Rafiki Home Rafiki Store Learn about genetic code Explore geometry

<< Back



Thank you for buying this fine Rafiki product, and welcome to Code World, a fun way to witness the magic of Plato’s five perfect solids. If you do not find the information you need in this manual, please visit us at our website: www.codefun.com

General Concept

Code World has two basic parts - the globe and the glider. The idea is to rotate the two parts into proper positions as quickly as possible. Every possible match of the two parts can be described by two points of the glider and two places on the globe. A deck of special playing cards is used to designate the target positions. The deck contains two types of cards. Globe cards have triangles with circles in the middle, and they designate two places on the globe. Glider cards have circles only, and they designate two points on the glider.

Every puzzle is made of a combination of one globe card and one glider card. All globe and glider cards are shuffled together. Cards can be turned to any orientation during play, so do not pay attention to left, right, up or down; only note which of the two symbols on each card is in front of the other. The symbol in front is called the first symbol, and the one behind is called the second symbol. The object of each puzzle is to place the first point of the glider over the first place of the globe, and at the same time place the second point of the glider over the second place of the globe.

With just two elements of each part we have defined the configuration of the entire device. Here is an example of a puzzle with the correct solution.

The position pictured here is special, because it was chosen by convention to be the universal starting configuration. Set the device in this position to start all play sessions. This way there is no need to bring two cards out of the deck to begin play. Set the device to this position and proceed as if these two cards are showing face-up. These cards are therefore virtual cards to start play. Make sure that you can quickly recognize this position without these cards. It is the easiest position to remember, because the four circular points on the glider are surrounded by the stars of the same color on the globe.

New puzzles are created by turning over one card at a time. For example, let’s assume that the first card turned over is a globe card. This card will be paired with the starting points of the glider (green and red) to form a new target. The puzzle and solution might look like this.

At this point there is still only one card showing, since the glider card is still being played by convention as green for the first point and red for the second point. For another example, let’s assume that the next card is a glider card. Now we have two cards face-up, one of each type, so we must combine the new glider card with the recently turned globe card. The new puzzle and solution might look like this.

Repeat this process for every card in the deck, playing the most recent globe and glider cards together. Get in the practice of saying, “done” the instant you solve a puzzle. This will be a useful habit for later competition. After a puzzle is solved, you may then turn one card from the top of the deck (called a flop). Each flop creates a new puzzle. The new puzzle always results from a combination of the most recent globe and glider cards. If the flop is a glider card then match it with the active globe card to create the new puzzle. If the flop is a globe card then match it with the active glider card.

Puzzle solving efficiency is the goal. There are so many ways of making new puzzles that it is impossible to begin to memorize solutions. However, with practice it is possible to learn many tricks for cutting the time it takes to see the solution and reach it quickly. With practice you will eventually be able to find all solutions in a matter of seconds, but initially you can expect to get turned upside down quite easily. Test yourself by keeping time while playing through an entire deck. A code wizard can do this in less than ten minutes. The real test begins, however, when you try to match your skills head-to-head, card-for-card against another code warrior.

Multiplayer Game

For multi-player games each warrior must have his or her own Code World. Two-player contests are standard, but there is no absolute limit to the number of people that can compete at one time. Please check our website for variations on standard play, or to add your suggestions for new variations at www.codefun.com.

Multi-player Code World is the same as single-player in terms of creating and solving puzzles, but instead of racing against time, it is a race against each other to see who will solve each puzzle first. A standard game repeats a simple three-step pattern.

1. Flop a card.
2. Race to solve the puzzle.
3. Distribute the card to the winner.

The winner of each puzzle owns the flopped card, but the card must stay face-up on the board at least for the next flop, so a system is needed for tracking the rightful owner of each card. It is easiest to imagine card cribs on each player’s side to track card ownership while new puzzles are created with flops. Here’s a suggested pattern for tracking card ownership.

