The Countdown Android App is now out!

All discussion relevant to Countdown that is not too spoilerific. New members: come here first to introduce yourself. We don't bite, or at least rarely.
Sam Cappleman-Lynes
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Sam Cappleman-Lynes »

I notice that the "Max games" section of the 10-second 15-rounder leaderboard is conspicuously empty...

I came close to rectifying that with this game - http://jackhurst.co.uk/countdowngame?QmXKq1 - but a slightly disappointing miss in R7 spoiled it. Nonetheless, it's not a bad 10-second game!
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Sam Cappleman-Lynes wrote: ↑Sat Oct 01, 2022 4:32 pm I notice that the "Max games" section of the 10-second 15-rounder leaderboard is conspicuously empty...

I came close to rectifying that with this game - http://jackhurst.co.uk/countdowngame?QmXKq1 - but a slightly disappointing miss in R7 spoiled it. Nonetheless, it's not a bad 10-second game!
I saw that you went much better today. Nice job :)
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

I just did some server updates on the app. All data should have been migrated, but let me know if you see any funny business. There will now also be regular automated backups, so if the server decides to spontaneously die again, we won't lose as much data as before.

You will also notice a few changes in leaderboard ordering:

Leaderboards are now ordered by Score (DESC) then available max (ASC) then timestamp (DESC)
The max games leaderboard is just timestamp (DESC)

This means if Bob gets 145 out of 146 and Alice gets 145 out of 145 then Alice's game will appear higher in the list. If Alice and Bob boths get 145/145 then whichever game was most recent gets placed higher.

Fir the max games list, you will now just see the most recent max games. Hopefully this is an improvement because it helps you see who's playing well NOW, and also reduces the overlap with the all time leaderboard

In daily challenges where loads of players are tied first, instead of seeing the players like "Geohag" who like to do the challenge at 00:01 first in the list, you will see the player who did it latest. Remember of course, that when timestamps are determining the ordering, it means the players are tied, and there has to be something to tiebreak the ordering so that the leaderboard at least looks consistent.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by George Armstrong »

JackHurst wrote: ↑Sat Oct 08, 2022 8:28 am In daily challenges where loads of players are tied first, instead of seeing the players like "Geohag" who like to do the challenge at 00:01 first in the list, you will see the player who did it latest. Remember of course, that when timestamps are determining the ordering, it means the players are tied, and there has to be something to tiebreak the ordering so that the leaderboard at least looks consistent.
Wordle then daily challenge, good combo 😎
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Callum Todd »

George Armstrong wrote: ↑Sat Oct 08, 2022 5:33 pm
JackHurst wrote: ↑Sat Oct 08, 2022 8:28 am "Geohag" who like to do the challenge at 00:01
Wordle then daily challenge, good combo 😎
Reading between the lines, clearly George can solve the wordle in under a minute. Nice humblebrag.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

It looks like we just lost the all of the data from around 2am yesterday until about 11am today. Since apologies to all those who had some of their scores wiped. There may be some of you who did yesterdays and todays daily challenges where it now looks like you didn't do it. Unfortunately there was no way to rescue that data.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Adam Dexter »

JackHurst wrote: ↑Sun Oct 09, 2022 10:25 am It looks like we just lost the all of the data from around 2am yesterday until about 11am today. Since apologies to all those who had some of their scores wiped. There may be some of you who did yesterdays and todays daily challenges where it now looks like you didn't do it. Unfortunately there was no way to rescue that data.
Seems to be recurring. For the last two days (I.e. Tues and Weds) I have done the challenge, but now appears I haven't :(
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

The way I designed the backend isn't really coping with the amount of data we now have. I need to redesign it but this will take some time. In the mean time, the safest thing to do is not to restore the old data. That data is there backed up, but I will wait until I have re-architected the backend before I restore it.

This means for a few weeks, the game data preceding 18th October will be missing. Think of it as a new chance to get near the top of the leaderboards!

