After all of that work, it took some other developers all of an afternoon, give or take a few afternoons, to rip Threes off. One of those derivative games, 2048, all but eclipsed Threes, even though it borrowed only the superficial joys of the original while ignoring much of what makes it truly great.
I was also guilty of touting 2048, without realizing the error. Which sucks, but:
Threes transformed dramatically over the year that followed, in a collaboration that transpired mostly in emails between Vollmer and Wohlwend. The saga is available for anyone to follow. Last month, as the duo were figuring out what to do about the 2048 problem, they decided to “show their work,” giving the world an intimate look into the making of their game. It takes the form of The Threes Letters, a compendium of correspondence comprising some 40,000 words in hundreds of emails. It’s like the WikiLeaks of game design–a document dump that offers a fascinating peek behind the curtain.
Great read (and great game) all-around.