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billkendrick

"Invenies Verba" (latin: "find the words")

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A few months ago I became aware of a game (by a small company that a friend & past co-worker of mine works for now) for iPhone and Android called "LEX". It's a fast-action word puzzle that's a lot of fun to play. So... I've cloned it for the Atari 8-bit, of course! :)

 

You can learn more about it, and download it from http://newbreedsoftware.com/iverba/ (or see attachment).

 

iverba-1200xl.jpg

 

The objective is to get as high a score as you can, by entering words. You get a stack of random letters, and create words by using some of those letters (they'll get replaced by more random letters). Similar to games like Scrabble, each letter is given a point value -- common letters have low scores, uncommon letters have high scores.

 

The catch is, you need to use letters before they run out of time -- in LEX, the letter's color changes (as though it's filling up) from bottom to top; in Invenis Verba, I draw a little vertical line next to each letter -- if any letter "fills up", the game ends! Different letters' meters fill up at different rates -- common letters fill up fast, uncommon letters fill up more slowly.

 

The current release of the game (1.0, my first beta release) contains two dictionaries: English (4800 3- to 8-letter words), and German (2000 3- to 8-letter words). Others can be made, which I'll get into a little below. (It's late, so in the end, I'll probably wait for people to ask for help before I try to explain everything in too much detail.)

 

Due to how I've constructed the dictionaries, only 15 ASCII characters (A-Z) from each language's alphabet are used. (I pick the most frequently-used letters, then grab all of the 3- to N-letter words that contain just those letters. In English, based on the /usr/share/dict/american-english file on my Ubuntu laptop, it uses A, C, D, E, G, I, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, and U.) I've also had success generating French, Italian and Spanish dictionaries.

 

I've been developing this game on my Linux laptop, entering TurboBASIC XL code as plain ASCII into a text editor, and then using a tool I made during the NOMAM 2014 contest to convert that to ATASCII, and fire up Atari800 emulator to actually load and run the code. I made another simple tool (in PHP of all things; it's because I use it all day at my day job!) to come up with, and store/pack the dictionary files.

 

I use a binary search to find words in the dictionary -- you can't just enter random junk and get points, it has to be a word -- and it's playable but kind of slow in straight TubroBASIC XL. Therefore, the ATR disk image I released (at the site above, or also attached to this post) contains the compiled TBXL, which runs much faster. (Note: I'll be tweaking the meter speed, since now that goes a little too fast.)

 

I've also posted the source code & tools & instructions I use to build the game, so if you have a Linux box handy, you should be able to play with the code. (Maybe I need to post it to github? :) )

 

Anyway, tell me what you think! And be sure to check out LEX, which is a lot of fun to play. (Oh, and they recently open-sourced their code!)

 

iverba-1.0.atr

Edited by billkendrick
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Cool game - but apparently I have the verbal skills of a sped :( I'll see how bad the gf trounces me in a second.

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Just a general remark: "invenies" is future tense second person singular, so the title actually means "you will find the words" or (as there are no definite/indefinite articles in Latin) "you will find words".

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Just a general remark: "invenies" is future tense second person singular, so the title actually means "you will find the words" or (as there are no definite/indefinite articles in Latin) "you will find words".

Why was I immediately reminded of this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIAdHEwiAy8

 

Shame I've forgotten all of my Latin lessons, I took three years in high school.

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This is a really nice game, just needs to have longer timers and a some more words adding, what no SUD!

My best score 335.

Perhaps an easy mode with longer timers and the normal game with challenging timers would be nice. 3 lives perhaps.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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I played it with english words, couldn't get the german version to work.

Yeah, it seems that the language selection (A/B) doesn't work :/

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Just a general remark: "invenies" is future tense second person singular, so the title actually means "you will find the words" or (as there are no definite/indefinite articles in Latin) "you will find words".

 

Hah, I knew I should've checked with someone who actually knew Latin. (I don't, obviously)

 

 

This is a really nice game, just needs to have longer timers and a some more words adding, what no SUD!

My best score 335.

Perhaps an easy mode with longer timers and the normal game with challenging timers would be nice. 3 lives perhaps.

 

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

 

Yeah, under compiled TurboBASIC XL it runs quite a bit faster (which is good, since that makes the complicated stuff like scoring and dictionary look-up run at a reasonable rate). I need to adjust to account for that. :)

 

Also, "sud" isn't a word (I checked Google). Did you mean "suds"? (Each letter would only appear once, BTW, so that's not actually possible in this game.)

 

 

Yeah, it seems that the language selection (A/B) doesn't work :/

 

Oops,. it's suppose to ask the first time you boot, but I left the file on there after I chose English. From the title screen, press [Option].

 

Thanks for trying it out, everyone! At the _least_, it shows the potential for what a real game could do. Maybe I'll inspire some awesome coder in these parts.

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Hah, I knew I should've checked with someone who actually knew Latin.

 

Although it was a mistake, it is not that bad. For the classical Latin it is pretty bad, but in the Late Empire, say in 4th or 5th century AD, the future simple active indicative second person singular was quite often used instead of the second person's imperative. And if the polite form was intended, i.e. the present active subjunctive "invenias" (= please find), then these two forms (fut. and subj.) are notoriously confused in medieval manuscripts.

 

So even if this is a form of a corrupt Latin, in either case there are well established historical precedents for it. ;)

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