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'Threes' developer shows the hard work that clones and rip-offs never do

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A few short weeks after superb puzzle game Threes was first released on iOS, it started earning clones. In a lengthy post on the game's site, Threes' designers recall finding the copies — straight clones, "rip-offs," and games that were "different, but not" such as 1024 and 2048 — describing a process that "made them sad." Particularly galling was the short time for clones and copies to be knocked together following Threes' launch — not because the developers had wasted their time, but because they had spent 14 months tweaking and testing before hitting on a simple and glorious game, while the clones offered "broken" experiences. In a bid to "show their working," the developers have released a fascinating chunk of their email archive, showing every element of their meticulous design process, discussing everything from how to best design a tutorial, to the proper way monsters should hug.