How is SpellGrid different from other word games?

Word games generally test what you already know, instead of helping to expand your vocabulary. SpellGrid is designed with word discovery in mind. When playing SpellGrid, while you will instinctively form words you already know first, you will eventually be discovering new words simply through experimentation. You will expand your vocabulary and improve your scores through repeated plays. Being exposed to the same set of letters in a single game helps you focus and remember new words. SpellGrid brings emergent game play to word building, organically introducing obstacles based on the player’s own decisions, ensuring that no two games are completely the same.

 

Why should I pay to get SpellGrid+ when there is a free version?

You will love the extras that come with SpellGrid+.  You get QUICK PLAY for 8 and 9 letter grids (2 and 3 minutes games respectively) instead of just 7 letter grids.  You can also create ENDLESS 6 letter grids (no time limit, grid saved automatically when you exit the session and you can keep going back to expand on it later).  There is also a ZEN PLAY mode (no time limit, plan carefully and occupy 50 or more cells to get the best score possible). The downside is you will never get to see ads in the paid version.

 

I love those stats in SpellGrid, but what is Occupancy Index?

It is a measure of how well you are reusing tiles. If you place tiles strategically such that you get more clusters, you will end up with a higher Occupancy Index (closer to 2.0).  If you form words in a snake formation, using just one tile for joining words, you will end up with a lower score (closer to 1.0).

 

Wait, what are clusters?

When you place letters such that they occupy 2×2 area of cells, that is a cluster.  Each cluster you make gives you extra 20 seconds and 20 points.

 

Why is there no tutorial?

I am experimenting with intuitive user experience design.  I think I am getting there but… maybe not?  I will try to put in a tutorial but for now please just keep playing and you will discover how everything works – drag letters off the word you are given, form words, tap that tick button that will show up if your move is valid.  Keep doing that until you run out of time (game over).  And then play another grid.  You will get the hang of it.  Promise.

 

How do I get to the screen where I can choose my starting word?

To the left of the QuickPlay label is a darker area with the SpellGrid icon.  Tapping that will toggle the various modes.  Sometimes that area will blink a little.  Very subtle blink.  I was hoping that will pique the user’s curiosity enough to tap it.  As a side note, I am really experimenting with intuitive natural discovery with a minimalist design.  I like the idea of users discovering more of the app over time as usage increases.

 

8 comments

  1. Menno October 13, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Reply

    Love the game! It’s really challenging and fun, thanks for making it 🙂

    My question is this: why is there a difference between the score that I get at the end of a game and when comparing with others? The difference is sometimes a couple of hundred points.

    Thanks and all the best,

    Menno

    • spellgrid October 13, 2013 at 6:57 am

      Reply

      There should not be such a discrepancy. If there is, it is most likely a bug and I will look into it, sorry about that 😉

      Thank you!

  2. Menno October 13, 2013 at 7:03 am

    Reply

    Ok, let me know if you need more info to fix this!

  3. spellgrid October 13, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Reply

    I haven’t been able to reproduce the bug. Does it happen every time for you? If it happens only for a particular root word, here is a possibility – if you have a better grid already stored in the cloud, then we will always keep the better score 😉

  4. Menno October 13, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Reply

    It happens every time. I can upload some screenshots if that’s helpful.

    If I calculate the differences, it looks like the difference is exactly the score of the clusters. The difference is each time a multiple of 20 and corresponds to the number of clusters played. Also, I just played a word without any clusters and then the scores match. So, either the clusters are double-counted in the personal score, or not counted in the comparison score.

    HTH,

    Menno

  5. Menno October 13, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Reply

    Also, I just noticed that if you go to the comparison score directly after finishing a game, the score is correct. The incorrect score is only shown if you go to the grid from the overview pages with all the words played, and then navigate to the comparison scores.

  6. spellgrid October 13, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Reply

    Thank you Menno, that last comment nailed it down – a rather sneaky bug isn’t it? Just a display bug, the scores in the cloud are correct. Fixed for next update 😉

  7. Menno October 13, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Reply

    Great, glad I could help. I’m a software engineer as well, so I know all about sneaky bugs 😉

Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *