02 Mar Mobile Word Games: Hand Crafted
We create many different types of mobile games including mobile word games. In this article we explain why we prefer to create them by hand rather than using a computer to automatically generate them.
As mobile games have become increasingly popular there are different types of games to suit players of all ages and preferences. Players can now find games of every genre, from fast-paced games including racing, fighting and shooting to more relaxed games that allow the player more time to think.
These games include the many different types of ‘match 3’ games, bubble pop games, card games, hidden object games and also word puzzle games. There are thousands of different versions of these games to play, all with slightly different themes, graphics and sounds. Here are Super Happy Games we take a very personal approach to designing and creating our word puzzle games.
The simplest and easiest way to develop a word puzzle game is to obtain a word database and use computer logic to design the individual puzzles for you. The advantage of this is obvious, once you have the logic of the game developed then you can also develop the individual puzzles very quickly. This can be great news for the player because if they like your game then they can have almost an infinite number of word puzzles to play through.
However, there are also significant downsides to this approach as well. There is a big risk that computer generated mobile word games aren’t as fun as hand crafted ones, e.g. ones designed and created by a person. This is because the computer logic will treat each word identically, often it won’t have any intelligence to identify:
- The familiarity of the words used (will the player be able to recognise or guess the words used)
- Words that are simply plurals of other words in the same puzzle (having the same word and then its plural in the same puzzle quickly leads to boredom)
- Repetition of words used from similar puzzles (repeating the same words across puzzles is sometime necessary but can also become tedious)
- The suitability of words (not just swear words but also valid words that can be offensive or don’t fit in with the style of the game)
A compromise is to have a person check the puzzles after the computer has generated them. This can help identify and resolve some of the obvious errors but in practice reworking a puzzle can take just as long as creating it by hand, and sometimes with inferior results.
Here at Super Happy Games we believe that creating word puzzles by hand is worth the extra time and effort. All of our mobile word games (including Word Farm: Animal Kingdom) are created by hand.
Its a simple process but one that requires our designers to spend time on. We use multiple data sources to check the validity of words and also to rigorously play test them. When play testing we ask many different types of players to play the game so that we can measure the difficulty and challenge of each puzzle.
We also make sure that a player can never get completely stuck on a puzzle. Providing simple ways for them to get hints to try and solve the puzzle they maybe stuck on.