Building a game for fun
Back in November, I was browsing games on a boring 4 hour train journey. There are a lot of sudoku games on Google Play. Some of them have respectable ratings and millions of downloads, but none of them felt right to me. They didn’t feel at home on Android, so I started to sketch out what a sudoku game could look like with the Holo design language.
I didn’t want fancy graphics or complicated customisation options. I wanted something clean, simple, flat, familiar and content-first. This quickly became something I was going to do. The game in my head seemed so obviously missing. I tweeted my fear that I was about to sink a lot of time into something people would never find in such a saturated category. Okay, maybe not quite a stroke of genius, but I was excited.
When the train arrived, I had a project on GitHub and a really clear idea of what I was building. The first version took two months of spare evenings and weekends. I finally had something that I was comfortable releasing and hit the button on Christmas eve.
I was on that same train last Friday when I noticed a bunch of crash reports for the game in my inbox. I’d never had two on the same day before, so I loaded up Google Play to check the featured section. That was a bit optimistic, really, but I knew that the featured apps changed on Fridays. It had happend! The game has been downloaded over half a million times since then.
I’ve worked on a couple featured apps before, but this felt different. It’s always been as part of an incredible team. This was just me. It wasn’t my job. I did it for fun, in my spare time.
Taking it places
The sudden influx of users has brought a lot of great feedback. I’ve read every email and comment. They’ve been amazingly helpful in planning the next couple of updates. There is definitely more to come.
Download the game and let me know what you think.