WILDWORDS INTERNET VERSION:



It generally takes a few trays to a game or two for players to stop playing Scrabble on the board and start playing WildWords. WildWords is much more about the struggle to use all seven tiles as often as possible and achieve the 40 point bonus. The more you play, the more you realize there are opportunities to do that if you can find them.

Practicing is fun and you can do it without any of the configuration headaches that are sometimes required to connect to a friend. But it is not the same as playing someone where the bluff/challenge mechanism brings some serious tension into a game.


GETTING GOING


Played by two players though you may practice against yourself by pulling down the Play Menu and click on Start Practice.

DOWNLOAD GAME -- but before downloading, please check that your computer has the right stuff, namely:

Most any Windows PC
A screen resolution of at least 800 by 600 (preferably 1024 by 768).
A screen color setting of HIGHER THAN 256.

To check or change your screen settings:

1. Select Settings / Control Panel from the Start Menu
2. Double click the Display Icon.
3. Click the Settings Tab.

(Note: Use the "Test" facility provided BEFORE committing to any changes.)

1024 by 768 GREAT! 800 by 600

TO RUN THE GAME -- Use your Windows Run Command.

Players operate under an overall Time Limit set by pulling down the Options Menu and typing the desired time limit.

Both players must be connected to the Internet. One player is designated the Host and the other is the Guest..

TO LAUNCH A GAME AGAINST AN OPPONENT:


Both players run the game

Decide together who will be the Host and who the Guest (Read Red Text Below Too!)

If you are the Host:

(A) Pull down the Connection Menu,
(B) Select Connect,
(C) Write in your first name,
(D) Make a note of your IP Address (it's in the "Your IP Address" space) and port (Version 2.1 or later),
(E) Press the Be Host button,
(F) Send an e-mail to your Guest, telling him/her your IP Address and port.

(You're done!  After sending that email, go back to the game and wait for word in the chat box that your Guest has made contact with you.)

If you are the Guest:

(A) Pull down the Connection Menu,
(B) Select Connect,
(C) Write in your first name,
(D) Paste or type the Host's IP Address into the "Host's IP Address" space and the port into the "Hosting Port" space (Version 2.1 or later),
(E) Press the Connect to Host button.

(You're done!  Almost instantaneously, "Connected!" will appear in both players' chat areas.)

If you cannot connect, try reversing who is the host and who is the guest. Also try hosting on port 80 or port 21 instead of the default port of 13040.

Being the Host:

This has gotten a lot more complicated since the instructions above were written.

To be the host, you need to be sure your firewall does not block port 13040 for WildWords.exe. If you go to your firewall configuration, you can tell it to let WildWords.exe use any port or specifically 13040. This represents no security threat. Security threats exist because programmers put in holes for their own purposes, and those holes get exploited by others. WildWords does not know how to do anything except to send and accept game commands. There is no general built-in functionality to exploit. Below is a screen shot of the configuration I made. I also used the Protocols and Ports tab to set the port to 13040 and the protocol to TCP.

If you want to be the host and use a router, the IP address given by WildWords as your IP is actually an IP provided by the router. To find the actual IP used by the router on the Internet, go to www.whatismyip.com . There you will find the IP you should send to your guest.

Since the router uses one IP but may provide a number of IP's on your network, you typically have to configure your router to accept incomming requests on port 13040 and tell it to which IP on your network such requests should be directed. The IP's assigned by the router to your various machines may change as may the IP assigned by your service provider to the router. You should really get the habit of checking that your router is properly configured to forward port 13040 request to the machine you want to host on and that the IP you are asking your guest to use is still the one shown by www.whatismyip.com.

Below is a screen shot of the configuration I made. Look at the line that has "Enable" checked. "WildWords.exe" would not fit, so I shortened it. The router does not know the programs anyway. Sometimes the machine I want to use has the IP address ending in 100. Sometimes it's the machine with the IP address ending in 101. I need to reset which is enabled when the machine in question changes.

