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# Mazes for Programmers: Code Your Own Twisty Little Passages

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Unlock the secrets to creating random mazes! Whether you're a game developer, an algorithm connoisseur, or simply in search of a new puzzle, you're about to level up. Learn algorithms to randomly generate mazes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and dimensions. Bend them into Moebius strips, fold them into cubes, and wrap them around spheres. Stretch them into other dimensions Unlock the secrets to creating random mazes! Whether you're a game developer, an algorithm connoisseur, or simply in search of a new puzzle, you're about to level up. Learn algorithms to randomly generate mazes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and dimensions. Bend them into Moebius strips, fold them into cubes, and wrap them around spheres. Stretch them into other dimensions, squeeze them into arbitrary outlines, and tile them in a dizzying variety of ways. From twelve little algorithms, you'll discover a vast reservoir of ideas and inspiration. From video games to movies, mazes are ubiquitous. Explore a dozen algorithms for generating these puzzles randomly, from Binary Tree to Eller's, each copiously illustrated and accompanied by working implementations in Ruby. You'll learn their pros and cons, and how to choose the right one for the job. You'll start by learning six maze algorithms and transition from making mazes on paper to writing programs that generate and draw them. You'll be introduced to Dijkstra's algorithm and see how it can help solve, analyze, and visualize mazes. Part 2 shows you how to constrain your mazes to different shapes and outlines, such as text, circles, hex and triangle grids, and more. You'll learn techniques for culling dead-ends, and for making your passages weave over and under each other. Part 3 looks at six more algorithms, taking it all to the next level. You'll learn how to build your mazes in multiple dimensions, and even on curved surfaces. Through it all, you'll discover yourself brimming with ideas, the best medicine for programmer's block, burn-out, and the grayest of days. By the time you're done, you'll be energized and full of maze-related possibilities! What You Need: The example code requires version 2 of the Ruby programming language. Some examples depend on the ChunkyPNG library to generate PNG images, and one chapter uses POV-Ray version 3.7 to render 3D graphics.

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Unlock the secrets to creating random mazes! Whether you're a game developer, an algorithm connoisseur, or simply in search of a new puzzle, you're about to level up. Learn algorithms to randomly generate mazes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and dimensions. Bend them into Moebius strips, fold them into cubes, and wrap them around spheres. Stretch them into other dimensions Unlock the secrets to creating random mazes! Whether you're a game developer, an algorithm connoisseur, or simply in search of a new puzzle, you're about to level up. Learn algorithms to randomly generate mazes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and dimensions. Bend them into Moebius strips, fold them into cubes, and wrap them around spheres. Stretch them into other dimensions, squeeze them into arbitrary outlines, and tile them in a dizzying variety of ways. From twelve little algorithms, you'll discover a vast reservoir of ideas and inspiration. From video games to movies, mazes are ubiquitous. Explore a dozen algorithms for generating these puzzles randomly, from Binary Tree to Eller's, each copiously illustrated and accompanied by working implementations in Ruby. You'll learn their pros and cons, and how to choose the right one for the job. You'll start by learning six maze algorithms and transition from making mazes on paper to writing programs that generate and draw them. You'll be introduced to Dijkstra's algorithm and see how it can help solve, analyze, and visualize mazes. Part 2 shows you how to constrain your mazes to different shapes and outlines, such as text, circles, hex and triangle grids, and more. You'll learn techniques for culling dead-ends, and for making your passages weave over and under each other. Part 3 looks at six more algorithms, taking it all to the next level. You'll learn how to build your mazes in multiple dimensions, and even on curved surfaces. Through it all, you'll discover yourself brimming with ideas, the best medicine for programmer's block, burn-out, and the grayest of days. By the time you're done, you'll be energized and full of maze-related possibilities! What You Need: The example code requires version 2 of the Ruby programming language. Some examples depend on the ChunkyPNG library to generate PNG images, and one chapter uses POV-Ray version 3.7 to render 3D graphics.

