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World of Card Games supports Hand Animator format
#1
PP Logo 
I've added support for players to "save" their hand history in Power Pinochle format at World of Card Games. [edit: this functionality is currently removed, as of Sep 3 2015. I will add it back once the hand animator has stabilized]

The hand history is emailed to you, not stored on the site. So you must be logged in as a registered user, with a valid email address, for this to work for you.

In order to save your hand history, you play out the hand, and wait till your hand score subtotals are showing at the end of the hand. Once on that page, just hit "Shift-P" (two keys hit in combination on your keyboard). Here's a screenshot of the subtotals, this is where you would hit Shift-P -
[Image: 15-08-18-subtotals-after-hand-finishes.png]

Currently there is no user interface element to show you that this format may be saved. Since I just introduced the feature, I'm hoping to get feedback from anyone who wants to try this - bug reports or change requests. Once it's clear that this feature has no major problems, I will add a clickable button or link for saving.

Here's a screenshot of the Meld View for one particular hand that I just played, with a sample Power Pinochle hand history after it, so you can try it out in the hand animator if you like.
[Image: 15-08-18-power-pinochle-hand.png]

Code:
% Format "PPN 1.0"
% Site "worldofcardgames.com"
% Date "2015.08.18"
% ID "14398930124450"
% Players "N E S W"
% tableid "cb8f4e1b-31b6-4e14-8636-31faf16ca613"

[GameScores "0:0"]
[Deal "E:CATQJDAAKKKQQQSAAKQQHATK CAAKDTTTTKQSTTQJJHAATQJJ CATTTKQQJDJJSTKQJHAKKQQJ CKKQJJDAAJJSAATKKJHTTKQJ"]
[Auction "S:50 Pass Pass Pass"]
[Contract "S 50 C"]
[Melds "18:CADAKKKQQQSAKQHA 2:CDKQSH 29:CATKQJDJSKQJHKKQQJ 10:CKQJDJSJHKQJ"]
[Play "S"]
AH JH KH JH S2
JD AD QD KD W2
AD QD TD JD W2
AS QS TS JS W2
AS QS TS QS W2
JD AD QD JC S1
JH QH AH JH N1
AS JS KS JS N2
AS JS TS KS N3
AD TD QC JD S2
QH KH TH AH E3
AH QH TH TC N3
AC KC QC JC N2
KS QS KC KS S3
AC JC JC AC S2
TC QC QC AC E2
TD TC KC KD S4
KH TH QD TH W3
KC KD TD TC S4
KH TS KD QH S5
[MeldScores "47:12"]
[PlayScores "34:16"]
[Result "SAVED"]
[HandScores "81:0"]
Play Pinochle at World of Card Games!
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#2
Well done, Marya, this is very exciting.
WoCG is now the first site to deliver hand histories that fully function on the Hand Animator.
This is a great leap forward and will be very useful for players who wish to analyze their game.
It is now my opinion that, for players who want to analyze/develop their skills, WoCG is best site for pinochle.

Having the histories emailed to the players is a clever feature as well!
Previous discussions have weighed the benefit of public record access versus the privacy concerns of players who don't want to be analyzed.
By emailing only the involved players (who requested the history), the game will only be directly distributed to a maximum of 4 people. (greater privacy via exclusivity)

I need to discuss with rakbeater the prospect of creating a dedicated subforum for Hand/Game History Analyses.  This will serve to as a repository for ACTUAL HANDS where the analytical discussion may span across Bidding, Offense, and Defense.  Creating said subforum will also lighten the load of the Pinochle Discussion subforum.

***As a reminder to future hand history posters, please do not mention the usernames of the other humans involved in your hand history.  You may identify your own seat (and bots) if you wish, otherwise, just phrase directed analysis to the seat name.***
Administrators will be closely moderating this for the benefit of all members and non-members.  PP must be a safe haven for pinochle players.

Thank you for not including the usernames in your hand history notation.  Keeping players anonymous will ensure analyses are unbiased and non-hurtful.
I am curious...  In the email to the user, do you tell them which compass-direction they were seated in?  If they play multiple games before reviewing, they will surely forget their seat.

PlayOK offers hand histories as soon as the previous hand was completed.  While this allows players to explain themselves during the game and potentially extinguish emotional flare ups using real data, I can easily imagine the side-effect of this to be a slow game.   I mean, potentially each hand, some/all players would stop to look at the previous hand and the game stalls which would greatly diminish the user experience.

