This is interview with Rob Adams, Producer of Gamescafe, which released [Word Web].

Korean vesrion of this Interview.

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1. How come to make 'Word Game', while there are tons of other genre in Casual / Indie Game scene? And what could be 'Best Fun' for 'Word Game' genre?  

WordWeb Deluxe was our second title for, and it was a company decision based off a group of game proposals that the development team has come up with at the time. There were other proposals which included different genres, but in the end we went with the strongest ideas. We tend to look towards innovation, when making our decisions on what projects are green lighted. That could be in the technology used to make the game or the game design itself.

2. Did you choice some 'Target Player' for Word Games? If so, how did you choice them?

First off we looked at all the top word games, then we set our sites on the biggest, then looked at who’s was playing this game and why. That’s how we formed a lot of our design choices about the game in the early prototype stages.

3. 'Spider' & 'Web' are important elements for [Word Web]. Is there some special reason to choose it?

The theme of the game was generated from the name of the game WordWeb. The Art Director took the name and ran with it, being aware that spiders are not the most loved creature he had to come out with a design that had mass-appeal and not too scary looking. We used 3D to create these spiders with personalities and we think it was pulled of quite well.

4. [Bookworm Adventure], the mixture of 'Word Game' & 'RPG' released. What's your opinion about such fusion of 2 entirely different genre?

Looking at what’s going on with the current generation casual games, I think we will see more of this marriage between genres. Some will be done well, and others will leave you scratching your head. Developers and publishers are always trying to reach a broader audience; it’s a gamble for the most part when making this type of game, so researching your audience is very important.

5. We could call it 'Word Game' as 'Another Method of Education' or 'Edu-tainment'. Did you expect something like that, when you make & release 'Word Game'?

With WordWeb there is an Edutainment element to it, and we new that when we introduced the mechanic of having the players spell a certain length of word to move on to other levels. By giving the player the ability to spell any word they want, (as long as it is in the game’s dictionary) we increased the difficulty by making the player spell longer words. We never penalized the player for spelling any word of any length they wanted, and over the course of the game we increased the length of the word required. We found during testing of this mechanic by the later levels the players had stopped spelling the short 3 to 5 letter words and were able to pick up larger patterns of letters. This was something most of the players never realized until we pointed it out to them, or when they went back and tried to play other word games, how limited they felt towards having to create shorter words.  

Once you play WordWeb Deluxe for over an hour you really see how your vocabulary can increase and challenges you to think more. We found that there is also a nitch market in the word genre where players who were word experts felt really rewarded with how the game progressed.

6. Player must make some words, with any alphabet tiles appeared. It seems to be done randomly, but there might be some algorithm, as I assume. Could you please let me know what kind of algorithm to make it happen?

The game board takes in to account, how many spaces there are, then we use a formula based on weighted characters to fill and replace spaces on the board. We also added other formulas in to the mix to determine how many bonus tiles can be placed, and when specials are generated. With the player being able to place down any character during play that they wanted, it was key for us to run a calculation for proximity on how many of one character can be in a certain area of the board.  

7. You can't use all the words in the English culture, and you might have some basis to choice 'What words use & What words don't use'. Could you please let us know, how you decided (or choiced or made) 'Dictionary' of the game?

The game has a dictionary of over 175,000 words, and it took quite some time to remove offensive words, and definitions, this was policed by ourselves, with thoughts of what our customers might find offensive. It’s a fine line with this kind of thing because no two people are a like, so it really came down to what our development team was comfortable with. Did we take out too much, or not enough the answer is “yes”.

8. Player must have basic knowledge of 'Word', if he plays 'Word Game'. If you'd make it for foreigners, who doesn't know 'Word' very well, what you would do to make it happen?

We only have the English version of this game available now, so a grasp of the English language, would allow you to enjoy the game a lot more. We have been in talks about opening the game up to other languages, but as of right now nothing are in the works.  This game could really be used for a learning tool for people who want to learn the English language because once you know a few words in the English language you can play the game and learn their definitions and context as well.

9. Could you leave some advise something, if somebody wants to make 'Word Game' with non-English, as Korean or Japanese or Chinese?

The best advice is to make sure you have people who have a good understanding of Korean, Japanese, or Chinese working on the dictionary. Because cultures are so different across the board, a pedestrian knowledge of the language and culture could get you in to trouble.

10. Please recommend us other good games & meaning why?

I am going to plug Mah-Jomino Deluxe here because of what we did to show some innovation in a Mahjong game. Changing the Mahjong tiles into 2 sided pieces, it’s a mechanic that is starting to show up in other casual games; plus its production values.

There is a lot of good games out there right now with great production values, for the consumers of casual games its like walking into a candy store and everything is free, its hard to know where to start. I still think some of the early tiles are the best like BookWorm, Jewel Quest, even Snood.

11. Have you played some Korean game, or experienced or even heard about Korean Gaming Scene & Market? If so, please share your opinion about that.

I have been following what has been going on in Korea with Nexon, we been playing one of their games Maple Story.

Korea is a different market than North America; PC MMO games are the biggest movers in Korea while in North America, consoles reigns supreme, with the exception of WoW of course J. With new generation consoles and the increased broadband penetration in North America there is much we can learn from Korea.

12. Please leave some message for Pig-MIn Interview Readers, especially for whom are interested in 'Word Games'.

Give Word Web Deluxe a try, it’s worth it, it will challenge you and provide an interesting spin on the words games.

Thank you for your time.

Korean vesrion of this Interview.
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