This is just one possible way to keep track of who owns which cards, but you can use the system that makes the most sense to you. Remember, every puzzle is made of two cards, one glider and one globe card. The flop will become the third up card, and it takes the place of its matching card from the last puzzle. After a player wins a flop, that card is moved into the appropriate crib and the corresponding card from the old puzzle is placed face down in the winnings pile of the card’s owner. The trick is in keeping the active puzzle cards visible while ensuring an accurate card count at the end of the game. Here is a full set of steps for a code war.

1. All warriors set their Code Worlds to the starting configuration. (See above.)

2. All cards are shuffled together and stacked face down between the warriors.

3. A randomly chosen warrior flops the first card, and all warriors race to the solution.

4. The first warrior to reach the solution declares so, usually by saying, “done.” The warriors can agree on a word to act as a declaration, or an object can be placed between them, like a smelly old sock, to be grabbed quickly instead of a verbal declaration.

5. Once a warrior makes a declaration, the opposing warriors can accept it, or they can ask the declaring warrior to verify his win by clearly showing his Code World. If the solution is NOT correct, then the warrior asking to verify will win the card. If the solution is correct, then the winning warrior is permitted to deride and admonish the opponent for doubting his veracity. Once all warriors arrive at the correct solution, the game can proceed to the next flop.

6. Place the recent flop card face up in the appropriate crib, and transfer any similar card face down to its player’s winnings pile. There should only be one globe card and one glider card face up before a flop, and every Code World should match those cards. There are no face-up cards at the start of the game, just virtual cards depicting the universal starting position. But once the first glider and the first globe cards come up, there will always be one of each showing for the rest of the game.

7. The winner of the previous card flops the next card.

8. After the final card is flopped and solved, all crib cards are collected and counted by their warriors. The warrior with the most cards is the winner.

Movement Tips

These tips will help you move the device smoothly and quickly. First, note that there is an axis of rotation around each of the four points on the glider. The axis point will stay stationary on the globe during rotation, but the other three points will move to adjacent places, like a solid hoop around the axis. It is useful to visualize all four hoops and axes simultaneously in connecting your hands and mind with the device.

Pick a glider hand and a globe hand. I am right-handed, and I hold the glider in my left hand, but you can do the opposite if you prefer. (That’s the beauty of symmetry.)

I always place the first point of the glider (defaults to green) away from the palm of my glider hand; that way I always know where it is, and I can see around it easily. I also put my thumb on the second point of the glider (defaults to red). My index finger and pinky can comfortably occupy the other two points. Having consistent finger positions helps me stay in touch with the four rotational axes.

Your globe hand can dance around the three open windows surrounding the first point, which are the most visible areas of the globe. The key is to perceive the movements as simultaneous rotations of the two parts, rather than trying to push one part forward on the other. All rotation comes from the center of the device. I like to think of my hands as being connected to a ball joint, and the movement is a rotation of two levers centered at my fingertips and extending to my elbows. In time, your fingers will effortlessly shift between movements without the need for conscious focus - like a guitar maestro with his hands on the strings of his instrument.

As with all feats of dexterity, skill will only come with a melding of mind and muscle. Mechanical speed will follow from practice, practice, practice.

Care and Feeding of Code World

Your Code World device is made mostly of handsome plastic. It is not special James Bond plastic; it is just ordinary, exceptionally handsome plastic. The device is not designed to withstand a bolt of lightning, or the crush of an avalanche, or probably even a trip through your dishwasher. (Warning: Star Trek teleporters will rearrange the colors on your Code World.) There are some metal parts cleverly hidden inside the handsome plastic - bearings and springs and fasteners - but ordinary exposure to superficial cleaning should not be a problem. The device is not designed to be disassembled, so don’t try it – you will ruin it! Don’t let your stinky little brother get his hands on it either. Who knows what he might do to it. Keep dirt away from it, and reserve high impact activities for other toys. Don’t throw it or drop it – it might break. It is breakable. Treat it with the reverence and admiration it deserves, and it will provide you with a long life of introspection, universal enlightenment and ribaldry.


<< Back

<Top> - <Home> - <Store> - <Code World> - <Genetic Code> - <Geometry>

Material on this Website is copyright Rafiki, Inc. 2003 ©
Last updated December 27, 2003 2:48 PM