34 comments

  • Clark WimberlyClark Wimberly, over 5 years ago

    Weird, I played 2048 a ton and only opened Threes a few times.

    26 points
    • Conlin "Wuz" Durbin, over 5 years ago

      "The title on this article is why it sucks, and what it discusses is a masterpiece" Haha :D

      I shared this mostly because of the content. It is harsh in places, but if you look at some of the details it represents a very important and somewhat harsh reality for anyone that does design.

      Your comment is the exact reason I shared this article. It is easy to fall into the trap of "I built a great product with awesome design and great usability, so I should have won the market." Unfortunately this is frequentlynot the case.

      I don't agree with the tone or the nature of the article fully, but I do think the overall lesson is a very good one.

      7 points
  • Jared CJared C, over 5 years ago

    What a terrible title.

    16 points
    • David DarnesDavid Darnes, over 5 years ago

      Agreed, why compare? 2048 was a simple browser game entirely hosted on GitHub (as far as I was aware), Threes was a whole app.

      5 points
    • Jeff EscalanteJeff Escalante, over 5 years ago

      Yeah honestly this title is so bad I would almost certainly change it if I were a mod. The article isn't that bad, it's really just a summary of the gigantic email chain that the threes' developers released a while ago, which was interesting. But it's such a desperate linkbait-y title, ugh.

      0 points
      • Conlin "Wuz" Durbin, over 5 years ago

        The title is straight from the article... I don't really see a reason to change it.

        1 point
        • David DarnesDavid Darnes, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

          I don't think its a criticism towards you Conlin, Wired are just trying rustle a few feathers so people take an interest.

          To clarify I wouldn't change the title, however people are free to comment on it as it is part of the article.

          0 points
          • Conlin "Wuz" Durbin, over 5 years ago

            Sure sure. I wasn't taking it as criticism. I just wanted to make the case in case someone did decide to change the title on here. :)

            0 points
  • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, over 5 years ago

    Threes is a beautiful game, not just aesthetically but in game design. I never felt that way about 2048. To me, it feels plays like a cheap version of Threes - simpler and easier to beat. Fun, but less interesting.

    13 points
    • Eric H.Eric H., over 5 years ago

      Agree - actually Threes is much harder and requires more strategy, too, which is why I prefer it.

      I think 2048's instant gratification (especially in the beginning stages where you just can't lose) is part of its larger appeal. Plus the free thing.

      2 points
  • Gabriel TelepakGabriel Telepak, over 5 years ago

    2048 does suck. To take somebody's years of work, clone it, slap an ad on it , make millions and steal their accomplishment is revolting.

    Threes is the meal equivalent of an well-made expensive dinner, whereas 2048 is like eating at McDonald's. Like what you want, but I like quality.

    And lastly, let's also say there's a reason why the creator of Threes, (and not the creator of 2048) has chilled with the creator of Tetris. /rant

    4 points
    • Clark WimberlyClark Wimberly, over 5 years ago

      Did the 2048 really guy make millions?

      1 point
    • Nathan Griffith, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 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 5 years ago (edited over 5 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 5 years ago (edited over 5 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 5 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
    • Ian GoodeIan Goode, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

      1024 was the iOS app that blatantly, by their own admission, sold themselves as the free version of Threes. 2048 was an web based open source version of 1024 that got really popular because it was open source. Pretty much anyone could fork the repo and put their own twist on it, that's why it spread so much. The creator wasn't expecting it to happen and eventually under peer pressure decided to try milk it while he could. Threes existence was actually irrelevant to him since his worked was based off 1024.

      So your rant is misdirected and misinformed, but then again so is the original article.

      [edit] Ha, did some rechecking and the person I was talking about who created the open source 2048 actually based it off 1024 and an app called 2048. So I don't know anything about the creator of the original app version of 2048, I assume it was a Threes copy. Just goes to show what a mess the whole thing was.

      0 points
      • Gabriel TelepakGabriel Telepak, over 5 years ago

        amen.

        the app store 2048 developer, Ketchapp, is a clone machine who downloaded the repo, and slapped an ad on it which jacked the income that Threes deserved IMO. and this all happened thanks to 1024 & the original 2048.

        call me bitter or call me blunt, but i just hate clones = hating 2048 or whatever you want to call it.

        0 points
  • Steven ReynoldsSteven Reynolds, over 5 years ago

    Yeah, Threes is a more delightful playing experience, but this article is insulting. I play 2048 because it's free and it's an amusing time-waster for an iPhone that won't last for more than 2 years.

    We're not talking about the Sistine Chapel here.

    3 points
  • Nathan Griffith, over 5 years ago

    This quote from the Threes creators jumped out at me more than anything in this article:

    We do believe imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but ideally the imitation happens after we’ve had time to descend slowly from the peak -- not the moment we plant the flag.

