Cool new WORD-puzz-LE game released for FileMaker

November 21, 2022
David

HighPower Data has released its first-ever FileMaker game in our app store. It was created by the ingenious mind of David Moyer, FileMaker engineer at HighPower.  See below for his humorous story of how he created the amazingly cool and fun “ENIGMA” app.   Available in our store for just $3!

Late January of 2022, I learned of a new word-puzzle game. It was immediately popular, with a daily five-letter mystery. I found the motivation to build my FileMaker study, “Enigma”, out of a combination of intrigue and frustration.

It was a drizzly Tuesday …
The intrigue came from my love of word puzzles. The frustration came at the end of my first and last online game, realizing that I wouldn’t be able to play again until the next day.
With that realization, the adrenalin rushed. I tore the clip-on bowtie from my neck and ripped open my starched shirt, exposing the FileMaker logo emblazoned on my Spandex™ undershirt, and got to work.
From the start, I realized that I needed a dictionary.
… not just any dictionary, but a dictionary of 5-letter words.
… not just any 5-letter words, but those that were truly unique.
Simple plurals? Simple past-tense? Simple adjectives? Include words like ‘turns’, ‘faded’, and ‘downy’?
Pshaw! I muttered. That would be too easy a route … packing my dictionary with thoughtless options would be irresponsible.
I built my dictionary from classic novels, such as Pride and Prejudice, Crime and Punishment, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Heart of Darkness, parsing valid five-letter words from the text.
The parser omitted words ending in ‘ed’, but not those ending in ‘eed’; it omitted words ending in ‘s’, but not those ending in ‘ss’; and it omitted words that might be proper names.
While building the dictionary, the parser also counted the occurrences of the five-letter words it encountered, known as “word frequency”. The game uses the frequency counts to enable different levels of difficulty, based on the commonality of the words.
Finally, I pored through the dictionary, subjectively removing anything slang, offensive, archaic, or those words that slipped through otherwise. I ended up with a dictionary of over 1,700 words. You can view the game dictionary by clicking in the upper-left corner of the gameboard.