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ElricE



Joined: 29 Apr 2015
Messages: 5
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jeka wrote:@ElricE: you really should read through the forum you are posting to before posting. Every single point you raise had been addressed in this forum before, including someone posting a YouTube video of them solving a puzzle in about 30 seconds.


An easy puzzle not one at the extreme level... having read through the posts on the subject:
A) many have questioned such results and requested a separate scoring record for those not pausing
B) admins response to said request has been consistently blithe and dismissive
C) noone has been able to offer a scrap of proof that they can in fact complete the extreme puzzles in such fantastical times (particularly once times drop below even the two minute mark)... that's been requested fit quite some time also and neatly sidestepped and ignored.

Maybe if admin/devs have the appearance if giving two-****s the debate might get some sort of closure instead of continuing for years without any resolution
jeka
(Forum Admin)



Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Messages: 242
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As we said before: "we will entertain recommendations that will help prevent / identify cheating"
We will not, however, implement ideas that run a risk of "false positives". What do you say to a person that is unable to upload his score because they had to take a call while solving a puzzle? Do you tell them not to take the call? They are playing on their phone! (BTW, there is a way to cheat without pausing, so I'm not sure why most of those saying there is cheating concentrate on that particular technique)

Nor will we run out and indulge every demand from those that presume others can't be quicker and / or smarter.

Most people that say the top scores are impossible, say that's because one can't enter the numbers that quickly. The video you viewed proves that they can.
Are you now saying that one can't think that quickly? I, for example, know I can't solve an extreme puzzle this fast, but I'm not willing to go so far as to assume that no one else can.

Finally, why do you insist on others having to prove anything? There is nothing to gain by being in the top 10 / 100 / 1000. Why would anyone care to prove anything? They probably don't even know you are claiming they cheat. If anything, the burden of proof should be on those making accusations. Can you prove there is cheating? Even if they knew of your claims, why would they care to prove anything to you? Because you don't believe they are doing it legitimately? If I were one of those with top times, I'd want to prove it, but not everyone is as competitive. Someone may read your post and say "I don't care if you believe I can do this, I don't have to nor need to prove anything to you".

I'm ranting here...


The bottom line is this:
  • cheating is possible simply because the environment is not controlled

  • we will not entertain any ideas that risk producing false positives

  • if you see results you consider cheating, let us know, and we will remove them if you can prove they were, in fact, results of a cheat

  • we give more than two-****s, but we want to be fair first and foremost, and we haven't seen a recommendation nor were we able to come up with one on our own, that would settle this issue fairly



  • Edit: one more thing to add - there was a bug in one of the earliest versions of the app that, under some circumstances, would stop the timer before the puzzle was completed. The bug has been fixed a long time ago, however, there are still a handful of devices that haven't upgraded from that ancient version. We could prevent them all from uploading, but we can't assume they are all cheats. They may simply have really old phones that don't support the update requirements, and they may not even know of the bug and what to do to make the timer stop prematurely.

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 5 May 2015 14:55:12

    Rayz



    Joined: 29 Apr 2013
    Messages: 9
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    In answer to ElricE: Did you see that YouTube video of the new Rubik's cube world record? Definitely nerds! My PB with Rubik's was about 3 times that world record time. I really kept going at it back then. Now my PB in Genina sudoku extreme is 1:30. I'm not the fastest, but getting a time below 1:45 is always satisfying. I don't think any of those quicker guys are cheating, definitely not the regulars. (I admit, I wasn't so sure earlier.) I am still trying to improve.
    ElricE



    Joined: 29 Apr 2015
    Messages: 5
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    @Jeka
    It would be basically impossible to prove once and for all if someone was cheating unless standing over their shoulder whilst playing. I'm not suggesting a game disqualified for having to pause, but rather two sets of ranking... One for those who have paused and one for those who haven't. It would certainly be interesting to see the difference in the top scores btwn the two
    me



    Joined: 27 May 2015
    Messages: 1
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    I actually started extreem games on 3 devices at the same time and finished all three before I even started them but since the timer will not record negative times I am not sure how to upload them. (I tried to capture video of this but ran into the same problem; I could not record the past so I am sorry, you will have to simply take my word for it).
    davez



    Joined: 17 Aug 2015
    Messages: 1
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    I too am surprised at the quick times posted. A statistical analysis of the bulk data collected might prove amusing.

