Clumsy Treefingers: Organicraft

By Adam Smith on October 30th, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

THEY ARE IDENTICAL

Most puzzle games are about as much use to me as a cheesegrater rasping back and forth across my brain. It helps if they have a theme that appeals to me and Organicraft gets that part right. There’s a plant on the right of the screen and a sapling on the left. There are two options for growth patterns at the top of the screen and at each branch you click on one. It should be so easy but, like a terrible interior designer, I am oblivious to patterns. Look at the screenshot – that’s not a joke, that’s my sincere attempt to solve the game’s third level. Spotted at Indiegames, it’s free, browser-based and you’ll probably complete it in ten minutes. I probably never will.

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21 Comments »

  1. aldo_14 says:

    Looks like the evolution ‘demonstrator’ in The Blind Watchmaker.

    • matty_gibbon says:

      Exactly what I came here to say! That and Radiohead song reference!

      Okay, maybe “song” is not the right word.

  2. Jiblet says:

    Oh good god I’m awful at this. Maybe if I just try one… more… time…

  3. Proximity says:

    Wow, that seventh level is a doozy. Mensa here I come!

    • Keymonk says:

      Seventh!? I gave up on like, the third!

    • Persus-9 says:

      Yeah, level seven is nice. I can’t remember the last time a puzzle game threw me off a cliff and told me to fly quite so endearingly. I spotted a sequences of three of the moves pretty quickly and a couple of facts about the rest of the sequence but I’m not ashamed to say I had to make some notes before I finally got the whole thing down.

      • chicknstu says:

        If you guys have genuinely come up with a way of solving the levels, I’d love to hear it.

        • durruti says:

          intuition? had some vague ideas about the (mainly) start and end sequence of level 7 (like the first rule applying last and the third rule second to last), trying to take into account the colour occurance & symmetry… and after a while i got a form the came very close and after a couple tries thereafter i got it. couldn’t even reproduce it immediately but now have it memorized.

          i’d also like to know how to approach this methodically though.

          • pelham.tovey says:

            Some spoilers for #7.

            You can solve these by analysis by looking for features near the tips, then unapplying the rules they require to the tree and proceeding recursively backwards from there.

            In the case of #7, for example: you can start by spotting the brown/red tips are clearly a result of Rule 2 somewhere near the end. Since Rule 2 requires a red root, and leaves a green root behind we have two clues as to what rule must necessarily precede Rule 2 to provide that red root; and what must follow Rule 2 to tidy away the green root.*

            * Which trivially is Rule 1, creating the brown twiggy features near the leaf and, accounting for the all the branches in the subtree, defining the last two operations [...2,1]).

          • Somerled says:

            pelham’s got the most of it. The last one or two rules in the sequence are trivial, but once you’ve found those you have to start looking at structural patterns and not colors. Doing the last two rules makes a unique structure, which you can see multiple copies of in the target tree, so you need to find a rule that will duplicate that pattern in the same way. e.g. the shape of rule three matches the duplication of Rule 2->1, so 3->2->1 might work.

            In general, as you work backwards through rules, the patterns to look for in the target tree a) get simpler and b) get larger. Since different colors and shapes apply to different rules, it’s not that straightforward, but … it’s like defocusing your eyes for those stupid 3D posters, eventually it just pops out at you.

          • Baines says:

            The problem I have with the seventh puzzle is that, because it is a 2D image where segments can cross each other, it can be difficult to tell the branch flow of the tree.

        • Persus-9 says:

          Sure, I take it you just mean level 7 since there rest where pretty easy? I can’t tell you my exact reasoning since I probably didn’t even know it at the time but I can give you the gist. What features gave me clues etc. One thing to get out the way first… SPOILERS ARE ABOUT TO HAPPEN READ NOT YEE WHO STILL WISHES TO SOLVE THIS ON THEIR OWN!!!

          Okay with taken care off lets start by numbering the moves 1 to 4 from left to right. Okay the first thing I noticed was that move 4 must occur exactly once because the main trunk was two bars tall. Then looking just at the little set of branches on the lower left hand side I realised those could only be made by the sequence 321 with no further moves which gave me the last three numbers. I forget how exactly I worked that out but it wasn’t that hard, no harder than puzzle six when treated in isolation EDIT I’m pretty sure I did it the same way pelham.tovey describes above since it sounds familiar. I then realised it almost certainly didn’t start with 2 because 2 doesn’t do anything from the start position because there isn’t a red bar in the start position. I then looked at those four longest branches and worked out, partly by trial and error, that those tips were made by adding a 2 to the start of the final 321 sequence that I had. That got me to XY2321 and I knew that neither was a 2 or those four long tips would be destroyed and either X or Y was 4. That gets it down to just four combinations, 14, 34, 41, 43 so I just tried by brute force from that point and got the solution as 142321.

        • njursten says:

          I mostly did trial and error for the first levels, only properly tried thinking it through on the 7th.

          It’s quite easy to figure out at the 2 or 3 last moves, just by looking at the “leaves”, and their parent part. Then you should try to look for repeats of that pattern to see the branchings and figure out how far from the end they are. So yeah, some trial and error there too, at least for me. :P Doesn’t help that the branches overlap…

  4. chicknstu says:

    Here’s a link to the original blog post which might help, as it explains the theory behind the game

    http://chicknstu.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/experimental-gameplay-organicraft/

    Stu x

  5. Sardonic says:

    This seems a lot like splice.

  6. rawrty says:

    So these look like L-systems…really cool and I would love to play it but I can’t because of unity. I guess it’s just an easy to use engine, but for low-res, 2D stuff like this I can’t see why flash wouldn’t be the better option.

  7. max pain says:

    What, I need Unity to play simple 2d games now? bah..

    • darmwand says:

      Hmm yep, I just wanted to try it out and saw something about unity. What exactly it that? Yet another browser plugin? Because we can do Quake in HTML5 but not this?

      The web is a weird place.

  8. The First Door says:

    Oh dear, it was much too long since I studied L-Systems. I really wanted to love the game, too, but something about it just doesn’t click. I struggle to predict the way my moves work, for some reason.

  9. Dreforian says:

    The screenshot immediately made me think of my fractals and chaos class in highschool. haven’t tried the game yet but I have plenty of experience trying to make my “pile of sticks” look like the “fern” the teacher gave us.

  10. thesomethingcool says:

    Level 7 would be easier if I the branches didn’t overlap. I wanted to count the brown ones so I could use some math on the puzzle. I ended up beating it with an educated guess.