Solution to You Will Explode If You Stop Talking
Answer: PANASONIC Q
by CJ Quines, Mark
Each player sees one of six sides of a console. Four sides of the console have several modules, that need to be fixed through following instructions like pressing buttons or cutting wires. The remaining two sides have a manual that provides these instructions. An important mechanic is that individual players can rotate the console, which not only changes what side that player is looking at, but the side everyone else is looking at as well.
Like KTaNE, the main difficulty comes from communicating the complicated instructions from players reading the manual to players fixing the modules. Like Spaceteam, this is a game that becomes difficult the more players there are, and successfully fixing the console would need some planning and cooperation.
Once solvers fix all modules within the time limit without making too many mistakes, the answer PANASONIC Q is revealed, a thematic answer for a game that involves fixing a gray cubical game console.
Some general notes on strategy:
- Because of the many moving parts of the game, trying to fix every module with every attempt would be slow. Instead, playing games to learn about or practice specific modules is more helpful.
- To prevent crosstalk, it helps to focus on fixing one module at a time, even if it is slower. The time limit is generous enough to allow this.
- Having some sort of text channel or spreadsheet that all players can edit is helpful for sharing notes, which can be useful for fixing many modules.
- With more players, it's better to note down the serial code, manufacturing date, and the number of ports and batteries, as soon as the game starts.
Here is a description of the several parts of the game, and some notes about each one:
Console Repair Manual
Two opposite sides of the console have the manual, but the gimmick is that the section controls for one side of the manual control the other side.
One strategy testsolvers used was to take screenshots of the more complicated parts of the manual early on in the game to send to their teammates.
The Gravity Sensor occupies a space a module would normally occupy, but cannot be fixed. Instead, when the gravity sensor faces a certain direction, the timer counts down twice as fast.
Although the manual can be used to figure out which side the Gravity Sensor shouldn't be pointed at, in practice, it's easier to just rotate when the timer counts down twice as fast. Indicators of this would be the Gravity Sensor flashing red, as well as beeping being twice as fast.
Shake It is what KTaNE refers to as a "needy" module: it poses a recurring hazard and cannot be fixed. A timer counts up from 0, and when the timer is between two numbers, the console needs to be rotated five times in any direction, which resets the timer.
Shake It is the cause of many of our testsolver's early mistakes. There's no indication when the console needs to be rotated other than the timer, so it's easy to forget about. A good strategy is to look at the Shake It manual section immediately to find the two numbers, and then assign one person to keep track of the Shake It module.
There are six LEDs in this module, one corresponding to each of the directions in the room. When the module is rotated to face a direction, the corresponding LED toggles between on and off. The way LEDs correspond to the sides is given by the manual. Turning on all LEDs fixes the module.
We found that Six Lights often got solved accidentally when the console got rotated a lot, even after several attempts at fine-tuning. We decided that this wasn't a problem, since games with more players would rotate the console less anyway. A good strategy to fix Six Lights is to ignore the manual completely and to figure out which lights correspond to which side by rotating and observing. Another strategy that works is to just rotate the console randomly for a while.
The Talk module has a display showing a phrase or a sentence. Players then need to look this phrase up in the manual to find the corresponding sequence of M, N, m, and n buttons to press, which fixes the module.
The intent is for the phrases to be confused with each other. For example, one possibility was "Sea base", while another was "See base". The buttons to press being Ms and Ns also added to the confusion.
A helpful strategy is to decide on a scheme to communicate button presses. The NATO alphabet works. One of our testsolvers came up with using "Mary" and "Noah" for M and N, and "mountain" and "number" for m and n, the idea being proper nouns with uppercase letters and common nouns with lowercase letters. Another group of testsolvers sent each other the phrases as text.
There are several wires on this module. The manual restricts which sides certain wires can be cut on: for example, striped wires can't be cut when the module is facing north, or the second wire can't be cut when the module is facing south or west. Cutting all wires fixes the module.
A strategy that works a good percent of the time is for the person working on the module to say which side they are on, and a person reading the manual tells them which wires they can cut. This is because all sides of the console can always cut several of the wires.
This is a module inspired by the KTaNE module Wires.
Each lateral side of the console has a Buttons module, and each Buttons module has four buttons. Depending on conditions, the manual instructs to either press a sequence of buttons, or press two buttons simultaneously.
Following the instructions works fine for this module. One testsolve group wrote out the buttons each side had in a spreadsheet so they could more easily determine which buttons to press.
Each lateral side of the console has a Passwords module, which has a display that switches between three letters. The manual gives instructions for how to order these letters to make a word in a given list, and only one possible word can be made. Switching the modules to the letters of this word fixes Passwords.
The first letter is useful for cutting down the options to two or three words. From there, it's just a matter of using the letters on the other sides to distinguish between them.
This is a module inspired by the KTaNE module Password.
The Cube module has a display showing several rotations in Rubik's cube notation. One person presses a start button, and then executing the rotations fixes the module.
As the rotations have to be done from the perspective of the person pressing start, and because the rotation buttons don't easily correspond with the notation, it takes a bit of thinking to figure out how to rotate the console. The person who pressed start can make all rotations except F and B, which another person has to do.
One strategy is to write out, in advance, what rotations would be needed. It also helps to practice each rotation by pressing the button, to make sure that the expectation matches the actual rotation.
This is a module partly inspired by the KTaNE mod Rubik's Cube.
Flashing Lights and Maze
These two modules are directional modules. One side has a display, and on the opposite side of the console is a control module, with buttons for each of the cardinal directions. Because the control modules are identical, players will need to use the sides of the console to determine which control module corresponds to which display.
The display for Flashing Lights has four lights, one in each cardinal direction. A sequence consists of ten light flashes. Pressing the corresponding sequence of buttons in the control module thrice fixes it. The display for Maze has a maze, with the goal of bringing one square to the position of another square, and the control module moves the square.
As both of these modules have instructions that involve cardinal directions, preventing crosstalk is key. Doing the modules one at a time helps, and so does sending the instructions over text.