May Day – Clutter II

May Day – Clutter II

Because I work 3-days a week (sometimes from my home, sometimes at the office), I originally planned to use the 4 off days and devote them to Clutter-II. Although it took about 1 man-year to create clutter, I figure I could put out Clutter-II in less than half the time. I’ve been spending my “free time” getting this website running, thinking about Clutter-II, promoting Clutter (getting it on Amazon, packaging it up for at least 4 other languages), etc…

I’ve decided that the only way to ensure that I ship Clutter-II by September is to do at least a little actual “coding” on it, each and every day. I also want to blog each and every day, so I’ve decided each blog will have two parts. One part will be me rambling about whatever topic/story I feel like talking about that day. The other part will be a very brief description of what I plan to accomplish in Clutter for that day.

Today, for example. I want to create my Clutter-II directory and add the “difficulty” setting to the Options screen…and test that setting in the basic game.  It will go right beneath the Sound and Music settings and it will “snap to” just 5 degrees of difficulty. The harder settings will add 5 and 10 matches to each level and the easier settings will remove 5 or 10 objects. This might not work exactly as I hope, but it might, so it’s worth trying.

My true goal is to get Clutter-II “functionally” complete in the next 2 to 2.5 months, and then decide whether or not it needs a “face-lift”…or whether I want to sort-of make-fun of the fact that the game “looks” the same but plays differently.

So, to quote the dwarfs in Snow White – “I-O I-O it’s off to code I go”.


  1. Doreen says:

    Hi Joe,

    Thank you for your explanation and suggestions. I will try them. You made my day!! You are priceless!!

    God bless,

  2. Doreen says:

    Hi Joe,

    Sorry, its Doreen again. Now that I am playing Clutter again, I remember what I really hate (I know that is a strong word; but, that is the way I feel about it.) is that the first match is jiggling as soon as the game window opens for every level (maybe not all; but, enough). It also doesn’t wait a second while you look for a match and all through the game, it starts jiggling a match if you aren’t constantly clicking without breathing on matches. It is so annoying, I can’t play it for long at a time, it drives me nutso. LOL Why do you have a HINT button if you don’t need it? You actually don’t have to play the game yourself, you can just let it do all the matches for you. It is very distracting when you are concentrating on an area and it is doing it on the other side of the page. I purposely do not use those matches until I feel like it later; childish of me, I know; but, this is really a bigggg pet peeve of mine. Please stop jiggling items and let me ask for a hint when I want one, not Leon. LOL I am sure my score would be better, too.

    I have run into the same thing in other games and they drive me crazy, too (e.g., Mahjong, Hidden Object, etc).

    Oh, yes, what are the colored lights at the bottom left of the windows that keep changing colors supposed to do?

    Thank you. I may be back for more suggestions for Clutter II. I’ll bet you just can’t wait, LOL. I wonder if those things bother anyone else.

    Gotta get some sleep, it is almost 5 a.m. Goodnight and God bless.


    • joe says:

      Hi Doreen:

      You make some very good points and I will provide more options in Clutter II.

      I will point out, that you can use the Flashlight and Binoculars from the Main Menu to play the levels/game over and over that way. You can get to 50 puzzles and there is no Hint Button and no Timer when played that way. (Just a Best Time in case you want to compete against yourself).

      And best of All…No Leon that way either. No pop-up help at all. No Mini-Games either, just one level of clutter after another.

      And you can play almost all the other mini-games from the main menu (instead of every few puzzles).


  3. Doreen says:

    Hi Joe,

    I have thoroughly enjoyed playing Clutter and started to play it again. It is one of those games you never really put away, just keep the icon on the desktop so you can get to it quickly again.

    I was looking thru my gamebook list and out fell a piece of paper with your website on it; so here I am. I did d/l ‘GapWar’ to save on my desktop; but, I have not installed it yet. Norton shows some Comments/Ratings(?) with a few iffy-sounding statements that make me wonder if it is really a good thing to do. Can you ensure me that it will not blow up my PC? I’m old and can’t afford another PC (but I do have a complete backup of my PC just in case on a separate hard drive).

    I would like to try your other games also and hope they are really safe to d/l and install. I have about 500 games already and only played about 1/10th of them so far…I keep playing the ones I enjoyed, LOL. I will get to them some day.

    I would love to be a beta tester on Clutter II if you still have room for another on your list. I agree about seeing too much of Leon.

    I also love the puzzles, especially the one with the strips to place correctly horizontally and vertically. I tried to play them again and it just keeps taking me to the airplane one and weird shapes that keep changing as you move them. Did I do something wrong?

    Did you ever think of making a game of just the minigames? Look at the game ‘Simajo’ to see what I mean. I belong to two game sites where I buy waaaaay too many when they have sales. It is on at least one of them that I still belong to; your minigames are pleasantly different than most others I run into. Just a thought.

    OH OH, I have a habit of being wordy. I’ll close with the hopes that I can be briefer next time. I had no idea it takes so long to create a game. Thanks for being so good at it and letting us enjoy them repeatedly. God bless.


    • joe says:

      Hi Doreen:

      The downloads from my website should be fine. It seems no matter how big or small a product is, there are computer pirates that want to either crack the copy protection and/or just publish the unlock codes. Some go even further and hack-in adware, spyware, malware and other stuff on to an existing program. Which is one good reason not to trust the bit-torrent sites and/or other pirate software stuff. They may unlock it, you might get it for free…but you still pay a price.

