Word Chain Dev Log #2

This is a continuation of a previous post.

Today I spent some nice vacation time playing Crusader Kings 2 and buying some new board games with my mom. We picked up Forbidden Desert and Carcassonne. We played Forbidden Desert today and it was great!

Today the game started looking like this:

Word Chain Game Screen Day 1

And ended looking pretty similar:

Word Chain Game Screen Day 2

That’s the controller screen in a separate window on the right. Ideally you’d see that on your phone.

I spent a few hours getting the turns to work in Word Chain. Yesterday I made the functionality for disabling and enabling parts of the controller so some of my work today was trying to manage those calls so that only one player has an enabled screen at a time and they still get buttons first and then the word choice afterward.

The more difficult task is managing player additions and removals. HappyFunTimes is designed so that players can leave or join at any time so I’m trying to support that. The tough cases are what to do when the current player leaves and how to add new players during the game.

My solution to the first problem is to just pass control on to the next player if the current player leaves.

My current solution to the second issue is just push the new player onto the end of the list of players. This leads to inconsistent behavior, though. In some circumstances the new player could be up next. In other circumstances, the new player would have to wait for everyone else to go before their turn arrives. From a design perspective I’m not sure yet what I want the new player joining behavior to be. I know I don’t like putting them on the spot as soon as they join, but making them wait for all the other players to go first could be a while. Maybe I could find a sort of midpoint and insert them there.

From here on I have most of the functionality that I wanted in the front end of the game. Players can join and play the game. Their turns work. They get points for guessing words. After a set of words is completed a new one is chosen.

Now I want to get to more of the details and polish. First I’d like to work on enhancing the feel of turns.

I pulled out the code for the avatars from JumpJump today. I like the idea of associating each player with a random color. Currently the controller backgrounds are all the same pleasing purple color. I want to change that to the player’s color. I also want to show the player’s color in the score lines some way. I might replace the duck avatars with something like a square of color. I may just change the text color.

I’d also like to add some stuff to make the current player feel more special. I think they should get a star by their name in the score lines at least. I looked quickly into making their phone vibrate but it looks like there is no easy to use commonly supported api for phone vibration from javascript. A flashing background could work in its place.

Those features are what I want to conquer tomorrow.


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