“Less is more.” It’s something we say all the time, but how often do we actually think about what it means?
Greg Wohlwend has considered it more than most people. As an artist on games like Ridiculous Fishing, Hundreds and, more recently, Threes!, it’s his job to make the games you play pleasing to look at. But sometimes the best designs are the simplest, and that’s not just aesthetics.
“At one point we tried broccoli and cheese soup as a theme,” Wohlwend said during our interview. “You had broccoli, then you had cheese and so those are your ones and twos. Then you create soup. And maybe you create more soup. That’s obviously, as I say it, a horrible idea.”
Like previous games Wohlwend has worked on, Threes! is very minimalist. It’s about sliding together numbers to add and multiply one another. On its face, that’s hardly the most exciting subject matter for an artist to tackle. So Greg, along with his co-developer Asher Vollmer, looked for more distinct designs: from broccoli and cheese soup, to military ranks, textile patterns and hydrogen atoms.
Over the game’s year and a half of development, the duo went through something like two dozen themes. None of them worked. Read more »