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Thread: Forum scrabble game, not sure waht to do?

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    Default Forum scrabble game, not sure waht to do?

    We play a game over on my forum that we call scrabble though it's not really a scrabble game.

    http://www.thescooterprofessor.probo...e-game?page=58

    It's actually a change a word to a new word game. The rules are simple:

    We use 6 letter words but can change to any amount we want.
    Only words in the English language are used.
    No proper names or capitalized words.
    We change one letter ONLY to make a new word.
    Words cannot be repeated.

    Sound simple enough and it actually is except for the fact that as you can see with the link above the game is now on it's 58th page and after a spell it's hard to remember if a word has been used in the current game that is going on. The goal is to see if someone can finally put up a word that cannot be changed again because all words have already been used. So if you're not sure you have to just put the word up and if someone says it's already been used then change it or scroll through page after page to check. It's kind of run a lot of people off who did like to play earlier.


    What I was wondering is there a game code like this anywhere that someone knows of (and I have looked a lot on the net) that I could install on my forum that could b e like a data base or something that could have a drop down listing all the words that have been used on the previous pages or a drop down that could be put in that would search to see if the word has already been used? I can put this game on a total separate thread , category or board if need be. I even looked at game codes here too.

    I may be asking for something that is totally undoable but I'm hoping that the good people here can help.

    Thanks
    Last edited by JRR; 11-24-2013 at 11:51 AM.

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    Would you be interested in writing an extension to your forum on your own? That is, the best way to do this might be completely independently of the forum but integrated with the user login system. I've done things like this. It's not a small project, but it is possible. Often the forum software will have an API (or you can create one yourself with some work). Depending on how fast you need this and whether you want to take that on, you could either do it yourself or hire someone to do it (see the paid work requests forum here, or look elsewhere-- this could be a big project).
    And there are many levels of complexity you could decide-- do you want something that is just the basics, or would you want something more complicated like, for example, adding in graphics? That's up to you.

    This reply is, I know, somewhat vague, but maybe it'll help you get started and thinking about what direction you'd like to go in.
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    Thanks so much for your reply. I know nothing about this kind of thing, that's why I came to this great forum to start with. I'm wanting just something that's basic IMO.

    I would like it to keep track of the words used or if a word has been used before send out a message like "Oops that word has been used already, choose again" and the word not allowed to be posted.

    The ability to choose the length of the word or the amount of letters if you will. We might want to use a 6 letter word one time and a 8 letter word the next round.

    Limit the words to the English dictionary and be able to reset the game to start again if it is agreed by all that a new word can't be found.

    If possible eliminate proper names of people, places and things.

    That's basically it. I know nothing as far as how to do this but I sure would like to see if it could be done. How does your pay service go for such things? A flat fee, bids, etc.

    The ability

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    "Basic" in programming isn't always the most obvious. In this case, I'm not certain that it would be easier to modify the forum to "just add a few things" rather than rewriting this entirely on your own plus user integration from the forum. Forum software is (and I've personally become familiar with maybe 3-4 of the systems out there) always very hard to work with especially if you're just starting out. It takes a very long time just to decode what is located where in the code (there are probably around 100 different PHP files running your forum at the moment!), and then sometimes it takes very complicated code to properly modify the forum in a way that won't be destroyed by updates and isn't just a cheap (soon-to-be-problematic) patch.

    Either way is possible, of course, but just be aware that it's not obviously easier to modify the forum.

    ----

    Actually, there is a HUGE problem here: you simply cannot do this (it's hosted by Proboards) without moving the entire forum to your own server where you have access to the code. These thing's aren't just Javascript you'd add-- you'd need to modify the database and serverside code running the forum.
    So, if you want to do this you can move the forum to a new server (personally I would-- I like having the access and control over my websites). But: 1) that's a lot of work (and perhaps not necessary for you); and 2) it might be a violation of the TOS at Proboards to take your forum data (posts, members, etc.) with you, so you'd need to start over-- or they might just not give you access to that-- check their website for info on that-- it's important.
    Correct me if I'm wrong though-- I don't use Proboards. Do they give you access to the code?

    ----

    I would like it to keep track of the words used or if a word has been used before send out a message like "Oops that word has been used already, choose again" and the word not allowed to be posted.

    The ability to choose the length of the word or the amount of letters if you will. We might want to use a 6 letter word one time and a 8 letter word the next round.
    Technically these things aren't very hard. The hard part is integrating them into (or parallel to) the forum.

    Limit the words to the English dictionary and be able to reset the game to start again if it is agreed by all that a new word can't be found.

