where if you press Ctrl+C as if you're commenting on a level, the infobar at the bottom will show md5sum instead of filename (and you may have to expand the window so that all of it will fit). Still not the most convenient way to get it, but it's possible
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Dave (118-93-203-168.dsl.dyn.ihug.co.nz) – 01.21.11 19:43:55
Aha! It may not be particularly convenient, but it's many magnitudes faster than the methods I've been resorting too. Thanks.
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.22.11 11:50:56
As usual Radiant's advice is spot on. One other place to get the MD5 id is from the level's screenshot image on the web site; that's usually what I do. Sorry for the 'i' key in so many ways--it's a pain in the ass for both experts and novices. I incorporated wowei or radiant's patch (don't remember whose) to make it at least require ctrl-i for the next release.

It's actually no problem to make it easier to use ctrl-i (to go from the level name to md5 is just a single function anyway), I just figure the frequency of its legitimate use doesn't justify attention. Curious: What do you guys use it for? Starting solutions for mods?
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.22.11 11:58:48
Oh, sorry radiant, I missed your old comment above about new hotkeys. I don't really want other people committing directly to the repository, but feel free to send me patches and I may incorporate them after exercising my editorial caprice. I like the idea of 'fade bots'... that is certainly necessary to defeat some information-hiding loopholes. Why not show timers and fuses with the existing 'n' key?
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Dave (203-160-113-41.callplus.net.nz) – 01.22.11 13:26:06
Last usage of I function. A couple of days ago I noticed I already had the speed run on #2332. So rather than go through all the moves again "Ied" that solution into #1192, ran through the moves until it hit the first illegal move which was right near the end and just finished off the last few moves... speedrun. It took a couple of minutes only and can't be done with ctrl-0.

The same applies when editing levels: After a mod the editor will only recover sane solutions. So if you didn't happen to bookmark at exactly the right spot... Not a major issue usually, but when working on something more involved like the the 7 bots levels I found it a real pain.

I haven't found an illegitimate use for it yet but if you wan't to point one out...
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radiant (c-68-33-36-11.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 01.22.11 16:57:30
My first use for it was on Bob 15, a Sokoban level with four sections that makes you play through all of them twice for some reason. Not wanting to have to recall (much less type in) a 1000+ move sequence all over again, I just bookmarked the state after the first go-round and imported that very same bookmark to append it and complete the level immediately. Since then, I figure that strategic placement of bookmark spots for self-import can make Tower-of-Hanoi type levels go much faster (especially if they have more than about 5 discs).
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Dave (203-160-113-35.callplus.net.nz) – 01.22.11 17:34:41
Last usage of I function. A couple of days ago I noticed I already had the speed run on #2332. So rather than go through all the moves again "Ied" that solution into #1192, ran through the moves until it hit the first illegal move which was right near the end and just finished off the last few moves... speedrun. It took a couple of minutes only and can't be done with ctrl-0.

The same applies when editing levels: After a mod the editor will only recover sane solutions. So if you didn't happen to bookmark at exactly the right spot... Not a major issue usually, but when working on something more involved like the the 7 bots levels I found it a real pain.

I haven't found an illegitimate use for it yet but if you wan't to point one out...
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Dave (203-160-113-35.callplus.net.nz) – 01.22.11 17:35:56
Oops! I just logged back on and the message reposted. Sorry!
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 01.23.11 19:45:31
Any thoughts on my previous idea for ghosts? (see ghost idea add-on w/ story)
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Anonymous (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 02.06.11 22:25:09
We want Line Bots and Paths!
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Devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 02.07.11 15:27:13
4 words Ad-Ver-Tise-Ments.
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Anonymous (92.85.247.180) – 02.08.11 03:54:36
Is there any difference between 2009 version and an previous one? I found impossible to solve again level number 508 - And there were three...-, level that I'm sure I solved once. Unfortunately I changed the hdd and it is impossible to see my solution. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think something went wrong with the electricity...
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Anonymous (92.85.247.180) – 02.08.11 07:07:24
My mistake, sorry. I remembered the solution.
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Dev (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 02.09.11 11:23:05
I think there should be levels that are grouped. For example ; Maryll all of Maryll's levels will be grouped together because shes the author. Also the level selector won't get a wide span of levels going down the screen.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 02.09.11 20:10:28
Devin-here are my thoughts on that.

Tom already has advertisements on web searches , but the thing is, I've never seen a single one. I have no idea how I originally found this site.

Tom, will you try to find a way to get escape to come up a little more often in search engine results, if you can and have time? (just enough to get some more activity.)

Thanks.
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devin (host-24-100-105-241.newwavecomm.net) – 02.10.11 23:26:42
Mmmm, Oh Ok.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 02.12.11 23:41:23
Here is an idea: Containers.

• Containers act like maroon blocks normally, but can have colors.

• Containers have handles, so when you move away from an adjacent Container, it gets pulled with you, as long as the movement is strictly away - not to either side, or it stays in place.

Extra (optional) possible behavior:

• Containers may contain heart framers (optional). Only when a container is zapped by a laser (container is destroyed) or is "scanned" by a electric wire pulse that sets off the container's color lights (machine opened) can the heart be removed. The container is conductive. Hearts inside containers do count as being on the same layer ("world") as the container. A container with a heart inside has a heart shape on it.

The last option is not necessary. Tom, feel free to say the 3rd option is too complex, but I think it would be neat.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 02.13.11 02:46:29
Ctrl-0 ing an easy level. it said it found matches.
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Landon (164.58.107.2) – 03.03.11 14:30:36
The ZIP download is not up to date. Why?
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Landon (154.sub-174-252-3.myvzw.com) – 03.09.11 23:37:03
Now I'm waiting on an Android port. Well, I might as well take a stab at it as all of the code will have to be rewritten in Java.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 03.11.11 20:03:57
Landon, were you going to use Phonegap? I wanted to make an Escape app, but C++ isn't one of it's compatible languages, but Javascript is.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 03.11.11 20:15:35
Also, I just looked on google and found a C++ to Java converter, but I won't be posting it here. it's on tangible solutions.
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 03.11.11 20:44:34
FYI: I don't think a C++ to Java converter will work on this code. Adam Goode did a port of the ruleset to Java, I think. But it's definitely a complex undertaking to port Escape.
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 03.13.11 20:14:15
Yeah, that's the problem with downloadable programs, is that they are sometimes not detailed enough so you think it means what you are looking for, but it might be quite different, like this font-o-mapper program that just replaces a text (for example Bug) with alt-codes (for example >>ßµᴳ<<, I'm making this result up, but the program does return results very much like it) that people often use in usernames online.

The only reason I noted it was to try and help with any work on an escape app. I have looked at the escape code, and yes, it is a bitcomplex (no real comments noting that a particular segment "tests to see if the player is dead"). But that isn't to say that it's not good, because it is just fine. (although bugs are inevitable)
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N7DOT (c-24-21-196-111.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 03.18.11 13:16:03
I found another different solution to my Cheating Death level, which involves using a door in the right half of the block of 9 doors.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 03.20.11 17:16:25
I came up with a bot idea: Clockbots.

• Clockbots are Mechanical - They can walk over electric. However, since they are Mechanical, they would need fuel or would be wind-up.

• Clockbots have timers that work similar to that of bombs. However, it is reset when any heart framer is collected. When the timer runs out, the Clockbot falls asleep until a Heart framer is collected. The Clock bot graphic would have to still look good with a number on it.

• Except for the things mentioned, they would be equivalent to Hugbots.

Basically they are like those little walking wind-up toys that you can buy.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 03.24.11 16:44:24
When no levels are being uploaded and nobody is posting anything on this feedback thread, escape does actually seem pretty dead, since I've noticed that I'll see comments on new levels (almost all spoilers), but most other levels seem to be just neglected, and so with no new levels, there is very little activity. I Understand that the are more important things than escape and that there isn't always time to play, but it still just seems to make the game feel like its tired and collecting dust.

I'm not trying to say that there needs to be more activity, as that isn't always so easy, it's just that that's how it seems to be.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 04.16.11 13:18:42
I Think that It would be very useful to get a sorting sytem for the levels in place where you can search for a level by typing 'keywords' on the site, and scroll to an entered number in Escape's level browser, as it would make finding levels alot easier.

Btw, about the cipher challenge I posted a while back, congrats radiant, every letter that was included in at least one of my phrases was correct!
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 04.16.11 14:26:12
-continuation on java escape topic-

Tom, apparently he has ported it to javascript, so you were correct.
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Tom 7 (67.186.6.86) – 04.16.11 15:23:43
N7: This is basically what I have in development for the next version of the level browser, though in the game, not through the website. The size of the triage folder is really getting out of hand.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 04.16.11 22:02:27
I thought of an Idea for another bot: Nervous bots.

•When a Nervous Bot Is pushed by the player or a bot, it stops moving until it's timer runs out (the timer is reset when it is pushed).

•Otherwise, Nervous bots are like hugbots.

That way, Nervous bots can be kept off the player.
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Tom 7 (67.186.6.86) – 04.19.11 22:02:17
N7DOT, I think that's a pretty good idea. One of the big gameplay problems with hugbots is how they get stuck to the player, which means they are of limited general use (though I have been quite impressed with the depths to which people put them!). Your idea is nice and simple and uses an existing concept in the game (countdown timers on bots), so I like that. The main issue I see is that with any timer length >=2, you can push a nervous bot basically anywhere, which I think means that the level composer doesn't have much control over the scope of where nervous bots can go. Still, something to consider...
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 04.20.11 19:06:00
Well, you do have a point, but even a timer length 10 bot could be used to make a devious challenge, although taking some cleverness on the author's part.

Then again about the problem:
•There have been really good levels where the way the bots work allow cooks like not worrying about a bot. An example are Dave's attempts to fix his mods of devin's Triplets & 1950's, where the bot kept getting left behind.
•The difficulties of bots: Hugbots are too friendly, Daleks are too determined to kill you, and Nervous bots are too easily disposed of. Yet Daleks and Hugbots are natural parts of the game.

Also, timer length 3 is the smallest in which you can normally turn a bomb (2 in rare cases), 5 allows normal U-turns, 7 allows going around a 1x1 square and turning, 9 allows U-turns around 1x1 squares and going around a 2x1.
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Dave (118.92.123.150) – 05.13.11 01:15:06
As we are on the subject of bots and timers...

"Lazy Bots": These are hugbots with a countdown timer which don't do anything. Each time they are pushed (by player or hugbot) the timer decrements until it reaches zero, at which point the bot can no longer be moved.

It is basically a green block that can be moved a preset number of times with the exception that to maintain consistency it will have to be capable of activating panels.
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Tom 7 (67.186.6.86) – 05.14.11 15:54:28
That's a pretty good idea, very simple...
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 05.14.11 20:51:07
Yes, I agree that it is quite simple.

"Smoke Bots": These bots are hugbots that, similar to the 'Lazy Bots' idea, usually don't do anything. Whenever a bomb fuse starts, all Smoke Bots activate and move towards the nearest lit bomb in the same way Regular Hugbots move towards the player, until there are no more lit bombs, in which case the Smoke bots go back to doing nothing . If a Smoke Bot reaches & moves 'onto' a bomb, the bomb is deactivated and disposed of (disappears).



