March 2022 Time Trial
I was browsing through some folders and came upon a file named "CCZ-TT-1803.ccl". Wait a second, no such file should exist as we didn't have a time trial in March four years ago! These were levels I had prepared but had not, for one reason or another, released. As we are waiting for CCLP5, this should be the perfect window to let these levels out the door and into a narrow ray of spotlight before they are run over by the unrelenting truck of time that vanquishes all things, save perchance the annals of Chip's Challenge lore and glory.

With that sentence out of the way, your task, should you accept it is to download this file, play the levels and send me your solutions.

.ccl   CCZ-TT-2203.ccl (Size: 1.2 KB / Downloads: 52)

The quickest solutions win the competition, but we love to see even the more casual attempts and if you have a minute or two to comment on the levels, that would be fantastic.

Let's set the deadline at the end of the day of April 3rd where you live, which is a Sunday. (I'm not keeping this running for a full month as I want to start the next TT as soon as this one ends. I have a series of at three competitions lined up, so get on the train now.) Standard rules apply, and though I'm not posting the technicalities and finer details this time (in full at least), you can ask me here or on Discord.

Speaking of which, while I do like to keep a record of the entries if you send them in by email (valeosote ata hotmail doto como), you can also send your scores and solutions to me on Discord. (Just today I finally played and somewhat optimized the levels myself.) The main competition is in MS, but I am very happy to see Lynx scores as well (or if someone wants have a go at the levels in CC2). You get extra respect for playing in Tile World, but as this isn't a competition from ancient times, you can also just send me your solution as played in Super CC.

That should cover most of the stuff you need, but I thought I'd also share a few thoughts on the designs of the levels.

Thinkbox was a Create Competition entry from the start of 2015 by Minus3K2. I wanted to pick it as a time trial level because it presents an interesting choice: do you drown the teeth and how, or do you let it chase you around? This question works for both a casual solve and an optimized approach. I also try to pair a little easier level with something that requires more work, balancing each other. Let's see what you think.

Mirkwood is a block pushing level that feels like a classical CC block pushing level and should allow for some optimization tricks, but you can't just throw it at a sokoban optimizer and let that do your work for you. I struggled to find the sweet spot between how long this level should be to keep it interesting yet not too easy nor too tedious or mind-bogglingly complex. An earlier version had like 15 chips, some of which required multiple blocks to reach, but that was just too much. I then tried a version with just 6 chips (and reaching the exit), but this one felt like there wasn't really that much to discover and the solution was too restrictive to try variations. I'd love to hear if you think I settled on a good spot with 9 chips. I always enjoy when a level has some subtle differences in MS and Lynx but isn't clearly just meant for just the other, so I hope to see solutions on both from someone. I'd love to hear from you if this is not your type of level, but I did feel it was time to have a block pushing focused time trial, and I'm curious to see if there are others that welcome it as well.
Results. You poke a bear with a stick, and it might just share some of its honey with you.
1. pieguy      197 + 334 = 531
2. M11k4       197 + 320 = 517 (196 & 315 Lynx)
3. ChosenID    197 + 299 = 496 (196 & 290 Lynx)
4. Bacorn      194 + 294 = 488
5. Ida         194 + 265 = 459
6. Piccoflute  193 + 242 = 435 (191 & 194 Lynx)
7. Chipster    182 + 239 = 421
8. ʐ̈ MANNNNNNN 180 + 197 = 377 
9. Uberliam    169 + 108 = 277
10.geodave    (172 + 58 = 230 Lynx)

Congrats! You all overdelivered on what I was expecting. It was great to have each of you participate. I'm also decently happy with how the levels turned out and how they were received.

Below you can see some of pieguy's magic on Mirkwood.

[Image: MT_CC_2022_pieguy_Mirkwood_334.gif]

I'm not sure how much that makes sense to someone who hasn't tried to work on the level (not that it makes much sense to me either), but I can tell you that there are some cool "leave the block here and come back for it later" moments. Plus, it's interesting to see which way each block was taken to its destination. For further analysis, save the following as a json to be viewed in SuperCC.
[Click to Show Content]

Here's also ChosenID's solution for Thinkbox:
[Click to Show Content]

I guess I'll also share what I had on Mirkwood:
[Click to Show Content]

I didn't find an easy way to store stuff in the first room, but trying something more complicated quickly messed with the order of things coming out of that area, each of which would have to be managed separately, so I let it be. By the way, ChosenID missed the "trick" of pushing one block out of the way into the wall in the first room (as did some others), and had you noticed it your route would have saved an extra 15 seconds. For the more casual solves I was happy to see how you needed to clone extra blocks in the level just to toggle the walls, as this was also my first experience with the level.

If you are curious you can ask for more solutions. :-)

Keep your eyes open for new community activities starting soon. :-)


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