August 24th-27th 2012 :: Theme: Evolution

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Evolving Words

by rjhunter - Jam Entry

A web-based word game. Evolve from a CELL to a WORM, from a FISH to a FROG, one letter at a time.

Needs a pretty modern browser. Tested mostly in Chrome and Safari, should work on recent Firefox too. Internet Explorer is unlikely to deal. It'd be fun to try on a mobile device.

The game didn't wind up at all where I wanted it, but I figure since I've come this far, I might as well go the distance... :-)

For build and develop, I used Ruby's MiddleMan gem. I wrote my code in CoffeeScript, and built some offline precalculation using Node.js.
At run-time, I'm using: d3.js, jQuery, Mustache

- Images are all photographs I took during the compo.
- Sounds are, naturally, bfxr/cfxr.
- No music this time.
- The HTML and CSS was the default boilerplate generated by the Middleman, but has since been completely replaced.
- POTENTIAL RULE-BEND: The word list was generated from the ispell English dictionary wordlist <>. A couple of IRC people said it should be fine to use a dictionary but a word list isn't explicitly covered by the exemptions like fonts and drum loops.

Downloads and Links




echa says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 4:34pm

Good conception.

Is it possible that the game would be in other languages?

rjhunter says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 3:46am

Right now the game is English-only, but I would like to add support for other languages after the competition.

Some languages will work better than others -- for example, Chinese would probably be a completely different game!

chas says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 2:42pm

BRAVO, rjhunter. At the outset I was like "oh, it's broken. How can I connect hail and worm?"..and a few minutes later, it was so gratifying to get it! It's very cool and it makes us use brain-muscles that we use rarely use. Great job.

I have a huge interest in developing new gameplay mechanics using words. For a different jam, I did a very similar game but instead of linking the words by spelling-similarity, I used an MIT-supplied concept net and linked them via concept/meaning. You can try it at if you want.


matheod says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 5:31pm

Take me time to understand, and as not in my languages more difficult, but good game.

Teknik says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 3:38pm

doesn't seem to work for me. game loaded but it would let me click or type any where. all i could do was highlight the text in the choices.

kibertoad says ...
Sep 15, 2012 @ 5:49pm

Amazing :)

ratking says ...
Sep 17, 2012 @ 1:47pm

Very nice idea!

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