Apparently Ginter has been live, somewhere, for a while (I was unaware) and 2009 co-champ/2010 team-champ Nick Jacoby has a little info about this year's code.
I'll be curious to see how this year's code plays out. Each of the previous year's codes were a variation on the transposition cipher, some of which included using null characters (dummy characters to be thrown away).
The interesting thing about the evolution of the Ginter code is the use of implied and written keys.
For instance the first code in 2008 used like words to link together a chain of cards (implied order), and then used numbers to grab the word and set the position of said word. Very cool.
The second year, 2009, the first key was implied through the patterns found in the borders of the 100 code cards. Once this order was set, a boxed letter on each card told you which letter you needed and the message that was formed gave you the last key to the transposition which used the symbols on the cards, and the color of the backgrounds. Null characters also needed to be removed from the final string of characters to make a readable message.
And last year, 2010, the first layer of transposition was implied through the use of subsets (Celestial Stars) and perhaps even the code advert card (constellations in the background). The second transposition key was written on the cards in the form of stats on the back of the card. Also cool.
Unless the Ginter Code makes a giant leap into the world of substitution ciphers (which I doubt) we should be looking at another multi-layered transposition cipher, with some implied keys and some written keys. Looking forward to seeing some cards later this week.