Wordsmith expansion plans

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.


  1. Xarlos says:

    What I loved most about this game was the creativity aspect. In this way it reminds me of Minecraft. You have a limited number of resources available to you (in this case 26), but combining them in different ways will allow you to make some awesome stuff.

    At the time being, the game world isnt persistant, which causes most of the road blocks. If it werent, theres several solutions for letters.

    Create a BANK to store letters currently held to accrue “interest”. This would allow you to get additional letters that you’ve already been able to obtain. Also – upon death, you wouldnt lose these.

    Create a MARKET or perhaps a STORE to allow selling or trading of letters to obtain new or more rare ones. A simple point value could be assigned to each letter similar to scrabble.

    Whatever happens, I’m definitely looking forward to more.

  2. Thanks! Some fascinating ideas. I hadn’t considered the option of treating letters as a currency. My current idea is actually that the player is the only one in the world that has this power, to collect letters and spell objects; nobody else can even see them.

    So when you go to a “store” (or market, bazaar, trader, etc), it’ll be like a real store – you’ll have a range of objects to buy (“pizza”, “milk”, “bread”, and so on) – but to actually buy them you need “money” or some equivalent.

    If you visit the “bank”, they will buy valuable objects (such as “ore” or a “diamond”) for money; alternatively you can try breaking into the “vault”. 🙂

    Expect more Wordsmith updates in May; I’ll finally be getting some free time to work on it.

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