    I'd suggest the developer make a small inclusion with the uploaded time for each solution.. the system timestamp at first display of puzzle, and the system timestamp at solution. This being done behind the UI scene without player control or intervention (no optional flag setting). Discrepancies place the results in a separate bin on your server for comparisons (at a much later point, allowing time for data collection showing trends w/o player forethought). Do you (the developers) generate a unique hash on the puzzles? This might provide another criterion for ranking.. I certainly know of some "easy" being "hard" and vice versa.

    I'm sure someone in a university psyc lab somewhere would love to have the resulting data.

    cutter



    Joined: 22 Aug 2015
    Messages: 1
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    I play sudoku for 20 years now. As i progress (and still progressing) my technique has been impoved. I chose genina app, as it provided ultimate number of settings and comfort with style.
    this app unlike many others defines easy/hard/extreme games in a way that i can agree with (some other apps can be very random with difficulty).
    2 years ago when i first installed the app i was able to solve a very small percentage og extreme puzzles, but this triggered me to learn different solving methods (hidden pairs, x-wing, etc.) it takes a while before using techniques becomes natural, and after this speed may dramatically encrease. my best extreme score is 3:26 with the average game time under 5minutes i got no problems.
    i obviously was impressed with some high scores being just over 1 min, and i tried cheating, just out of curiosity. i can tell you, that even typing numbers from resolved game on a screen is tough to beat this, so let this be up to those individuals who dont mind trolling us and wasting their time in this fashion. every game has cheaters, the only mode that cant be cheated is if it is multiplayer online game, so maybe there is an oppotrunity there. i will be happy to take part in this. but meanwhile, i will keep improving.

    ps as i thought to record a video i set a new record of 2:56
    by knowing how many mistakes i made it is obviously possible to improve.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/2l8eja9pimxhxgs/2015-08-23-12_22_18.mp4?dl=0

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 23 Aug 2015 02:44:40

    Didgey



    Joined: 22 May 2016
    Messages: 2
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    Extreme games can be done around 2mins legit. My average is 6mins My best is 2:40 but i did have a game on 2mins but made a mistake and by the time i rectified was 2:43. So it is possible but like anything if there is a way to cheat people will.. been playin for a couple of years first extreme time use to be 1hour 20mins
    kacamata


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    Joined: 23 Sep 2017
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    hippa



    Joined: 17 Nov 2017
    Messages: 2
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    ElricE wrote:
    jeka wrote:@ElricE: you really should read through the forum you are posting to before posting. Every single point you raise had been addressed in this forum before, including someone posting a YouTube video of them solving a puzzle in about 30 seconds.


    An easy puzzle not one at the extreme level... having read through the posts on the subject:
    A) many have questioned such results and requested a separate scoring record for those not pausing
    B) admins response to said request has been consistently blithe and dismissive
    C) noone has been able to offer a scrap of proof that they can in fact complete the extreme puzzles in such fantastical times (particularly once times drop below even the two minute mark)... that's been requested fit quite some time also and neatly sidestepped and ignored.

    Maybe if admin/devs have the appearance if giving two-****s the debate might get some sort of closure instead of continuing for years without any resolution



    No idea if you still roam the forums occasionally ElricE, but in case you do or anyone else who stumbles here has any doubts, here's the proof. Unfortunately my only device capable of recording a video (my phone) is the one I'm using the play the game, so you'll have to make do with just a screen recording. I did add from the recorder's settings to record my touches as well, which are the little ripple effects you can see.

