Today, I read one of the most awesome blog posts I’ve ever read about the creation of something. The post was by the team behind the popular mobile game Threes (yes, the one that spawned the even more popular 2048 series of games) detailing the 570 emails and 45,000+ words exchanged between them over a period of one and a half years to make a game that has broken away from the entire mobile gaming market and shown us what wonders can be done on a four by four game board.
I must confess, I did not read the whole thing. I read about a quarter into the page before skipping down to look at the artwork and reading the conclusion. I found the developers talking about how Threes has turned out to be a lot more famous than they had imagined and how amazed they are at the growing community around it. They are also highly critical of the fakes, the ‘inspired’ games and the outright rip-offs that are flooding the markets.
But here’s the thing – 2048 became famous because it’s gimmicky. The clones are famous because of the original, not on their own merit. But Threes? Threes is unique. There’s no match for the excellent game, the wonderful team behind it and the level of innovation that’s gone into the making of the game.
Along the way, in the article, you can download early prototypes that can be played on both Mac and Windows and are excellent games in themselves. They are different from the gameplay of the final game, yet are impressive in their own right. Here’s one such game that I downloaded and played and was instantly addicted. It’s a brilliant take on Threes, twisting the game with a new angle of gameplay.
So this is what I have to say to the team behind Threes –
Do not lose heart. Scammers will come and go, but your hard work is what stands before the public today. They will approve.
But do not stand on your laurels either. I believe it was the CEO of Rovio (behind Angry Birds) who said, “Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day.” He’s not wrong. You called out 2048 as a game that’s inherently flawed as it can be finished too easily. That’s true. But it’s popular and it’s a derivative of your work. So go ahead, steal what is already yours and add it as a fun mode to your game.
Do not hide your excellence. You are a runaway success. You may need more money, but get more people, finish those games you have showcased in the blog post and show them to the world. The one I played is nothing short of amazing. It made me fall in love with Threes all over again. It’ll bring people back to you. You are at a similar stage which Angry Birds was at with their games. They innovated only a bit every time but every game they released was an instant hit. Your ideas are already a hit. Bring them forth.
Finally, yes, pursue the Mobile App Stores. Tell them to remove the fakes and the rip-offs. But don’t wait for them to do anything. The thieves don’t have the one thing you do – an original idea. They’ll disappear into ignominy soon, but Threes will live on.
For all Threes lovers, I leave you with this artwork that I hope will inspire you to keep playing Threes and keep aiming for the Lion. Cheers!
And some other Threes Artwork –