As always, the core functionality of the app continues to work offline, so if there are ever server problems, you can still play games (you just won't be able to participate in the daily challenge, or submit to scoreboards)
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Sam Cappleman-Lynes »

JackHurst wrote: ↑Thu Oct 20, 2022 11:26 am The way I designed the backend isn't really coping with the amount of data we now have.
Without meaning to sound flippant (I know how painstaking these migrations can be!) - what a nice problem to have :)
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

For a few days there will be 2 daily challenges per day. I'll be keeping a close eye on how it affects the overall daily usage stats.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Andres Sanchez wrote: ↑Sun Sep 04, 2022 3:45 pm
Fastest conundrum solve?
Adam G unscrambled ALLIGATOR in 100ms
Andres Sanchez wrote: ↑Sun Sep 04, 2022 3:45 pm
Person who's declared the most nines?
579 - Joshuorgz
434 - SNATCH-IT!
395 - Joshuorgz (he must have got a new phones at some point)
Andres Sanchez wrote: ↑Sun Sep 04, 2022 3:45 pm How many nines have been declared on the app overall?
Who's won the most Daily Challenges?
9165
Andres Sanchez wrote: ↑Sun Sep 04, 2022 3:45 pm Who's won the most Daily Challenges?
Not sure on this one, I'll need a while longer to work it out.


*All data is taken on from games where players click the submit button. Data snapshot taken earlier today.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Marc Meakin »

Colin was talking about the App but not on air
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Dan Byrom »

What did he say?

When CoC was being filmed, he told me he was playing with the official one. I told him to get Jack's.

I don't know if that prompted him to get it or if he even remembers the conversation as I'm sure he has loads on his mind, but tbh I think it's just really cool that he enjoys playing in his own time!
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Tom S »

Wondering as to whether there'd be demand for a way for 2 players to play a game on the app? I know that when the finals were being filmed, Ed Byrne and John Aziz played each other in-person on the app...
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Steve Hyde »

Dan Byrom wrote: ↑Wed Nov 23, 2022 4:57 pm What did he say?

When CoC was being filmed, he told me he was playing with the official one. I told him to get Jack's.

I don't know if that prompted him to get it or if he even remembers the conversation as I'm sure he has loads on his mind, but tbh I think it's just really cool that he enjoys playing in his own time!
I've noticed "TheColinMurray" turning up in the challenge leaderboards on a regular basis, no idea if it's really him though
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Thomas Carey »

Tom S wrote: ↑Wed Dec 07, 2022 10:47 pm Wondering as to whether there'd be demand for a way for 2 players to play a game on the app? I know that when the finals were being filmed, Ed Byrne and John Aziz played each other in-person on the app...
I've told Jack this at least 5 times :) most of my usage of the app is playing someone in a pub in person and having to look away just before the round ends to declare

It's much easier to use on a phone/irl than apterous, and has the built in correct dictionary and non-garbage letters distruibtuon that most websites don't
cheers maus
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Pass and play is what I think you mean. I'll have a think about how that would work, and where to prioritize it.

Full blown multiplayer isn't something that I'm close to supporting yet, but would love to have. The problem with this is then I have to deal with cheating and I can see it being a huge time sink that stops me focusing on other stuff. I'm happy for Apterous/co events to be the go to for people who want to play serious multiplayer.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

If you update to version 1.62 there's a new mode which lets you try a different game mode each day. Today's is Jokerdown letters.

From the game setup screen choose mash up on the left menu.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Andres Sanchez »

Well after being tired as hell from a wedding I somehow pulled out my very first 15-round max game.

what the fuck

http://jackhurst.co.uk/countdowngame?QaL2E1

Seriously though I genuinely didn't expect this and I'm very content with myself!


EDIT: Here are the pics for any computer viewers.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Nice work! Congrats on your first max game. Hopefully first of many :)

Good work keeping it together to spot the tricky Darren in Rd 13
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Andres Sanchez »

JackHurst wrote: ↑Sun Jan 15, 2023 10:24 am Nice work! Congrats on your first max game. Hopefully first of many :)

Good work keeping it together to spot the tricky Darren in Rd 13
Thanks m8, to be honest I wasn't even sure peerage was a word before. I was just fishing for PEROGIE
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Dan Byrom »

Perogie is invalid!

Pierogi, pirogi, perogi, perogies, pirogies are all the variations afaik

Congrats on the max!
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Andres Sanchez »

Dan Byrom wrote: ↑Sun Jan 15, 2023 4:19 pm Perogie is invalid!

