SameGame Visualization

To aid in the development of your submission, we are providing a visualization tool to competitors. This tool is provided as is, with no guarantees of any sort. The tool is packaged as an executable jar, which can be run either by double clicking it (in windows anyway) or from the command line as "java -jar SameGame.jar".

As in previous contests, to use this visualization tool, you should create an application that communicates with the tool via standard in and standard out. Note that this does not effect the way your program should work when you submit it on the TopCoder website.

The input to your program will start with a single line containing two integers: rows and cols. This will be followed by rows lines, each containing cols characters, representing the board. You should output a single line with two integers, representing the coordinates of a block in the group you wish to remove.

For instance, to use the visualizer, you might implement the following pseudocode, and adapt your solution to use it:
        rows = getInt()
        cols = getInt()
        for(i = 0 to rows-1)
            ret[i] = getLine()
        return ret

            b = getBoard()
            m = move(b)
            print(m[0] + " " + m[1])
Note: If you use a function like scanf, be sure that you eat the newline character after cols before trying to read the first line of the board.

Using the visualizer

To use the visualizer, you must have Java 1.5 or greater installed. To run the visualizer, you can execute the command "java -jar SameGame.jar". This will open up a new window containing the visualization, along with a number of controls. The first thing you will need to do is specify the executable you have made for your samegame code. You may either enter its path, or select it via the button provided. If your executable requires arguments, enter them in the provided field. For example, if your executable is a Java class ContinuousSameGame.class, you should enter something like "java ContinuousSameGame" (without the quotes) in this field (replacing "java" with the full path to the Java executable if necessary). The exact details of what you enter here will depend on your language choice. In particular, in Java, you will need to make sure that the class file is in the same directory as SameGame.jar, or else you will need to specify a classpath along with the executable location and class name.

Once you have the executable set properly, you can run the simulation. You may customize the game by entering any values for the parameters that you like, and then clicking generate board to make a new board. The field seed is a seed for the random number generator and will allow you to repeatedly generate the same board. Clicking the "Generate Map" button will generate the board based on your parameters. Alternatively, you can select new random values for all parameters by clicking "New Parameters and Map". If you've changed the seed, since you last generated a board, the seed you entered will be used to generate the parameters as well as the board, otherwise a new seed will be generated. To test the examples from the problem statement, you may simply enter the seeds 1-9, corresponding to examples 0-8, and click "New Parameters and Map". The last example has seed -1825326525

Once you've started the simulation, any output you write to standard error, along with messages from the visualization tool will appear in the text area below the visualization. You may control the speed with the slider on the top.

Command Line Options

You can specify a number of parameters on the command line to simplify the automation of testing (though you don't need to use any of them). For example, "java -jar SameGame.jar -rows 50" will set rows to 50 when running the tool.
-height <height> Specify the initial height of the window
-width <width> Specify the initial width of the window
-rows <rows> Specify the number of rows
-cols <cols> Specify the number of columns
-colors <colors> Specify the initial number of colors
-seed <seed> Specify the initial seed
-speed <speed> Specify the initial speed
-exec <command> Specify the command to execute your code
-novisRun the test case without the visualizer (requires -exec, implies -go)
-goStart running immediately (requires -exec)
-dropTell the visualizer to drop frames if it can't keep up

Final Notes