We looked at several ways to make Braille Spin and Solve easier for people just learning braille. For example, we thought we could vary game difficulty by varying the number of contractions in a word.
Some words, like CANDY, have only one contraction, but other words, like ABBREVIATIONS, has two contractions in its contracted form. It is quite difficult to write programming code to determine the number of contractions in the contracted form, since it’s not always clear which dot patterns belong to each contraction.
Speaking again with the braille teachers, we decided to break out the complexity of the game based on the following:
- One full word contraction, such as “AF” for “AFTER”.
- Only one of the words in the phrase being contracted and it contains only one contraction, such as CANDY in the phrase CANDY IS DANDY, BUT LIQUOR IS QUICKER.
- Only one of the words in the phrase is contracted, but that word can contain multiple contractions, such as the word I’M BAFFLED, but only the word “BAFFLED” would be contracted.
- Up to two words with contractions.
- Up to 3, 4, or 5 words with contractions.
- No limit to the number of words with contractions.
Now that the game player can pick her level of difficulty, we had to make it even easier to enter both letters, vowels, and dot patterns.
While the game does work with a braille display, we found most users do not have a braille display connected to their iPhone or iPad. To enter a dot pattern, such as dot 1,2,3,4,6 for the fragment “AND”, you simply type the dot character, and the digits 1,2,3,4 and 6. To guess the full word CANDY, you would enter the letter “C”, dot, 1,2,3,4,6, and the letter “Y”.
With those changes, everyone seemed to enjoy the game, and the game is gaining popularity amongst braille teachers at many of the schools for the blind.