They are basically like Bomb squad bots.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 05.14.11 21:08:16
Now on a different note, but simple.

NESW & NWSE: These are cross-over wire tiles that allow for north-east & south-west or north-west & south-east flow of current.

These may not do as much for the game as the NSWE tile, but they would sure give more possibilities and options for wire-pushing levels, would allow some circuts to be squeezed into smaller areas (helpful for implementations and mini-levels) and also at least a few more things than listed here.
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Anonymous (74.83.15.70) – 06.06.11 01:19:29
how do you do tutorial 20? i'm soooo stuck.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 06.06.11 18:48:56
Oh yes, transponders... that's a tricky one. If this hint doesn't help, then feel free to say what your having trouble with. One thing that trips people up is that they don't realize they can move transponders, which are the wire type that can send signals across empty areas. however, you'll have have to figure out how to make use of this fact. So, as my hint, you'll need to move the transponders.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 06.06.11 19:11:10
New Tile idea: Gel Blocks & Rough blocks
The idea is that gel blocks act like greys normally and rough blocks act like maroon blocks normally, but both share one key feature which makes them special: They can be pushed onto rough, causing the block to disappear, but also turning the rough into floor, allowing other blocks to be pushed through.

Instead, they could stick around, but that would give to much power to the blocks.

Also, I thought that if you Replaced the hugbot in 'Hugbot Framer' with a timer x Nervous bot, or just added a nervous bot, it would likely be an interesting level, and at the same time you would be able to push the door even farther to the right.
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Anonymous (74.83.15.70) – 06.06.11 20:11:34
my bad i could have been more specific. i move the on transponder to block the laser and get to the heart to wake uo the door but then i'm stuck. if you dont want to put a spoiler here you can send it to my e-mail. bcjam101@yahoo.com i love this game btw. i d/loaded it back in 1999 or so. had forgotten about it and found it again. yay!!
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Anonymous (74.83.15.70) – 06.07.11 01:21:54
nevermind i got it ^thanks man
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Dave (203.160.113.73) – 06.09.11 05:10:37
Just testing comments are working after N7DOT's problems.

While I am here... just a minor bug.

On one computer I had about 10 deleted levels permanently stuck in triage. No major mystery... they were in the Program Files/Escape/Triage but all level updates were being applied to Users/...Blah Blah.../AppData/.... Consequently, any file in the original triage dir at the time I installed it but which was later deleted was never being detected as stray and therefore not being moved to the attic.

Anyway, I finally decided to do something about it and deleted all the esx files from the former directory. And the effect: The recurring 'program not responding' problem during level load between the main menu and level select menu has completely disappeared. In fact, I reckon overall that start-up is about 10 times quicker than it was even when the program didn't hang up.

Has anyone else noticed anything similar? It only seems to be a problem in Vista.
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servicio tag heuer (69.30.207.242) – 06.14.11 13:15:39
I like it very much!
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 06.14.11 18:28:41
Well I'm glad you like it! If you have any good Ideas for the game, feel free to post them.
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Dave (203.160.113.77) – 06.23.11 06:13:37
As I finally got my triage solved count up to 2000 today (I very much doubt that I am alone or first to acheive that), I think I've earned myself a soapbox moment:-

The level rating system:

At the moment, most levels get rated immediately by a small group of experienced regulars who, me included, are pretty harsh scorers. This means that many levels, especially ones by new players, are ignominiously dumped into 'minor leagues'. This is not exactly an encouragement for these people to stay, build more levels, experiment and learn the game. This is particularly apparent when you look at the quality of some levels created, say, 5 years ago (2 years before I started playing) which are still in triage but wouldn't stand a chance now.


Next, I understand where the term 'minor leagues' come from but, from a non-US perspective, it's sounds incredibly derogatory. The other thing I remember from when I started playing, which was in the midst of a pretty mediocre series of levels, was my utter disappointment with a game that promised so much... why? ... because the first levels you play are always the most recent, whatever they happen to be at the time. I stuck with it, how many left? You're not going to test a game for potential by obeying the rules and working through the tutuorial, you only do that after you've had a bit of poke around first.

This is a brilliant and unique game but sadly under-appreciated. Maybe a restructure of the level browsing system will help. Certainly the old plan of an official series of levels, presumably over a cross-section of difficulty raings, which will become the default level directory may help. Or, how about a multi-division system which allows for demotion and promotion (minor leagues is currently a life sentence for a level). Whatever, this is probably something of higher priority than all the discussion about new blocks.

Just food for thought.

We seem to be very small community, and the game deserves better than that. Why is the CC community so much bigger? I seem to recall John Lewis' comments about competitive play.
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Dave (203.160.113.77) – 06.23.11 06:30:41
Sorry about the typo (undeleted unrequired sentence fragment) in the middle of that.
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Anonymous (24.21.196.111) – 06.23.11 11:43:02
Dave, I do agree. Another thing is that much older levels take a lot longer to get to than new ones, and scrolling down the levels is nowhere near as fast as if there were [levels 1-999], [levels 1000-1999], [levels 2000-2999], & [levels 3000+] folders.

Plus, Although there are way more than (due to different factorings of areas and panels, remotes, & teleports) t nPr a (what my calc says is # of permutations of items t (tiles) taken a (area) possible levels, which is gigantic at the moment), many are basically duplicates or not solvable. Many of these solvable ones are really bad or too similar to another level to upload, and a few are essentially impossible for the human mind to solve, like pieguy's "block cipher", which most of those are probably too similar to block cipher. Many good level possibilities have been exhausted, but adding one more tile or bot will increase the amount of possible levels.

One off note thing that still relates to escape: This probably won't happen, but it would be bad if a piece of malware ended up having the same MD5 string (or close enough) as an escape level, or if an antivirus's MD5 list contained one which corresponded to an escape level, as then an antivirus might say that the level would be dangerous. Just a thought.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 06.23.11 12:29:19
Sorry, that last post was me. I did type in my name, but i think the adjusting thing at the bottom of the comment box messed it up? I'm not sure.

My current level that I am making is going to be an implementation of something not implemented in this game so far. I hope you will enjoy it.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 06.23.11 13:06:50
Just Remembered an idea I had for the escape site: Forums.

Basically they don't need to be all that complicated. Maybe just like a 'Help' category for troubleshooting and problem solving difficulties, and a 'Prototyping Ideas' category for coming up with Ideas for new or improving escape features before they become serious suggestions. I figure this might help make it easier for players to get the word of what they need and would like for escape, as things suggested in the feedback thread here die fast, unless they are posted at the right time, with some solid pluses without too many problems. I think that the thread format for your 'Tom 7 Radar' is perfect for my forum idea, but we would need to have it that the forums still are like normal forums.
I Hope this won't be too hard, considering you already have a thread layout.


I think that as far as simplistic bots go, Nervous bots and Lazy bots are good ideas, and I would like to know what anyone thinks about my gel block & rough block ideas. The rough blocks are 'rough' since they have sandpaper-like sides that scape against the 'rough' floor tile, basically sanding it down enough to make the "rough' floor tile become a normal floor. The gel blocks basically are large chunks of gel that are very good at filling in gaps and holes, and also push easily, allowing it to fill in rough and holes.

Simple Idea: Cliffs. Cliffs are basically like floor, but suddenly drops off halfway between one side and another, so you can stand on it, lasers and transponders can beam over it, but anything pushed onto a cliff falls off, disappearing.

Sorry for how long my posts are and how there are 3. I keep thinking of things.
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radiant (98.231.193.105) – 06.25.11 03:42:00
Tom has mentioned a rewrite of the level browser, which presumably would cut back on scrolling time by offering more ways to find the level you want. Asking for a Tom 7 mockup sounds like a silly idea because they can span anywhere on the usefulness spectrum and you never know which one you're going to get, but has he presented a concrete idea of how it's going to be different than what we have?

Of course MD5 collisions are possible in theory, but the point of MD5 and other such algorithms is to offer a large enough hash space that each file has plenty of room to scamper without running into the others. Other algorithms like SHA-* offer an even larger space, but they're all slower to compute, and the MD5 code was already there for the taking. A bigger, but still laughably remote worry (forging malware to have a hash collision with a level file? No one would go to those lengths since there's no money in it) is that a level has the same MD5sum as another _level_, which would render the second such level inaccessible since the game would just think it's a copy of the first level. Fortunately, even such a minor change as adding a space to the end of the level name will change its MD5 and get it off the collision, so that's not really a problem.

If the Radar thread format is workable, but you'd like a way around the inability for anyone except Tom to start new threads, there's already a solution to that: snoot.org and the boards there. We could either co-opt the general board (4), or ask for an Escape-specific board to be created in slot 13 or something.

As for why CC came to have a bigger player base than Escape, simple. CC was included on Windows installations at the height of Microsoft's power, while Escape is included by default on...a lot fewer systems, to say the least, and on many of those systems the users don't even suspect it's there, let alone give it a fair shake.
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Tom 7 (67.186.6.86) – 06.25.11 13:56:29
:)

The level browser rewrite is not intended to be monumental, just:
- Use filters and tags instead of "directories"
- Read comments as well as post them
- Make everything fast with indexing and threads
- Don't require levels to reside in individual files, since that has a lot of overhead when you have 3000 of them
- Make it possible for trusted users to curate collections of the best levels

I did already start but man, one sad thing about life is that there just isn't time to do everything you wanna do. I still love escape though. If you guys have ideas about concrete improvements to the level browser, or specifically ideas about how to improve the first-play experience, I'd love to hear them. I agree it's a higher priority than new tiles; those are fun but there are plenty of those to play with already.

Dave: I actually agonized over the name "minor leagues" for a while because I didn't want it to sound like those levels were unwelcome, and I wanted to give the sense that there was a "major leagues" to aspire to. It might sound mean to people that don't understand the provenance. Do you have a suggestion?

It seems to me that with the current message volume, a level-specific thread and a single global thread are plenty? I'd be happy to fire up a message board (it's trivial to add them) but it seems to only make sense if there's a larger community. I think doing simple-ish things like making it possible to read comments in-game would probably help more.

There are actually known MD5 collisions (as of about 2005?) and I think it's not even that expensive to generate them any more. Both will be nonsense data, but I think the escape file format actually would allow for a contrived collision. Please don't do this. :)

Dave: I can't quite follow the specifics of your "bug", but for sure Escape reads every file in directories where it thinks it might find levels, and does so in a way that makes you wait. That's fixed in the level browser rewrite, but having fewer files in those directories is another way to make sure it stays fast.
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Anonymous (24.21.196.111) – 06.26.11 13:46:57
The game may have many tiles to use, the number of New levels to be uploaded has gone down.

