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World of Card Games
#1
As requested by mick, branching this off.

New site over in new member announcements.

BUT NOTE:  the site does NOT load in 64-bit Chrome.  It does load in Edge.  (That's Windows 10 IE.)  I can try 32-bit Chrome on a different box...but not right now.

Cartoonish graphics, which I don't much like.  Full-card graphics makes things busy, but you can select from several decks to hopefully keep that down to a minimum.  Couldn't tell how much it would affect things overall;  not enough players to get a table going.

Some things I did see...card ordering is, to me, backwards.  That is:    JH  QH  KH  TH  AH .  Might predominately be a difference between US convention and elsewhere?

I saw a meld review...with lots of 0 lines, for meld you didn't have.  I wouldn't show these, EXCEPT in a tutorial mode.  In game play, it's just busy.

The lobby is awkward;  the list of tables is for all games.  OK, there are headers that group the tables for each game, but it's still rather cluttered.

One thing I will give it:  it's fast.  HTML 5?
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#2
May I see a screen shot of the meld cards displayed?  I want to discuss, but I haven't had a chance to visit WoCG yet.
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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#3
Here is a PP-centric question:  Is there any chance of getting exportable hand histories @ WoCG?
I will one day have time to complete the Hand Animator so that live games can be replayed, in the meantime, it would be good to know that multiple sites provide usable input.
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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#4
(08-07-2015, 03:26 AM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  Cartoonish graphics, which I don't much like.  Full-card graphics makes things busy, but you can select from several decks to hopefully keep that down to a minimum.

I really didn't have any problem with the graphics (other than the time it took to display the cards that were played, which apparently can be sped up.  The graphics added a little flair, which is nonexistent on other sites.  I agree that sometimes graphics can make things too busy and distracting, but this was not the case in my experience.

(08-07-2015, 03:26 AM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  Some things I did see...card ordering is, to me, backwards.  That is:    JH  QH  KH  TH  AH .  Might predominately be a difference between US convention and elsewhere?

I honestly didn't notice this.  Granted, it's been a while since I've played any form of pinochle - in person or online - but I don't think I'm really that particular.  I didn't have any problem knowing which card was which, but I can understand that some people who play online a lot may have a particular preference.  If this is changed to A through J from left to right (which, incidentally is how I hold my cards when playing in person) I wouldn't object.

(08-07-2015, 03:26 AM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  I saw a meld review...with lots of 0 lines, for meld you didn't have.  I wouldn't show these, EXCEPT in a tutorial mode.  In game play, it's just busy.

Agreed.  One other thing I forgot to mention is that having a semi-transparent background on the meld view was a little distracting.
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#5
(08-07-2015, 03:26 AM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  I saw a meld review...with lots of 0 lines, for meld you didn't have.  I wouldn't show these, EXCEPT in a tutorial mode.

I agree that the 0 lines are unnecessary.  As a developer, it would be very easy to omit these lines.  I am in favor of the meld breakdown box, so long as it is condensed to only include lines with positive >0 values.

I saw (on one of the screenshots posted on PP that showed tabled meld) that a double marriage is tightly vertically stacked.  I would like to see a little more separation if space allows it; not because I personally had trouble seeing it, but on behalf of a demographic that might not have such a keen eye.

As a newcomer to the site, my eyes were swimming all over the place while I was finding my bearings.  It took me a while before I could separate "signal" from "noise"... then again this could just be me, because as a developer I like to identify all of the bells and whistles before I make any decisions.  I am not Mr. Fun (my wife will confirm) so I am not disturbed by a dull but clear visual presentation.  I think this puts me in the minority of your users.  For this reason, I totally understand not stripping the beauty from the interface to accommodate my preference; it is more of something to keep in mind.

There are many options for customizing some of the visual entities (avatar, deck, background).  If a user can't find something that they like, they are probably being too picky.

I don't have a problem with the size or placement of the avatar.  The 3 or 4 cards that the avatar partially covers are not negatively affected as the identifying corners are still in plain view.

I did some window re-sizing on my desktop, and I think the display does a great job handing the game graphics while maintaining the ad on the right side.  The ability to switch off the ad is a thoughtful consideration.

I would like to have the ability to watch an active game, and for the players at the table to know that I am watching.

Granting anonymous Guests the ability to play is a liberty that I haven't found on any other sites.  While this speeds up the user experience, I wonder about the negative effects this has on the site and player pool.  Regarding access to features, how do Guests differ from Registered Users on your site?  Is there any benefit to Guests registering?

