Design Is Why 2048 Sucks, and Threes Is a Masterpiece(wired.com)

over 7 years ago from Conlin "Wuz" Durbin, f-f-frontend @ lessonly.com

  • Nathan Griffith, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    2048 was released for free, with source available on GitHub, at no profit to its author, Gabriele Cirulli. He claims he didn't even know about Threes at the time, and based 2048 after the iOS game '1024!' as well a web-based game also called 2048: http://saming.fr/p/2048/

    Comparing the two web-based 2048s, it's obvious where Cirulli drew most of his inspiration. And his 2048 is clearly an improvement over Saming's, adding smooth and springy animations and a more memorable color scheme. A seemingly minor tweak to the formula, for sure, but one which undoubtedly influenced the game's success.

    I don't really see what chilling with the creator of Tetris has to do with whether or not your games suck, but what I do see is the story of two entirely different approaches game development, one requiring years of patient refinement before releasing a near-perfect product (at least in the eyes of its developers), the other a more casual release for the sake of making a fun iteration on an existing idea.

    In the case of Threes, success may be expected and even deserved but is never guaranteed. In the case of 2048, success was never expected and came as a surprise, but it came nonetheless. It just goes to show that no matter how hard you work on something, if your idea can be cloned by a young Italian UI designer who has never even played your game, maybe you need to start hedging your bets a little differently...

    2 points
    • Gabriel TelepakGabriel Telepak, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

      chilling with the creator of Tetris doesn't mean that 2048 sucks, it means that Threes is that good. so good that the creator of Threes and the creator of one of the best puzzle games of all time wanted to meet up to compliment /discuss each other's games.

      let's also just say that just because you call your restaurant Burger King, doesn't make it that much better than McDonald's...

      when your game (2048) can be beat by a computer or by one simple strategy, it's hardly a game. it's a time waster that makes you feel good.

      0 points
      • Nathan Griffith, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

        No, I got it. And I don't disagree -- it sounds pretty flattering.

        But when marketing a video game, your audience is much wider than the creator of Tetris.

        To take your fast food comparison even further, much like a good, 4-5 star restaurant, Threes has seen moderate success and positive reviews, reinforced by a meet-up with the Tetris guy as well as this write-up in Wired. And somehow, despite the fact that both McDonalds and 2048 will never receive that kind of recognition within their respective industries, their success spread like a global virus, far overshadowing the fancier, prettier Threes.

        But that doesn't mean 2048 (and McDonalds for that matter) suck. They may be less appealing, less glamorous, less erudite. Yet somehow they still managed to overtake the competitors. McDonalds by being one of the best real estate plays in history (read: real estate, not food), with some pretty good marketing. 2048 by being addicting and easily modifiable, leading to countless riffs and remixes all pointing back to the original github repo.

        There's certainly a lesson to be learned in that, somewhere.

        1 point
        • Gabriel TelepakGabriel Telepak, over 7 years ago

          wow, great comment. big ups good sir.

          i guess when my thought process is thanks to 1024 & 2048, some scumbag was able to download the 2048 repo, slap an ad on it, and make the App Store 2048 and jack the income that Threes deserved, my only thought process is how much clones suck = 2048 sucking IMO.

          0 points