On the forum subject - Yes, but help q's and item ideas need separate places to be posted. Many of my item ideas die so fast, some seem to be entirely ignored, like gel and rough blocks, NESW and NWSE, negative, smoke bots, and cliffs.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 06.26.11 13:48:24
That was me, i DID type my name however...
I got that uncaught exception bug again. Tom, please look into it.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 06.29.11 23:54:36
I think I recall at one point stumbling over some of my old level and old player files I had lost when I tried to update on Vista, but I don't recall where. Funny thing is, it would have made more sense if it had been my second player file and that set of levels was what I had found, as I lost those files due to the following story:

In a Time-crunch, somebody I knew wanted to log-on to check something, but the computer decided that it was going to be unable to load the user account (windows; This seems to happen only when the computer has been sleeping and only one user is logged in, and so when you open the user that isn't logged in, it does this. It hasn't happened in a while though) and so said 'Preparing your desktop', which on the vista computer can be translated as it setting up a temporary account. Not having enough time for this, they restarted the computer while it was 'preparing the desktop', and doing this corrupted the account. Actually, It could have been that player file... I'm not sure.
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Dave (118.92.111.16) – 07.05.11 22:26:19
Hi N7,

If there are still residual bits of that old user account left on the machine you should be able to find the .esp file in:

c:\users\(defunct user name)\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\ProgramFiles\Escape\
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Dave (118.92.111.16) – 07.06.11 00:24:01
Hi Tom,

I really like the idea of a collaborative "offical" collection of best levels which I suppose would be the Escape equivalent of a CCLP and therefore the default directory / filter setting for the level browser. The danger is that the collection could get overloaded with levels of difficulty 8 and 9 which would be an instant turn-off for new players and thus be self-defeating. I would love to know how you quantify "a trusted player" though. I suppose you could qualify by having completed a certain percentage of triage, but what? 90%, 95%, 99%? It is a way of filtering out all but the active regular players but could also unfairly exclude some too. Or, should I send you a resume? :-)

... this harks back to John Lewis' request for some kind of scoreboard.

As a matter of pure curiosity, do you have any idea how many active players there are? Would any of the silent ones come out of the woodwork if there was a forum system? I suspect not that many, unless you could link into it directly from the game. However, even if the actual format remains unchanged, a link called Forum or Discussion Board seems more likely to attract traffic than the word Feedback because the current moniker could be seen to imply that it is primarily a place for bug reporting rather than open discussion. N7DOT's idea of just two separate threads seems a pretty good quick fix.

As for the ratings problem, I don't have a perfect solution. I was thinking more along the lines of having filter categories in the rating dialog. So, aside from the Difficulty and Style (and Rigidity?) sliders, you select one or more categories you think the level should be classified as using checkboxes. I know this is a tad fuzzy and would require a bit of a cumbersome formula to assess the voting outcome, that is assuming that in the proposed browser a level can have multiple filter flags. There would then be set criteria for how long a level stays flagged as triage. Existing Minor Leagues levels could be reincluded in the main collection but with a Very Easy (or in some cases, Well Cooked!) flag set and not be visible in default mode. The Very Funny classification should definitely stay and actually become active again (Modern Art Gallery has to have somewhere to live). Most importantly the system is dynamic so that a level's categorisation can change as more ratings come in.

The main problems I see are:
1. What should those categories be? Suggestions welcome...
2. How do you go about classifying all the old levels that have already been rated? Volunteers welcome... ;-)

PS. As for my bug: don't worry about it, the fix continues to work fine, so, unless anybody else complains about it, it can safely gather dust at the bottom of the 'stuff to do' pile.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 07.06.11 15:12:05
Umm, I have an Idea:

Maybe a category along the lines of "Begginner - these levels are a good way to get more used to the game"

then A "Moderate - these are average, good levels"

a "Hard - These are the levels that will make your brain hurt!"

In each category could be a "Stylish levels" folder.

there could also be a "What not to make if you want a good level"

And a "Ratings tutorial", which teaches what ratings mean to those who don't know.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 07.11.11 11:59:35
I noticed that using the scroll wheel on my mouse (not using middle click and drag), it took approx. 23-25 seconds to get from thread top to thread bottom. however, scroll on touch-pad and middle click & drag can be much faster.

Also, although I've not been playing much, I try to check on escape every day to see if there is anything new, so I consider myself an active player.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 07.11.11 12:12:06
idea: Scared/Baby Bots

Both are the same thing, they are like hug-bots, but they try to hug other bots.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 07.13.11 19:14:52
Also, I would like it if there was an option in-game to play any 'corrupted' level as if it was a regular level, (however they are still sanitized by the editor, and will be rejected by the server if uploaded, just like insane levels are now) by first clicking on it, giving a message along the lines of "Notice: This level is corrupted and does not meet the requirements to pass the level sanity check. This means that this level may have strange gameplay and possibly other strange features. Keep in mind that the server classifies this level as insane." It will then have the choice of the Esc key for "Return to level selection" and the L button for "Load anyways".

That way they can actually be played, as I would like to try and solve radiant's malformed levels as I was unable to do so before they became completely forbidden.
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Tom 7 (67.186.6.86) – 07.13.11 23:01:03
You can play malformed levels by loading them via the editor (which doesn't mind showing ones that don't pass validation). But it still sanitizes them when it loads them, which usually makes them unwinnable. Being able to load insane levels would mean having to keep old bugs around in the rules, which would be pretty much untenable because I'd need to keep every old released version of the rules still maintained. (And some of the older bugs can actually crash the game!) So I can't do this, sorry...
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radiant (98.231.193.105) – 07.14.11 04:47:07
If you still want to be able to play them unmodified, you can either maintain a copy of the source tree where you simply don't include the patch that removes insane levels from the level list, or (much easier) play on a version of the game that predates that patch.

tinyurl.com/escape2007 to the rescue.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 07.14.11 13:00:45
Oh well. Thanks for the link, even though it might be a while until i get around to using it.

Anyway, something I thought of: Maybe that if there become Registered player pages showing progress and everything, that the little picture of the 'office' dude that might be displayed would be whatever the player's normal start position snippet in the proper picture file looked like the last time they connected to the site through the game (upload anything or download levels/updates).

Just a thought, but, it would be cool... and if you can do the user pages, the picture thing shouldn't be too hard...
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 07.14.11 13:54:44
However, I think the Animation.png would be MUCH easier to navigate if the snippets had some sort of natural order, rather than being like if all the little pictures had been coughed up onto a green background and then smeared about in weird square rings. I mean, Is there any reason for this current configuration, other than that's just how it turned out?

Due to animation.png's messiness, editing the player's look would be near impossible, as most players probably wouldn't know the order of the frames when moving a given direction even when looking at the pictures. So although *sort of* easy to make happen, it won't be so easy for the player. Plus, it easily gets wiped.

Maybe make player animation a separate file, and maybe when updating, having escape copy player animation file ____.png to ____2.png, replace original ____.png with the new one, paste ____2.png onto the new file ____.png so the background of ____2.png doesn't obscure anything, and then delete ____2.png.

It might be long, but it should be possible, as all the steps that are not already part of procedure can be done in a generic paint program (as long as the program is as good as or better than MS Paint). If not then the player could manually do the procedure.

My original thought really was just a "this would be cool" kind of thing.
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Anonymous (24.21.196.111) – 07.14.11 14:02:16
Also, what were some of the symbols in the font.png after each of the colored ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz...
lines, what are they for, and how are you supposed to get them?

I mean the weird ones like the very end's arrows and such. I know what the Blocky-ish things are for (viewing ratings), but like the 'esc.' one.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 07.14.11 14:10:30
That last one was me, i forgot to type my user name in.
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 07.14.11 14:26:36
Update: On the lost player files thing I seem to have found both. Weird, and now I have no idea what happened. I do know that the game did Something weird when my updates had trouble, but I am not sure what. Very odd.
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Tom 7 (67.186.6.86) – 07.14.11 18:49:25
animation.png is a packed version of all the individual .png files making up the animation frames. If you want to modify the graphics the right way to do it is to get the source code and build it; part of that process is taking all the individual .png files and automatically packing them into a single animation.png file. The arrangement in that file is basically arbitrary, but packing them into one file makes it much more efficient to start the program and to do updates. Go ahead and play with the graphics (or anything else) all you want, but the graphics is one of my favorite parts do, so I'm not really looking for contributions here. :) In the font, the characters after the name are used for incidental font-sized stuff like the ratings bars in the level browser. You can't really type them. You could see the whole list in chars.h: tom7misc.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/tom7misc/trunk/escapex/chars.h?revision=1609&view=markup
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Zargblast (83.71.28.218) – 07.18.11 14:00:22
I've been playing this excellent game for some three years, but there's some puzzles I'll never solve in a thousand years. Is there any chance, Tom, that you could revise your system so that we could view solved versions of puzzles? I'm not talking about all those 'small' or 'bot' ones compiled by Kacper, but 'impossible' levels like 'grand prix'.
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Tom 7 (67.186.6.86) – 07.23.11 13:29:41
It's deliberate that you can't see the solutions. I've occasionally had a solution spoiled while debugging with somebody else's player file, and I can tell you it's not worth it to just see the solution. If you're stuck, my recommendation is to leave a comment on the levels that vex you asking if anybody has a bit of a hint (marked as a spoiler).

There are lots of levels I've spent hours on and not been able to solve, including grand prix. :)
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Anonymous (24.21.196.111) – 07.23.11 19:03:11
Tom is right. It can take tons and tons of work to make a level that has a difficulty rating of 8 or higher, as the harder the level gets, the harder it is to find a solution, the harder it is to make it harder, and so the harder it is to upload such a hard level. Plus, the author needs to add some cool/clever bits to actually justify the work, as not so many people want to play a 9-1-7 level or something like that.

If there was an option to view the solutions to hard levels without beating said levels, many hours, days, maybe even weeks or months of very hard work on building, testing, debugging, and fine-tuning would all be ruined.

Besides, how could we possibly put in place such a system so that nobody has a level that has been pre-spoiled that they might find 'beatable' woithout any help? An example that just shows how thoughts can vary: mjn's "Memory Hole (final!)" is rated a difficulty of 7 (or was if it isn't); I found it rather simple.

Another (not really related to escape, but is a good point) example is that many people, when presented with a (legally) scrambled Rubik's cube, they are unable to solve it, no matter how long or hard they try, without some sort of help; Yet, there are some people who can, without recording or learning any tricks, or knowing who to solve one, can intuitively picture the cube or some other method, and make judgements on what they may need to do next, and continue working away at the problem, until they finally solve it.

Different people are skilled at different things, and a 'One size fits all' approach will not work for some, and a 'Customized plan' method will allow somebody to somehow game the system and get auto-solves on pretty much everything. That sort of thing just won't work. It's not just about respect for the level author and that finally knowing the solution to a level isn't worth spoiling it for yourself and not getting to have that sense of accomplishment. It's also that not everybody wants certain levels to be spoiled. Some just want to solve it themselves.

Also, having a pre-solve for grand prix or rouge-like-like (I've gotten to this point in the rouge-like series, and that level is purely devilish. Rouge-Like was tricky, but is quite tame compared to Rouge-Like-Like.)
would mean that any new player might rate them easy, or after having it spoiled, seeing the 'spoilers' section comments and not understanding what the 'trick' or 'twist' is, as they may think that the provided solution is the one that is the expected route, and so not see a 'trick' or 'twist'.

