Smartle Blog

← Back to the list of articles

How we added a leaderboard to Smartle

10 Jun 2023


Developing a daily word puzzle game is such an exciting adventure! But you know what? It wouldn't be fair to keep it all to ourselves. After all, we've encountered so many interesting situations and challenges along the way. That's why, starting today, we will be posting here about our journey and experiences.

We will start with the story about how we added the leaderboard to our awesome word search game.

Play Smartle for free

Why add a leaderboard

From the very beginning, we knew that we want to have a leaderboard in Smartle. Why? Well, there are a few good reasons:

  1. It is highly motivating to be able to compare your game performance with other players, we think it gives you the boost to strive for greatness. It's a friendly competition that adds an extra layer of excitement to the game.
  2. We noticed that the best of other similar games, like the wordsearch and crossword puzzles, do have leaderboards. And we want to be the best!
  3. Daily challenges in Smartle come in varying levels of difficulty every day. Having a leaderboard allows players to see how their performance compares with other players. We thought that if a player finds a word puzzle very difficult on a particular day, it would be reassuring to know that others also struggled with it.

So the addition of a leaderboard seemed like a fantastic feature to bring motivation and healthy competition to Smartle players, enhancing the overall gaming experience with excitement and engagement.

The leaderboard features that we want

In our leaderboard the players can compare their performance with others based on factors like the number of letter swaps they make, how quickly they complete the puzzle, and their winning streaks.

Every single time, when players solve the daily word puzzle, our leaderboard should instantly update to show their current position and display the rankings of other players.

A problem with creating the leaderboard

The main problem with the leaderboard is that player information should not be stored locally on the device (to prevent data loss). To address this, we needed to implement a system where player information is securely stored elsewhere, somewhere in a secure cloud.

The best solution we found is to introduce a login system backed by a cloud solution like Firebase, but we understand that this can be complex and time-consuming to implement. Also, as someone who often searches for free word search puzzles to play online, we hate when logging in is mandatory in order to play the game. We wanted to give players a possibility to play Smartle and be in the leaderboard without having to log in.

The solution

Smartle anonymous leaderboard

We made it so that every new player is assigned a fun nickname like "Fluffy Cat", "Smart Giraffe", or "Devoted Monkey". What did we achieve by doing this, you ask?

  1. It adds a touch of fun and allows players to maintain their privacy.
  2. The name sticks with the players so you know who you are up agains every day.
  3. There is no obligation to provide any identifying information and therefore no friction points.

Right now, the game keeps track of the players' stats and progress on their own devices. However, if they clear their browser or app data, they'll lose all their stats and will be assigned a new nickname. So, this approach has its downsides, but it's a starting point. We're currently working on a way to store player stats in the cloud, as described above, which would provide a more reliable and secure way to save their information and ensure it's never lost. Logging in will also let the players come up with their own nicknames in the future.

Hope you like it! We are curious, what are your favourite word search online games? And, more importantly, do you have feedback or any tips about finding words puzzle games?

We don’t yet have a possibility to add comments in the blog, so the best way to contact us is to join our Discord server. We’ll be happy to talk to you there!

Play Smartle for free