Thursday, December 27, 2018

Word puzzle generation

As planned I have an algorithm to generate some puzzles. It finds common words that use a combination of letters and arranges them to maximize the number of word intersections on a grid.

So many puzzles can be generated with just four random letters. One of the first puzzles it generated included the word "assess"... emphasis on the additional 's'. With that said, I would prefer not to ship a game with such an unpredictable algorithm, so I would manually approve each one to feed back into the source as hard-code.

Alternatively, I could feed in words and have it spit out puzzle layouts with letter sets. There are many possibilities on how to proceed. For now, I would prefer to keep this first word game simple.

Daily challenges could just pull from a large and challenging list (nobody would notice repeating puzzles).

I have a pretty firm idea of what I want to create. Most of the effort will be polish. I consider this smaller project a "break" between the marathons of Match 3 Fantasy and Zombie Guard 2 because it is less content heavy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Early ratings

Match 3 Fantasy has been updated again, fixing more issues including ones introduced in the big Unity engine update.

Early ratings of Match 3 Fantasy

Early ratings are positive, so I am thrilled. The benefit of having over a dozen finished games is that it removes a lot of pressure. In my experience, sometimes I win some, sometimes I lose some. I continue forward, as a better developer than I was the year before. I predict the rating will drop as more bugs surface and features are requested.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Word games?

As mentioned in a previous blog entry, I considered making a Zombie Guard 2. But as I go through the Unity asset store, I found some wonderful art packs for other kinds of games. I am leaning towards making a word game instead.

Time to go on a shopping spree! Long gone are the days I would sit down and draw these. It is just no longer cost-effective, and I would rather write code and create games more efficiently.

Having art from the beginning allows for all kinds of interesting game ideas to emerge. I can drag and drop pieces to help come up with new ideas while listening to audio packs.

I am convinced that I could easily write some brute force algorithms to generate necessary puzzles for word games. For starters, all I would need to do is copy-and-paste a dictionary of common words sorted by category and run some algorithms offline based on game rules.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Match 3 Fantasy

Match 3 Fantasy has been made available to the general public! The first update already has been distributed - adding in more bug fixes, a new hammer trinket, and the gorilla hero.

Will it succeed? Only time, and more updates will tell. As a puzzle RPG, my fear is the game is too casual for the RPG audience, and too complex for the puzzle game audience. The app is being approved by Apple for iOS; it is already available through Google Play.

The name intentionally was chosen to be optimized for search results.

Ads are still king for revenue. But as the game continues to get larger through updates, I may rip out ads and in-app purchases and distribute at a fixed price for PC and Mac through Steam.


I'm probably just going to make a Zombie Guard 2 for project 16. The demand is there, and I could still push design by offering weapon crafting features and extra content to extend the game. I have acquired a great deal of experience with the Unity engine, so it will have much better special effects and general usability than its predecessor. Although I'm tempted to use real-world locations for international appeal, I fear it may do more harm than good due to tension between rival nations.