Hello! I’m Martin Grider. Chesstris.com is my game development blog and sometimes web development playground. The name is a mashup of Chess and Tetris, a combination of passions that that eventually became one of my first game ideas realized as an iPhone game, ActionChess, released in 2009.

More information about me can be found spread liberally all over the web (including a games resume and a bibliography at MartinGrider.name). I spent several years developing games and VR experiences in Unity from around 2015, but before (and after) that I worked primarily on iPhone applications. Before the iPhone, the first 10 or so years of my career was spent doing server-side web development. I have released many games, but I currently describe myself as a game development hobbyist.

Over the years I’ve written games in Objective-C, C++, Unity, Swift, and Lua. I’ve targeted mobile devices most often, but my first game was written in Flash for this website (the only thing I wrote in Flash), and I also love to make games for more obscure hardware, like the Playdate, Blinks, the L3D, and Arduino. I’ve also dabbled in a bunch of other development frameworks including Processing, OpenFrameworks, Unreal, SFML, and PuzzleScript. I’m passionate about mobile game development and game design for video games and board games. I’ve also been a long-standing member of the IGDA, and for many years helped organize our local Twin Cities chapter. One of the highlights of my game development careers is that, in 2014, I presented at GDC in San Francisco on Usability Lessons from Mobile Board Game Conversion.

For most of my games, I take inspiration from action puzzle games (like Tetris), and board games (especially abstract strategy and more compicated “euro” games). I imagine there is a tangible link between abstract strategy and action puzzle games, both in simplicity of design and concept (elegance), as well as how these styles of game focus the player’s thoughts into a repetition of their specific logic (flow). This similarity directly influenced the name of my game studio Abstract Puzzle.


I used to maintain my bibliography here, including

  • Video games I have worked on
  • Board games I have designed
  • Talks & Presentations

…but I’ve since moved that over to MartinGrider.name.