Letter Quest PC and Mac Changes

As most of you are already aware, Letter Quest started off as a mobile game. We have had plans on making it a desktop game since the beginning, but started with the mobile version since we could complete it more quickly. Many people have been asking what changes we made for the desktop version, so we decided to share the full list of changes…be warned, this is a huge list!! Added proper resolution support Added incredibly high resolution textures (that look fantastic even on a 4K monitor!) Added 3 save slots so that multiple people can play on one copy of the game Added an entirely new “expert mode” that changes a bunch of things in the game, and is incredibly difficult, which a lot of players asked for Added 7 (technically 8, but that’s a secret, shhh!) story comics to help explain Grimm’s journey Added key bindings (this isn’t really feature-worthy, but is worth mentioning since a lot of so-called “mobile ports” don’t even bother, which we think is ridiculous!) Rebalanced the entire game to be feel a lot better since there are no in-app purchases or gem doubler available Tweaked the difficulty of most stages, monsters, and challenges Reworked the entire game UI, including a lot of custom UI (in battle the entire UI is changed, with a lot more details visible like your best words, previous word, monster details, etc.), and we actually had to go through and resize every bit of UI by certain amounts because unlike some cheaply-done mobile ports, we realized that simply scaling a mobile game up to desktop resolutions would make all of the UI huge and awful…so a good 95% of the UI was scaled down by various amounts for the desktop version Created a whole new map that has distinct areas Created 4 additional sets of background art, one per area (the mobile version only had the one set of bg art for the whole game, the haunted house) Added 4 additional music tracks, one per area (the mobile version only had one song for all stages) Included the entire soundtrack with every purchase, along with custom front and back cover art, and custom disc art that is printable in case you want to make up your own Letter Quest music CD Added 4 high resolution 2560×1440 desktop backgrounds, and 9 custom avatar images for use on forums, websites, profiles, etc. Added the definitions of over 160,000 of the 190,000+ words in the game’s dictionary, and allow the player to view the definition of any word that is currently spelled out, as well as automatically showing the definition after each word is submitted Added mouse-over highlights to every button and clickable object in the game, except for the letter tiles in battle, since that is really nice to have on PC Added the ability to disable the anonymous statistics that the game gathers, since a few players mentioned that they don’t like having that in a game (although we can tell you that they are completely anonymous, and the biggest use we have for them is actually to log when crashes happen so that we are able to fix bugs, as well as telling us which operating system and resolutions are being used, again so that if there are any problems we know where to look/how to test) – ideally we’d have a testing team, but our whole company is only two people, only one of which is full-time, so testing happens with family members, kind folks on the internet, and by us in our non-existent spare time A...

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Choose Your Words Carefully (Part 2)

Last time I talked about how important the wording of your “buy now” button can be. Today’s post is similar – it’s a quick tip about how it’s very important to pay close attention to the wording you choose to use on a game’s landing page! When designing the Letter Quest landing page, we tried our best to follow the tips outlined in Emmy Jonassen’s wonderful landing page design post – thank you so much for posting that Emmy! One thing the article doesn’t talk about though, is how to word the various parts of your landing page. We started selling early access versions of Letter Quest on July 1, 2014. And in three days, we had three different people ask the same question – “if I buy the early access version, does that include the final version too?”. We were a bit put off by the question at first, thinking “wow, we’d be some really evil devs if it didn’t include the final version, does anyone actually do that?”. A quick read of the text beside our Humble widget pointed out the problem. At the time, the first bullet point beside the widget read: Includes early access to Letter Quest on PC Hmm, no wonder people were confused – we didn’t actually outright say anything about it including the full version. We assumed that was a given, but we then realized that, in a time when many devs try to nickel-and-dime players in any way possible, we shouldn’t assume anything. So we updated the wording to: Includes early access to Letter Quest on PC now, and the full game when itโ€™s done Much better! No confusion there! We also mention that it includes a Steam key if/when we get onto Steam via Greenlight. So please do be very careful about your wording when you’re trying to sell something!...