    This might be why everyone has made such a stink over 2048's huge success relative to Threes. Not because Threes necessarily deserved to win, but because it all happened so quickly that they never really got the credit they felt they had earned.

    But the key word there: "felt." They felt they deserved the crown but 2048 snatched it away before they had a running chance. (Plus, to add insult to injury, people were soon calling their game, Threes, the thing they had slaved tirelessly on for over a year, a mere 2048 clone.) Their blog post on the issue reeks of frustration and pent-up emotion. Quite understandably. I'd be upset too.

    But let's step back for a second. When creating a game, especially as a small indie developer, one of the risks is that your idea might be cloned. You can try to offset this risk by putting enough time in to make sure your product stands out in the crowd. And, to be fair, that's exactly what Threes did -- their attention to detail really shines through. This approach has proven to work in plenty of cases, where the rip-offs just don't quite have the same mass appeal as the genuine product.

    But unfortunately no matter how good your product is, some ideas are just more easily cloned. And 2048, which was released for free with source code on GitHub and an MIT license, was a game that shouted "clone me," and so people did. It's really hard to compete with that.

    It's especially difficult when the "clone" you're competing against is less of a game and more of an endorphin rush. 2048 gives immediate gratification and keeps the rush constant, while Threes, despite a better fun ratio, simply requires more mental energy to play. It's amazing how only a few small tweaks the formula can create such a spike in addiction.

    The creator of 2048 claims he had never even played Threes before releasing his version. Instead, he based 2048 off of another game by the same name, which itself was based off of '1024!', which now claims to be the 'original 2048' but undoubtedly started as a Threes clone.

    So here we have an immensely successful game that is at least two steps removed from actually being a direct "Threes" clone, and is released as a side project for fun and for free, yet the claim is that 2048 sucks and Threes is awesome because the team that built Threes spent months refining and designing the game, while 2048 just appeared out of nowhere with seemingly very little effort and ripped-off their idea. Despite that being the major risk when devoting so much time and resources to an indie game.

    Unfortunately, time sunk into a project does not equal entitlement. It's an interesting case study, and one I hope indie game designers can learn from going forward. Perhaps we'll see more indie games being released in the open source, "clone me" fashion, hoping to ride a bigger wave. Or maybe not. Either way, it's hard to say if Threes actually deserved more success, since 2048's vehicle for release spawned so many riffs, remixes, and iterations. I don't think the same could have ever happened for a closed source iOS game.

    2 points
    • Conlin "Wuz" Durbin, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

      It's especially difficult when the "clone" you're competing against is less of a game and more of an endorphin rush. 2048 gives immediate gratification and keeps the rush constant, while Threes, despite a better fun ratio, simply requires more mental energy to play. It's amazing how only a few small tweaks the formula can create such a spike in addiction.

      I think you hit the nail on the head with this comment. Threes put a lot of time into the game, making sure it wasn't to easily winnable, that it looked good and played well. 2048 was just hard enough that it was irritating to not win and just easy enough that you could win easily and gloat to your friends.

      If nothing else, this serves as a good parable for why a well designed, well thought-out product sometimes fails. It is a harsh reality, but one that we as designers must face. There are ways to overcome that problem, but sometimes it means going against your own personal creed. You have to ask, would I rather be remembered as the one who should have won, or the one that did.

      2 points
  • Daniel GoldenDaniel Golden, over 5 years ago

    Threes deserves more credit, in general, than they've received for their work.

    1 point
  • Nathan CooperNathan Cooper, over 5 years ago

    I wouldn't say 2048 sucks, I really enjoyed playing it on Android before Threes was available. I would instead say that design is why Threes' experience is better. The animation changes in the faces of Threes' tiles as they are about to be merged and the sounds are delightful.

    1 point
  • Nick TassoneNick Tassone, over 5 years ago

    Threes is so great. Huge in-depth piece on their blog about competitors.

    0 points
  • Ian GoodeIan Goode, over 5 years ago

    Wow, expected this to be a rant on someone's personal blog, not a headline on Wired. Very click baity from them.

    Not disagreeing that Threes! is a fantastic game, but... Does something that brings enjoyment, no matter how fleeting, to thousands and thousands of people, really suck?

    0 points
    • Conlin "Wuz" Durbin, over 5 years ago

      Yeah, its weird. Wired seems to have become a lot of click bait-y. Check out the front page: http://www.wired.com/

      0 points
      • Ian GoodeIan Goode, over 5 years ago

        Hadn't even looked at the homepage, there's a lot of cringeworthy stuff on there, like "Why Apple’s Swift Language Will Instantly Remake Computer Programming".

        That said, I still clicked it out of curiosity so hey I guess it's working for them :)

        1 point