Author Topic: Big Chihuahua coming  (Read 17823 times)

pat

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Re: Big Chihuahua coming
« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2011, 10:57:16 PM »
Going back to start times, Alan, and your request for our opinions, I'm happy with the current start time. My first visit to the site each day is usually at about 08.30 so I have two new puzzles to start the day with. Suits me, sir.

ilandrah

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Re: Big Chihuahua coming
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2011, 07:06:27 PM »
I am loving the whole idea of big chi, and don't wish to appear presumptuous, but was just now wondering if you had considered a small chi too Alan?
Puzzles organised by size, with differing times to complete each puzzle.
A small puzzle could have an hour time limit - say less than 60 words. With the monsters having the full 24 hours - say 250+ words.
This might help to displace server load as well as allowing people to opt for puzzles that suit their schedules better.
Puzzles could also start every hour.
Some players have already instituted these types of limits upon themselves in the 'my puzzles' section, giving a time limit of ten minutes, so it would seem that there is already some interest from site users.

pat

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Re: Big Chihuahua coming
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2011, 07:59:39 PM »
I can't see how a time limit could work, ilandrah. Apart from the work that Alan would have to do to register players' start times there can't be many people who sit down and work on a single puzzle for a solid hour, and to display the puzzle 'live' for only an hour would mean that people who weren't at their PCs when it opened wouldn't get the full hour or, more likely, would miss it altogether (as would be the case if a new puzzle opened every hour). Chaos would ensue!

I think the addition of a 10-letter puzzle to the two daily puzzles we already have will be more than enough to tax anyone's brain every 24 hours, and those who want more will still have the option of creating their own puzzles.

 >:D

Alan W

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Re: Big Chihuahua coming
« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2011, 01:29:36 PM »
Ilandrah, I have given some thought to puzzles with shorter time limits.

I had thought that players might use the "Your puzzles" tab to create a quick puzzle competition, but almost all of the published custom puzzles have a duration of 1, 2 or 3 days. There have been only a handful of published puzzles of one hour's duration or less. Yet I find, looking at the data records, that quite a lot of unpublished puzzles have had a life span of 10 minutes, 15 minutes or 20 minutes. So some players set themselves a time limit, but don't open the competition up to others. In this, players are probably being realistic - if you published a puzzle with a life less than one hour, you would probably be the only person to play it anyway.

An illustration of what can be done with a short duration word game is some of the online implementations of the Boggle concept: WEBoggle and WordSplay. On each of these sites there is a continual stream of 3-minute games, with a gap of a minute or so between the games. There seem to be enough people playing at any given time to make it interesting.

Three minutes is probably too short for Chihuahua, but I think one hour would be too long. If you came to the site, found a one-hour game that had been going for 20 minutes and played it until you had run out of words, would you then wait around till the puzzle closed, to see what words you missed, and how you were placed on the final scoreboard? I think the key to a time limit is that it be not long enough for most players. So, when the competition stops, you will be still frantically looking for words. For Chi, this might be around 10 minutes, maybe even less.

If we had an ongoing series of 10-minute games, would there be enough competitors to make it interesting? Possibly not.

One idea I came up with a while ago was a time-trial competition, as they have in cycling. The puzzle might be open for 24 hours, but each player would be limited to 10 minutes of play, or whatever limit would make it exciting. You would see the scores of those who have already played, and maybe there could be a display comparing your performance so far with that of previous players at the same point in time. There could be separate rankings for common words and all words, and for players using keyboard or mouse. Maybe wrong words could be deducted from your score, or there might be a limit of how many wrong attempts you were allowed before being disqualified.
Alan Walker
Creator of Lexigame websites

ilandrah

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Re: Big Chihuahua coming
« Reply #34 on: March 15, 2011, 07:41:16 PM »
Pat, time stamping users is very easy to do. Most web servers are set up to log this information by default. This is designed to detect how long users are on sites to provide web designers with the necessary statistics to make improvements to drive more interest in their sites.
This is readily incorporated into code to allow timed log-in such as Alan has suggested above with the time trial puzzle.

The time trial puzzle was mostly what I had in mind when I originally made this suggestion - a puzzle or even a series of puzzles that have a built in time limit to see how many words one can attain within a certain time limit. Web boggle certainly employs this method, as well as providing higher scores for rare words.

Comparisons can also be made between the words that are more readily found or missed by players, which are usually hit or missed dependant on the layout of the puzzle.
If a player is the only person who answers one of these unique words, they receive additional points.
There would not need to be a puzzle starting every ten minutes, or every hour, but could be started once the player logs in to that particular puzzle.

A ten minute time trial where one MUST get an eight letter common word for their score to be allocated to the leaders board would certainly be exciting. At least I think it would be.

Thanks for your consideration Alan, it was an idle thought that I figured was worth tossing in to the forum to see what others might think of it.

cb

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Re: Big Chihuahua coming
« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2011, 03:43:09 AM »
Another approach to quick games of Boggle at http://www.wordplays.com/fcgi-bin/wc.pl

Here, you click to start a new game and get the full time allowance, and your name goes on to the high score *for that puzzle* and stays there for 60 days.  You can start a new game at any time.

So it seems to me there is a library of possible puzzles and they cycle through them, but each player gets a short challenge whenever they want it and you can still play "against" other players - just by comparing your place on the high score table when it appears.

Just another thought - I don't know when I'd find the time to play any more!!!!
cb

ilandrah

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Re: Big Chihuahua coming
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2011, 01:53:33 PM »
There was another online boggle that I used to play, but can't find the link to right now, where words were only revealed as they were found by players, with a display at the end of words that had been discovered and a list of how many had not yet been found.
With bonus points for being the first to discover a word it made for an interesting strategic take on the score boards - go for rare words that are usually more difficult to hunt down and therefore take time or go for easy words that will only earn a single point each.
Time was limited to 3 minutes with game boards being generated at random, so you could not immediately replay any board.
Something along these lines could also be fun.

As to time cb, it does provide greater tempation to have these types of puzzles on the site, but with such variety a player can choose which puzzle suits their time constraints and not be at the bottom of a score board simply because they only had a ten minute break in which to play. There would be no need to spend more time on the site than you currently do, which is one of the things that prompted my thoughts on a mini puzzle to begin with - as much as I love the idea of a big chi, and really look forward to the challenge, I don't know that I will have enough time every day to have a really serious attempt at finding the words. Even now, I reguarly find I have to abandon a puzzle due to other responsibilities.

technomc

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Re: Big Chihuahua coming
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2011, 09:48:05 PM »
I like CHINCHILLA...great companion name...in fact i am liking all the recent suggestions...so not really much help here am i??  Going to go to a different topic now....