Tiny Crosswords: A New Beginning

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Welcome to MagnetiCat! We are happy to you made it here in one piece. About one month ago we moved again, from Iceland to Portugal. New year, new country we have never been in before. We will likely stay here for the next year, at least. Then we will see.

About 6 months ago, in between freelancing jobs and designing games that were completely out of our means in terms of development time and effort, I decided to pick the simplest idea I had for a game and get it done. The idea had to be the simplest, both in game design and in art requirements, and had to be doable under the terrible pressure we were undergoing at the time. And back then, we did not even know we were going to leave the country in November. Funny times. By October, I was pretty sure I was going to die before the end of the month.

That’s the context in which Tiny Crosswords was born. A simple syllabic crossword game, with bit-sized crosswords perfect for people on the run, designed from the ground up for touch screens.

It seemed so simple, back then. But the simplest things are the most difficult to design right. We retouched and tested the interface for a long, long time. Longer than I want to admit. Every pixel counted, because the screen had to include the grid, the tiles, and the crossword definitions. At the same time, the interface had to be a pleasure to use, and elegant. Finally, the game had to be playable with just one hand, by using your thumb (I imagined people playing it while riding the subway, for example).

Apple’s guidelines don’t lie – if you want to make the experience pleasant, it is better to keep the minimum size of an interactive element to around 40px by 40px. A little less than that, and the experience will become too frustrating for plenty of gamers.

I will write a more detailed post about the game and its development once it has become available in the App Store, which should be very soon.

Meanwhile, we need your support. Please follow us on Twitter, or join our Newsletter (check at the bottom of this page) to be notified when new stuff happens at MagnetiCat. We won’t spam you, I promise. OK, OK, maybe I will send you just a cat photo or two, once in a while.