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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:35 pm 
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I offer the following in evidence, each of which by itself might not indicate anything, but taken together seem to point to a definite drop in sudoku interest, at least online.

I'm starting to see long-time sudoku Web sites being abandoned, or at least traffic dying down. The Dutch sudoku forum is basically dead (almost no traffic this year, althought they're still accessible). Andrew Stuart has apparently left sudoku.org.uk (the site is still up), and I'm not sure what happened to Kate Mepham, who took her father's place when he passed away. It seems that development has stopped on a number of sudoku programs, and several sites have been temporarily or permanently unavailable.

Ruud is gone, leaving his own sites abandoned, along with several forums that he was moderator for (Sudoku Players, Sudoku Programmers, and Sudoku Discussions). Spam is running unchecked in the first two, and my inquiries to the site admins regarding a new moderator have gone unanswered.

It seems that DJApe never visits his forums anymore (email and PM seem to be the only ways to contact him). His Flower Sudoku and Samurai Sudoku sites have been abandoned, and his postings to his regular blog site have dropped considerably (he went three weeks without posting a "Weekly Kakuro", for instance). The site seems now to be mainly about publicizing his e-books, and many of his previously posted puzzles are unavailable as a result.

Even traffic here is down from when Richard first opened these forums, although Richard and Jean-Christophe are still actively continuing development on their respective software, for which I'm grateful.

Thoughts, anyone?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:42 pm 
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Obviously the initial excitement regarding Sudoku can be expected to die down. It is probably just accepted as being a standard offering in most publications, only the diehard enthusiasts would still be actively involved. The Times billed KenKen as the new Sudoku but it isn't likely that any new puzzle type will have the same impact again that Sudoku did when it first appeared in the mainstream outside Japan.

Obviously Ruud was a great loss to the community as his involvement was quite diverse. Not everyone from that site has migrated here, mainly the Killer aficionados although there is a resurgence in Gattai thanks to the efforts of JC and Richard on solvers and Borge on puzzle generation. The competitions run by Ruud produced a lot of traffic.

On the Mepham site there are still people anxious to maintain their hard won positions in the league tables. Odd things seem to have happened there, but I was out of the loop at the time, seems like they are trying to sort things out.

I'm sure the moderator problem will be sorted soon elsewhere. The reduction in traffic on the sites probably means they are not as attractive targets for spam as they might once have been. So perhaps that's a positive thing. Not much on the programmers' site though wapati is expanding the number of puzzles posted with his + and - threads. On the player's site Tarek has suggested increased coverage of variants, so let's give him some support. Obviously areas such as the Patterns and Grid games and some of the more theoretical stuff won't appeal to everyone.

Finally DJape obviously has picked up your messages somewhere as he has posted regarding the other two sites on his blog. H3lix, Hatman and others inject a lot of variety there with new puzzle types.

On the whole I think things are not too bad, but I only browse the main sites plus a few concerning solving techniques.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:14 am 
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In this era every trendy thing eventually dies down, but they'll get popular again every now and then (e.g. the Rubic Cubes). To me Sudoku is just an entrance to the intriguing world of logical puzzles that has been flourishing in Japan. And also there're numerous Maths-related puzzles. These things (as a whole group) never die down. Just Mrs. Bob living in the next door getting bored and stopping doing it wouldn't worry me too much. Sure it will make me look like a stand-out geek again but that's what I really am.
:lol: :alien: :study: :geek: :ugeek:

I also think it's a shame that KenKen never becomes a big hit. Perhaps it's too similar to Sudoku and people are already bored. But the smaller size makes it less tedious to work and when there is intriguing logic involved (e.g. my avatar) there is a very satisfying feeling of achievement. I suppose unlike others here I dig puzzles with small size but big thinking required. ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:26 am 
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Every so often, Time Entertainment (it used to be Michael Mepham before his passing) comes out with a "Jumbo Sudoku" book. These books are known for their large grids, and puzzle variations. Like kakuro, killer sudoku, samurai sudoku, battleships, futoshiki, and so forth.

Conceptis Puzzles say they are coming out with a book in January 2009. They say the book is on Kendoku, but the book is probably on KenKen.

There are puzzles such as Trigons which appear in the Dell puzzle magazines, as well as something called Tridoku.


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