Introducing Dicewords and requesting your help to make it great
I have recently launched my first game on the App Store and would like to make it the best possible for VoiceOver users and I’m hoping that you can help.
The app is called Dicewords and is the digital version of the original dice word game created by Graham Lipscomb of Graham’s Games and we have collaborated to bring his vision of the game onto the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
I have enhanced its VoiceOver integration but admit that without knowing the extent of what’s really required on our part I may be doing unnecessary things and neglecting the important ones which would allow you to enjoy playing the game to its fullest. This is where I hope you, dear AppleVis reader, Apple user and game player can help us!
In summary, the game involves 9 alphabetic dice, each a different colour signifying which letters appear on which dice. Each letter has an associated value. The idea is to spell words which generate the highest scores and so beat your opponents or raise your own average score if playing solo. You roll the dice, keep any letters you want and then roll the others, aiming to build the highest scoring word. You are allowed a maximum of three rolls. The game therefore is a test of linguistic skill, strategy and luck.
There is a free and somewhat restricted version of the game, called Dicewords-X, on the App Store which has exactly the same VoiceOver support as the full game. Obviously you can download that and try it yourself.
However, I also have a limited number of Apple promo codes which you can request from me and which would allow you to download the full game with no cost to you. Please contact me on here if you are interested in this.
If you are very keen to help, which would be wonderful, then I can give you a certificate from Apple which allows you to run my development builds of Dicewords on your device which means that I can make responsive changes specifically to this person or persons without having to go through the App Store with each change I make which would speed the process up dramatically. It is not hard to do at your end but would require a little work at your end.
The iTunes links to the apps are:
I have loved developing Dicewords and would enjoy that even more to know that I can make it better and a great game for all of you, and all other visually impaired users too.
The app is Universal and will run on iPhone 3GS and later, iPod touch 4th generation or later or any iPad. Whilst checking the app for sending this email I have discovered that the iPad version has a bug which requires you to shake the device to roll the dice! My fault and I will fix that very soon. Oh dear ...
I look forward to hearing from you.
Stephen Watson - Developer
Hello. If i have spelled your name wrong i'm sorry. I'll go download the paid version, it doesn't matter to me that much, however if you'd like to send me a promo code, I'd greatly appreciate it. I'm not doing this to get the code, I'm doing it to help you. It sounds like an awesome game. Also runnin an iPhone five, I'd be interested to have that certificate installed to let you better support the changed that i or others ask of you. I look forward to hearing back, trying the game, then telling you what works what I would consider changing. i don't know how to change things, i know only how to say, this speaks to much, this isn't spoken enough. I hope that feedback is the type you are looking for on this game. Hope to hear from you,
many thanks for your efford to make your game as accessible as possible. Every developer who is willing to do that is great for us.
I'd really like to help with this game. I think I should have the paid version to test the game properly, so if you do have a promo code it would be great. But I would be willing to pay the full game, too.
I also would install this certificate you mentioned, as long as you can explain to me what I have to do to make it work. I never had a developer version on my iPhone before, but I'm willing to give it a try and to work with it to help you.
Btw, I'm using an iPhone 5 S.
Thanks again for your work, it's greatly appreciated!
Hello, I'm interested in helping make this game voice over friendly. If you have some promo code left, please send them. Also, please send instructions on how to install the certificate. Thanks for all your hard work and looking forward to helping out with the game.
Firstly, I want to thank you for including VO support. If am not too late, I would like a promo code. I will do my best to provide feedback to you.
I would also love a promo code to you're app.
I would like to beta-test for this app. I already know how to use test flight if that's what you're using. I'm very familiar with everything voice over, and I can definitely help you improve the app. I'm downloading the light version now.
Hi, I'm beta testing some apps so far using test flight and I'd like to test your app, too. I'm familiar sending bug reports and so on.
Hello, I would like to beta test your game as well. It sounds like a game I would really enjoy playing! Thank you!
