Game Prototyping - WordScraper

The Power of Prototypes

Building games is not easy. At GamePyong, we have a bunch of game ideas which we would like to make someday. The problem is how do you know if an idea is going to be fun or interesting or even playable? In order to figure it out, we usually build a prototype of the idea using barebones artwork to determine if its viable. This lets us see what the gameplay might be like and quickly tweak the prototype to make it more interesting. If the idea turns out to be a good one, we continue iterating on the prototype until either we find that it won't work or it should be made into a full game. The idea here is to fail fast if the prototype is a dud so that we can move on to the next idea. In this post, we'll be looking at an idea for a word puzzle game codenamed "WordScraper".


A rough outline of this game idea is shown above. At the start of the game, the player is given 7 letters and 1 letter is fixed to the ground. The player must use his letters to create a word that includes the letter on the ground. The player can drag letters and drop them on the playing field. The word can be made either horizontally or vertically. See below for examples:

After a valid word has been made, the letters that were used will be replaced by new random letters. The longer the word that you make, the more points you get. When the first word has been formed, the player must then make a word that incorporates one or more of the letters that are on the playing field. All letters that are placed must form part of a valid word. If the first word was CAGE made horizontally as shown above, the next word must end in either a C, A, G or E. If TEA was the first word, the player must make a horizontal word that uses either a T, E or A at any position in the word. See below for examples:

After the second word has been placed, the first word is disabled and can no longer be used to form other words. The goal of the game is to keep building the tower of words up until no more valid words can be made with the letters available. 

The initial prototype can played here: WordScraper
We will continue iterating on this prototype over time.


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