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  1. #81  
    Quote Originally Posted by mmeltser View Post
    I personally was more of a fan of the quick glow and go....
    I failed to mention in my post, but of the two versions so far, I like the "glow and go" better, too. HTH.

    Regards,
    Tom
  2.    #82  
    Ok, I'm going to take out the spinning. I have a few other ideas to play with.

    I'll play around with the new game dialog as well. I'm thinking that when the game starts it will resume the previous game automatically, and when you select 'New Game' from the menu, or finish a game you'll get a dialog. The dialog will show a drop down for the game type, which will have the following options:
    Random, Random Easy, Random Medium, Random Hard, Choose Game

    So "Random" will just give you any random game, like "Normal" does in the previous versions. The other 3 will behave like the difficulty selection does now, and "Chose Game" will expose a field to enter a game number. This gets rid of the "Select Game" menu item because the "New Game" menu item does both jobs, and I think it is simpler because the default option is the easiest. Also I can make it remember your previous selection.

    Does that sound like a better approach?
  3. markm's Avatar
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    #83  
    One idea you could play around with is:
    New game -- gives you a new random game
    Difficulty -- sub-menu comes out with easy, medium, hard and gives you a new random game in that setting
    Select game -- does the same thing it does now

    I think this would be closer to the Windows version. Changing difficulty would cause a new game to start in that difficulty. These become more significant if you start keeping stats, then you'll need to keep stats in each difficulty I suppose and ask if a user wants to lose a game they are quitting to start another game. I almost wonder if the difficulty level is worth it.

    In terms of the dialog when the game opens, I'm a fan of it asking if you want to resume a saved game (if there is one) or start a new one. If they won the last game, it should just start a new one. Just my 2 cents.
    Rgds/Mark M.
  4. #84  
    That sounds good. One very minor suggestion: I think you could simplify the names of the difficulty choices (Random, Easy, Medium, Hard) to make it look cleaner, without losing much information. If a new user is interested enough to know whether the card deal in the Easy game is random, they'd want to know the full story about difficulty levels, which I imagine will be in the documentation.

    And one question: If I close the app after winning the game, what do I see when I re-open the app? Would I see the New Game dialog? I guess that's what I'd prefer, rather than having to go into the menu.

    Regards,
    Tom
  5.    #85  
    Beta 1.4.8 is uploading as I type.

    - The spinning aces has been replaced. The background color now fades from white to a light grey and back a few times, and then stops on grey. This makes it easier to find the aces later, and I don't think it is too distracting. Let me know what you think.

    - When you start the game it will resume the previous game. If you had just won a game then it will display the new game dialog. (I haven't tested the behavior after winning a game yet, so I'm not sure that bit works. I'll test that later tonight and fix it if needed.)

    - There is now a single dialog to start a new game. The dialog is MUCH cleaner. It defaults to a "Random" game. If you tap on "Random" then you can switch to "Easy", "Medium", "Hard" or "Select by number". The last option will expose a field to enter a number. It will remember your previous choice as well.



    I'm still open to changing any of this, but so far I think this is the best option. Please try it out and let me know what you think. This avoids adding too many items to the menu (with 'Select Game' you had to scroll to get to 'Help'). This also means that when you win a game that the dialog displayed will default to the same option you chose last time. (If you chose "Select by number" then it will fill out a random number that you can change.)
  6.    #86  
    This didn't make it into the 1.4.8 beta, but I just fixed the bug with the app menu. Now if you click the app menu while the new game dialog is showing it won't break the app menu.
  7. #87  
    Since I'm still at work, I had time to play a quick game to completion.

    After the game had fully auto-finished, and presented me with the New Game dialog, I closed the card. Upon re-opening, it was as though I had an unfinished game to resume; it was the previous game, in its not-quite-auto-finished state. So, as soon as I tapped one card, it auto-finished and presented me with the New Game dialog.

    One other slight bug: I tried closing an unfinished game, and when I re-opened it, the game number was no longer visible in the lower corner.

    Otherwise, I like the New Game dialog a lot! It's still got all the info there, but in a much cleaner way. Good work!

    I also like the persistent shading of the aces. It's just the right amount to make them plenty easy to see, without being too distracting. And it's really straightforward what's going on, unlike a marker over the tableaux (wow, who'da thunk only the French pluralization keeps me from getting a spell check error?) (Of course, "who'da" still gets me a red squiggly line.)

