Dev Diary – Hangman in React Native – Part 1

Welcome to part 1 of my first ever dev diary. In this part, I’m writing about the plan and what I hope to achieve. In future installments, I’ll provide details of progress, problems and any new techniques. I’ll even provide download numbers, income and anything else that’s interesting. Join me while I create Hangman in React Native.

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As with all of my games, I’m planning to release the source code. Only those who sign-up to my Game Development mailing list will get the code. You’ll also get access to any updates I make when I add new features.

The source code is then yours to do with whatever you like. Want to re-skin the app and publish it in the app store feel free. I’d love to hear how you use my stuff.

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Why Hangman?

I’ve only just started making games. I’m not confident enough to tackle something ambitious. Basic Pairs went well, but there wasn’t much too it.

I want something that just stretches my skillset. Hangman seems like a nice little progression. The rules of the game are simple and all the events seem to map to a state machine.

Finally, there are also a lot of existing apps out there to draw inspiration from. So that’s what I did first, checking out the competition.

Analysis of “Competition”

I’ve looked at a lot of hangman games. The “best”, something I won’t be recreating anytime soon, was definitely http://html5games.com/Game/Sweet-Hangman/aa85b89b-8a1a-4af2-9f1d-774821215eb4. Maybe in a few years’ time I create something as impressive, but for now, I’ll stick with the basics.

Common Features

I noticed the following common parts when looking at the existing games:

  • The letter keys are show. So no need for device keyboard
  • Most of them write to <canvas> although some don’t
  • Lives counter
  • Category Description
  • Hint system

No So Common Features

Among the more complex games, I noticed the following features:

  • Using local storage to remember won and lost count
  • Multi-Player
  • Category Selection
  • Progression via coins to unlock more categories
  • Level complete ratings
  • Music
  • Leaderboards
  • Async play over a network

Some of these I would never have thought of, so I’m glad I checked out the others. Maybe one day I’ll add them, but for the moment I’ll aim to match the common features.

Prototype

I wrote about why you should create a prototype so I have.

Hangman Prototype

Hangman Prototype

Conclusion

That’s the plan. I’m going to track the number of hours I spend writing the game so we can see my ROI. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.

If you’d like access to the final code, sign up below.

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