Tom, has written a few very hard levels that could be seen as 'impossible' levels (a great example is Newark Liberty Airport (EWR), as it has a rating set of 9-9-6), and I expect he wouldn't want to just giveaway the solutions.
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Zargblast (83.71.28.9) – 07.24.11 13:19:07
Fine, I understand all of the above, but it doesn't diminish my frustration.

How does one comment upon a level? I can't see any links which allow one to do so.

Can I just say also that I hate bots? I gather that some levels can only be solved via some arcane knowledge of the ways in which multiple bots function.
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Tom 7 (67.186.6.86) – 07.24.11 16:23:44
For my part, it's not about giving away the solutions or respect (though I understand why authors might feel that way), but just that every time I've seen a solution to a level, I felt like 1% of the satisfaction I got from actually solving it. But I've definitely often felt the temptation to peek and wouldn't have been able to stop myself if they were easily available. So basically I'm just protecting you guys from yourselves. :) I understand the frustration, though. "Jungle Fever" and "Crosshairs (Potetz variation)" have used up hours of my life without any satisfaction yet!

To comment, press ctrl-c when the level is selected in the 'load level' screen in the game. Oddly, you can only read comments from the web. Of course I plan to fix that mismatch some day!

I know what you mean about bots. That was a Pandora's box I was somewhat hesitant to open, mainly because as I was implementing them I started to realize how complex the behavior could be with multiple bots and I have a long-standing principle of predictability in the game's design. I worked hard to make the rules for bots as simple as I could, but when there are a couple of them it can easily get confusing (the 'n' key might help, because it shows the order that bots will move in). With some practice some of their movements can even become intuitive, but more than any other element, it's not hard to make a level that's simply obnoxious by using bots. The onus has always been on the level author to use the features of the game to make good levels, though, and there have definitely been some amazing ideas using bots. So I don't regret it!
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N7DOT (24.21.196.111) – 07.28.11 11:40:23
I just realized I left my rather long post about how Pre-solving levels is not worth the effort, with the "Anonymous" name yet again. Maybe a catch to ask if someone really wants to be Anonymous?

Yes, bot levels can be annoying, but they do have really simple rules:

The simplified rule of the bot:

Bots move in order of their number.
Bots move towards the player.
Bots prefer to move horizontally over vertically.
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SoniEx 2 (189.55.3.254) – 10.01.11 17:36:51
You should put a 2-way wire (like the equal (=) sign)

I'll do some art for it...
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Anonymous (189.55.3.254) – 10.01.11 18:39:18
imageshack.us/photo/my-images/593/2waywires.png/
(copy the url and paste it in your browser's address bar)

I did some art for the 2-way wires. but you'll need to do the rest by yourself.
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radiant (98.231.193.105) – 10.03.11 03:19:37
Those don't line up with the graphics for the existing wires, and what would the point of the "=" tile be?
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Anonymous (189.55.3.254) – 10.03.11 13:57:38
this is to "compress" the wires. instead of using 2 lines of wires, you can use just 1 line for 2 wires!

Now see this image:
imageshack.us/photo/my-images/40/2waywiresdemo.png/
this explains a lot!
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radiant (98.231.193.105) – 10.03.11 22:32:04
So if you tried replacing the center square there with a standard vertical wire, the circuit wouldn't work. That rather limits the appeal of those things.
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N7DOT (24.22.122.81) – 10.09.11 00:16:46
I can see what ways both of these arguments are going. The idea would certainly help in some cases, but as they are still they would need more work. Here is something needed to make this idea work:

||
||
.___//
|
|
|

Where a line shifts over and one turns. Also these (crossings)
`|| |a| `| |
-++- |n| -+-+-
`|| |d| -+-+-
`___ |_| `| |

In all the cases above the .'s and `'s do not represent anything.

I do see the points that both of you are making, and do actually agree with both of you.
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Anonymous (24.22.122.81) – 10.09.11 14:45:31
Um, looks like that didn't turn out well. I'm not going to go out of my way to try and fix it now.
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Anonymous (24.22.122.81) – 11.07.11 11:13:40
The previous Anonymous post was me, the one saying the text representations didn't turn out well (posted at 14:45:31 according to the site)
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N7DOT (24.22.122.81) – 11.12.11 17:28:56
Argh, again! the last one was me, and I did type name. This time too, incase it happens again.
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N7DOT (24.22.122.81) – 11.12.11 17:31:53
Anyways, I was thinking: Radioactive blocks.
Radioactive blocks act like lasers, but they can be pushed by bots (they can't be pushed by the player except as their first turn, if they start right next to one. they can't get close enough at any other time).
This could be interesting.
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Dave (203.160.113.11) – 12.06.11 07:16:37
Gary has a serious point (refer comments level 1000). There needs to be something like a pop-up dialog to explain exactly what a cook is when you tick the box. Interestingly 8 people have cooked Modern Art Gallery whilst only 7 have cooked Art Gallery. What can be read ino that? hmm....
PS. 24.22.122.81 - you may try to be anonymous but we know who you are :-)
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increpare (86.30.203.134) – 12.30.11 18:31:46
Just spent an evening playing levels from this. Am feeling a little blockpushy overwhelmed. Surprised I haven't come across this before, it's a neat community of people you have making levels : )
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LiluCat (129.194.8.73) – 01.06.12 04:16:22
May be the radioactive blocks burned the game : the last updating was fatal... all the levels disappeared ! I hoped find a complete list of them here and dl them manually, but did'nt find any .esx, just the comments
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Anonymous (cpe-68-206-38-214.gt.res.rr.com) – 04.11.12 18:30:11
Hi tom 7 got a copy of T7ES - Theme from large dark ...you got a lot going on there.I wonder if you tried to blend it with others you've made.Web streaming programs contact me if you'd like to air any of your work online with me...onlyin2012@gmail.com till then..GIL
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bETH (200.49.190.40) – 05.03.12 15:47:35
I got a problem... And it is that I can`t make more than one bookmark for a game, so... what hapened? Can somebody help me??
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Implode (host-24-100-105-39.newwavecomm.net) – 05.09.12 20:58:07
Here's a preview of the next level, harder than it seems on "Both Sides of Love" -

i50.tinypic.com/2ebv0b7.png
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Implode (mobile-166-147-117-036.mycingular.net) – 05.14.12 08:32:51
The anonymous was N7DOT.
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Anonymous (c-24-128-50-100.hsd1.ma.comcast.net) – 05.20.12 04:46:43
When I try and run escape on my Ubuntu 12.04 machine, I get './escape.exe: error while loading shared libraries: libstdc++.so.5: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory'

I have libstcc++.so.6

If I install the older so.5, I get
'./escape.exe: error while loading shared libraries: libgdk-1.2.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory'

I cannot find libgdk-1.2.so.0 anywhere.
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-6-86.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 05.20.12 14:25:10
The executables are old enough that they are probably not practical any more. Linking is such a mess on Linux. But, I believe the game will compile cleanly if you have SDL installed. That might be the better option...
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Anonymous (c-24-128-50-100.hsd1.ma.comcast.net) – 05.21.12 16:22:31
Yeah, I had to install SDL plus a few dev things that I don't really know what they are, but I'm playing now.
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Implode (24.100.101.63) – 05.23.12 21:50:56
Here's an idea; for the Difficulty, Style, and Rigidity, if it's,

D - 4.70
S - 6.40
R - 5.90

Why don't you round it to the nearest ones? So it would be,

D - 5.00
S - 6.00
R - 6.00

Just a thought...
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radiant (c-76-106-44-167.hsd1.va.comcast.net) – 05.29.12 20:30:48
I have the game displaying the numerical ratings to a precision of tenths, while the pie charts continue to round down.
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Anonymous (187.57.34.81) – 08.17.12 23:40:54
Oi, Meu nome é Edvaldo colombo (Brasil) e gostaria de pedir que coloque uma senha para cada usuario, minha familia olha as soluções.

(Google translator)
Hi, My name is Edvaldo colombo (Brazil) and I would ask that you put a password for each User, my family looks at the solutions.
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Anonymous (77.237.3.13) – 08.18.12 21:18:14
is the bug with bookmarking ever going to be fixed? pretty please...
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Gruesome (109.76.125.86) – 08.30.12 14:07:50
I've currently got two triage options when I load levels. Why is that.
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Tom 7 (65.196.126.11) – 08.31.12 07:17:11
Thanks for reminding me about bugs. :) the hard thing is not fixing them, but just getting the game to compile again, cuz I have a new computer since the last time I built it. But I do still care even if I'm bad at it.

Grue: escape looks for all puzzle files within the directory it's in and all subdirectories. Do you have a copy of the triage folder, or a backup or anything like that, inside the escape folder?
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Gruesome (109.78.17.95) – 08.31.12 13:25:22
Tom,

The folders within my 'Escape' directory are:

0_3332_1582.deleteme;
attic;
graveyard;
minor league;
mylevels;
official;

and,

triage.

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Tom 7 (173.162.7.49) – 09.01.12 14:30:45
It's probably the deleteme dir. The game will make stuff like that while updating, so if something went wrong, you may have extra files around. Try moving that dir out of the escape dir, and if all is well after restarting the game, you can probably dispose of the directory.
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GIL (68.206.40.135) – 09.10.12 17:58:29
i agree with Zog comment... Zog (2763) Sun 09 Sep 2012 13:43
Utterly pointless.And Yes it belongs in the minor area.I just like to
know what Zogs' has contributed to this game other than that rather
smart SOB comment???
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 10.29.12 06:03:16
Judging by the number of new levels uploaded over the years, interest in the game has dropped considerably in recent times. We live in an age of social networking, playing a game (which I consider the best of it's genre) from the 1990s. Maybe it needs to be a little less impersonal: Who are we? Who am I playing against?

It reminds me of N7DOTs attempt at a global collaborative level, an idea probably doomed to failure, but on a smaller scale could work. N7DOT had great level ideas, imagine if they could have been modded before they got spoiled.

How about for starters, making the Facebook page a proper group? The days of an internet full of anonymous nerdy geezers anonymously playing geeky games have passed, but it feels like I am still there.
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Anonymous (31.112.198.148) – 12.13.12 17:57:02
Is there any way of clearing your data for a level? Say the number of moves it took you to complete it or something?
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Anonymous (67.186.6.86) – 12.13.12 19:37:52
You can use the bookmarks menu (when playing the level, press b) and then delete all your bookmarks (solutions are bookmarks too). I don't think you can delete your rating.
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 12.17.12 06:59:32
Why? Just curious... ctrl-i sets your default solution so why delete the others. I often find the earlier attempts useful.
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RidgeDD (113.212.68.243) – 01.25.13 00:02:58
just stopping by to say hi
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Mystery^.^ (75.143.149.151) – 03.09.13 17:06:29
So now is this game dead? lol, I'm way up there in the post somewhere. I never really played this game and it is far back in my memory, but it sometimes comes up in my mind and I Just have to check on it.
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N7DOT (98.246.160.214) – 03.10.13 01:46:06
I don't think it's truly 'dead' yet, as there are still levels being made and such. I understand that it looks dead though.

