This question about designing a specific redstone circuit reminded me of code-golf over on Stack Overflow for some reason. I thought it would be a cool idea to start a similar thing here, but as redstone-golf instead. However, there are a few criterion that would have to be fulfilled in order for it to be a good idea:

  • There needs to be enough people who are proficient enough in redstone, or else there won't be people to answer the questions.
  • The community would have to agree that these questions are acceptable on Gaming.SE.

As code-golf is judged on number of characters, I suppose redstone-golf answers would be judged on the amount of redstone used to design it, or the amount of space it takes up.

And for the sake of consistency, answers would be posted as schematics designed in the Redstone Simulator.

Thoughts and opinions?

I suppose an example question could be something like:

Redstone Golf: Design a circuit that turns a random redstone torch on upon receiving an input.

  • Code gold hasn't been allowed on Stackoverflow for a long time. There's a code-golf.SE, but it's not very popular so it's pretty unlikely it will ever move out of beta... Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 2:36

2 Answers 2


I'm going to make the probably unpopular judgment of this being a bad idea. It's already acknowledged that this isn't much of a real question. It's one thing to have a complex computing problem that has to be solved - but tacking a contest onto it really changes the effect. Is there an issue with getting overwhelmed by Redstone Golf specifically? Most likely not, as there's only so many interesting problems to make. But that happens to not be the real issue.

The major thing is that as a site, we're not exclusive to any individual game, no matter how many questions we get for that game. So if we are to allow Redstone Golf, we will have to allow similar manners of contests for other games in order to be fair.

But what exactly would define an acceptable contest? The only thing in place here is an arbitrary likeness to Code Golf. And to be honest, "Code Golf-like" doesn't really make sense as criteria for acceptability on a Gaming site. For the most part, it's no different or more valid a question than "What's the best score you can get in X stage with Y equipment?". And that opens up pretty much every kind of conditioned time trial and high score run you can think of.

Trying to regulate these in any fashion that'll be fair in distribution but not in such frequency that they become the main attraction of our site... it's a maintenace nightmare. Any risk of getting overwhelmed is too much risk simply due to the inability to justifiably deny acceptance of any particular kind of contest.

Stack Overflow allows Code Golf but under a tight leash and under the hope that it only shows up occasionally as long as it doesn't overwhelm their normal question base. We already have that slot occupied by Identify This Game, which is a similar "question for sport" type with the added bonus of still being somewhat objective and thus not needing Community Wiki. With the breadth of our scope, it's simply not feasible to manage competition questions on top of those.

If you want a short solution to a circuit, stick with just asking about how to solve your problem. Please, let's not turn the parent Q&A into a house of competition.

  • Okay, no redstone-golf it is.
    – Kevin Yap
    Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 22:54
  • 2
    You make a good point about contests related to other games. Generally disallowing contests is probably the fairest and easiest way to prevent problems in the future. But in this special case the difference between a contest and a normal question is very slim. A question on how to build a certain mechanism (e.g. combination lock for door) in Minecraft would be valid, the best answer would also be the one that does it with the least resource consumption. Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 11:43
  • @Fabian Exactly. That was the essence behind my closing point - they are questions, but they don't need to be framed as a contest.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 13:07
  • So we get the best of both worlds, we disallow contests generally, but people can still ask how to create their disco lighting with redstone-directed randomized torches. Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 13:28
  • @Fabian Indeed, we do.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jan 31, 2011 at 13:28
  • +1 for comparison to "identify this game" Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 6:32
  • As an added note: SO got so sick of Code Golf that they forced it onto its own site: codegolf.se. Commented Aug 13, 2011 at 13:56
  • @John It was less that, more other circumstances. Stack Overflow welcomed the path but it wasn't particularly out of tiring of the question type.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Aug 13, 2011 at 13:58

I don't have a problem with that type of question. There is not really a chance that the site would be swamped with that kind of question, I don't think those questions would be harmful. And the question has an objective answer: the circuit that needs the least amount of redstone.

To see if enough people would participate, the only way I see is to just ask one redstone-golf question.


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