Gamecraft

This blog is all about the craft of making games, and in particular, computer games. Gamecraft involves a broad range of topics, including design, development, quality control, packaging, marketing, management, and life experience.

Name: Gregg Seelhoff
Location: East Lansing, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Most Popular Solitaire 2.00

An update to yet another successful card solitaire game is released.

One week ago, Most Popular Solitaire 2.00 was published by Goodsol Development. This is a major upgrade to a product first released (for Windows) in 2003. Most Popular Solitaire is a collection of 30 of the most popular (surprise!) card solitaire games, including all of the favorites: Klondike (often known as simply Solitaire), FreeCell, Spider, and a number of (well, 27, obviously) others.

In terms of features, either the most important or least important, depending on ones system, is that Most Popular Solitaire 2.00 has equivalent versions for both Windows and Mac OS X available. This new version also includes Climb Mode and 13 bonus games in the full (purchased) version, as well as a number of other smaller features. (Of course, everything is a new feature on this initial Mac release, but it is an improvement on Pretty Good Solitaire Mac Edition 1.0, which included the same 30 games.)

In terms of technology, this release used the same revisions of our Goodsol Solitaire Engine that were used for Goodsol Solitaire 101 version 1.01 (on Windows) and Pretty Good Solitaire Mac Edition 2.01 (on Mac OS X). These are the last planned updates before the next GSE upgrade, which will add a few additional features and make some internal changes to reduce the source code differences between platforms.

The marketing challenge for this product is handling both the Windows and Mac OS X versions simultaneously. Having the same price (and registration codes) for both makes it easier, and also allows customers to switch to Mac (you know, or the other way) without having to repurchase. The biggest issue is the different approach to trial versions: whereas the Windows version can be converted into the full version by entry of the registration code, the Mac OS X version has a separate full version download.

In the three weeks since the latest Pretty Good Solitaire Mac Edition update, that product has risen (back) into the top 5 on Most Popular in the Cards & Puzzles category for Apple Downloads, but Most Popular Solitaire (Mac Edition) is now in the top 20 (and climbing) in only a week. Downloads of both products (trial versions) are increasing, but we will have to see how that translates into sales.

In any event, somebody is enjoying our games, and I dig that.

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