Hand History Authenticity:
Because players will be submitting the raw notation (as opposed to having it submitted to PP directly from the WoCG server) there is potential for modifying the notation.  While I don't think this is a major concern, it should be mentioned that all submissions may be tampered with.
When developing the Hand Animator for PlayOK, I was working on a way to reference the game via a PlayOK url which held the notation in a .txt file.  This removed the "middle man" and ensured authenticity.  I didn't get around to completing that feature, but I do plan to one day.

It is unlikely, but if I change any of the notation, I will let you know.
If you would like any additions on my end, let me know.

Now, who will be the first to submit a full 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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#3
Thumbs Up 
(08-20-2015, 07:44 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  It is now my opinion that, for players who want to analyze/develop their skills, WoCG is best site for pinochle.

Thank you, I am very happy to hear that! I try to do what I can to make the site useful to card players with all experience levels.

FWIW: I would love to make something like the hand animator available to players of other games. I'm sure your time is limited, and I know this board is all about the Pinochle... but if you ever find yourself twiddling your thumbs, I would love to see a hand animator for games like Euchre, Hearts, or Spades. I suspect you'd get players from other games at WoCG making use of it here.

(08-20-2015, 07:44 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Having the histories emailed to the players is a clever feature as well!
Previous discussions have weighed the benefit of public record access versus the privacy concerns of players who don't want to be analyzed.
By emailing only the involved players (who requested the history), the game will only be directly distributed to a maximum of 4 people. (greater privacy via exclusivity)

I had read in one of the forum threads that a player was upset at the idea of having their hand history exposed publicly. I can't say I understand it, but I do make an effort to accommodate people, and I realized that if one person felt that way, there would be others. I don't want people to be afraid to use this feature. Currently, people can do what they want with their hand histories, and not worry about other people seeing it.

(08-20-2015, 07:44 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Thank you for not including the usernames in your hand history notation.  Keeping players anonymous will ensure analyses are unbiased and non-hurtful.
I am curious...  In the email to the user, do you tell them which compass-direction they were seated in?  If they play multiple games before reviewing, they will surely forget their seat.

Currently, no extra information is sent in the email. I can certainly add this info if people want it (in fact the seats at the table are not distinguished by NSEW so you would need to remember what cards you were dealt to remember your position). I don't know the easiest way to deal with this. Initially I was going to include the first few letters of the player's name, along with the postiion (e.g. "marya" in the south seat would show up as "S-ma"). What do people think of that, is it showing too much? I could include the names of all the players in the email, together with seat positions, maybe at the top of the file, outside of the formatted hand history. Do you think this would cause problems? Once names are included in the file, you do increase the risk of player "humiliation."

(08-20-2015, 07:44 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  PlayOK offers hand histories as soon as the previous hand was completed.

Maybe it was not clear, but this is the same way that it works at WoCG. For obvious reasons, hand histories are not available during the play of a hand. You may send them to yourself when the hand scores are shown. Once you receive them, you can check them at Power Pinochle's hand animator.

WoCG has a timeout for gameplay at public tables. If you decide to go check the hands during gameplay, you will get timed out, to your own detriment. In contrast, at private tables, you may pause a game. The assumption is that people who know each other reasonably well are playing at private tables, and they will not abuse the pause feature (it also requires a majority vote). In this case, all players may want to agree to pause the game and check out the hand histories in order to discuss what happened. That's all for the good IMHO.

(08-20-2015, 07:44 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Hand History Authenticity:
Because players will be submitting the raw notation (as opposed to having it submitted to PP directly from the WoCG server) there is potential for modifying the notation.  While I don't think this is a major concern, it should be mentioned that all submissions may be tampered with.
When developing the Hand Animator for PlayOK, I was working on a way to reference the game via a PlayOK url which held the notation in a .txt file.  This removed the "middle man" and ensured authenticity.  I didn't get around to completing that feature, but I do plan to one day.

TBH I don't see this as a concern. From my point of view, hand histories are there for instruction, not to prove your mad Pinochle skillz. If this becomes an issue, then I'm open to other solutions, possibly hosting hand history files at WoCG, or even sending them to Power Pinochle for storage (if you want to develop an API, I could call it to send this info so that the histories are stored at PP, with no risk of them being tampered with by a middleman). But then, this opens the can of worms about publicly identifiable user names... and whether to include them in hand histories.

Marya
Play Pinochle at World of Card Games!
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#4
(08-20-2015, 08:36 PM)marya Wrote:  
(08-20-2015, 07:44 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  It is now my opinion that, for players who want to analyze/develop their skills, WoCG is best site for pinochle.

Thank you, I am very happy to hear that! I try to do what I can to make the site useful to card players with all experience levels.

