Monday, March 30, 2020

About the Game


Plates Across America is an online game that combines solving word puzzles which appear on license plates with traveling across the United States along some of its most famous routes.  We provide a free demo which does not require signing up and a free trial of the full game if you register.

Free Game Demo

The Plates Across America game is being developed by a family-based startup and trying to buck the "free game" trend where the cost is "free" only if you put zero value on your privacy.  This might be a tall order in today's Internet environment, but we are going to try. In a world where "Spying on You" is replaced with jargon such as "Analytics" and "Re-targeting", we deliberately avoid tracking your every move. This decision limits the types of data we have access to, but when weighing the value we (the company) get against the cost to our customers of surrendering their privacy, we feel the answer is quite clear.

We began software development of the game in the Spring of 2019, though the genesis of using license plates as a source of word puzzles goes back many years in our family. By 2019, we thought the clever word puzzle idea combined with aspects of virtual travel would also have some entertainment value for others. Here in the Spring of 2020, as we were getting ready to put out our first release, the global pandemic has hit hard and the world is a very different place. If anything, the popularity of "virtual travel" has increased. Maybe this will increase the value some people find in the game, or at least help them pass their quarantine time more enjoyably. For us personally, developing the game as a family has been much more fun than watching the constant, and often depressing, news cycle.

In its current web-based form, the game is enjoyable for those that like word games. We will be continuing to improve the game play to make it more enjoyable, accessible and hopefully to broaden its appeal. We have a long list of exciting future features and only wish we had enough time to work on all of them.

Happy travels and stay safe!



Sunday, March 29, 2020

Notes from Our First Release

We reached an important milestone today in the development of the Plates Across America (TM) game.  With today's release, we added a very useful interactive free demo and we've completely redesigned the user interface.  Although the first "soft release" happened a few weeks back, today's release is the first one that is ready for more than just friends and family. Feel free to check it out here:
Game Screenshot

Plates Across America Free Game Demo

For those that might be interested in the game's history, the idea for the basic premise on the word puzzles stretches back years. This seemed novel and catchy enough that we saw potential.  Somewhere around March 2019, the word puzzle idea was combined with the travel theme and the game started to take shape.  Initial prototypes and algorithms were developed in the ensuing months, and work toward building the web-based version started in the Summer of 2019.

The web-based version is just the starting point to help us get up an going quickly so we can refine the ideas.  Once we feel it is refined enough, we will be creating mobile app versions.

If you try our game, we would love to get your feedback.