A downloadable game for Windows and macOS

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Winner of the Human Human Machine award at A MAZE 2017!

Word After Word is a fast-paced local multiplayer word game that uses a massive natural language dataset to reward players for thinking naturally about common word usage and context. The game is played by two to four people, each with their own keyboard. Each player is given the same randomly generated series of adjectives one at a time. For each adjective, each player tries to identify the noun that most commonly follows it (e.g. fast CAR). Each player is given a score based on how often their noun follows the given adjective in a dataset compiled from over a half a billion words taken from magazines, tv, and books. For each prompt, there are potentially thousands of correct answers of varying degrees. As an example, let’s say players were given the word “traditional.” In the dataset, there are approximately 2000 nouns that would be accepted and scored. High scoring answers would be: role, family, and music.

Purchase

Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:

WordAfterWord-MAC-Embedded-0.0.6.zip 79 MB
WordAfterWord-PC64-Embedded-0.0.7.zip 96 MB
WordAfterWord Windows (Debug) 96 MB

Development log

Comments

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This game was fun solo and with others. It could really benefit from having more words, settings of some sort, and maybe alternate modes? Stuff like maybe having to fill in an adjective for a noun or submitting an adverb for an adjective. There is a lot of potential here but it is enjoyable as is. 

(+2)

After playing a few rounds the game starts freezing, pressing the windows key fixes it for a short while, but it still inputs pressed keys. 

It gets progressivly worse as I continue, this happened with one keyboard and also with three. I'm on windows 10. 

Any idea why and if it can be fixed?

i get this issue to

I am attempting to run Word After Word on Windows 10 Pro, updated to the latest. I have a single keyboard attached. When I start the program, it displays a white screen with the sentence "Please press <space> on each keyboard you have connected (0 keyboards found)."

I then press the space bar and nothing happens. I can exit via alt-F4.

In Device Manager, I see a single "HID Keyboard Device" under Keyboards. The driver claims to be working normally and I am typing right now using that same keyboard.

Any suggestions?

(+1)

Thanks for the details. I just uploaded a new build - WordAfterWord Windows (Debug).  Let me know if you have a second to try it. 

After running it, it should produce a file called "output-log.txt." If you could email me the contents of that file, it would be much appreciated. My first name at playfulsystems dot com.

(+1)

Hi Jonah,

The Windows Debug build solved the problem for me. I'll email the log file in case it helps.

-John

Backspace isn't working for me, is this intended?

When typing r-e-a-d-y in the beginning you can't, but it should definitely work when typing answers in-game.

Strange... Backspace/Delete works on my Windows machine. How many keyboards are you using? Is it the same for all? Windows or Mac?

Yea it's not working for me in the game on windows. I'm using one keyboard. I tried restarting the game but had no luck. If there's any way I can give more detailed tracebacks or anything, I'm more than willing to help 😊

Thanks for the offer to help! I've uploaded a new build - WordAfterWord Windows (Debug).  Could you try it?

After running it, it should produce a file called "output-log.txt." If you could email me the contents of that file, it would be much appreciated. My first name at playfulsystems dot com.

The error I found was pretty deep in an old library that is no longer being updated. Hopefully I can debug this. If not, I might have to pull the game for the time being. 

Thanks again.

Oh, and make sure to type backspace/delete in the round you play before sending the output-log.txt. Thanks.

Here's the output I got: https://hastebin.com/raw/ovahamifez I used backspace multiple times and it doesn't show up so I fear the worst.

Is it optional for each player to have their own keyboard?  I wouldn't mind trying this game, but I don't want to plug in extra keyboards.

Although it's meant to be local multiplayer, you can play by yourself with one keyboard. It doesn't save high scores or anything like that though, just FYI.

I'd love if highscores and seeded runs were added so that players could compete on the same set of words and see who gets a higher score. Maybe making it a timed thing?

(1 edit)

Okay, so I really like this game!  It's a great concept - very Family Feud-esque.  I also like how simple and streamlined it is.  That said, some features I think would make it even better: Windowed mode; Ability to change settings to make the timer faster or the bar take longer to fill.

Noted. Thanks for the feedback!

(+1)

this is great!! too bad i dont have friends to play it with

(1 edit) (+1)

I have uploaded a new Windows version of the game (0.0.7). 

It should solve the phantom keyboard problems. The initial set up has been reworked. You now have to press the space bar on each connected keyboard prior to playing.

Please let me know how this works. I've only been able to test on my one Windows machine.

(1 edit) (+4)

It's great to see everyone's interest in this game. Thank you!

Sorry about the problems you are encountering.  I haven't touched it in 3-4 years and it seems to have accumulated a number of issues (as funky hardware configurations can).

I've tracked down the code base and will look into these problems. I'm crossing my fingers I see them too and can debug. Thank you for your patience, in advance.

(4 edits)

Good news: I see the same error as many of you (too many keyboards). This will make debugging easy.

Bad news: strangely, Windows likes to keep around multiple device listings for the same device. Why? Who knows. You can see this in your device manager. 

Bad news: the input library can't distinguish which devices are duplicates.

Bad news: the input library I've been using isn't being maintained. It hasn't been updated in a few years.

