We just finished deploying the most significant release since we first launched Plates Across America™. We'll cover all the changes and new features in a series of short articles. The most important addition in this release, by far, and the one that this article covers is the new "Race Game" feature.
Original Race Game Concept
The first version of the Race Game feature existed long before we released Plates Across America and it was quite different from what we now have. The original feature allowed up to 8 players and offered in-game chat messages. It was set up to be much more like a "live" race with entry fees and prizes for the top 3 finishers. This was a pretty interesting "race-like" idea, but not very practical for this type of (somewhat leisurely) word game.
Requiring all players to be on-line at the same time and to remain for the duration of the game was a bit too constraining for a word game. We ditched this idea before the first release and decided to launch the game with just the solo "Travel" mode. Meanwhile, in the background, our game designers were re-thinking how to reintroduce a multi-player version back into the game.
2 Person Race Game
For the publicly available race feature we just released, we now have a 2 person race game which allows you to play a specific person, or you can allow us to find a matching race partner (we'll discuss how we pick partners in a future article). For fairness, each player will get the exact same sequence of puzzles in a race and they can completed it at their own pace. The winner of the Race is the person who completes the route in the fewest possible puzzles. If there's a tie on the puzzle count, the percent correct score is used as a tie-breaker, and if that too is the same, the game ends in a tie.
Choice of Race Game Length
Another nice feature is the ability to select your preferred race length. The choices are: short, medium, long and extra long. The race route will be chosen randomly from the routes based on their distance and your preference.
We are very excited about the release of this new Race feature. We have known this would be an important addition to Plates Across America and have worked hard to get this out as soon as we could. We hope you are able to try it out and that you find it enjoyable.