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.