The team over at Nervous System recently designed this fun Infinite Galaxy Puzzle that tiles continuously in any direction. Pieces from the top can be removed and added to the bottom, and likewise from side to side. So regardless of where you start the puzzle can continue in a seemingly infinite series of patterns. Each puzzle is printed with satellite imagery obtained from NASA and includes a few themed pieces like an astronaut, shuttle, and satellite. Apparently the puzzles were wildly popular and are now available as a pre-order for 2017. (via My Modern Met)
Prague-based Amanita Design, creators of the award-winning Mechinarium, recently released what may be their best game yet: Samorost 3. This deeply immersive puzzle game spans the ecosystems of 9 unusual planets as you encounter strange inhabitants and unlock increasingly complex secrets to advance to the next level. Amanita Design’s approach to creating completely non-verbal/non-textual games relies heavily on intuition, sound design, and symbolism to create environments that are practically interactive artworks. Samorost 3 is a long-awaited sequel in a series of first released in 2003 and 2005.
The music and sound design specifically are fantastic, and Amita provides all kinds of behind-the-scenes videos showing how they developed the quirky voices for each character and composed the accompanying soundtrack. I’ve only been playing for about two hours or so, but this game is truly wonderful. You can get it from the Apple App Store or download it from their website for your desktops.
Merging two of the ultimate pastimes—books and puzzles—the Codex Silenda has to be physically solved in order to read it. And no, these aren’t simple word games and math problems, but rather deviously complicated mechanical puzzles crafted from laser-cut wood that are embedded within each part of this 5-page book. The solution to each puzzle physically unlocks the next page. As the reader moves through the book a short story is also revealed, etched on pages opposite the puzzles.
The Codex Silenda was created by industrial designer Brady Whitney who is currently funding the it as project on Kickstarter. At the moment it looks like all funding tiers involving the book have filled, quadrupling their funding goals, but maybe they’ll add additional levels soon. (via Gizmodo)
UGEARS are a series of 11 new mechnical models built from wooden pieces that spring to life with the help of rubber band engines, cranks, or with the assistance of gravity. Similar to balsa wood insects, the laser-cut pieces assemble like a puzzle without need for glue or adhesives. The most impressive design is an elaborate 480-piece steam locomotive that’s 12″ long and propels itself up and down a provided track with an internal engine.
This 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle contains exactly 1,000 different colors arranged in the form of a CMYK gamut and is guaranteed to drive you insane. The creator of the 1,000 Colors puzzle, Clemens Habicht, suggests the puzzle is actually easier than traditional image-based puzzles. When faced with a field of color, he says the placement of every piece becomes almost intuitive.
The idea came from enjoying the subtle differences in the blue of a sky in a particularly brutal jigsaw puzzle, I found that without the presence of image detail to help locate a piece I was relying only on an intuitive sense of colour, and this was much more satisfying to do than the areas with image details.
What is strange is that unlike ordinary puzzles where you are in effect redrawing a specific picture from a reference you have a sense of where every piece belongs compared to every other piece. There is a real logic in the doing that is weirdly soothing, therapeutic, it must be the German coming out in me. As each piece clicks perfectly into place, just so, it’s a little win, like a little pat on the back.
Update: The 1,000 Colors Puzzle is available in the Colossal Shop.
For his thesis project in “Interface Culture” at the University of Arts and Industrial Design Linz, designer Javier Lloret converted the entire facade of the Ars Electronica building in Linz, Austria into an interactive Rubik’s Cube called Puzzle Facade. Lloret created a handheld device the mimics the function of the ubiquitous puzzle toy which then wirelessly communicates with a computer that controls the network of lights installed on the building. From his website:
In Puzzle Facade the player interacts with the specially designed interface-cube. The interface-cube holds electronic components inside that allow for it keep track of its orientation and the rotations of each side of the cube. This data is sent over Bluetooth to a computer that runs the Puzzle Facade designed software. This software changes the lights and color of the large-scale Ars Electronica’s media facade in correlation to the handheld interface-cube.
Due to the nature of this building and its surroundings, the player is only able to see two sides at the same time. This factor increases the difficulty of solving the puzzle, but as the player is able to rotate and flip the interface-cube, it is not a blocking factor.
Although Lloret was the primary designer for the project he relied on a huge team of people to realize the idea. You can learn much more here. (via Vimeo)