Interview: Andrea Gilbert
By day, Andrea Gilbert is a humble British software engineer. By night, she is one of the forerunners in the development of what have been called by different people mazes-with-rules, multi-state mazes or logic mazes.
Her website, clickmazes, is a top-ranked result for "mazes" on Google and receives a thousand visitors daily. Two of her puzzles have been admitted into Puzzles.com's Hall of Fame, and one has even been turned into a popular toy.
We talked with Ms. Gilbert about her history and the process of making unique and incredible mazes.
Puzzle Monster: Tell us a little about yourself.
Andrea Gilbert: I live in Oxfordshire, England. I have a BSc degree in Mathematics
and Computer Science. I am a software-engineer by trade. It
was my desire to learn the Java programming language back in
the late 90s, partly for professional purposes, that helped
kick-start my website.
PM: How did you develop as a maze-maker?
AG: Mazes fascinated me as a child. I started drawing them at a
very early age, longer ago than I can remember.
The logic of maze drawing is limited however, and not very
intellectually challenging. By my teens I was looking
for ways to make my mazes more 'grown-up' - more challenging
for me as a designer, and less monotonous for my audience to
solve. Firstly I started exploring structure and patterns
(pipes, weaves, knot-work, 3D-surfaces etc). Then simple
logical constructs such as arrows. Inevitably I found myself
incorporating more and more rules and logic, just because
I needed new challenges.
Only with the advent of the web did I discover there were
others out there like me, who had made the same journey, and
'invented' many of the same ideas along the way.
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