      Anyway, all the programs from here are just mine and are virus free. I also don’t charge for them anymore. So GapWar, Recon, Rack’Em, Noah’s Arc and FitTris are all free to play as long as you want. As long as you download directly from here…you should be totally fine. Just use the defaults, and the install will run fine and put an Icon on your desktop for you.

      Enjoy…thanks for all the nice feedback.


      • Doreen says:

        Hi again Joe,

        Thank you for replying so quickly. I also want to thank you for the free games. I am not one who looks for freebies or goes to unfamiliar websites. Having been in the business world for many many years using computers since a floppy was really floppy, I am very leary of getting something for nothing. Unfortunately, one daughter tried to get me on a free game website…as I checked it out, Norton popped up with a ‘DON’T GO THERE’ warning…it was too late for my daugher, she was inundated with a virus(es).

        I don’t know why I trust you, finding you through my Norton browser search was a plus for sure. I read your dosier and I know no one could have made that all up if they didn’t know about computer languages.

        Now, my question is: “Why do I get a red flag from NIS when I go to install GapWar from the icon I saved on my desktop telling me it wasn’t safe because it was an ‘Unknown Publisher?’ I am back here to ask you about this to be sure you are the dreaded ‘Unknown Publisher’ in this case and I am making a mountain out of a molehill. Please put my fears to rest once more, Joe; I’m sorry for being a pest about it.

        I also want to thank you for your generosity in letting us get your games free. It is people like you who make this world of ours a better place than it appears to be at times. God bless.


        • joe says:

          Hi Doreen:

          I understand your concerns. It’s a bit expensive for me to use Verisign which makes me a “trusted” site. I’m going to try to see if there are cheaper options.

          With that said, “” is a known site and it’s been around since 2000. And it is my Brand. Big Fish Games, iWin and Amazon, all sell Clutter and the “Puzzles By Joe” brand is clearly present.

          I will look into whatever it takes to convince Norton that I’m a trustworthy site. (The last I looked, it would cost me over 400 per-year to code-sign all my products).

          Anyway…I’ll post or blog about this…as I look more deeply into it.

          I’m not going to try to convince you GapWar is safe…but it’s not like you received an email from me asking you to download the game. Clutter is a real (and safe) game (from Big Fish Games, iWin and Amazon…)…and they all list Puzzles By Joe as the developer. (Which is me).

          The internet has changed a bit since 2000, so I think you’re right to be cautious.


          • Doreen says:

            Hi Joe,

            I’m sorry for pestering you; I just have had too many hackers, crackers, and weirdos choosing to try to make my life miserable by stealing computers with my name in it, leaving a company with my CC numbers, past partners leaving with a list of email addys, etc. They didn’t hurt me; but, have made me extra cautious.

            Norton says you are safe and fine on your website; its the other guys who try to deter a person from using your products. I don’t blame you for not wanting to pay that much for a Publisher’s signature. OK, i’ll install it and see what happens.

            Thank you so much for puting up with me. Happy coding; you do great work. God bless,

  4. Hi Joe,

    Ditto the others on addiction factor AND enough of Leon’s face after the first few hundred times of seeing it… Nice face, just getting old.

    I believe there should be an active MENU button at all times, in case someone must pause or quit regardless of where he/she is in the game. And definitely after the first round of credits and thanks, someone should have the capabiilty to click away when replaying and reaching the end (the faster to go back to the beginning and do it all over again!)

    One other thing: Part of the real fun is discovering the coins. When you unlock the flashlight and the binoculars, and play the levels again and again, there are no coins or letters to find. Can you make that part of the “forever” gameplay, just for grins and giggles? Definitely the coins, and maybe not letters, just symbols on the Scrabble tile-looking pieces that unlock another level or something…? Just an idea.

    And if the other puzzles get unlocked, maybe a few new ones thrown in for more challenge…?

    I have never played and replayed a game as much as this one in my entire life, in spite of ol’ Leon and his blond and brunette friends making such frequent visits. Need more please!

    • joe says:

      Hi Teej:

      You bring up many good points. I didn’t understand your “his blond and brunette friends making such frequent visits” remark. I understand that Leon shows up a lot but I don’t understand where “blond and brunette” comes from.


      • TereLayne says:

        All you see is the backs of the heads of two women, one brunette and one blond. They’re the two sitting in the theatre chairs looking at the screen announcing Leon…LOL Believe me, I’ve replayed this game so much I can just about give you any detail you want!

  5. Maureen Rettmann says:

    I am addicted to Clutter—especially the venetian blind sub-game that has pictures cut into a billion parts and you move vertically then horizontally. Have almost worn it out! Any ideas on where I can get more of them?

    • joe says:

      Hi Maureen:

      Thanks for being the first comment at the revamped Puzzles By Joe.

      There was a game by the guy who created Tetris (Alexey Pajitnov) sold by Microsoft called Pandora’s Box. It had many, many variations on the picture puzzle theme and well worth the time if you can find it (and it works on your machine). I tried downloading a demo (from the Microsoft site) but it has a direct-x incompatibility and I wasn’t able to go further. The game is 12 years old…but it was way ahead of it’s time. Very fun, very challenging.

      Other than that, you can use the Arrow buttons to switch pictures (reaching at least 60 of them) and you might like some of the other variations like the stretch/shrink ones.

      I’m glad you enjoy my game. I’m going to do my best to get the sequel out by September, and the venetian blind puzzles will be back with at least 60 new pictures.

      Do you have any other things you’d like to see in the Sequel?

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