    If I had paused the game by exiting to menu/home screen at any point and looked up a solution, I would've restarted from the top-left corner (feel free to test yourself) when I returned - just like whenever you start a new game. There was only one time I entered that corner after starting on the extreme solve, around 0:48 mark when I entered a "1", and I'm sure you'll agree that by then it would've been fairly useless for me to pause and go look up a solution.

    Just as a cherry on top, while I still had the screen-recording software set up, I recorded myself a few clips of the other difficulties. All easy mode attempts are consecutive, no pausing in between or stitching separate clips together. There's also a clip of a medium and hard solution. The medium one was a bit slow compared to the top times, but I just couldn't be arsed to go for better attempts anymore. It's around 2am for me as I'm posting this and I really just can't stare at my phone without getting a headache.

    Spamming easy, 0:31 best one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od9D9nqudes
    1:06 medium: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMvbhxkg5RM
    1:09 hard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWs4obt1GBU
    1:16 extreme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmDyIzw1fTI


    I use my left thumb to select the squares and my right thumb to select the numbers and pencil mode on/off. You can see the top times for each category by pausing the clips at the results screen. I can't do times like those every single time I play, except for maybe the easy difficulty, but I do get them pretty consistently. Breaking 30 seconds on easy is especially difficult, you really can't hesitate for a moment, just have to "go, go, go" or you've lost your chance.

    Are there people who cheat top times? Sure. All I'm trying to prove here is that it's most definitely possible to get <1min extreme or <30sec easy solves without cheating.
    lampshade



    Joined: 17 Jul 2011
    Messages: 17
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    hippa wrote:I use my left thumb to select the squares and my right thumb to select the numbers and pencil mode on/off.


    That is a great approach. I feel like I waste a lot of time moving my finger down to change numbers and turn pencil mode on and off, then tank a good run when missing a button because I'm moving too fast to stay accurate. That said, you have a much different style than I do, and maybe the two handed approach wouldn't help me all that much.

    My top hard and expert times are a mix between a careful study and place -- slower, and more cycling between numbers -- and a rapid, blind filling of pencil marks, followed by a fast paced picking off of easy targets. In my careful studies, I don't touch pencil marks until I get stuck, and if that happens, my time isn't going to be a top 100, so I slow down and enjoy a stress-free puzzle solve. Far more of my top daily 100 times are from using the heck out of pencil marks. Those times will always be among the slowest of the top times posted.

    When it comes down to it, I'm not a great sudoku player, but I'm good enough to brute force myself into the top daily 100 often enough. With that, I was still able to get a 0:34 easy and 1:39 expert. Watching your expert video makes me realize how much faster I could be if I were better!

    Thanks for posting those videos. I should try to get some of my own up on YouTube.

    Personal best times:
    Easy 0:34
    Medium 0:54
    Hard 1:15
    Extreme 1:39
    hippa



    Joined: 17 Nov 2017
    Messages: 2
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    lampshade wrote:
    hippa wrote:I use my left thumb to select the squares and my right thumb to select the numbers and pencil mode on/off.


    That is a great approach. I feel like I waste a lot of time moving my finger down to change numbers and turn pencil mode on and off, then tank a good run when missing a button because I'm moving too fast to stay accurate. That said, you have a much different style than I do, and maybe the two handed approach wouldn't help me all that much.

    My top hard and expert times are a mix between a careful study and place -- slower, and more cycling between numbers -- and a rapid, blind filling of pencil marks, followed by a fast paced picking off of easy targets. In my careful studies, I don't touch pencil marks until I get stuck, and if that happens, my time isn't going to be a top 100, so I slow down and enjoy a stress-free puzzle solve. Far more of my top daily 100 times are from using the heck out of pencil marks. Those times will always be among the slowest of the top times posted.

