This page describes the options available in Hangman_SG. Please note that whenever the Word family, Word rank, Max errors or Change case options are used a new game must be initiated using the New game option.
The program randomly chooses a word from the current family and rank and starts the timer. Each letter in the word to guess appears as a bold dash (-) next to the "confused" smiley icon. If you select a correct letter (either by using the keyboard or clicking on the letters shown on the screen) all the corresponding dashes will be replaced. The letter will also appear in the row next to the "simple smile" smiley. Incorrect letters are shown next to the "shocked" smiley. Initially this row will show the same number of dashes as there are allowed errors. Each incorrect letter will replace one of these dashes. If the words is guessed correctly the smileys all smile with their shades on. If you fail to guess the word within the allotted number of errors all smileys will show a "simple frown". In all cases the answer is displayed.
Select the family from which random words will be chosen. There are 17 built-in families. A personal list of words can be added as an 18th family. The built-in words are arranged into families based on their frequency of occurrence in normal usage. Those in family 1 are most common and those in 17 least common. Naturally the sizes of the families are very different, there being far more obscure words than those that are in everyday use.
The words in families are ranked according to difficulty. Select the rank from 1 to 10, 10 being hardest.
Select how many letters you can get wrong before losing a round. The range is 1 to 20, but note that if you allow too many mistakes, with some words you cannot lose. For example if you allow 20 errors and the target word has 6 different letters... The remaining permitted errors are shown as fruit on the tree and as dashes next to the shocked smiley.
Select to display letters in upper or lower case. This does not affect keyboard input where case is ignored.
This saves your current settings to a file named .hangman_sg_preferences.txt. This file is read when the program starts and will set the word family, word rank, max errors and case. If a personal word list is in operation when the settings are saved it must be read in again and the family reselected.
You can load your own list of words. They will become family 18 for that run of the game, or until you load another. The word family is loaded from a file. Personal word lists must contain at least 10 words and no word can be longer than 21 characters. The list should contain only the desired words: no punctuation or any extra characters. The program will not alter the order of the words in the list and so, if required, they must be ranked before being read in.