Good idea for a variant?

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Jon O'Neill
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Jon O'Neill » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:16 am

Dmitry Goretsky wrote:How about Point variant? Each letter scores you different amount of points, but there are some "blank" or "*" cards that score NOTHING which can substitute EVERY letter, much like in Scrabble. The word with the most points wins, BUT in case of a tie, longest word still wins. Longest wordand word with most points (best word) scores DOUBLE the points and if the word is BOTH the longest and the best it scores QUADRUPLE the points (it's just because they're multiplied by 2*2)! The correctly guessed conundrum score DOUBLE the points, just because it's the longest word. There are two variants: no "voweling-consonanting" (NVC) and with "voweling-consonanting" (WVC).
NVC
there are "regular blank" cards, or simply "*"
WVC
There are "blank vowel" or "*V" cards in vowels deck and, you guessed, "blank consonant" or "*C" in consonants deck.

P.S. NOTE: this variant is only suitable for letters and conundrums. If you have an idea about how to make such numbers or targets score more points, please post it here
How about in each round you get 8 letters and a blank, where the blank scores no points but can be used to construct a longer word. The tiles are randomly assigned a score of 1-8, and rather than having the number of points on the tile, each tile is a different colour, which corresponds to a colour code which changes every five seconds in the round. Also, the tiles swap positions every five seconds, but the colours remain in the same position. Obviously the players have different tiles or the thing just becomes too complicated. Now, if you use double letters you get double points, and if the double letters are contiguous in the word you get quadruple points, and if they're contiguous on the board you get octuple points (obviously, as all contiguous board letters nets you double). This is where it gets interesting and I use Dmitry's idea. There are now six piles of letters: vowels, consonants, non-consonanting vowels, non-consonanting consonants, non-vowing vowels and non-boweling incontinence. You must pick one from each and no more than six from each pile to counteract defensive tactics when one gains the lead. Blanks vowels must be used as vowels except in bullet where that would complicate issues. In Goat you can select a * as your final letter by pressing the Insert key, and you can pick *V and *C by pressing the ¬ and ¦ keys respectively. Haha, that would be silly though, tactics-wise. Words are only declared once the game is over to nullify the tactical advantage of picking. Ending round early qualifies you for a bonus round, the maximum score of which is in proportion with the length of the round to how far through the round you were when you ended it early, RELATIVE TO THE ROUND IN THE MATCH, as obviously towards the end you will probably be braindead from trying to remember all these rules and the advantage should decrease forthwith. There is just one nuance to buzzing for conundrums, which of course makes no sense now that the first letter of it is not static. Rather than typing a letter to buzz, you actually type the colour of the object the conundrum refers to, with the first Google Image result taking precedence (SafeSearch off, lol). Numbers are the same.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Jon Corby » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:20 am

That still actually makes more sense than Dmitry's idea.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Dmitry Goretsky » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:42 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:
Dmitry Goretsky wrote:How about Point variant? Each letter scores you different amount of points, but there are some "blank" or "*" cards that score NOTHING which can substitute EVERY letter, much like in Scrabble. The word with the most points wins, BUT in case of a tie, longest word still wins. Longest wordand word with most points (best word) scores DOUBLE the points and if the word is BOTH the longest and the best it scores QUADRUPLE the points (it's just because they're multiplied by 2*2)! The correctly guessed conundrum score DOUBLE the points, just because it's the longest word. There are two variants: no "voweling-consonanting" (NVC) and with "voweling-consonanting" (WVC).
NVC
there are "regular blank" cards, or simply "*"
WVC
There are "blank vowel" or "*V" cards in vowels deck and, you guessed, "blank consonant" or "*C" in consonants deck.

