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Casual Design: Jason Kapalka and Bejeweled Twist

Designing a successful casual game is a matter of balance and precision, and Bejeweled, Zuma and Bookworm creators PopCap are one of the masters of the art, with a projected $170 million in sales in 2008.

So how do they do it? The firm has just released Bejeweled Twist, the first major gameplay update to its popular match-three title, and one that significantly changes the way the game is played.

Therefore, Gamasutra spoke co-founder and chief creative officer Jason Kapalka about just what separates a "clone" from a true innovation in casual gaming, and how he balances his games to be accessible for his core audience.

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