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What would you like to see in a Pinochle Playing Site?
#31
(10-11-2014, 09:27 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  I know poker sites go to considerable lengths to monitor for collusion/cheating...but now, we're talking real money at stake.  And I'll also bet that they DON'T do this on the relatively low-stakes tables.  But they also review server and play logs, and can track, ok, who's playing with whom.  But that can't stop the cheating BEFOREHAND...only when there's extensive pattern and practice.

Some people only WANT to play with a few partners, so IMO, yes, it's GREATLY impinging.  It takes a great deal of time, discussion, and practice to iron out bidding and play situations.  A good player gets MORE hurt, playing with a weak player, than a mediocre player does.  And, why do you as a site operator, have any right to say who I play with?  Sure, it's your site, but to me that's just unacceptable.

Keeping a record of all hands is something already desired.  So a site that offers player histories/stats could review any accusations of cheating.

For players that only want to play with 3 people (maybe only the people from their homegames, per se), they can enjoy the unrestricted nature of the Social Lounge.  Furthermore, it would be silly to cheat in the Social Lounge because no stats would be recorded.

The Competitive Lounge would be for people that want to make an effort to play well and take the game seriously.  These players would enjoy the peace of mind that comes with partnership filtering.

Although I am talking about a restriction of choice, I haven't drawn a line about how it would be applied.  After your comment, I can see the reasoning for wanting to play with, let's say 5-6 regular partners and that seems allowable.  In this case, the filter does not guard against a syndicate.  The filter would only make ~some~ impact on repetitious cheating by small groups of partnerships.

I suppose it is like the war on drugs.  It is un-winnable, but not futile.  The public can take some comfort in knowing that cheats are not rampaging the game completely unchecked.

Here is an arbitrary offering:  How about if you can't play with the same partner more than 3 times in your last 10 games?  On a lazy weekend, you might find a good partner and want to play games back-to-back-to-back -- I can see that.  It's a very simple formula, maybe too simple to be effective.  What do you think?

I wonder, TE, if you can offer a "conditional yes" on this policy?
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
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#32
I've actually never had a set partner playing online personally, but I have been aware of those who do. And I'm personally VERY strongly against ANY policy that restricts who I MAY choose to play with at any time. (I can also guarantee, you'd never get ladder players, like Case's. They DO play with fixed partners regularly.) And only putting this in the competitive lounge...one thing to note is the serious players are those who are MOST LIKELY to want to establish some firm partnerships.

I also fundamentally think you're throwing the baby out with the bath water on this. It's an overreaction. MAYBE some regular partners cheat, but why block ALL regular partners for the actions of a few?

On keeping hand records: maybe keeping the records is feasible. Stipulate it could be done. OK, so who's going to do the review? It'll take time to do this, and there are going to be a LOT of accusations to try to deal with...many of them BS ones, but that's not relevant. They'll get filed and they need to be considered. The more popular the site becomes, the more accusations you'll get.
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#33
Okay, sounds like a resounding no on partner filtering then.
Very well.

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How about sounds and alerts during play?
Do you play with any sound on?
Do you get annoyed at the boop of "it's your turn"?
How do you like to be signaled to act?

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Should multi-tabling be disabled?
rakbeater and I did quite a lot of multi-tabling with poker, but I feel it doesn't have a place in the pinochle world where considerable thought is required for quality play.
It wouldn't be hard to deny a username from being active in more than one table.

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How about kibitzing (for readers that don't know this term -- specifically pertaining to online pinochle it means: viewing players' hands as observer as play occurs)?
I just googled the definition out of curiosity.
The first result was merriam-webster: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kibitz
Interestingly, the second definition has a decidedly negative connotation: "to watch other people and make unwanted comments about what they are doing"
Seems perfectly fine and relevant at a table in the Educational Lounge.
But what about at a Social Lounge or Competitive Lounge?
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
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#34
What is essential with regard to the online card table?
Some site show the backs of the other 3 players' cards; this is a waste of screen space right? or does it make it feel like more of a card game to see all the cards all around the table?
For me, I don't think I need to see any other cards than my cards, the cards in the current trick, and the cards from last trick.
Here's a quick draft of what I mean (I didn't bother with the last-trick representation)...

   
Okay, look, don't analyze the mock up, I just threw it together.  Otherwise you'd be wondering why rakbeater would bid for a contract in hearts and lead the  KS at trick 1.   ...let's just not go down that road.

Now, more questions:

Do you want to see the meld and counters representation next to each player name?

Do you want ineligible cards to be dimmed?

Anything to add or remove?

