John Allen's Timesaver

in 3rdPlanIt form

TimeSaver layout

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John Allen and The Timesaver ...

The Timesaver is a switching puzzle/game designed by John Allen. This simple to operate puzzle is over 30 years old and has become a classic. This version uses slightly larger dimensions than John's design to accommodate more modern equipment, but the game is the same.

What You'll Need to Play ...

NOTE: The required files are LARGE. A 56k modem is not recommended.
First, you'll need to have a copy of 3rd PlanIt Software by El Dorado Software. There is a demo copy you can use to try the Timesaver.
Second, you'll need to open the John Allen Timesaver file and save to your computer. You can then open it in 3rd PlanIt. Be sure to save a clean copy as you can always call up the saved copy to start the game fresh with the correct placements.
Third, you'll need a computerized stopwatch, such as the free version from FreeWatch 1.0.

Timesaver Rules

There are two ways to play the game. You can play Best Time or Least Moves. This version of the game starts with five different cars of unique color and a locomotive. The locomotive must move at a preset constant speed, with only forward and reverse controls. No adjustment of speed is permitted. Each game starts with cars in the same position. The goal is to move the cars and the locomotive to the finish positions. You can either require uncoupling over an uncoupling ramp (like a KadeeTM system) or you can have your 'brakeman' uncouple anywhere you like as on the prototype. NOTE: John's Rules required that all uncoupling be done over the magnets ONLY.

Game 1 – Best Time
Starting with all cars in the starting position, start the timer. Move cars in any way you choose in as many moves as you like. When all cars and the locomotive are in the finish position, stop the clock. Best time wins, or just try to better your time. The number of moves does not count.

Game 2 – Least Moves
A move is counted each time you start the locomotive. If you move forward and stop, that is a move. If you are a little short of the uncoupler ramp and have to move up a bit, that is a move, too. Start with the cars in the start position, and count the moves until you are in the finish position. Least number of moves wins. Time does not count. In a competition, however, I suggest that you establish a maximum time, even if the player does not finish.

Rolling Stock provided by the extremely talented
Paul Charland of the 3PIUSERS group.
Track drawing and program by
Scott Perry - Layout Design Service

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