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Sink Solitaire

Eric Sink has a new software product (a game).  I have to admit, his blog entry has left me intrigued.  If nothing else, he's a good marketer.  I wonder if he's influenced by Seth Godin?

http://www.ericsink.com/entries/Announcing_Winnable_Solit.html

Has he been reading the articles at desterity.com or is he just a bored CEO?

Shuffled Deck
Thursday, August 19, 2004

Sorry, that's dexterity.com.

Shuffled Deck
Thursday, August 19, 2004

Writing a new version of Solitaire?

WOW!!

This guy is a true visionary.

Art Vandelay
Thursday, August 19, 2004

Art,
Ass.

The whole point of this endeavour will be to prove something within his article . . . he's reallying going to "send something home."

I doubt Eric is interested in "banking" off of a solitaire game; but, I have to admit, I like his premise for developing the game. I bet he'll sell, at least, a few licenses (although, is it just more, or his order page just "too" easy (not asking for name, address, etc.)).

Anon
Thursday, August 19, 2004

Come on Eric, if you want my money you've got to apply gravity to the dancing cards.  Nobody plays Solitaire in space.

Kalani
Thursday, August 19, 2004

Kalani, that is part of the idea.

I guess he is making a point with using all the ideas of Positioning of Riese and Traut.
He had said that Vault really didn't followed very much the '22 immutable laws.
So he is doing an experiment here, and he will be publishing the results probably.
I would guess that he can sell much more than few copies if he tries to.
I am really intrigued in this experiment. We are waiting for the results, Eric.

Boris Yankov
Thursday, August 19, 2004

the only problem with this is that a pet project -- which he wrote to prove some ideas -- is too small and get's too little of his effort to be really successful. the thing is butt ugly so i suppose nobody will buy it and that is not because his marketing scheme was flawed.

steward
Thursday, August 19, 2004

Coming soon: Winnable Golf!

;-)


Friday, August 20, 2004

steward, I guess that will be an interesting point.
If he can make this solitaire sell well even if he does not devote much time to it, this will be an example how marketing done right can make your product sell.
I hope he succeeds for the sake of that.

Boris Yankov
Friday, August 20, 2004

I wonder if it's really a marketing experiement or if Eric is making a point about the current state of software (i.e. bloated runtime libraries).  On his download page, he made the following comment:

"Winnable Solitaire does not have an installer, nor does it need one. The EXE file is the whole program. Nothing else is required."

Maybe Marketing Isn't the Point
Friday, August 20, 2004

> the thing is butt ugly

Really? 

(sniff)

How is the app ugly? 

(sniff)

Don't be kind.  Just give it to me straight.

(sniff)

I can take it.  Really.

(cry)

:-)

Seriously, I really am somewhat curious about the specifics of what you mean.  I've got a list of reasons why this little product should fail, but ugliness of the app isn't on that list.  Should it be?

Eric Sink
Friday, August 20, 2004

Ugly?  I can tell you about ugly...

Now, I'm so curious about the objective of this exercise that I'm about to pee in my pants.  If nothing else, I've come to the starke realization that I have absolutely no life at all.

Do we really have to wait until the MSDN article is published to discover the pearls of wisdom?  Are we there yet?  I really have to pee.

Shuffled Deck
Friday, August 20, 2004

I would agree that ugliness is also a reason the application would not sell well.  When I compare your application to the solitaire included with Windows I notice several things:

1. The cards are not crisp in appearance.
2. There is no Jack, Queen or King Art.
3. I can't switch the "picture" on the back of your cards.

Art is very important to a video game.  So important that most commerical game makers hire an artist to create it.  Take a look at http://www.gamedev.net and check out the forums.  There's usually some artists over there offering their services.

So I would say that the artwork for your game has to at least match or better the artwork for Windows Solitaire.

Having said that I do like the icons on the toolbar, but I'm simply not used to the toolbar being there.  It is convenient though.

I also don't like the way the game ends.  The card animation could be a little more sophisticated.  The Windows Solitaire animation has a gravitational effect.

There seems to be a couple of minor bugs in the game.  Like when moving the first and only card of foundation slot 1, the outline rectangle of the card on the table doesn't show up.

Nag screens are annoying as well.  Perhaps a "register" button on the toolbar?

I also can't seem to beat the damn thing.  Though I have only played it twice.  Are you sure it's winnable? :-)

All in all a great effort but $12! Yikes.  I can clog my arteries at Mickey D's 3 times in a row for that!

Dave B.
Friday, August 20, 2004

err... the bug should be that the base pile outlines on the table come and go as they please.

Dave B.
Friday, August 20, 2004

Actually with reference to this little exercise of Eric's. I wonder where else is he marketing. I am assuming that he is somehow marketing to the general public, not just via his weblog etc.

I say this because I would imagine the vast majority of his weblog readers would be clued on people asking basically the same question as seen in this post.

ie, we know something is up, tell us already. *grin*.

not the type of people who would download the game for any other reason then to try to figure out 'what has Eric got up his sleeve'. Then again, I could be wrong.

I am definetly enjoying this little bit of hype (admittedly very very little) that is being generated. Kinda cool.

Aussie chick
Friday, August 20, 2004

It's not like I have a big, explosive secret which will be unveiled when the MSDN article hits.  It's true that I consider this an experiment.  I want to learn something about "indie" development.

I want the product to succeed, but it's true that my livelihood is not at stake here.  All the stories and data will be published on my weblog.  People can watch me succeed or they can watch me fail.  Either way, I just hope the result is interesting enough for some people to want to read it.

And if it's not, at the very least, I still end up with a game that I actually like to play.  And I got a chance to learn wxWindows while writing it.  :-)

Eric Sink
Friday, August 20, 2004

"It's not like I have a big, explosive secret which will be unveiled when the MSDN article hits."

Damn!  I guess I'll have to find a good self-help book and some dry pants.  ;-)

Actually, I like the fact that Eric is willing to share his business knowledge.  It's hard to find good open source business advice.

Shuffled Deck
Friday, August 20, 2004

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