Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

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JackHurst
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Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by JackHurst »

The Unofficial Countdown Android app is available here:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... l=en&gl=US

It can be used for word checking at co-events, and has been designed in a way to help player efficiently adjudicate letters rounds.

How to use it
  • On the day of the co-event, the app gives you access to the word check screen via a secret button located at the top centre of the home screen
  • Make sure you are on at least version 1.75 (version is displayed in top left of Home Screen)
  • Type the selection into the box and hit search. If you want to speed this up, you can try to do this while players are still playing. Just make sure your phone screen isn't visible to them
  • The maxes section shows you all available maxes
  • The other words section shows you all non-max words available in the selection, sorted by descending length, then descending alphabetically. If a word isn't in this list of the maxes list, it's invalid. No need to search for the specific word.
  • Always double check that you entered the selection correctly
  • BUG FIX (fixed in 1.70): The input box now only accepts up to 9 alphabetical characters. Somebody found a bug at a previous event where you could add a space and search for something like "RATIONS " (note the space at the end), and the app would tell you that the string "RATIONS " (with a space at the end) is not in the dictionary, which in the ap just made it look like it was saying RATIONS is invalid.
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Advantages
  • 👍 No internet connection required when checking
  • 👍 No account required
  • 👍 Designed to help you check most efficiently
Supported Events

As of version 1.75, here is the list of events that the app supports

Code: Select all

            "2023-06-10", // Dublin
            "2023-06-17", // Waterford
            "2023-07-08", // Newcastle
            "2023-08-04", // Birmingham (Goat)
            "2023-08-05", // Birmingham
            "2023-08-26", // London
            "2023-08-27", // London MSO
Why isn't this available all of the time in your app?
  • It's eventually going to be a feature available to subscribers only, with the exception of it always being open access on co:event days via the secret buttons
  • I'm working on the infrastructure for in app subscriptions
  • Since the functionality is already there, it may as well be available on days of co-events to be of use
Steve Hyde
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by Steve Hyde »

This is great. Will revolutionise the board game once it's available as a permanent feature
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Tracey Anne Mills
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by Tracey Anne Mills »

This is really good !
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Tracey Anne Mills
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by Tracey Anne Mills »

This is really good ! and very helpful
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Adam S Latchford
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by Adam S Latchford »

Worked really well at co newc, very very helpful addition
JackHurst
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by JackHurst »

Version 1.86 of the app is out today. It contains a couple of updates to the word checker, and I've added availability for it to cover the rest of the 2023 co events
JackHurst
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by JackHurst »

Version 1.117 is out now and will be required if you want to use the app for word checks at Colin. It has all of the new words (such as ANTIPOLE).
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by Fiona T »

Brilliant - thanks Jack - appreciated :)
JackHurst
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by JackHurst »

With a bit of a discussion cropping up yesterday about some potential dictionary changes:
viewtopic.php?p=212141&sid=3cc843b7d3e1 ... cf#p212141

I think it would be good to reach an agreement on what word lists will be used for upcoming co-events.

I would propose for upcoming Focal Events (at least Birmingham and London) that we stick with the dictionary as of the small update last month.

Reasons to commit to this idea now:
- Doesn't suddenly incur a lot of work that needs to be done in time for a deadline which might not be possible
- Deciding now gives participants a bit of certainty of what dictionary will be used
- We've not yet let the dust settle on these recent dictionary removals. For all we know, it could be a mistake and they might make their way back in.


I know people would also quite like to solve the long term problem for this, but please if we can stick to the topic (in this thread) of what's going to happen at the next couple of events that would be splendid :)
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by Fiona T »

JackHurst wrote: Wed Jul 17, 2024 11:29 am With a bit of a discussion cropping up yesterday about some potential dictionary changes:
viewtopic.php?p=212141&sid=3cc843b7d3e1 ... cf#p212141

I think it would be good to reach an agreement on what word lists will be used for upcoming co-events.

I would propose for upcoming Focal Events (at least Birmingham and London) that we stick with the dictionary as of the small update last month.

