I started Puzzles By Joe in 2000. From 2000 to 2003 I created 9 games of varying fun and complexity. The first 7 were made for the Windows desktop and sold only from Puzzles By Joe. After that, I made a couple of full screen games that sold on Big Fish Games before the current Casual Games explosion took place. I also made some demo games trying to get Pogo and Pop-cap interested in my stuff.
In Feb of 2004, I began working for iWin and I co-created their Mah Jong Quest franchise. That franchise was the red-headed step child and although it performed well, it was overshadowed by the Jewel Quest franchise. Mah Jong Quest ended up being a trilogy that sold well over 500,000 copies and generated well over 3 Million in revenue for iWin.
At the same time as Mah Jong Quest-III was being launched there was a price-war in the Casual Game industry and most prices dropped from $19.99 to $9.99 and really, most games were being sold for $6.99. Since then, only a few “deluxe” games get sold at the $19.99 price point. As the budgets for these “deluxe” games grew exponentially, the ability for a game to actually make money was less and less of a sure thing.
Some other time, I’ll bore everyone with the details of my semi-big-budget game that was semi-green-lit on 3 different occasions before having the plug pulled for good in Sept. of 2009. I spent the next 2 months working out a semi-amicable split with iWin that allowed me to keep my original ideas and I decided to try to put out a game in a year and see if I could survive in the shallow non-Deluxe end of the Casual Game market pool.
Clutter was ready in November of last year…but did not see the light of day until February. It made it to #25 on Big Fish, which was just good enough for me to decide to do a sequel. In addition to Puzzles By Joe, I’ve been working for a local company for reasons that will be explained in a future post.
Clutter-II is now fully designed and the intent is to see how fast I can get it implemented/coded/tested/ready to ship with a rock-solid goal of Sept. 30th. I’ll be back on a daily basis (mostly) to talk about how Clutter II is progressing.
I’ve made my 5 “best” old-style games available here – Recon, FitTris, Rack’Em, GapWar, and Noah’s Arc. I’ve removed all the nagware stuff that was in them and they seem to work well. I wasn’t the best at “explaining” the mechanics of a game back then…and I didn’t always put in tutorials that were useful enough, so feel free to ask me questions here or in email.
Down the road, I’ll eventually get around to putting my other games on here. (I know that everyone just can’t wait for Math Wheels to show up).
As always, thanks for reading…