Provided by: sgt-puzzles_6452-5_i386
netgame - tile manipulation puzzle game based on FreeNet
netgame [--generate n] [--print wxh [--with-solutions] [--scale n]
(Note: the Windows version of this game is called NETGAME.EXE to avoid
clashing with Windows’s own NET.EXE. Similarly the Debian version is
called netgame to avoid clashing with Samba’s net.)
I originally saw this in the form of a Flash game called FreeNet
(http://www.jurjans.lv/stuff/net/FreeNet.htm), written by Pavils
Jurjans; there are several other implementations under the name
NetWalk. The computer prepares a network by connecting up the centres
of squares in a grid, and then shuffles the network by rotating every
tile randomly. Your job is to rotate it all back into place. The
successful solution will be an entirely connected network, with no
closed loops. As a visual aid, all tiles which are connected to the one
in the middle are highlighted.
This game can be played with either the keyboard or the mouse. The
Select tile: mouse pointer, arrow keys
Rotate tile anticlockwise: left mouse button, "A" key
Rotate tile clockwise: right mouse button, "D" key
Rotate tile by 180 degrees: "F" key
Lock (or unlock) tile: middle mouse button, shift-click, "S" key
You can lock a tile once you’re sure of its orientation. You can
also unlock it again, but while it’s locked you can’t
accidentally turn it.
The following controls are not necessary to complete the game, but may
Shift grid: Shift + arrow keys
On grids that wrap, you can move the origin of the grid, so that
tiles that were on opposite sides of the grid can be seen
Move centre: Ctrl + arrow keys
You can change which tile is used as the source of highlighting.
(It doesn’t ultimately matter which tile this is, as every tile
will be connected to every other tile in a correct solution, but
it may be helpful in the intermediate stages of solving the
Jumble tiles: "J" key
This key turns all tiles that are not locked to random
(All the actions described below are also available.)
These parameters are available from the "Custom..." option on the
Size of grid in tiles.
Walls wrap around
If checked, flow can pass from the left edge to the right edge,
and from top to bottom, and vice versa.
A number between 0.0 and 1.0 controlling whether an immovable
barrier is placed between two tiles to prevent flow between them
(a higher number gives more barriers). Since barriers are
immovable, they act as constraints on the solution (i.e.,
The grid generation in Net has been carefully arranged so that
the barriers are independent of the rest of the grid. This means
that if you note down the random seed used to generate the
current puzzle (see below), change the Barrier probability
parameter, and then re-enter the same random seed, you should
see exactly the same starting grid, with the only change being
the number of barriers. So if you’re stuck on a particular grid
and need a hint, you could start up another instance of Net, set
up the same parameters but a higher barrier probability, and
enter the game seed from the original Net window.
Ensure unique solution
Normally, Net will make sure that the puzzles it presents have
only one solution. Puzzles with ambiguous sections can be more
difficult and more subtle, so if you like you can turn off this
feature and risk having ambiguous puzzles. (Also, finding all
the possible solutions can be an additional challenge for an
These actions are all available from the "Game" menu and via keyboard
shortcuts, in addition to any game-specific actions.
(On Mac OS X, to conform with local user interface standards, these
actions are situated on the "File" and "Edit" menus instead.)
New game ("N", Ctrl+"N")
Starts a new game, with a random initial state.
Resets the current game to its initial state. (This can be
Load Loads a saved game from a file on disk.
Save Saves the current state of your game to a file on disk.
The Load and Save operations should preserve your entire game
history (so you can save, reload, and still Undo and Redo things
you had done before saving).
Print Where supported (currently only on Windows), brings up a dialog
allowing you to print an arbitrary number of puzzles randomly
generated from the current parameters, optionally including the
current puzzle. (Only for puzzles which make sense to print, of
course - it’s hard to think of a sensible printable
representation of Fifteen!)