Pierogi, pirogi, perogi, perogies, pirogies are all the variations afaik

Congrats on the max!
Didn't think it was, will keep that in mind.

Thanks Dan and Jack!
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

There's a preview of fun mode on today and tomorrow. This mode aims to have simplifications to make the standard game more accessible to new and beginner players.

Numbers: Most of the time the target is easier
Letters: When you hit "Save" button you get told whether your word is valid or not. So in theory you can't declare an invalid word
Conundrum: Only low difficulty conundrums are ever used, and there is a hint button to tell you the first 2 letters of the solutions.
There is also no timer.

This mode is experimental so may be subject to change. Any feedback welcome. Also if you have friends or family members who might like the simplified format, get them involved!

Eventually I would like to change the letters game for fun mode to always pick really flat rounds so there are always like at least 5 or 6 maxes available, and then have a hint button which tells you length of max. Requires a bit of thinking though because I don't want to take away picking rounds from the user.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Thomas Carey »

Potentially do it like goat? If they pick a final consonant, choose the consonant that will give the flattest round? Same with vowel? Could even do this logic for the last 2 letter picks (pick the letter of the flavour they picked to maximise min(biggest number of maxes if they pick a vowel last, biggest number of maxes if they pick a consonant last) assuming they aren't forced to pick v or c because they've picked too many of the other one, but that requires a lot more effort
cheers maus
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Sam Cappleman-Lynes »

Looking at the first of today's daily challenges (the one with 8 conundrums), by clicking through to people's games on the leaderboard everyone seems to have been given a different conundrum in round 4. Why is this?
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Adam Dexter »

Sam Cappleman-Lynes wrote: ↑Fri Feb 03, 2023 5:22 pm Looking at the first of today's daily challenges (the one with 8 conundrums), by clicking through to people's games on the leaderboard everyone seems to have been given a different conundrum in round 4. Why is this?
Mine seems rather apt: TPISDYAIR
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Sam Cappleman-Lynes wrote: ↑Fri Feb 03, 2023 5:22 pm Looking at the first of today's daily challenges (the one with 8 conundrums), by clicking through to people's games on the leaderboard everyone seems to have been given a different conundrum in round 4. Why is this?
🧐🧐🧐🧐

I added a fallback to generate a random conundrum in the app in the event the server sends a daily challenge with an invalid conundrum. Today's 4th conundrum was supposed to be STABLEYIL. The intended solution to this conundrum gained an alternate solution in the last dictionary update.

Not ideal that you've not had the same rounds, but this should be quite rare. At least it added a slight bit of variety to proceedings. Thanks for pointing it out :)
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Sam Cappleman-Lynes »

That's some impressive forward-thinking! Thanks for the explanation.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Gavin Chipper »

So this is if the dictionary update happens on the same day as that conundrum rendering a valid conundrum invalid?
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Gavin Chipper wrote: ↑Sat Feb 04, 2023 11:28 am So this is if the dictionary update happens on the same day as that conundrum rendering a valid conundrum invalid?
There are two types of Conundrum in the app:
- Provided by an external source. For example the daily challenge gives all rounds from the backend.
- Random. For example when you play a 15r in the app.

When it's provided by an external source, the app checks whether the provided conundrum is in the local database of valid conundrums.
When it's random the app just picks a random conundrum from the local database.

In the event that the conundrum is from an external source but it's not a valid conundrum, the app will supply a random one instead. This protects against the case I highlighted in previous post. It also protects against other mistakes like typos. What if I decided to manually set a list of themed Conundrums for a day, but I made a typo and didn't notice?

At present, I have not bothered to update the list used to generate the challenge conundrums to be up to date with the next dictionary, so there's a small chance things like this will happen again until I do.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Version 1.64 is out today.

Unfortunately there was an issue introduced in 1.63 with numbers targets being repeated. Turns out the root cause of this is an actual bug in the Android Source code 😱. In spite of JetBrains best efforts to ruin the numbers game I have found a workaround and targets should be fully random again.

Another piece of feedback I had from several people was that conundrum shuffles could be a bit 🐢 πŸ’©. You should now notice bad shuffles happening way less often.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Today will be the day we hit 100000 games on the app!

