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Lights Out puzzle experiment



I wrote this program to see the effect of applying a simple rule for solving the light toggling puzzle.

The idea is, because the toggle pattern is a cross shape, you can toggle one cell in a row at a time by pressing the one below it. Working your way down, you can clear each row separately this way. (According to the rules of the light puzzle, "pressing" a cell means toggling the cells that make up the cross centered on that cell individually.)

Naturally, the interesting thing happens when you reach the bottom. Sometimes it will work itself out, sometimes it won't. When it doesn't, it can produce interesting patterns as you keep applying this algorithm. When the puzzle isn't solved, this program reapplies this technique, but in the other direction.

Press 'r' to generate a new puzzle. (It regenerates a new puzzle by "pressing" 1000 cells at random)
Press 'p' to pause the algorithm.
Press 'c' to continue the algorithm. Pressing it again will modify the speed at which the algorithm runs - whole row per frame, or single cell per frame.

Click to press the indicated cell (will toggle a cross shape at that position). You can do this during a solve as well. You can set up your own puzzle this way, and see how the algorithm handles it.

Screenshots:







1 comment:

  1. Simple yet interesting to see the random patterns at the bottom converge to a periodic, symmetric pattern as the algorithm is reapplied.

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