Professor McLogic Saves the Day


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Professor McLogic Saves the Day

ArtbegottiLet's alternate telling true statements and lies in this paragraph! I am twenty-two feet tall. Sometimes, it's hard to tell when someone is telling the truth. Other times, you stick your head in a bucket of ice water until goldfish swim up your nose for warmth. Professor McLogic Saves the Day is a logic-based puzzle created by Gibmaker in RPG Maker where you have to sort the people you encounter into categories based on the truthfulness of the statements they give. You get to fly around on the back of a dragon and play a magic bassoon to lure the woodland creatures to the mini-golf parlor. This game also features robots, vampires, and rabid sheep.

Yes, believe it or not, that last bit is true.

Professor McLogic Saves the DayIn each of ten diverse worlds, you encounter a series of inhabitants who possess certain qualities. These qualities often impact whether or not the statements they make are true or false. For example, in the first world, Gunhold City, you'll run into faeries who always tell the truth, vampires who always lie, and mortals who alternate between telling the truth and lying. As you walk around (using the [arrow] keys) and interview each inhabitant (using [space] or [enter]), you might want to keep a pen and paper on hand to note down what everyone says. Your job is to determine the combination of roles that allows each character to make their statements without contradicting themselves or the rules set for the world. Sometimes characters will be outright lying or spouting gibberish, but so long as you assign them the right label that acknowledges such, you're on your way.

In other levels, you'll run into honest philosophers who always tell the truth but only speak in vague if/then statements, politicians who insist on talking about political affiliations despite their potential corruptness, and creatures that only tell you the truth if the moon's phase is just right. Each world consists of ten stages which contain more characters to solve as you progress (three stages with two characters, four stages with three characters, three stages with four characters). As each scenario is randomly generated, you've got plenty of opportunities to put your deduction skills to the test.

Analysis: There's no beating around the bush with this: Professor McLogic is a very complex, difficult game for logic puzzle lovers. In addition to the complexity of the conditions for each world (such as one where rock crushers lie about scissors-grinders, scissors-grinders lie about paper millers, and paper millers lie about rock crushers, but they otherwise always tell the truth), the statements made by the inhabitants themselves become equally perplexing, as you're required to assess the truthfulness of a certain character's remarks about another character's truthfulness. Certainly in the world of mathematics, there exist techniques and symbols to help process these sorts of truth/untruth statements quickly, but it helps to make up your own system of note-taking and write down the given information in the way you're most comfortable with.

Professor McLogic Saves the DayThere are perhaps two major drawbacks to this game. One is that the game provides save slots for reloading after every world you've finished, but no such luxury exists for saving in the middle of a ten-scene world. This means that when you attempt to clear a world, you're in it for the long haul, all ten puzzles or naught. Depending on how long it takes you to wrap your mind around the devious logic puzzles provided, this could mean that you're committing yourself to half an hour or more of poring over letters and symbols and truths and untruths (or perhaps longer if you screw up, as an errant solve forces you to play another round at the same level). Sure, you could just pause the game and walk away for a bit, but not having the option to save at a comfortable midpoint is an irritating negative.

The other major drawback, which is perhaps a compliment in disguise, is that RPG Maker is probably not the best engine for producing something of this nature. This game is far from a traditional RPG, as you don't collect items or rank up, you simply interview everyone that you find and give them a label. There is effectively no plot to this game, aside from the stories that help to set up each world's twisted rules. That having been said, it's probably for the better that Professor McLogic was made to begin with, because logical conundrums of this sort are a rare treasure, and having so many possible scenes available thanks to a unique puzzle generation engine is a true treat.

If you can brave the complex web of truths and lies and truths about lies and lies about truths referring to truths about lies and pretty much every other combination of truth and lies that you can imagine, Professor McLogic Saves the Day is a fantastic, no-frills logic bonanza. And that's no lie! OR IS IT? (It's not a lie.)

