I have a cube puzzle, where there are 8 wooden blocks, each with a coloured ring on each face, making up a large cube, inside an open-topped clear plastic container.
The puzzle is solved by getting all of the same colour on every side of the large cube. There are 6 colours, one for each face of the cube. There is never 2 of the same coloured rings on one cube. No two faces of the large cube can be the same colour.
This puzzle is not unlike a Rubik's cube, except you do not have 9 cubes and have the freedom to move and/or rotate any cube that you like.
I am planning to make a program in VB (don't be put off this question if you don't know VB) to solve this puzzle. The 'bruteforce' method could be useful, as I have deduced that there are several ways to solve it.
First, I would like to know how many possible ways there are for the cubes to go in, given that there are 8 cubes, which can be in 8 different spaces, with 6 different directions for each cube.
Secondly, I would like to know how to go about designing an efficient program to solve this puzzle. I have great knowledge of VB, and some knowledge of C++, so I should be able to translate any C++ snippets into VB.
Thanks in advance,