Is DI a word?

Yesterday, in my What is a word? And why do word games disagree? post, I mentioned that DA is acceptable in some word games, but not in others. Another such word is DI. DI is acceptable in SOWPODS and Words with Friends, but not in OWL. According to scrabble-solver.com, DI is the plural of DEUS, which means “a god.” So, naturally, DEUS is valid in SOWPODS. But, oddly, it is not valid in Words with Friends. Perhaps DI has some other meaning as well, but I wasn’t able to find it.

So, the question for you is should DI be valid in Word Skill? Currently, it is not. If you have an opinion, you can vote on it on our Facebook page. If we do add it to our word list, we will also add the singular form: DEUS.

UPDATE (1/3/2013):  The vote is in: 203 to 134. We’ll be adding DI to the word list.

What is a word? And why do word games disagree?

Why can you play DA in Words with Friends®, but not in SCRABBLE®?  Actually, you can play it in Scrabble, just not in North American Scrabble. In the UK and Australia, DA is perfectly acceptable. What’s it mean? According to the Australian Scrabble site, a DA is a Burmese heavy knife. It’s helpful to know what it means. That way, you know you can add an S to make DAS, which is dandy. I mean, it’s dandy if you’re playing Scrabble in the UK or Australia. But, it’s not so dandy for Word Skill players, Continue reading

Private Live Games

Yesterday, I posted about Open Live Games, but you can play Live Games with just your friends and family too. In Live Games, the next turn begins immediately after the current turn ends, and you play through until you finish the game. No pausing to take a phone call or go to the bathroom. It’s just a rush of making words fast and furiously for about an hour. Continue reading

Open Live Games in Word Skill

If you want to play a quick game of Word Skill, in which you can make a lot of moves in a row without waiting, a Live Game is a great option. In Live Games, the next turn begins immediately after the current turn ends, and you play through until you finish the game. The game takes just over an hour to complete and can be played one-on-one or with 1000s of participants. Continue reading

Playing Word Skill with Others

When a new social game is launched and the player base hasn’t had a chance to grow yet, it can be hard to find opponents to play against.  Although there are already 100s of people playing Word Skill just 2 days after our iPhone / iPad launch and 1 day after our Facebook launch, that’s still a relatively small number when looking to start a game at any hour of the day. Here are some ideas for getting games: Continue reading

How Word Skill was Born

This summer, my brother, Dave, and I started Acuity Apps, the company that will soon release Word Skill.  We run another company, called Webucator, which is a training company. I’d been working on creating our app development training and in doing so, I began playing more games on my iPhone. Most of the time, I played Words with Friends®, Scrabble®, and WordFeud®, all of which are basically the same game. Dave and I played a lot together, and we also played with other people. These games are fun, but we felt they all shared two big problems:

  1. The luck component is too great. You can easily lose a game even if you play much better than your opponent.
  2. You have to wait until a game is over to get the feeling of winning or losing. Sure, it feels really good to play a great word. It’s especially fun to get a bingo (use all your tiles).  But often the games drag with little chance for thrills.

But the general idea of making words from randomly chosen letters and placing them on a board full of words – well that’s just awesome. So, we decided we’d keep that aspect, but kill the luck aspect and add some excitement.

Here’s how Word Skill works:

  1. All players have the same letters in each round. You get points for your word just as you do in similar games, but only the best word played stays on the board.
  2. You can play against one person or multiple people (even thousands) in one game.
  3. You are timed. You have two minutes and 30 seconds (2:30) from the time you see your letters to play your word.
  4. You get fresh letters every round. So, you don’t get stuck with the letters that you didn’t use last round.

Each time you play a word, you can find out right away if it was the best possible word you could have played. And with the beginning of each round, you find out if any of your opponents played a better word than you did. You get a rush when you win a round, but it’s easy to get frustrated too, especially when you run out of time before getting a word in.  Ugh, that hurts. But the whole game is exhilarating. It’ll get your juices flowing and because you can see what other players do with the same letters, you’ll learn new words and get better at the game (and other games like it).

We have been playing it now for months, working out all the kinks, adding cool features, and getting it ready for release on iPad/iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire and Facebook.  We  love it and we expect others will as well. With more than 10,000 Facebook fans waiting to play, we should get a good read on the public reaction soon after we release. We’re pretty confident that it’ll be a hit, but, boy, are we sweating.