Undo ("U", Ctrl+"Z", Ctrl+"_")
Undoes a single move. (You can undo moves back to the start of
Redo ("R", Ctrl+"R")
Redoes a previously undone move.
Copy Copies the current state of your game to the clipboard in text
format, so that you can paste it into (say) an e-mail client or
a web message board if you’re discussing the game with someone
else. (Not all games support this feature.)
Solve Transforms the puzzle instantly into its solved state. For some
games (Cube) this feature is not supported at all because it is
of no particular use. For other games (such as Pattern), the
solved state can be used to give you information, if you can’t
see how a solution can exist at all or you want to know where
you made a mistake. For still other games (such as Sixteen),
automatic solution tells you nothing about how to get to the
solution, but it does provide a useful way to get there quickly
so that you can experiment with set-piece moves and
Some games (such as Solo) are capable of solving a game ID you
have typed in from elsewhere. Other games (such as Rectangles)
cannot solve a game ID they didn’t invent themself, but when
they did invent the game ID they know what the solution is
already. Still other games (Pattern) can solve some external
game IDs, but only if they aren’t too difficult.
The "Solve" command adds the solved state to the end of the undo
chain for the puzzle. In other words, if you want to go back to
solving it yourself after seeing the answer, you can just press
Quit ("Q", Ctrl+"Q")
Closes the application entirely.
Specifying games with the game ID
There are two ways to save a game specification out of a puzzle and
recreate it later, or recreate it in somebody else’s copy of the same
The "Specific" and "Random Seed" options from the "Game" menu (or the
"File" menu, on Mac OS X) each show a piece of text (a "game ID") which
is sufficient to reconstruct precisely the same game at a later date.
You can enter either of these pieces of text back into the program (via
the same "Specific" or "Random Seed" menu options) at a later point,
and it will recreate the same game. You can also use either one as a
command line argument (on Windows or Unix); see below for more detail.
The difference between the two forms is that a descriptive game ID is a
literal description of the initial state of the game, whereas a random
seed is just a piece of arbitrary text which was provided as input to
the random number generator used to create the puzzle. This means that:
o Descriptive game IDs tend to be longer in many puzzles (although
some, such as Cube (cube(6)), only need very short
descriptions). So a random seed is often a quicker way to note
down the puzzle you’re currently playing, or to tell it to
somebody else so they can play the same one as you.
o Any text at all is a valid random seed. The automatically
generated ones are fifteen-digit numbers, but anything will do;
you can type in your full name, or a word you just made up, and
a valid puzzle will be generated from it. This provides a way
for two or more people to race to complete the same puzzle: you
think of a random seed, then everybody types it in at the same
time, and nobody has an advantage due to having seen the
generated puzzle before anybody else.
o It is often possible to convert puzzles from other sources (such
as "nonograms" or "sudoku" from newspapers) into descriptive
game IDs suitable for use with these programs.
o Random seeds are not guaranteed to produce the same result if
you use them with a different version of the puzzle program.
This is because the generation algorithm might have been
improved or modified in later versions of the code, and will
therefore produce a different result when given the same
sequence of random numbers. Use a descriptive game ID if you
aren’t sure that it will be used on the same version of the
program as yours.
(Use the "About" menu option to find out the version number of
the program. Programs with the same version number running on
different platforms should still be random-seed compatible.)
A descriptive game ID starts with a piece of text which encodes the
parameters of the current game (such as grid size). Then there is a
colon, and after that is the description of the game’s initial state. A
random seed starts with a similar string of parameters, but then it
contains a hash sign followed by arbitrary data.
If you enter a descriptive game ID, the program will not be able to
show you the random seed which generated it, since it wasn’t generated
from a random seed. If you enter a random seed, however, the program
will be able to show you the descriptive game ID derived from that
Note that the game parameter strings are not always identical between
the two forms. For some games, there will be parameter data provided
with the random seed which is not included in the descriptive game ID.
