Edgewise for iPhone (and iPod touch) was released on the iTunes App Store on October 25th.
It’s a solitaire card game. I’ve seen it called King’s Corners elsewhere (more on this below). You deal cards one at a time into a 4 x 4 playing field. Face cards must go around the edges in specific places. When the field is full you remove sets of cards that add up to 10. Rinse, lather, repeat, until you place all the face cards (win!) or until you can’t place a face card because there are no places to put it (lose!). You mostly lose, but for some reason people can’t seem to put it down.
Edgewise and I go way back.
I first wrote it in the early 90’s while I was working at a place called General Magic. All the engineers were asked to participate in a coding exercise. The goal was for the engineering team to take a few days away from our normal duties and to create some fun little games for the platform we were designing and building. (The platform was called Magic Cap and it was cool beyond description, so there is little point in describing it here. I’m not talking about the portable devices or the user interface, though they were cool in their own way. I mean the underlying software architecture. Man, was it ever cool.)
I thought and thought and thought and made up Edgewise. The name Edgewise didn’t occur to me until the game was almost finished and, well, it needed a name.
Edgewise was popular with the other team members, though not quite as popular as another game called Scramble invented by John Sullivan. Not that I’m bitter, or anything.
Imagine my surprise upon discovering that this game, or at least something very like it, had already been invented! Decades earlier! I thought I was so smart, inventing a popular game like that. I’m still proud of inventing it, even though I didn’t think of it first.
I’ve investigated the history of King’s Corners a tiny little bit, but I don’t know who (else) invented it or when. There is one significant difference and one minor one between Edgewise and King’s Corners. In Edgewise any combination of cards adding up to 10 may be removed from the board, but in King’s Corners only tens and two card combinations adding up to 10 may be removed. Oh, in Edgewise the Jacks are on the left and right sides of the board. In King’s Corners they’re traditionally on the top and bottom.
I have ported Edgewise to several platforms over the years. It’s a useful start for me since I know it so well and can concentrate on learning the new system and tools.
It started in Magic Cap, of course.
Then PalmOS some time in the mid 90’s.
A few years later I made a version for Cocoa on Mac OS X 10.0.
Right about that time I took a job at Apple working on the secret project that became the iPod. A year or so after starting I made an iPod version. Since I was a manager and wasn’t doing any coding on that project, at least officially, I kept it a secret.
Much later came Cocoa, again, this time on Mac OS X 10.4, with 10.3.9 compatibility. That one was kind of fun. I guess they all were.
And finally (yeah, until the next platform comes along) the iPhone version.
The iPhone version is the only one I have charged money for or widely distributed. I figured I should at least make back the money I spent on the iPhone Developer Program and the iPod touch I bought for testing. If it sells really well maybe I’ll spring for a new MacBook Pro.