Spellirium Dictionary Feature

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The Dictionary records all of the words that you build while you play the game. Think of it as a massive collection list with fifty-four thousand, one hundred and twenty-nine things to collect. We’re looking for ways to transform the Dictionary from something daunting to something fun.

TOTALLY IMPORTANT WARNING: Right now, we’re saving your Dictionary progress to a cookie on your system. We will very likely wipe your Dictionary records on our next iteration.

Here are four upcoming features for future builds that tie into the Dictionary:

1. Collectible Scrolls

They may not be actual scrolls, but you’ll be able to find things that “unlock” words in your dictionary. For example, the “S” scroll lights up all of the Dictionary words beginning with S so that you know what you’re shooting for.

2. Shops

In Spellirium, words are your currency. As you collect words, you can use them to buy items. For example, an item might cost two yellow words (of any size), and two 7-letter words (of any colour). Or to purchase another item, you may have to “pay” a list of specific words: BOAT, FLOWER, SPOOL, TEPID, and STOMP. Once you “pay” words out of your Dictionary, you don’t “have” them any more, but we keep a record of the fact that you’ve checked them off your Dictionary list.

3. The QuickList

You’ll be able to add words from the Dictionary to your QuickList. Pop open the QuickList during gameplay to stay focused on which words you’re trying to make. This feature should also help those players who say “i can’t think of any words to make!”

4. Collection Rewards

You will not need to spell all the words in the Dictionary to complete the game! We plan to reward players for completing portions of the Dictionary. But we are concerned that spelling fifty-four thousand words is a daunting task, to say the least. We’re looking for suggestions on making the collectible Dictionary feature fun and compelling, instead of frustrating and futile. What do you think?


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9 thoughts on “Spellirium Dictionary Feature

  1. Pingback: untoldentertainment.com » It’s Going Well

  2. Michael

    Hey, you changed the control scheme again! I liked the idea of the sliding rows and columns, but they never felt quite right to me. This “letter hopping” makes it way easier to piece together the words I want (is that a good thing?)

    54,000 words to collect does seem too daunting to be possible. I liked the way Bookworm Adventures grouped words. Maybe you could tie a thesaurus into the game.

    1. Ryan

      MJW – Heh … it’s really tough releasing the game to the public in tiny increments, because we can’t put forth the entire vision for the game.

      We do have something like what you’re suggesting, but i didn’t want to rip off the feature wholesale. We have discussed a feature where you can conjure items, monsters and spells from within the grid. But at the very least, we have a challenge type planned where you look at a scene, and you have to label things in the scene. So if you see a tree, you spell TREE, and you get points. Synonyms count. You can also spell BARK, TRUNK, LEAF, BRANCH, etc for points. The idea is to milk the scene for as many points as possible before time runs out.

  3. PeteVasi

    That dictionary sure has a lot of red dots in it. I tried looking for the words I did spell, I guess they’re buried deep in there somewhere. How about just showing the words I have used and then throw a little party when I hit milestones. 1,000 words spelled! You’re 1/54 of a genius! Only when you get close to limits or if you’re working on sections do I think the unknown red dots make sense.

    1. Ryan

      PeteVasi – we definitely need to do that. And it became obvious as the feature was playable that we need a way to collapse or filter the dictionary so that you only see completed words (or incomplete words, or hidden words, or whatever)

      It will bear out through playtesting as later features are developed whether getting to that 1000-word goal is a ridonculous idea or not.

  4. Facebook Indie Games

    I hope that there is some fictional reason that words are so important in this world of yours. That’s the missing piece of the puzzle now. You’ve got an interesting world, you’ve got a fun game mechanic. But why do they go together?

    1. Ryan

      FBIndie – no survey, since i don’t think i can glean any useful feedback about the Dictionary feature, because it requires that four other features be built before it starts making real gameplay sense.

      That’s one big problem i’m finding with this Agile/Scrum development. You kind of have to get your project to a feature complete stage before you solicit feedback – otherwise, it’s really hard to drive interest and solicit feedback when there are no graphics, no sound, etc. to hold players’ interests. But if you go ahead and build stuff without audience feedback, you might be wasting effort on something players don’t want.

      To your other question: there is a definite rationale for words in the game – they’re a crucial plot point. But to understand that, you have to know what a Runekeeper is. And THAT is the subject of a later entry. :)


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