Anyways, it's been so long since I posted any sort of comment, level or speedrun here... I need a chance to get to play it while I remember to before other things start to drain away my time.
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mark (82.16.202.249) – 03.17.13 12:18:42
hi Dave its mark, just as all the fun began friday my computer broke it will only work for 1 min , not to worry about that i have others . but i dont want to get it fixed until i can get my player out of it .of all the films photos and documents the only thing im worried about is my escape player sad really .i want to know how to import my player . the game says copy esp file into the directory . i have been in program files/escape and cant find neither do you know where to find or how to do it. if anyone else see's this and knows i would appreciate as i have done over 2000 levels in the last six months .
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Anonymous (67.186.7.254) – 03.17.13 15:23:55
Your player file should be in the same place as the game, for example in program files/escape. There should be a file called "mark.esp" if your player is called Mark. Is it there? You can also just copy the whole escape directory from your old computer to a new one. The game doesn't care where it's installed.
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Kirima (188.61.59.40) – 03.17.13 19:04:24
If you're on a Mac, ctrl-click on the icon, open the package and the content-folder, look for the folder called MacOS and open it, there you will find your file called "mark.esp". Just copy that file on a memory-stick, I'm positive that 1 minute will be enough time to do all this. My player file is only 2 MB, so it's quickly done. Afterward, you can download a new copy of the game and insert the player-file at the same place of the newly downloaded game. If ever you've got enough time, you might also want to drag and copy your entire "my levels" folder!? ;-)
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 03.17.13 19:49:20
Hi Mark.

In Windows Vista/7 the .esp file in hidden away in App Data.

i.e.

C:\users\[username]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\ProgramFiles\Escape.

The AppData folder is hidden so you will have to have explorer set to show hidden files and folders.
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 03.17.13 20:03:21
If you have Escape installed on another machine just paste your .esp file into the same location on the new machine.

In XP the .esp files are in the Escape folder in ProgramFiles. Always worth keeping a backup of the .esp somewhere, that way you can never lose your player number.

Another point to bear in mind. If you go into, say, the triage directory and press ctrl-0 (zero) you can have escape search another .esp file for solutions. Saves you having to do all the levels twice if you play on two machines. It will only import one solution per level and it may not be the solution you necessarily want, but it's better than nothing.
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 03.17.13 20:21:13
Oh, and as Kirima suggested, grab your MyLevels folder too. It's in the same place. The MyLevels folder in the main escape directory is not used in Vista or later so it will contain and index file and nothing else.
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 03.18.13 02:13:46
Last resort option, assuming the hard drive isn't totally screwed, is bung in another machine as a secondary drive and get the files that way. I don't know what your exact problem is, but if is it a drive failure and the drive is a Seagate, keep trying, they cut in out when they are dying you just have to catch it at the right moment. I've got a drawer full of knackered Seagates... cheap but junk! (waiver: this is a personal opinion and in no way endorsed by Escape (c) or its creator :) )
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mark (82.16.202.249) – 03.18.13 13:33:01
thanks for the great information . you are correct about the esp being hidden in windows 7 because ihave installed escape in a older computer and i can see the file . i thought some how escape was installed twice on my broken computer because i could not see any named player esp . i even imported the whole escape folder to new computer but it did not bring players . i will try some of the above tommorow as im up and running as default player for now . not rating the levels till i get my own player back . im sure with the information above i will be able to as im very determined . As for my computer not even 2 years old i think its an overheat problem . the more stuff i have taken out of it ive got a little longer about 2 mins before freezing. this is enough time to try all great information thanks. i know it can be fixed probably quite easy but leaving information i dont want to loose does not sit well with me as everyone who i now who has there computer fixed has come back with a clean hard drive . thanks everyone . ps escape is fantastic
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N7DOT (98.246.160.214) – 03.21.13 01:00:58
I have a Vista laptops with overheating problems, it has to stay on its cooling pad at all times or else it will crash. Although what you described sounds worse.
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 03.28.13 07:42:48
This reminds me. Little bug (Windows Vista/7 only): Any deleted levels in the 'ProgramFiles\Escape\triage' folder will not be deleted when a level update is done. That is why when you ctrl-d in triage and scroll down to the end you may find a whole heap of deleted levels there. If you delete all files in this triage directory entirely, Escape will pick up its level set from the default triage directory in 'AppData'.

PS. Tom, if you ever get a chance to work on any kind of update (and I understand this may not be possible; it takes so long just to get head back into source code you haven't worked with for a long time!), please fix the bookmark bug first.
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noname (218.102.171.76) – 03.30.13 02:29:15
I think I may have located the bookmark bug in the source.

The file play.cc contains the following code:

799 case OKAYWHAT_NEW: {
800 /* bookmark new */
//snipped
813 plr->addsolution(md5, &ns, false);

(The above code involves adding bookmarks)

The file player.cc contains the following code:

309 void playerreal::addsolution(string md5, namedsolution * ns, bool def_candidate) {
310 hashsolsetentry * he = sotable->lookup(md5);
311
312 if (he && he->solset) {
313
314 namedsolution * headsol = he->solset->head;
315
316 /* always add, even if it's worse */
317 if (def_candidate) {
//snipped
332 /* XXX this code path is not used now */
333 /* only added if it's better than the default, or
334 if the default is a bookmark */
335 } else if (ns->sol->length < headsol->sol->length ||
336 (!ns->bookmark) && headsol->bookmark) {
337 /* replace */
338 he->solset->head = ns->clone();
339 headsol->destroy();
340 } else {
341 /* discard this solution */
342 }
//snipped

The problem is that, the section marked /* XXX this code path is not used now */ is entered when line 813 in play.cc is reached, so if the bookmark has a short length, it will erase the old default solution.
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Anonymous (98.246.160.214) – 03.30.13 13:28:43
From my experience with the bookmark manager the bottom solution is the one that is shown for number of moves you solved it in, even if it's not your own bookmark of it.

also: uncaught exception E_DIE: required: commentbody
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N7DOT (98.246.160.214) – 03.30.13 13:34:23
^^ I typed my name and it got deleted. ^^
Happened the last time I encountered the false empty comment bug. Comments are glitchy for me every once in a while.

getting empty comment bug still

I did type my name this time.
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Mark (82.16.201.251) – 03.30.13 21:32:15
Just to let you all know got my computer back from the shop it was the hard drive knackerd . A whole week of turning it on and off for 2mins was enough to get all my data files, documents,pictures and media out of it . It,s now like a brand new machine working better than ever. My escape esp and my levels folder safely backed up now on there own shiny new memory stick. (must remember to do this every week). Thanks again for all the help especialy you Dave as i would have never of found C:\users\[username]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\ProgramFiles\Escape. on my own.
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N7DOT (98.246.160.214) – 03.31.13 20:47:09
Just a question:

How do you use the "Retract Gold" random setting, and how does it work? I've tried to use it before but it doesn't seem to do anything. I'd like to know because I want to try using it for a level. Maybe a text file tutorial on how to use the level editor and what the various functions do would be a good inclusion for the next version of Escape.
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 04.01.13 05:18:12
Thanks noname, I have looked at the source code but never played with it. Have to find out about SDL first, not really my area, I'm more a 1s and 0s assembly language guy.
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 04.01.13 05:26:42
@N7DOT. I hate to admit my ignorance, but, just this once... Where is the 'Retract Gold' thingy of which you speak?
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Mark (82.16.201.251) – 04.01.13 15:23:01
If anyone is still interested a new tile there could be a reflector block that directs the electric beam at 90° . It would work like a mirror there would be 2 different blocks like this / and this \ . This block should be pushable .This would enable a change of direction without having to use 3 blocks .Therfore not leaving blocks about that can push down buttons and ruin the puzzle you are trying to make.
Just a thought!
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Anonymous (98.246.160.214) – 04.01.13 20:50:56
Dave, while in the editor, in the top row where the functions for editing the title, author, size, placement of bots, etc. there is a pair of buttons "Random" and "How". The "How" button sets what function the "Random" button applies to the level, acting similarly to the "Timer" button in its operation. One of the settings, setting 8, is called "Retract Gold", and I have been baffled by it ever since I discovered it.
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N7DOT (98.246.160.214) – 04.01.13 20:53:03
Side note of low priority: I also think the bug where the comment box ignores the name and comment body is getting a bit annoying...
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 04.02.13 01:57:56
I see what you mean, I can't get it to do anything either.

There must be something lurking in the code because it clearly enters another function which flags back an error.

Presumably 'Retract 1' was the same function for normal blocks.

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Anonymous (50.30.116.65) – 04.06.13 00:39:05
Comment Testing
[]{}#%^*+=_\|~<>€£¥•.,?!'-/:;()$&@"

Done*
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devin (166.205.55.27) – 04.07.13 14:19:10
I can't move the level to the graveyard yet. I will tomorrow eventually.
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Anonymous (98.246.160.214) – 04.07.13 20:27:37
Move what level to the graveyard? I left a note on one of yours because I like the level, I did so because I think that one might get moved to the graveyard and I really liked it. (obviously I have no control over things going to graveyard that aren't mine)
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 04.07.13 22:34:55
If you prefer devin's version, mod it. v10 - v11 was a break of the 'rules', but the precedent was already set by the v8 - v9 mod, so I think wowei's mod made a good point. I think you, and everybody else, should develop this the way you see fit, it is a experiment after all.
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Kirima (188.61.59.40) – 04.13.13 16:32:13
Teamwork is fun!

But I'm wondering if Tom7 really really will love our way to "overpopulate" the normal graveyard? If ever we will continue to team-work on new great levels - and I guess we will - we might ask Tom7 to introduce a new folder, some kind of a special "common teamwork" kind of graveyard? I am aware of the fact that Tom7 loves to keep each and every level that ever had been elaborated, but teamwork seems to be a new kind of creating levels, so maybe this special thing will need some special "graveyard"-folder-solution? I imagine some kind of a graveyard that expires after a certain time, let's say after 10 days or after a month or so?
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 04.15.13 18:00:33
I see three main reasons for deletion:
1. A cook fix has been uploaded. In this case the deleted level can be used as a spoiler (should anybody wish to).
2. Second thoughts. Maybe it was just a bad idea in the first place.
3. It has been improved on (as opposed to cooked).

90% of the 'mods' levels would be in the third category. If any category should be kept it is this one because there should be a level playing field. Knowledge of the previous levels, and their various solutions, was used in the creation of the next one, this knowledge should be publicly available otherwise the creator has an unfair advantage over the solver. Permanently deleting them would be hiding information from future participants or anybody trying to catch up and I feel this is contrary to the principle of the teamwork concept.

A separate folder for these types of deleted levels makes sense because:
1. They should not be considered spoilers, rather aids to design, so there is a legitimate reason for playing them.
2. Under other circumstances, most of them would easily deserve a place in triage. The only reason that is not acceptable here is because of the sheer quantity. I don't think any of us would be happy to see triage clogged up with them.

