Next to monopoly, Wheel of Fortune was the most requested game that people have asked for. I kept avoiding it since I didn’t know how to find all of the phrases used in the game. From my initial research, over the past few decades, there are thousands of phrases in the TV Game.
I stumbled across someone who collected common phrases that are used in dozens of TV Games similar to Wheel of Fortune, and he gave me his list of 8,000 phrases, divided into about two dozen categories.
When I’m building a game that is similar to a copyrighted game, I have to take special precautions. First, I must to come up with a unique game name, and modify the rules sufficiently to not infringe on the copyright. I usually look at other clones of the game that have been available for many years on Windows computers, and follow their rules. There are some legal precedents here that I’m adhering to.
The first step in building Spin And Solve was to create a spinning wheel with all of the options such as “$450”, “$900”, “Lose a Turn” or “Bankrupt”. While I had some spinning wheel sounds from the Roulette game, I wanted a more realistic sound, so I found some good wheel spins on a Sound Effects website. I usually buy sounds from either SoundDogs.com, SoundSnap.com or use free sounds from FreeSound.com.
Like all of my games, having just one sound effect leads to a very boring game. Pretty soon, you begin to recognize the identical sound for the wheel spin, and in real life, each time you spin the wheel, the sound is slightly different. I usually create about 10 variants of each sound, and randomly pick a different variant each time. With the spinning wheel sound, I created about a dozen variants.
To spin the wheel, you swipe down with 2 fingers. I’ve used this gesture in other games, and it feels correct.
In the first version that was tested, the screen is presented with all of the words of the phrase. You move from letter to letter by flicking left and right, and word to word by flicking up and down. To pick a letter after you spin the wheel, you use the alphabet that’s at the bottom of the screen. To buy a vowel, you also use the vowel alphabet that is at the bottom of the screen.
Everyone liked the general game layout, but it was too slow to play, and it had no ability to let you guess the phrase. More on that next time.