Wed, 23 May 2007
Last weekend I have took part in another puzzle-solving game, Bedna, this time with a team Abpopa. This was my first Bedna, and I think it is interesting to compare it to another similar games like TMOU or Svíčky.
Firstly, Bedna was only in the city of Prague, so there was almost no need for orientation with map, unlike TMOU, where the checkpoints are sometimes very hard to find, especially during the night. Also there were almost no adjancent checkpoints with bigger distance between them. And the weather was nice, even the temperature during the night was above zero. So after 22 hours of Bedna I was less tired than after 17 hours of TMOU.
The second difference was the types of puzzles used there. I think most of them was of the type which can be solved even at home, without being somewhere outside. In other words, Bedna is more focused on puzzles themselves than on the "whole experience" of working hard and not giving up in extreme conditions.
And probably the biggest difference was the system of splitting the competing teams apart for few first hours of the game: they used six different checkpoints for stage 2, which were organized in a cycle. So during the first part of the game, only one sixth of the teams were nearby. This was slightly unfair, as not all distances were equal, but it was definitely way better than the first stage of TMOU 2006.
Bedna has a system for SMS-based communication, which they used for calculating intermediate results (so every team knew its ranking after each stage, and where the best teams were located), and as a last resort help: every stage had a timeout, and the solution was sent to the team after this timeout. This was slightly demotivating, especially at one stage, when we've got the SMS few minutes after finding the correct solution.
The game (as many others) had some bugs: the organizers had screwed up the loop of substages of the stage 2, but this has been neatly fixed by sending SMS notification to the teams. The biggest bug probably was the stage 10, which none of the teams solved. The three teams which went through this stage where those who had arrived to the stage soon enough to get a SMS with solution before the end of the game.
As for our team, an unofficial 12th place is not so bad. We have solved everything, but arrived to the stage 10 too late. We were slow to solve the stage three, just because (from the experience from the similar games) we have tried to solve the task exactly, and spent too much time in it. Anyway, Bedna 2007 was nice, and I look forward to the next year.