P.S. NOTE: this variant is only suitable for letters and conundrums. If you have an idea about how to make such numbers or targets score more points, please post it here
How about in each round you get 8 letters and a blank, where the blank scores no points but can be used to construct a longer word. The tiles are randomly assigned a score of 1-8, and rather than having the number of points on the tile, each tile is a different colour, which corresponds to a colour code which changes every five seconds in the round. Also, the tiles swap positions every five seconds, but the colours remain in the same position. Obviously the players have different tiles or the thing just becomes too complicated. Now, if you use double letters you get double points, and if the double letters are contiguous in the word you get quadruple points, and if they're contiguous on the board you get octuple points (obviously, as all contiguous board letters nets you double). This is where it gets interesting and I use Dmitry's idea. There are now six piles of letters: vowels, consonants, non-consonanting vowels, non-consonanting consonants, non-vowing vowels and non-boweling incontinence. You must pick one from each and no more than six from each pile to counteract defensive tactics when one gains the lead. Blanks vowels must be used as vowels except in bullet where that would complicate issues. In Goat you can select a * as your final letter by pressing the Insert key, and you can pick *V and *C by pressing the ¬ and ¦ keys respectively. Haha, that would be silly though, tactics-wise. Words are only declared once the game is over to nullify the tactical advantage of picking. Ending round early qualifies you for a bonus round, the maximum score of which is in proportion with the length of the round to how far through the round you were when you ended it early, RELATIVE TO THE ROUND IN THE MATCH, as obviously towards the end you will probably be braindead from trying to remember all these rules and the advantage should decrease forthwith. There is just one nuance to buzzing for conundrums, which of course makes no sense now that the first letter of it is not static. Rather than typing a letter to buzz, you actually type the colour of the object the conundrum refers to, with the first Google Image result taking precedence (SafeSearch off, lol). Numbers are the same.
What do mean ¬ and ¦?!
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Dmitry Goretsky » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:47 pm

How about Point variant? Each letter scores you different amount of points, but there are some "blank" or "*" cards that score NOTHING which can substitute EVERY letter, much like in Scrabble. The word with the most points wins, BUT in case of a tie, longest word still wins. Longest word and word with most possible points (best word) scores DOUBLE the points and if the word is BOTH the longest possible and the best possible it scores QUADRUPLE the points (it's just because they're multiplied by 2*2)!
Conundrum
This is an exception to the general Point variant scoring rule. Although the correctly guessed conundrum always is both longest and best word possible, it only counts DOUBLE the points.
There are two variants: no "voweling-consonanting" (NVC) and with "voweling-consonanting" (WVC).
NVC
there are "regular blank" cards, or simply "*" in deck
WVC
There are "blank vowel" or "*V" cards in vowels deck and, you guessed, "blank consonant" or "*C" in consonants deck.

P.S. NOTE: this variant is only suitable for letters and conundrums. If you have an idea about how to make such numbers or targets score more points, please post it here

P.P.S. With "voweling-consonanting" means than the player choose between vowel or consonant. No "voweling-consonanting" means that that isn't player's choice, but instead it's indeed random.
Last edited by Dmitry Goretsky on Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:28 pm

Dmitry Goretsky wrote:The correctly guessed conundrum score DOUBLE the points
Double what? Is conundrum scoring dependent on the letters that come out?

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Dmitry Goretsky » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:03 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Dmitry Goretsky wrote:The correctly guessed conundrum score DOUBLE the points
Double what? Is conundrum scoring dependent on the letters that come out?
Yes, it's double the points of all letters in the conundrum.
I'm a probability guru, so please PM or e-mail me if you need some help about probabilities.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Jon Corby » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:34 pm

How's the coding for Dmitry's variant coming along Charlie?

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Dmitry Goretsky » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:52 am

Jon Corby wrote:How's the coding for Dmitry's variant coming along Charlie?
WHO'S CHARLIE???!!!
I'm a probability guru, so please PM or e-mail me if you need some help about probabilities.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by James Robinson » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:26 am

Dmitry Goretsky wrote:WHO'S CHARLIE???!!!
Did you just seriously ask that question, Dmitry :!: :?: :shock: :o :x :evil:
CO:WY 2020 CANCELLED :cry: :cry: :cry:

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Jon Corby » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:43 am

Dmitry Goretsky wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:How's the coding for Dmitry's variant coming along Charlie?
WHO'S CHARLIE???!!!
Charlie-deniers are scum.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by James Doohan » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:01 am

