Wooden Puzzle Book Will Twist And Dazzle Your Brain

In what might be one of the coolest applications of laser cutting, joinery, puzzles, writing, and bookbinding, [Brady Whitney] has created the Codex Silenda — a literal puzzle book of magnificent proportions.

[Whitney] had originally conceived the idea of the Codex for his senior thesis research project at Iowa State University, and the result is something for almost everyone. On each of the Codex’s five pages lies a mechanical puzzle that must be solved to progress to the next, while an accompanying text weaves a story as you do so. These intricate pages were designed in SolidWorks and painstakingly assembled from laser cut wood. Breaking the fourth wall of storytelling by engaging the reader directly in uncovering the book’s mysteries is a unique feat, and it looks gorgeous to boot.

Codex Silenda UprightOur minds are wired for puzzle solving and storytelling, and this coupling of the two is evocative of an almost childlike wonder of both. Truly, the Codex Silenda is a work of art.

If a puzzle book is not compelling enough for you, check out the puzzle desk that will leave you mystified.

[Thanks for the tip, Itay Ramot!]

Codex Silenda Maze Puzzle


22 thoughts on “Wooden Puzzle Book Will Twist And Dazzle Your Brain

    1. The article linked page has a stack more interesting pictures than the scrolling images on the kickstarter page. Both of them are *very* dry when it comes to any details though. Sadly.

    1. +1. I have one of the early PC copies on CD-ROM… I love those games. Myst III Exile is probably my favorite (not for the admittedly somewhat cheesy plot tho).

      BTW… there’s another, similar game series out there that you should look at, called “RHEM”. Some dude in one of the Nordic countries (I’m sorry to all of you different Nordic peoples, but I get you all confused because of my not-so-great education and not-so-great brain) made a whole series of Myst-like games.

      I think the guy’s name is Knut Muller… oomlaut over both “u”s as I recall. (My head is weird with memory and geography. Sorry again, Nordic folks.) He got picked up by a company called “Got Game Entertainment” and is enjoying some significant popularity with the series. The sounds and graphics are less than amazing (to put it mildly) but, hey, it’s a one-man operation. Last I heard, which was admittedly a couple years ago, he had just released the fourth one and was working on number five (!) — and living his dream of having at least some fraction of Cyan’s circulation when they were still doing Myst games. (They stopped after IIRC the sixth one — fifth if you don’t count Uru. They said it was time to move on… I’m not sure I’m actually capable of agreeing, but I respect their decision as I don’t have much choice. I guess they finally got bored with it…)

      I stopped partway through RHEM 2. I have 3 and 4, just haven’t played ’em yet… I guess I’m waiting for a sufficiently rainy day for my enthusiasm to return… also I’m mostly on Linux now. I have one machine running XP that I keep around for graphics work (on an otherwise very nice program whose owning corporation doesn’t see the light and thus refuses to work with WINE or Linux in any meaningful way) and for Myst and RHEM.

      I should probably mention — if I can ever get off my bum and learn C (another enthusiasm issue, primarily) I swear I’m going to make a text adventure version of MYST (the original, of course, not any of the sequels… probably). I love text adventures…

  1. Hands down, this is amazing. I grew up playing the Myst games and many other such puzzle games with puzzles that had what i’ve only been able to narrow down to describing as “Physicality” to them. YES there was some of the video game “behind the curtain” aspect to them, but at the same time, they had a feel that you COULD build that puzzle….and MAKE IT WORK.
    I’ve had my own idea for a few years now of something along the same lines, but more of a “treasure chest” feel, with puzzles on each side of a box. though the root of the idea is to be something to store stuff in, I’ve kind of rounded the idea into a place to put things to encourage myself to leave them alone. how can i spend that random pile of dollar bills for instance, if there’s 6 tedious puzzles in the way?

    sadly, the chances of it being built anytime soon are slim. i’m slow with writing down full descriptions of each puzzle, i don’t know where to start with modeling it in any form, and i have no facilities nor acquaintances (nor money for that matter) who can work the materials needed to create it. still……maybe one of these days. in the meantime…..more people need to make puzzles like this book.

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