Reasons to commit to this idea now:
- Doesn't suddenly incur a lot of work that needs to be done in time for a deadline which might not be possible
- Deciding now gives participants a bit of certainty of what dictionary will be used
- We've not yet let the dust settle on these recent dictionary removals. For all we know, it could be a mistake and they might make their way back in.


I know people would also quite like to solve the long term problem for this, but please if we can stick to the topic (in this thread) of what's going to happen at the next couple of events that would be splendid :)
Birmingham doesn't seem problematic - although the dictionary has changed (and Oxford have confirmed it is 'permanent') the dictionary on episodes still being aired will be the old one. Probably true for London too, but in terms of checking, Phil's intending to use RoboRiley so if there is a new word list available before then it could be loaded - whether it should is a matter for discussion/Phil!
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by JackHurst »

Fiona T wrote: Wed Jul 17, 2024 11:36 am Birmingham doesn't seem problematic - although the dictionary has changed (and Oxford have confirmed it is 'permanent') the dictionary on episodes still being aired will be the old one.
Are you implying that the ideal is to have events in sync with exactly what would happen on the TV show at any point in time? If so, I think this is an unrealistic expectation, and puts a level of uncertainty on events which makes them way less appealing to me. The majority of people at events are people who will not return to the show anyway, so is it really that important to be in sync?
Fiona T wrote: Wed Jul 17, 2024 11:36 am Phil's intending to use RoboRiley so if there is a new word list available before then it could be loaded - whether it should is a matter for discussion/Phil!
Given that it's a FOCAL event, also probably a matter of discussion for the people who run Focal? I also think because certainty advanced notice is important, there should be a decision sooner rather than later, and it has to be a decision there is 99%+ confidence can be enacted. i.e. It's no good saying "we'll use the new word list if it's ready in time" because you have now idea how long it will take to update and ratify the new word list.
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by Adam S Latchford »

I'd imagine we won't manage to update all these changes by brum so that should just exist with dictionary in current iterations on apto and the app.

As soon as we have enough intel to make the update happen - and it updates on apto / the app then it should come into immediate effect (even if this is quite literally minutes before the co event)

It's gonna be an interest change of pace that if you're reffing foster vs hurst, they declare the same word and soon we're actually gonna have to check. It'll probably slow down already slow tables!
JackHurst
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by JackHurst »

Adam S Latchford wrote: Wed Jul 17, 2024 11:48 am As soon as we have enough intel to make the update happen - and it updates on apto / the app then it should come into immediate effect (even if this is quite literally minutes before the co event)
This is pretty much my idea of hell. I'm getting more grey hairs now just thinking about it.
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by Adam S Latchford »

Grey is in these days don't worry (it's just every other word that isn't)
Fiona T
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by Fiona T »

JackHurst wrote: Wed Jul 17, 2024 11:44 am Are you implying that the ideal is to have events in sync with exactly what would happen on the TV show at any point in time? If so, I think this is an unrealistic expectation, and puts a level of uncertainty on events which makes them way less appealing to me. The majority of people at events are people who will not return to the show anyway, so is it really that important to be in sync?
I wasn't intending to imply that :) Just making the point that it is entirely justifiable for Birmingham to use the current dictionary regardless of how quickly apterous gets updated!
JackHurst wrote: Wed Jul 17, 2024 11:44 am Given that it's a FOCAL event, also probably a matter of discussion for the people who run Focal? I also think because certainty advanced notice is important, there should be a decision sooner rather than later, and it has to be a decision there is 99%+ confidence can be enacted. i.e. It's no good saying "we'll use the new word list if it's ready in time" because you have now idea how long it will take to update and ratify the new word list.
Yep maybe it should come from the Focal committee although historically event hosts do more or less what they like and make their own decisions about how their events are run (e.g 10 letter conundrums, changing larges etc...). I was just making the point that tech-wise, once a new list is available, it's trivial for me to create a new RR wordlist, not saying that it should be done!
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L'oisleatch McGraw
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw »

Fiona T wrote: Wed Jul 17, 2024 12:14 pm historically event hosts do more or less what they like and make their own decisions about how their events are run
I was about to make a less kind version of exactly that point.
I think Jack has always had a weird idea of what powers FOCAL should and shouldn't have.
They administer a league table and a finals event based on standalone co-events that agree to affiliate themselves with the league.
That's it.
They are not there to lay down dictats about conduct, word lists, gameplay, or DBS where the B stands for bullshit.

