Welcome to the Three Straight development blog, a fascinating perspective on iOS development.

Or not so fascinating … depends on wether or not you’ve interested in how iPhone apps are created.

I’m developing a game for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod.  I’ll cover the entire process here: design, programming topics, game theory, marketing, and the App Store.  If this sounds interesting, read on!

Here’s an RSS feed for new posts.  Or follow @threestraight on twitter.

Thanks for your time,
Kevin Packard,


About Me

I’ve been developing software professionally for more than two decades.  Until 2009, I consulted full-time under the corporate name blackfrog software, but now I have a regular day job, creating VoIP telephone software on embedded Linux for enterprise desk phones.  In the evenings, I dabble with iPhone apps.

I wrote the code for the iPhone app Convert, designed byTapTapTap.  Convert was released in 2009, and climbed to the #2 spot in the App Store, before falling back down.  This was both gratifying, and inspiring – inspiring enough to do an app on my own.

I’m wrapping up another project for TapTapTap now, after which I’ll start Three Straight in ernest.


About The Game

Three Straight was invented in the 1970’s by a high school math teacher in Alaska named Bob Packard.  Bob happens to be my father.  He used to make the game boards out of mahogany in his woodshop, then he’d take my brother & I to school where we’d thrash on his calculus students.

The rules are simple.  Eight marbles are placed on the board, four for each player.  Players alternate turns moving marbles, one space only, no hops.  A player wins by arranging three of his marbles in a row – Three Straight!  The game is deceptively simple, but the strategies are complex.


Getting Started

I expect to begin Three Straight in late-February.  In the mean time, I have some ideas about how the game will appear visually, and what features I’d like to support with the first version.  I’ve created a prototype game board, and I’ve also prototyped an artificial intelligence game engine.  I’ll post about these in the upcoming weeks.

Thanks for reading.

By Kevin Packard                        twitter@kevinpackard

7 thoughts on “Beginning

    • I’ll get into the frameworks as I dive deeper. GameCenter for sure, for online play. iAd for revenue, maybe, if I release a free version.

      I just need to clear my plate of some other obligations first. But believe me – all I want to do is work on this game!

  1. sounds cool – I can’t wait to play it. I’ll play it with my 10 year old son, although since he already tromps all over me in chess, I anticipate the same outcome ;-(

    • I should have a playable version by the end of March, and it would be great if you installed it. You’d be an early alpha tester, but it might be interesting to watch the app gain polish.

      btw, it’s Taco Friday here in Austin. Miss it?

        • Let me get organized. I’ll write a post.

          Basically, you’ll send me the UUID of your device(s), I’ll send you the app, and you’ll install it via iTunes.

          But unfortunately, several other projects got busy all at once, and Three Straight has taken a back seat. I expect to start in ernest in mid-May, a full 6 weeks after I had hoped to.

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