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  1. #1
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    I made a browser-based word game - help me make it better - or break it for me plz!

    I've been working on Android (AndEngine and libgdx) stuff for a while now but I really wanted to get stuff onto other platforms and so I've been toying with browser-based development.

    Getting some things to work has been a nightmare, but I've put together a word game which contains most of the elements I wanted to evaluate (online scores, game tracking, animated backgrounds, multiple resolutions/aspect ratios, speed differences etc.) and I wondered if you lot would give it a try and let me know if it works for you?

    http://www.somewhatdog.com/spellscalator

    and for mobile types on their PCS


    It 'should' work on just about any modern browser - be that on a PC, Mac, Phone, Tablet or whatever. It uses CSS3 and HTML5 but nothing too 'edgy' and it works OK on my Orange San Francisco phone (which is a decent baseline for hardware I think!!)

    Obviously as you have to drag stuff around you need a decent sized screen - keyboard Blackberrys aren't ideal :)

    There's a help system (on by default - knock it off in the menu) and a Tutorial Video (in the Menu, again).

    If you have performance issues, try one of the solid coloured background options (in the Menu again!!) - Red, Blue, Green - they disable the background HTML5 rendering.

    Any and all (constructive!) feedback greatly received. I don't think HTML gaming is really ready for primetime yet, but it's been 'interesting' playing with it (all the bits which weren't banging my head on the desk, anyway!)

    p.s. anyone else working with HTML5/browser-based gaming on here? Just wondering how popular it is...
    Last edited by trjp; 26-08-2012 at 11:11 PM.

  2. #2
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    works for me on a pretty high end PC

    letting you replace letters is a glitch?
    you can place them but not remove them unless you place one on top of another?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by biz View Post
    letting you replace letters is a glitch?
    you can place them but not remove them unless you place one on top of another?
    Firstly, thanks for trying it, it's nice to have someone else stare at it (I see it in my sleep atm!!)

    You can move letters anywhere you like and swap them around at will - that's all deliberate.

    The only thing you can't do is get rid of letters from your word if all the moving slots are full - that's also deliberate (to make longer words a bit of a risk if the letters you need don't appear).

    I did have a 'bin' at one point but it was something else to explain and the scoring system pretty-much requires you use all the letters to get the best score anyway so I chucked it.

  4. #4
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    I tried it, worked no problem on my office pc with firefox installed. I liked it. I liked how you could pull useful letters up in the hope of making a longer word and pull them back down if there's room. On the negative side, I think the letter distribution could be a lot better. In the 2 games I played I experience a string of 15 consonants (C, W, F and others) and a string of repeating M, E, N. Maybe a Scrabble style maximum number of letters with differing amounts would solve the problem (if it's even programmable, I don't know). Best of luck.

    edit: Adding a scroll speed option would be nice.
    Last edited by luckystriker; 27-08-2012 at 10:27 AM. Reason: moar feedback

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckystriker View Post
    On the negative side, I think the letter distribution could be a lot better. In the 2 games I played I experience a string of 15 consonants (C, W, F and others) and a string of repeating M, E, N. Maybe a Scrabble style maximum number of letters with differing amounts would solve the problem (if it's even programmable, I don't know).
    The string is 'random' but with an understanding of common letter distribution and a vowel 'forced' at least once every 8 letters. Random is as random does tho - and you will get strings of letters which make no obvious words.

    I actually wrote a 'solver' which plays the game and tries all possible combinations against the (192,000 word) dictionary - it would obviously run forever to find all of them, but it pretty much finds a use for all 35 letters from every string - admittedly using words that no-one but a Scrabble expert has every heard of! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by luckystriker View Post
    edit: Adding a scroll speed option would be nice.
    One of the things I was aiming for was a sense of being 'overwhelmed' a bit by the letters. There are loads of word games where you have all the time in the world but not so many which make you think on your feet - so I was aiming to generate that but fairly (e.g. the same speed on every device).

    The idea is that the letters move slower the closer to the left-edge of the screen they get tho - to give you a chance and to ensure that when you're ahead of the game you don't have to wait too-long (if it was getting boring I could increase the difference??)

  6. #6
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    Tried on my work's crappy ass computer (P4, 1GB RAM, Intel spawn-of-the-devil integrated graphics) on Chrome, works like a charm, though it does lose some fluidity every now and then; I blame the "state of the art" intel integrated chip.

    Tempted to put it into my favourites, this could tide me over many boring afternoons at work.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rauten View Post
    Tried on my work's crappy ass computer (P4, 1GB RAM, Intel spawn-of-the-devil integrated graphics) on Chrome, works like a charm, though it does lose some fluidity every now and then; I blame the "state of the art" intel integrated chip.