I hope the feedback you have received thus far hasn't been taken harshly.  We all care.  And we are appreciative that new software developers are endeavoring to provide pinochle online.  I have to assume that you need to keep a high level of similarity to the other games on the site that you aren't responsible for -- for branding reasons.  So, your hands may be a little tied on some interface points.
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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#6
(08-07-2015, 03:26 AM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  BUT NOTE:  the site does NOT load in 64-bit Chrome.  It does load in Edge.  (That's Windows 10 IE.)  I can try 32-bit Chrome on a different box...but not right now.

Well as I said elsewhere, "works for me," in 64-bit Chrome with the latest version. I can't tell what is going wrong for you. I would put in a bug report to Chrome, but since I don't have the bug on my own system I cannot give them details.

FWIW the "cartoonish" view of the site appears to be liked by many. I can see why some people may prefer a bare-bones approach, and I've thought about adding that as an option. But it's really not something I have time for in the near future. I'm mostly concerned with adding more functionality rather than tuning the way it looks.




(08-07-2015, 03:26 AM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  Some things I did see...card ordering is, to me, backwards.  That is:    JH  QH  KH  TH  AH .  Might predominately be a difference between US convention and elsewhere?

This is just the standard card ordering that was at the site when I took it over, and I saw no reason to change it for Pinochle. I've had a couple of requests to reverse the sort order now that Pinochle is out, and I will probably offer a feature to reverse sort order eventually.

(08-07-2015, 03:26 AM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  I saw a meld review...with lots of 0 lines, for meld you didn't have.  I wouldn't show these, EXCEPT in a tutorial mode.  In game play, it's just busy.

I think you're right. I do think it's helpful for beginners (such as myself), but probably just a nuisance for more experienced players. I'll wait and see what other feedback I get.

(08-07-2015, 03:26 AM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  The lobby is awkward;  the list of tables is for all games.  OK, there are headers that group the tables for each game, but it's still rather cluttered.

Yes, I can see what you mean. As more games get added to the site, the table listings (which is not a real lobby) will need some work. I do plan to add real lobbies.

(08-07-2015, 03:26 AM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  One thing I will give it:  it's fast.  HTML 5?

Yes.
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#7
(08-07-2015, 07:26 AM)mickmackusa Wrote:  May I see a screen shot of the meld cards displayed?  I want to discuss, but I haven't had a chance to visit WoCG yet.

Sorry, this thread escaped my notice until just now.

Here's a screenshot of the "meld view". Each player has a mini-table of melds to the left, you can see how there are lines for each meld type, even when you do not have any of that type. The "matrix" view with the mini-cards is to the right and gives you a way to quickly look across rows and columns to see which cards each person has.

[Image: 4a-should-i-bid-1-marriage-poor-meld-str...w-1024.png]
Play Pinochle at World of Card Games!
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#8
(08-07-2015, 07:31 AM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Here is a PP-centric question:  Is there any chance of getting exportable hand histories @ WoCG?
I will one day have time to complete the Hand Animator so that live games can be replayed, in the meantime, it would be good to know that multiple sites provide usable input.

I've never had a request for something like this before! I've seen mentions of this in your forums... If you can tell me what the export format is, I can probably do it.
Play Pinochle at World of Card Games!
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#9
(08-07-2015, 08:48 PM)TigreLXIX Wrote:  ... One other thing I forgot to mention is that having a semi-transparent background on the meld view was a little distracting.

Tigre, thank you for the feedback on this. I have had no feedback at all on this view so far.

When I was developing the game, I had started out with a nearly opaque background so all that transparent area was blackened.

However, I encountered a problem with that. Chats appear in two places at the site: as "chat bubbles" next to the player, and also in your "chat log" - you need to click a link at the bottom of the page to open the chat log. But I know from experience that many people just read the chat bubbles. It occurred to me that if someone were teaching a friend how to play, they wouldn't be able to see the discussion during this meld view phase, unless they opened up the chat log. To help people avoid having to do that, I experimented with making the background transparent, and I thought it looked much better, just in general. Maybe that's just me, I like seeing a lot more of the board rather than having it all blacked out. I will look for feedback from others on this before making major changes.
Play Pinochle at World of Card Games!
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#10
(08-09-2015, 07:44 AM)mickmackus Wrote:  I agree that the 0 lines are unnecessary.  As a developer, it would be very easy to omit these lines.  I am in favor of the meld breakdown box, so long as it is condensed to only include lines with positive >0 values.

Thanks for the feedback.

After hearing the critique of the "meld tables" (showing rows even when there is zero meld), I'm inclined to agree with the criticism. The reason I included them was that it just didn't occur to me not to do so - I thought it was nicely organized so that you could see how many of each type of meld each player had (easy to compare from one player to the next). I bet if I remove the zero rows I will not get any complaints, and I plan to do that for the next release.