## 30 review for Mazes for Programmers: Code Your Own Twisty Little Passages

1. 4 out of 5

Mark Seemann

This is a book about generating, rendering, and solving mazes with a programming language. I'm not entirely sure if this is important, professionally, but it was fun. The code examples are all in Ruby, and while I've never written Ruby code before, it wasn't a problem at all. Granted, I have about 25 years of professional programming experience, so most of the Ruby syntax was easy to pick up, based on my knowledge of other programming languages. I typed in all the code as I went, since I usually This is a book about generating, rendering, and solving mazes with a programming language. I'm not entirely sure if this is important, professionally, but it was fun. The code examples are all in Ruby, and while I've never written Ruby code before, it wasn't a problem at all. Granted, I have about 25 years of professional programming experience, so most of the Ruby syntax was easy to pick up, based on my knowledge of other programming languages. I typed in all the code as I went, since I usually find that I learn better that way, and I had few problems. The code examples start simple and progress in an educational sequence where each new concept builds on the previous. I'm very impressed by how the content is structured and introduced. Many of the algorithms are really algorithms for graph traversal or tree balancing, so there may be some wider applications beyond mazes, but even if I never get to use what I've learned from this book, the time was well spent. Usually, when I work my way through a programming text book, I make a point of doing all the exercises. For some reason, that didn't work for me here. I can't put my finger on why that was, but I quickly decided that if my ultimate purpose with the book was to enjoy it, doing the exercises would only ruin that experience. That's not really a complaint about the book, but just a reflection on what worked, and what didn't work, for me. My only complaint might be that I found the last pair of chapters weaker than the rest of the book. These chapters introduce more dimensions than two, but while the previous chapters gave the impression of working from generally applicable algorithms, the last two chapters seemed more makeshift. Still easy to understand and well-written, but they somehow felt less relevant. This shouldn't detract from the overall impression. I highly recommend the book if you think that mazes or algorithms sounds just slightly intriguing. If you would like to get a sample of what's in store, you may want to look at the author's interactive algorithm recap, which also serves as a great companion for the book.

2. 5 out of 5

Koen Crolla

Reads like a series of blog posts by someone who has just discovered a new set of Wikipedia articles, but, to be fair, that's exactly the level at which most people will want to read about generating mazes. There's no graph theory, or really any theory at all—just practical algorithms for generating exactly the sort of mazes you're likely to want to generate, presented at novice level.† Also notably absent is any real discussion of solving mazes (apart from Dijkstra's algorithm, which is used to Reads like a series of blog posts by someone who has just discovered a new set of Wikipedia articles, but, to be fair, that's exactly the level at which most people will want to read about generating mazes. There's no graph theory, or really any theory at all—just practical algorithms for generating exactly the sort of mazes you're likely to want to generate, presented at novice level.† Also notably absent is any real discussion of solving mazes (apart from Dijkstra's algorithm, which is used to demonstrate certain features of the presented generating algorithms). Still, it delivers exactly what it promises, and I can't imagine anyone would be too disappointed that it doesn't do much more. (Reading this reminded me that I once wrote a maze generator using recursive backtracking (not exactly the version Buck presents, but similar), and a little raycasting thing to let you run through it. The maze generation worked fine, the raycasting less so. I should revisit that.) ---- † The implementations provided are in Ruby, which is... better than pseudo-code, I guess, but does occasionally introduce unnecessary confusion, since Ruby does things in ways that only Ruby does things and Buck is a true believer.

3. 4 out of 5

David

There's finally a book on writing software to generate and solve mazes! Buck visually explains a dozen algorithms for generating mazes, comparing their features (biases, path lengths, number of dead ends, number of intersections, etc.). He then applies these algorithms to many kinds of maze coordinate systems (standard grid, various tessellations, folding schemes, higher dimensions, etc.). I made a pic (below) which shows eight examples: He does his best to keep things simple. All examples are wri There's finally a book on writing software to generate and solve mazes! Buck visually explains a dozen algorithms for generating mazes, comparing their features (biases, path lengths, number of dead ends, number of intersections, etc.). He then applies these algorithms to many kinds of maze coordinate systems (standard grid, various tessellations, folding schemes, higher dimensions, etc.). I made a pic (below) which shows eight examples: He does his best to keep things simple. All examples are written in Ruby, which is pretty easy to understand even if you're not a Ruby native. When performing recursive backtracking, Buck decided to implement his own stack rather than try to explain language-based recursion.

4. 5 out of 5

An

It's a very nifty book. I felt it could have been more technical in its approach and gone more in depth, but that's not the purpose of the book. If you're a beginner in programming, you're likely to love this book. If you're experienced, you'll like it if you're playful and find it frustrating otherwise. It's very easy to read but it left me hungry for more details on those algorithms. It's a very nifty book. I felt it could have been more technical in its approach and gone more in depth, but that's not the purpose of the book. If you're a beginner in programming, you're likely to love this book. If you're experienced, you'll like it if you're playful and find it frustrating otherwise. It's very easy to read but it left me hungry for more details on those algorithms.