This is because that parameter information is only relevant when
generating puzzle grids, and is not important when playing them. Thus,
for example, the difficulty level in Solo (solo(6)) is not mentioned in
the descriptive game ID.
These additional parameters are also not set permanently if you type in
a game ID. For example, suppose you have Solo set to "Advanced"
difficulty level, and then a friend wants your help with a "Trivial"
puzzle; so the friend reads out a random seed specifying "Trivial"
difficulty, and you type it in. The program will generate you the same
"Trivial" grid which your friend was having trouble with, but once you
have finished playing it, when you ask for a new game it will
automatically go back to the "Advanced" difficulty which it was
previously set on.
The "Type" menu
The "Type" menu, if present, may contain a list of preset game
settings. Selecting one of these will start a new random game with the
The "Type" menu may also contain a "Custom" option which allows you to
fine-tune game parameters. The parameters available are specific to
each game and are described in the following sections.
Specifying game parameters on the command line
(This section does not apply to the Mac OS X version.)
The games in this collection deliberately do not ever save information
on to the computer they run on: they have no high score tables and no
saved preferences. (This is because I expect at least some people to
play them at work, and those people will probably appreciate leaving as
little evidence as possible!)
However, if you do want to arrange for one of these games to default to
a particular set of parameters, you can specify them on the command
The easiest way to do this is to set up the parameters you want using
the "Type" menu (see above), and then to select "Random Seed" from the
"Game" or "File" menu (see above). The text in the "Game ID" box will
be composed of two parts, separated by a hash. The first of these parts
represents the game parameters (the size of the playing area, for
example, and anything else you set using the "Type" menu).
If you run the game with just that parameter text on the command line,
it will start up with the settings you specified.
For example: if you run Cube (see cube(6)), select "Octahedron" from
the "Type" menu, and then go to the game ID selection, you will see a
string of the form "o2x2#338686542711620". Take only the part before
the hash ("o2x2"), and start Cube with that text on the command line:
If you copy the entire game ID on to the command line, the game will
start up in the specific game that was described. This is occasionally
a more convenient way to start a particular game ID than by pasting it
into the game ID selection box.
(You could also retrieve the encoded game parameters using the
"Specific" menu option instead of "Random Seed", but if you do then
some options, such as the difficulty level in Solo, will be missing.
See above for more details on this.)
Unix command-line options
(This section only applies to the Unix port.)
In addition to specifying game parameters on the command line (see
above), you can also specify various options:
If this option is specified, instead of a puzzle being
displayed, a number of descriptive game IDs will be invented and
printed on standard output. This is useful for gaining access to
the game generation algorithms without necessarily using the
If game parameters are specified on the command-line, they will
be used to generate the game IDs; otherwise a default set of
parameters will be used.
The most common use of this option is in conjunction with
--print, in which case its behaviour is slightly different; see
If this option is specified, instead of a puzzle being
displayed, a printed representation of one or more unsolved
puzzles is sent to standard output, in PostScript format.
On each page of puzzles, there will be w across and h down. If
there are more puzzles than wxh, more than one page will be
If --generate has also been specified, the invented game IDs
will be used to generate the printed output. Otherwise, a list
of game IDs is expected on standard input (which can be
descriptive or random seeds; see above), in the same format
produced by --generate.
net --generate 12 --print 2x3 7x7w | lpr
will generate two pages of printed Net puzzles (each of which
will have a 7x7 wrapping grid), and pipe the output to the lpr
command, which on many systems will send them to an actual
There are various other options which affect printing; see
Prints version information about the game, and then quits.
The following options are only meaningful if --print is also specified:
The set of pages filled with unsolved puzzles will be followed
by the solutions to those puzzles.
Adjusts how big each puzzle is when printed. Larger numbers make
puzzles bigger; the default is 1.0.
Puzzles will be printed in colour, rather than in black and
white (if supported by the puzzle).
Full documentation in /usr/share/doc/sgt-puzzles/puzzles.txt.gz.