(08-09-2015, 07:44 AM)mickmackus Wrote:  I saw (on one of the screenshots posted on PP that showed tabled meld) that a double marriage is tightly vertically stacked.  I would like to see a little more separation if space allows it; not because I personally had trouble seeing it, but on behalf of a demographic that might not have such a keen eye.

Yeah, I think you're right. I started out with a larger view which almost entirely covered the screen (sorry, I'm not allowed to cover the ad!). I could go back to it... I try to make the graphics as large as they can be.

(08-09-2015, 07:44 AM)mickmackus Wrote:  For this reason, I totally understand not stripping the beauty from the interface to accommodate my preference; it is more of something to keep in mind.

I'm biased but I love the graphics at the site. I do understand that some people would prefer more bare-bones, and I have plans to offer a bare-bones option eventually. It would be helpful for some people to be able to turn off graphics and some of the animations. However, I do prefer to work on adding functionality - new games, a chat lobby for each game, rankings, and so on. So the bare-bones option is not my highest priority now.

(08-09-2015, 07:44 AM)mickmackus Wrote:  I would like to have the ability to watch an active game, and for the players at the table to know that I am watching.

It is only recently that I've had a request for people to be able to do this. I have a question about this. I assume you are talking about watching a game without seeing everyone's cards? You would only see the cards as they were being played. It may seem ridiculous to ask, but someone had actually asked me to allow people to watch games and see cards as they are played - which of course would make for rampant cheating.

Anyway, in principle I like the idea. It just seems like it might be a little bit of a mire, so I've put it on a back-burner. May I ask why people like to do this? I'm not sure of the value.

(08-09-2015, 07:44 AM)mickmackus Wrote:  Granting anonymous Guests the ability to play is a liberty that I haven't found on any other sites.

Well, I don't have much choice. If I had thousands of users coming to the site every day, I could afford to be picky and say "you must register".

However, even if I had thousands of users - I like the idea of giving people a chance to try the site before being forced to enter their email address. Yes, many guests are annoying jerks. But it's very easy for a Registered User to exclude them. Just go to your table options and click "Registered Players Only". From then on, it is as if you are using a site which requires everyone to register. I think many people do not understand this option is there for them, which is also a problem. They play and play and then write to me because some guest is being a jerk (I do ban the jerks). Then they tell me that everyone should be required to register. And you know what would happen if I did that... we'd have a bunch of registered jerks.

(08-09-2015, 07:44 AM)mickmackus Wrote:  While this speeds up the user experience, I wonder about the negative effects this has on the site and player pool.

Yeah... If you play at a table for "registered players only" it does take you a bit longer to get the game started. And Registered users are not angels. They curse and quit, too.

(08-09-2015, 07:44 AM)mickmackus Wrote:  Regarding access to features, how do Guests differ from Registered Users on your site?  Is there any benefit to Guests registering?

Here are the advantages of registering:
  1. You can log in from anywhere and your preferences are retrieved. Your "liked" and "disliked" player list will show up for you. You'll see any private table names you have stored, basically all your options will be the same anywhere. Same for your stats. If you wipe your cookies somehow, all this info is gone.
  2. If you register, you can get into tables where people have required "Registered Players Only". It's a small barrier, but there is a perception that Registered Players are less abusive than Guests (not sure if this is true). It makes it easier to identify and report abusive users if they have a registered name. (People don't always realize that they can report abusive guests.)
  3. From my perspective, the most important reason you would want to register is for "reputation management". If you are a good player and want to play with other good players, then you should let people know who you are by choosing a name and sticking with it! You can scan the table listing to look for players that you've "liked", and then head for their table. And others will do that for you, too, once they realize you are fun to play with. (BTW if you are worried about the potential for someone stalking you - it is within your power to dislike someone so that you are not seated with them again. So if you find someone repeatedly sitting at your table and you don't like them, just x them out and you won't see them again.)

(08-09-2015, 07:44 AM)mickmackus Wrote:  I hope the feedback you have received thus far hasn't been taken harshly.  We all care.  And we are appreciative that new software developers are endeavoring to provide pinochle online.  I have to assume that you need to keep a high level of similarity to the other games on the site that you aren't responsible for -- for branding reasons.  So, your hands may be a little tied on some interface points.

I like to get feedback. Negative feedback can hurt (depending on the manner of delivery), but often it's the negative stuff which leads to the most helpful and productive changes that I can make. Some feedback is frustrating though. In another thread, someone complained about the level of skill in Pinochle at the site. I see no way I can change that other than paying people to play professionally with visitors. I would do that if I had the funds, but I don't. I see no other way to get skilled players except by yelling from the rooftops that WoCG is a fun place to play.

I have a huge number of card games on my to-do list, and I'm not sure why I chose Pinochle. I think it was mostly luck of the draw. All I can do is offer it at this point, and hope for some players who will enjoy it, despite any current flaws.
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