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           cube   [--generate  n]  [--print  wxh  [--with-solutions]  [--scale  n]
           [--colour]] [game-parameters|game-ID|random-seed]
           cube --version


           This is another one I originally saw as a web game. This one was a Java
           game (, by Paul Scott.
           You have a grid of 16 squares, six of which are  blue;  on  one  square
           rests  a  cube.  Your  move  is  to use the arrow keys to roll the cube
           through 90 degrees so that it moves to an adjacent square. If you  roll
           the  cube on to a blue square, the blue square is picked up on one face
           of the cube; if you roll a blue face of  the  cube  on  to  a  non-blue
           square,  the blueness is put down again. (In general, whenever you roll
           the cube, the two faces that come into contact swap colours.) Your  job
           is  to  get all six blue squares on to the six faces of the cube at the
           same time. Count your moves and try to do it in as few as possible.
           Unlike the original Java game, my version has  an  additional  feature:
           once you've mastered the game with a cube rolling on a square grid, you
           can change to a triangular grid and roll any of a tetrahedron, an octa-
           hedron or an icosahedron.

    Cube controls

           This game can be played with either the keyboard or the mouse.
           Left-clicking  anywhere  on  the  window  will  move the cube (or other
           solid) towards the mouse pointer.
           The arrow keys can also used to roll the cube on its square grid in the
           four cardinal directions. On the triangular grids, the mapping of arrow
           keys to directions is more approximate. Vertical movement is disallowed
           where  it  doesn't make sense. The four keys surrounding the arrow keys
           on the numeric keypad ('7', '9', '1', '3 ')  can  be  used  for
           diagonal movement.
           (All the actions described below are also available.)

    Cube parameters

           These  parameters  are  available  from the 'Custom...' option on the
           'Type' menu.
           Type of solid
                  Selects the solid to roll (and hence the  shape  of  the  grid):
                  tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, or icosahedron.
           Width / top, Height / bottom
                  On  a square grid, horizontal and vertical dimensions. On a tri-
                  angular grid, the number of triangles on the top and bottom rows
           Load   Loads a saved game from a file on disk.
           Save   Saves the current state of your game to a file on disk.
                  The Load and Save operations preserve your entire  game  history
                  (so you can save, reload, and still Undo and Redo things you had
                  done before saving).
           Print  Where supported (currently only on Windows), brings up a  dialog
                  allowing  you  to  print an arbitrary number of puzzles randomly
                  generated from the current parameters, optionally including  the
                  current  puzzle. (Only for puzzles which make sense to print, of
                  course - it's hard to think of a sensible printable representa-
                  tion of Fifteen!)
           Undo ('U', Ctrl+'Z', Ctrl+'_')
                  Undoes  a  single move. (You can undo moves back to the start of
                  the session.)
           Redo ('R', Ctrl+'R')
                  Redoes a previously undone move.
           Copy   Copies the current state of your game to the clipboard  in  text
                  format,  so that you can paste it into (say) an e-mail client or
                  a web message board if you're discussing the game  with  someone
                  else. (Not all games support this feature.)
           Solve  Transforms  the puzzle instantly into its solved state. For some
                  games (Cube) this feature is not supported at all because it  is
                  of  no  particular  use.  For other games (such as Pattern), the
                  solved state can be used to give you information, if  you  can't
                  see  how  a  solution can exist at all or you want to know where
                  you made a mistake. For still other  games  (such  as  Sixteen),
                  automatic  solution  tells  you  nothing about how to get to the
                  solution, but it does provide a useful way to get there  quickly
                  so  that you can experiment with set-piece moves and transforma-
                  Some games (such as Solo) are capable of solving a game  ID  you
                  have  typed  in from elsewhere. Other games (such as Rectangles)
                  cannot solve a game ID they didn't  invent  themself,  but  when
                  they  did  invent  the  game  ID  they know what the solution is
                  already. Still other games (Pattern)  can  solve  some  external
                  game IDs, but only if they aren't too difficult.
                  The   'Solve ' command adds the solved state to the end of the
                  undo chain for the puzzle. In other words, if  you  want  to  go
                  back  to  solving  it  yourself after seeing the answer, you can
                  just press Undo.
           Quit ('Q', Ctrl+'Q')
                  Closes the application entirely.
           as a command line argument (on Windows or Unix);  see  below  for  more
           The difference between the two forms is that a descriptive game ID is a
           literal description of the initial state of the game, whereas a  random
           seed  is  just a piece of arbitrary text which was provided as input to
           the random number generator used to create the puzzle. This means that:
           o     Descriptive game IDs tend to be longer in many puzzles (although
                  some, such as Cube (above), only need very short  descriptions).
                  So  a random seed is often a quicker way to note down the puzzle
                  you're currently playing, or to tell it to somebody else so they
                  can play the same one as you.
           o     Any text at all is a valid random seed. The automatically gener-
                  ated ones are fifteen-digit numbers, but anything will  do;  you
                  can  type  in  your full name, or a word you just made up, and a
                  valid puzzle will be generated from it. This provides a way  for
                  two  or  more  people  to  race to complete the same puzzle: you
                  think of a random seed, then everybody types it in at  the  same
                  time,  and nobody has an advantage due to having seen the gener-
                  ated puzzle before anybody else.
           o     It is often possible to convert puzzles from other sources (such
                  as 'nonograms' or 'sudoku' from newspapers) into descriptive
                  game IDs suitable for use with these programs.
           o     Random seeds are not guaranteed to produce the  same  result  if
                  you  use  them  with  a different version of the puzzle program.
                  This  is  because  the  generation  algorithm  might  have  been
                  improved  or  modified  in  later versions of the code, and will
                  therefore  produce  a  different  result  when  given  the  same
                  sequence  of  random  numbers.  Use a descriptive game ID if you
                  aren't sure that it will be used on the same version of the pro-
                  gram as yours.
                  (Use the 'About' menu option to find out the version number of
                  the program. Programs with the same version  number  running  on
                  different platforms should still be random-seed compatible.)
           A  descriptive  game  ID  starts with a piece of text which encodes the
           parameters of the current game (such as grid size).  Then  there  is  a
           colon, and after that is the description of the game's initial state. A
           random seed starts with a similar string of  parameters,  but  then  it
           contains a hash sign followed by arbitrary data.
           If  you  enter  a  descriptive game ID, the program will not be able to
           show you the random seed which generated it, since it wasn't  generated
           from  a  random  seed. If you enter a random seed, however, the program
           will be able to show you the descriptive game ID derived from that ran-
           dom seed.
           you have finished playing it, when you ask for a new game it will auto-
           matically go back to the 'Advanced' difficulty which  it  was  previ-
           ously set on.