Jon Corby wrote:
Dmitry Goretsky wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:How's the coding for Dmitry's variant coming along Charlie?
WHO'S CHARLIE???!!!
Charlie-deniers are scum.
But does "Charlie" really exist? I think "he" is a government conspiracy to keep all countdowners stuck on their computers and laptops rather than out on the streets causing havoc. I'll ask Richard Brittain, i'm sure he knows the answer

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Ryan Taylor » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:11 am

James Doohan wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:
Dmitry Goretsky wrote: WHO'S CHARLIE???!!!
Charlie-deniers are scum.
But does "Charlie" really exist? I think "he" is a government conspiracy to keep all countdowners stuck on their computers and laptops rather than out on the streets causing havoc. I'll ask Richard Brittain, i'm sure he knows the answer
WHO'S RICHARD BRITTAIN???!!!

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Ian Volante » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:27 am

Ryan Taylor wrote:
James Doohan wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:
Charlie-deniers are scum.
But does "Charlie" really exist? I think "he" is a government conspiracy to keep all countdowners stuck on their computers and laptops rather than out on the streets causing havoc. I'll ask Richard Brittain, i'm sure he knows the answer
WHO'S RICHARD BRITTAIN???!!!
I think his real name's Ecclesiastes Myanmar.
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Ben Wilson » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:43 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Ryan Taylor wrote:WHO'S RICHARD BRITTAIN???!!!
I think his real name's Ecclesiastes Myanmar.
THE TRUTH is out there.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Dmitry Goretsky » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:51 pm

Is this topic for variant ideas or what?!
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Ian Volante » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:53 pm

Dmitry Goretsky wrote:Is this topic for variant ideas or what?!
Don't know where you got that idea!
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:19 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Dmitry Goretsky wrote:Is this topic for variant ideas or what?!
Don't know where you got that idea!
Dmitry's idea is that it isn't, so fits perfectly.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Dmitry Goretsky » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:18 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Ian Volante wrote:
Dmitry Goretsky wrote:Is this topic for variant ideas or what?!
Don't know where you got that idea!
Dmitry's idea is that it isn't, so fits perfectly.
MY IDEA IS THAT IT IS, YOU LITTLE!!!!!
I'm a probability guru, so please PM or e-mail me if you need some help about probabilities.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Adam Gillard » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:13 am

How about pot-black 15 rounders? I.e. regardless of the score after 14 rounds, whoever gets the conundrum wins? 8-)
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Ian Volante » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:04 am

Adam Gillard wrote:How about pot-black 15 rounders? I.e. regardless of the score after 14 rounds, whoever gets the conundrum wins? 8-)
Actually, better than that, a scoring system where only the winner of the previous round can score, such as it used to be in badminton.

And sticking with a sporting theme, some sort of Stableford (golf) system might be interesting, although probably not different enough from flat scoring really. It might work quite well in hyper/unlimited variants however, where sub-optimal scoring is much more common.
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Dmitry Goretsky » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:34 am

Ian Volante wrote:some sort of golf system might be interesting
Yep, maybe add some "par" here
I'm a probability guru, so please PM or e-mail me if you need some help about probabilities.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Karen Pearson » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:39 am

Ian Volante wrote:

And sticking with a sporting theme, some sort of Stableford (golf) system might be interesting, .
I like this idea a lot! Clearly, handicaps will have to come into play. I'm pretty certain that this would enable me to beat Kirk finally even if he manages a hatful of nines and I declare pitiful sixes and sevens (working on the basis that he will be a scratch player and my handicap will be about as impressive as my real golf handicap which is 33!).

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Andy Wilson » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:52 am

Ian Volante wrote:
And sticking with a sporting theme, some sort of Stableford (golf) system might be interesting, .
I do like the way you play for skins on the Tiger Woods golf game. This could work as a scoring system, whereby you get a point for winning the round, but if the round is drawn, no one gets that point until the next round has been won. This could work with 1 point per round or the usual points system, which wouldn't be totally fair, but a bit of a laugh!

