Below you can see the timeline of every important change that was added to Puzzel.org in the last couple of years. Hopefully it will give you new ideas on how to use Puzzel.org to achieve your goals. And if you want to, you can submit new ideas and vote on them, too! :)
About Puzzel.org was launched!
After multiple requests I thought it was time to release a bit of personal history of how Puzzel.org came to be.
From hobby/learning project to the mega-platform it is now with the great community of teachers and other puzzle enthusiasts.
Add your own segment sizes to the Wheel of Fortune
To allow for even further wheel of fortune customisation, you can now pick your own segment sizes by enabling 'Use own segment sizes' on the Premium-tab.
This will allow you to pick a number representing the segment compared to the rest/total of the other segments. By default all are listed at '1', so if you set the size to '3', while having 4 segments, the segment will become half the wheel (since 1+1+1+3 = 6, and 3/6 = 0.5) :-)
Changing the size will also increase/decrease probabilities that you spin a certain segment, so very interesting in combination with disabling 'Force unique pick every spin', to get a cool prize wheel with special prizes that have a very little chance of getting spun.
Improve audio play on playing cards
For card games like memory, matching pairs and reorder, it could be hard to click the Play-icon for the Audio player. To improve this experience, a big icon was added which you can hit to activate the audio file.
For the memory game, the experience was optimized a bit more, auto-playing the audio-file once you flip the card so you don't have to click the card again.
Remember the active folder
While navigating between puzzles and active folders, it could be annoying if you wanted to return to your folder directly after editing a puzzle in it.
To help with this, the dashboard now remembers your latest active folder and reloads the contents of it when you navigate back in the browser.
Improve Play in Teams control room
To allow a better overview of the teams playing your multiplayer puzzle, the layout has now been tweaked to show the teams progress and team members more clearly during the playing-session.
It also shows the Share-panel, so that players can copy/scan the link to the puzzle at any point, even after the puzzle has started.
Add more countdown timers
Since you can make all sorts of puzzles and exercises more interesting by adding a bit of time pressure, the countdown timer functionality has now been added to the following puzzle types as well:
- Matching Pairs
- Label This
- Typing Practice
Add clarification that crossword puzzle maker can deliver newspaper-type results
Just so everyone knows, the manual crossword puzzle maker (not the automated one), can be used to create extra beautiful, newspaper-style crossword puzzles :-). Very compact, fully intersecting. If you are a fanatic crossword puzzle maker, try it out!
Add 'Klee One' font as new font option
The Premium font choices now have a new option, namely 'Klee One'. This is very useful to render Japanese characters, and can of course be used to render the Latin characters as well if you like the layout.
Since it supports a big character-set, it is a bit heavier than usual fonts (2.6MB) so keep that in mind when selecting it for your puzzles.
Let students register with their Google (student) account
To make the puzzle player registration puzzle even easier for students, you can now activate 'Allow registration via Google' below your 'Force registration' setting on the Premium-tab.
Many schools use Google-accounts for student identification and so activating this option can make it so Puzzel.org does not need to store any student passwords and can just use the student Google authentication to work and save puzzle results.
Register with your Google-account
To make it more easy to create a Puzzel.org account, you can now also opt-in to log in with your Google-account. This way you don't need an extra password and if you are logged in already in your browser, will speed up the process of account creation.
Payments can only be made while logged in
In the past it regularly happened that people were making payments without noticing that they were not logged in. This caused payments to be disconnected from the target account to upgrade and thus cause dissatisfaction.
To make this more clear and user-friendly, the payment form is now disabled when you are not logged in (or when you do not have an account yet).
Word Search directions clarified
Some people found the compass directions for the Word Search a bit confusing so arrows have now been added to indicate which direction the word will be allowed to be placed in.
Delete puzzles directly from the dashboard
To make puzzle management a bit easier, you can now delete your puzzles from the dashboard directly (with a confirmation check of course).
Improve puzzle field printing
Throughout the years people were not always as happy with the printing of the puzzle fields, especially when printing bigger puzzles. They would not fit and thus need manual scale changes via the Print-settings.
