Company History

Top  Previous  Next

Previous < Customer Responsibility


Company History


Goodsol Development had its beginning in 1994 when, looking for a project to use to learn how to program in Microsoft Visual Basic, I decided to try writing a solitaire game. The result was a small collection of solitaire games that were released as shareware in 1995. This first game was not very good, so I took what I learned and started over. The second attempt became a 5 game collection called Tom's Pretty Good Solitaire, released to an unsuspecting public on July 19, 1995 as shareware. It certainly was not an immediate success, but it had a number of features that were new for the time. Unlike most of the solitaire games of the time, you could undo all your moves back to the beginning of the game instead of just one. It automatically saved unfinished games on exit, which no other game did. Soon I added the right-click quick move feature, which quickly became one of Pretty Good Solitaire's biggest selling points. In November 1995, version 2.0 was released and Pretty Good Solitaire had grown to 30 different games. At the same time, the internet was taking off and Pretty Good Solitaire's first website was born. By the beginning of 1996, Pretty Good Solitaire was actually profitable and providing a part time income.


In 1996 I released 3 more shareware solitaire games, FreeCell Plus, Napoleon Solitaire, and the Solitaire Wizard. By the end of 1996 Pretty Good Solitaire was on the internet at its current domain, In July 1997, the first 32-bit Windows 95 version of Pretty Good Solitaire, Pretty Good Solitaire 97, was released with 160 different solitaire games. Pretty Good Solitaire 97 attracted the attention of syndicated computer columnist Brit Hume, who reviewed it in his national newspaper column. Sales exploded and by the beginning of 1998, Goodsol Development was incorporated and I quit my day job. Another internet dot-com was born, but unlike all the famous dot-coms, Goodsol Development received no venture capital and funded growth entirely out of profits.


In 1998 Goodsol Development added a 2nd full time employee, my wife Anne. Pretty Good Solitaire 98 was released with 200 games in May 1998. We also added a new game, FreeCell Wizard, and we teamed up with Michael McCulloch marketing Free Solitaire, the most popular free solitaire game on the internet.


Pretty Good Solitaire 99 with 300 games was released in March 1999. In July 1999, Pretty Good Solitaire won both the Shareware Industry Award for best shareware game and the People's Choice Award for best shareware non-action game. Pretty Good Solitaire 2k with 320 games was released in January 2000, and Pretty Good Solitaire once again won the People's Choice Award in 2000. In April 2000, Pretty Good Solitaire was the shareware pick of the week at, putting it into the Wugnet Shareware Hall of Fame.


In February 2001, Pretty Good Solitaire Quest Edition with 350 games was released. In March 2001, we added another new game, Spider Wizard.