Chesstris.com is home to games conceived and created by Martin Grider. It’s his playground and game development blog as well as a forum for him to openly discuss games and game design theory.

Martin is inspired by action puzzle games (like Tetris), as well as board games (especially abstract strategy games and euro-style games). He imagines there is a tangible link between the two, both in concept and design, as well as how these styles of games focus the player’s thoughts into a repetition of their specific logic.

More information about Martin can be found all over the web (including his resume at martingrider.name). Martin has been developing iPhone applications since late 2008. Before that, he cut his programming chops working on server-side web development. He’s written games using both the high level Objective-C APIs as well as dabbled in in lower-level C++ and raw OpenGL ES. (He’s also dabbled in Processing, OpenFrameworks, Unity, SFML, and PuzzleScript.) He is passionate about mobile game development and game design for video games and board games. He is a proud member of the IGDA, where he has presented at and regularly helps organize the local Twin Cities chapter. In 2014, he presented at GDC in San Francisco on Mobile Game Usability.


Video games I have worked on

  • Hiway VR Hockey (2016) – A hockey goalie game for the HTC Vive. This was shown in the lobby of actual hockey games at the booth of MN Wild sponsor Hiway Credit Union. The owner and goalie of the MN Wild played it on a FOX Sports TV spot.
  • Soil Nutrient Game (2016) – A large (48″) touchscreen game about soil nutrients for the Nebraska State Fair.
  • Slide Quest (2014) – Universal iOS game inspired by Threes! It re-imagines the swipe mechanics that game popularized combined with an RPG character and theme. The artwork for is from the Oryx 16-bit fantasy sprite pack.
  • Catchup (2014) – Universal iOS version of this 2-player abstract strategy game designed by Nick Bentley. I worked with Tysen Streib again on the AI, and music/SFX were created by Tori Kamal. This started out as an excuse to write the asynchronous multiplayer code (it uses Game Center), but ended up as a bit of a showpiece.
  • RE@L Match Numbers & Counting (2013) – iPad game for toddler age kids. I helped design this game, and was the sole iOS developer. The game was developed by Side House Productions, and published with RE@L. Two other apps, RE@L Match Words & Counting and RE@L Match Numbers & Words were developed/published simultaneously.
  • Root Down (2013) – An abstract strategy Board Game for two players playable on the iPad. This is my original game design and I did all the development.
  • For The Win (2012) – An iPhone board game conversion I worked on for Tasty Minstrel Games. I did all the iOS development.
  • Oppo-Citrus (2012) – My take on the opposite of Tetris. This was my concept and I did all the development sans graphics and music/SFX.
  • Tic Tac Math (2010) – I developed the original version of this app, as well as the second (Universal) release for IPMG while working at Clockwork. Update: In 2015 I updated all the TicTacMath games in the app store, as well as created a new “Trilogy” app that includes Basic Math, Fractions, and Algebra question types, as well as added statistics.
  • ActionChess (2009) – This was my first iOS app, as well as the inspiration for this domain name. It was my idea, and I still think that idea hasn’t reached its full potential.
  • Go-Tetris! (2007) – This was my first game, written in ActionScript 2.0. It was also my first (and last) flash app of any kind. It’s my original idea, and I did all the graphics as well as development.

Board games I have designed

  • Martin’s BGG designer profile
  • Entanglement (2015) – A two-player abstract strategy game with very simple mechanics playable in 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Xit (2014) – A two-player abstract based on the Tixel family of board games originally devised by Martijn Althuizen.
  • Mystique Pillars (2014) – A simple card game for 2-6 players using the Mystique Deck, a card game system with 60 cards. This game was one of 13 games published in the “12+1 games for the Mystique Deck” book.
  • Root Down (2013) – An abstract strategy game designed to use pieces that “activate” other pieces. I created a quick-and-dirty app to facilitate playing this (see above).
  • 4X Dice (2013) – A self-published / web-published dice game.
  • Eat Thyself (2012) – A simple abstract strategy game created for the 2012 Global Game Jam. (BGG)
  • Spice (2011) – An abstract game using the Shibumi game system. Spice is based on another game called Ketchup. Spice was selected as one of the best 30 games for the Shibumi system, and included in a book on the subject.
  • SIX D SIX (2011) – This is actually a game “system”. I challenged myself to design a bunch of games (ended up with six) that use dice but do not feel random in their outcomes. (BGG)

Talks & Presentations