What is required to attain "Nice & Simple" ?
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
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#35
Regarding multi-tabling: Perhaps make it a table option. I would not multi-table, but I'm sure there are those poor players who just like to click buttons and play cards as fast as possible that would enjoy multi-tabling and wouldn't slow things down.

Or make a player able to only max out at 3 tables. The problem with blocking multi-tabling is what if there are 3 tables getting started so you sit at each one with the intent to play at the one that fills up first. I used to do that often enough, rather than sitting at one table and watching a bunch of others fill up while you are still waiting.

Don't know if this has been mentioned but perhaps the table in the lobby can tell you that it is a game in progress so you can decide if you want to sit in to help finish the game for the other players as compared to sitting down to play what you think is a new game and oh crap, it's a game in progress.
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#36
(10-13-2014, 10:13 AM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Some site show the backs of the other 3 players' cards; this is a waste of screen space right? or does it make it feel like more of a card game to see all the cards all around the table?

I don't really think it's a waste of space, because your cards are shown, which would set the horizontal dimension of the room window; and the aspect ratio should be no more than about 1:1.5 so there would be room for showing the opponents' cards overlapped - as is done on most of the sites - which would take up less room in the vertical dimension.  That being said, I don't have a problem with the mock-up you have presented.

(10-13-2014, 10:13 AM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Do you want to see the meld and counters representation next to each player name?

I think this is pretty standard on the online sites and helps beginners immensely, and is pretty handy for advanced players; HOWEVER if we're going to be true to the original version of the game (played in person), then these should not be there.  Perhaps this could be an option in table settings.

(10-13-2014, 10:13 AM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Do you want ineligible cards to be dimmed?

Again, this would be a nice feature for beginners, but people who have played more than a few games should be able to determine which card(s) are eligible.  It's nice enough that online games won't let you play a wrong card.  This could probably be distracting, as the highlighted card(s) would have to be continuously updated as the tricks progress.  For example, if in the mock-up table you had ASKSJS instead of ADKDJD, when rakbeater led the spade, initially AS would be eligible but after I trumped the trick, all the spades would be highlighted.  Similarly, in the hand that is shown, initially all your hearts would be eligible but after I played JH the jacks would all become ineligible.  (Which makes me realize that I don't want to play cards with you...because there are 5 JHs in the deck! Big Grin I know the screen shot is just for illustrative purposes but I just happened to notice and thought it was funny.)  (Unless you're thinking of highlighting the cards when it becomes your turn to play...in which case, if I play fourth, I pretty much already know what I'm going to play by the time my turn comes.)  After considering these nuances, I think I'd vote against highlighting the eligible cards, across the board.

(10-13-2014, 10:13 AM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Anything to add or remove?

Game score, and perhaps a button for the score history by hand.

(10-13-2014, 10:13 AM)mickmackusa Wrote:  What is required to attain "Nice & Simple" ?

I would suggest making the cards a little bigger and having the card values in the top left corner and overlapping the cards, similar to other sites.  If you're concerned about taking up too much space, this would conserve quite a bit of space in the horizontal dimension.
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#37
Sounds and alerts don't add much, but also don't usually distract.  Yahoo had shuffling/dealing sounds...one ignored them.  I'd say this is a decent idea, but VERY low on a priority list.

Multi-tabling actually had one useful point on Yahoo:  when someone else was stalling.  Yahoo let someone stall far too much (3 minutes per *play*) so if you found yourself on a stalling table, one recourse was to open a 2nd table.  However, that may be handled better through the pace-of-play rules, and those rules may well limit multi-tabling in any case.  Personally, I don't want to play with a partner whose attention is split, but one has to ask:  why does the site care if someone is multi-tabling?  How does this negatively impact the site?  It might impact the players, but that's their problem.

Kibitzing should always be allowed.  One thing you can do is that ANYONE playing, can disable any kibitzer from chatting.

Showing the meld total next to each person is simply a convenience.  ANYONE can track this manually, playing at the table, so IMO Tigre's 'original version of the game' argument is inaccurate.  Tracking the points won is rather different;  this is considerably more tedious (and distracting) to do by hand at the table, and it does have an impact on play at times, so a case can be made that Tigre's argument is more viable for this.  I'd much rather use the online approach, at least until we're talking about playing for money. 

On showing the opponents' cards...I don't want Busy, a lot of relatively useless screen elements that just distract.  SO generally, given that showing the backs adds nothing but Busy, I'm not in favor.  If it's not adding a lot of Busy, then I don't much care.  Note that knowing how many cards are currently in a player's hand, is mildly important at the table because it is possible to accidentally play 2 cards to 1 trick.  But online, you can't revoke, and you can't play 2+ cards, so it's pretty much meaningless.

