Spell doom for your enemies.
Some more thoughts about expanding Wordsmith…
Making a bigger world is the obvious approach. I could just add more levels, with more puzzles and more stuff. For example, when you get past the spiders in the mine, maybe the tunnel continues. Rocks and walls block your way, gas pockets threaten to explode or suffocate you, and there are fiercer and fiercer subterranean monsters to fight. Similarly, when you get past the mountain, maybe there’s a glacier to explore (warm clothing necessary), and when you get past the island, maybe there are shark-infested waters blocking your way, followed by marshland filled with mosquitoes, alligators and slimes, leading up to a jungle temple filled with traps… (Yeah, I’ve been thinking about this stuff a lot.)
Problem: as the world gets larger and larger, it gets more and more annoying to travel around harvesting letters. “Oh, I know what I need to create! – But, I need a K. Back to the wreck, let’s kill some more skeletons. (cue 15 minutes of walking back through the mine to the start position, killing a bunch of skeletons, then walking back down to where your puzzle was.)”
To prevent the game from getting too annoying, I think the world needs to remain fairly small.
An alternative I just thought of while writing: fast-travel! Such as Torchlight’s Town Portals, perhaps, or a “warp to any location you’ve visited” mechanic like the recent Elder Scrolls games.
Hmm… that does actually sound like it has potential. Wow, Paul Graham is right. Writing essays is awesome.