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Tag: treasure hunting system

Sudoku Variants as Playful Proof Practice

Doing mathematical proofs is kinda fun. Unfortunately they only make you do a few fun ones in school, then they get frustrating and tedious. So I have long been looking for a game that is about doing mathematical proofs. Euclidea was good, but eventually runs into the same problem as the hard proofs you do in school, so I never finished the game. But recently a lot of hard Sudoku variants have come along that feel exactly like doing a mathematical proof, but are designed to be fun.

The Sudoku world is currently going through an explosion of creativity and innovation, something which I have called a “Treasure Hunting System” before. It’s quite joyful to watch, especially since I never really got into Sudokus before. I found that when Sudokus get hard, they get more tedious instead of getting more interesting. They’re only fun until you get good enough to attempt the tedious ones. At least that’s what I thought until Youtube kept on recommending the Cracking the Cryptic channel, which currently features mostly Sudoku variants, and those are much more interesting.

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Treasure Hunting Systems Found in the History of Video Games

A treasure hunting system is a system that unexpectedly puts out really good stuff. Proper treasure that makes people an enormous amount of money. An example is the Warcraft III modding community which invented several new genres of games and sprouted DotA, whose clones and offspring made their creators rich. (I don’t know how much money exactly, but Riot Games got acquired for $400 million, and their only product is a DotA-clone)

This has happened several times in the history of video games, but I didn’t link these together until I recently saw a talk about the Czechoslovakian game developer community before the iron curtain fell. The presenter talked about how the small country of Czechoslovakia had a thriving video game community despite the fact that you couldn’t buy computers in Czechoslovakia. But when I saw the talk I couldn’t help but think that “this reminds me of the Warcraft 3 modding community,” so I figured I should write up what these and other historical examples have in common so that we can build more systems that generate treasures.

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