Boggle_SG is a version of the game Boggle which is traditionally played with lettered dice, pen and paper. The aim of the games is to find as many different words as possible in a randomly generated grid of letters. In Boggle_SG the program generates and displays the grid and players find as many of the hidden words as they can.
- Play against the clock or try to find all words
- Optional shading to show where the words start
- Choice of grid sizes (3-6)
- Minimum word length option (3-6)
- Range of time periods
- Option to allow cross over words
- Choice of entry method (mouse or keyboard)
- All missed words shown at end of each game
- Source code included
Letters may be used any number of times, but only once per word. The sequence of letters in a word must be from touching grid elements (cells). Unless it is at the edge of the grid each cell touches eight other cells: left, right, up, down and four diagonals. The path through the cells making a word can be quite complicated. Using dots to mark the exit direction, Figure 1. shows the path of the "word" SOURGUMDROP in a Boggle grid. Start at the "S" near the top right and follow the dots out of each of each successive cell.
If the cross over option is used, finding all the words is much more difficult. In this mode additional words can be made by exiting the outer edges of the grid to enter cells on the oposite side. For example Figure 2. shows the path of the word "COLT".
N GTN G --- R|OLR|O C|HFC|H N|GTN|G --- R OLR O
The program uses a built-in dictionary, which in version 1.01, contains 117,969 words. It was derived from Grady Ward's MOBY project by merging all words more than 2 letters long found in the files 4160offi.cia and 113809of.fic. This is stated to be equivalent to "the official crossword list compatible with the second edition of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. (Scrabble is a registered trademark of Milton-Bradley licensed to Merriam-Webster.)" Thanks.
The dictionary used in Boggle_SG version 1.00 containied only about 70,000 entries and several people reported missing words. No doubt they will let me know if they can still find problems.
The top strip of the Boggle_SG window consists of a menu marked "File", a Toolbar with two buttons and two counters. The Toolbar has an arrow to start a new game and a cross to finish a game. The two counter boxes record the number of words the player has found and the time in seconds.
Below this strip is the grid for displaying the letters and below that an entry box with a scrolling list underneath. Optionally the letters in the grid can be shaded to indicate how many words start from each cell. These shades will lighten as the words are entered so that when all the words starting from a cell have been found the cell background colour will be white.
In Boggle_SG the program generates a random grid for each game. Players either find as many words as they can in a fixed time or they try to find all the words in an open ended time period. When their attempt is complete the program will display the words the player did not find.
The player enters words by left clicking in turn on their letters in the grid or by using the keyboard. If using the mouse click option, words are completed by a right click, undo is middle mouse button. If using the keyboard, Enter is used to complete a word and Backspace for undo. For both methods the letters appear in an entry box, and when completed by a right click or Enter key, are checked against the program's built in dictionary. If they exist they are transfered to a scrolling list.
A new game is started by clicking on the arrow button in the Toolbar. This causes a new grid of letters to be displayed and starts the clock. If playing against the clock the timer will count down and stop when it reaches zero. If you are trying to find all words the clock counter will increase until the you stop the game by clicking on the cross in the Toolbar. When the game stops all the missed words and their start cells will be displayed in the scrolling list. The number found, the number missed and the percentage found are also displayed.
At the start of a game the shading shows how many words start from each cell. As the player enters the words the shading will lighten.
Using the Menu the player can select the type of game to play (against the clock, or find all); whether or not the cells should be shaded to indicate the numbers of words that originate from them; the input mode (mouse or keyboard); the time limit for a game against the clock; the minimum word length (3,4,5 or 6); the grid size (4,5 or 6 cells a side); whether or not to allow cross-over words. All these values can be saved using "Save settings" so that when the game is restarted they will be set automatically.
1. Any options set in the File menu will not come into force until the user clicks the arrow to start a new game.
2. To use the keyboard for entering words, first select "Keyboard" from the "Input mode" option, then put the cursor into the white entrybox before typing.