Puzzel.org now added a algorithm which looks at the size of the puzzle, the size of the printing document (A4/portrait) and chooses the best size for the puzzle field cells to fit. Hope this helps developing puzzles for offline as well! :-)
Add controllable minimum answer height to Quiz
In some cases you might need more answers to be visible without scrolling and luckily, you can now control this (partially) by setting a minimum height that is lower (or higher, if you need more spacing).
This can be managed from the Premium-tab > Custom styling section > Minimum answer height :)
Subscribe to future updates
To subscribe to future roadmap updates, you can tick the slider and you will receive update emails once new important changes launch, like cool features, new puzzle types, site redesigns, etc..
Only available while logged in of course :)
Add Roadmap suggestion system + voting
To create the best possible platform, listening to your ideas is the ultimate way forward. You know what you need and what you are missing currently
To set this up in a democratic way, the Roadmap Add Idea + Voting system has been introduced. All can be done while logged in. New ideas need approval from Puzzel.org first before showing up (to combat possible spam) and you can vote on each idea only once.
Roadmap has launched!
To add more transparency and clarity on the direction Puzzel.org is heading, the Roadmap overview has been built.
It shows all the features added over time, even adding in a bit of history to show what has been added the last couple of years.
It will allow you to subscribe to new features as well, and even submit ideas of your own or vote on ideas others have brought up :)
Categorizing in a fresh way
You can now select items from the same category or 'connection' instead of dragging and dropping the cards into the right box for the 'Categorize' puzzle type.
The interface is very clean and intuitive and allows for all sorts of different puzzle opportunities. Use this via the Premium-tab > Puzzle Type > 'Select'.
Added text import for generating puzzle fields
To make importing existing content more easily, there is now a text copy/paste feature available, in addition to the existing Excel-upload.
Copy (or write) your answers and descriptions (separated by a comma or space or other delimiter) in the text import field and it hit the 'Import questions and generate puzzle' button when you are done to convert the inserted answers into a puzzle grid :).
Available via the Premium-tab > 'Import from text' setting for every puzzle grid type puzzle (crossword, word search, word scramble, acrostic and a couple more).
Add a password-lock to your puzzle
If you want to protect your puzzle a bit more from unauthorized usage, you can now add a password to your puzzle or game.
Once you enter the correct password, the puzzle or game will continue the regular flow (can be done in any combination with multiplayer/registration/etc..).
Enable this via the Premium-tab > General section > Visibility > 'Password' setting and enter the password for your puzzle.
Add a 'force answer submission' setting for Reorder
Sometimes players can stumble upon the correct order in the reorder puzzle type by swapping around cards without thinking. To combat this, you can now activate 'force answer submission'.
Enabling 'force answer submission' forces the player to check every order of their cards and makes it harder to brute-force a range of possible solutions.
This can be activated via the Premium-tab > 'Force answer submission'
Viewing real-time stats changed to a maximum of 1000 players
To keep the performance and reliability of the servers as best as possible, the real-time stats have now been limited to a 1000 players since the edge cases in which more is required, is often not the purpose Puzzel.org wants/needs to serve. Puzzel.org is there for teachers first.
If you need to see more than a 1000 individual stats, you can export them to Excel via the export button.
New 'Keypad' puzzle type added
Dynamic education is awesome and so adding new puzzle types as often as possible is great to allow for the maximum of variety. The 'Keypad' puzzle type allows for all sorts of interactive assignments, ranging from chronological challenges, as well as selecting items belonging to a certain category to unlock and complete the puzzle.
The puzzle is great for escape rooms as well and can be combined with the Premium 'Show completion message' to allow for other continuations.
Add internal QR code generation
When sharing links, the cryptic Puzzel.org links are not the easiest to type over and so QR code generation was requested often, and is now added! :)
From the Publish-tab you can hit the 'Generate QR code' button and a QR code for your puzzle will pop-out almost instantly. No external tools needed anymore.
Also available in all the other spots (multiplayer sessions / share buttons) where you can share the link to a puzzle.
Add alternative text to all sorts of images
In many puzzle types, images play an important role for the puzzle player to solve the puzzle. But the information in the image is not always clear to everyone. Especially when you are visually impaired, detecting details in images will be quite hard.
To improve this experience, you can now enable 'Add ALT-text to image fields' on the Premium-tab of many puzzle types (memory cards, crossword images, scavenger hunts, etc..). This will pop up a text input next to each image so you can add an extra description.
