Introducing the Trope-O-Matic
A site to help you come up with writing ideas.
Last week I was looking over my portfolio and realized that I don’t have any solid proof that I’ve ever done any manner of web design or development. I had thought of writing a few little apps from time to time but never sat down to actually do it, nothing had really stuck that I would be able to actually make.
Then the other day I was looking at some of the card games the kids got for Christmas and got to thinking about Cards Against Humanity and how cool it would be to have writing tropes on the cards instead of random things that sound funny together. A few minutes of calculating the price of having hundreds of trope cards printed and that idea went straight out the window.
Nobody would want to pay $50 for a bunch of cards like that, especially writers. No project I’ve ever attempted in order to make money has ever done so and at least I had the sense this time to know better. That’s when I figured I would do it on a website, that way it was more accessible and would serve as a portfolio piece.
I spent the week writing the thing in C# (Cody helped me with the data and my methods) and used client side Blazor’s built in bootstrap to do the front end. Because it’s done in wasm the whole site is downloaded to your browser to be run locally. That means the first time you visit you’ll see a little loading screen for a few seconds (and only for the first time, it will be cached and way faster the next time).
So, the whole thing works like this. You select the number of cards you want to draw over on the left sidebar menu and click the blue button to generate them. They appear face down so you get to click on each one to reveal the trope. There is literally no real reason for that other than it’s fun to click on things.
Once you reveal the cards you can use the tropes given to you to come up with a story or whatever it is you are trying to write. Don’t like the cards you got? Draw new ones! It also works on your phone so you can stay off your computer to write by hand or whatever way you like.
I have a laundry list of updates and changes to make but it’s stable enough right now to use and is live.
Give it a shot, click around, if you run into any issues I’ve got a link at the bottom for reporting things. Or, if you know what you are doing the link to the github is down there too where you can submit suggestions.
Current known bugs are the card backs don’t show up on mobile properly and I am garbage at spelling so some cards have typos. Those are both on my list for next week when I set up the CMS to handle adding more cards. Right now there are only 100 or so tropes so getting the same card in another round is very common. (You can’t get the same card twice on the page.)
Let me know what you think!