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Typewar: A Case Study


Typewar is a popular font-guessing game built with Django and Pinax. This talk will cover everything from game mechanics and statistics to development of an API for an iPhone client and from how we promoted and launched the site to the performance challenges we faced.


Typewar was developed as a side project at Eldarion and went from concept to launch in a matter of weeks. The first day saw 5,000 visitors and since then, over 50,000 people have attempted to "guess the typeface" more than 5 million times.

The talk will cover:

  • how we went from concept to design mockup to prototype
  • game mechanics such as:
    • points
    • levels
    • badges
    • streaks
    • leader boards
    • stats (with lots of bayesian goodness)
  • generation of glyphs with PIL
  • mitigation against cheaters
  • twitter integration
  • migrating unauthenticated user data over on sign up / log in
  • activity streams
  • performance challenges
  • database optimizations
  • queuing of asynchronous tasks
  • development of an API for use in an iPhone client
  • deployment
  • how we promoted and launched the site

We will also discuss various open source Django apps that have been extracted from the project and used on subsequent sites by us and others.


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