5. 4 out of 5

Morgan McGuire

This provided what I was looking for from the book. It hits the sweet spot where it is technical and computer science enough to be efficient and help experts well, but is pragmatic enough to be approachable and friendly. The author's tone is great and it covers the major algorithms I was interested in. Most importantly, it encourages the reader to flip to a random chapter and become immersed in that algorithm and topic. That kind of inspiration is exactly what such a book should provide. The copy This provided what I was looking for from the book. It hits the sweet spot where it is technical and computer science enough to be efficient and help experts well, but is pragmatic enough to be approachable and friendly. The author's tone is great and it covers the major algorithms I was interested in. Most importantly, it encourages the reader to flip to a random chapter and become immersed in that algorithm and topic. That kind of inspiration is exactly what such a book should provide. The copy I got from Amazon is clearly a print-on-demand medium quality book. It won't last forever, but it isn't cheap and was cleanly executed. I wish there were more illustrations, and that the programming language was Python, C, or JavaScript. The particular language used doesn't matter terribly, and the Ruby is clear enough. But Ruby syntax is just strange and different enough from more mainstream languages that it makes the reader have to go look up Ruby syntax. The iterators ("for loops") are used constantly of course and are particularly idiosyncratic in Ruby. Whereas Python is so close to math/pseudocode that examples in it would immediately accessible to any programmer. The use of POV Ray for 3D mazes feels like something straight out of 1990, but honestly, most 3D APIs are such a complicated mess that this was a clever solution. I probably would have chosen to write OBJ + PNG files to disk because nearly everything can render them (including Visual Studio, Photoshop, and the Mac & Windows folder browsers), but I think the author is coming from Linux and OBJ may enjoy less support there. If a new edition were published with these changes then I'd definitely buy it, but I recommend this one as-is to experienced programmers curious about maze generation.

6. 4 out of 5

Julian

More programming books should be like this -- practical, to the point, and full of joy and enthusiasm. I had skimmed this a few times before, but recently went through it to implement several of the algorithms, and I greatly enjoyed it. It errs on the side of being simple, perhaps too far, as I often found myself wishing for references to papers to go deeper, or Knuth-style historical notes, but it makes up for this with a well-chosen mix of practical applications, and short, clear code.

7. 4 out of 5

Борис Кучин

Сдался где-то на середине. Долистал до конца, но прям дочитывать не стал. Не хватает теории, видимо, графов. Вся книга выглядит как "сделай так-то – получи такой-то результат". Почему это работает, совершенно непонятно. Сначала было ничего так, но потом, когда пошли всякие трёхмерные и многоуровневые лабиринты, стало неинтересно. Сдался где-то на середине. Долистал до конца, но прям дочитывать не стал. Не хватает теории, видимо, графов. Вся книга выглядит как "сделай так-то – получи такой-то результат". Почему это работает, совершенно непонятно. Сначала было ничего так, но потом, когда пошли всякие трёхмерные и многоуровневые лабиринты, стало неинтересно.

8. 5 out of 5

Shayne

Obviously a labor of love, and it's fun to read his excitement. As for me, yes, I'll probably make some mazes sometime, and I have a good idea of some of the algorithms involved now. Obviously a labor of love, and it's fun to read his excitement. As for me, yes, I'll probably make some mazes sometime, and I have a good idea of some of the algorithms involved now.

9. 5 out of 5

William Anderson

A warm and clear, informative and fun tour of algorithms. Hands down this is an amazing book, if you are a self taught programmer, in the field of game design, or just love puzzles you will find this an absolute joy. If comp sci is your background, but you are looking for fun application of algorithms or never really 'got them' you will find value in this book as well. The author steps through the logic of creating each maze clearly and thoroughly with a tone of voice that draws you in and assures A warm and clear, informative and fun tour of algorithms. Hands down this is an amazing book, if you are a self taught programmer, in the field of game design, or just love puzzles you will find this an absolute joy. If comp sci is your background, but you are looking for fun application of algorithms or never really 'got them' you will find value in this book as well. The author steps through the logic of creating each maze clearly and thoroughly with a tone of voice that draws you in and assures you that you can figure it all out. The code samples within the book are a solid study in and of themselves in regards to its structure and versatility, but even if you are someone who only reads on their commute (no computer access) the explanations and walk throughs are clear enough to understand the concepts. Hidden within teaching about mazes is perhaps the clearest and most relatable introduction to algorithms that I have ever read. This will definitely be added to my extra recommended reading list when I teach future classes on code as well as interaction. Pick it up, have fun, and be inspired.

10. 5 out of 5

Johnny

All things you could ever ask about mazes are explained in this book. From simple algorithms to create them to more complex ones and a digression to graph theory is all covered. There you will find out that mazes are not just a simple game to play but also are a good example to explain much more complex problems (like spanning trees and where they can be used).

11. 5 out of 5

Andy

12. 5 out of 5

Chetan Vashisht

13. 4 out of 5

Michael Bohn

14. 5 out of 5

Sondre

15. 5 out of 5

Darrel

16. 4 out of 5

Dean Ellis

17. 5 out of 5

Grzegorz Sancewicz

18. 5 out of 5

Oleksandr

19. 4 out of 5

Doug

20. 4 out of 5

Dean Gvozdic

21. 5 out of 5

Quintis

22. 4 out of 5

Кирилл Темненков

23. 5 out of 5

Grant Mills

24. 5 out of 5

Robert Welland

25. 4 out of 5

Joel Lewis

26. 4 out of 5

Roman

27. 5 out of 5

jason

28. 5 out of 5

Michael Daines

29. 4 out of 5

Nahum Timerman

30. 4 out of 5

Deep Shankar

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