Well, here we are, with a new challenge and an experimental capacity for analyzing 10 times as many designs as ever before. Wow!
I can imagine that many experienced players rolled their eyes a bit when then saw the goal of ~100,000 submissions, thinking there was no way we could get so many players to generate so many solutions. But really, there is method in this madness. Hear me out.
There are a total of 32 puzzles, most of which have a per-player limit of 150. That means each of us has a potential for submitting ~5000 solutions. I know of a handful of players who can actually do this with the tools they have available. Five players generating ~5000 designs comes to a total of ~25,000 designs, which is more than twice as many as we’ve ever had in the past, but it is still far short of 100,000.
How is it possible for a single player to create 5000 designs in two months? They don’t all use the same techniques, but what they all have in common is having access to programs/scripts to do a lot of the heavy lifting of generating and/or evaluating possible designs. What I want to do is to make one or more of these automation tools accessible to 100 players, instead of only 5.
Here’s an example that has been rolling around in my head the last few days. Say you have a design you think is promising. Maybe you created it, or maybe another player created. In either case, you bring it up in the game and decide on a way to experiment with variations. You mark the bases you would like to modify with the black marker, and load the Awesome booster from the booster menu. You then choose what kind of mutations you would like to see (mutations, deletions, …) and what screening criteria (e.g. satisfies constraints with Vienna2) you would like applied. You click on a button and BOOM! you have a list of all the designs that satisfy your request.
At this point, you can choose to scroll through the designs to see how they look in the game and trim the list down as much as you want. When you are satisfied, you click another button to submit the remaining designs and … (well it won’t be BOOM! ; maybe you should go take a nap) your computer will do that for you.
The floor is now open for discussion. Let the Force be with you.