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World of Card Games - beginner and developer
#1
Hi,

I'm the developer at World of Card Games, and today I added Double Deck Pinochle to the site.

I'm a beginner at Pinochle, and I found some of the rules confusing... I'm still not that good, and I'm afraid it probably shows up in how I programmed the "bots" on the site (computer players).

If you care to give it a try and give me feedback, I'm all ears. One thing I had difficulty with was the display of melds. I've seen how it's done at different sites. I wound up choosing a sort of matrix view, which seemed more clear to me as a beginner. But I heard from one person so far that they'd rather just see the cards laid out in rank/suit order.

Thanks!

Marya
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#2
Awesome! I can't wait to try it.
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#3
Fabulous!  Your post represents several ways I want to see Power Pinochle utilized.  I want new pinochle software to be advertised here.  I want developer questions here.  I want discussions on improved bot performance, user experience and rules.  This will render Power Pinochle as a critical reference point for all pre & post development stages, where feedback from a wide spectrum of users assists developers in understanding and providing a truly desired result.

More to your question about displaying meld cards...
Perhaps it would be good to start a new thread regarding Preferred Display of Meld Cards Online (or something similar).
In said thread, we could discuss what is possible, what the pros and cons are, and any general opinions that might impact user experience.
I have thought long about this point while developing our (still in development) Hand Animator though I haven't bothered querying the public about a preferred approach.

I look forward to more discussions with you.  Please peruse the wealth of information already existing in the forum.  I am sure some of our membership will trial your software and offer feedback.

Welcome to Power Pinochle!
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
Thank you... I've just started reading through all the threads and it will take me some time to work my way through them. I do have a number of questions to some open issues. I think I got them correct, but I would love to get more input on them.
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#5
Hey Marya,

Welcome to Power Pinochle!  There is a ton of information that will definitely help you to learn the fundamentals and nuances of the game in the forums.

First, let me say that I love the look and feel of WoCG's pinochle game.  The first thing I said when I got to the table was "wow, this looks great!"  I love how the hands are slightly curved, adding a realistic look.  I don't really have a strong negative feeling toward the meld view.  I think it's fine, although the first time the meld was laid out, there was a gap between the ace of a suit (part of aces around) and the king (part of a marriage).  While I understand why it was laid out this way, in my opinion it would be better if the cards of the same suit were next to each other even if they're not in sequential rank.  But like I said, it wasn't terrible.

Aside from that, I have some other feedback that will help improve WoCG's user experience.  Specifically:
  1. While the animations added a little bit of flair, I thought the card-play animations were a little too slow.  I'd recommend speeding up the card display animation - maybe by 50% - and leave the tricks up slightly longer to allow the player(s) to see the cards that were played in each trick.
  2. The AI needs a little work.  I know you said you're learning the rules and strategies, but one obvious flaw was that in one hand my partner played an ace on my ace lead (first trick of the suit), then played jack-queen on my left-hand opponent's two aces in that suit.  (I wasn't paying that close attention to know what was melded, but most of the time this would not be considered a good play regardless of cards melded.)  On two other occasions, my partner played ace on ace and didn't have the remaining aces in the suit.
  3. It would definitely be helpful if there were some way to view the last trick.  Yahoo! used to have a button which brought up a small window that could be left open, and PlayOK (the current preferred site for online pinochle, since Yahoo!'s demise) always displays the last trick in the upper corner of the table.  Either would be fine, although it's probably easier to just devote a little space to this on the main view.
I'll continue to test the WoCG pinochle game (and maybe some of the other games!) and provide feedback to help improve the user experience.  If you have any specific questions as you peruse the forums, feel free to ask!  There is a wealth of experience and knowledge in the membership ranks here.

Best of luck!
Tigre

P.S. - If you're really ambitious, I'd love for a place to play single-deck pinochle online.  This is the game I grew up playing.  I posted my family's rules for three-handed single-deck pinochle here and still need to post the rules for four-handed (partnership) single-deck pinochle, which was the variant most commonly played in my family.  This became a little more difficult to write cohesively than I anticipated, and I never got back to it...but if you're interested, I could work on it!
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#6
As I suspected, Mary's original post topics are receiving feedback.  Because I feel several of the points raised have the potential to become lengthy discussions, I would like to suggest that all posts not resembling "Welcome to Power Pinochle, Mary" be used to established as a new logically titled thread.  This will keep this searchable and orderly.

Possible titles for new threads might be similar to:

"Review of World of Card Games - Pinochle"
"Preferred Abilities of a Pinochle Bot"
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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#7
(08-07-2015, 12:26 AM)mickmackusa Wrote:  ...Because I feel several of the points raised have the potential to become lengthy discussions, I would like to suggest that all posts not resembling "Welcome to Power Pinochle, Mary" be used to established as a new logically titled thread...

