Thanks to all the Swamp Talk fans and friends who’ve written with ideas and opinions about the game. Here, we respond to some of your common questions.
Got a question, idea, or advice? All feedback is welcome — use the comment box at the bottom of this page.
I don’t see a “play” button — how do I get started?
Excellent question. After downloading, the first two times you play you’ll be taken through a set of tutorial screens. You can also access these tutorials through the “how to play” button on the bottom right of the menu screen. The tutorial will introduce you to “tapping” and “swiping,” the two primary actions used to play Swamp Talk.
To answer the most frequently asked question of all: Once the letters are on the line, you can’t change their order or placement. So tap carefully to ensure that letters end up where you want them!
I am trying to DRAG my letter down to make a work but its not working!
This is a very common mistake for first-time users. When you want to play a letter, you do not need to drag it across the screen of your apple device. Simply tap where you want the letter to go. So, for example, if you have the letters D and G on your line and wish to use a recently acquired O to spell DOG, just tap the space between the D and G. Once you have your word, swipe away and watch your points rack up!
Why do I get so many Q’s (or I’s or vowels or any of one letter)?
We call this an issue of letter distribution. Swamp Talk uses a letter distribution that is close to that found in written English, but, like other words games, it gives a little more emphasis to unusual letters. For example, in written English, X’s only occur about 0.15% of the time, which means you’d hardly ever see them. Swamp Talk presents them about 0.7% of the time, which means you’ll get one in a game more often than not.
For the next software update, we have refined our algorithm to reduce the random fluctuations in the occurrences of any individual letter. In particular, it will become almost impossible to get more than two of any rare letter such as X, Q, or J. So enjoy all those Q’s while you can!
…and here’s a consolation for when you’re swamped with Q’s: The shortest word we’ve found with two Q’s is QUINQUINA, the category of liquors made with quinine.
I meant to put that letter THERE! I meant to make a different word!
This happens to us a lot too. We call it “Swamp Swap.” Somehow, it’s really easy to get confused as the letters come streaming down and we’re under pressure to place them on the line. More than once, we’ve messed up a long and high-scoring word because we put that last letter in the wrong place. It’s painful!
We’ve discussed this a lot, and come to some consensus that this phenomenon is due to the fact that in Swamp Talk, we’re often constructing words in a different way than we usually do. Ordinarily, we write or spell words from beginning to end. But in Swamp Talk, it’s strategically necessary to put together common combinations — which often occur in the middle or at the end of words — and have them at the ready. This isn’t how our brains are used to spelling, so we posit that’s the cause of Swamp Swap!
But I didn’t mean to swipe THAT word! I wanted to swipe a longer word!
Touch screens are sensitive devices. It can be easy to start swiping in the wrong place — or finish swiping too soon — and ruin your best laid plans. Fear not — you’ll figure it out in no time.
I just swiped randomly, and learned a new word. But whatever does it mean?
One of the great things about Swamp Talk is that you can learn new words by playing. In future releases, we hope to add a feature that would allow you to connect to an online dictionary and learn what those new words mean!
I want to play Swamp Talk with my friends!
And we want you to play Swamp Talk with your friends! Our developers are hard at work on a multi-player version of Swamp Talk. In multi-player, you’ll be able to play with a friend across the room or across the country in a synchronous (simultaneous) version of the game. You’ll both get the same letter stream at the same time — and battle each other to see who can score the highest.
We’ve been previewing the multi-player version at our Swamp Talk Slams, and participants love it! At the Slams, teams join forces in urgent brainstorming to stay ahead of the game’s letter stream and outwit their opponents with the highest-scoring words. We expect to release the multi-player version around Labor Day. Subscribe to this blog, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to be the first to know when Swamp Talk goes multi.