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Acceptable Words in Letter Quest

When making Letter Quest, we wanted our target audience to be everyone, from young children all the way up to the elderly. As such, we spent a lot of time making the game accessible and “safe”, which included many tweaks to our word list. Letter Quest uses a custom word list curated by us manually, from a variety of different sources. NSFW (“Not Safe For Work”) words, such as “sh*t”, were intentionally removed by us, along with racial slurs. If potentially offensive words have an alternate, non-offensive meaning, we generally left them in (ex: “faggot“, which is an alternate spelling of “fagot”, and means “a bundle of something”). We have tried very hard to make a game that is safe for people of all ages, so we felt that this was the best way to handle it. Our word list is currently over 190,000 words, which is actually huge for a word game! As this page explains, there are only just over 170,000 words in the entire Oxford English Dictionary. We have most of the words from the Oxford English Dictionary in Letter Quest, last time I checked (aside from the offensive ones mentioned earlier). The rest of our words are, for the most part, British words. There are many, many more British words that we’re considering adding to the game’s dictionary too, we’re just not familiar with which of them are racial slurs and/or insults, so need to do some research on that! If you come across any words that aren’t accepted by the game, and you believe they should be, please let us know and we’ll be sure to add them!...

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Exporting Your Best Word as an Image

For quite a while now, we’ve had the ability to export a picture after a battle in Letter Quest on mobile, and post it to twitter. Each image features the best word that was spelled, the damage it did, the character you played as with the weapon and letter tiles you were using, and the stage background and monster you were fighting. People really seemed to enjoy this feature, and we were happy with it. Now that Letter Quest is also on desktop, we wanted a way for players to export their best word as an image, even though we’re not using twitter on desktop (if someone has a nice solution for integrating twitter into a desktop game, we’d love to hear it!). So we simply added a button at the end of each battle, and it lets you save an image of your best word. You can then post it anywhere you like – facebook, twitter, your own site/article, anywhere! Here’s what it looks like after a battle: And here’s a couple examples of some exported images: This functionality will be in the final release of Letter Quest, which is currently available in early access – and every early access copy will be upgraded to the final version for free when it’s available....

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Choose Your Words Carefully!

When making the page for our new Letter Quest demo, we decided to add a nice frame around the demo, with a button just above the demo. The point of the button was to get players to click it if/when they wanted to buy the game, and it would take them to the page where they could do so. We keep reading about how your “call to action” button should be nice and large, and be highly visible, have attention drawn to it, etc. So this is the button we made: Now, there’s a few things wrong with that. First off, when you’re on the demo page, that button is just above the game, and the ALL CAPS text makes it seem really “in your face” the whole time. That’s not cool. And second, the text of “BUY NOW” is a bit overpowering/too strong. We had a few people comment that it felt too pushy, and looking at it now we would tend to agree. We realized that the demo already gets people engaged, and at the end of the demo there’s a nice splash image showing what the full version has, and it politely asks the player if they’d like to buy the game or not. And chances are, if someone doesn’t reach the end of the demo, they probably weren’t going to go and buy the game! So we made a minor change, and ended up with this button: It feels a lot friendlier. The text feels less “pushy”. And it links to the Letter Quest landing page, where players can get more info about the game and make an informed decision about their purchase. We’ve had several people tell us they like the new button much more, and prefer to not feel like they’re forced into a decision…and that’s certainly not what we ever want our players to feel! We want players to enjoy the demo, be excited about playing more of the game, and either go and download the game on a mobile device, or purchase the PC version (currently in “early access”, with a free upgrade to the full game when it’s ready, and a Steam key if/when we get through Steam Greenlight…help us out by voting on the web if you have a spare minute, or click here to open Steam to our Greenlight page, thanks!). So just remember – even one or two words can make a difference, so try to think about how players are going to interpret what you...

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Word Definitions in Desktop Version!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted! I’ve been incredibly busy working on the desktop version of Letter Quest! I’m excited to announce that I’ve managed to get the definitions of about 150,000 of our 180,000 words into the game! This is a feature that we’ve wanted to add since the beginning, and it really takes the game from just a fun word game, to one that can actually teach you a little bit as you play! As you can see in the screenshots (which include some VERY placeholder UI, it will be much prettier soon, we promise!), the last word that you spelled will be shown along with its definition in the panel at the bottom-left. Also, as you spell words, if a valid word is spelled, there will be a little question mark button you can push that will instantly bring up the definition of the word you’re currently spelling. We’re trying very hard to see if it’s possible to cram all of this information into the mobile version, but for now this is a desktop-only feature. We’re doing everything we can to make it work on mobile too, but it’s a challenging problem to figure out! As usual, the bandits will try to work their bacon-infused magic to make it happen! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s some screenshots showing off this sweet feature! If you like what you see, consider voting for Letter Quest on Steam Greenlight, it would really help us out! Have a great weekend...

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