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Server migration complete - By: Adam Plumb - 2 years ago
Hi all, we've finished moving over to the new server and for the most part things seem to be running smoothly. Thanks for your patience! Please do let me know if you run into any issues.


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Server migration/downtime tomorrow, Saturday, Oct 10 - By: Adam Plumb - 2 years ago
Hi all, it's time to say goodbye to the little server that could that has brought you Serpentine for the past 7 years, and say hello to a new one! I actually don't run a physical server, I rent a virtual server, and it has treated us pretty well over the years. But it's time to move on to something a little bigger and better, and newer. I'm hoping that this new server will give people a better game experience and allow more people to play from more locations, but there's only one way to find out! My plan is to move the game over to the new server starting around 2PM EST tomorrow, Saturday October 10th. I've prepared the new server and the total downtime should be somewhat minimal. If everything goes smoothly it could be as little as 5-10 minutes. Once the game is back up, it should look exactly as it does now so you probably won't notice anything radically different.


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Tips for improving your game! - By: Adam Plumb - 2.7 years ago
For those that play Serpentine regularly, or for that matter any online boggle or anagram game, here are some tips that might help you improve your game! Remember that the way to win at Serpentine is to type as many correct words as possible in the alotted round time, so how can you do this, if you're struggling to keep up with the other players?

1. Start guessing

The dictionary file that Serpentine uses, which is called the SOWPODS dictionary, has 173,528 words. It is pretty much impossible for any one person to memorize all of these, so if you see a combination of letters that you think might be a word, try it! You don't get penalized in this game for guessing, though you do need to make sure you're still getting correct guesses every now any then. But you'd be surprised how many words there are.


2. Exhaust all anagrams in the tiles you're looking at

Take a look at this example.
Anagram Example

If you look at the three different boards here, the three tiles on the top left of the screen form three different words. You've got, ARM, MAR, and RAM! That right there is 3 very easy points! (More if you got there first) Especially for these shorter words, they often work backwards and forwards.


3. Look for words inside other words

Many people overlook the fact that lots of words contain other smaller words within them. Here is another example:
Words within Words Example

You can see the word BUNT highlighted. But do you also see that BUN is also a word? Don't let these combinations give you the slip next time! Also, notice that the word NUB is in there, remember tip #2?


4. Look for other forms of a word

Often times there will be a word like TASTE. This is a pretty simple word, but also a very flexible one! Think of all the combinations, and keep those combinations in mind the next time you see it! Off the top of my head I can think of TASTES, TASTED, TASTER, TASTERS, TASTIER, TASTING, TASTINGS, and TASTIEST. Keep in mind that when you have words like this that end in E you can often find Rs and Ds close by which should give you access to these other word forms. I really can't emphasize this one enough! If you only take away one tip today, this should be it.


5. Type faster

If you're someone that hunts-and-pecks or has a hard time typing quickly, this can really hurt your game if you tend to type words in (as opposed to mousing). This game thrives on quick fingers, so you may want to consider improving your typing by using a web app like keybr.com. On the other hand, if you're mousing and you're using a touchpad, you may want a dedicated mouse!


6. Practice makes perfect!

Just like anything, the more you play, the better you get! This one may be a bit obvious, but really your brain makes new connections over time, and it just needs that extra bit of repetition to do so. Try to play a little bit every day, I bet you'll start figuring out tips 1-5 all by yourself!


If you practice at these tips, you should start seeing some improvement over time. Serpentine/Boggle is not an easy game, and we have some VERY good players on here, so have patience and keep practicing! Also, let me know if you've got some additional tips and I'll post them!


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Say Hi to our new guests! - By: Adam Plumb - 2.7 years ago
You may have noticed some new faces the past few days and have wondered where they are all coming from, well wonder no more! I made a small change to the homepage a couple days ago. Now, when a new or unlogged in user clicks on a room link, they will get sent directly to that room instead of requiring them to decide on either signing in, logging in as a guest, or registering. This is a fairly small tweak but I'm hoping it will get new players into the game more easily.

I also recently made a posting on reddit in the WebGames subreddit and that brought in a bunch of new traffic and hopefully some new blood that will stick around!


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New Bot Challenge Room - By: Adam Plumb - 2.9 years ago
I've put up a new room (somewhat temporarily) called "The Bot Challenge" that has an array of bots with ratings as low as 600 to as high as 4000! Come by and give it a whirl!


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Bots are down for some retooling - By: Adam Plumb - 2.9 years ago
I spent this weekend playing around with the new bots and got some really interesting data that I'm going to use to improve them. What I mean by that is make it so I can more accurately control how good they are in a give situation, as in, they should have the same rating in any of the rooms. I've taken the bots down for now so I can work on them a bit more, and hopefully put them up again permanently somewhat soon.


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Introducing bots! - By: Adam Plumb - 2.9 years ago
I'm delighted to introduce a new feature I've been wanting to try out for a while: Bots! I've written a few simple AI bots that will practice playing Serpentine all day and all night in the Beginner's Room. This is an experimental feature and the bots are currently only playing in the Beginner's Room so you'll need a rating of less than 1000 to try them out.

I'll be curious to hear what you guys think and see how they do out there! If people are interested I may add them to other rooms too, just to spice things up a bit.

Feedback is welcome!


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Initial tests for iPad and Android Tablet - By: Adam Plumb - 3 years ago
Hi all, I'm happy to introduce initial trials for running Serpentine on iPads and Android Tablets! It has been a long road to get to this point, and we're still quite a ways away from it being a first class citizen compared to desktop PCs, but it's a place to start.

If you're interested in testing out Serpentine on your iPad or Android Tablet, simply point your tablet's browser to http://www.serpentinegame.com and play a game as usual. You may want to head into the Practice Room first so you don't lose any points in your trial.

We're at a point where I feel like it should work, but may not be a great experience just yet, so please bear that in mind as you give it a try! Once you do try it, please send me an email or click the "Problems" button and let me know how it went!


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A new mousing option - By: Adam Plumb - 3 years ago
Hi all! I've put some work into enabling mobile-style mousing. Instead of the Click-Drag-Click mechanism we've all grudgingly grown to be ok with, now we have a more natural (and mobile-friendly) Mousedown-Drag-Mouseup. This new way of mousing should actually be a bit faster since it requires two less actions (mousedown vs click, which is a mousedown then mouseup).

For the time being, I'm making the new mousing mechanism opt-in only. You'll see a new checkbox option on the lower left hand side of the page called Click & Hold Mousing. If you enable that checkbox, your mousing will change to the new style.

I'd love to hear what you guys think! Either email me or send me a tweet on my new Serpentine twitter feed


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