Press & Presentation
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A 72 Years Old Fanboy Creates a 3-D Casual Game for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch
Cubz : a classic puzzle reaches out into the third dimension on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
Spring 2010. Geneva (Switzerland). Rudolf Farkas, a retired software engineer (72 years old) living in Geneva, took the concept of the 15 Puzzle which dates back to 1870, and added an extra dimension to it, resulting in his puzzle game for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch: Cubz - 3D Sliding Puzzle.
In late 2008 Rudolf Farkas, then aged 70, entered his long sought-after retirement. In April 2009, following a suggestion made by his son, also an electronics and software engineer, he decided to follow his passion for software development and devoted most of his free time to mastering the art of programming for iPhone, the Apple groomed Smartphone/social phenomenon.
Rudolf Farkas took the well known 15 Puzzle, in its classic form, as the starting point for a programming exercise, without any intention to publish the results. Rudi remembers: "One morning, I woke up and started thinking of the best way to program the 15 Puzzle. Suddenly, I saw Cubz in my mind: a matrix of 26 cubes floating in 3D space that you could control using your fingers".
His idea for an original iPhone application was born.
In November 2009, after several months of programming Cubz, Rudi went for the first time to a monthly meeting of the regional iPhone developers usergroup (les Dévelopeurs iPhone de Suisse Romande) which he had discovered via Facebook. He aimed to present the group a prototype of his game and ask them for feedback and advice.
"The average age of participants is approximately 30 years old. In the beginning, they were surprised and amused to see a 71 year old man at their meeting. However, when I showed them my game prototype, they immediately became very enthusiastic about it and they offered me excellent advice", says Rudi, who did not miss any of the monthly meetings since November.
It is at one of those meetings that Rudi met his soon to be business associate, Bertrand Dufresne. Together, they founded their company, Rudicubes. In December of that same year, they would be joined by Pascal Arn. Finally, Stian Stark, a 25 year old Finnish musician they discovered on the web, was commissioned in January 2010 to compose an original soundtrack for the game.
"My Cubz prototype was a rough gemstone. My associates helped me polish it and transform it into a brilliant jewel, inside a magnificent jewel-box", says Rudi.
Beware of any superficial similarities between Cubz and a famous cube-based puzzle game with multi-colored faces. "My game is unrelated to the Rubik’s Cube, which I find fascinating, but never had the skills to master, I've always found it discouragingly complicated", says Rudi. He continued: "Cubz is a casual puzzle game aimed to appeal to absolutely anyone, whatever their age, or puzzle-solving skills. It was built with the intent to enable anyone playing it to have fun, or find something that could appeal to them."
Cubz players can compete with each other by exchanging email challenges and by publishing their scores on the Internet. Social networks integration lets players publish their results on Facebook and Twitter.
iPhone and iPod touch version was release in April 2010. Since 28th of May, Rudicubes released version 1.1 of the game that includes a full iPad HD. If you buy the game once, you can install it on all your OS 3 devices!
Cubz - 3D Sliding Puzzle is available on the App Store (in the Puzzles and Games/Family categories) as a universal binary for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, at the introductory price of $1.99 / 1.59€ / CHF 2.20. Rudolf Farkas and his company Rudicubes are already focusing on adding new features to Cubz.
A short biography of Rudolf Farkas
Rudolf Farkas was born in 1938 in eastern Croatia, near Osijek, son of a Hungarian and Austrian couple. After graduating in 1961 with a major in Industrial Electronics and Automation from the Zagreb University, he obtained a scholarship from the British Southampton University in 1968, and completed his Ph.D. in 1967. It is around that time that he wrote his first computer programs, in Algol, an early computer programming language known as the ancestor of Pascal and C.
In 1970, Rudi moved to Geneva, got married one year later. He worked on the development of measuring instruments at Battele, a large applied research institute. Starting in 1985 he worked at the Geneva branch of LeCroy, an instrumentation company based in the U.S. His role at the company was to develop software for sophisticated digital oscilloscopes, for use in the computer and telecommunication industries. For the next 23 years, he would learn and use several programming languages, notably C, C++ and Perl. He participated in the migration of oscilloscope software to 32 bit, and later 64 bit platforms.
He finally retired in late 2008, being 5 years older than the regular Swiss retirement age.
In April 2009, looking for new challenges, Rudi turned his attention to programming for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch platform, through the use of the Mac OS X operating system, the associated XCode IDE, and the Apple developed Cocoa and Cocoa Touch Frameworks. Lead by his passion for software development he did not once hesitate to learn yet another programming language, Objective-C, and to add it to his collection of programming skills, a rather rare feat considering the fact that he was then aged 71.
Game site : http://playcubz.com/
iTunes link: http://playcu.bz/iTunes/
Rudicubes, Bertrand Dufresne, communications, email@example.com
Address: Rue Boissonnas 9, 1227 Les Acacias, Geneva, Switzerland