Unfortunately, this would require either a change to the source code and, therefore, a new version, or they could be flagged with a keyword in the deletion comment which would be detected by a modified server program and cause them to be automatically redirected to the alternative graveyard. Either way it's more work for Tom.
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N7DOT (98.246.160.214) – 04.16.13 20:14:05
From my experience when downloading levels (I might be wrong), Escape will list the oldest version that is fully compatible with a given collection by the folder's name. For all of the available folders, that release is 200704130. However the routine that gets the folder info from the internet lists another collection/folder that is not available and cannot be found on this site, the "impossible" folder, which has its compatible version number set at 299900000. Even if you were to hack escape to retrieve this folder and have the version number 299900000 it would likely return an error. I do believe that some of the folders have not been around as long as others. The move to alternate graveyard would probably involve slightly more work.
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 04.17.13 05:21:25
I assume it is a dummy folder for debugging the download process. Even if available, I doubt you'd find much there.

Either way, there is coding involved in the alternate graveyard because somehow you, I, or any other deleter (is that a word?) needs to be able to choose which graveyard the levels goes to.

All the files are in one collection, I have no idea what determines which folder any particular esx lands in when it arrives at destination. noname or radiant (or Tom himself of course) may be able to enlighten.

I assume it's not in the esx itself because I thought the downloaded version has the same MD5 as the uploaded version... must check that.

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N7DOT (98.246.160.214) – 04.18.13 10:42:22
It can't be in the .esx itself, otherwise the md5 su would change, causing the level to lose all its comments and ratings, as those are associated with the level by its md5 sum. Tom has mentioned that himself when re-uploads have had to be made and people asked if the ratings and comments could be transferred from the original levels.
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 04.20.13 05:26:39
It was a silly question really. Obviously, when you download a level you have uploaded yourself your existing run is applied to the triage version because the solution is referenced to the MD5 in the esp file.

So, to clarify what you just said, because I'm not going to test it, if I delete my own level and then re-upload it, the server based comments and solutions will be applied to the new version?

If that is the case, it's a bit of a shame, when you consider recent discussions, that the title/author/etc. header part of the esx is included in the checksum calculation at all.
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N7DOT (98.246.160.214) – 04.20.13 19:00:35
The comments/ratings/solutions will not be carried over to the copy in triage if you delete your level from triage and then re-upload it, from what I've seen. I'm not sure why that is the case if the level is still exactly the same, but I wouldn't be too suprised if a few minor flags and other bits of data included in the file serve behind-the scenes purposes. For example although your copy of "Square Root of 2" in triage has a speedrun associated with it and is rated difficulty 6, the copy in the graveyard still remains unrated and has no speedruns uploaded, although it is the same level. (although the original solution is two moves longer, but I can't remember whether that actually gets incorporated into the .esx file; my guess is no.)
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 04.20.13 21:55:22
In the case of Square Root of 2, the two levels are different (one is 14x14, the other 14x13) but this is not immediately obvious. I did this to change the checksum but I can't remember why, there was a reason at the time.
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N7DOT (98.246.160.214) – 05.02.13 20:31:10
I was just thinking about the idea of ice tiles for escape. I know blocks moving across it would be hard to implement, but would seem obvious. So, as a variant that would make sense and add a bit more to the idea, an alternative tile could be thin ice. Thin ice would make the player and bots slide across it, but the ice would be too thin to support blocks, and would look like if there was just blackness under it.

The property that would be special about it being thin would be that an otherwise generic type block could be made to interact with the thin ice like grey blocks do to holes, in this case crushing the ice and falling into it, turning it to floor. I'm not sure whether an existing block should do so or if it should be a new block.

Since this might present problems with gold and spheres, I offer these interaction possibilites:

1. Stopping just before it (definitely should be used for gold blocks at least) or

2. Sliding onto the first thin ice tile encountered and falling through it, leaving a hole (definitely not for gold blocks)

Let me know what you think.
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Kirima (188.61.59.40) – 05.03.13 20:09:37
This might be a bug report?

-----> Two colored "dots" at the same place in normal as well as in bizarro world will ALWAYS lead to the same point / aim / place. Unfortunately it is not possible to define separate aims for each of them.

I hope this is understandable......?!
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N7DOT (98.246.160.214) – 05.03.13 21:19:26
If you place any two tiles that require specified destinations in the same place (one in bizarro and one in normal) they will have the same destination (this includes both colored and non-colored panels, transporters, and remotes). I believe that this is because destinations of tiles are associated with the grid space, and not the tile itself. Making the two layers have different destinations would be complicated because they would have to flip between layers themselves. D-maps would also be a mess and very confusing.

I agree it would be nice if we could change that, but I just don't see it happening.
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Kirima (188.61.59.40) – 05.04.13 08:45:01
I see. But it would be a really nice feature!
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Dave (175.176.216.247) – 05.05.13 00:50:36
Tom7 was pretty clear on this matter in the rules of the game:

"The bizarro world and regular world both share the same destination.
that is, if one contains a panel and the other contains a transporter,
both will necessarily reference the same spot on the playing field."

Although it would be a handy feature, I find it a bit scary as its abuse could lead to some ridiculous and near impossible levels. Just imagine a double-layered 'Dimensional Trap'.

And the next silly block idea:

HOMING SPHERES.

Function like a normal sphere except that a soon as they encounter a panel they can activate they will stop on it.
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N7DOT (50.139.55.109) – 05.15.13 23:13:13
For some reason starting with All mod cons 17 fix and later the pictures do not appear at all. Jim also has been having the same problems. Hopefully it will clear up after a week or so.
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Anonymous (177.76.197.219) – 05.18.13 01:10:14
Users must have passwords, so that others can not see the answer.
Usuarios deveriam ter senhas, para que outros nao possam ver a resposta.
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N7DOT (50.139.55.109) – 05.18.13 03:52:43
This is a simplistic way around that for the time being (which unfortunately isn't all that convenient): you could make user accounts on the operating system you use for each person who wants to play, and put passwords for them. Then put the individual profiles for the game with copies of the game for each user.

There's likely a better way though.
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EdvaldoCL (179.167.250.227) – 05.18.13 12:41:02
Muito obrigado pela resposta rapida N7DOT, Vou fazer isso, onde posso fazer amizade com editores de niveis do Brasil? Este tem niveis muito bons.

Thank you for quick response N7DOT, I'll do it, where I can make friends with editors levels in Brazil? This has very good levels.
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Anonymous (129.42.208.179) – 09.12.13 18:27:59

I wish there's a better tutorial on the level editor.

I checked the existing IQ Carrier level (level 353) and tried to understand it from the level editor, but still not sure.

Specifically, I try to create a sokoban level that would have "box on goal".
So far, I think it only shows boxes and goals separately on the IQ Carrier level, it has no box on goal elements in there.

It would be nicer if the level editor allows importing XSB format of Sokoban levels. If it is already possible to do this, please let me know how to do it.

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Tom 7 (67.186.7.254) – 09.16.13 18:45:54
Sorry that there's no tutorial. There is some explanation in escape.txt, I think.

The editor prevents you from placing a block on a panel, even though that's a legal state when playing the game. This was deliberate, to reduce the amount of hidden information in the game. Levels that have that or a couple other things will be filtered by the game into the "quarantine" section.

It is possible to get the same effect (more or less) by using broken bots, which mostly act like grey bots and can be placed on a panel in the level's initial state. These don't flip to the bizarro world, plus act like bots in some other ways (if you teleport atop one you die), but for pure Sokoban levels they suffice.

That said, I'd prefer if you didn't import a bunch of Sokoban levels wholesale, especially if you don't have permission from the original author. However, if you have some particularly good ones, and permission, then those might be good. Best is if you create new levels, especially if they are Escape-specific. :)
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N7DOT (c-50-139-55-109.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 10.11.13 21:26:40
I always end up having ideas fo new tiles. Here is the best (in my opinion) and simplest one I've had recently:

'Fog' tiles are filled with a thick, nearly opaque fog through which transponder and laser beams are unable to pass through. As the fog is harmless, however, entities such as bots and the player are able to pass through unharmed. The fog is so thick that the player can stand in the fog directly in line with a laser and come out alive.

The following are possible fog variants:
- One variant could be capable of putting out bombs (like an extremely dense fog of water vapor)
- Another could cause bots to fall asleep upon 'stepping' into the fog (just as electricity only destroys bots when they step onto it).
- A third could be deadly to step into for the player but not bots (sort of like a fog of poison)
If more than two of the three proposals were added, I would suggest following the red, blue, green, gray color scheme.
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Dave (175-176-216-247.clients.xfnet.co.nz) – 11.22.13 04:01:03
What I would really love is a way to properly merge all solutions from one player file to another, ctrl-0 only imports the default solution. My unsolved levels when I ctrl-v now fill the screen. Four of the levels in that list are mine and I have the speed-run on at least ten of the others.

I could ctrl-0 and get the ticks but that is not what I'm after; I would like to have one file with all the interim solutions in it as well. Any ideas anyone...

N7, what do you reckon to just adding an extra colour panel with matching steel and ball? It would open up a lot more mechanism options.

Proviso: Nobody is to EVER utilise it to add yet another order to the Towers of Hanoi problem.
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N7DOT (c-50-139-55-109.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 11.22.13 21:59:29
I know that such things have already been pondered, and mostly they have been met with 'no'. However, that doesn't mean that I haven't pondered other types of panels and steel/spheres. To list four:

- Panels that are activated by only the player/bots
- Steel/spheres that can activate red, blue, and green panels
- Panels that cannot be activated by steel or panels, but can be activated by other blocks
- Flat wire buttons, which are triggered the same way as normal panels, but send wire signals instead of flipping a square.
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Dave (175-176-216-247.clients.xfnet.co.nz) – 11.29.13 17:32:44
OK, I know that's never going to happen, and it may be best that it doesn't. Here's a more serious suggestion: It would be nice to have a way to edit typos in comments. Not that I ever make mistakes ... ;)

Is anybody out there able to get the source code to compile? I haven't had a go for while, but I failed miserably on all previous attempts. Which version of VS and which version of SDL actually works. Came close with C++ 6.0 but still no cigar. Tips please ...
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N7DOT (c-50-139-55-109.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 11.30.13 02:55:10
Here's a rather serious suggestion that has been stated in the past and I will now state again: make it so that the 'i' hotkey accepts level filenames as well as MD5 checksums; typing a 32 digit hexadecimal number without copy/paste and without the ability to even move the cursor back and forth without having to delete everything in between is painful. I would suggest the ability to move the cursor back and forth without deleting should be added to any single-line input prompt. It makes things much easier and makes sense - the comment screen can do it, so why not everything else?

One more resuggestion, but with a different method of implementation - glue. Glue would attach multiple blocks with the same general movement behavior together, such that they act as one large block. Any time a constituent block is destroyed or flipped into the bizarro world, it is permanently unglued from the rest, and acts like a normal block. One possible twist to this would allow attaching red, grey, or steel to the player or a bot, therefore hindering its ability to move. (no attaching both classic and steel blocks to the same entity, however.)