As regards updating Apterous, JackApp, RoboRiley, the Roster etc, I agree that it would be great if the stakeholders agreed to coordinate their efforts, and it is better to give whatever time is needed to get the new definitive list together, but not too much longer. However, it may be sensible to see out the 2024 co-event season first... even if that means a month or two of the co-event dictionary being out of sync with what the TV show is doing.

Jack, I would disagree with your opinion that it matters little if co-events diverge from the show.
I get that you may feel the TV show no longer relevant just because you and some of your peers are done with the show, but for a whole swathe of newer players who have yet to go on, they are as obsessed with Countdown and Apterous as you used to be c 2008-2011, and are keen for co-events to reflect that obsession.

The show should always lead the way, and we should strive to keep as up to date with that as possible.
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JackHurst
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by JackHurst »

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote: Wed Jul 17, 2024 10:36 pm Jack, I would disagree with your opinion that it matters little if co-events diverge from the show.
I get that you may feel the TV show no longer relevant just because you and some of your peers are done with the show, but for a whole swathe of newer players who have yet to go on, they are as obsessed with Countdown and Apterous as you used to be c 2008-2011, and are keen for co-events to reflect that obsession.

The show should always lead the way, and we should strive to keep as up to date with that as possible.

Yeah I hear his argument. I wonder if you tried to numerically quantify it, what the split is. i.e. how many contestants go on the show each year who have not been to a co-event vs who have? And then in your head, is there a theoretical % that's low enough for you to say "to hell with it - maybe dictionary alignment isn't so important".

By the way, if I've presented myself against dictionary alignment, I should clarify what I mean. I am all for co-events aiming to used an aligned dictionary with the show in the long run. However in the short term, I am very much against the aim for "real time" updates which could happen at little or no notice.

Adam's suggestion of Apterous becoming the source of truth for changes at whatever point in time Charlie Reams decides to get off his arse and make changes is very worrying. From a practicality perspective I can completely understand this, because you need a way to adjudicate words on the day.

However, making the rules for events dependent on something that organisers have no control over is bonkers. There are plenty of tech savvy people who are regularly attending events, you have Fiona who has recently made Robo Riley, Graeme who has made Atropine, Rob who makes the word list, and myself who has the Android app. Charlie Reams hasn't been to a co-event in over 10 years and his communication with the community is sporadic at best. I've nothing against the guy, and I think what he's done for Countdown over the years is absolutely fantastic. But why aren't we coming together to arrive at a viable long term solution to this that we can control that isn't totally dependent on Charlie?
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by Adam S Latchford »

JackHurst wrote: Thu Jul 18, 2024 6:57 am But why aren't we coming together to arrive at a viable long term solution to this that we can control that isn't totally dependent on Charlie?
Well yes obviously this would be ideal. Shouldn't really ever go through one person but its just the way the community lies at the moment.

Communication across and like, a succession plan / a help plan would make sense but would need his input with that
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by Adam Beach »

Please refer to this update regarding the adjudication at the upcoming Goat:Brum and Co:Brum co-event tournaments at the beginning of next month.

Cheers.
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Re: Word Checks at Co:Events using the Android App

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw »

JackHurst wrote: Thu Jul 18, 2024 6:57 am Adam's suggestion of Apterous becoming the source of truth for changes at whatever point in time Charlie Reams decides to get off his arse and make changes is very worrying. Charlie Reams hasn't been to a co-event in over 10 years and his communication with the community is sporadic at best. I've nothing against the guy, and I think what he's done for Countdown over the years is absolutely fantastic. But why aren't we coming together to arrive at a viable long term solution to this that we can control that isn't totally dependent on Charlie?
It hurts my heart when people speak ill of Charlie. :(
It is hard to deny the points you make though.
I wish Charlie would sort out his retirement plan.
Apterous is too good to slowly die out at the same rate that his interest in maintaining it slowly dies out. He needs a deputy or two. Like, really badly needs them.
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