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Free Upgrade: Celebrate Your Independence with Triples, 4th of July Edition

This special edition of Triples features all the capture and fun of the original version, but with patriotic extra features. The game board is enhanced with stars and stripes pieces and includes the political option to play either as a Democratic or Republican. See who wins more often!

– Palm OS 5, Hi-Res Color Only (Such as Treo, TX, E2, Zire 72)
– Free Upgrade for Registered Triples Owners
– 30% off for Newsletter Subscribers
– Use coupon TRIPLES4JULY
– Five Difficulty Levels to Keep You Challenged and Entertained
– Play Either as a Democrat or Republican

Click Here to Download, Upgrade, or Read More

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Contest: Win a Copy of Triples

Here’s how. Try the new Triples on your Palm OS device and then go to our forum (the link is below) and post your opinion about the game. The first post will get a copy of the game – no charge – and 2 more winners will be randomly picked. If you already have a copy of Triples you can choose a copy of WordPop, Word Monaco, Farkle Dice or Word Watch.

– 1st Person to Submit a Comment Wins a Game
– Two random winners will also be picked — will it be you?
– Contest ends July 9, 2007
– Winners will be announced in the next newsletter and / or e-mail
– Make sure to register at the forum so we have your e-mail on record
– I ‘m looking forward to reading your comments

Click Here to Post Comments at the Forum

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Prizes: WordPop Contest Winners

Great words by great participants. Below are winners from both the longest words, fastest posts and two random winners chosen at random.

Congratulations to all the winners.

jmw6z (longest word was looters)
Tresa
lalbert887
Deeja

If you have not already contacted me for your prize, please do so by replying to this newsletter.

Click Here to Play Smart Box Design Games

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Development: WordPop New Features Coming

Over the next few months I will describe the features that will be added to WordPop and the rationalization behind them. Most companies do not share why they add or not add certain features and some of the reasons might surprise you. There are many reasons why features are added. For us they fall into the following areas.

  1. Was the feature requested by several players? Requesting a feature alone is not enough to get it in. The team discusses the feature. How will it add to the game? Does it enhance game play? Does it affect difficulty? Can it be added safely? How much time is involved adding it? Do we have the expertise to add it? Can we support the feature? Does it need to be explained to the player or is it intuitive? Does it differentiate the game or make it more like an existing game? But the bottom line is — IS THE REQUESTED FEATURE FUN?!
  2. Is there a bug in the game? With so many different devices the game may work 100% on a Treo 700 but have problems on a 750. I catalog all bugs reported into a bug database. The team tries to repeat the bug. If we can repeat it, we can usually fix it. Typically if a bug impedes game play we will fix it in a timely manner. The bottom line is — IS THE BUG KEEPING THE GAME FROM BEING FUN?!
  3. Is the game still competitive? As time goes by, competition will no doubt come out with similar games with more features. This is good as it forces us to rethink our game. The bottom line is — IS THE COMPETITION’S GAME MORE FUN?!
  4. Can the game be more fun? We play our games a lot. And being designers we are always looking for something to add. If the team finds the game not keeping their interest we’ll add a new feature, such as a new level or new art, to keep the game fresh. The bottom line — CAN THE GAME BE MORE FUN?!

In my next post on features I will describe the several new features being added. I’d love to hear your feedback on some of these features.

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Development: WordPop Preferences

I’ve finally laid the groundwork for the WordPop update. I’ve built the skeleton on top of our proprietary framework. The original WordPop for PocketPC was based on an attempt we made to share a framework between the Palm and PPC versions which was a moderate success. In the end, though, we felt we’d get better performance with separate frameworks and I wrote a new one for Farkle which also got used on Word Monaco. WordPop now gets to join the club.

I’ve been working on the prefs structure lately. The prefs for the original were done in a non-standard way for PPC devices and were susceptible to loss in certain reset situations. Since Farkle, I’ve been better about it and it’s time to fix WordPop. I will also have to write some code to read the old prefs and maintain the Best Words and High Scores after an update. I always feel like I’m corrupting clean code by including poorly written code just to support older versions (even when I’m the author of the ugly stuff, too!). But, even I would be annoyed if I lost the records of my best games, so it’s going in.

Next up, placeholders for all of the different screens in WordPop.