Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint Version 4.0 Final: Welcome to a new era

Welcome to Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint, version 4.0. Get ready for a redefined Wheel experience, an all-new paradigm that shakes up how you and your contestants enjoy your game.

It is the product of months of enduring development and several milestone betas. In fact, this is the most ambitious update I've ever made to a game.

For those who tested the betas, thank you. You can skip all the way down to the Developer Note if you'd like, or read on as I reprise the highlights of this release. If you're updating from the previous stable version, you're in for a treat. So much has changed since we last met, and I look forward to impressing you again with what's there to offer.

Alright, let's get the ball rolling, shall we?

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint Version 4.0 RC Release Notes

Link to beta 1beta 2, and beta 3 release notes

Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint Version 4.0 Release Candidate (RC) has arrived! This means that if no new bugs are found, this will very likely be representative of the final release.

Changes since beta 3

  • Playtesting over the holidays proved that the wheel spin trigger mechanism doesn’t exactly generate random spins on the Mac version. This resulted in players consistently landing on high dollar wedges, seemingly in the same exact spot.

    To remedy this issue, I am introducing a new spin mechanism that computer-randomly generates where it lands. This applies to both the Windows and Mac versions. While this means that the pulse animation has to go, there are important benefits to this spin approach:

    - Every single wedge has an equal chance of getting landed at. (For the $10,000 wedge and side Bankrupts, divide by the odds by 3.)
    - You can safely double-click the wheel, eliminating that troubleshooting problem.
    - The game can now, via code, detect where the wheel landed on.

    The last point is very important, as it could lead to breakthroughs in future versions of the project. For now, I’ve leveraged this capability into what is discussed on the next bullet point.
  • You may have noticed that the mystery wedge toggles were broken in previous betas. Rather than fix the bug, I’ve eliminated these toggles in favor of automatic mystery wedge removal. If you click the bottom-left mystery button while the wheel is on a mystery wedge, that mystery wedge will automatically be removed while revealing the $10,000 or Bankrupt! Clicking the x next to the indicator will restore both mystery wedges.
  • Transferring totals now zeroes out everyone's round score.
  • The bonus round interface has been reworked for improved visual clarity. The active side now has an outline, while the inactive side is now gray. Also, if none of the contestant’s consonants and vowel is in the bonus round puzzle, the letter selector will become red.
  • Fixes an issue that caused settings to look like they reset when transitioning to the puzzle board
  • The How to Use slides on the Mac version now uses Mac screenshots.
  • The project (except for graphics by wheelgenius) is now licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

For those still using v3.2 stable, now’s a good time to hop onboard to the v4.0 train. It’s feature complete, and I made an effort to scrub as many bugs as I could find.

The final release with the video guide is still on track for the first half of January 2018.

Version 4.0 RC Download Links
Mac (PowerPoint 2011 or newer)

Update (Jan 9): The release candidate is no longer available. The download links have been replaced with version 4.0 final, which is essentially the same thing as the release candidate with very minor fixes.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Bingo Master Board PLUS Version 2.1

Bingo Master Board PLUS Version 2.1 is out. The most notable change is that I rewrote the VBA using "Option Explicit". I'm not really sure why this is important other than it's good programming practice, but hey, I followed through.

Other changes include:
  • Various alignment adjustments
  • You can now display the number of Bingo balls drawn. This may be more useful for Bingo players than the amount remaining.
  • Bingo Master Board PLUS is now licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
  • Fixes a bug in PowerPoint 2007 that prevented new themes from loading

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint Version 4.0 beta 3

Missed out on the previous betas? Here are the beta 1 and beta 2 release notes.

Beta 3 is ready for testing, and it focuses on one major new feature: bonus round support.

As you probably already know, the bonus round in Wheel of Fortune is when the winning contestant tries to solve one more puzzle with a limited amount of letters for a chance at a big prize. My PowerPoint implementation attempts to streamline this process. Access the bonus round by cycling through the round tabs.

Click RSTLNE to reveal those letters in the puzzle.

The contestant then chooses three consonants and a vowel (four consonants if he/she has a wild card). Use the letter selector to input these letters. You can remove letters if necessary with the spiral arrow button.

Now click these letters to reveal them in the puzzle, if they exist.

Once all the letters are up, the contestant has ten seconds to guess the puzzle. Click the timer on the bottom right to start the countdown.

Click the timer again to reset it back to the beginning.

This is the last planned beta and marks the feature freeze for version 4.0. The final release, targeted for the first half of January 2018, will focus on bug fixes, last minute optimizations, and a new video guide. I'd like to hear how the bonus round works for you and any bug reports if found.

Version 4.0 beta 3 Download Links

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint Version 4.0 beta 2

Missed out on beta 1? Here are the beta 1 release notes.

Beta 1 turned out to be more successful than I thought. Many users I've talked to preferred the new puzzle setup system, and it showed when I ran a game during Thanksgiving break. The rounds went by more smoothly, and best of all, I didn't have to stress out placing a letter in the wrong tile.

That said, there's still a lot of room for improvement. Using beta 1 for an actual game has helped me think of feature ideas that otherwise wouldn't have popped up with testing alone. Some of those ideas have landed here in version 4.0 beta 2. So let's go through the new features, shall we?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint Version 4.0 beta 1

Update (Nov. 20): Beta 1.1 has been released. This is a bug fix release; no new features have been added. Here's what's fixed:
  • Load Puzzle no longer clears the entire puzzle board if a puzzle isn't found.
  • If the entire puzzle is already up on the puzzle board, clicking the Solve button will no longer display a confirmation box.
  • "Wipe all puzzles/scores and end show" now wipes the Mystery indicator.
  • The puzzle editor category box is now wider so that it's more compliant with how much space you get on the actual puzzle board.
  • Fixes a center alignment issue with player names.
  • Increases the size of the player name boxes to fit longer names.
  • Works around a bug in PowerPoint 2007 that prevented the game from highlighting filled puzzles in the puzzle editor.

Introducing Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint Version 4.0 beta 1. Brace yourself, as this release essentially redefines the way you play the game.

In previous versions, you had to remember the solutions to your Wheel of Fortune puzzles in your head (or on a solution card). There was friction between you and your contestants as you fumbled trying to remember how many M's were in your puzzle and where they were located. Starting with this release, I am proud to state that those days are numbered. Introducing Set Up Puzzles, a new method to prepare your puzzles in advance!

Monday, October 23, 2017

New Icons for PowerPoint Games

I'm still migrating files out of MediaFire, but in the meantime, I thought it was a good idea to add icons to all my PowerPoint games on the Projects page. Yes, even the ancient projects I've abandoned years ago have been given icons. Here's a glance of what I've made.