Experiment

Conventional wisdom is that only the most polished and complete games are successful on mobile phones, but some guys made a rudimentary implementation of Pictionary and sold their company for $200 million, so screw conventional wisdom. I’m going to try something different.

In a few days, Rumor Games will be releasing Rare Earth on Windows Phone. It’s a project I’ve been working on for a long time (in mobile game terms). It started as a prototype to see what kind of fun ideas would come from playing with orbital mechanics. Over the last few months, it has grown and changed, leading to several spin-off experiments. But the core mechanic of flinging planets into orbit was something I wanted to see through, and while the experiments were fun, none really brought it to the next level of excitement that I was looking for. Usually, a prototype like this would end up shelved and never see the light of day.

Now, I’ve followed other peoples’ projects that seemed interesting and fun from the outside, but ended up being canceled for one reason or another. Maybe the sales projections weren’t quite where they needed to be, or maybe the product just wasn’t gelling right. But my interest was real and genuine, and I absolutely would have tried them, and would have supported them if I saw promise in what I tried. And with the low barrier to entry of mobile, why not let people try?

All of this led me to this experiment. I’m going to release Rare Earth as-is – beautiful, but unfinished. There are no tutorials, no music. But there is an opportunity. I’ve included a (to my knowledge) one-of-a-kind voting feature, to empower players to help direct future updates. I hope people will see as much promise in this game as I do, and I want to hear from them about what excites them the most.

I want to start a conversation. Email us. Tweet us. Write reviews for the game. I promise I’m listening, and I promise I’ll keep working on Rare Earth as long as there is interest. In the meantime, we’ll keep working on our Next Big Thing.

Great Artists

Good artists copy, great artists steal.

– Steve Jobs, by way of Picasso (maybe)

Steve Jobs famously appropriated this quote, and it’s been used, out of context, to justify all manner of evils ever since. It has been twisted to mean, “Do what it takes to be successful, because history remembers the winners, not the innovators.” Watch this video of that famous line again, though:

Steve Jobs (and Picasso) are not actually telling people it is okay to outright steal. They’re reminding us to learn from the best. Build off their successes. Improve. Iterate. Not claim someone else’s inventions as our own, but use our limited resources to deliver new value instead of reinventing the wheel.

I’m going to take a page from his book and steal his quote, with my own spin:

Good artists copy, great artists incorporate.

– Kevin Tarchenski