Should I retire from FC?

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Should I retire from FC?

Postby Error-QM on Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:25 pm

Hey all,

I'm probably going to regret this but you just can't overthink some things. Anyways, in recent times I've been playing FC a little more than I usually do (which is, sadly, almost never), and I've noticed a few things:

- My designs just get harder and harder to tweak, and my designs BH considerably more often than before.
- How do I multiple weight use?????////
- If you look closely (at least, if you look really closely) at my designs, you'll see there's not much creativity or elegance in my solutions.

I mean, at first, who doesn't use more pieces than necessary? Pretty much every newbie solves a level with an excess of pieces to ensure their contraption does the job, and this is especially common in brown designs. But take my latest missed-it-by-that-much blasterpiece: http://www.fantasticcontraption.com/?designId=11936137. Unfolding triangle at the bottom, a similar sort of kicker also powered by an unfolding triangle, obvious crane, obvious slide-a-pult. And I didn't even solve it.

How about the folks that did? Zhyrek's solution utilizes an elegant and (I hypothesize) hard-to-time/tweak bridge-mounted catapult. Foss has mech reuse while Ken recycles one mech as a weight for another. Rian's is too complicated for me to decipher,but I can see a couple well-used pentagons there. And that's just one level.

I've seen some over-the-top complicated masterpieces by veteran FC players, highly creative and innovative designs that were customized to the level and were unlikely to be usable in similar form in other levels. I imagine that they had to figure it out for that level from first principles, rather than using a stock contraption or mechanism over and over again, like I do. In a world of FC "chess players" it seems I'm the kid memorizing openings and getting creamed by novices who know such principles.

Now all I have are, essentially, triangles, unfolding triangles, and chains as mechanisms. My FC knowledge and skills seem to be rigid in every sense of the word. Not only can I not make the pieces move around and flow like some players (Proto, ken, and both Brians come to mind), but I seem to be stuck this way myself. I briefly tried learning to make proto-arms and "reflex quadrilaterals," to no avail. Did I hit some sort of stonewall after playing for two years?

I don't really know what I'm trying to accomplish with this rant. But seeing as I'm going into my third year of uni next term, I may not have the time to touch FC, let alone have any sort of tactical or skill-related breakthrough. And I'm almost certain I won't have time to struggle with new ideas and get better. Now, any of you who (really) know me should know that I love Fantastic Contraption. This game rocked in my eighth grade year and it rocks now. But I need some honest advice from people who, I think, know better than I do at this stage.

Jyo once told me (as a joke) that my skills are outdated. In light of this, I'm starting to take his words more seriously. Are my designs too old-school, too altmodisch to compare to present day players? Should I retire from FC for good?
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby zhyrek on Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:30 pm

You may think my design is elegant, but trust me. All I did was throw pieces at the problem until it was done.

I had this conversation with rb a few days ago. Everyone thinks each others solves are elegant, because they only see the final design, and not the hours put into it.
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby ken75 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:43 pm

Dude... First of all thanks for mentioning me :3

And something that a lot of people seem to forget is that skill does not matter!
Now you, are awesome. "Auto-parry" is an incredible design. But you should play the game because you enjoy it, not because it makes you look good. The point of the game is to experiment and push your own limits, so who cares where everyone else is! This ain't no popularity contest! And everyone here has just as much respect for you as the next guy.
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby djbreslin on Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:49 pm

ken75 wrote:Dude... First of all thanks for mentioning me :3

And something that a lot of people seem to forget is that skill does not matter!
Now you, are awesome. "Auto-parry" is an incredible design. But you should play the game because you enjoy it, not because it makes you look good. The point of the game is to experiment and push your own limits, so who cares where everyone else is! This ain't no popularity contest! And everyone here has just as much respect for you as the next guy.

I had no idea how to convert my thoughts into words, but this is exactly what I was thinking.

Also, here's Auto-Parry. When I first saw it, I thought "man, I gotta learn how to copy that" :lol:
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby jdccdj1 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:27 am

brother, I say enjoy FC for what it is: a pursuit of mental stimulation and nothing more...I like your reference to chess,
because I played chess for many years with dreams of GM grandeur...best I could be at the game was a FIDE master...once I
realized I did not want to put in the time, sweat and energy to make IM, let alone GM, I started to really enjoy the game...
same with FC...once I realized that there are brighter, more creative contraptioneers than me, I settled into my own little
niche and enjoy the game for what it offers me: mental stimulation and a creative outlet (as long as I am willing to be a
tweaker!, haha)...like ken said, "This ain't no popularity contest!" and i wholeheartedly agree...you have a multitude of
amazing designs and you are a valuable asset to the FC community...don't let one disappointment tweaking a design alter
your course...stay brother!
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby Brian3.14 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:34 am

