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Hangmagus

Edited January 24, 2023

This is another one of my 20 jam games from 2020, and I think it's one of the most interesting of the batch. You can click the image above to play a copy here, or on itch.io where I originally published it.

I still sort of want to revisit this project at some point and improve the word selection at higher difficulties.

Original devlog/postmortem:

The description of this jam included this video about Hangman: https://youtu.be/le5uGqHKll8 As of the time of this writing, the only other entries to the jam are pen and paper games, which might be what the jam was about. I dunno. It said to make the Hangman that you find inside yourself, and mine was a video game that had a wizard in it.

I liked the idea of spells becoming available as the body parts became visible on the gallows. My hope was that it would be strategically interesting to decide when to use the spells based on your progress with the current word. I donít think I really got there -- most of the insane high scores people showed me were done without using the spells at all.

I used a list of the 10,000 most common English words (from some random Russian school website) and wrote this function to determine the hangman difficulty of a given word.

difficulty = (100 - the number of unique letters in the word times 8) -2 for each of RSTLNE that it contains and +2 for each of JXQZKV.

The first word it gives you is somewhere between difficulty 0 and 10, the second is between 5 and 15, the third between 10 and 20 and so on until it stops increasing at 70-80. Apparently there were only a handful of words in the set between 70 and 80, which meant the game eventually gets trivially easy. If I had had more timeÖ by which I mean if I had decided to spend more time on it, it wouldíve been worth it to do some analytics on the word set and maybe alter the difficulty bands a little.

I published it without adding any sound, which feels cheap, but I just couldnít muster up the enthusiasm for it. Iím starting to feel my typical end-of-the-year pressure with day job stuff, and Iím still four jams short of my original goal. Expect some very small games in the near future.


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