    When it comes down to it, I'm not a great sudoku player, but I'm good enough to brute force myself into the top daily 100 often enough. With that, I was still able to get a 0:34 easy and 1:39 expert. Watching your expert video makes me realize how much faster I could be if I were better!

    Thanks for posting those videos. I should try to get some of my own up on YouTube.



    Go with whatever feels the most comfortable. My style of using my thumbs is something I've developed over about 3 years of using the app, I doubt copying it would happen overnight (or if you can do that you don't need my style). Holding my phone vertically the numbers are just too far for me to feel fast - I'm already messing up a lot of runs by having my fingers work faster than my brain as it is. When it comes to pencil marks, I'm mainly using them as reminders of a few key numbers/spots or for when I get really stuck, and if that happens a personal top10 is out of the question already, similar to what you mentioned.

    I'm not great at sudoku either if you compare me to anyone who's actually good at it. I just play a lot, and have done so for a good 7-8 years by now. You're bound to get lucky a few times in that timeframe if you play like I do.
    Forsy



    Joined: 18 Sep 2014
    Messages: 3
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    I find the 30s barrier is very difficult to breach as well, even when I utilize the no stop approach.
    I have been trying to do the dual finger to input numbers but I still stick around 30-33s for those, but it isn't consistently fast.

    Typically I find there are three easy difficulties, the easiest is fast 30-
    39s, the average 40-59s, then the hard is slower 60-90s.

    I would like to ask jasmil82 his secret for getting 20-25s consistently on the leaderboard
    Forsy



    Joined: 18 Sep 2014
    Messages: 3
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    PHONE HOLDING
    Agree with hippa - it's amazing people don't use digit first, sideways held phone (so you get one side, usually right for number/eraser selection, and the other side for inputting numbers, usually left).
    The double finger approach I've been experimenting with is as soon as you press the right side with the number you have selected to run through, say 8. Then you quickly use both fingers to input on the cells, while maintaining most of the presses using the left hand, so you can switch to the next number on the right.

    SUDOKU LOGIC
    The key to this game is figuring out mini-bits of logic and not so obvious ways of eliminating certain rows and positions from being a possibility. This makes it much easier to obtain the 1 or 2 finds that you won't get using basic line and box logic eliminations. From those special eliminations you will be able to finish a lot faster. Mechanics and the like are nice, but not necessary until you are below 40seconds on easy.

    OVERRELIANCE ON PENCILLING
    Without pencilling, I have just completed an extreme at 1:48. Before that, I always pencilled, so it would take me 5-8mins. Now with new understandings of how to pencil more efficiently and drastically reduce the number of pencil eliminations needed later, I typically do 2-5mins now.

    NUMBER OF DIGITS
    Easy has 43-45 filled in digits to start, that leaves 36-38 digits to fill.
    Extreme has 25-27 filled in digits to start, that leaves 54-56 digits to fill.
    At my fastest moments, I can probably fill 5-8 cells per second (thank my time playing RTSes - Red Alert and Starcraft), but that can only be done for a certain digit that is already well eliminated such that it is obvious where I need to click. Almost all the time we spend on sudoku is finding breakthrough eliminations and the thinking time where we don't press anything and are finding the next point where to start the next run/digit. The technique I focus on is upon knowing where to type in digits, I make my hands naturally press it without looking, thus giving my eyes and brain a few milliseconds to think of the next digit to press before I have even finished pressing the first digit. This is that approach of no thinking that other people have mentioned before. Swelby27's video was the best example of this, as I saw her just pressing the buttons before I even had time to process them (even though I wasn't even playing the game, just watching).
    Forsy



    Joined: 18 Sep 2014
    Messages: 3
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    Sorry for the sniffle sounds, I still have a cold

    Just a quick recording for people who want to see a basic speed run on easy (39s, nothing impressive, and made a few mistakes in the mind that would have made that typically 36-37s for such a puzzle).

    https://youtu.be/n4P8HJBUPbw
     
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