Thoughts?

(Dave - I would like to help, but I have no idea how to correctly compile Escape either...)
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N7DOT (lent202.pps.k12.or.us) – 12.02.13 17:35:10
Dave - A friend of mine has compiled the source code on Linux successfully, after removing the line in the makefile referencing sound. Maybe something like that is causing problem for compiling on windows?

And about the Towers of Hanoi thing, there is already an implementation with 5 discs using 3 steel for each disk. It is slightly cookable and takes up a lot of space. (Not only that, but 6 or 7 disks is possible if you use wowei's idea of adding a row of spheres as an extra 'color'.) 8 discs or more without repeating colors is definitely possible, so I won't continue talking about it.
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Dave (175-176-216-247.clients.xfnet.co.nz) – 12.13.13 03:53:03
We've got a bug! Take 'Don't blow the candles', place a transponder on 14,6 and another on 14,14 ... have fun.
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Dave (175-176-216-247.clients.xfnet.co.nz) – 12.13.13 04:03:11
Ah, it may be an animation bug. If you move before the animation is complete everything is as expected, if you wait for the animation before moving, things get weird... especially if you undo it because you don't go back to the previous position. Sorry Mark if this is a spoiler. I haven't actually solved it yet, but it is seriously screwed up. Don't worry, nobody reads this anyway :-)
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-7-254.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 12.13.13 19:18:43
I do still read it; sorry for never responding or maintaining the game. :) I'm pretty sure this is just an animation bug, but it is quite weird and I didn't know about it. Thanks for the report!
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Dave (175-176-216-247.clients.xfnet.co.nz) – 12.14.13 03:46:42
Thanks Tom. It doesn't seem to mess with the actual game logic so I guess it's not that critical. Funny that it has never shown up before.

N7...

We are not 'supposed' to be using 'i' even though our conversations reveal that most of us actually do .-) It's just too useful. I guess it is just a feature that was never intended for public consumption, like ctrl-e.

If there ever is a upgrade, in-level comments has to be the top priority, new players are not going to going to the effort of doing it the way we do.

Taken to playing Scribble a bit after your comment in the 'chat' level. Started about 3 days ago, still learning from my mistakes (and will be forever) but getting the hang of it. It is bloody frustrating though, some people just don't grasp that is co-operative. The highlight so far (apart from scoring 324 in one play) was seeing a game I was heavily involved in hit 1300+. My only wish is that it allowed International English as well as strictly American English. Anyway, brilliant tip, thanks for mentioning it. And, Tom, thanks (again) for creating it.
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Kirima (133-31.198-178.cust.bluewin.ch) – 12.14.13 19:24:53
Hi Tom, I'm glad you're still around and reading and supporting us once in a while! Hopefully you'll be around more often, you had been missing...!
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N7DOT (c-50-139-55-109.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 12.14.13 21:33:34
I do read this thread fairly regularly, although admittedly there's rarely anything new. I agree, the ability to read comments in-game would be hugely helpful, and would likely allow new players to enter the community easier.
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-7-254.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 12.17.13 09:06:45
Yeah, of course, it's criminal that I never did in-game reading. The biggest obstacle right now is that my last attempt at releasing the game (switching to newer software tools) broke it for some users and I had to revert, so it's unfortunately not that easy for me to make even trivial changes at the moment. :(
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vondofenjoype (unknown.xeex.net) – 12.25.13 05:36:06
hello
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N7DOT (c-50-139-55-109.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 12.31.13 00:17:29
Ok, big problem in terms of possible data loss: using Ctrl + Middle Click to swap the normal and bizarro layers at a given spot doesn't trigger the unsaved changes warning, when it should. This needs to be fixed in the next update, whenever that is.
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-7-254.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.01.14 17:50:43
OK, that one is really easy to fix even in the blind, so I did it for the next release, whenever that may be...
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N7DOT (c-50-139-55-109.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 01.08.14 21:02:46
About the compiler problems, what was the old compiler you used to use, and what's the newer one that doesn't work and caused the mac and linux versions to be unusable for some players?
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Tom 7 (c-67-186-7-254.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.11.14 14:34:24
I used to use Visual Studio on windows, probably VS 2001? I have been using mingw for newer stuff, though mostly 64 bit. It's probably not to challenging to get it working again, just not that fun. I was using Apple's compiler (gcc based, though maybe now it is llvm-based?) on OS X, which is the only game in town. The issue then was compiling for both PPC and Intel, which I thought I had figured out, but it seemed to fail for some people. These days I think everybody has an intel chip, so that might be moot.
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Noumenon (68-187-92-253.dhcp.eucl.wi.charter.com) – 02.08.14 00:56:06
Will you please post the solution for the tutorial level 20 at escape.spacebar.org/f/a/escape/level/749?spoilers=1 ? There's no point allowing people to get stuck on the tutorial, since it's probably for lack of explaining the game rather than logic problems.
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N7DOT (c-50-139-55-109.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 02.08.14 03:20:18
Giving the solution itself would be too much of a spoiler, but a hint is that the transponder on the right above the rough an be pushed up and used. Hope that helps.
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Noumenon (68-187-92-253.dhcp.eucl.wi.charter.com) – 02.10.14 00:35:34
Doesn't help, I had that already. 90% of the time with this kind of thing the "spoiler" is not something I missed about the level but something I didn't know about the game, eg the ability to pull blocks as well as push them. So I am absolutely looking for maximum spoilers. It's just too bad your game is not popular enough to have YouTube videos of the answers, because without them I will not get to play any more.
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N7DOT (c-50-139-55-109.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 02.10.14 01:00:00
Hmm. The issue of big spoilers has been covered, previously. I don't want to spoil it for others who do not want it, so here's what I'll say: Describe what you've been trying as a spoiler comment for that tutorial, so we can see what is holding you up. Another mild hint: how are you going to get around that laser, and note that sometimes a bit of repetition is required to solve a level.
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Tom 7 (ip-64-134-187-236.public.wayport.net) – 02.10.14 08:47:21
Part of the design philosophy of the tutorial is to not hide any gameplay mechanics from you... They typically force you into a situation where you see the behavior of the tile being introduced before you need to use that behavior in a straightforward way, then in a way that is a consequence of what you know, but that you haven't seen. That said, I guess I don't really have any problem with deep spoilers for the tutorial, since as you say the point is to teach the game and people have different learning styles. (In my case, I learn better when I had a hand in "figuring out" what someone is trying to teach me, which is the reason for that design.) Unfortunately right now I'm on vacation and can't post spoilers, cuz I don't remember how the end goes. :)
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N7DOT (c-50-139-55-109.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 04.22.14 18:37:04
Recent levels aren't able to be downloaded anymore - everything after level 3875 doesn't even show up when downloading.
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Tom 7 (212.203.65.211) – 04.24.14 03:07:10
Thanks for telling me. I just recently moved everything to a new server and must have messed something up. I'll look soon, though I' unfortunately traveling right now...
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Gil (cpe-68-206-47-121.gt.res.rr.com) – 04.25.14 22:18:14
Thx tom still enjoy your games...enjoy your jounery
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N7DOT (159.191.162.254) – 05.16.14 14:58:56
Any news about adjustments involving the new server?
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N7DOT (50.139.55.109) – 05.21.14 23:07:15
I'm going to have to modify my levels so that they can be re-uploaded :s At least the new server is functional again!
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Tom 7 (67.186.7.254) – 05.21.14 23:29:47
I think I fixed it now. Sorry for taking so long. Does it work for you guys? I had to delete the 5 or so newest uploads, since they didn't actually have the data saved. :(
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Mark (86.20.38.125) – 05.22.14 08:25:40
Thanks Tom I really appreciate your effort ,works fine for me.
I've been playing this game for nearly a year and a half and there has not been a day gone by when I have not played it or looked at your website.
This is the best puzzle game ever , and I'd played loads before finding Escape.
So once again a big thanks I feel I owe you a fortune.
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Tom 7 (67.186.7.254) – 05.24.14 16:10:00
Aw, thanks! I'm glad you really like it. :) Once upon a time I played every single level that was uploaded until I beat it, but I haven't been keeping up for a few years now. It's great that there's still a community of players and level-makers, so that's thanks enough! Enjoy!
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devin (50.30.116.65) – 08.22.14 08:06:45
We're almost to level 4000! Time sure flies since I still remember level 3000.
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Tom 7 (67.186.7.254) – 08.24.14 23:47:02
I still remember level 3! :) Glad there are still people playing this and sorry I haven't been paying much attention!
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Jarvisn@me.com (c-50-135-242-99.hsd1.wa.comcast.net) – 12.28.14 18:15:50
Any posibility of this game being turned into an app. Could be a big hit.
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devin (cpe-65-24-129-110.kyn.res.rr.com) – 12.30.14 22:28:42
I'm pretty sure I asked this question on this page, but sorry. I forgot the answer. Just wait for Tom 7's response. :)
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Tom 7 (pool-108-17-125-112.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 12.31.14 15:30:48
Yes, I'd like to turn it into an app some day, though that would pretty much require rewriting it... something I don't currently have time for. I'll never give up on Escape, though!
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Anonymous (67.68.239.5) – 02.18.15 10:06:10
COULD SOMEONE TELL US ON

H O W T O M A K E A L E V E L PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEE

sylvano42@hotmail.com
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devin (cpe-65-24-129-110.kyn.res.rr.com) – 02.22.15 10:22:44
There's a level editor on the main screen as soon as you open the application. If you want to upload it however, you will need to press R to register your account.
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devin (65.24.129.110) – 03.28.15 21:49:08
And... Mentioning the level editor, I have found a bug.

I've tried creating a level and so I resized it and made it a 5x5. It has a tick mark meaning it's been solved, but the level is unsolvable. I've tried uploading it, but whenever I hit "upload" the box just vanishes and does not confirm it. I'm guessing it's the bookmark, but the bookmark doesn't even touch the Exit Door.
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Gary (Garygoh884) (proxy-220-255-1-142.singnet.com.sg) – 06.03.15 12:24:11
Looks like this place is barren now... could there be at least an update or somethin?
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Tom 7 (pool-173-75-25-122.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 06.03.15 19:28:29
Well, I'm still readin' the comments, though I haven't done the somewhat loathsome task of getting escape to compile again on my windows machine, so it's hard to do new releases. Anything needing attention?
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devin (cpe-65-24-129-110.kyn.res.rr.com) – 06.23.15 00:51:26
As of now, I am not noticing anything problematic.
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Anonymous (71-223-77-182.phnx.qwest.net) – 10.02.15 18:46:24
Since I upgraded to OS X El Capitan, escape won't launch. Anyone else have this problem. Escape is the only game I play anymore. I don't want to lose it.
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Tom 7 (pool-173-75-25-122.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 10.02.15 18:51:18
Oh no!
If it doesn't work on El Capitan I'll try to get out a new version for Mac (might be a struggle though)...
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Sorokin Oleg (5.141.226.142) – 10.06.15 08:53:29
Hello. A port of this game in the '' android 2.3.6 '' possible?
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N7DOT (c-73-25-74-23.hsd1.or.comcast.net) – 10.06.15 22:48:31
Hello!

