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Casual Game Design: PopCap's Jason Kapalka and Bejeweled Twist
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Casual Game Design: PopCap's Jason Kapalka and Bejeweled Twist

January 2, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next

Do you think you might ever release a Bejeweled Twist hardcore version that had the extra bits back in it, and rotations in both directions?

JK: Oddly, both those things are within the realm of possibility. There's some stuff I'm probably not at liberty to even discuss yet, some possible partnerships with people to do some strange variants of Twist.

Like licensed versions, perhaps?

JK: Collaborations, yeah. Some of those could be in the realm of possibility... strange hybrids, like a Puzzle Quest kind of thing, where there might be some more complex or RPG-based elements attached on to aspects of it.

That'd be nice.

JK: I kind of like some of that stuff. It's one of those things where you have to draw a line at some point and aim more at the casual audience, and so we did restrict some of those things.

I think it'd be good if you made one of those. Most people aren't aware that games like that have been made since 1994 -- Puzzle Quest-type games. There's a Puyo Puyo dungeon game, where you walk around on a world map and then you have random battles like in a traditional RPG, but you play Puyo Puyo.

JK: Well actually, I was aware Puyo Puyo had a lot of variants. I don't think I've played that one.

It never got released in the US.

JK: There have been a few weird variants -- there were occasional ones, Puzzle Quest was certainly the most high-profile one.

It hit at the right time.

JK: Yeah, I think there will be more. We had Bookworm Adventures a year or so before Puzzle Quest, which was not quite the same thing, but it was like the RPG-meets-word game hybrid. The same genre, not quite the same deal. I've seen a couple of Puzzle Quest rip-offs; they haven't been very good.

The new Puzzle Quest is supposed to come out pretty soon.

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix is actually using the hex grid.

JK: That's what I saw -- and you know, for a hardcore crowd, that might be okay, because they might not mind that. They're definitely not going for a casual audience, that's for sure.

No, they're not. And the game also has a space theme, as well.

JK: That sounds so hardcore.

I wonder how audiences who loved Puzzle Quest are going to feel about Galactrix.

JK: In our experience, it depends on what it is. I haven't seen the whole thing. Twist has a very vaguely spacey theme, but you wouldn't call it science fiction.

No, it's more like a Spore-style spacey than it is Battlestar Galactica spacey.

JK: And certainly we've seen that the more hardcore, crunchy sci-fi settings can turn off the casual crowd.

And the female crowd.

JK: So them trying to do that, they may not care. I do know those guys a little bit -- they're pretty hardcore gamers.

They made those Warlords games forever.

JK: It's interesting. They may have started as a "Let's just do whatever we can to make some money [game]". Obviously I think their sensibilities were such that they ended up making something kind of unusual.

Many people talk about Bejeweled clones -- that's a game that obviously had some inspiration from Bejeweled, but certainly is not something that I would have done. And certainly, it's something really cool that I'm glad someone else did. So it's cool to see a game that we did that can inspire someone else to do something really cool.

Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next

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