Gothic Windows


The Puzzles:
A Gothic Windows Puzzle is made of colorful triangular panes in a symmetrical arrangement. Each time you click the "New Puzzle" button a unique puzzle window is created. When you click on "Start", some of the panes are dimmed to dark gray. Your challenge is to re-light all the panes in the window. If you can't see the dim panes, you may have to turn up the brightness on your monitor.

The Action:
After clicking "Start" move the mouse cursor within the window and you'll see a floating hexagonal ring. Move the ring around the window to select groups of panes. You can encircle from one to six panes at a time.

When you click the mouse button the dim panes within the ring will light up. However, any lighted panes that were included will be dimmed!

The edges of the ring must touch the edges of the panes. You must fit the ring correctly around the panes or they will not light up.
Wrong -> <- Right

You will discover different strategies work with different puzzles. If you ever wish to start over on a puzzle, just click "Restart".

Difficulty and Size:
The difficulty of the puzzles is as random as the puzzles. Some may be ridiculously easy and others amazingly difficult. After learning how the game works with a small puzzle or two, choose "Medium Puzzles" or "Large Puzzles". Sorry, but I'm still working on eliminating the occasional impossible puzzle.
Mystery Mode:
If you want even more of a challenge, choose "Mystery Mode" (under "Visible Play"). With Mystery Mode turned on, the dim panes are invisible. You can always switch back to Visible Play if Mystery Mode is too difficult.

If you have an eye for beauty, you may wish to choose "Lock Colors" (under "Random Colors") when you get a puzzle with a color combination you favor. When you choose "Lock Colors" all successive new puzzles will be created with those same colors.

Saving a Puzzle:
Since Java can't save files to your computer's drive (for security reasons), I've devised another way for you to save favorite puzzles. Click on "Show Codes" and you'll see the "Color Code" and "Puzzle Code" for the current puzzle. If you want to save this puzzle make a note of the Puzzle Code. If you like the colors make a note of the Color Code. You can even email your friends with the codes to puzzles you found interesting, difficult, or beautiful. NOTE: While Color Codes consist of all lowercase letters, Puzzle Codes may contain almost any character that appears on your keyboard in upper or lower case. Unfortunately, capital I and lowercase L look identical in some fonts and other characters (zero and capital O, for example) are easily confused. Therefore, you must be very careful when recording a code and you may even need to try a couple of times when entering one (see "Retrieving a Puzzle" below).

Click Count:
If you're feeling very competitive or perfectionistic you might like to know how many moves it takes you to solve a certain puzzle. When you look at the codes you'll also see your "Click Count". This keeps track of the number of clicks you've used to solve this puzzle so far. So, when you tell someone the code for a hard puzzle you can also brag about how few moves it took you to solve it. When you "Restart" a puzzle, the Click Count resets to zero.

Retrieving a Puzzle:
Below the puzzle applet is another window with fields for entering a "Puzzle Code" or a "Color Code". Carefully type the code from your notes and press Enter. If you've entered a suitable code, you'll see the change in the puzzle window, above. If not, an "Incorrect code" message will appear. Should you wish to customize BOTH the puzzle AND its colors, type in one of the codes in the proper field, press Enter, then type in the other code in the other field, and press Enter again. NOTE: Entering a Color Code will override the "Lock Colors" option.

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©1996 - 2000 Marcia M. Burrows

Revised 07/14/2000.