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 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.


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

Hangman Prototype

Hangman Prototype


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.

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