FWIW: I would love to make something like the hand animator available to players of other games. I'm sure your time is limited, and I know this board is all about the Pinochle... but if you ever find yourself twiddling your thumbs, I would love to see a hand animator for games like Euchre, Hearts, or Spades. I suspect you'd get players from other games at WoCG making use of it here.

That's a nice compliment.  I am glad you like it.  I wouldn't like to replicate it until it has grown at least a few versions.  The status of the program is truly "in development" as it is not cross-browser compatible, I want to add features, and there are quite possibly things to remove/replace visually.

Regarding thumb-twiddling time, HA, I wonder if such time has the potential to arrive before I am in retirement.  It seems every year I age, that I have more things to do and less time to do them!  In a fantasy world where "free time" exists, I would be happy to accommodate other games.  Have you checked that there aren't any similar applications already in the wild?  The PP Hand Animator was inspired by online Texas Hold'em re-players.

Now that I think about it, my boy just chose his elective courses for high school next year.  One of which is IT-based. Maybe he and I can do a father-son project.  Hmm.

(08-20-2015, 08:36 PM)marya Wrote:  
(08-20-2015, 07:44 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Having the histories emailed to the players is a clever feature as well!
Previous discussions have weighed the benefit of public record access versus the privacy concerns of players who don't want to be analyzed.
By emailing only the involved players (who requested the history), the game will only be directly distributed to a maximum of 4 people. (greater privacy via exclusivity)

I had read in one of the forum threads that a player was upset at the idea of having their hand history exposed publicly. I can't say I understand it, but I do make an effort to accommodate people, and I realized that if one person felt that way, there would be others. I don't want people to be afraid to use this feature. Currently, people can do what they want with their hand histories, and not worry about other people seeing it.

Rest assured, you are not the only person that doesn't understand this extreme fear of judgment.  Regardless, I share the same feeling with you that if one person is saying it, then several others may be thinking it.

(08-20-2015, 08:36 PM)marya Wrote:  
(08-20-2015, 07:44 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Thank you for not including the usernames in your hand history notation.  Keeping players anonymous will ensure analyses are unbiased and non-hurtful.
I am curious...  In the email to the user, do you tell them which compass-direction they were seated in?  If they play multiple games before reviewing, they will surely forget their seat.

Currently, no extra information is sent in the email. I can certainly add this info if people want it (in fact the seats at the table are not distinguished by NSEW so you would need to remember what cards you were dealt to remember your position). I don't know the easiest way to deal with this. Initially I was going to include the first few letters of the player's name, along with the postiion (e.g. "marya" in the south seat would show up as "S-ma"). What do people think of that, is it showing too much? I could include the names of all the players in the email, together with seat positions, maybe at the top of the file, outside of the formatted hand history. Do you think this would cause problems? Once names are included in the file, you do increase the risk of player "humiliation."

I would deliver hand histories with the notation being the only content in the body, and the email title would be like "WoCG: Hand History (North = Marya)" or something.  All other identifying data is currently held within your notation headings (Site, ID, tableid).  I would like to discourage you from including screennames in the notation.

(08-20-2015, 08:36 PM)marya Wrote:  
(08-20-2015, 07:44 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  PlayOK offers hand histories as soon as the previous hand was completed.

Maybe it was not clear, but this is the same way that it works at WoCG. For obvious reasons, hand histories are not available during the play of a hand. You may send them to yourself when the hand scores are shown. Once you receive them, you can check them at Power Pinochle's hand animator.

WoCG has a timeout for gameplay at public tables. If you decide to go check the hands during gameplay, you will get timed out, to your own detriment. In contrast, at private tables, you may pause a game. The assumption is that people who know each other reasonably well are playing at private tables, and they will not abuse the pause feature (it also requires a majority vote). In this case, all players may want to agree to pause the game and check out the hand histories in order to discuss what happened. That's all for the good IMHO.

Oh ok, I misunderstood.  Right, the timers (if applied) would keep the game rolling; this concern is dealt with.  Great, if players want to stop the game after each hand and have a powwow, the data is available.

(08-20-2015, 08:36 PM)marya Wrote:  
(08-20-2015, 07:44 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Hand History Authenticity:
Because players will be submitting the raw notation (as opposed to having it submitted to PP directly from the WoCG server) there is potential for modifying the notation.  While I don't think this is a major concern, it should be mentioned that all submissions may be tampered with.
When developing the Hand Animator for PlayOK, I was working on a way to reference the game via a PlayOK url which held the notation in a .txt file.  This removed the "middle man" and ensured authenticity.  I didn't get around to completing that feature, but I do plan to one day.