I'll give out a prize to whoever gets game 100000 if it's a 15 rounder scoring over 100
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Gavin Chipper »

JackHurst wrote: ↑Sat Feb 04, 2023 12:18 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote: ↑Sat Feb 04, 2023 11:28 am So this is if the dictionary update happens on the same day as that conundrum rendering a valid conundrum invalid?
There are two types of Conundrum in the app:
- Provided by an external source. For example the daily challenge gives all rounds from the backend.
- Random. For example when you play a 15r in the app.

When it's provided by an external source, the app checks whether the provided conundrum is in the local database of valid conundrums.
When it's random the app just picks a random conundrum from the local database.

In the event that the conundrum is from an external source but it's not a valid conundrum, the app will supply a random one instead. This protects against the case I highlighted in previous post. It also protects against other mistakes like typos. What if I decided to manually set a list of themed Conundrums for a day, but I made a typo and didn't notice?

At present, I have not bothered to update the list used to generate the challenge conundrums to be up to date with the next dictionary, so there's a small chance things like this will happen again until I do.
What do you mean by an external source? Where's it getting them from?
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Gavin Chipper wrote: ↑Wed Feb 08, 2023 10:42 am What do you mean by an external source? Where's it getting them from?
The backend.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Gavin Chipper »

JackHurst wrote: ↑Wed Feb 08, 2023 2:19 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote: ↑Wed Feb 08, 2023 10:42 am What do you mean by an external source? Where's it getting them from?
The backend.
And in English?
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Sam Cappleman-Lynes »

Gavin Chipper wrote: ↑Wed Feb 08, 2023 2:42 pm And in English?
Think of the app as having two parts. There's the bit that runs on your phone, which handles the actual playing of the game - this is called the "frontend". And there's a server - which can be considered, both physically and logically, to be elsewhere - which handles things like saving games, storing leaderboard data, and being the source of the rounds for the daily challenges. This is called the backend.

When the frontend generates a conundrum, as it would do when just playing a 15 Rounder on the app, Jack is saying that it simply picks a random one from the list of valid conundrums. But for some games - such as the daily challenges - the conundrum isn't generated by the frontend, but instead comes from the backend. An in such cases, Jack says that the frontend has a failsafe in case the external source (the backend) gives it a dodgy conundrum.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Gavin Chipper »

OK thanks. It seems strange that you'd have two sources of conundrums, one up to date and one not, though.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Gavin Chipper wrote: ↑Wed Feb 08, 2023 4:31 pm OK thanks. It seems strange that you'd have two sources of conundrums, one up to date and one not, though.
I agree. This is mostly stemming from the fact that that game supports full offline functionality.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Gavin Chipper »

JackHurst wrote: ↑Wed Feb 08, 2023 7:18 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote: ↑Wed Feb 08, 2023 4:31 pm OK thanks. It seems strange that you'd have two sources of conundrums, one up to date and one not, though.
I agree. This is mostly stemming from the fact that that game supports full offline functionality.
Oh right. Got it. Maybe I should play it more and I'd know.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Gavin Chipper wrote: ↑Wed Feb 08, 2023 8:00 pm
JackHurst wrote: ↑Wed Feb 08, 2023 7:18 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote: ↑Wed Feb 08, 2023 4:31 pm OK thanks. It seems strange that you'd have two sources of conundrums, one up to date and one not, though.
I agree. This is mostly stemming from the fact that that game supports full offline functionality.
Oh right. Got it. Maybe I should play it more and I'd know.
Maybe you will get game 100000 and win a prize
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Just crossed the 20K downloads mark 🎊
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Adam S Latchford »

Fun daily challenge today!
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Adam S Latchford wrote: ↑Thu May 04, 2023 7:36 am Fun daily challenge today!
I am glad you enjoyed it and hope you found the Force.

Sadly I forgot to get a custom challenge set up for today before I went on holiday, so you won't be having any Coronation themed rounds.

