Saturday, October 29, 2005

I'm actually pretty excited, tomorrow I'll be changing the poll question for the first time!

In the Online-Scrabble forum I asked everyone how I should arrange this whole poll thing. Garmy suggested it should be changed monthly, and Moongirl agreed, so that's that!

I'm thinking maybe the poll should also be located on the "Play" page, as it seems that is the most visited page on the site (not surprisingly!).

Until next time, so long..

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Wow, I never realised there was so much code!

I decided to count up how many lines of code it took to write Online-Scrabble (no, not manually, my text editor, Notepad++, tells me how many lines of code there are!).

Obviously, most of it went into the actual game, 1470 lines to be exact, but the whole site (not including the forum) uses 4332 lines.

Again, wow.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

300 games have been played at Online-Scrabble now, not bad is it?
In a little over 1 month there's been 160 members, that's almost 2 games per member!

The most popular is traditional surprisingly, I honestly thought it would be Never Ending:

Traditional: 194 games
Never Ending: 66 games.

But considering Traditional can be played an unlimited number of times, and Never Ending is 1 time per member, I suppose it makes sense.

More stats are at

Friday, October 07, 2005

Please contact us!

I have just added a contact page to the site with both the link to the forum and our administration email address, so if you have any feedback, suggestions, or just want to say hi, please do!

It's all here..

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Aarrghh, why won't it work!

I updated the registration page, I've done two things. First, I added a rules section that is displayed after registering. This is to make the rules on how to play clearer, such as the fact that you can use other letters in conjunction with those given to you. I think this is a good idea, hopefully it will encourage higher scores and averages too.

The second, I've added the option to put an email address. This is optional, there is absolutely no difference whether you do or don't, but if you do add it, you will get an email with your username and password details.

Depending on which email service you use, it could take up to 3 hours to get an email. From the tests that I have done, Hotmail takes about 3 hours, while the CricketMX server is instantaneous (no surprise there). Also, thanks to Spintop for helping me test it out, his Canadian email service took approximately 2 hours for the email to deliver.

I find it quite odd that it took so long to send, I can only think that there may have been a glitch on Online-Scrabble's end.

I will post an update soon.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A hidden treasure of is the Practise feature. Only recently did I realise that it wasn't being used at all. I thought I'd go over some of its advantages here.

On the Practise feature (or as I like to call it in cricket terms, the Practise Nets) you can find out whether a word exists, and how much it is worth.

For example, I could enter the word "battye" into the practise page, to be told that it is worth 11 points. However, it would also say that it is invalid, and cannot be used:

The word battye is worth 11 points!
However, the word does not exist. Therefore it cannot be used in a Scrabble, or Online-Scrabble game.

And a message to state that it is a valid word would be displayed if indeed it was. This can be a very useful feature if you are interested to find out trivial things, such as how much your name is worth in Scrabble points etc.

To try the Practise feature, click here.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Well, I've finally made a blog. This will be dedicated to Online-Scrabble though.. well, most of the time!

I'm open to suggestions for any other scrabble variations that you want added, but after adding the multiplayer, it seems as if I have added the lot. I suppose, a 3 / 4 multiplayer could be done, but I think I'll wait a while before I start any work on that.

One thing I am very keen on doing, is another 2 player version, except the second player is the computer. Some of the things I am thinking about for this, are:
  • AI. Now artificial intelligence for making the computer look at the letters given, and then finding a word that actually uses those letters, that is hard. Hell, I don't even know if it's possible with PHP. Other than a brute force method of searching the dictionary for a random word, and then checking to see if the letters are there, or searching the dictionary for a word beginning with one of the letters given and then checking if the other two letters are there, I'm out of ideas. I think I'm going to pass on that one.

  • More AI. Now, in theory, it shouldn't be too hard to get a random score for the computer to use each time. But it will look a bit silly if the letters given are Q U Z, and the computer gets a score of 7 for the word, it has to be at least 21. Therefore, what will happen, is the letters will be added up (10 + 1 + 10) and then a random number will be plucked out of thin air (maybe between 1 and 10) then to be added on to the 21. Now, it might not always work. The human might think, there is no possible word that has Q, U and a Z, that equals 31. Unfortunately, there's nothing that can be done about this. This bit of AI has got my tick of approval.

  • What about bad letters you might ask, maybe the letters were J X Q. Well, hopefully, 9 times out of 10, the computer will realise this and will also have to give up. The other time, the computer will get a score. The reason for this, is that not all of the times you have click Give Up, the letters have been impossible.
OK, I've got that out of the way, the other feature which is on the drawing board, is what will be called, "The Lookout".

In Tournament play, you can easily track your opponents score, it is right there on the screen when you add a word. But in Never Ending, which is arguably the most competitive game we have at, there is no tracking feature. You have to continually look on the High Scorers list. Then we come to another problem, if your opponent isn't on the leaderboard, you have to go to the memberlist, find their profile, and look there.

Well, "The Lookout" will completely eradicate the need to use these methods. Like I said, it is still on the drawing board, but I have a fairly good idea what it's going to be like.

You will have two options:
  1. Going to the actual lookout page. On this page, you can add your friends, relies, pet rock.. anyone that you want to track the score of. Then a table below, will outline the status over your little duel. Starting with the scores, rounds.. all the standard stuff. The row will be highlighted green if you are winning, red if you're trailing. If the game is fairly close (ie. Less than 1000 points in it), you will be given an achievable average to pass your opponents score.

  2. On the Lookout page, you can select your most heated dual, someone that you are hell bent on staying ahead of. This particular matchup will be printed at the bottom of the Never Ending page. Of course, only the basic details will be listed here (highlighting, opponents name, opponents rounds / scores) but it will be enough to tell you what you need to do, to get ahead (or stay in front!).
I'm open to any feedback and comment regarding any of the features I mentioned here.