TBH I don't see this as a concern. From my point of view, hand histories are there for instruction, not to prove your mad Pinochle skillz. If this becomes an issue, then I'm open to other solutions, possibly hosting hand history files at WoCG, or even sending them to Power Pinochle for storage (if you want to develop an API, I could call it to send this info so that the histories are stored at PP, with no risk of them being tampered with by a middleman). But then, this opens the can of worms about publicly identifiable user names... and whether to include them in hand histories.

Marya

I totally agree with you, it is not a present day concern.  If one day it becomes one, an API is the solution.  We'll cross that bridge if we ever come to it.



p.s. I forgot to mention that hand history posts, in addition to analysis regarding Offense/Defense/Bidding, can also be used for Venting with 100% accuracy.  In the past, I've heard venting/glory stories but because of the emotions involved, I have been skeptical of accuracy.  "We were down like 350 points... my partner was set every time he bid... they were one hand from going out... they got cocky and bid like 200 with double aces and triple pinochle... but ran into my 15-ish card marriage-less trump... we set them, and we went on to win the game... then I went fishing and caught a fish thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis big!

I suppose hand histories could also be used to investigate cases of suspected cheating.
Pure luck can sometimes be confused with cheating, so you can never have 100% certainty, but after collecting several suspicious occurrences where luck is highly improbable you can feel pretty certain.
If something looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and works for Aflac, you may as well consider it a duck.
With such a conclusion, you can simply "dislike" the stupid ducks and refuse to play with them; problem solved!
As a knock-on effect, because cheating players can be peer reviewed, perhaps this fact will act as a preventative measure.
I like it!
Again, remember PP is not a shaming site; not even for players 99.99% proven to be cheaters.  Of course, you may keep your own list, or even share your list with other outside of PP.
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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#5
I just had a thought, and I could use some clarification.

When your players are exporting hand histories via email, are they only able to receive one hand at a time? or can they receive all of the hands at the end of the game? or both?

I hope the answer is both.
The Power Pinochle Hand Animator is written to handle multiple hands as long as there is blank line between each hand history.
I suppose, more commonly, people will only want to review a single hand.
However, some people may want to peruse the whole game without loading individual hands.
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
(08-20-2015, 11:38 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  I just had a thought, and I could use some clarification.

When your players are exporting hand histories via email, are they only able to receive one hand at a time? or can they receive all of the hands at the end of the game? or both?

I hope the answer is both.
The Power Pinochle Hand Animator is written to handle multiple hands as long as there is blank line between each hand history.
I suppose, more commonly, people will only want to review a single hand.
However, some people may want to peruse the whole game without loading individual hands.

I have exported hand histories for games played earlier this week.  When you hit [Shift]+P at the end of each hand, only that hand is exported.

I did load some of the game into the Hand Animator.  It was easy enough (yet slightly inconvenient) to copy each hand from the e-mail into Notepad, then copy several hands (or the full game log) into PP.

---

Marya - one thought I had was that it might be good to have a checkbox in the Pinochle Options dialogue box that, if checked, would automatically send hand histories (and/or full game logs) to the e-mail on file.  There were a few hands where I forgot to hit [Shift]+P and therefore didn't get those specific hand histories, resulting in gaps in the game history.  (It still loaded in Hand Animator, but obviously the scores jumped around.)
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#7
Another consideration....

The poker replayers, that I once used, had the added feature of displaying the player comments as they happened in each phase of the hand.
I omitted this bit from the Hand Animator, because I was designing with PlayOK in mind and PlayOK doesn't export comments.

Is this a desired output? or is it more trouble than it is worth?

I am inclined to believe that it is mostly unimportant, but I am interested in what others might think.

Should conversations be preserved with hand histories?
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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#8
(08-20-2015, 11:46 PM)TigreLXIX Wrote:  
(08-20-2015, 11:38 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  I just had a thought, and I could use some clarification.

When your players are exporting hand histories via email, are they only able to receive one hand at a time? or can they receive all of the hands at the end of the game? or both?

I hope the answer is both.
The Power Pinochle Hand Animator is written to handle multiple hands as long as there is blank line between each hand history.
I suppose, more commonly, people will only want to review a single hand.
However, some people may want to peruse the whole game without loading individual hands.

I have exported hand histories for games played earlier this week.  When you hit [Shift]+P at the end of each hand, only that hand is exported.

I did load some of the game into the Hand Animator.  It was easy enough (yet slightly inconvenient) to copy each hand from the e-mail into Notepad, then copy several hands (or the full game log) into PP.

---

Marya - one thought I had was that it might be good to have a checkbox in the Pinochle Options dialogue box that, if checked, would automatically send hand histories (and/or full game logs) to the e-mail on file.  There were a few hands where I forgot to hit [Shift]+P and therefore didn't get those specific hand histories, resulting in gaps in the game history.  (It still loaded in Hand Animator, but obviously the scores jumped around.)

