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What a Drag

Hey there, back again with a quick update. I’ve just finished another new mini-feature for WordPop. Previously, when placing bonus tiles, the only method was to click the bonus tile and then click a location on the board for it to be dropped. Now, for an ever-so-slightly more interactive method, you may click and drag a bonus tile to wherever you want to place it. If you drop it somewhere illegal (over another tile, or off the board), then it’ll simply snap back. It’s not very exciting, but here’s a picture of a drag in progress:

WordPop Dragging Tile

I’m off to touch up a few other things and then I’ll be adding the 240 x 240 resolution art. That’ll produce some fun screenshots. Talk to you again, soon!

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Got a Hot Tip?

WordPop marches on. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been cleaning up some bugs in the Best Words and High Scores dialogs that had lingered on. I’ve also added another new feature of WordPop: tips!

Word Pop Tip

 Tips are something we started in Farkle and have been a popular way for players to learn the game as they play. As before, you can disable the tips in the preferences. The tips are really there to get the player started and to remind them of helpful features that can be forgotten like Rotate, Undo, and the bonus tiles.

There are a few more bugs on the horizon and the 240 x 240 resolution version coming up next. Jim, our fantastic artist, has already produced the images I need for that layout, so it’ll just be matter of making the game engine conform to that size. Again, this is not new for us, as we did this for Farkle and Word Monaco.

Hang tough, gang. We’re in the home stretch now!

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Permanent Record… Or Not

Wow, that was far too long to not be updating you. I do apologize for the long gap. However, I did complete the next two items I mentioned. WordPop is now keeping Best Words and High Scores. We’ve added a couple of updated touches, too.

WordPop High Scores

The High Scores dialog looks very similar to before. You’ll notice the new “Clear” button we’ve added. This will allow you to clear the high scores for the difficulty you’re viewing at the time. Great for removing those embarrassingly low scores before sharing your PDA with your friends. Or, as in my case (yeah, right), removing those outrageously high scores so your friends don’t hate you. The interesting part about this dialog was the three difficulty buttons in the lower right. As I was assembling the dialog, I realized that I had never added support for toggling buttons in the framework we’re using. By toggling, I mean buttons that stick down or up after you click them. I never had need for them in Farkle or Word Monaco, so it never occurred to me until now. These act like radio buttons in that when one gets pushed down the last one pushed down will pop up. The dialog got done and the framework is just a little richer as a result.

WordPop Best Words

This is the Best Words dialog today. Again, we’ve added a “Clear” button to clear out this list. If you need a clean slate for any reason, it’s ready to do your bidding. The other new feature is pretty subtle, but you can see it in the first word on this list. In the previous version of WordPop, using a blank tile in a high scoring word would show an underscore in this Best Words list. That was somewhat unsatisfying (especially if you weren’t exactly sure which word you spelled). Now, I will replace those blanks with lowercase letters according to the word matched. The lowercase N in “quivering” shows that I used a blank tile between the I and the G.

This does present an interesting possibility. It is possible that the word matched isn’t the one you were thinking of. That doesn’t change the scoring, however, so there’s no chance for underscoring your word. You just may be surprised when you see the list!

So, progress continues on. My list is getting shorter and testing will begin very soon.

I’ll be back with more!