Introduction

This page contains most of our news items.

Contents


News

October 15th 2016. "Number Blocks": 7.0

A new game Suguru has been added to the download. It is also known as "Number Blocks" and "Tectonic". Small changes have been made to sudoku, futoshiki and kakuro, and some sloppy cut and paste work in the website's algorithm descriptions have been corrected. As usual, please report any problems.

August 15th 2016. "Division by Boxes": 6.0

A new game Shikaku or Divide by Box has been added to the download. It is a good game, probably easier than most of the others, and ideal for a quick diversion. In the relatively carefree days back in June we had the "Building Bridges" release, but how appropriate that, after an unforgiveable referendum and the spineless response of the majority of our Parliamentary representatives, our current release is named "Division by Boxes". Unsurprisingly the team are not in the best of spirits and it has been difficult to motivate them to do the testing, but please report any problems found and we'll fix them as quickly as possible.

June 21st 2016. Bridges bug fixes: pzl 5.1

Thanks to all those who dutifully fulfilled our request to report bugs in the first release of Bridges. Some combinations of multiple or incorrectly placed bridges were triggering crashes and the hint function was not working as intended. Hopefully all now fixed.

June 10th 2016. "Building bridges": pzl 5.0

A new game pzl Bridges (or Hashiwokakero) is now included in the download. Give it a try. Further tidying work on the rest of the code. Please report any problems found.

February 25th 2016. Sokoban additions and jigsaw bug fixes: pzl 4.4

Sokoban now has two display size options plus the ability to employ user-defined skins. The Python 3 version revealed some bugs in the jigsaw program which have been fixed.

February 5th 2016. "Five by Five": pzl 4.2

The site has been converted to HTML5 and all pages validated. Coding the site in HTML5 means that videos can be displayed in modern browsers using non-proprietary code and we have added several from the jigsaw game. Most are on the new Patterns and L-Systems coding pages. Flocking and Bouncing animations for jigsaw completion have been added to jigsaw. The code of the programs has been checked with Pylint and numerous small changes made. In addition the code has been processed by 2to3 and consequently improved for compatibility with Python 3. The only differences between the Python 2.7 and Python 3 code are the calls to Tk and with this release, for the first time, we are also making a Python 3 version available.

December 20th 2015. "Wandering guides": pzl 4.1

A minor but useful addition to the Sudoku, Kakuro, Futoshiki and Akari games: when a hint is active and the wand is leaning backwards, an explanation of the hint can be obtained by clicking middle mouse button on the wand. A box will pop up with a concise description of the algorithm employed. A new section The Interface which includes information about this has been added to the website.

October 21st 2015. "Light up with Akari": pzl 4.0

A new game pzl Akari is now included in the download. Give it a try. It has proved a hit with the team. The clock has been changed in Sudoku, Kakuro and Futoshiki. In addition, Minesweeper has a slightly different look.

August 4th 2015. Font specification changes: pzl 3.6

A problem with font sizes was reported for some of the programs when they were used under the Cinnamon desktop environment. The problem may also occur for other desktops. Under Cinnamon the fonts used in the programs, rather than having fixed sizes, could be changed by altering the "Text scaling factor" available within the desktop Preferences menu (Fonts). This scaling was possible because the program code defined the font sizes in "points". This was a poor decision as the fonts must fit within their designated spaces in the grid layouts, which are of fixed sizes. The programs now define font sizes on Linux in "pixels" and hence they are fixed and always fit within the available spaces.

December 18th 2014. Minesweeper bug fix: pzl 3.5

When playing minesweeper, some unscrupulous players click randomly in the hope of avoiding mines by sheer chance and hence of achieving a fast time. Minesweeper does not condone this tactic and deals with it in the following way: if a player clicks on a square which is not touching an exposed square it will always reveal a mine and the game is over. Neat idea, but the program did not distinguish these squares from those containing already exposed mine counts, and clicks on these were also treated as cheating. Too harsh. Now clicks on exposed mine counts are ignored and such players assumed to be clumsy rather than attempting to cheat.

November 23rd 2014. Minor changes: pzl 3.4

1. Jigsaw and scrabbler windows were failing to resize correctly on a Dell XPS laptop running Ubuntu Unity 12.04 LTS, possibly due to a timing issue (kls).

2. Jigsaw failing to start on Arch Linux due to import problem (SF).

October 21st 2014. "Style after substance" bug fix: pzl 3.3

Two bugs reported by user Albert. Thanks.

1. Codeword: the style improvements were not performed or checked carefully enough and the program was broken because, during editing, a test for inequality was inadvertently changed to one for equality.

2. Jigsaw: on Ubuntu, geometry manager replies to queries about window sizes were not always up to date, resulting in crashes caused by division by zero.

September 21st 2014. "Style after substance" pzl 3.2

It has become fashionable for releases of software to be given names and we follow this fad for the first time here: this release is named "Style after substance". The team are all fans of of the late Iain M. Banks and our release names will be in the whimsical style of the ship names in his Culture novels. The current name refers to the team's recent efforts, contained in this release, which aim to make the program code more compliant with the Python Style Guide but which do not add to the functionality of the programs. If they've done their work correctly these changes should not be visible to the player.

Program change. If an external kakuro puzzle has more than one solution (and hence is not a true puzzle) the kakuro solver may take too long searching for an answer. For this reason it now has a built-in time limit and will quit trying when this limit is reached.

August 10th 2014 Kakuro and jigsaw bug fixes, code reorganisation

It was discovered that the algorithm in kakuro used to solved external puzzles was not trying all possible solutions when it needed to guess. This has been fixed and puzzles previously found to be unsolvable can now be solved. In finding the cause of this error a new feature was added to the program: if the solver cannot solve a puzzle it will attempt to draw the puzzle so that the player can check that she has defined it correctly.

The new L-Systems patterns, when not being animated, were not being drawn in the intended position on the board. This has been corrected.

The organisation of the files in the download has been changed. This has resulted in a smaller download and will make program maintenance easier.

July 20th 2014 Scrabbler game released and Jigsaw improved

A new game pzl Scrabbler is now included in the download. This is a SCRABBLE-like game in which player's compete against the computer to make words on a board.

The pzl Jigsaw game now has 19 new classes of built-in patterns for creating puzzles. In addition the control of the sizes of the puzzle , board and pieces has been simplified.

The pzl_launcher program now has an option to uninstall all the pzl programs.

May 30th 2014 Jigsaw puzzle game released

A new game pzl Jigsaw is now included in the download. This game makes jigsaw puzzles from digital images, such as the players photos, and players reassemble them on the screen to create the original image.

May 14th 2014 PZL Games rated 5 stars by Softpedia

The package is now available from the Softpedia site and has been awarded 5 out of 5 by the Softpedia editor.

January 29th 2014 PZL Games Launched

Here at PZL Towers we are justifiably proud of our dedicated and highly skilled team of designers, developers and programmers. They have just completed an excellent set of computer games, namely: Sudoku, Kakuro, Sokoban, Minesweeper, Futoshiki, Boggle, Codeword and Sumpuzzle. These programs are fitting examples of the team's inventiveness, expertise and attention to detail.

Not only are these people outstanding in their respective fields, they are also strong supporters of Open Source and Cross Platform Software, and though it conflicts with management policy and our responsibility to our shareholders, we have decided to respect the team's wishes and to allow these potentially valuable programs to be downloaded at no cost, complete with their source code. Though some may interpret this as a cynical PZL PR stunt we hope that the sensible majority will acknowledge it as a generous gift from a sometimes misunderstood organisation.