09 April 2007

A Wonderful Waste of Time

I just encountered this great toy to challenge your three-dimensional geometry skills. The game in effect asks you to pretend you're creating an Escher-like puzzle, producing a an object that only looks right from three precise vantage points. Ever wanted to pretend to be a 3D rendering optimizer function? Now's your chance!

Warning: if you start it, you won't be able to stop until you complete all the puzzles. Which I did, although it took me an embarassingly long time.


Paul R. Potts said...

(NOTE: contains spoilers)

I had to come to several realizations in order to solve these.

1. It is often much quicker to start with a filled cube and start by punching out all the cubes that must be missing.

2. You can leave cubes floating in space. To construct them you have to attach them to something, but then you can remove the scaffolding.

3. The UI is a little confusing, since the puzzles are flagged with a green dot when you achieve the correct views, but a yellow dot when you solve the problem with the correct number of blocks. These colors should be reversed, in my humble opinion, so that the goal is to make all the items light up with a green dot.

Paul R. Potts said...

If I get some quiet time I will take a shot at writing a Haskell program to solve these! I am curious as to whether any of the solutions can be rendered with even fewer blocks.

Ivan Veselov said...

Hi, Paul!
Thank you very much for a such interesting puzzle! :) I've got a lot of fun while solving it. Maybe I'll try to write haskell-solver too :-P