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Thread: A Call For Crossword Makers

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia

    A Call For Crossword Makers

    Greetings.

    As mentioned in the "What are you making?" thread. I'm in the beginning stages of developing a game which features crosswords as it's main game mechanic. To that end I'd like to have 100+ levels in the game. Only trouble being that putting even one crossword takes some time with fitting words within the letters of adjoining words etc etc. So this is a call for assistance from you all, as with your help I'll get to that 100+ level amount sooner.

    All you'll need to do is create a crossword in the editor I'll supply and just pm me back with the .dat file which the levels are saved as. Its all quite simple really. Only requirements will be:

    So the rules:

    * Keep it family friendly with the words
    * Stick to Scrabble / Upwords rules with the words. So no use of "the" or "its" and no abbreviated words (eg TV) or slang.
    * Try and make use of every letter of the alphabet when possible. Since the letters given to players will be randomized.

    I've got 10 levels done so far (5 from me, 5 from the wife). The more I can have in the better.

    Full credit (in the games credits and readme) will be given to any who take the time to do any. If need be I'll do them all myself which is fine. Thinking of good words to put in that fit within other words and that make use of unused (as of that point) letters is the time consuming part. So the more I have available, the quicker I can get onto the coding of the actual game itself. Just wanting to have atleast 100 available before I jump into that, as the rules of the game will be super simple.

    You can grab the level editor - Here

    Controls:

    Mouse - Left click to add tiles, right click to remove them.

    Keyboard:

    C - Change layer (currently toggles between layers 0 and 1)
    D - Delete all tiles on all layers and reset current level back to default size
    k - Save map under a specific name.
    H - Hide/Enable information status bars
    M - Bring up editor menu - From here you can do some other features (eg save as, create new level etc etc).
    R - Reload Level from last saved version
    S - Save currently loaded map
    < - Back one texture in current layer
    > - Forward one texture in current layer
    [ - Decrement Current Level displayed
    ] - Increment Current Level displayed
    Space - Place texture/Object at current mouse position

    If you run into any problems let me know either here, or via PM and I'll assist. Editor can be a bit confusing to use at first but will make sense once you get how it works. The games going to end up looking something like:



    So yeah. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    What's the recommended ratio between letter tiles and block tiles?
    Do you have any upper or lower limit for the number of words?
    Do you have any limits for the length of a word?

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    No limitations really. I included with the download link the 10 done by myself and my wife. We initially just tried to fill them with as many words as we could think up, then later on I added a bit more game design orientation into it and added some design rules to try and use as many letters of the alphabet as possible. So we'd start off adding a few long words, then with adjoining ones try and add words that had 1 or more letters that had so far been unused.

    To give a bit more info on the gameplay:

    The players will from the get go, see the crossword with all letters already displayed. As it's 2 player (2 human players or 1 vs computer) and a score attack type game of trying to get the highest score to win, each player will 1 by 1 have their 20 letters revealed. For every instance of a letter (of the newly revealed letter) on the board they'll get points. Players have 3 re-rolls that they can use, if their not happy with the letter they got, or want to gamble on getting a better one.

    Simple gameplay rules, so this game in theory should not be difficult to put together.

    PS - Thanks to qolelis for a crossword he contributed. Very nice work on that one. Hope to see more .

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    It's conventional for crosswords to be symmetrical (so if you turn it upside down, the squares are in the same place).

    I take it from your example crossword above that you are dispensing with this mechanic in favour of a simpler format? Or would you (also) want more complex crosswords using traditional symmetrical layout?

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by SD View Post
    It's conventional for crosswords to be symmetrical (so if you turn it upside down, the squares are in the same place).

    I take it from your example crossword above that you are dispensing with this mechanic in favour of a simpler format? Or would you (also) want more complex crosswords using traditional symmetrical layout?
    I think this may be different from country to country; at the very least, I know that UK crosswords look pretty different from the ones you get in Germany and Switzerland. Aesthetically, the symmetrical ones are nicer, though.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    For me I've gone non-symetrical, but if others want to make crosswords that are then I say sure, bring it on. More than anything else I'd just like more crosswords for now.

    Working on Bipolar taught me the wonders of allowing for levels done in different styles as it opens up new ways of where to take future levels.

    So SD I throw the challenge to you to make a few so that I can see this in action (and don't just link me an existing one online ).

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Why not randomly generate the crosswords? It can't be that hard, and there's probably already an algorithm for it somewhere. Just feed a big batch of random words (like copying a whole chapter from a popular book).

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    That's not the design path I'm going by. I'm going with set levels. Plus this ways more fun.

    Yakoob I challenge thee to make a crossword .

  9. #9
    In Sweden we have all sorts, but the most common one is free-form with the clues written inside the crossword instead of listed at the side, and often there are as few non-letter squares as possible. I can try a symmetrical one next time.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Thank you.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    I can't launch the editor until later, what are the maximum permitted dimensions of the crossword?

  12. #12
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Level sent - hopefully it meets your rules.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    For maximum dimensions I'd prefer it if you stuck with the dimensions of the crosswords already in there. Makes it easier for me to add in GUI stuff later on.

    Al_B - Thank you .

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    And on a side nite, the zip's been updated to include the recent additions by Qolelis and Al_B.

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