20 July 2011

Word²: a massive multiplayer online Scrabble game

I was reading a bit about Node.js and Express tonight and discovered an amazing site in the list of projects on the Express website. It is a game known as Word², or “Word Squared”. (It was originally called Scrabb.ly, and presumably renamed to avoid a trademark dispute.)

Word² is the biggest Scrabble game you could ever imagine. It allows you an unlimited number of letters and board space to build as many words as you like. You’re playing on the same board as everyone else, and you can see everyone’s changes to this enormous board in near real-time.

Here’s are some screenshots of the board, and the map view showing just a small section of the entire world:

The authors have a great blog post that describes how they came up with the idea and made it reality: Building a Scrabble MMO in 48 hours. Here’s a shot of their playtesting with some real Scrabble boards:

The game was written for the Node.js Knockout competition in August last year, and has continued to be enhanced and improved since then. Inspiring stuff.