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Go Vocab

, 3 Sep 2013
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Roll the dice, build your vocabulary and most importantly have fun.

Please note

This article is an entry in our AppInnovation Contest. Articles in this sub-section are not required to be full articles so care should be taken when voting.

Contest Info

Target Platform: All-In-One 

Category: Games 

Overview: Players score points by making words with the face-up letters on the rolled dice. The longer the word, the higher the score per letter. There is limited time for each round and after 5 rounds score is calculated to identify the winner.

Description: Please see below.

Approach: See below.

Coding Languages: C# WPF Application using Helix 3D toolkit for virtual dice and 3D animations. 

Introduction

Go Vocab is a multi player game. It involves building words out of letters in 5 rounds of a minute each. Longer words gain more points than shorter ones and there is a minimum of three letters per word to be qualified. It helps enhance:

  1. Vocabulary
  2. Spelling
  3. Reading
  4. Concentration
  5. Memory Recall
  6. Social Interaction  

Description 

Game consists of empty lists for words, Timer, scoreboard, 12 virtual dice virtual trays to hold letters and Start button. The dice have letters on their faces instead of numbers/dots. 

Each player gets an empty list to fill up with words and a virtual tray to hold the letters and drag them on to the list to build words. 12 virtual dice are placed in between the players. When all the players are ready Start button is touched(or E-dice is rolled to trigger the start). On touching the start button the 12 dice are rolled in the middle and as soon as they have stopped rolling the face-up letters are placed into each user's virtual tray and the timer starts. Using Touch players then drag and drop the letters into their lists to form words. The more number of words they build the better the score. Each word should be a minimum of 3 letters or more. On completion of the round, players will not be able to drag and build any more words. A letter can be used any number of times. All words that appear in more than one player's list are crossed off by the game engine. The remaining words are used to count points for each player.

Scoring is done using these rules by the Game loop:

  1. Three letter words - 1 point per letter (3 points for a word) 
  2. Four letter words - 2 points per letter (8 points for a word) 
  3. Words with five letters or more - 3 points per letter 

Five such rounds are played to complete the game and a winner is declared. Words are checked with internal dictionary by the system and invalid words are removed (or can be penalized). Any word from the English dictionary can be used. Slangs, Names and Abbreviations cannot be used.

All actions are accompanied by background sounds, to make it interesting.

Development Process / Approach 

Go Vocab is being written in C#.NET as a WPF Application using .NET Framework 4.5. Helix 3D toolkit is used to create 3D virtual dice with letters on the faces. Galasoft MVVM framework is used along with Unity as an IoC container. Tasks are used to spin multiple threads and perform asynchronous tasks. GPU acceleration is utilized where available.

DONE - Development Stage 1: Complete game workflow and logic. No UI elements are created in this stage. All required data structures and classes are created. Game can be played by triggering events and a console app is used to test the game sequence.  

In Progress - Development Stage 2: Bring together basic UI elements with 3D effects, may not have the right shadows or camera angles. Develop individual storyboards for spinning of virtual dice, timer tick and begin/end of game. These are integrated with the code and ensured that appropriate commands are triggered.

Awaiting - Development Stage 3: Polishing the UI elements and testing for edge cases in game work flow. Glow effects, shadows, background music and sounds are added and integrated into the Game. 

Why All-In-One

Go Vocab is best suited for the All-In-One in the table PC mode. With the virtual dice in the center and players with their list of words around it. It would be difficult to bring in the same level of interaction between players with any other device.

Go Vocab uses the following features of AIO device.

  1. Multi user mode
  2. Multi touch with simultaneous multiple gesture recognition 
  3. Large screen provides better gaming experience
  4. E-dice (optional) 

Conclusion

Go Vocab is a great way to spend time with each other in the family in a fun and constructive way, while improving vocabulary, spelling, reading, concentration and memory recall skills. The Table PC form / flat mode of the All-In-One helps achieve better gaming experience.   

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Nrupal Prattipati
CEO Indeprof Ltd
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I am passionate about software development and can't wait for the time when everything around us exposes an API for us to develop against.
 
I have been developing software using the .NET Framework since the last 10years. I hold an MSc in Advanced Software Engineering with a University Medal for Outstanding Academic Performance. I also picked up a few MCP and MCTS certs.
 
I follow Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence closely and have completed a course online from Stanford University through Coursera by Andrew Ng.
 
I have developed and deployed a mobile application on iOS. The application is a telecommunications application allowing users to create a recording and send out voice message blasts to tens of thousands of contacts at once.
 
I play the role of an Architect and Software Developer. I have been delving in ASP.NET, WinForms (not anymore), WPF, Silverlight, ASP.NET MVC, Azure SDK and other .NET technologies around them like SharePoint. SPA with WEB API is currently the technology I am working on.
 
A Round 1 winner in App Innovation Contest 2012, but couldn't make it to the second round due to the lack of Code Signing Certificates. I will be re-writing parts of the code to convert the old App into a Windows 8 Store App soon.

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