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:05 pm

Ian Volante wrote:And sticking with a sporting theme, some sort of Stableford (golf) system might be interesting, although probably not different enough from flat scoring really. It might work quite well in hyper/unlimited variants however, where sub-optimal scoring is much more common.
And on sports, you could have a Formula One system where some people get better letters all the time. The better results someone gets, the more likely they are to be rewarded with better letters next season, but there's no guarantee, and some people can be outperforming their letters for years but with nobody with any say bothering to notice.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Miriam Nussbaum » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:51 am

Andy Wilson wrote:you get a point for winning the round, but if the round is drawn, no one gets that point until the next round has been won
Dreidel scoring? :lol:

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Charlie Reams » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:22 am

I'm not sure Dreidel scoring (good name) really adds a great deal, but since it's been at least a year since we had a new scoring system (and it's got the topic back on track), I'll consider it.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Dmitry Goretsky » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:19 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Formula One system
Do you have permission to reply?! About rights and permissions, see below
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Andy Wilson » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:50 pm

Miriam Nussbaum wrote: Dreidel scoring? :lol:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s5GY2NY2wY

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Dmitry Goretsky » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:23 pm

PLEASE POST SOMETHiNG!!!!!!!! I even give you permission!
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Ian Volante » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:33 pm

Dmitry Goretsky wrote:PLEASE POST SOMETHiNG!!!!!!!! I even give you permission!
Maybe nobody has any ideas today. I'm sure your chivvying will help though.
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Eoin Monaghan » Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:12 pm

Tomatoes are fruits.

There, happy?

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Dmitry Goretsky » Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:31 pm

Dmitry Goretsky wrote:PLEASE POST SOMETHiNG!!!!!!!! I even give you permission!
PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE!
I'm a probability guru, so please PM or e-mail me if you need some help about probabilities.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Dmitry Goretsky » Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:03 pm

Kids version
Letters
6 letters drawn
Numbers
1 each of 1-10, 4 numbers drawn. 2-digit target
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by JimBentley » Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:44 pm

Dmitry Goretsky wrote:Kids version
Letters
6 letters drawn
Numbers
1 each of 1-10, 4 numbers drawn. 2-digit target
That's just a shit version of Junior. Dmitry, why not have a look at apterous.org before posting any more of these? There's already a lot of variants in existence and in all likelihood anything you think of has already been implemented, at least to some degree.
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:54 pm

Dmitry Goretsky wrote:Kids version
Letters
6 letters drawn
Numbers
1 each of 1-10, 4 numbers drawn. 2-digit target
Is this five separate ideas? I think the second and fourth ideas might catch on, but I think we'd need something else to finish off the show, although I've no idea what.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Ben Wilson » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:07 am

Hoping to drag this away from anything to do with Dmitry and his little 'nuggets' of wisdom...

I've had an idea for a variant called 'alps', though obviousl'y I'm open to any better names.

Much like aegilops, you have between 2 and 4 letters, and much like aegilops, they must be used in the same order they come out, but the difference is that the first letter out must be the first letter in the word declared, and the final letter out must be the final letter in the word declared.

For example-

TY- TRY would be a valid answer, but STY wouldn't.

CED- CRED would be a valid answer, but ICED & CEDE wouldn't.

Where this is impossible, the 'last letter' rule is relaxed first and it becomes a regular aegilops round, but with the restriction that the first letter in the selection must always be the first letter in the answer declared. Even if it's an X.

Conundrums are fairly obvious- much like aegilops but with the first and last letters always present. As such they should also be 'nasty'

For numbers, I'm thinking regular aegilops but with omelette rules, or hyper aegilops (the larges can be any number between 25 and 200 inclusive).

I fully admit this idea is an answer to a question no one asked- namely 'how do we make aegilops harder?'.

Okay, a question no one besides Matt Bayfield asked. Still though, it could be fun.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Lesley Hines » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:37 pm

^ I like this. They used to do something similar on TV (can't for the life of me remember the show :) ).
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Lesley Hines » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:41 pm

Is it time for an Ultra version? I've been looking and no word (that I can find) has more than 15 unique letters, these being some of the offenders:
• radioimmunoelectrophoresis - RADIOMUNELCTPHS
• psychoneuroendocrinological PSYCHONEURDCIGL
• hepaticocholangiogastrostomy HEPATICOLNGSRMY
• spectrophotofluorometrically SPECTROHFLUMIAY
It would allow words like SENSELESSNESS to be pencilled in (I'm honestly not obsessing about that word :P ), and with an Unlimited variant and 15 letters at your fingertips the whole dictionary would be available. However, to make it a little more interesting I suggest a minimum score of 8 letters before scoring. 15 letter conundrum and Numbers as Hyper, cos otherwise it's just insane, if it's not already.

