Re-create WordSmith

Discussion in 'Developers Corner' started by davidblackledge, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. Jul 1, 2015 #1 of 37
    davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

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    Ok, help me out here... somebody needs to re-create wordsmith for the angry customers. I'll try to do it, but it'll take me some time.

    But most important, we need to write down the rules. I hadn't played it in years before they killed it.

    I can get a public-domain scrabble-like dictionary, I'm pretty sure, so that's not a problem.

    I think it's a row of letters, you choose from those letters, and new ones slid up to fill the gap and you could select that letter, then, until you have enough letters to spell a word.
    So:
    1. how did scoring work?
    2. How did the controls work? (left/right is obvious, but what about the rest?)
    3. how did the game end? I remember you run short on letters eventually, I guess it's just one screen full (how many tall were they?) but what happened if e.g. you clear the board?
    4. Any sense of the letter distribution? i.e. were there a lot more vowels than consonants? Maybe it's just English-usage-frequency.

    Obviously this is an opportunity to make changes, too... any suggestions? I know one: add PIP Live TV ;]

    Anybody have a screenshot? (oh...looks like there are plenty on Google)
     
  2. Jul 1, 2015 #2 of 37
    telemark

    telemark Active Member

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  3. Jul 1, 2015 #3 of 37
    davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

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    Ok, wmcbrine, he's whistling your tune... wanna add that to the Reversi server?
     
  4. Jul 1, 2015 #4 of 37
    davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

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    Most of my questions (except letter distribution and particular letter values) are answered at:
    http://myaccount.mytivo.co.nz/tivoservice/wordsmith
     
  5. Jul 1, 2015 #5 of 37
    davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

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    Oh, every letter is in the screenshot, and the values are visible. ok, then.
     
  6. Jul 2, 2015 #6 of 37
    davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

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    I got to thinking about this and realized it's way to freaking easy to not just do it.

    I'm about 50% there already. I still need to hook up the Moby crosswords dictionary, and add interesting stuff like graphics, live TV and maybe a system-wide high scores list.

    I should have it up and running this weekend.

    Here's a screenshot of what I have so far:
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Jul 2, 2015 #7 of 37
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    Dude, you know it. :D See my sig.
     
  8. Jul 2, 2015 #8 of 37
    telemark

    telemark Active Member

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    Well if I ever ask anything obvious, let's just pretend it was rhetorical. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  9. Jul 3, 2015 #9 of 37
    davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

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    Done. Enjoy.
     
  10. justen_m

    justen_m Cheesehead

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    How do we access this to try it out? I've got a Roamio Plus and Linux and Windows PCs, kmttg and pyTivo, etc.
     
  11. davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

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    Go to EnterWebz.tv/connect.html

    I didn't update the download version on my other site, so it's only at EnterWez.tv right now.
     
  12. justen_m

    justen_m Cheesehead

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    Thanks. I've never played it be fore. It is a bit addictive. There is a fair amount of strategy involved, as you can see upcoming tiles and can dump letters accordingly. I've never used any home media apps before.
     
  13. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    So my Mom is kind of happy again - THANKS! but she says that she has never seen so many U's. Is there any way you could make the tiles a little larger or maybe just make the point values on the tiles easier to see? Also one thing that seems to be missing is the game knowing when no more words can be made and ending the game.
     
  14. davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

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    Thanks, that made my day! Always glad to make Mom happy!
    When did you last talk to her? The version that has been running since late Sunday evening corrected the letter distributions and made tile colors different for each point value. If you haven't heard from her since that change, ask again, please - I do want feedback on the tile colors idea as I'm not sure if it plays well, and both of those problems may now be solved for her.

    That said, I can adjust anything. Larger point values is pretty easy, but you also said larger tiles... could you state the actual problem(s) instead of your solution ideas so I can try all my ideas to solve the problem(s)?
    Are the letters visible enough? It sounds like the points are definitely not visible enough.
    Is your mom's television SD, 720 HD, or 1080 HD?
    As for knowing when there are no more words, thanks for bringing that up. I wasn't sure if the original WordSmith did that or not. This is a surprisingly difficult thing to fix without a long pause after every word you make. I have some ideas for how to do it efficiently, though. If it's still not efficient enough, I could cut some corners like not checking until you're down to 10 or less letters. We'll see what I end up with.
     
  15. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    It would be easier to make the titles larger if you dropped the log / list of played words, which wasn't in the original Wordsmith. I actually like the feature, but perhaps it could be a pop-up / separate screen, accessed by a button press?
     
  16. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    How long of a pause? It does take some time to find the next best word before entering it anyway.
     
  17. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    Do the checking in a separate thread.

    IIRC, the original WordSmith wouldn't record your score unless you played to the end, so the check was more important there. I prefer it this way, where you can give up early and still have your score counted. (The endgame of WordSmith could be very frustrating, when it thought you had a playable word, and you just couldn't see it.)
     
  18. davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

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    I won't know until I write the whole thing. It might be a non-issue, or it might be horrid. I could always throw a "please wait" up on the screen if necessary.
    Ah... interesting. Yeah, I like it this way better, too. FYI, I do have a bug where if you leave the game with e.g. the TiVo button, I don't think it will record your high score, so I need to fix that.

    RE: threading. I'm using the Java SDK 1.4.1e "thread safe" version... where they turned it into a thread BRICK. The only way I can do threading is if I just do processing to a result variable, then use sendEvent "animation chaining" to poll for updates to the result. It's not possible in 1.4.1e to have a thread update the UI directly anymore.
    That said, I already have sendEvent refreshes going on, so no big deal.

    Anyhow, I probably won't get a chance to think more about it until this weekend.
     
  19. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    Thanks for everything you're doing.
    I was able to see the colored tiles earlier today.
    My opinion (and my Mom's) is that the 1 point tiles being brown makes the whole thing look like mud. We think the higher value tiles should be darker because there are far fewer of them and lower value tiles lighter.
    Or
    Leave all the tiles the same color and change the color of the tile point values from white to black.

    I don't expect any changes to be made because I want them, I'm just making suggestions. When you declare the game finished, my Mom will just get used to whatever the end result is because she knows something is better than nothing. And honestly, the end result doesn't matter at all to me because I rarely play this type of word game and when I do, it's on a tablet.
     
  20. davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

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    Looks like it's a non-issue... the technique I'm using is pretty much instant. Now I just have to decide on the morals of what to do with the information.

    Obviously the game round ends if there are no more words.

    But the game could also say "there are now 980 words possible with a maximum score of 360" or so every time you complete a word.... but I think that would be horribly depressing unless you're one of the few people that can actually find that 360 point word. My mother was one of those, but I'm not.

    I don't think it's NECESSARY to put out any of that information, but it's certainly interesting information.
     

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