I'd be happy to help, have used Testflight before if that's the system you use. I will get the game myself as I would want it anyway but if you want to send the other stuff please feel free to do so. It's so very very exciting to happen upon a new accessible game!!! thanks for the work you've done and your openness to improving!
if needed i am here to help
i have already beta-testing experience with other apps, so, if you use beta services such as testflight or hockeyapp, i am here and my address is talksina, at, gmail, dot, com
let me know what you need to make me start testing it - i would not have problems to buy the app
Hello yes I have already downloaded the full game and would love to help make it a little more Voice over friendly. I also have test flight so keep me in mind.
OK, I cannot tell when I have a dice slected or not, and I can't seem to find the row that shows the selected ones. When I start the game is says landscape, home button to the left which puts the dice along the bottom, instuctions need to be revised as now the only reference is to the black area... cannot tell where that is.
Also there is an unlabeled button on the main screen that I couldn't determine what it does. We will benefit from someone doing a podcast on this game once we get the access issues sorted out.
I also never saw a button saying I wanted to submit a word. I could make the dice move.
i hope i can get one of the promo codes to try this game out, it really sounds interesting
I can also beta test for you if assistance is still needed. A promo code would allow me to provide feedback on the full appstore version as well, provided those are still available.
Hello one and all,
Can I firstly say how chuffed I am by such a great response from all of you - I'm really touched. As Matt Gemmell and Apple have said, integrating VoiceOver with an app is "The right thing to do" and that's what I want to do.
Although I've heard of TestFlight I've not used it myself and you probably have more experience of it that I do! I will look into it and see how it would help. At the moment, unless you have a Certificate from me you won't be able to run any versions where I fix any bugs until it is updated in the App Store.
I will send each of you an individual message and then take it from there.
Thanks again to each of you for your very kind offers.
Developer - Black Tablet
Thanks very much for your offer of help - I really appreciate it.
The best way for me to get VoiceOver integrated as quickly as possible is by
sending you Developer builds because then when I add a feature or fix a fault
then I can immediately send you an update without having to go through the
App Store. :-)
The first thing I will need is your iPhone's Device UDID. You can obtain this
by connecting your iPhone to your computer and then in iTunes, select your
device in the sidebar. Adjacent to the image of your phone is the Serial
Number. Click on the text "Serial Number" and it will change to the UDID,
which should read something like this:
4639276ef79fe970584e7d119375cb114e6b5d82. Next, right-click on the UDID
number itself and a "Copy" menu appears after which you can paste it into an
email and send to me then I should be able to generate the certificate for
If you have problems with that please let me know and we can try another way.
If you install the certificate that I send you then you won't need a promo code.
I wanted to respond in case others have the same issues as you.
Assuming screen rotation lock is off, the game will rotate so that the dice will always be along the bottom edge. On a brand new game, there will be a space between each dice and the bottom edge of the screen. When you tap a dice it says, for example, "Purple L, value 1". Double tapping a dice holds it, moving it to the bottom edge of the screen and makes it eligible to become part of a word. When a dice has been held and is double tapped you will hear "Purple L, Value 1. Held". If a dice is already held, then double-tapping it will unhold it, moving it up to its original position.
The roll button will roll all unheld dice and you are allowed three rolls per turn.
I note the comment about the "black area" and will think of best how to represent that in the instructions. It means the area at the bottom of the screen which encloses held and unheld dice.
When I wrote "When a dice has been held and is double tapped you will hear "Purple L, Value 1. Held"" what I meant to say was "When a dice has been held and is tapped you will hear "Purple L, Value 1. Held""
Honestly, I can't figure this one out. I'm usually the first want to find new games that are playable and learn how to play them, teaching others I go. I can't even get out of the tutorial screen. I'll keep working on it though, this seems interesting. Does the full version have a multiplayer mode? By the way, test flight is exactly what you need to get your apps to certain people without having to give each one their own code.
I to have used test flight. No need for a udid. it much easier to get apps out to people and all of that good stuff. I'm testing several apps there now.
The tutorial screen is dismissed by tapping any button - timer (top left), gear menu (right of timer) or roll button on the far right. It can also be switched off in the external app Settings for Dicewords.
The full version allows up to 8 players to play at once on the same device, passing it to each player in turn. It prompts the player to roll and tracks their scores and lets users know at the end of the game.
I am investigating TestFlight right now and am hoping to use that method as others here have had experience with it and it seems the most straightforward way to get quick builds out to you all.
