The GameWizard App – Updated

Game Wizard App
Game Wizard App

We just updated the GameWizard App again. Hopefully, everyone has enjoyed using the App because it’s taken a lot of work to get here.

Background Work

Before we started working on the changes, one thing we really wanted to do was figure out a better way of keeping track of changes.  This was partly because as we developed the app further, we knew we were going to diverge from the Infographic which it was based on.

So, we looked around for software.  Then, realising there was no software that worked; we ended up using a modified spreadsheet. Yup, a spreadsheet is all that we are using to track this… but it did take a while to redo the questions in the spreadsheet.

Once we got the spreadsheet sorted, we had to start adding questions and games.  That meant tracking down the right paths, figuring out the appropriate questions and the appropriate answers.  Again, that takes a while.


Code Changes

We moved a section for Non-gamers to the first question to make it much more prominent where it was hidden under ‘Strategy Games’.  We cleaned up a section on Science Fiction games to shorten a series of questions about fandoms and then expanded a series of

We also added 20 new games and cleaned up some out of print games so that the app would be more useful.  All in, just coding time; it took another 8 hours to do all this (a lot of it being bug hunting and the initial huge moves).  If you figure it takes about 24 minutes per game changed.  Of course, it isn’t that long – it probably is only about 4 or 5 minutes of actual coding time when we are just adding a new branch – it’s when we are moving entire branches out that things get complicated.

The Scope

So when we say we added 20 games, what are we talking about? Well, the first program had over 1,300+ lines of code.  These days, we split the program up to do with multiple areas (cacheing, design, etc) and it’s harder to get a line count, but just the code for the games themselves are over 1,700+ lines of code.

In terms of game, we have 132 games now.  So, 20 games is a 15% increase to the number of games available.  To compare though, we have over 1,500+ SKUs (not individual games, games & expansions); so figure 1,100 or so individual games.  Or put another way, we are only 10% of the way to the number of games we have listed on the site.

On the other hand, we aren’t going to recommend all the games available – so we are probably 30 – 40% of the way to where we’d be happy with the app.

The Question

So, looking at the app, which area do you think we need to expand most desperately? Which questions need more refining to offer more choices and which games should we add to those choices? I know we’re a bit lacking in wargames, but that’s a really tough section as we’re not wargamers.