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5 tips for making great packs

Easy ways to make your packs fun and engaging

September 8th, 2020

  • #tips
  • #packs
  • #creative

Over the past few years, I've spent countless hours playing community-created word packs on Knoword. It's been amazing to watch the Knoword community unleash their creativity on new, unique, and interesting word packs. However, some packs are more engaging and get played more frequently than others.

So today, I'm going to share some tips and tricks on how to make your word packs more engaging and fun to play.

1. A picture is worth a thousand words

You can make your packs stand out by uploading relevant artwork and choosing an inviting color scheme. Sometimes finding the right image can be a challenge, but you can find professional quality and free-to-use images if you know where to look. I frequently use one of these websites when I'm looking for a new image:

  • Pexels
  • Unsplash
  • Pixabay

If you've found an awesome image on Google, make sure to double-check whether it is licensed for free use by its creator. One way to safeguard against accidentally using unlicensed imagery is to make sure you're using the license filter for google image search.

2. More words mean more fun

If you create a pack with fifty words, a new player might play five or more times before ever encountering the same word twice. That's because every time someone plays your pack, the words get shuffled into a random order; which keeps your pack fresh and engaging for new players.

If you're editing a pack and unsure of how many words you have, you can view your pack's word count in the top-right corner of the pack editor page.

If you're stumped and having a hard time thinking of words to add, there are plenty of helpful word list websites to draw inspiration from. These are some of my favorite websites for discovering new words:

One last thing to note: we will only list your packs on the packs page if they contain at least 10 words, though a good rule of thumb should be to include at least twenty words in your pack.

3. Avoid giving away the solution in your definitions

This one is a simple but important bit of advice. When adding words to your pack, make sure that the definition that you choose doesn't give away the answer too easily. For a player, there's nothing worse than feeling like you were handed the correct answer on a platter. For example, if I wanted to define the word "woodchipper", I should avoid a definition such as:

a machine that creates wood chips

And instead use one like this:

a machine used for reducing wood (generally tree limbs or trunks) into smaller pieces

The Auto-define feature in the "Define a word" dialog usually produces a few options to choose from, but if you need more definition options, Google works pretty well. Type "define" followed by your word in the search bar, and you should see dictionary definitions in your results.

4. Use alternate spellings where appropriate

Some words have multiple spellings between British and American English (ie. gray and grey). Do your international friends a favor/favour and add an alternate spelling for them by clicking the button on the right side of the solution field in the "Define a word" dialog.

If you don't know which words to look out for, check out this website; which has a long list of words that differ slightly between British and American English.

5. Keep your title short and sweet

The best pack titles don't require a lot of words to get their message across. Avoid long titles when a shorter one will do.

If you have multiple packs that share a common theme, you can take advantage of collections to shorten the main title. For example, if I had two packs, "Reptiles of South America" and "Reptiles of Australia", I could create a "Reptiles" collection and add both packs to it, shortening their titles in the process. They would become "Reptiles: South America" and "Reptiles: Australia" respectively.

These are five easy things that you can do with your custom packs to make them as engaging, fun, and accessible as possible. I hope this is helpful, and I encourage you to check out some of the packs that others have made to find more inspiration for your own creations.

—Trevor from Knoword

P.S. For a general overview of packs and how to work with them, check out the video below:

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