The idea of creating a port has been brought up many times, and while its certainly possible to do so, the current problem is that simply updating the code at all right now is difficult - the 2009 release (the most recent one) was built with different software tools than previous releases, and is only available for Windows because the versions for other systems did not work properly. Once it's easier to make new releases AND a few big bugs are fixed, then maybe it will be possible to make an app. It would probably require someone else other than Tom to actually do the major work of getting it to work on phones/tablets and adapting the UI and game inputs.
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Anonymous (bb68a682.virtua.com.br) – 10.12.15 10:25:43
Where can I find docs on the API for communicating with the servers?
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Tom 7 (pool-173-75-25-122.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 10.13.15 23:46:01
The file "protocol.txt" in the source (check svn) has some description of the format of the web files. I'm not sure it's totally accurate. The source code of course contains the authoritative spec.
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Anonymous (bd3740c4.virtua.com.br) – 01.07.16 21:21:17
Has anyone made an Escape AI?
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Tom 7 (pool-74-98-228-122.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 01.07.16 22:57:17
I believe that Adam Goode made a basic A* solver, and there is also an retrograde solver for some subsets of the game (in the source code distribution) that I used to generate some of the harder puzzles. I don't think anyone has tried to create any high-level AIs. It's probably pretty difficult.
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Krimi (152.55.194.178.dynamic.wline.res.cust.swisscom.ch) – 02.17.16 08:35:38
Hi Tom, unfortunately I've had to get a new MacBook, but Escape is still not working under El Capitain... :-( I hope you'll be able to fix it soon!
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Kirima (152.55.194.178.dynamic.wline.res.cust.swisscom.ch) – 02.17.16 08:36:46
Sorry for the wrong name... !
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mark (cpc89586-cove14-2-0-cust598.3-1.cable.virginm.net) – 03.05.16 11:43:54
hi Jim . I did something similar once when N7 posted a couple of levels when escape was down.
So here is my try at helping you , the esx file opens in the escape game automatically but you have to put the file in a folder , my levels is the one I chose and it worked fine.
To find the folder make sure you have hidden folders on your PC set so you can see them then go to

C:\users\[username]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\ProgramFiles\Escape\mylevels.

then paste in the esx file . go back to the escape game open as normal choose mylevels folder and it will play.

Hope this helps there more info above from Dave this is how I learnt this.
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Kirima (188.63.183.169) – 07.17.16 15:52:00
I wish Escape would work on newer Macs!
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Faromir 62 (184.101.140.138) – 07.24.16 00:18:41
So do I! I hope it's not gone forever.
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Tom 7 (74.109.243.101) – 07.27.16 19:49:56
Thanks for reminding me that people still play it! :)
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Faromir 62 (184.101.152.173) – 08.03.16 02:24:59
All your work on escape is appreciated. You brought enjoyment to many people. I keep checking here in the hope that someday escape will be reborn!

Thanks Tom!
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Anonymous (79.115.8.158) – 08.09.16 23:47:00
Android...if you can
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Tom 7 (74.109.243.101) – 08.21.16 18:06:07
Hi folks,

I uploaded a new version of Escape for Windows and OS X, both 64-bit and compiled with new compilers and stuff. It's not possible to auto-update to these, so you'll want to move your player file and any custom levels manually (just ask if you don't know how to do this -- I should write up a little help page anyway) into the new app. But hopefully for the next 10 years it will be able to update from the net. :)

I know about the following bugs. On windows:
- Console window shows. It's harmless but annoying
On macOS:
- Colors are wrong in little main-menu animation,
- Weird artifacts in level thumbnails,
- Menus and editors can have the "wrong" colors

I know what's causing all of these, and will fix, but I wanted to get these more-or-less-working versions out there so that people can play and alert me to anything else that needs to be fixed.

Long live Escape!
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Tom 7 (pool-74-109-243-101.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 08.24.16 23:30:28
(Fixed bugs on the server, unrelated to this new version, where comments showed up as gibberish and nobody could post here--I hope?)
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Tom 7 (pool-74-109-243-101.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 08.24.16 23:36:46
I saw some complaints in the level comment threads about something frustrating relating to bookmarks. Can someone summarize the bug for me? I'm sorry for not paying attention for so long, but I'm actually in a position to fix stuff now, so it would be useful to know. :)
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noname (pcd367047.netvigator.com) – 08.25.16 08:53:16
If I understand correctly, N7DOT's venting is not really about bookmarks. Rather, it is about being easy to lose one's progress when one accidentally hits the Enter key. Imagine a keyboard where the arrow keys are close to the Enter key, and that the player wants to make 500 moves to put the level into a certain state. Suppose, say, after 490 moves, the player accidentally hit the Enter key followed by an arrow key. Then there is a 3/4 chance that the player is back at the beginning without any memory of the 490 moves. What if the player cannot remember the sequence of moves he made? This could happen in a bot-intense level.

I don't think one can do much about the above without making the interface very annoying. The only thing I can think of is to prompt the user whenever the Enter key is hit.

On the other hand, there is a bookmark bug that seems to be introduced in the 2009 version, and is still in the current 2016 version. This bug is apparently not in the 2007 version. The bug is that one cannot make more than one bookmark per level. If one tries to make a second bookmark to a level, then one of the following happens:

(i) if the player is at a move number larger than that of the stored bookmark, then no new bookmark is made; the stored bookmark remains the only bookmark;

(ii) if the player is at a move number smaller than that of the stored bookmark, then the current position replaces the stored bookmark; the originally stored bookmark is loss.

I also found that after one solves the level, if one then makes a bookmark which is shorter than the solution, then the bookmark replaces the solution, and the level is regarded as unsolved if there are no other solutions for the level in the player's file.

I actually looked at the source code back in 2013, and I think I have found the culprit. I made a post in this feedback thread back in 2013. The post is dated 03.30.13 02:29:15. I hope this is of help, and sorry for the long post.
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noname (pcd367047.netvigator.com) – 08.25.16 09:04:11
BTW, it seems that some players prefer that when one solves a level again, the new solution replaces the default solution if faster, and is discarded if slower. I myself prefer that new solutions are always stored, without discarding anything. So I suggest that when the solution management system is redesigned, the player can choose whether new solution replaces old solution or is just stored, in the form of a setting in the preferences menu.
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noname (pcd367047.netvigator.com) – 08.25.16 13:07:47
Bug: After copying my noname.esp to the folder of the new 64-bit Escape and opened the file with 64-bit Escape, all my ratings are gone.
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noname (pcd367047.netvigator.com) – 08.25.16 13:08:25
My system is Windows 10.
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Tom 7 (pool-74-109-243-101.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 08.26.16 09:49:28
Thanks for the excellent feedback!

It seems that maybe a simple solution for the accidental-enter issue would be to just let the restart action be undone like other moves. This would complicate things a bit (right now undo is implemented by just truncating your current solution) but I think it could be made intuitive and I do understand that frustration.

I vaguely remember that solution bug, which is a bit harder because I don't really understand the solution management code any more (I was in the middle of redesigning it in 2009 I think, which is what caused the bug). Will look, and your pref seems like it'd be straightforward.

I will look into the ratings being missing this weekend; if I can reproduce it, it's probably a shallow bug. I guess the other data (solutions) was imported correctly?
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noname (pcd367047.netvigator.com) – 08.27.16 03:06:42
Yes, the other data (solutions, preferences) seems to be imported correctly. Only ratings are missing.

BTW, the website says that the default installation folder should be fine, but on Windows that folder is a subfolder of Program Files, and it seems that all modern Windows (I think starting from Vista?) by default do not allow modification of any subfolders of Program Files except during installs/uninstalls. At least in Win 8, any writes by a program to its own folder under Program Files are redirected somewhere (I can't remember where). Not sure about the case of Win 10, but when I tried to install the 64-bit Escape to the default folder and start the program (without moving/copying any player file), the Default player is shown but cannot be selected: if I try to select it, it gives an alert which says,

Couldn't read player Default.esp
ENTER: OK

and if I then press ENTER, Escape just quits. Of course, my solution is to install to another folder not under Program Files. But this means that the default folder in the installer is probably not working for new Windows, contrary to what the website says.
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Kirima (169.183.63.188.dynamic.wline.res.cust.swisscom.ch) – 08.27.16 03:12:26
Thank you so much, Tom! Is seems to work normally on OS X El Capitan.
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noname (pcd367047.netvigator.com) – 08.27.16 03:13:20
And I would like to thank Tom7 for making this game, and to everyone who made levels and played my levels. I've had a lot of fun with this game for the past 11 years.
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Kirima (169.183.63.188.dynamic.wline.res.cust.swisscom.ch) – 08.27.16 08:31:00
BTW: I forgot to mention that my ratings are missing as well.
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Tom 7 (pool-74-109-243-101.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 08.27.16 11:43:47
Thanks, I fixed the moderately interesting bug with losing ratings and uploaded new versions for windows and OS X. Unfortunately, this (mostly) corrupted the ratings in your player file when it saved your .esp again. It's possible to manually recover them if you have a backup of your player file. If you look at the file in a text editor, you'll see a section that starts with "-- ratings". Each line in that section is a checksum of the level and then the encoded rating. If you see any that start with "0123456789abcdef", then these are buggy ones and you might as well delete them. You can just copy and paste any good ones from your old file. Also if you haven't really done anything with the new version, just copying your old .esp file to the new version should work fine now.

If anybody lost all their ratings and doesn't have a good way to get them back, I could maybe make a recovery mode, but it would be nice to avoid that complication. Let me know. Data-loss bugs are the worst kind, so I'm really sorry about that!

noname: Thank you for all your great levels and cogent feedback and enthusiasm; it's been a pleasure!
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Kirima (169.183.63.188.dynamic.wline.res.cust.swisscom.ch) – 08.27.16 15:32:14
Thank you, Tom7, I could fix the ratings. And of course -> noname, thank you, too: your levels are always great!
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Kirima (169.183.63.188.dynamic.wline.res.cust.swisscom.ch) – 08.27.16 16:06:09
Oops, no, it didn't work! The ratings HAD been there, but after closing the game and re-opening some time later, the ratings had disappeared again?!
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Tom 7 (pool-74-109-243-101.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 08.27.16 16:11:00
Ugh, oops, while removing the debugging code before uploading I also deleted the code that actually saves your rating! So that last version is also broken. mm, sounds like you got that poison version, so you should update again and paste your ratings in there again. I checked that this version is working, though. Maybe time to add some tests... :/
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Kirima (169.183.63.188.dynamic.wline.res.cust.swisscom.ch) – 08.27.16 18:22:42
Ok, I did it again and now it seems to be o.k., thank you!
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noname (pcd367047.netvigator.com) – 08.28.16 01:44:09
I am able to get back the ratings from my old file, and the new version seems to work. Thank you, Tom7.
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