    The 'Type' menu

           The   'Type' menu, if present, may contain a list of preset game set-
           tings. Selecting one of these will start a new  random  game  with  the
           parameters specified.
           The 'Type' menu may also contain a 'Custom' option which allows you
           to fine-tune game parameters. The parameters available are specific  to
           each game and are described in the following sections.

    Specifying game parameters on the command line

           (This section does not apply to the Mac OS X version.)
           The  games in this collection deliberately do not ever save information
           on to the computer they run on: they have no high score tables  and  no
           saved  preferences.  (This  is because I expect at least some people to
           play them at work, and those people will probably appreciate leaving as
           little evidence as possible!)
           However, if you do want to arrange for one of these games to default to
           a particular set of parameters, you can specify  them  on  the  command
           The  easiest  way to do this is to set up the parameters you want using
           the 'Type' menu (see above), and then to select 'Random Seed'  from
           the  'Game' or 'File' menu (see above). The text in the 'Game ID'
           box will be composed of two parts, separated by a hash.  The  first  of
           these  parts  represents  the  game parameters (the size of the playing
           area, for example, and anything else you set using the 'Type'  menu).
           If  you run the game with just that parameter text on the command line,
           it will start up with the settings you specified.
           For example: if you run Cube (see above), select  'Octahedron '  from
           the 'Type' menu, and then go to the game ID selection, you will see a
           string of the form 'o2x2#338686542711620'. Take only the part  before
           the hash ('o2x2'), and start Cube with that text on the command line:
           'cube o2x2'.
           If you copy the entire game ID on to the command line,  the  game  will
           start  up in the specific game that was described. This is occasionally
           a more convenient way to start a particular game ID than by pasting  it
           into the game ID selection box.
           (You  could  also  retrieve  the  encoded  game  parameters  using  the
           'Specific' menu option instead of 'Random Seed', but if you do then
           some  options,  such  as the difficulty level in Solo, will be missing.
           See above for more details on this.)
           --generate n
                  If  this  option  is  specified,  instead of a puzzle being dis-
                  played, a number of descriptive game IDs will  be  invented  and
                  printed on standard output. This is useful for gaining access to
                  the game generation algorithms  without  necessarily  using  the
                  If  game parameters are specified on the command-line, they will
                  be used to generate the game IDs; otherwise  a  default  set  of
                  parameters will be used.
                  The  most  common  use  of  this  option  is in conjunction with
                  --print, in which case its behaviour is slightly different;  see
           --print wxh
                  If  this  option  is  specified,  instead of a puzzle being dis-
                  played, a printed representation of one or more unsolved puzzles
                  is sent to standard output, in PostScript format.
                  On  each  page of puzzles, there will be w across and h down. If
                  there are more puzzles than wxh, more  than  one  page  will  be
                  If  --generate  has  also  been specified, the invented game IDs
                  will be used to generate the printed output. Otherwise,  a  list
                  of game IDs is expected on standard input (which can be descrip-
                  tive or random seeds; see above), in the same format produced by
                  For example:
                  net --generate 12 --print 2x3 7x7w | lpr
                  will  generate  two  pages of printed Net puzzles (each of which
                  will have a 7x7 wrapping grid), and pipe the output to  the  lpr
                  command,  which  on  many  systems  will  send them to an actual
                  There are various  other  options  which  affect  printing;  see
           --save file-prefix [ --save-suffix file-suffix ]
                  If  this  option  is  specified,  instead of a puzzle being dis-
                  played, saved-game files for one or more  unsolved  puzzles  are
                  written  to  files  constructed  from the supplied prefix and/or
                  If --generate has also been specified,  the  invented  game  IDs
                  will  be  used to generate the printed output. Otherwise, a list
                  of game IDs is expected on standard input (which can be descrip-
                  tive or random seeds; see above), in the same format produced by
                  The set of pages filled with unsolved puzzles will  be  followed
                  by the solutions to those puzzles.
           --scale n
                  Adjusts how big each puzzle is when printed. Larger numbers make
                  puzzles bigger; the default is 1.0.
                  Puzzles will be printed in colour,  rather  than  in  black  and
                  white (if supported by the puzzle).


           Full documentation in /usr/share/doc/sgt-puzzles/puzzles.txt.gz.

    cube (sgt-puzzles) February 2012 CUBE(6)


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