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“In [Words with Friends], it’s extremely advantageous to have the J — to the tune of 6 final score points”

Interesting article describing how Words with Friends creators Zynga reshaped the [Scrabble] board, added four tiles, and changed the values and distribution of the letters in the process of developing their blockbuster smartphone game.

‘One of the goals we had in designing our letter distribution was to give players letters that would allow them to form words much more easily than in other word games,’ [designer and engineer Kevin] Holme said via e-mail. ‘In [Words with Friends], we put four Hs into the bag and set their value to 3 — a big difference from Scrabble, which uses two Hs worth 4 points.’

In other words, he amplified the number of… ‘explosive moments.’