I also don't see any great value in dimming ineligible cards, and I agree with the point that it's likely to be more distracting than useful, but yeah, maybe it could help a beginner a bit.  So I'd put this as a VERY low-priority personal option.  As in, well, all the Need to Haves are done, and all the Nice to Haves are done.  This is a We Could Do This...to me, it rates no better than that.  Conversely, DO watch out that you have to create GUIs with controls for every option you want to include, and you don't want that GUI getting overly busy.
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#38
First, let me say thanks to the three of you for so much feedback.

Second, I would like to express my position -- how I am reading and posting in this thread.
  • I am taking myself to a fantasy world where I am able to write a free, online Power Pinochle Game on our existing shared-server webhosted by Yahoo (programmatically, this means some serious, serious road blocks).
  • I want to take steps to combat each and every reasonable gripe I've ever heard about other online games.
  • If this pipedream ever came to fruition, it would still pale in comparison to other current pinochle games for obvious reasons like: server limitations, development team limitations (um... I am just one guy), funding, and many more.  At very best, it could be used to inspire the professionals to alter their software to mimic something we offer.  It would never truly compete with the big boys!
  • The game design should be "for pinochlers, by pinochlers."  rak and I are sincerely altruistic with this entire website and our mission is for the greater good of pinochle.  If there is a feature that can be added to the game design that incentivizes good/better play I want to push it.  And the opposite is true too, if I can think of something that disincentivizes poor/unsportsman-like play, I want to stick that in there too.  Partnership pinochle is not supposed to frustrate you.  This game is meant to be fun.  If everyone plays "better" it will be more fun and less frustrating overall.

Other's Cards:
As a web developer, I am always concerned with screen economy.  By keeping things at an absolute minimum I run the chance of satisfying a user with a smaller screen.  As TE mentioned, satisfying all the different devices and platforms in the world is a ridiculously grandiose operation.  If I was going to develop this software, I would focus all of my attention to desktop and large tablets.  My screenshot of the table, was only that.  There are other data essentials that belong on the display, discussion of those will come along at some point as well.

By adding the 60 extra cards, screen economy will be impacted, either by width or by height.  

A point of reference: Golden Ratio
I would endeavor to abide by it.
TigreLXIX Wrote:the aspect ratio should be no more than about 1:1.5
Close enough for me to agree with.

TigreLXIX Wrote:I would suggest making the cards a little bigger
Yes, getting the sizing right is important.  Plenty of research has been done (probably by no one more than Apple) to find out the optimal size for tappable icons.  I have read that 44px by 44px is the sweet spot.  However, if I am displaying 20 cards by 44px, even if I stack them side-by-side, we're already at 880px and that's only the hand!  Most devices have their own solution, a native way to zoom in and out.  Please note, I only mocked that screenshot up using the forum's existing "cardies."  The screen expense of bigger cards won't really be fixed by overlapping cards.  If I am going to overlap the cards, I am better off just cutting the cards down in size.

Player Cuing:
TigreLXIX Wrote:this would be a nice feature for beginners, but people who have played more than a few games should be able to determine which card(s) are eligible.
I was thinking showing bright cards would be a major part of player cuing.  When it is not your turn, all of your cards would be dim; so eligible cards wouldn't be going bright and dim each time another player tossed a card.

When I am at my computer, I almost always have my own music on.  When I am gaming, I typically mute it.  I don't know how common that behavior is, which is why I asked.

I worry, though, that the tabled cards would not be cue enough if there was no sound and no card highlighting.

I think I could agree with highlighting all or no cards in the Social & Competitive Lounge.
The Educational Lounge would benefit from eligible card filtering.

From a programmer's point of view, EVERY SINGLE act by a user must be validated before moving forward.  So, it just makes sense to me to run preliminary filtering to lighten the load of back-end validation.

For the record, I am not a fan of ambient card room sounds for the sake of making things more realistic.  I would opt to skip the shuffling, dealing, laying card sounds.

Multi-tabling:
rakbeater Wrote:Regarding multi-tabling: Perhaps make it a table option. I would not multi-table, but I'm sure there are those poor players who just like to click buttons and play cards as fast as possible that would enjoy multi-tabling and wouldn't slow things down.

Would it please the speed players to offer multi-tabling in the Social Lounge, while Competitive Lounge tables would be one table max per user?  I would like to see the Competitive Lounge as the most sacred level of play.  The Social Lounge would be where I lump all innocent beginners and deliberate game mincers.

ToreadorElder Wrote:why does the site care if someone is multi-tabling?  How does this negatively impact the site?  It might impact the players, but that's their problem.

Well, if it was my game, I would care if players are being irritated by multi-tabling.  This is why I bring it up.

Kibitzing:
I guess I would just make the "expose cards to kibitzers" option default to "No" and if someone came to watch they could use the table chatbox to request players to switch it over.