Optional Reading:

There is a site, www.no-ip.com, at which you can obtain a free host name for your computer and the ability to have the associated IP address change whenever your IP changes. Then you can tell all your guests to forget about your IP and simply write in something like "PlayPeter.zapto.org" in the IP Host Address area. (This will not solve your problem of making sure the router always routes the incoming request from your guest to the right machine on your network. It will solve the problem of having to email your guest a new IP when it changes.)

1. Register with www.no-ip.com
2. Take them up on their free option to "Add a Host"
3. Enter a rememberable name like "PlayPeter" (forget the options)
4. You will get a full name for your computer like "PlayPeter.zapto.org" or something.
5. Have your guest
enter that name instead of an IP address from
www.whatismyip.com when s/he connects to you.

As I recall, I had to download some client program as well that keeps no-ip.com up to date on my current IP address. I also log into my account at no-ip.com after restarting my computer (if I want to host a game) so it can see what my new dynamic IP is. That's in case the automatic update isn't working.


When Host & Guest have successfully connected, the Host pulls down the Play Menu and selects Start Game vs. Connected Opponent. The computer gives you your first set of letter tiles and flips a virtual coin to determine who plays first.

BTW, since this is a direct connect between you and your friend, there is no advertising, no spying, no gathering data, or anything other than the game going on.

GOOD LUCK TO BOTH OF YOU!

(Note: When two persons have connected, a few others may connect to the Host as guests to watch the game and use the chat feature. This is not perfectly implemented, but it is fun all the same.)

.


PLAYING THE GAME

The Scoreboard indicates whose turn it is.

Asterisk Tiles:

The asterisk tile plays like a wildcard, It can stand for one letter or a string of continuous letters. The board also has 20 Turn To Wild squares. Any tile played on such a square is flipped (blank side up) and may be played just like an asterisk tile to represent one or more letters..

An asterisk tile or flipped tile at the intersection of vertical and horizontal words can stand for one letter or string in the horizontal word and a completely different letter or string in the vertical word.

An asterisk tile or flipped tile can represent different letters on different plays. In short, the asterisk tile does not represent one or more specific letters except in relation to a single play.

Asterisk tiles and flipped tiles have a point value of zero.

Trading Letters:

A player can trade all letters every turn, but a player can trade only when it actually becomes his/her turn and only one trade per turn is allowed. (Caution: when letters are traded the computer first puts all your letters back into the pot and then draws your new letters, so you may get one or more of your old letters back again.)

The Play:

When it is a player's turn, the player may play (by making a word on the board) or pass (press Pass button)...

To play (i.e., to make a word):

Click-and-hold on a letter in your tray, drag the letter to a square on the board, and release the mouse button. Repeat the process for all letters in your word.

Press the Play button to install the word on the board. The computer now asks you whether you wish to complete the play and displays the score this play will make.

If you press Yes, the computer will install your word on the board and give your opponent the opportunity to challenge your play.

If you press No, you can continue to look for the best play to make.

40 addition points are awarded to a player who uses all 7 tiles in a single play.

Challenges:

When a word is played, the computer asks the opponent if he/she would like to challenge.

If opponent presses No, the computer adds the word's score to the total score of the player who played it, and it becomes the opponent's turn to play.

If opponent presses Yes, the computer informs the player who played the word that a challenge has been made.

If the challenged words (there may be more than one) contain one or more asterisks or flipped tiles, the player who played the word must at this point reveal what letter or letter strings those tiles represent in the words by spelling out his words completely. The player need not reveal the content of asterisks or flipped tiles before a challenge has been made.

Use the chat utility to convey the complete spelling of words. BTW, write chat messages in the field at the bottom of the chat board and then press the Send button. Messages will appear on the chat board.

Once the merit of the challenge has been determined, the player who challenged will click on whether the challenge succeeded or failed.

If the challenge succeeded, letters are removed from the board, and it becomes the challenger's turn. The word's player loses a turn.

If the challenge failed, the play remains on board, the score is awarded to the player, and it remains the player's turn. The challenger loses a turn.

Game End:

The game is over when one player uses the last of his/her tiles and none remain in the pot.

The total point value of the tiles held by the opponent is tripled and added to the score of the player who went out.

If both players repeatedly pass, the total point value of each player's remaining tiles is added to the other player's score.