Tuesday, March 29, 2022

No More Passwords

New Sign In Screen

As we reconsidered the game's redesign, it dawned on us that the traditional email + password login scheme was not a good pattern for our game. People do not need the cognitive overhead of managing a password for a light, recreational game. They are more likely than not to forget it and then have to be subjected to the whole password reset email/awkwardness.

In general, passwords are quickly becoming obsolete with many sites always emailing you a "magic code" anyway.   Why not do away with the password altogether and embrace email as the authentication method?  Email has its security flaws for sure, but it is much better than it used to be, so much so that it is becoming universally used as an authentication method. If we were a bank, email alone would not suffice, but we are a game and we are not storing any important data for our players. 

So we have ditched passwords at Plates Across America® and never looked back.  The game should keep you logged in for a healthy amount of time, but if you move to a different device or restart your computer or browser, we'll simply email you a 6 digit code to use to log back in.  Keeps things simpler for us and our players.

New Screen for the "Magic Code" Entry

I hope our players agree that this is a simpler method, but send us feedback about your thoughts on the topic.

Happy Travels!


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Creative Journey

Whew! 

Over a year ago we wrote about our game redesign and our expecting it to take a few more months.  Well, if you define a "few" as "14", then we were spot on!

We lived for months with everything almost fitting together, but not quite, so kept shuffling ideas and code around.  Once we had everything making sense, our early testers told us it was too complicated and it was back to the drawing board.  Sometime in November 2021 it all clicked together and a few months later, VoilĂ !

We have not perfected the game yet as there are game play refinements to be made with help from the feedback of our early adopters. However, the early indicators say this is a vast improvement over our original version.

We encourage you to try it out and send us feedback. We have a very generous free trial period with no signup required:

Link to the Game

Some of the features of the new version:

  • Travel Goals - visit 10 states, 50 waterfalls, etc
  • Bonus Routes - unlock a trip to Hawai'i or Alaska
  • Lightning Rounds - limited time puzzles for bonus points

And don't forget about our two-player "Race" game.  That is not much changed from the original version, but is still loads of fun to play with friends and family.

Happy Travels!