Lobby Display:
rakbeater Wrote:Don't know if this has been mentioned but perhaps the table in the lobby can tell you that it is a game in progress so you can decide if you want to sit in to help finish the game for the other players as compared to sitting down to play what you think is a new game and oh crap, it's a game in progress.

I would envision the Lobby displaying:
  • All active tables in each of the 3 Lounges, each table would show its progress via a Hand Number; no hand number means the game hasn't started yet.
  • All players online would be listed, and with links to their table(s) in any Lounge.

Prerequisites:
As rak and I continue to cook up the future tool sets in Basics and beyond, I am convinced that the battery of tools should be used as a gauntlet that members must run through to qualify for the Competitive Lounge.  If you can't understand and pass the Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced tools (or whatever we will call them) then you aren't educated enough to play in Power Pinochle's sacred Competitive Lounge.
*I expect TE will take extreme issue with this, as he refuses to play the first of the Basics tests.
I can almost hear: "Why should I have to play your stupid, pointless meld test to qualify for your Competitive Lounge?!?"
Putting all players through the same battery of tests will ensure that you only get serious and knowledgeable players as partners and opposition.
Then, people who play poorly cannot hide behind ignorance because they have been duly educated by the Power Pinochle toolsets.

Card Counting:
What do you thing about the Education Lounge offering a live count on Aces played in each suit and trumps played?
I think showing these figures would train new players that these are values of importance.
They would see how monitoring these values can result in making clever plays.
When beginners emerge from the Educational Lounge and into the Social and Competitive Lounges there will be a better chance that they will try to count them.

**************
Sorry everyone, that was pretty long winded.
Admittedly, I am very excited about this thread.
I love the hashing out of every aspect of an online pinochle game.
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
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#39
(10-13-2014, 09:32 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  However, if I am displaying 20 cards by 44px, even if I stack them side-by-side, we're already at 880px and that's only the hand!

Throwing it out there, but I'm not even really sure what I think about the idea...what about having two rows of cards?  (I can see where it might get a little inconvenient if the position of the next card you're about to play would shift from the top row to the bottom row or vice-versa, but I'm just trying to offer a solution to the screen space issue...)

(10-13-2014, 09:32 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  When it is not your turn, all of your cards would be dim; so eligible cards wouldn't be going bright and dim each time another player tossed a card.

If that's the case, it probably wouldn't be as annoying as the cards changing as the trick progresses...but I don't really see much of a value there.

(10-13-2014, 09:32 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  From a programmer's point of view, EVERY SINGLE act by a user must be validated before moving forward.  So, it just makes sense to me to run preliminary filtering to lighten the load of back-end validation.

I would think you could still run the filters without changing the display of the cards...but then again, I'm not a programmer.

(10-13-2014, 09:32 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  What do you thing about the Education Lounge offering a live count on Aces played in each suit and trumps played?
I think showing these figures would train new players that these are values of importance.

I think that's a good idea.  I think I mentioned that in an earlier post.
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#40
(10-13-2014, 09:32 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  However, if I am displaying 20 cards by 44px, even if I stack them side-by-side, we're already at 880px and that's only the hand!
(10-13-2014, 10:32 PM)TigreLXIX Wrote:  Throwing it out there, but I'm not even really sure what I think about the idea...what about having two rows of cards?  (I can see where it might get a little inconvenient if the position of the next card you're about to play would shift from the top row to the bottom row or vice-versa, but I'm just trying to offer a solution to the screen space issue...)
Yeah, I did take a look at that.  I just don't prefer the look of it.  Depending on where the breakpoint is, you might have part of a suit on the top row on the right side, and the rest of the suit down at the left side of the second row.


(10-13-2014, 09:32 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  From a programmer's point of view, EVERY SINGLE act by a user must be validated before moving forward.  So, it just makes sense to me to run preliminary filtering to lighten the load of back-end validation.
(10-13-2014, 10:32 PM)TigreLXIX Wrote:  I would think you could still run the filters without changing the display of the cards...but then again, I'm not a programmer.
Yes, I would simply not make ineligible cards clickable.  All of the intended behaviors would be as initially designed, but I'd just remove the visual aspect that associates with the respective object behaviors (clickable / non-clickable).


(10-13-2014, 09:32 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  What do you thing about the Education Lounge offering a live count on Aces played in each suit and trumps played?
I think showing these figures would train new players that these are values of importance.
(10-13-2014, 10:32 PM)TigreLXIX Wrote:  I think that's a good idea.  I think I mentioned that in an earlier post.

Whoops, sorry.  This thread has got to be one of our longest.  It's getting harder to remember all of the content.
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
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