Great idea about the checkbox in Pinochle Options -- so that you always have completed games emailed to you.  Defaulting to no emails.
With this enabled, a player can stay focused on the game instead of worrying about preserving the hands.

If a player wants to have the previous hand's history before the game is complete, then they can receive an individual hand using the [Shift]+P method.

I have just emailed rakbeater about creating a new subforum.  Please delay posting your hand histories until he has decided how to best structure things.
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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#9
(08-20-2015, 11:54 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Another consideration....

The poker replayers, that I once used, had the added feature of displaying the player comments as they happened in each phase of the hand.
I omitted this bit from the Hand Animator, because I was designing with PlayOK in mind and PlayOK doesn't export comments.

Is this a desired output? or is it more trouble than it is worth?

I am inclined to believe that it is mostly unimportant, but I am interested in what others might think.

Should conversations be preserved with hand histories?

I think it may be beneficial, especially for "training" tables (which don't really exist per se, but with the ability to pause on private tables you can definitely provide feedback on play.  (As a matter of fact, I played a game the other night with Marya and found the pause button very handy.)

During the aforementioned game, Marya said she would export the chat session so she could take the time to digest my feedback...I don't know if there is a way to do this with the click of a button, or if she simply copied and pasted from the chat window, or if she used her Administrator privileges to somehow accomplish this.  At any rate, like I said, it may be helpful but I don't know that I'd want it by default, or for every hand/game.  (Generally the chats are "NH," "GG," "WTG P," and the like - no real value there.)

As I type this, another option comes to mind...perhaps the chats could be stored with the game log (if this is easily accomplished), and the interface on PP could allow turning on or off the chats.  That might be the better way to go.
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#10
(08-21-2015, 12:11 AM)TigreLXIX Wrote:  
(08-20-2015, 11:54 PM)mickmackusa Wrote:  Another consideration....

The poker replayers, that I once used, had the added feature of displaying the player comments as they happened in each phase of the hand.
I omitted this bit from the Hand Animator, because I was designing with PlayOK in mind and PlayOK doesn't export comments.

Is this a desired output? or is it more trouble than it is worth?

I am inclined to believe that it is mostly unimportant, but I am interested in what others might think.

Should conversations be preserved with hand histories?

I think it may be beneficial, especially for "training" tables (which don't really exist per se, but with the ability to pause on private tables you can definitely provide feedback on play.  (As a matter of fact, I played a game the other night with Marya and found the pause button very handy.)

During the aforementioned game, Marya said she would export the chat session so she could take the time to digest my feedback...I don't know if there is a way to do this with the click of a button, or if she simply copied and pasted from the chat window, or if she used her Administrator privileges to somehow accomplish this.  At any rate, like I said, it may be helpful but I don't know that I'd want it by default, or for every hand/game.  (Generally the chats are "NH," "GG," "WTG P," and the like - no real value there.)

As I type this, another option comes to mind...perhaps the chats could be stored with the game log (if this is easily accomplished), and the interface on PP could allow turning on or off the chats.  That might be the better way to go.

IF this is deemed worth it, this will require a bit of consideration about how it would fit into the existing hand history structure.

The PPN 1.0 has all of the bidding lumped into a single string of text; as other values are too.
The Hand Animator performs "Steps" of the hand.
Without being to intrusive to the design, perhaps I could display comments that occurred at any point in that Step, but I don't think I want to be more time-specific than that.
The comments could be bulk packaged at the end of each hand's notation after the HandScores tag.
The Comment tags might use a unique prefix and go something like this (just spitballing this...) : 

Code:
@Deal "N:Good luck everyone"
@Deal "W:Same 2 u"
@Auction01 "S:Classic Horrible Cards, sorry p :("
@Auction02 "E:You guys are in trouble now!"
@Meld "E:Some help you were, p!"
@Play02 "E:Okay, out of Aces, what to do, what to do"
@Play08 "E:Um, this isn't going to plan!"
@Play20 "E:Crappola! Sorry p, my fault."

 
Some character validation/escaping would be necessary so harmful scripts aren't inputted into the animator, and also if a player did two line returns in a comment (causing a blank line in the notation), it wouldn't cause the Hand Animator to assume the conversation was over and start processing the next Hand prematurely.

By all means, let's discuss this further.  My first ideas are seldom the best ones.

Don't forget, just because we can doesn't mean we should.
p.s. For the record, I still have zero development time.  Even if I didn't have the comments viewable in the Hand Animator, the comments could be saved until a future date when I can update the Hand Animator.
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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