    Tempted to put it into my favourites, this could tide me over many boring afternoons at work.
    I'm glad you're enjoying it - I've tweaked the 'random games' thing today so you should get more interesting choices (a mix of games others have played and new games, basically).

    So far, no-one (from anywhere I've posted this - not just from here) has actually reported an actual bug or incompatibility, which means I'm either getting better at testing stuff (unlikely) or I'm in for a surprise :)

    p.s. there is one but I found it first - the Galaxy S3 (and possibly other Samsung devices with Android 4 if there are anyway) doesn't render backgrounds very well - it flickers like mad. It's a Samsung bug tho - I guess when they stop selling their ass to pay Apple the silliest judgement in history, they might fix it!? :)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoYo View Post
    There is a HTLM5 game engine that anyone can download. Visit http://www.turbulenz.biz/developers
    Imaginative spam... That's a quick way to get on my "no change in hell would I use that" list ;)

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node internetonsetadd's Avatar
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    I played it several times in FF on a notphone. I couldn't break it. My girlfriend walked in while I was playing and got really excited. :)

    Edit: my mom loves it. She had a suggestion, and I quote: "he needs some m's." Got that trjp?
    Last edited by internetonsetadd; 23-12-2012 at 10:04 PM.

  10. #10
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    Be good if you could use the keyboard to type the letters, instead of using the mouse.

    Also it ran fine on my desktop pc. Will let the wife play it later lol

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ice-Fyre View Post
    Be good if you could use the keyboard to type the letters, instead of using the mouse.

    Also it ran fine on my desktop pc. Will let the wife play it later lol
    The original game (which came to me in a dream - no really, it did!!) was designed for a touchscreen - the trick to allowing typing would be deciding which letters you should take/how you rearrange letters without 'losing' them.

    The whole 'can I drag them fast enough' thing is supposed to be part of the challenge - but I suspect twitch movement and 'word game' don't really mesh perhaps? :)

    If typing is your thing, I have a 'mostly finished' version of the old 'how many words from 6 letters' game here - it should support typing or click/dragging interchangeably.

    http://www.somewhatdog.com/wordbagel2

    I'm looking for folks to try that ESPECIALLY on weird and wonderful browser/device combos and particularly on Android devices with hardware keyboards (as I can't even test if that even works in terms of trapping the keys correctly) - CHK is ENTER but MIX you have to tap right now.

    Note: That game has 2 dictionaries (change them in the menu) - the short one is fun to play (much like Text Twist's) the long one (the full 2011 Scrabble wordlist) has some hatefully weird shit in it - but it does make the game an excellent tool for learning all those words which WILL win at Scrabble :)
    Last edited by trjp; 29-12-2012 at 03:53 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by internetonsetadd View Post
    Edit: my mom loves it. She had a suggestion, and I quote: "he needs some m's." Got that trjp?
    It's weird you say that - I use an actual word-frequency table from the dictionary, so you get a perfect distribution of letters but with additional 'forced' vowels to make it seem 'fairer' - but everyone who's played it for any amount of time reckons there's at least one letter which doesn't appear often enough :)

  13. #13
    This is quite fun. Is the tile sequence random? (it looked kind of similar both times I played) If it's the same every time that's kind of a flaw because once you get used to the tile order the game would be fairly easy to "beat". If you can randomize the tile order though I think it's a very good game.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by iridescence View Post
    This is quite fun. Is the tile sequence random? (it looked kind of similar both times I played) If it's the same every time that's kind of a flaw because once you get used to the tile order the game would be fairly easy to "beat". If you can randomize the tile order though I think it's a very good game.
    The "Game of the Day" is the same for the entire (GMT) day - to see who can find the best possible combination of those letters (most letters used*longest words found = best score)

    The "Random Game" is - well - random! :)

  15. #15
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    As a final indignity for the thread - I've got something a bit different for you lot to test if you wouldn't mind!!

    http://www.somewhatdog.com/swp2

    It's a simple physics "pool table" simulation - it's not meant to be realistic right now, I'm just trying to find out how well it works on different devices whilst throwing loads of sprites and other stuff around too.

    It's should be nippy on almost any PC/Mac with any modern (accelerated canvas/webworker supporting) browser but things go a BIT wrong on some devices (notably Android which is the only major platform not to support WebWorkers meaning it's not multi-threaded on there) - oh and it won't work on IE before 9 which is a physics limitation I can't get around.

    The messages you see onscreen are the speed it's running physics (steps) and graphics (frames) - on most PCs they should be independent with physics hopefully managing over 40 (less and balls will start to pass-thru each other) and frames being as fast as possible (it's not smooth much below 45-50 to my eyes tho).

    Any feedback apprec. - the weirder the device the better really!!

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