3Doku App Development

Programs which generate, solve, and analyze Sudoku puzzles

3Doku App Development

Postby MartinKline » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:48 pm

Hi everyone. I'm seeking feedback.

I’ve developed an Android app for playing a 3-D version of Sudoku where each face of a virtual cube is a complete 9X9 grid. The puzzles do not utilize the interior of the cube. The edges of adjacent faces share their values. For example, the right stack of the front face has the same values as the left stack of the right face. This connection allows for some very interesting puzzles.

I call it 3Doku, and just released it on Google Play. Although now I see that the name might have been used elsewhere. I’ve been through a lot of name changes, so I’d rather not change it again.

When working on a puzzle, users can swipe up, down, left or right to switch faces. On the more difficult puzzles it is practically impossible to solve one face without garnering information from the adjacent faces.

As posted, the app includes 5 tiers of difficulty. Each tier comes with 15,000 puzzles, or a total of 15,000 * 5 * 6 = 450,000 different 9X9 grids. I hope that’s enough to keep people busy while I work on some changes. The download size is under 5MB.

The app includes progress bars, a locking mechanism to prevent accidental changes, timers so users can track their own progress, experience levels, pencil marks, an option to set the initial pencil marks using just the basic rules, and more. Progress is continually saved on the user’s device so the user doesn’t have to complete a puzzle in one setting.

Each face of the virtual cube is color-coded. Users can switch color schemes. Users can also select alternate colors for the displayed digits, and can choose whether the clues are highlighted or not. Progress bars are shown for all six faces, and check marks are shown when each face is completed correctly.

Help is available in the app. Game tokens provide additional clues or remove incorrect guesses. The app comes with 100 tokens. Additional tokens can be acquired through the play store. This is the only source of revenue for the app, and is completely optional. Users can download and play the app without ever using tokens. No ads are displayed, and the download is free.

I created the initial set of puzzles with a program I wrote that first creates a valid solution using a random technique, then removes clues until I reach the desire level of difficulty. Then I repeat until I have the number of puzzles I want. That may not be the most elegant solution, but hey, it’s a computer. Let it do the work.

The next step I want to take is to develop a sixth tier of puzzles requiring some of the more advanced solving techniques such as X-Wing, XYZ-Wing, W-Wing, Swordfish, Finned Fish, etc. So here’s a question: Which advanced techniques would you prefer to see? Which techniques would you prefer never to see?

Nexus Tier 1.png
A Tier 1 Puzzle
Nexus Tier 1.png (108.24 KiB) Viewed 451 times
Nexus Tier 5.png
A Tier 5 Puzzle
Nexus Tier 5.png (93.16 KiB) Viewed 451 times
MartinKline
 
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Re: 3Doku App Development

Postby tarek » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:44 pm

Hi MartinKline & well done,

Having been around for a while & programming sudoku variants, I have seen many of the overlapping sudokus specifically the cube variety. The 3 face only puzzles also have been done before. I've also seen several irregular 3d sudokus using the overlap to create the appearance of a 3rd dimension.

I thought the idea if you are using the 3 faces only that the player should solve on the cube directly! I guess that is tricky on a smaller screen!

Good luck with your app anyway!

Tarek
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Re: 3Doku App Development

Postby MartinKline » Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:15 pm

Thanks for the response. Well, it's using six faces, not three. And because the whole puzzle wraps around, it would be too confusing to try showing all six faces at once on a device even if the screen were large enough, because the way the edges are shared. Interestingly, due to the sharing aspect, the 486 cells are reduced by exactly 100 in number to 386 cells.

In my implementation, the user swipes the screen to switch faces, and the display provides a clue as to which face is in any direction. Also, because the user could swipe right, up, left to return to the original face, but turned 90 degrees, or swipe right, right, up, up to display the original face upside down, I always display the numeric digits in the upright position.
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Re: 3Doku App Development

Postby tarek » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:34 am

if it is the 6 faces then please look at the following. The author just posted this on this forum only a few months ago. I objected at the time on using the words NEW and UNIQUE to describe their product which I'm sure you would too.

http://forum.enjoysudoku.com/sudoku-evolved-3d-sudoku-app-for-ios-t37574.html
https://maxqsoftware.com/sudoku-evolved/

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Re: 3Doku App Development

Postby MartinKline » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:35 am

Why would you assume I would use those two terms? Did I use them?
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Re: 3Doku App Development

Postby tarek » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:00 pm

MartinKline wrote:Why would you assume I would use those two terms? Did I use them?
No you didn't. The other app which was posted a few months ago did (and still does on some parts of the their page) ... As your app handles the same puzzle category then you would agree with me that their puzzles are neither new nor unique. I was informing you if you haven't come across it earlier to see what others have done.

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