How long does it take to create a hit video game these days? Just about one weekend, if you ask the creator of popular puzzle game "2048."
Gabriele Cirulli, an Italian Web developer, said he was able to put together "2048," his first game, in a little more than two days earlier this month.
In the game, users are challenged to combine tiles containing similar numbers to create new tiles with larger numbers until they reach the final tile, which contains the number 2,048. Since releasing the game, "2048" has gained high popularity and sparked dozens of copycat games, much to Cirulli's surprise.
"I just made it as a fun project over the weekend, and didn't even advertise it," Cirulli told The Times in an email. "So it's very surprising."
But Cirulli isn't the first developer to find this kind of success after just a few days of programming.
Dong Nguyen, the man behind popular game "Flappy Bird," recently told Rolling Stone magazine that it took him only one weekend to create his mobile hit. Since then, Nguyen has made thousands of dollars daily from Flappy Bird.
As for Cirulli, he says that so far he has made hundreds of dollars from users who have chosen to donate money to him for making "2048."
Before creating the game, Cirulli focused on developing Web apps and blogs.
[Updated 10:15 a.m. PDT, March 28: Cirulli said "2048" was inspired by "1024" and another game that is also called "2048." Those games were inspired by "Threes," a game that launched last month.
"I just wanted to make my own version with animations and slightly different gameplay, mostly as an exercise," said Cirulli. "2048" is Cirulli's only game, and he said he has no plans to make more.
"My incursion in the games industry was accidental!" Cirulli said in an email.]