1) The letters on the pieces are hard to read. Why weren’t they made more visible?
With molded plastic pieces it is expensive to process something more visible. But also, the game is more aesthetic with faint letters. Finding by color and shape ends up being easier than turning the pieces to find the letter. A label has been placed inside the lid of the box which lists out which letters correspond to which colors, similar to this:
red – AJLMO blue – FGHKN yellow – BCDEI green – RTU beige – SVWZ21
2) Do you ship internationally?
As of now, the only way to purchase the Zobrist Cube internationally is to go through the Hong Kong company, fishpond.com. Being a relatively young company, we still have much development to do, one example of this being the need for international shipping at a lower rate.
3) Why does the set use colors?
Color is an aid to both memory and perception.
4) I am a beginner, where should I start?
Start with Easy Set I and practice them until you can solve any of them in 10 minutes or less. Or do Classic puzzles of level 50 or above.
5) Will there ever be a nice wooden set?
Yes. It will be slightly larger and have the same color scheme.
6) Will the code book be enlarged?
While this is a possibility if there is sufficient demand, a more realistic option may be releasing a large supplemental book. As of now, the Additional Codes section provides thousands of additional puzzles for the 3x3x4 case.
7) What does a – or + mean in a code?
A minus sign means that the following pieces of a single size are not selected for the puzzle but all remaining pieces of that size are selected. The plus sign ends the span of the minus sign if there are more letters in the code. This is intended to make the codes as short as possible.
8) How long did it take to compute the tens of thousands of codes in the code book?
The codes were run on a Windows PC powered by an intel i5 generation 1. The classic case for all solutions to all letter code combinations including non-solvable codes took 211 seconds of cpu time. Generating the codes for the 3x3x4 case took 500.6 hours of cpu time to run. In both cases, the turbo feature of the i5 chip was probably mostly off since it can be used for short bursts only.
9) What was used to develop the program that generated the codes?
LCC-Win64 was used for programming the cube dissection combinatorics routine. We used the commercial option, but a version is available for free for personal use. This suite is highly recommended for all levels of programmers.
10) When will this program’s source code be released?
Our code will not be distributed for a few years, so programmers will be able to do independent checking with alternate codes. Bitbucket will probably be the eventual distribution medium.
11) Is there a smart phone app?
Yes. Search the i-phone app library for “Zobrist Cube”. An Android version is nearing completion.