In July of 2005, I was visiting my brother and my college roommate John in London. While there, John got me hooked on Sudoku, a puzzle game that was then sweeping Europe and is now sweeping the US. On the way back to the states, instead of sleeping as I should have done, I opened Visual Studio and spent the entire flight madly coding away on a Tablet PC implementation of Sudoku. When I got back to work and showed the Tablet team the prototype I’d created, it was very quickly swept up into a larger project dubbed the “Origami Project,” which was just officially announced today as the Ultra-Mobile PC. It’s exciting for me to see my implementation of Sudoku released. It’s also fun to see it highlighted in the marketing materials for the Ultra-Mobile PC: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/umpc/play.mspx
Sudoku is part of the Touch Pack that’s being released with the UMPC devices. From the press release at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2006/mar06/03-09Mobile.mspx:
For example, the new, pre-installed Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows XP software optimizes the touch screen user interface for UMPCs to simplify navigation and ease-of-use while on the go. The Touch Pack’s customizable Program Launcher organizes software programs into categories, and uses large buttons and icons to make it easy to find and open your favorite applications. The Touch Pack also includes a thumb-based, on-screen keyboard that’s touch-optimized for easy text input. It also helps improve a user’s portable media experience with the inclusion of the new Brilliant Black for Windows Media Player skin. Touch Pack software also helps keep you entertained with the introduction of Microsoft Sudoku, a highly entertaining touch and ink enabled game.
Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like:
It’s easily accessible from the Program Launcher application (a really nice piece of software that’s also part of the Touch Pack):
Dustin, who is responsible for the team that created the Touch Pack, has this to say about our Sudoku game at http://origamiproject.com/blogs/team_blog/archive/2006/03/08/4.aspx:
The final product in the Touch Pack is Sudoku, a completely addictive game that is huge in Europe right now and gaining popularity in the U.S. as well. Sudoku is a logic game where you have to get the numbers 1-9 to show up in each row, column and box on the board. There are a bunch of Sudoku sites on the Internet if you want to learn how to play. Our version is of course optimized for touch and the pen.
More info to come. For now, check out the community forums for UMPC and the Touch Pack at http://origamiproject.com/default.aspx.