Off surfing for sadism. :lol:
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Matt Bayfield » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:55 pm

Lesley: you're probably thinking of Catchword, the old BBC2 show hosted by Paul Coia.

Re: Ben's proposal, I'm certainly not looking for a way to make Aegilops Letters Rounds harder. Plenty of the Letters Rounds (for 3 or 4 letter selections) are difficult enough as it is. I also fear that the restriction of starting with the first letter will lead to a lot of selections where the max ends up only using the first two letters of the selection, rather than 3 or 4, and I don't think this is conducive to great gameplay. (Especially as 2-letter Aegilops is largely trivial, give or take a few odd words you need to learn.)

The Numbers Rounds though - well, you can Hyper those or do what you like - I have no comments either way there!

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Ben Wilson » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:30 pm

How about this one then...

A solitaire variant where every player has the entire distribution of letters at their disposal, but only gets 9 at a time under the usual Countdown rules. The trick is they must make words out of the letters as they come out, and after each round, the unused letters from the round carry over to the next one- adding a Scrabble-style element of strategy.

To prevent people banging out 2s and 3s, scoring would be biased toward rewarding longer words, e.g. at the top end, 7 letter words would score 18 points, 8 letter words would score 25 and 9s would score 40. Any letters unused at the end of the game would result in points being deducted from the final score.

Anticipating a couple of problems with this, so here are my solutions- invalid words declared would result in a zero score as normal, and the letters used in the word would also be lost, and if the selection gets totally bogged down in crap, the player has the option to declare nothing for the round and get a whole new set of letters for a small forfeit score.

I'm sure I've ripped off something or other here so feel free to tell me, but I personally think this'd be rather good. It's also easily adaptable to hyper and junior, and even across dictionaries (Scrabblers would love it).

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Ian Volante » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:43 pm

Reposted from the wrong thread:
Ian Volante wrote:A fundamental of all(?) letters variants is the vowel/consonant choice. How about an option allowing different groupings of letters, such as picking either A-M or N-Z, or high-frequency/low-frequency (this would need some sort of minimum from the low criterion I suspect)?

To make this into a full-blown variant (would need a better name than I can think of, my best effort is Bunch-up), numbers could also be altered in a similar manner, choices being for example 1-49/50-99.

Conundrums, whatever!

Criticisms please, nothing so harsh as ignoring the idea though...
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by James Hall » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:43 pm

Lesley Hines wrote:Is it time for an Ultra version? I've been looking and no word (that I can find) has more than 15 unique letters

Try uncopywrightables?
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Kirk Bevins » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:10 pm

James Hall wrote:
Lesley Hines wrote:Is it time for an Ultra version? I've been looking and no word (that I can find) has more than 15 unique letters

Try uncopywrightables?
Err I think you have a stray 'w'.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Jon Corby » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:21 pm

Kirk Bevins wrote:
James Hall wrote:Try uncopywrightables?
Err I think you have a stray 'w'.
He was demonstrating such a word, in that it's not possible to copy it right.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Ben Wilson » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:17 am

I've had another vague idea, along the same lines as the feature requests that go 'can the first person to end a round early be the undisputed winner of that round' and so forth.

Flashdown-

The rounds have no time limits, but every second you take completing each round is deducted from your overall score so speed is essential. As such, negative scores are possible (Prune should score -30 points every round, for example). The only exemption is in the conundrum, which has a fixed ten-second time limit for obvious reasons. Missing, botching or being beaten in it will result in a ten-point penalty. Useless bots will obviously be even easier to beat here then normal- the guardian would make an interesting opponent though. As a compensation, maybe scoring can be 'all maxes score double' or 'antigevin' or whatever- something I've thought for a while would be an interesting variant. The one problem I can see with this is the numbers, which I imagine would get fudged a lot. As in, 'constantly'.