Here's what you could have had:

BATTERSBY
DEVALAHAN
ROVERSRTN
BLANCHRIP
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Steve Hyde »

Adam S Latchford wrote: ↑Thu May 04, 2023 7:36 am Fun daily challenge today!
I sadly dropped a point by declaring SHARTED in the Death Star round. I regret nothing
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Tom S »

Just had a game where all the nums were possible, but only had a max of 116. Don't know if that's some kind of record on this app?
http://jackhurst.co.uk/countdowngame?QXrm9OP
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Adam S Latchford »

Steve Hyde wrote: ↑Sun May 07, 2023 12:47 am
Adam S Latchford wrote: ↑Thu May 04, 2023 7:36 am Fun daily challenge today!
I sadly dropped a point by declaring SHARTED in the Death Star round. I regret nothing
Better than the headstart i went for smh
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Starting tomorrow there will be 2 more challenges added every day. The 3rd Challenge will be a LLNNC Mini countdown game, and 4th Challenge will be a LLLLL Jokerdown game.

I hope everything will "Just work", but since this is new, and way less tested than the standard version, gimme a shout here or email via in app feedback to raise any issues.

I'm also putting together a mailing list to send out a regular Newsletter. You can sign up to that in app too via the menu.

Thanks!
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

We reached game number 200,000 early this morning.

Game 1: 31 October 2021
Game 1000: 18 Dec 2021
Game 10000: 20 Mar 2022
Game 50000: 11 Nov 2022
Game 100000: 9 Feb 2023
Game 200000: 31 May 2023

First 100k took 15 months, second 100k took 15 weeks.
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by George Armstrong »

JackHurst wrote: ↑Wed May 31, 2023 10:20 am We reached game number 200,000 early this morning.

Game 1: 31 October 2021
Game 1000: 18 Dec 2021
Game 10000: 20 Mar 2022
Game 50000: 11 Nov 2022
Game 100000: 9 Feb 2023
Game 200000: 31 May 2023

First 100k took 15 months, second 100k took 15 weeks.
Looking forward to celebrating 300k on June 14th 😁
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

I'm building a new variant which has 10 letter Conundrums. For anybody who wants to contribute to the list of Conundrums, feel free to send over a list (however long) of possible 10 letter conundrums my way. No need to worry about validity - I'll run a script my side to check everything, so there's no harm if you accidentally include something like CERTIFYING (not valid as RECTIFYING is also in), or if you include something that's just note in the dictionary....

Thanks!
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Philip A »

I like the new typeface for the cards (playing on a new Motorola).
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Tracey Anne Mills
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Tracey Anne Mills »

Marc Meakin wrote: ↑Sat Jan 01, 2022 4:11 pm How many guys here are playing and what are your nicknames?
I'm Mgm and I still cannot get over 120
Mine is Squab
Tracey 'Old Enough To Be My Mum' Mills aka Crazy Cat Lady and Cat Lover
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Andres Sanchez
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Andres Sanchez »

Mine's Andres S.
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JackHurst
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

What's the consensus among the hardcore players around the new numbers interface? Better or worse? Don't hold back on the criticism please :)
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Andres Sanchez
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Andres Sanchez »

I like the new look, but I do miss the notepad as I get a bit of understanding from the expressions I do.
One of da 'Muricans
JackHurst
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

Tomorrow on the Android app will be the first Saturday Showdown. Every hour there will be a new challenge, meaning there will be 24 challenges in total!
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Thomas Carey
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Thomas Carey »

JackHurst wrote: ↑Fri Jul 28, 2023 2:49 pm Tomorrow on the Android app will be the first Saturday Showdown. Every hour there will be a new challenge, meaning there will be 24 challenges in total!
Is this brutish time or local time or ut c or what
cheers maus
JackHurst
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by JackHurst »

The app now has a subscription feature which gives unlimited access to Jokerdown, Decadown and Mini rules, as well as a new 30 round "Triathlon" format. There's also the word check screen (which has a new "add 2 letters" section, and a couple of stats screens with graphs. I plan to add more features for subscribers as time goes on. Requests welcomed!
Steve Hyde
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Re: The Countdown Android App is now out!

Post by Steve Hyde »

JackHurst wrote: ↑Fri Sep 01, 2023 4:57 pm The app now has a subscription feature which gives unlimited access to Jokerdown, Decadown and Mini rules, as well as a new 30 round "Triathlon" format. There's also the word check screen (which has a new "add 2 letters" section, and a couple of stats screens with graphs. I plan to add more features for subscribers as time goes on. Requests welcomed!
Currently enjoying my free trial having removed adverts previously. What is the standard subscription rate when the free trial is over, and is there an option for a one-off lifetime sub?
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