By Wei-Yin Ko, Student Life
Connect 4 hasn’t changed much since Milton Bradley created it in 1974.
That is, until three Washington University alums and a fifth-year student decided that the game would be better if you could knock out your opponent’s pieces.
Four members of the class of 2012 used the programming skills they gained at the University to found Tikitak Apps LLC and release their first app, “Drop ‘r Pop,” on Sept. 21.
Launched on a shoestring budget, the app has been well-received in the Apple App Store with more than 3,500 downloads since its debut.
Will Forrester said the development of “Drop ‘r Pop” began in the iPhone app design class CSE 436, taught by lecturer Todd Sproull.
“We started in April and we decided that we want to keep doing it [after the class], so we started this company [Tikitak Apps LLC] to keep working on it over the summer,” Forrester said. “We didn’t spend anything designing the app per se, but it cost about $170 to start our website, [fund] corporate expenditures and become an Apple developer.”
While a single-player mode pits the user against an artificial intelligence player designed by graduate student Kyle Cooper, the game also has online multiplayer and “Pass ‘n Play” modes, in which multiple players share the phone and take turns.
“[Drop ‘r Pop] is basically a variation of Connect 4 where pieces can also be pulled out. So maybe when your opponent has 3 pieces in a row, you could take [one of his] pieces out to block him from getting four in a row,” Forrester said. “This opens up a whole new strategy to the classic game.”
Upon its release, the app reached a peak rank of 66 on the “top free games” section in the App Store.
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