In terms of scoring, length of the word declared takes precedence over time taken to enter it. So someone taking 6 seconds to enter an 8-letter word will beat someone taking 1 second to enter a 7-letter word (but the losing player will score only -1 points). I admit this can result in some scoring anomalies, such as someone taking 7 seconds to enter a 4 letter word beating someone taking 2 seconds to enter a 3-letter word but incurring a greater penalty than them. Maybe rig it so a winning round can never yield a negative score?

Anyways, that's my $0.02 there.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Kai Laddiman » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:06 pm

Interesting idea, I think with a bit of tweaking it could work. Just wondered about this:
Ben Wilson wrote:Prune should score -30 points every round, for example
I'd always thought Prune declares nothing as soon as the round starts.
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Charlie Reams » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:11 pm

I'd rather give people bonus points for the time they didn't use, a la Mario of old. Also this sounds like YAKBV.

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Pronunciation Apterous

Post by Simon Le Fort » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:53 pm

There is another variant possible that would involve all players of English.

The OED has pronunciation entries alongside each word and we could use the 44 phonemic symbols used to transcribe English instead of the 26 letters.

There would be 20 in the vowels pile and 24 in the consonants. Distribution will need to be determined, but the scale will be from /ʒ/ as the least frequent to /ə/ as easily the most used. This wouldn’t be difficult to determine.

The fact that the various players will have very different accents is nothing new in phonemic transcription, and the RP (Received Pronunciation) versions as used in the OED and elsewhere will count.

It’s always important in discussing pronunciation to draw clear lines, as there will always be disputes. So the glottal stop will be excluded for these purposes as will triphthongs. 8 standard diphthongs and 12 vowels can suffice.

Players will need to use the mouse to select the symbols from the screen; this is nothing new in Apterous, and happens partially or totally in most of the foreign language variants already.

The only problem I envisage is that the dictionary doesn’t specify the three regular plural suffix sounds and the three regular preterite suffix sounds. These six are: /s/, /z/, /ɪz/, /t/, /d/ and /ɪd/. But I think this has already been overcome somehow for Apterous in making plurals and preterites of regular nouns and verbs, so a solution is surely feasible.

Dictionary phonemic transcriptions are notoriously incomplete, and intrusive sounds like the /k/ in “strength” are often omitted. Equally, weird transcriptions tend to creep in, like Lady Bracknell’s /hændbæg/ instead of /hænbag/ or, more likely, /hæmbæg/. This is just something that has to be put up with.

I think it could be fun. Does anyone else agree? Certainly there'll be lots of arguments! I'll be glad to produce a checklist of symbols and example words for players unfamiliar with the symbols, if the idea moves ahead.

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Re: Pronunciation Apterous

Post by Ian Volante » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:35 pm

Simon Le Fort wrote:There is another variant possible that would involve all players of English.

The OED has pronunciation entries alongside each word and we could use the 44 phonemic symbols used to transcribe English instead of the 26 letters.

There would be 20 in the vowels pile and 24 in the consonants. Distribution will need to be determined, but the scale will be from /ʒ/ as the least frequent to /ə/ as easily the most used. This wouldn’t be difficult to determine.

The fact that the various players will have very different accents is nothing new in phonemic transcription, and the RP (Received Pronunciation) versions as used in the OED and elsewhere will count.

It’s always important in discussing pronunciation to draw clear lines, as there will always be disputes. So the glottal stop will be excluded for these purposes as will triphthongs. 8 standard diphthongs and 12 vowels can suffice.

Players will need to use the mouse to select the symbols from the screen; this is nothing new in Apterous, and happens partially or totally in most of the foreign language variants already.

The only problem I envisage is that the dictionary doesn’t specify the three regular plural suffix sounds and the three regular preterite suffix sounds. These six are: /s/, /z/, /ɪz/, /t/, /d/ and /ɪd/. But I think this has already been overcome somehow for Apterous in making plurals and preterites of regular nouns and verbs, so a solution is surely feasible.

