When it comes to dedication, many people are really only in it for the good times. When the going gets tough, the meek and unfocused tend to get distracted and lose interest.
Not so for Mike Leyde.
Mike recently scored 2,147,483,647 points on Bejeweled 2 (the highest possible score allowed by the game) after 2,205 hours and 51 minutes of game play. It took him over three years to achieve this remarkable score.
Here’s a breakdown of Mike’s overall performance by the numbers:
- 2 – the version of Bejeweled Mike chose to beat
- 3 – years Mike needed to achieve his goal
- 439 – total levels Mike played
- 2,200 – the final points Mike scored
- 18,190 – number of hyper cubes Mike collected
- 48,519 – number of power gems Mike collected
- 4,872,229 – total gems Mike collected during his run
- 2,147,483,647 – the highest score Bejeweled 2 can record
PopCap Games believes Leyde is the first person to ever "beat" Bejeweled 2.
As for the game score ’maxing out’, PopCap had this to say, "We had to give the game some sort of maximum-displayable score, and figured that was high enough; no one would ever get that many points," Bejeweled co-creator Brian Fiete said in a statement. "When Mike collected that next gem match, the additional 2,200 points would have put his score above the maximum ’calculable’ score, and much like some of the original arcade games, it caused his score to ’flip around’ to a negative number. Well, the game’s code wasn’t designed to display a negative number, so it just showed a blank where the score should be."
You might wonder why Bejeweled 2 has a max score at all.
John Vechey, one of PopCap’s co-founders, reminisced, "While developing Bejeweled 2, we debated endlessly whether it was even possible to best the 2.147 billion ’maximum’ score. We spent hours delving into intricate math equations and even created the ideal ’AI program’ to play Bejeweled with a perfect strategy. We deemed it impossible to hit such a high score and thus kept the cap at 2,147,482,575 knowing we were safe."
"Finally, man has bested machine, jewels, and game developers."
While it is clear that Leyde, who also enjoys Tetris, is a passionate casual games at heart, he doesn’t consider himself much of a gamer. He is, however, heavily dedicated to being good at what he does.
"If you’re going to invest time in something," Leyde said, "you might as well be as good at it as you possibly can, and I really enjoy the thrill of victory."