    If possible eliminate proper names of people, places and things.
    Possible, but would require the use of a dictionary to look things up. You could use the official Scrabble dictionary, but that could also limit flexibility if you wanted to allow creative words that aren't yet in the dictionary. (Personally I'd find that more interesting, not that just anything should count.) There are English dictionaries out there that might work-- I'm thinking of the ones used in spell-check programs, for example.

    That's basically it. I know nothing as far as how to do this but I sure would like to see if it could be done.
    Yes, but it's complicated if you don't know where to start. It's possible. But it may not be possible with your current forum hosting!

    How does your pay service go for such things? A flat fee, bids, etc.
    It's generally informal. DD is generally for free help and discussions about web design. In the case of instead wanting to pay for help, we also have a paid work requests forum where you can post your project and see if anyone is interested. You can decide your price (or negotiate-- best off the forum, by email, etc.) and requirements. To be honest, this is just an extra part of the forum here, which can be useful, but there are much larger freelancing websites out there so you can consider both options. Think of it as "free help plus".
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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    That's actually a five letter word, not a six letter one as indicated in your post you link to. Still a pretty fun looking game.

    The PHP part of a game like this would be fairly easy and a text file could be used to store the results (the words and possibly who proffered them). Javascript using AJAX could verify both that only one letter was changed and that the word had not already been used, before allowing it to be added. A select element could show all previous words (and who entered each of them if this is tracked). A text input could accept the next word someone wants to offer.

    There would have to be some way to challenge whether something were actually a word or not. Not sure how to work that part. A database of acceptable words could be used, like a scrabble dictionary, or something else could be worked out.

    As far as integrating it, never having done anything like that before I wouldn't know exactly how. If you can find out what the SESSION variables look like for a logged in user (I would assume this would be for logged in users only) and they contain the username, then that could be used to track/credit who gave what word and to ensure (with varying degrees of certainty, depending upon what the SESSION vars look like) that someone is logged in before displaying the page/allowing it to be played. It would no longer be a thread though.

    If there is some sort of API and/or template for integrating things like this (widgets, games, etc.) that probably would be helpful.

    The more I think about this though, it actually seems more fun as a thread, just the way you are doing it. What with user's policing it and some other limited interaction, it's more social than it would be if it were simply a game with stats where it's impossible to make an illegal/wrong play. Administrating it would be easy though, no work at all probably, so there is that.
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    Ok John some us your questions I can answer and some I need help on what you mean. First of all my forum is done in two ways and I can control how users post, read etc. For instance to post one has to be a member and logged in so that's easy. Guests can read all boards, threads etc. except for boards that I choose for them not to, ex. my tech section which is members only. I control this with the forum's software choice or by code like {if $[current_user.is_member]}

    This game can be viewed by guests which I want which may attract some to join in to play but can be played only if you're a member and again logged in.

    Yes I do know widgets can be added via template modifications as in this example of one in the PB template library:

    http://support.proboards.com/thread/...te-thread-page

    Here is a thesaurus with a template mod and it would be a good thing to have on all pages but I can see if it can be isolated to a single thread?

    http://support.proboards.com/thread/...-create-thread



    Also here is maybe something that could be used to add a button for a dictionary or grammar checker, forgot about this one?

    http://support.proboards.com/thread/...-create-thread

    I have some buttons already so putting a grammar check/dictionary should be easy enough and a scrabble game type dictionary for this game would even be neater, any suggestions? Also we can modify the rules to make any word in the chosen dictionary acceptable as long as it fits the other rules that we choose to use. I've got buttons that link to Yahoo, gmail etc. But having a widget type thing that one could immediately use or put a word in would be nicer.

    http://www.thescooterprofessor.probo.../post/new/2942



    As you can see this person added a image uploader using a widget. It's possible that I could add some widget and isolate it to the very thread we play on? In fact if I can do what I'm wanting here then I'll probably just start a whole new thread and new game with these changes. If I can's isolate it to a single thread I'm betting I can to a single board. I've made lots of template changes on my forum to add or improve things, it's in lots of cases easier than the plugin system. Even though PB is trying to get away from the old header and footer codes that was used a lot on the old V4 software one can still use then somewhat, ex. the falling images code that you helped Baller and myself with.

    Ajax requests are not allowed by PB, just confirmed it. They have a thread going right now asking for API input which includes javascript discussion:

    http://support.proboards.com/thread/...javascript-api

    I'm sure you know exactly what they are talking about, myself it's vague to me?


    BTW I know the thread started with 5 letter words but we changed it to 6.

    So basically if I could somehow figure out how to make a system to search for already used words on all the pages of the thread that the game is being played on then it would make the game faster and easier. I could post the rules on a separate thread and tell all members to post only the single word that they changed so that a search function wouldn't look in replies from members that are lengthy and then come back and list the word as already used. Oh BTW this function would have to have a way for a staff member to reset it if it came to a final point of saying all words on this game session have been used and winner is.....