Dictionary phonemic transcriptions are notoriously incomplete, and intrusive sounds like the /k/ in “strength” are often omitted. Equally, weird transcriptions tend to creep in, like Lady Bracknell’s /hændbæg/ instead of /hænbag/ or, more likely, /hæmbæg/. This is just something that has to be put up with.

I think it could be fun. Does anyone else agree? Certainly there'll be lots of arguments! I'll be glad to produce a checklist of symbols and example words for players unfamiliar with the symbols, if the idea moves ahead.
This would be a good way for me to learn the phonetic symbols properly instead of having to look them up, if nothing else!

Is there a phonetic lexicon available?
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Re: Pronunciation Apterous

Post by Charlie Reams » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:51 pm

Ian Volante wrote: Is there a phonetic lexicon available?
That would seem to be the elephant in the room...

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Re: Pronunciation Apterous

Post by JimBentley » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:06 pm

Charlie Reams wrote:
Ian Volante wrote: Is there a phonetic lexicon available?
That would seem to be the elephant in the room...
Precisely. And I'm not typing the fucking thing in (mainly cos I don't understand phonetic symbols anyway - obviously if I did I would do it like a shot).
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Simon Le Fort » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:23 pm

First, for Ian, here are the 44 symbols with example words showing the phoneme in initial, medial and final position:

Consonants
p pen, copy, happen
b back, baby, job
t tea, tight, button
d day, ladder, odd
k key, clock, school
g get, giggle, ghost
tʃ church, match, nature
dʒ judge, age, soldier
f fat, coffee, rough, photo
v view, heavy, move
θ thing, author, path
ð this, other, smooth
s soon, cease, sister
z zero, music, roses, buzz
ʃ ship, sure, national
ʒ pleasure, vision
h hot, whole, ahead
m more, hammer, sum
n nice, know, funny, sun
ŋ ring, anger, thanks, sung
l light, valley, feel
r right, wrong, sorry, arrange
j yet, use, beauty, few
w wet, one, when, queen
ʔ (glottal stop)department, football – just shown for fun!
Simple vowels/monothongs/non-movers
e dress, bed, head, many
ə about, common, standard
ɜː nurse, stir, learn, refer
æ trap, bad kit
ɑː start, father
ɒ lot, odd, wash
ɔː thought, law, north, war
ɪ bid, hymn, minute
iː fleece, sea, machine
uː goose, two, blue, group
ʊ foot, good, put
ʌ strut, mud, love, blood
Moving vowels/diphthongs
Rounders
aʊ mouth, now
əʊ goat, show, no
Closers
ɔɪ choice, boy
eɪ face, day, break
aɪ price, high, try
Centrers
ɪə near, here, weary
eə square, fair, various
ʊə poor, jury, cure

The various phonemes have all kinds of relationships, I've explained a bit about the diphthongs in breaking them down into three groups (consider where your lips finish). Just to be picky, best to stick to the term phoneme rather than anything to do with phonetics, 'cause that is vast and the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) has loads more sounds and symbols. English just dips in and cherry-picks the 44½ meaningful sounds (phonemes) that it needs to function.

In terms of Apterous, I have never known how the lexicons were sourced and uploaded. I saw the Italian lexicon change overnight because the initial one was faulty, and realised it didn't depend on someone typing each individual word in. Then Russian and Hebrew appeared, and again I don't think anyone was typing all the words in in exotic characters.

I suppose I had hoped that the phonemic transcriptions could be easily selected from any digital English lexicon, in a way the regular words have.

But from some comments above, maybe this is impossible with English, so perhaps it's a non-starter. Or could it work along some Apterous Sponge lines, where each pronunciation word played is then added to the lexicon?

This idea wouldn't work well in many other languages because other languages tend to have written forms that regularly reflect the spoken form. English, with its crazy spellings and uncertain pronunciations, lends itself perfectly to this variant.

But I guess if it is technically impossible, that's the end of it.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Miriam Nussbaum » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:13 am

So, would a certain rule then be adapted as "American words are OK, but American pronunciations are not?" :lol:

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Simon Le Fort » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:59 am

I believe American words are currently ok in Apterous only where no equivalent British form exists.

