Joseph Gatto says he’s constantly looking for ways to improve the things people use.
While watching his girlfriend absorbed in a word game on her iPad, he had a couple of ideas about what would make them better.
“I’m always evaluating how to make something better, how to make something simpler with design,” says Gatto. “I thought we can easily make our own game — here’s what we can do better, what we can do different.”
He and Mercedes Grundy thought they would design their own game and if they believed the concept had potential, then take it to a developer to turn it into something playable on Apple devices.
The couple came up with WordWorthy, a new game which combines word searches, the occasional exploding or multiplier tile, and the ability to slide tiles where you need them.
The sliding tiles is a new twist on word games and it may help frustrated players.
“Bookworm was a big inspiration,” says Gatto. “But I’d keep thinking, ‘What if I had that ‘E’ over here.’ ”
The couple launched their Apple device app on Jan. 8.
Gatto grew up in Hamilton and attended Holbrook elementary and St. Thomas More high schools.
He studied advertising at Mohawk College and is currently an art director at an ad agency in Toronto.
The couple met at a dinner party about a year ago. They found they had the same interest in movies and shared the same birthday — the Oct. 18 date is how they came up with Ten Eighteen Studios, their new venture. It is the first entrepreneurial effort from either of them.
“We have a couple more ideas that we’ve been brainstorming,” says Gatto.
He doesn’t want to give away too many details, but one is a productivity app tentatively called Eye Inspire to help users file photos more efficiently and then find them quickly among the thousands they may have on their phone.
WordWorthy can be found in Apple’s app store and at wordworthyapp.com.