90.7 F
San Fernando
Friday, Jun 2, 2023

Game Maker Strategizes With X’s, O’s

After capturing the attention of the gaming industry with its “Bag It” mobile game, Glendale studio Hidden Variable went the classic route for its sophomore release. “Tic Tactics,” available free for Apple and Android mobile device users, is a variation on tic- tac-toe, a game with a history dating back to ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. “Tic Tactics” is an expanded and more complicated version of the game, requiring two players to work nine instead of one grid at a time, with special rules that further complicate play. Hidden Variable’s version came out of lunch conversation involving firm co-founder David Marino, 35, and grew to where the staff was playing the game on a white board. “We did not set out to make a ‘Tic Tactics’ game. It was a happy accident,” said Nick Ahrens, 30, a creative producer at the company. “Bag It” was developed by a staff of five, while “Tic Tactics” had a staff of eight employees working at Hidden Variable’s offices in the Seeley Building, a historic structure at 1800 Brand Blvd. The game was released in November and by mid-December about 200,000 people were playing “Tic Tactics,” a number well short of the 8 million downloads of “Bag It,” a Tetris-like game that challenges players to fill grocery bags without breaking them. “Tic Tactics” is a free app while “Bag It” costs $1.99 or $2.99 depending on the mobile platform. “Tic Tactics” requires players take a turn a two-day period. That style of game play allows for “bite” sized entertainment. “You can do it on the run, or while standing in line or having coffee,” Alrens said. Hidden Variable plans to take “Tic Tactics” to the Kindle device and is looking at other platforms. It also has is no intention to limit its game to mobile devices. “We start here because of the great community around (mobile gaming),” Ahrens said. – Mark R. Madler

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Featured Articles

Related Articles