The description can be activated by clicking on the magnifying glass icon :).
Add Brazilian translations
And even more translations for the Puzzel.org platform with the help of a friendly Brazilian volunteer!
Add URLs as outcomes for the Wheel of Fortune
Since spinning the Wheel of Fortune is often done in combination with winning prizes, it was requested to add URLs to outcomes of the wheel.
This is not on by default, buy you can activate it via the Premium-tab > Type > 'Link (URL)'. Then on the Start-tab, enter your URLs :)
Adding custom memory grid sizes
Some people like keeping their grids tight and small, so they default maximum cards per row (10) is not for them. To help out with this, a setting has now been added 'Max cards per row' on the Premium-tab.
Launch under the hood rebuild of Puzzel.org
To keep everything fluid, snappy and working well, Puzzel.org is redesigned regularly, visually as well as 'under the hood' in the code.
By keeping everything up to date, the website remains quick, without any detrimental errors and as accessible and user-friendly as possible.
On this day the rebuild is launched and everything is just another step better, even if you don't immediately notice it :-).
Add background color option for question lists
Some people want to be able to style every little detail of their puzzle, so the custom styling list is always growing. Today a new option has been added under 'Question list color' to style the background. This can be found via the Premium-tab > Custom styling section.
Add top 10 to leaderboard + own result
To get a better overview of your own result compared to the rest of the leaderboard, it now displays the top 10 plus the spot in which your result ended up. This can also be a spot outside of the top 10 and you will still see it.
You can read more about the leaderboard here
Add 'puzzleKey' parameter to completion signal
For the developers in our midst, the completion signal sent via the postMessage API when activated in the Developer-section > Send completion signal when embedded, now contains the 'puzzleKey' parameter.
This was built so that you can have multiple puzzles within one page and still track which puzzle gets completed and handle that accordingly :).
Add 'card pile' to the Quartets game
Quartets is a game regularly played by 3-4 players, but it can be as fun when playing it with two players. To accompany this, I've added the 'Add central card pile' setting on the Premium-tab.
This allows the cards in player hands to vary more, given more unexpected outcomes when asking/not asking for certain cards. Also very useful when playing with 3-4 players.
'Matching pairs' with more columns
Sometimes the classic pair matching is just not enough of a challenge and so you would like to extend the context in which the pairs exist by adding more columns.
On the Premium-tab you can switch the 'Type'-setting to 'More than pairs' and then select the number of columns you would like.
On the Settings-tab you can now name your new columns, and on the Start-tab you can add the missing content for your new cards within the 'pairs' :).
Puzzle Creation API is open for alpha-access
There is now the option to create different kinds of puzzles via the Puzzle Creation API. There is no documentation on this yet, and only people who reach out and have the Ambassador-subscription are eligible to use this.
It will allow you to create puzzles more easily / automatically based on your own content.
Contact email@example.com if interested in early access.
Add 'Play in teams' progression to player interface
Initially the progress made per team was only shown to the puzzle owner so it could be tracked which team finished first. But to keep the race even more interesting a setting has now been introduced to show the progress to the players, too.
After enabling 'Play in teams' on the Premium-tab, you can now enable 'Show progress to players' there, too :)
Improve the Word Search algorithm
Since the Word Search just got the upgrade to allow 'hidden solutions' to be entered into the grid as the remainder of all the remaining blank cells, the algorithm had to be better.
Instead of trying to fit everything into one random grid, the algorithm now creates 200 separate grids filled with the words in the background and tries to create the best version possible, by looking at the word lengths, hidden solution and total grid size needed to accomplish this.
This results in words fitting more often without human interference, an auto-resizing of the grid if the given size is too small and thus a happier user experience creating word search grids :).
Showing the outcome of the wheel of fortune in a pop-up
If you want an experience that very clearly shows the outcome, maybe the 'Show outcome in modal' option is for you! The Wheel of Fortune spins, and when it is done, you will now see the result in the modal instead of below the wheel itself.
Hide word search borders by default
To make the default Word Search interface a bit prettier, borders are now turned off by default, also for existing puzzles. This should be an improvement for everyone, but if you really want to stick with the borders, you can revert it back by enabling the 'Show borders' option on the Premium-tab > Custom styling section.
