We have noticed here at Swamp Talk that our family members get just as into (and often more competitive about) the game as we do. This is certainly true for our intern David’s mother Kathy who, after reading about Chris’ high score, was determined to beat it. Once she had achieved her goal, she sent us an email saying “I smashed the record with a 539. Post that on your blog, I dare you, lol.” Well Kathy, we accept your dare and offer you our congratulations!
We noticed that, like Chris and Pat, Kathy leans towards longer words and doesn’t seem to waste many letters on smaller ones. Most of her words are worthy 25 points or more.
The single-player version of Swamp Talk has been on the App Store for about six weeks, and it’s getting great reviews. We just got four and a half stars on App Advice! Read the entire review here. AppAdvice.com calls it a “must-have” word app for iPhone – and we agree!
A multiplayer version that connects to GameCenter is in the works now. Subscribe to this blog, friend Swamp Talk on Facebook or follow on Twitter to be the first to know when you can play Swamp Talk with your friends.
Tertl is working hard to prepare Swamp Talk 1.1 (with a multiplayer option, and wildcard letters!) for its upcoming release. At the same time, we are also looking further ahead. A major enhancement for later in the fall will be a collection of new characters that players can purchase for use in both single and multiplayer games. These new avatars will let players enjoy a new look and choose a distinctive swamp resident to represent them while playing alone or with others.
Here’s a peek at some characters we’re considering: an alligator, a heron, a dragonfly, a duck, a slimy swamp creature, and a newt.
Please help! We need your input to decide which of these new characters should be the first to play alongside our iconic frog. Please vote for your favorite in our poll, and feel free to leave us some comments as well. We’ll keep you posted as characters are selected and refined.
We’re just now in the process of implementing wild card letters, in preparation for the next release of our word game app. When the idea of wild card letters came up a couple months ago, we didn’t think it was too interesting. It didn’t particularly resonate with the simplicity and purity of the basic Swamp Talk game. But we’re changing our point of view. Two things seem really promising about wild cards.
First, they bring more words into the game. For example, in the current Swamp Talk B’s are fairly uncommon, so you’ll almost never play BUBBLE. But with a wild card, you could play BUB*LE, using a wild card for that third B. More words makes the game better.
Second, Swamp Talk is all about juggling different scenarios for where a cluster of words might go. If you’re looking at LIVE, you might be able to turn that into ALIVE, or LIVED, LIVER or OLIVE. Cool! But with a wild card in place of the L, there are even more possibilities that use the letters differently. Adding just one more letter, you could get anything from WAIVE or DRIVE to CIVET or SIEVE. The wild card amplifies that Swamp Talk experience of seeing a cluster of letters one way at one moment, and completely differently the next.
We’ll be test playing with wild cards next week. We’ll see if they live up to their promise! Wild cards also have a special role in our new multiplayer game…more on that later.
Would you like to see wild card letters in Swamp Talk? Share your thoughts with the development team in the comment box below.
If you’ve made it up past Level 5 in either 100 Letters or Survival game mode, you’ve earned yourself at least one letter pod. These are handy places where you can stash a letter before it’s been placed on your line. Letter pods are a recent addition to the Swamp Talk game design, and we’re still deciding how best to use them.
The design team would like to know your perspective. How do you use letter pods? What do you think of them? Do you enjoy the added flexibility, or do they slow you down too much?
One option we’re considering is to reduce the number of letter pods at the highest level of the game from 3 to 2. There will still be ample rewards for advancement, as we are adding wildcards in the next version (more on wildcards later!). What do you think? Do you treasure that third letter pod, or is it expendable?
This morning was another Test Play session at Tertl Studos. Kate and her brother Jonah stopped by to check out Swamp Talk and offer their feedback. Kate admitted, “I’m usually really bad with technology– I tend to break things. I like that I’m not breaking it so far.” She laughed. “I like that I can use it and it doesn’t confuse me. It’s fun. I think I should be doing better at it– I’m a writer!”
Jonah declared, “It has enough simplicity. It’s not too complicated, but not too easy. Most of the word games I’ve played eventually turn into Scrabble, but this one doesn’t.”
We saw a bit of sibling rivalry as brother and sister attempted to one-up each other with long words and high scores.
Thanks also to Eli and Gabe for coming in to play! Special thanks to Gabe for bringing a friend.
There will be another test play tomorrow, from 10 to 12:30 at 29 College St. Follow the signs and come on in!
Today Tertl Studos welcomed seven intrepid game testers to try out Swamp Talk and give our programming team feedback on the game as we head to submission to the App Store. Thanks to Jen, Julia, Nina, Pat, Julia, Finn and Ben for hanging out and having fun. Is our game addictive? Julia barely looked up for 45 minutes! And Jen declared that “time attack mode is going to give me a heart attack!”
If you missed the fun, we’ll be test playing again next week, Monday-Thursday June 27-30, from 10-12:30 each day (drop in anytime). Join us at 29 College St., Montpelier (the yellow Pacem building on the college green). Bring your own iPhone and we’ll give you the game, or use one of our devices to play. Come be a part of the first iPhone game designed in Montpelier!