Yes, you are right... is there any way you can move threads from one section to another? I love the feedback that Tigre has given and I'll be replying, but clearly this is the wrong forum for a lengthy discussion.
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#8
Hi Tigre, Thank you for trying out the Pinochle game at World of Card Games!

>> I don't really have a strong negative feeling toward the meld view.  I think it's fine, although the first time the meld was laid out, there was a gap between the ace of a suit (part of aces around) and the king (part of a marriage).  While I understand why it was laid out this way, in my opinion it would be better if the cards of the same suit were next to each other even if they're not in sequential rank.  But like I said, it wasn't terrible.

I want to make sure that I understand what you're saying, so I'm posting a screenshot. I think what you're talking about is that gap between the Aces column and the Kings column as shown in Robby's hand up top. Rosie's hand shows that this gap would normally be filled with rank 10 cards, if there were any in Robby's meld.

I assume this is the view you're talking about? And you would prefer the gap be filled if there are no 10s in the 10 column? How do you feel about Rosie's meld view, over on the left? My personal opinion (as a beginner) is that I like being able to see the column filled with Aces and know immediately that the person has an Aces Around. If I moved some Aces over to fill in the gap, I would find it a little complicated to read.

[Image: 15-08-07-meld-view-matrix.png]

>> I thought the card-play animations were a little too slow.  I'd recommend speeding up the card display animation - maybe by 50% - and leave the tricks up slightly longer to allow the player(s) to see the cards that were played in each trick.

Thank you for taking note of that! I am keeping a list of requests and suggestions and will act on whatever seems most popular. FYI - I've recently begun experimenting with making animations a bit faster at WoCG. It was only recently that someone complained that they thought the animations in Hearts are too slow, so I never put much thought into it.

>> The AI needs a little work.

That's a very nice way of putting it Wink

>> I know you said you're learning the rules and strategies, but one obvious flaw was that in one hand my partner played an ace on my ace lead (first trick of the suit), then played jack-queen on my left-hand opponent's two aces in that suit.  (I wasn't paying that close attention to know what was melded, but most of the time this would not be considered a good play regardless of cards melded.)  On two other occasions, my partner played ace on ace and didn't have the remaining aces in the suit.

It will take me more time to figure out the subtleties of Pinochle strategy. I am hoping I can get this improved over time.

The first thing I did for the AI was to have your partner feed you point cards. I also have the AI lead with Aces generally. This is my own strategy and is no doubt rudimentary. It's possible that when you saw a bot play an Ace on your Ace, they were trying to give you the one point card that they had in their hand.

The bots should be playing Ace-on-Ace to tell you that they have the last remaining Ace in that suit. I will revisit this code to make sure it's done correctly. Of course, there are limits: sometimes you have no choice but to play an Ace.

Also, as I said above, if the Ace is the last remaining point card, it will get played on the partner's Ace to make sure they get it. Is this always considered poor play?

>> It would definitely be helpful if there were some way to view the last trick.  Yahoo! used to have a button which brought up a small window that could be left open, and PlayOK (the current preferred site for online pinochle, since Yahoo!'s demise) always displays the last trick in the upper corner of the table.  Either would be fine, although it's probably easier to just devote a little space to this on the main view.

I've had a few players tell me that they would like this in Hearts. I've been reluctant to add this, because I'm concerned that the page will become even more cluttered than it is now, and I don't have a feel for how many people want it. However, I could probably add it as an option for people who are interested in that - I think it would be fairly easy to do. It's mainly a question of finding the right spot to display it.

>> If you're really ambitious, I'd love for a place to play single-deck pinochle online.  This is the game I grew up playing.  I posted my family's rules for three-handed single-deck pinochle here and still need to post the rules for four-handed (partnership) single-deck pinochle, which was the variant most commonly played in my family.  This became a little more difficult to write cohesively than I anticipated, and I never got back to it...but if you're interested, I could work on it!

I am ambitious, but as an individual developer I have only so much time. The site is called World of Card Games and I hope to add more and more games... I was aiming for Canasta or Cribbage or even Whist next. At some point I hope to add single-deck Pinochle, but since I just added the double-deck version, I probably won't do that for a while. Of course I'm also working on adding new features to help players communicate with each other a little easier too, and all that takes time.

Regarding other rules - the site manager at Pagat appears to be pretty open to posting variations to rules on each game's page. I don't know if you've looked there, but perhaps you could add to his existing rules?

Marya
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#9
Again, please discontinue using this thread for non-Introduction discussion.
These posts are best served in their own dedicated thread.
I have asked founder and co-administrator, rakbeater, to move the non-Introduction posts out of this thread and in a more suitable location (he is more experienced in performing these forum management processes).  Please hold off your new posts until he has shifted these existing ones.

Keeping this forum spam-free and easily searchable is a high priority for me and organization is in everyone's best interest.
Please adhere and save rakbeater from having to do too much clean-up.

Thank you.
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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#10
Will do! Sorry for the trouble; I hope the thread can be easily moved somewhere else. If needed I can repost elsewhere. - Marya
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