The New York Times has launched Letter Boxed, a game where players spell words by connecting letters lining a box.
Letter Boxed is the second game to launch out of a prototyping process created by The Times’s Games Expansion Team, led by gamemaker Sam Von Ehren. The group launched in the summer of 2017 and its charter is to create games that will challenge and delight Times readers in new ways for the next hundred years. It launched Spelling Bee in 2018.
To create a game, the team goes through the same basic process each time, starting with brainstorming a variety of puzzle and game ideas and creating rough mock ups and comparing them to existing games. Then, smaller teams develop the most popular ideas, create a prototype and then ask Times staffers to play-test it. Next, the team analyzes the play tests to get a variety of perspectives and a digital version is created for further testing and iteration. The last step comes when the game is tested with a select group of players on NYTimes.com. If it’s well-received, a production-level version of the game is created for the entire Times audience.
A subscription to the Times Crossword is required to access Letter Boxed.
The Times Crossword has more than 400,000 subscriptions.