Disable answer control added to Categorize
If you would like to make it harder on your players, you can now enable 'Disable answer control'. This way the player will not receive any feedback while doing the Categorize puzzle.
Add PuzzleGPT / AI assistant when building puzzles
Since the huge popularity of ChatGPT and others public AI language models has taken over the news, Puzzel.org wanted to join the fun and make the artificial intelligence even more accessible by integrating it into puzzle building.
All sorts of puzzle types have now gotten integrated AI support for Premium members, ranging from completely generated thematic crossword puzzles to image generated jigsaw puzzles.
Add 'Payment success' email for people who buy a subscription
Besides the regular 'Receipt' sent via the payment provider Stripe, you will now also receive a short email via Puzzel.org itself with a link to your invoice which contains your organisation details (if filled in via the Account Dashboard).
Add 'Fancy select' as Word Search default selection mechanism
To make your word search feel extra special and smooth with the latest modern interactions, the 'Fancy select' is now enabled by default on the Premium-tab.
For desktop computers, it will allow you to see the direction you are hovering the mouse in and thus get a better feel for the word that you are selecting. Together with friendly colours and a rounded design, this might feel more user-friendly.
On mobile devices you will be able to use the regular pattern of clicking on the start and end squares. (which will still work on desktop too, by the way :))
Add wheel of fortune with images
If you would like a more visual spinning wheel, then selecting 'Image' as your Type-setting on the Premium-tab might be a good fit!
The images will be shown in their aspect ratio and will be scaled accordingly to fit within their shown segment. The outcome of the spin will be shown in a bigger version of the image, so that any details that you might want to reveal, will be clear.
Educational wheel of fortune with descriptions
If you want to practice a combination of answers and descriptions in a fun and accessible way, then the 'Description' type of the Wheel of Fortune might be your thing.
The wheel gets spun and you see the connected description once it finishes. This way you can make more internal connections between answers and descriptions, or between English words and Spanish words for instance. A playful variant of flash cards :).
Adding wheel and segment borders
Some people like borders, others don't. By default the wheel of fortune looks as clean as possible, but you can definitely think of scenario's where borders between segments can come in handy.
For instance, when you don't like all the bright colors, you might want to have just one color, but appreciate the segments looking separated from each other.
Force a random pick every time
By default the fortune wheel generator will present a unique response every time you spin the wheel. This way all segments will eventually be spun in a single session.
If you want to make every spin completely random and allow the same segment to be spun multiple times, you can disable the Premium > Force unique pick every spin setting.
Sound and animation effect!
The wheel only spins and makes sounds in the interactive version (so not while creating it). You can see the animation and default sound effect in the play-version of the puzzle.
If you don't like the sound effect, you can disable it on the Settings-tab > Play sound.
Make the calculation puzzle more responsive
To improve the playability of the calculation puzzle on mobile, the padding, font size and overall size of the calculation cards have been reduced so more will fit in one screen. This should make combining the card with the correct outcome easier and more user-friendly.
You can now change your name! :)
On your account details (via your dashboard), you can now easily change your name! Just update the information in the 'name' input to whatever you like and it will auto-save the new name.
Handy for handing over accounts and making sure the contact info is still correct! :-)
Norwegian payments can now be handled!
There was a small mistake in handling Norwegian payments since it was looking for a language file connected to the 'NO' language. Apparently in some contexts this is not 'NO' for Norwegian, but 'NB'.
Interesting, we learn everything every day :-)
Add confetti when you have claimed the right 'BINGO'
Gathering the right items on your bingo card is awesome and must be celebrated. Therefore the Confetti-feature had to be added here. Enjoy your BINGO even more!
Finding hidden solution counts as completion
Sometimes you don't need the puzzle field players to find the answers to all of the questions. In this case, you just want them to continue once they find the hidden solution embedded in the puzzle.
The 'Finding hidden solution counts as completion' does just that. Just make sure you have entered a hidden solution and then you can enable this setting on the Premium-tab. Works well in combination with the 'Show completion message'.
Sending messages to the bingo players
Communicating with your bingo players can now be done via the control room as well. This way you can congratulate players on their 'BINGO' or create some casual small talk in between draws.
Judging the bingo-claim
As the bingo game owner, you will see each bingo claim coming in while spinning the bingo wheel. As long as a fresh claim is active, you cannot continue drawing new bingo cards since the claim deserves attention.
