TIC Vault is finally ready to begin production!... I think... At least I have no more intended changes to make, so I am starting to print it out in batches! In case you didn't know I was designing this, it is a hybrid puzzle, combining Sequential Discovery puzzle box aspects with a Turning Interlocking Cube puzzle. I might be biased... but it turned out so much better than I expected. It is the best puzzle I have ever designed.
But, if you were hoping for a release date, I’m not there yet... Instead this update is more about the joys of engineering. Most of my puzzles, TICs (Turning Interlocking Cubes) require exactly one prototype. And often I will have already chosen the colors and can keep the prototype as my own personal exact copy of what I sell. This, along with minimal post processing after the print is finished, allows me to sell these puzzles for fairly cheap.
TIC Vault has been quite a bit different. I’m somewhere around my 100th redesign of some sort, and 50th prototype print of some part of the puzzle. My test group has been effectively finding flaws in the puzzle, which has necessitated most of the redesigns. It turns out people try things I didn’t think of, and then break the puzzle. This is very frustrating! Why can't you people do exactly what I expect you to do, and nothing else!
Anyway... I’ve been working diligently to make sure this puzzle stands up to people trying unexpected things. I’ve changed a lot, specifically in how I print pieces in order to ensure they won’t break. Mostly this means turning cylindrical pieces from printing vertically, where they are weakest and most prone to snapping, to printing horizontally, where they are much much stronger. But while I have been changing how it prints, I’ve also discovered more interesting mechanisms to use as well. So... that's actually a good thing!
Anyway, progress is ongoing. This design is without a doubt the most complex thing I have ever created. It weighs 2 pounds (almost 1kg for you people who use logical units), and there are - at the moment - 44 separate pieces I have to print and assemble, 51 magnets that need manually placed, and dozens of moving parts. And overall I’m very happy with it and excited for people to try it.
Oh, and pardon the cut on my finger in the video… That definitely happened while cutting a piece of plastic for this puzzle.