Pocket God

Meet the guys behind Pocket God

February 11, 2010: 6:00 AM ET

Their pygmy-killing iPhone game is the unlikely winner of this year's "Best App Ever" award

Dave Castelnuovo and Allan Dye. Photo: Spencer Brown

It started as a week-long "sprint project" -- a bit of bare-bones entertainment for Apple's (AAPL) iPhone, written as quickly as possible and published last January.

Within hours, users were complaining on the Internet that the game -- which involved bumping off tiny island dwellers by flicking them into the water or launching them toward the sun, with no way to score points or win anything -- wasn't worth the 99-cents they paid for it.

Surprised and little hurt, its creators -- programmer Dave Castelnuovo, 40, and graphic artist Allan Dye, 39 -- promised to put out a new version. Which they did the following week, incorporating some of their users' suggestions and sending it back to Apple for approval. They did it again the next week. And the week after that, for 14 weeks straight.

Thirty updates later, Pocket God is not only a perfect example of something sort of new -- user-directed software development -- but one of the best-selling programs on the App Store.

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