Chuck’s Challenge – our feature-packed, free-to-play puzzle adventure for iOS devices – has been going through a major upgrade. After many months of hard work the new ‘version 2.0’ build is on its way to Apple for approval.

Therefore, to get you ready for the release of the biggest update ever to Chuck’s Challenge we thought we would give you a brief history of the game and a sneak peak at the over 75 new features that are coming in Chuck’s 2.0!

This first post will cover the history and origin of Chuck’s Challenge with an interview and insights from designer Chuck Sommerville himself.

Why did you decide to make Chuck’s Challenge?

Chuck:  Even though I created Chip’s Challenge in the 1980s, I still get many requests to build new games, especially from a large homebrew community, which I’ve been working with.  So far they have made hundreds of new levels based on the original game elements. Adding this enthusiasm with the new uptake of digital publishing and the adoption of smartphones, it was the right time for us to develop a new game; with Chuck’s Challenge being that game.

What’s different between Chuck’s Challenge and Chip’s Challenge?

Chuck:  Chuck’s Challenge has the ability to rewind time so the player can undo multiple mistakes. Whereas Chip’s Challenge was brutal! You would be playing a level for 20 minutes and if you made one mistake, it was right back to the beginning again. But there is a clock ticking, even when you rewind time, which rewards player who don’t use the undo function.

We also decided to make the levels shorter, not only to appeal to the new player, but also to make the game less repetitive and more concentrated.


Was the development of Chuck’s Challenge different to the development of Chip’s Challenge?

Chuck:  The development was extremely different.

I was the only programmer On Chip’s Challenge, but I had a team of about 10 level designers and 10 testers to speed me through the process. All those engineers and testers had just finished the rest of the initial Lynx games set, and were available to help finish my game. After finishing the game code, my job consisted mostly of bug fixes, and being an editor, selecting and arranging the levels into a sequence I liked.

On Chuck’s Challenge, since I didn’t have the experience developing for the iPhone and Unity, we have a very talented development team to do all the heavy lifting. My job is to oversee the design to make sure the game has the same flavour as Chip’s. It’s more of a level of abstraction for me, but I think it works.

Who decided to call the game ‘Chuck’s Challenge’ and base it on you?

Chuck:  It was our executive director’s idea who also decided we should make all the characters richer. As such, we spent months designing Chuck, Woop, and his pets which we shared the evolution of on Facebook, so we could get feedback from the fans. Amusingly, we spent more time doing this than it took me to originally code Chip’s Challenge (which only took 10 weeks), but I’m really pleased we did.

Do you think there will always be a place for simple but addictive puzzle titles such as Chuck’s Challenge on mobile platforms?

Chuck:  Yes, however I think a game can evolve with the player.

So, currently we include over 70 different game elements with many more coming, with several more already designed that we plan on releasing further on. For example, we have some logic switches, so you can build a basic computer if you wanted to. Watch this space!

What do you think separates Chuck’s Challenge from other puzzlers in the App Store?

Chuck:  Chuck’s Challenge was designed from the beginning to be a user-generated gaming platform. The team strongly believes that a person’s first steps into game development should not be about learning how to code, it should be about game design.

So, you choose to be a player, a reviewer, or a designer – it’s up to you.

Follow Chuck’s Challenge on Twitter (@ChucksChallenge) and Like Chuck’s Challenge on Facebook to be kept up to date on the latest news on Chuck’s Challenge 2.0!