Good news: I think I found a work around. Players will confirm keyboards with the spacebar before playing.

With luck I should be updating a fix in the next day or two. Thanks again for your patience.

I'm really interested in this game but when it does load up, all I get is a white screen and that's at best. Otherwise, it just freezes up my monitor and I have to force close it. I play on Windows btw.

(+2)

Really love the idea and loved playing solo.  Someday, when friends can gather close enough again, I look forward to trying it at a party.  How did you generate the data set?  I understand it's gathered from a large corpus.  Did you write code to generate the set, or did you acquire the data from elsewhere?

I see this was released in 2017. I hope you haven't set this aside.  The game has a lot of potential for mobile, with either live synchronous or asynchronous play, and this would make a great game in the Jackbox style. 

(+1)

I got the data from here:
https://www.english-corpora.org/coca/

It's usually used in linguistics research. It looks like they've just updated it (April 2020)!

Thanks for the words of encouragement.  I have been thinking about making a small Jackbox-like collection including this.  

Comments like this definitely help get me excited about exploring that!

(+1)

My wife and I played about 20 rounds in a row last night.  She wasn't a fan of being locked out of an answer if the other player says it first, because it gives a big first-mover advantage, but I think it's the right design choice given that all answers are shown on the same screen.  Another nice choice you made that I might not have thought of is allowing any given word to be used only once per game, so you can't just answer "man" or whatever to every prompt.  I was surprised at how many prompts repeated over the course of 20 matches.  Given the size of the data set, I'd have expected far fewer repeats.

Thanks for the link to the data source.  As a puzzle- and game-maker, I think I'll find a lot of interesting uses...

20 rounds! Nice!

Very cool you caught all of those design decisions. Locking out definitely does give fast-movers an advantage, which could be annoying for more methodical folks.  Asynchronous/mobile would solve that. For local multiplayer, I like the added pressure/drama.

Re: one use per game. Yeah,  I often found myself always trying the same word over and over, which didn't seem all that interesting. 

Also interesting about getting the same prompts. I'll look at how I choose. I bet I limited to a certain extent since this was primarily designed for exhibitions. Maybe I'll open it up a bit when I finish fixing up the keyboard bugs.

The data set used to be paid for commercial use. Great to see it's now free. I'd love to see what you make with it. If you end up using it, let me know! 

Thanks for the link to the corpus. What a great source.

I have -1- keyboard connected. No other device (except for a game mouse???) is a connected keyboard according to my device manager. The game finds 5, and then because instead of just telling the game which keyboard you want to use, the first keyboard you interact with (again my only one) is disabled. If it's detecting the mouse as a keyboard, none of the buttons on it disable it. An utterly baffling design decision.

I'm in the same situation. When will you fix this completely game breaking oversight Jonah?

(+2)

Hello. Upon first boot up, MacOS tells me that the file is corrupted and recommends trashing.

Are you using Catalina? Unfortunately, the Mac build was made a while ago (pre 64-bit and new signing requirements). 

I'm really sorry, but I'm going to have to pull the Mac version for now.  When I get some time, I'll see if I can jump through all the new hoops to get it up and running.

I'm using an old OS, High Sierra, 10.13. 

Thanks for considering though. The game seemed fun. Good word games have become a rarity.

(1 edit)

Actually... do you still have the build? I think this might work (you shouldn't have to put it in the Applications folder if you don't want to): 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fqzb4qpgcs

No, but please re-upload. I bet this workaround will work. Another game was having the same issue the other day and the new build seems to include a script that opened the terminal. It worked great.

OK, I've posted it again.

(+4)

Hello! I'm very computer illiterate and am trying to play this game. 

When I booted it up it said it found three keyboards. How did it find those, how do I connect keyboards? 

Also, how do I exit the game? There was no mouse on the screen and the escape button didn't do anything I had to hard shutdown my computer to close it. 


Thank you so much, the game looks great and I'm super excited to jump in!

(+3)

Hey, I had the same problem, in my case the game found 4 keyboards. I do have another bluetooth keyboard paired, but it was not connected... Hopefully Jonah will be able to clear it out.

About exiting game: shortcut Alt + F4 should do the trick :)

It's possible that the HID code is incorrectly detecting other devices as keyboards. That shouldn't stop you from playing... unless keyboards you have connected (or paired) aren't showing up? Let me know if that's the case and I can look into it.

What's stopping me playing is 5 keyboards getting detected, with my only option being to disable the only keyboard that actually exists. I can't press keys on spurious/virtual keyboards to remove them.

(+1)

Got it. A bunch of folks have responded similarly. Looking into it. Thanks.

You should be able to connect multiple keyboards either physically with USB cables or via Bluetooth. Once they are connected properly, run the program and they should be detected.

I thought esc should work, but I can look into it. Are you on Windows? A hacky way to stop it is by pressing the windows key, right-clicking on the program and quitting from there.

Thanks for giving it a go!

Let me know if this new version works for you. The exit problem should be fixed as well. Sorry for the issues!

Fun idea for a party game, I really enjoyed experimenting with what fills the bars, even if against myself :P

Thanks!