You can easily judge the claim by looking at the grids filled with the content of the player. This will make it easy for you to check, since the win condition, player input and reality fields together will give you a direct view of the validity of the bingo claim.
Automating this can also be done though, via the 'Automatically judge bingo claims' setting on the Premium-tab :)
Enable the registration of false bingo's
Tracking false bingo's is mostly interesting for educational purposes in combination with the 'Descriptions' Bingo-type. Both can be activated on the Premium-tab.
Since the tracking will show what the player thought was called by the bingo caller and the realistic version of his/her bingo card, you can see the difference as the teacher and gain insight into the type of misjudgement that was made.
The false bingo registration also gives you the option of adding a 'time out' on each false bingo, forcing players to wait before they can call out another bingo. This can prevent spamming and forces players to think more.
Add custom selection of winning patterns in bingo cards
Set up your own win conditions in to combine all sorts of BINGO with a prize if you like, just like traditional BINGO :)
You can create your own pattern or select from pre-defined patterns to make it even more easy.
Controlling the bingo flow
Add 'BINGO' as new game type!
The bingo game maker allows you to set up your bingo game in any creative way you like. You can activate the basic bingo, with just numbers or you can make it more challenging and educational by adding in (thematic) content next to the numbers.
Each run of the game allows players to register with as little info as possible to keep things easy and privacy-friendly.
Add 'Player sessions multiplier' to upgrade subscription
For those having a maximum subscription currently at the Ambassador-level, when reaching your limit, you can now upgrade your subscription more easily and more 'permanently' by adding extra player sessions to your account.
Allow images via direct image links
To allow for more diverse use of the images, you can now insert your image links directly if it is already hosted somewhere.
Puzzel.org also adds a layer of compression to keep the image size small by default, but this does reduce quality a little bit in some cases. The advantage of using your own image links is that the pure image is used and thus you can use more high quality images if you like :-).
Add a countdown timer to jigsaw puzzle
Add new puzzle type 'Calculation' puzzle
Creating puzzles with numbers is normally not as straightforward as with text, but now it is! Setting up puzzles around mathematical operations is super easy with the calculation puzzle maker, and even better, it has a hidden solution as the basis!
Creating and solving the numbers puzzle is now fun, user-friendly and educational. It will generate one exercise per character in your hidden solution, which the player then needs to connect to an outcome by just selecting the calculation and the outcome that belong together.
Add 'Vendor info' overview
Since many schools and corporate organisations ask to fill in all sorts of forms, it is better to centralize the information and make it so schools can use that info for their internal approval. For this reason, the 'Vendor info' page has been set up.
It should contain most questions about privacy/security/Puzzel.org. If you ever miss anything, just let me know.
Add new game type 'Typing Practice'
The typing exercise builder easily allows creating your personal typing experience within just a few steps.
You can add your own separate words or if you like, you can even add sentences to make the typing more challenging.
Change Footer language switch to include readable languages
The language switch first contained the abbreviations for each language like 'nl', 'en', 'fr', 'es', etc.
To make it more friendly to switch, it has now been updated to list each language in the native spelling.
Add Polish as a new language
To allow more accessibility of the Puzzel.org puzzles, a new translation was added to allow better understanding of the individual puzzle types and features for the people speaking Polish!
So welcome, Polish
Show quiz result as X/X next to percentage
Percentages can be confusing, so to clarify the outcome of your quiz result, it now also shows the number of questions answered correctly / the total questions.
New Puzzel.org forest started (2.500 trees)
Together with the Dutch foundation, 'TreesforAll', Puzzel.org likes to contribute to the battle against climate change by planting as many trees as possible.
For the 2022 year, Puzzel.org added a company forest of 2.500 trees (on top of 2.500 trees planted earlier in 2020). And we planted it ourselves (partially :))
...and the rest is history :-)
Many, many, many other features, puzzle types, languages and design changes were entered over the years, but these are not documented as well and are all added before the Roadmap was introduced.
So anything before 01/12/2022 will not be documented here, but if you want to know more about the origins, you can always ask of course :-) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Puzzel.org will always be striving to be the best puzzle platform for educational purposes mostly and from this point on, all important changes will be documented and communicated transparently.