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I'm tinkering with a single player word game in HTML5. Feedback welcome. :)

https://seanwilson.itch.io/wordoid

I've tried to make it intuitive enough that you don't have to read a page of instructions first but let me know if I've missed the mark. I'm hoping you can learn the gameplay mechanics as you play.

I'm not using any web frameworks for this which was actually fun to do. It gave me a chance to improve my understanding of CSS animations + reflows, and catch up with changes to JavaScript.




Just played with it for a few minutes, I liked it! The only bit that occasionally tripped me up was going diagonally in my word construction, but I got the hang of it after a few rounds.

One thing that may make this easier is beveling the edges of the tiles slightly so you don't accidentally select letters on either side of the diagonal unintentionally.


Great, thanks for the feedback!

> One thing that may make this easier is beveling the edges of the tiles slightly so you don't accidentally select letters on either side of the diagonal unintentionally.

Thanks, I'll have a play with that. If you use your web devtools to inspect the HTML, you should see over each letter tile, there's actually an invisible tile on top of each one at a 45 degree angle that's being used as the real touch/mouse target for selecting letters (as accidental selection is awful if you use the actual tile as the target). Maybe there's a more reliable way but playing with the target shapes and sizes will probably help.


Nice, fun. I think a 5x5 grid would be better, at least for me. I can't hold a 6x6 in my head. Or maybe that's inevitable with the constant cycling of letters.

And maybe I wanted vowels and consonants to look different (maybe a subtle-ish color change) so I could see at a quick glance how I'm doing at board management. But who knows if this would be useful in practice. (Actually now I wonder if I can do this myself in CSS...)


Thanks, that's useful feedback! I agree some colour variations would be good for guiding the eye.

I partly moved from 5x5 originally to 5x6 because it looked better on mobile/portrait but then I found in play testing more letters gave people more room to manoeuvre when the orange/bonus tiles start appearing (where you want to delay using them).


Loved it! A few things that confused me: 1. "?" is a wild card, right? (meaning it can stand in for any letter) 2. I once got a diphthong "qu" in a single tile - not sure if it was a glitch? 3. Why is a tile sometimes yellow?


Great feedback, thanks! Sounds like I need to make the game rules clearer but hoping I can do that without explicit instructions somehow (it's a fun design challenge too). Let me know if you've got any ideas.

> 1. "?" is a wild card, right? (meaning it can stand in for any letter)

Yep! It'll autocomplete to a valid letter as you use it - there should be tons of valid 3 letter words so I was hoping people would figure it out with a quick bit of experimenting. Try just making up a long word to see if you can find one for big points (at the cost of the time it takes you to guess).

> 2. I once got a diphthong "qu" in a single tile - not sure if it was a glitch?

Yep, there's no "q" tile, only a "qu" tile to make it easier to spell something. Adding diphthong to my personal dictionary!

> 3. Why is a tile sometimes yellow?

Scoring explanation:

- Word scores directly depend on the length the word and goes up quick e.g. for a 3 letter word you get only 1 point (a deliberately lame amount), then 4 points for 4 letters, 9 points for 5 letters, 16 points for 6 letters, 25 points for 7 letters.

- The exception is yellow/bonus tiles are counted like they were two letters when calculating the word score, so one or more bonus tiles in a word grows the word score massively e.g. a 5 letter word using 2 bonus tiles will get you 25 points instead of the usual 9.

- You get rewarded a bonus tile if you spell a long word (this one for sure isn't obvious unless you play several games).

One of the core strategies is to earn a few bonus tiles with longer words, then make maximum use of them to level up by spelling words using multiple bonus tiles at once.

For the scoring, I was hoping for players to go through this thought process 1) "hmm, 3 letters words only give you a single point" 2) "4 and 5 letter words get way more points, and the score goes up rapidly by the length of the word" 3) "the bonus/yellow tiles boost the score up even faster". Sounds like this needs more work though so thanks.


This was great! Loved it and the time per level felt good as in I wasn't inordinately stressed. Got to 249 the first time but had some scares for sure.


Thanks! Glad the timing didn't feel stressful. I've had some people say they don't generally like timed games but when it was game over here they felt it was fair instead of blaming the game - seems a decent thing to aim for.

You actually get an extra second before your time runs out to increase the chance of "just in time" saves. :)


Really fun, very polished! Stream of consciousness feedback:

After a few levels I found clusters of letters I was having trouble with building up over time (there was an “X” right in the middle, and like six “I”s clumped up). I found myself wishing there was some mechanic that could clear them out. Maybe that would make it too easy though.

I really love the animation when you make it to the next level, very satisfying.

On mobile safari, holding your finger on a tile for too long causes a text selection.

I’d love a “zen mode” with no timer!


Thanks, stream of consciousness feedback is ideal. :)

> After a few levels I found clusters of letters I was having trouble with building up over time (there was an “X” right in the middle, and like six “I”s clumped up). I found myself wishing there was some mechanic that could clear them out. Maybe that would make it too easy though.

Yep, this seems worthwhile looking at. Maybe smarter letter randomisation would help this e.g. don't allow a new "I" tile in a place that has two "I" tiles already, don't allow clusters of consonants.

> I really love the animation when you make it to the next level, very satisfying.

Great! I thought I needed something flashier so I'm happy this could be enough.

> On mobile safari, holding your finger on a tile for too long causes a text selection.

Ah, thought I caught that. Thanks!

> I’d love a “zen mode” with no timer!

Yep, I want to figure something out for this. It's pretty fun thinking of different scoring mechanics and how this impacts gameplay strategy.


That was fun. I wanted to create a platform where you could drop in a game like yours and instantly enable leaderboards with groups of friends. I have couple of test games plugged in. Check it out.

http://ping3.com


Wow very well made, I did a similar thing (for kids) couple of years back, but I really like that you can swipe in your version! https://finding-nora.com/


Thanks, it's more work than it looks which you'll know. The swiping code was a bit of a pain to be honest. The web APIs for handling mice and touch events together aren't well unified.

Haha, we have the same confetti effect at the end. Nice work! Is the situation with iOS and PWAs any better since you last worked on it (I saw your note about a few issues on the GitHub page)?


Yes I also wanted to add swiping back then but I guess it’s even harder if you’re using React.

PWA’s are slowly becoming better on ios, there was another new release of safari that fixed a lot of bugs. But it’s still very niche, since Add to Home Screen is so hard to find for users


This is great! I think some words are on the screen that don't count as words (zen for example). Otherwise lovely!


Thanks! You mean "zen" was allowed but shouldn't be?


There were several words that were visible, and were words, but were not accepted by the game.


Okay, I can add them if you let me know of any others. I'm using the same dictionary as Letterpress (which is one of the best openly available ones I've found) with a few additions.


The ability to turn off sound would be nice. Otherwise, pretty cool.


Thanks! Yep, mute is missing and I'll add it. I was trying to push myself to launch an MVP without over polishing it.




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