The features that distinguish accents are largely phonological ones beyond this simplified classification of the 44½ meaningful sounds. It's intonation and stress within words and sentences that mark this for the most part. These are called suprasegmental features. We don't need to consider them here.

By adopting RP as a benchmark, as has been done for nearly 100 years, a standard and classifiable set of transcriptions becomes possible.

Pronunciation is an emotional subject and some people react defensively about any discussion. There is also a huge base of study out there and I feel I have already gone on too long with these basic points about Phonology, Phonetics, Phonemics - in fact Pronunciation is a much handier all-purpose term to use. It's not for us to rewrite or reinvent pronunciation descriptions, classifications or dictionary entries.

American English is an example, but it is actually only a small example, which I'll address because it's been raised. I am guessing that the number of pronunciation issues within individual words for Apterous purposes will be roughly equivalent to the number of American spellings that are disallowed. So, words with an intrusive /j/ in RP, such as NEWS, yes, these may be an issue for some American players who can't adapt. Other American words such as ALUMINUM and SPECIALTY have American spellings and I'm not sure of the Apterous rules on them. For Pron purposes, they therefore don't really matter. If Apterous accepts them in regular games, so will their pronunciations be accepted. Words like /fri:weI/ should pose no problem.

The larger countries, Australia and USA and Canada, actually have small regional variation within them. It's not national boundaries that count. Yorkshire, West Country, some Scottish and Irish, Lancashire, Black Country and many other accents closer to the traditional heart of RP may find the greatest differences.

Some basic examples:

Irish TINK for THINK
North of ENGLAND: /græs/ not /gra:s/
NZ FISH & CHEPS
LONDONERS and beyond, with a systematic substitution of the "TH" sounds: FAIF OV OUR FAVERS.

South African and Indian native English speakers may have more difficulty, if you want to consider nation states.

None of this is anything new. RP is just an established reference point. There'd be nothing to stop other pronunciation listings/regional variations being adopted. But since Apterous uses the OED and the OED has Pron classifications using RP as a basis, it is the obvious choice.

The majority of Apterous players will have to adapt to the RP standard in some way, and even those with a theoretical home advantage (ie based in Oxford) will need to consider their choices. Anyone who has ever consulted a dictionary for pron purposes will be aware of this.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Ian Volante » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:50 am

Simon Le Fort wrote:Words like /fri:weI/ should pose no problem.
Amusingly, even with the rules above, I can't work out what this word is.

...interlude of minutes...

Actually, freeway?
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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Karen Pearson » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:10 am

I quite like the idea of Simon's variant. I'd play it if it was available. But then I'm the person who will play Hebrew and Finnish without knowing a single word in either language!

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Mark James » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:17 pm

How about a variant like boggle where you have a minute to find as many words form the selection of nine letters as you can. Points are awarded for length of word, say 1 point for 3,4 and 5 letter words, 2 for 6 and 7 letters, 3 for 8 and 5 for 9. If both contestants declare the same words they're cancelled out and score zero(except for 9's maybe?).

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Ben Wilson » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:40 am

Is hyperomelette on the horizon at any point? Letters rounds with 4-6 letters instead of 3-5, 12-letter omeletteundrums and omeletteified hyper numbers which will keep Chittenden busy for oh, all of half an hour.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Nick Boldock » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:33 am

Mark James wrote:How about a variant like boggle where you have a minute to find as many words form the selection of nine letters as you can. Points are awarded for length of word, say 1 point for 3,4 and 5 letter words, 2 for 6 and 7 letters, 3 for 8 and 5 for 9. If both contestants declare the same words they're cancelled out and score zero(except for 9's maybe?).
I like this, but I suspect it would require a completely different game engine.

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Re: Good idea for a variant?

Post by Kai Laddiman » Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:38 pm

Ben Wilson wrote:Is hyperomelette on the horizon at any point? Letters rounds with 4-6 letters instead of 3-5, 12-letter omeletteundrums and omeletteified hyper numbers which will keep Chittenden busy for oh, all of half an hour.
I like this. Hyper Spoilage would also be interesting, maybe it would be the first variant where the max decreases as the number of letters increases.
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