    Again John when this game started it had a lot of players and the policing it got old with people who had to go through page after page to try to solve disputes as in this word has already been used. Having a game dictionary only would solve the it's not in this dictionary thing.

    I sure would appreciate any help on this and I can always find out if something will or will not work with PB support.

    John I just had someone mention to me about a function that might work with this?

    http://support.proboards.com/thread/...ll-plugin-keys

    Oh BTW it is a fun thread and I also have a test forum that I can use to test with.


    Thanks
    Last edited by JRR; 11-27-2013 at 10:21 PM.

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    In order to get you thinking a little more like what I'm thinking. What I'm proposing would no longer be a thread. It would be a page where you went to play. The current word would be there. There would also be a select element that would show all of the previous words if you dropped it down and scrolled through it. There would be a text input and a submit button for playing the next word.

    Since PHP is behind the board, the SESSION should be available to this page (this might not be workable though, due to security measures of the board). Using that you should be able to allow non-members to see but not play, and to allow members to play and be able to record who played which word. This page wouldn't actually be a part of the board though, so it could use AJAX. This page could be linked to from the board, and have a link back to it. The game would have its own records and dictionary(ies). Stats could even be generated for it - how many plays for each person, how many misplays, points could be assigned to letters, anything you can think of that could be tracked could be used to generate statistics.

    It could not be slapped onto the existing game unless someone wanted to take all of the previous plays and enter them into the record for this new page. If someone did that, play could continue on from there on this page I'm talking about.

    Again, it would be a single page, not a thread and would stand alone. It's only relation to the board is that it would use the SESSION of the board to determine who (if anyone) was playing.

    That's how I'm thinking about this. I may even go ahead and try making something like it (if I'm not busy, because I like the idea). But if that's not what you want or can't live with it that way, I don't think I want to get into doing as a thread at this time. Someone else might be interested.
    Last edited by jscheuer1; 11-28-2013 at 02:13 PM. Reason: add info
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    JRR, so are you saying that you have access to PHP on the Proboards server? If so, this is possible. If not, it will probably be impossible. Having access just to templating MIGHT work, but it would be a lot of effort to integrate it when all you have to work with is that information. (Actually I don't see how it would work, since you'd need to store these in the database somehow-- perhaps you could use an external database additionally, via AJAX or something, but that ends up with many of its own problems.)
    If you have access, then let's see what can be done.

    I'm pretty busy at the moment so I don't have time to work through this in detail but I can try to point you in the right direction.

    As far as integrating it, never having done anything like that before I wouldn't know exactly how. If you can find out what the SESSION variables look like for a logged in user (I would assume this would be for logged in users only) and they contain the username, then that could be used to track/credit who gave what word and to ensure (with varying degrees of certainty, depending upon what the SESSION vars look like) that someone is logged in before displaying the page/allowing it to be played. It would no longer be a thread though.

    If there is some sort of API and/or template for integrating things like this (widgets, games, etc.) that probably would be helpful.
    John, I'll be happy to help you get started.
    There are about four ways to integrate with a forum:
    1. Use an API. That's by far the easiest.
    2. Create a pseudo-API. Basically extract the login/session check part of the forum code and copy that skeleton of the forum onto a new page called something like "external-verify-user.php".
    3. Rewrite everything yourself based on session variables, cookies, etc., trying to piggyback on the existing system but NOT working directly with it. I avoid not doing this-- (2) is easier.
    4. Completely skip everything about the forum's code and login, but create a parallel system that only checks the username and password via the database. This is about the same amount of work and the results are bad-- logins aren't timed up (so you must login once to the forum and once to the extra page). There's no reason to do this unless you're running two domain names. (I did do this once, for a website with two domains-- thewebsite.com and thewebsiteforums.com.)

    My recommendation: Option 1 or 2:
    Step 1: Check if there is an API [if so skip to Step 4]. Assuming not:
    Step 2: Go through the PHP files running the forum and track down what part does the login. It may involve several layers.
    Step 3: Decide if you want to cut-and-paste or use include(). Try include() first to see if you can just borrow existing code; if it turns out that too much extra stuff is dragged along with the login, then cut-and-paste the login algorithm (eg, password salt, etc.) into a new page.
    Step 4: Add the new login code to your new page(s) as needed and you're ready to go.

    Another complication would be adding a custom login-- assuming you don't want this, just add a link to the forum's default login page if the user isn't logged in. That'll work fine.
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    Ok even though I know nothing about API I feel certain PB has a API?

    http://www.proboards.com/developer/js

    As far as the PHB files, how do I retrieve them as far as the login goes?

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    You'd need a PHP API, not a JS API. (I suppose you could try to do this using JS, but it would be indirect and a lot of work.)
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