Hello again everyone,
Thanks for your patience while I organise my response to your numerous helpful offers.
A few points to all:
Dicewords can check against your iOS dictionary if you have downloaded it from Apple and installed it. Tell Dicewords to use it by changing the external settings.
Here is my plan:
I have sent TestFlight email testing requests to those of you who have indicated that you have experience of TestFlight.
Those of you who have said I could send a developer distribution certificate I have also invited to TestFlight, if I have your email, otherwise please send your email to me. My understanding is that TestFlight automatically takes care of this and makes it easier for all concerned.
If you are a “TestFlight person” then Dicewords is what I want to concentrate on for now, not Dicewords-X, although fixing Dicewords is likely to fix both.
Essentially, the TestFlight groups will be the ones I concentrate on because I can fix any problems and add new features and then quickly send them back for further evaluation.
If you only wish to beta test Dicewords and/or Dicewords-X from the version on the App Store then that is still very helpful but you will not receive any updates until Apple have approved them and made the new app available on the App Store. You can download Dicewords-X for free. It would be great if you’re willing to buy Dicewords but I don’t expect that. I have issued some Dicewords promo codes and have another three left. If you would like a promo code just email me at email@example.com
Some of you have had problems, but I hope have managed to work round them, if not then please let me know.
For each issue you have, however small it might seem, I would like to know:
1. What can’t you do or can’t understand with Dicewords as it is now? Are there VoiceOver features I can add or change to enhance the app for you?
2. How should I implement the change?
I meant to say that I am having a break today up to and including Thursday but from Friday onwards, normal service will be resumed.
I also want to help out with the game. I would love to give feedback and help you with this game.
I have test flight experience and would be glad to help test.
I am back on the case now after my holiday and was due to send an update today. However, I have somehow managed to disable the Roll button once you have declared your first word and so you can't play without abandoning your game! oops. I need to fix this and then I will be sending out an update.
I have made quite a number of changes which I believe will make things easier to understand in quite a few places, but obviously it will you for you to decide if I made things better!
Thanks for your patience.
Hi, I would love to help out
. I Got the free version And really enjoy it. Could I have a promo?
Thanks for keeping us updated. and hope you can fix the bug soon. I can't wait to test.
A quick update.
V1.1 is nearly ready for Apple and I want to say again a big thanks to everyone that has battled with things from the start but has played, tested and sent suggestions and feedback. I believe that Dicewords as it is now is much better than at the time of my first post because of how you've helped.
I realise that there are still places for improvement but they may well have to wait until a future update, but they will incorporate some of the things I've learned from this whole process which Apple really don't explain too well in their developer documentation.
I'm giving everything a final polish now for both iPhone and iPad and ensuring that I haven't broken the non-VoiceOver interface! There will be a chance for you to feedback on another beta before it goes to Apple. Instructions are being tidied at the moment to better explain some aspects of the game generally and to add clarity in some areas that have been raised by people on here.
That's it for now - watch out for a new beta version very soon.
Thanks again so much.
Stephen - Developer
Graham - game designer
Dear AppleVis Dicewords beta testers,
Firstly, can I say again how much I appreciated your willingness to help me with making our game, Dicewords, better for you and, of course, all other visually impaired iOS users. It’s been a while (life has a habit of intervening!) but V1.1 of Dicewords which you helped to create is now live on the App Store and you can download it at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/dicewords/id762908890?mt=8
Interestingly I went to a job interview recently and was showing my apps to my interviewer and I explained how I’d incorporated feedback into Dicewords to make it useable and hopefully much better for visually impaired users. I felt a glow of extra pride in our update when he told me that both his wife and daughter were visually impaired!
Your efforts have gone beyond just Dicewords though as I’ve updated my first app, Bargain, to make better use of VoiceOver and done the same with my Brighton Pink Plaques app which is about to go to Apple for review.
That doesn’t mean I have everything just right but I’m naturally open to any emails you may wish to send letting me know if there are further ways to improve any of my apps, to make them easier for you to use and enjoy.
If you would like to suggest Dicewords for the AppleVis iOS App Directory then I’d very much appreciate it.
Thank you all again,
Stephen Watson - Developer
Graham Lipscomb - Dicewords game inventor