A 74-year-old retired teacher from Leeds is hoping to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Wordle having developed an app that revisits one of his favourite word games from his school days.
Graham Jaggers, who was a teacher for 40 years before turning app developer and also keeps himself youthful by performing as lead singer of The Johnny Gray Band, admits that he cannot type a single line of code, so he turned to a partnership with Indian developer, Shriv ComMedia Solutions, to create The Never-Ending Game. The CEO of Shriv ComMedia, Atul Kumar, is now also a partner in Jaggers’ UK business.
The game is an adaptation of a childhood game Jaggers knew as DONKEY, and sees players compete with each other or their device to make strings of letters, without completing a word. Players lose if the string of letters cannot be used to make a real, longer word at some point in future, but also if they are first to complete an existing word. The game also helpfully tells you of the meaning of the words you’ve completed in case you’re caught by surprise, and offers a range of difficulty levels.
Jaggers says that he has so far invested around £300,000 of his own retirement fund into developing and marketing the app, including a £10k personal loan from the British Business Bank, and he is now hoping to attract further investment: “We are looking for either equity investment in return for shares, maybe as much as 33.33 per cent, or personal investment using the SEIS scheme where 50% is refundable as tax credits,” he said. “We would use any investment to fund a powerful marketing campaign and finish the development of the sister app NE-Connect.”
The NE-Connect iteration of the app is the human vs human version of the game, which Jaggers says is about a month from completion. Looking ahead, he has also developed concepts for board and card-game versions of the Never-Ending Game, as well as a TV game show adaptation. He also intends to keep expanding the game’s dictionary, which currently houses over 100,000 words and allows users to submit new words for consideration.
The NE-lite app is available on the Apple and Google app stores, and can also be played on the NE-Games website. We can confirm it’s highly addictive.