Somewhere in the ether you probably have, like, five unfinished games of Words With Friends and Draw Something is probably still sending you push notifications even though you haven't doodled the Titanic on your smartphone in a year and a half.
Lately, though, you might be obsessing over Candy Crush Saga, bartering with strangers for extra lives and selling your first-born into a life of sweatshop labor for another shot at "Special Candy Combinations."
Candy Crush Saga recently passed Farmville2 as the most popular game on Facebook. It's basically a different version of the same Bejeweled beast that's gotten the best of most of us at some point.
If you're addicted to Candy Crush Saga—or if you have no idea what the hell we're talking about—you might what to check out Gawker's Valleywag Q&A with the Candy Crush "games guru," Tommy Palm. He's the brains behind the operation and he's currently stuck on Level 98.
Pope talks about the game's spike in popularity, why people seem to get stuck at certain levels, the concept of paying to advance levels, and the luck involved with moving toward the end of the game.
Does King employ anyone to make the games more addictive or engaging, like behavioral economists or teenagers at data miners?
It's a fairly straightforward games-making process. The difference is how we remove a lot of risk by having a team create the game for King.com and seeing how well it resonates with our target audience there; then, at a later stage, making it into a bigger game with all the levels and the kind of social envelope that we have on Facebook. We do have people working with data but it's mostly to stay informed of what is going on—making sure that people aren't getting stuck in a certain place.
Have you noticed that people got stuck on certain levels—there’s a lot out there about level 29…
TP: Level 65 is another notorious level. If you search on Instagram you will find a lot of funny fan art. We have made it so that the end level in an episode is harder to beat. Level 65 was even harder originally, with two layers of jelly on the sides instead of one layer, but we saw that too many people were dropping out so we changed it to one layer and that changed the dropout to 50 percent and then we felt we had a good balance.
Seriously, read and play at your own risk. [Valleywag]