WindowsWindows:
Download the free full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
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Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

21 Comments

...If A says B is a rock-cutter and B is indeed a rock-cutter, A must be telling the truth. Since paper-millers lie about rock-cutters, A cannot be a paper-miller in that case. If B is instead a paper-miller, A is lying, so A must be a scissor-grinder to lie about a paper-miller. If B is a scissor-grinder, A is still lying, which means A has to be a rock-cutter. This leaves a total of four possibilities, all of which prohibit A from being a paper-miller by saying B is a rock-cutter...

I'm a fan of logic puzzles, so this is right up my alley. And I have a lot of time on my hands, so I don't mind long marathon stretches to beat whole worlds. I'd be playing this to death if I could find a suitable utility to play it on a Macintosh.

...If, on the other hand, A says B is not a rock-cutter, things get a bit more complicated. If B is a rock-cutter, then A is lying about B, which means A must be a paper-miller. If B is a paper-miller, then A is telling the truth, which means A cannot be a scissor-grinder. If B is a scissor-grinder, A is still telling the truth, and thus cannot be a rock-cutter... which leaves open a total of five possibilities for A's and B's occupations, and either A or B can still be anything...

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...What if A says B is a rock-cutter, while B says A is a paper-miller? By the logic in my earlier post, A cannot be a paper-miller, and B cannot be a scissor-grinder. Since A can't be a paper-miller, B must be lying about A, so A is next in the "lying chain" (rock, scissors, paper, rock) from B. A and B can't both be next in the "lying chain" from one another, so A must be telling the truth about B. Therefore, B is indeed a rock-cutter, which means A must be a scissor-grinder for B to lie about him...

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Tahnan Author Profile Page May 5, 2012 7:13 PM

I have a sinking suspicion that not all of the logic puzzles--at least the ones in the Rock/Paper/Scissors plant--have unique solutions.

So here's one that I just got. For those unfamiliar with the scenario, rock cutters lie about scissor grinders, paper millers lie about rock cutters, and scissor grinders lie about paper millers. Otherwise, everyone is truthful.

1. Broc says: "Caedmon is a paper miller."
2. Doane says: "Broc is a rock cutter or a paper miller."
3. Caedmon says: "Broc is a rock cutter or a paper miller." (Yes, he says the same thing as Doane.)
4. Caedmon says: "Doane is not a member of my guild."

I'll spare you the steps in my logic, but either of the following ought to work:

A: Broc and Doane are paper millers; Caedmon is a rock cutter. 1 is a lie (since paper is talking about rock), 2 is true (paper about paper), 3 is true (rock about paper) and 4 is true (rock about paper).

B: Broc and Doane are rock cutters; Caedmon is a scissors grinder. 1 is a lie (rock about scissors); 2 is true (scissors about scissors); 3 is true (scissors about rock); and 4 is true (scissors about rock).

Unfortunately, only one of these answers was accepted (obviously, the one I didn't pick). Unless my logic has gone vastly astray, or there are rules I somehow missed, this game just went from "really neat" to "intensely frustrating".

Am I completely mistaken? If I'm right, does anyone have a good way to get in touch with the game maker?

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@Tahnan: I'd give the developer a break. The puzzles are randomly generated, so it stands to reason there'd be some issues.

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Mystify Author Profile Page May 5, 2012 11:11 PM

I haven't tried this yet, but I love this type of logic puzzle. I have an entire book of logic puzzles about which people are telling the truth, so I'm definitely excited about this one.

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Tahnan Author Profile Page May 6, 2012 2:28 AM

@SonicLover: I'm kind of disinclined to give the developer a break on this. The whole point of the game is the logic puzzles; if the puzzles are broken, then the game has failed. If the game generates puzzles at random, then it has to be coded to generate puzzles with unique solutions.

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@Tahnan: I don't know what to say. All I can think of is that maybe you misread one of the clues.