The only thing that I'm good at are bridges, which is the reason why I was able to do longways at TBC, but I fail to solve the level when it gets any harder. I couldn't solve R2 even if I had time for it. Bridges are almost the only thing I make. They are not unique in any way and they're mostly the same, but I like to make them which is the reason why I keep doing it and probably don't take any time on practicing something else like the stuff Ken does and many other people. Everyone has their own view of how they want to solve the level and what they want to make. Some designs look better than others, but that doesn't matter. Just being able to create what you want and do the thing you like makes me wanna stay here. even though I didn't play alot these last week because I mostly play Osu with waffle :lol:
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby schmittd on Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:44 am

STAY. Youre far better than me. And Im still here. So youre staying. Period. End of story.
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby Error-QM on Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:24 pm

You guys make a lot of good points. I guess it really doesn't matter if I'm as good as I was, or want to be. I mean, I used to play with the hope of being one of the "elite players," whatever that meant to me back then.

I was always under the impression that the difficulty of levels a player solves determines their skill, and still am to some extent (Protogenius blew that hypothesis out of the water though). I played extender-levels and bridge levels for years because I thought that was cool. Any of you folks remember the good times of the FC Dedication thread? I literally judged people's skills on that criterion - very little else.

I guess I'll be sticking around as best I can. I won't be of much use in comps or shuffles anymore at this rate :( But in a way I expected that. To some extent my real underlying question was if I should kinda back off a little and let the others who are better than me play some more. I suck for how long I've been playing since I haven't had the chance to go on FC very often these past few years. I certainly wouldn't have left out of spite (read: ragequit), I just didn't want to be a bother and lately I'd been feeling kinda down.

I named a few of you in the OP - that's only who I was able to think of at the time. Good players like camaro, zhyrek, waffle, Nurket, jdccdj, Season, Babits, and...too many more of you for me to write here...stand out to me as really great players. I can't begin to attack some of the levels you all have solved. You guys are all fantastic, all of you. And yes, I'm a little jelly. :P

Just like ol' {???} to cause some drama again :/ But I think I'll stay. You're right, it's not a popularity contest and I should play for my own enjoyment, so that's just what I'll do. Thanks for helping me out, folks, I really appreciate it. :)

PS: About Auto-Parry...I'm actually not that proud of it in retrospect. The design has one redeeming aspect to it: It uses an extender to counterweight a bridge, and a bridge to counterweight the extender. This saved fully 50+ pieces and made it actually possible to have both mechanisms in one design. But even though I built the entire thing from scratch, there's not much else that I can claim as mine. Skitters invented that extender. Rèmy invented that bridge (which I simplified down to its bare bones in my design). The real solvers of Asymmetry were LH and skitters, not me.
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby ken75 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:03 pm

I've actually... been feeling like I should give up for a long time too. All I do well is make protoarms and lately they've been looking all the same. They're different, but they're the same sort of thing....you know? I still like making levels and there've been a few times where I've wanted to quit and just occasionally make a level for the main page, but I'll always get drawn back in with somehow.

The thing is that I too haven't been doing very well at all lately. A lot of stuff is going down, and a lot that should, isn't. I've been giving up all my hobbies actually. In FC I have you guys, and the social aspect of the game makes it hard to leave. But it makes me feel really run down because I wish I could solve hard levels or do minimal challenges or anything really but I just can't.

I idolize lots of you, Foss and Babits especially but I just don't think I have the mental capacity to progress any further with the game. It's not because I don't think I'm respected; I know I'm respected. I just get more grief than anything from it. So if I one day disappear, hopefully this very vaguely explains it.

[Edit] vvv I know what you're saying Schmittd. But my distance from the game has nothing to do with feelings of inadequacy.
Last edited by ken75 on Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby schmittd on Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:42 pm

GUYS. I hit my peak like 2 years ago, and ever since, I kinda hit a plateau and guess what... IM STILL HERE. Lets face it, we are all in love with this game, and most of us are probably addicted. I don't solve as much as I used to, mostly because im sick of solving the same level over and over again, and frankly that is what a lot of the player levels are. So I stick around on the forums because I really enjoy the competitions, but unfortunately this place is pretty empty, so there are a lot less comps than I would like. But im still here. and I don't think I have the mental capacity to progress a whole bunch either, but I still love it. My point is, everyone that is here is staying here because we are one big happy family and if anyone stopped playing altogether, it would almost be like our cousin got exiled. I don't want my cousin to get exiled. STAY.
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby rianbay812 on Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:47 pm

Yay schmittdddddd; ohana!

If I may add, I hit a creative roadblock between february-may and it was so discouraging that all I did was post stuff on the forum and solve easy levels. I couldn't do squat haha. But I've been getting back into it lately, solving a level or two a week and it's been a lot of fun experimenting with new stuff.

