Our family game is a popular word making one! But it doesn't support Chinese. How sad! Meanwhile we type Chinese in Facebook Messenger all the time talking to each other. This seems like a great opportunity...
What it does
Word Chat Challenge Messenger Bot lets users pick a language to play in: English or Chinese. Next it will create a pool of English letters for English games or a pool of Chinese radicals, parts of Chinese characters, for Chinese games. The players then have to use the letters or characters to make words. Each word made is a point! Every time the user has to pass they lose a point. Users can see who is in the lead in the scoreboard!
How we built it
Word Chat Challenge uses a Node JS server that receives webhook calls from the Facebook Messenger API. The game leverages the Quick Reply feature to let users easily and quickly tap the options they want when playing, so the only thing they actually have to type out is the English and Chinese words they want to play in the game. The open source libraries check-word and hanzi are used to provide language dictionaries.
Challenges we ran into
Chinese characters aren't as simple as English letters. There are a lot of radicals! Xiaojing is an expert, but Lance has a lot to learn!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of being able to play a word making game in a language we couldn't before!
What we learned
Facebook Messenger API is surprisingly easy to get started with and use! The sample project helped a lot!
What's next for Word Chat Challenge Messenger Bot
The Facebook Instant Games API looks very interesting too. That would allow sending a game board image to all the participants and having instanced games.