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@Tahnan, the readme file has the email address + website of the creator, you could try that. (Though I think you might have misread the clues for this one, because not only there's two solutions, the first clue is redundant.)

Haven't played through the whole game myself because not being able to save halfway through is a huge nuisance, but it looks very neat so far.

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Mystify Author Profile Page May 6, 2012 2:12 PM

Sadly, I keep running into technical issues. It may be RPGMaker's fault, but it gets an error when I try to start, apparently from trying to be fullscreen with too low a resoultion. I found a workaround, but the screen occasionally goes black, making me unable to continue.
I really like these types of things, but the technical problems are making it unplayable.

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Tahnan Author Profile Page May 6, 2012 4:14 PM

@Irene - thanks! For some reason, I didn't think to check the readme for an email address. I've sent mail to Gibmaster (after getting another non-unique puzzle, this time in the LAN party).

I'd love to think I was misreading the clues, but after the first non-unique RPS puzzle, I took screenshots of the dialogue in the one I reported above, so I'm pretty sure that wasn't the problem here.

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cendare Author Profile Page May 6, 2012 5:41 PM

@Tahnan: It surprises me greatly that no one in your example has a name beginning with "A". I'd bet that's the bug, and that one of these people is really supposed to be talking about a fourth person.

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@Tahnan: I'd like to hear the outcome of any feedback as I share your view on logic puzzles having to be solvable -and if not uniquely, then at least accepted though I prefer the former by far.

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shadowmax Author Profile Page May 7, 2012 12:19 PM

I will also wait for more information before playing this one....it will be hard though. The non-uniqueness issue in many computer generated logic puzzles is a huge irritant to me.

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Danaroth Author Profile Page May 7, 2012 12:38 PM

I had one of those puzzles with non-unique solutions as well in the Vampire-Fairy-Mortal scenario. Vampires always lie, fairies always tell the truth and Mortals always alternate truth and lie.

Linda says:
1. Scalb is not a fairy
2. I am not a fairy
Scalb says that Linda is a mortal.
Elisabeth says that herself and Scalb are different classes.

If Linda says she is not a fairy, then she can only be a mortal and, consequently, her first sentence is false and Scalb is a mortal too.

Elisabeth's sentence proves she can't be a vampire, but I can't find any way to decide if she is a fairy or a mortal.

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@Danaroth

I'm sorry, but I think you made a small mistake there. If Linda's first statement is a lie, then Scalb IS a fairy.

This makes Elisabeth's statement equal to "I am not a fairy," which makes her a mortal.

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Danaroth Author Profile Page May 7, 2012 2:34 PM

Indeed; I guess I had my brain switched off there!

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whitehelm Author Profile Page May 10, 2012 5:44 PM

I just wanted to note that the creator just released a new version of the game, fixing bugs we've found and told him about.

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlz6taEpORbgU8GV6ZnvmUfz2cwpBhKGO8 Author Profile Page May 11, 2012 6:20 PM

LAN Party is fixed in the updated version, and I've gotten to the end of the game. The _installer_ of the updated version was buggy for me though; I ended up unzipping the .lzh file directly, and then copying over the .ini file from the first version. If you don't have the first version, add the line "FullPackageFlag=1" to the ini file.

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edennov Author Profile Page May 24, 2012 1:11 PM

Twilight country is really easy, if you follow this tactic:

1.Talk to every person and find one that could be telling the truth i.e. stage 2 or 3 (with regards to the next rule).
2.Adjust everyone else to either full moon or new moon, depending on what the first guy said.

It was the fastest scenario for me and I didn't even write anything down.

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@Tahman
I know this is really late, but scenario B is incorrect, due to statement 2 being wrong (scissors trying to say that another scissors-grinder is either rock or paper)

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On that note, I've played through the entire game and haven't run into this situation yet. That is to say, every time I've been wrong I've been able to pick out why I've been wrong.

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