ZudoCube was conceived when a 3 year old boy ripped a Sudoku puzzle out of a magazine and tried to use it to wrap a present for his parents. His father, Thom Steinhoff, was struck with the idea that Sudoku, in 3 dimensions, might be a fun game to play--but was it possible?
Being a life-long programmer, Thom immedately set out to find out a way to generate puzzles in three dimenions.
First, however, he had to create traditional puzzles. Working after hours in his day job as a Chief Technologist of a multi-national firm, Thom created a generator and solover the first night he set his mind to it. That was easy--now three dimensions, that took several nights more, but within a week he had a working three dimenionsional generator and solver.
Next came figuring out the best way to bring it to market. First it was written as a PC game--but never released as the interface didn't live up to his high standards. When the iPhone came out, he saw it as the perfect platform for the game--however there was one problem: he had no experience programming for iPhone. Life took over, and he procrastinated for almost a year until he discovered Unity 3D--a gaming platform for iPhone, PC and Mac that worked in a language he was familiar with.
As the recession hit, Thom's company, like many others, required every employee to take a two week furlough. These two weeks proved to be all Thom needed to learn a completely new environment, create the game from scratch and nearly finish the iPhone game.
It was during that two weeks, however, that Thom talked to hard core Sudoku players and realized that most Sudoku players play on paper--regardless of how many computers or mobile devices they may have. There was something about the simplicity and intimacy of paper that made the transition to the computer undesirable.
The iPhone game was put on hold while Thom set out to create a paper based version of the game that people could hold in their hands. After countless designs and prototypes, Thom was starting to see it as an endless battle when Quenby, his wife and business partner, suggested that they just simplify: "Why not just print it on a cardboard box?"
ZudoCube as born!