Basics

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    A Trinagon puzzle consists of clearly defined elements :

    • Triangles (here 24), equally distributet on the playground in a symmetrical pattern (here hexagonal).
    • Rotators (here 7), sitting in the symetry centers of adjacent triangles. They are the spheres / smarties. Here every rotator has 6 triangles. 

    The Triangles have a 

    • Color ... one out of 10 possible colors

    and can also have a

    • Face ... up or down, marked with a colored dot.
    • Direction ... one corner that is marked with a smaller dot.

    The triangles can be moved around unsing the rotators. Each rotator moves its triangles around itself clockwise or counterclockwise, so that they are interchanged (permuted).

    It's up to you to find the right moves so that the triangles create the right patterns.

    There are 2 basic puzzle setups. One is simply shuffling a pattern and then finding back to the beginning (randomized puzzle), and the other is to go from a beginning pattern to a different solution pattern.

    spintutorial

    There are 6 possible ways / modes / types each rotator can permute its triangles.

    Regardless of the playground configuration (Hexagon, Octahedron, Icosahedron, Tetrahedron, Flat-Single-Triangle !, and many many more), there are exactly 6 possible positions for each triangle in each spot.

    We made a specific tutorial in the game to understand each rotationtype !
    Here is an overview :

    1. Vinyl Record Type : The simplest rotation, where all triangles keep their orientation towards the rotator. Just like sitting on a vinyl record.

    2.  Spin Forward : The triangle is given an extra push on the tip facing the rotator (the center- tip) into the same direction as the rotation itself. 
      In itself it will actually rotate 120° into the opposite direction of the combined rotation. Visualize this with a left or right hand rule.

    3.  Spin Backward : The opposite of the above. You can imagine the triangle being held back at the center-tip. I.e. it will rotator around itself by 120° in the same direction as the main rotation.

    4. Center Axis Flip : Is the same as Type 1 plus the triangle flips over and changes face up & down.
      Visually the triangles flip over the symmetry axis to their next spot.

    5. Clockwise conserved : Imagine an axis from every triangle to its clockwise facing corner. The triangle is flipped ofver this axis.
      It's a combination of type 4 and 3.

    6. Counter-Clockwise Flip : ... as you may have guessed. The same as 5 except counterclockwise. It combines type 4 & 2.

     Since this is all a bit tough to remember, playing with specific puzzles to see and practice each rotation really really helps.
    The 'Spin Tutorial' in the game has the right puzzles.

    Puzzles will often have only one rotationtype, but they can be mixed up too.
    If they are mixed, every rotator of the same type has a specific color, and the number can be shown in the RTypeIndicator.

    thinktrinagonsymetry
    How to go about solving these puzzles ?
     
    So far three basic principles have come out of many hours of playing :
    1. Queue :
      When moving a color from one side of the board to another see to it that you always keep them lined up in a queue.
      Maybe you can even bring in some strays from the side, on the right occasion.

    2. "What If" :
      Basically the same as in chess.
      Before you make a move you try to visualize the result, and maybe get to the conclusion that another move would have been better right before this one.
      Repeat !
      It does help if you're not trying to be fast ! but instead give yourself the time to syncronise your speed with your understanding of the game.

    3. Symmetry patterns :
      Trinagon puzzles are usually highly symmetrical.
      In those cases you can try and divide the board into symmetric partitions and repeat every move of one section in the other(s). 
      This may just bring you to the most elegant solution.
      There are many cases where specifically going against symmetry will be necessary hough !
      Then you need to find out per puzzle how bestz to break the symetry. 
      Even the supersimple HexS-Puzzle Nr 8 (= the Id. Level is 1) will show you how tricky that can be.

    4. Efficient Sorting :
      Some puzzles seem not much of a challenge, because the pathways to solve them are obvious. But they usually contain a few steps which could be left out, if the were just done in a different order.
      These Puzzles are often found in the Big Hexagon. What you learn there will help to find the coolest solutions on the smaller puzzles too.

    5. Around a corner from both ends :
      The small puzzles can really be the most challenging ones. It's so tight, that every move always includes some triangles which you wish could just stay where they are.
      This is similar tothe last moves of the rubiks cube. - by the way. The octahedron is really close to a 2x2 rubiks cube in it's properties. So if you can solve the 2x2 rubiks cube you'll be having a much easier time with the octahedron.

    Trinagon puzzles are still uncharted area !

    They depend on a mix of many variables, and even though they can be systematically distinguished (as the puzzle filter does for you), there is no system (yet?) that can tell how hard it is to solve a specific puzzle.

    As a consequence :

    • You'll not find puzzles simply progressing from easy to harder with increasing numbers, as you would expect in a typical puzzle game.
    • There are no clear rules on how to rate a puzzle. Existing difficulty levels are guesswork and personal opinion, mostly.
    • Many puzzles are still unrated.
    • There is not yet an upper limit on how difficult a puzzle can be ! 
    • The numbers that puzzles are given upon creation is random ! Also their creation date is used for further distinctions.

    When creating a new puzzle it's not even necessarily clear if the intended endposition is even possible !
    No distinguishable skills or movesets have yet been identified, that would be used in solving a specific level, which then could be used to understand more of its difficulty rating.

    So far the following estimations are in use :

    • Color-Only puzzles are rated below 10. 
    • Facemarkers (only) can push that limit up (to 20 or 30 mostly, or even more), but only if Rotationtypes above 3 are used.
    • Directionmarkers (only) will have a similar effect, but wioth those two it very much depends on the mix in positions and colors.
    • When mixing things up it gets extremely difficult to find a rating. The puzzle may still be easy, or it could be near impossible to solve with the same basic elements used. It all depends on the setup.

    There are some puzzles (for example puzzles nr. 885453, 885454 & 885455 ), which only use the simplest rotationtype and only a few moves can solve them (16 or 25 moves), but they are rather hard !

    One way to get a basic idea of a puzzles difficulty is to look at the # of moves used to create a puzzle. Usually it's easier to solve a puzzle than to create one, since it's not always clear if the solution even exists. As a basic guideline it does serve though.

    As of 2019, the puzzle filter is the only way to distinguish between puzzles.

    The filter does already make it possible to find those puzzles you feel like solving, which very much depends on your taste.

    It shall be improved upon as well. For example sorting options will be added.

    If anyone has a genius idea on how to calculate a clean difficulty rating, let it be known in the forum :)

    For a while, since trinagon is still in its baby stage, difficulty ratings that appear in the game, are just an estimated value given by the creator of each puzzle.

    With solutions getting uploaded to the server by different players, the difficulty rating displayed on the homepage will be calculated from the relation between average moves to the best moves.
    Clearly also this approach will never be precise. Time will show.

    ® Trinagon © Lucas Pradlwarter. Austria. All Rights Reserved. Impressum 2019