As for J-dawg, I met you forever ago on bjswimmer's free forum and we collabed on stuff! I don't feel like I should claim full credit, but I'd say I revived you and encouraged you to come back into the game under your current username and you went on to make some really sick looking free-level longways. Give it some time, you'll be back in no time. If you do decide to take a break, make sure you come back and say hi to stay involved ;)
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby dmasters on Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:17 pm

ken75 wrote:The point of the game is to experiment and push your own limits, so who cares where everyone else is! This ain't no popularity contest!


ken75 wrote:You know, I thought the fun of the game was to build contraptions, not to look like you can build them. I wish people like you would stop treating it like some sort of popularity contest.


I just noticed that ken used almost the same exact sentence for almost opposite reasons. Funny.

And {???}, you are much better than I am and a great member of the community, and you should definitely not leave us. (at least not permanently) As ken and others have said, the fun of the game is not how good you think you are compared to others, but just enjoying the game and doing things your own way.
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby schmittd on Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:46 pm

dmasters wrote:
ken75 wrote:The point of the game is to experiment and push your own limits, so who cares where everyone else is! This ain't no popularity contest!


ken75 wrote:You know, I thought the fun of the game was to build contraptions, not to look like you can build them. I wish people like you would stop treating it like some sort of popularity contest.


I just noticed that ken used almost the same exact sentence for almost opposite reasons. Funny.

To me it seems like ken made the same statement for the same reason with both sentences: the game is not meant to be a popularity contest.
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby rlbabits on Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:36 pm

Yo! To me, this thread looks like a diagnostic test to find out if you are socially excepted here. Well, you are! Also, it sounds like you wanna leave because you feel like you can't contribute or be original. Any time you make a level, solve a level, or start a positive thread, you are adding to the game. Wanna get creative with your solves? Waste a bunch of time with a blank level! Dont feel like you have to play fc, play it when you want! No point in retiring from something that will always be around for you to play with. Just take a break from it for a while if you get bored or the FC family is getting on your nerves. Hell, if the site stays, i'm gonna play this game on and off til i croak :) No reason not too! Busy with school? FC will wait for you! Chasing a girl you like? FC will wait!!!
Working 45 hours a week and pole vaulting as well? FC gonna just chill, come on back whenever you like.

Also I would like to add:
jdccdj1 wrote: The truth



Plus, It seems when you return to FC after a break, you come back with improved skills.
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby Error-QM on Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:31 pm

rlbabits wrote:Yo! To me, this thread looks like a diagnostic test to find out if you are socially excepted here. Well, you are! Also, it sounds like you wanna leave because you feel like you can't contribute or be original.

Second part was definitely true when I wrote this. As for the first...
In the OP, I wrote:I'm probably going to regret this but you just can't overthink some things.

I also wrote:I don't really know what I'm trying to accomplish with this rant.

Just sayin', I wasn't even sure what this thread was going to be for when I made it :). The creativity flop is quite obviously my fault though...I've spent too much time copying others (as well you've pointed out to me, rl :P).

Derek: If you’re sick and tired because you’ve been solving the same level over and over again, I’m quite sure I can safely say that I know exactly how you feel.

Ken: I think you should stay. Those protoarms you're having mixed feelings about managed to stump me, and I figured out some of the best players' extender-arms and bridges. And the way you make bridges just rules the school :). You're a long way ( :scircle: ) better than I am, especially given how much later you joined. And as you and plenty of others have said, we really should play this game for the enjoyment it gives us. If you think your prowess burdens you with expectations, try messing around on the free levels for a while and see if anybody thinks any less of you :).

Brian: Credit where credit is due, of course. You did renew my passion for FC and after three years of being banned, I don't think I would have wanted to come back if you didn't give me that push. Whether I can get anywhere with my creativity in any reasonable amount of time, I'm not sure. But you showed me I could do it once, so I guess I can give it a try.

I will be staying involved, though. Even if my designs don't get very far, I'm sure I could pull off a comp if I can solidify some of these level ideas I've been having ;). And if all else fails, I'm sure there would be no objections to a "Greatest Contraptioneers V" video with all you great peoples in it? :P
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby schmittd on Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:21 am

Error-QM wrote:And if all else fails, I'm sure there would be no objections to a "Greatest Contraptioneers V" video with all you great peoples in it? :P

QFT

I'm not used to being called by my first name... It's unexpected, yet enjoyable. I guess it provides a sense of "ohana" :wink:

And Q, when I said I was sick of solving the same level over and over again, I just meant that the majority of levels in the player levels section are recycled levels with different decoration.
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby DoktorQ on Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:39 am

No one ever really retires :ninja:
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby Hero88go on Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:51 am

This isn't a job, its a damn flash game. There's a great community still alive and when you have time, contribute. If you don't want to play anymore, don't. However if you want to post to shuffles, compete in contests, and crack some hard puzzles - stick around like the rest of us.
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby lukasran on Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:27 pm

DoktorQ wrote:No one ever really retires :ninja:


true dat
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Re: Should I retire from FC?

Postby lord_hamybal on Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:51 am

lukasran wrote:
DoktorQ wrote:No one ever really retires :ninja:


true dat



really? i would like to see some new designs you have made:)?
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