    Regards,
    Tom
  8.    #88  
    I was afraid that would happen if you finished a game and closed the card. I know how to fix it though. The game number bug should be easy to fix as well. I had that working, but seem to have broken it with this last build. I also just noticed that the game number isn't positioned very well in horizontal mode.

    I'm glad you like the new dialog! I'm really happy with the result.

    I may change the highlighting just a bit. I'm thinking that when you move a card to the foundations that I'll highlight the next card for that foundation like the aces when you start. So if you move the ace of hearts to the foundation then the 2 of hearts will strobe and turn grey. So you always know where the next card is at a glance.
  9.    #89  
    Beta 1.4.9 is uploading:

    - Fixes a number of issues with the new game dialog after winning a game
    - Corrects some issues with the game number displayed on the bottom of the screen. It is now aligned much nicer in horizontal mode, and should show up properly when resuming a game.
  10.    #90  
    Oh I almost forgot to mention. If you are running 1.4.9 beta and would like to test winning a game you can select game #-99. A single tap on any card and it will auto play all the cards. This made it a LOT easier to test the logic when you win a game.
  11.    #91  
    Yet another beta update. 1.4.10.

    Now the lowest card in play of each suite is greyed slightly, and will pulse for a few seconds if the lowest card changes. So when the game starts it is easy to find the aces, and then the 2s, 3s etc.

    I think this version is about ready to release. So, with that in mind please report any bugs you can find. I'd like this to be a really solid release.
  12. markm's Avatar
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    #92  
    I'm waiting on 1.4.10 to show up and will run through one more time to see if I can find anything (and to play some Freecell )
    Rgds/Mark M.
  13.    #93  
    What a day... I'm uploading 1.4.11 now. I caused a bug when I added the highlight. I was counting the number of cards that can be moved to a pile incorrectly. It was treating empty tableaus as an empty free cell in that calculation, which isn't correct. Glad I caught that one.
  14.    #94  
    Since the game numbers match up with those used by MS and a few other freecell implementations out there I've been trying the solutions at FreeCell -- General Information and Index of Solutions for a few games to make sure they behave the same. Its pretty cool to see them work correctly. Some of the games (like 617) rely on autoplay, and super moves, so they stress the game pretty heavily. I'm happy to say that every one I've tried has worked perfectly! Woo!

    I'm also really digging the highlight for the lowest card of each suite. I'm amazed at how handy it is.

    So, unless some of you find some bugs for me to fix I'll release this version tomorrow night (then Palm has to review it before it gets into the app catalog, which takes a few days to a week).

    I think the last big thing that I need to add is statistics. So, everyone please give me your input on what you'd like to see for statistics. I think I'll keep a record of each game you play. For each one I'll store the game number, the time you took to complete it, the number of moves, and how many cards remained when you started the next game. Then when you finish a game I can show you how long it took, and how many moves you made, and I can add a statistics screen that shows you some charts and such, and possibly even show you a list of games you've played.
  15. #95  
    Sounds like you already found the bug I was about to report. (In v1.4.10) I noticed that with one open freecell, and one open tableau, I was not able to move a stack of two cards to the open tableau.

    Not sure what to suggest for stats - I'm kind of new to this - so I'll defer to others.

    Will the ace highlighting be made an option? I like it, but I wonder if some might be put off (my wife gave it a "meh"!).

    Otherwise, it looks good to go, to me!

    Regards,
    Tom
  16.    #96  
    haha, I thought it was better than "meh". I can make it optional.
  17. markm's Avatar
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    #97  
    For those Freecell purists out there, I suppose making the shading an option would be nice. I tended to ignore it myself. Unless I hold the phone at the right angle, I can barely notice the shading.

    Other than than, I found it pretty clean. I won the last game and when I ran it this morning, I got the new game prompt as I would hope.

    I went through the variations of backgrounds and think that makes the game a little more fun.

    I did notice if you start a game and exit Freecell without making a move, it prompts you to start a new game when you come back in. I don't think that's an issue personally. If someone doesn't want that then make 1 move and it remembers the game.

    Stats wise, I personally think you don't need to go quite as far as keeping every game. How about overall number of games played, won, lost, percentage, average playing time and a reset to clear stats. Possibly include same stats for the different difficulty levels, but I'm not sure that's critical. I don't play them by number, so I cant tell you if a list of played games by number is critical. I would think it could get long fairly fast for people who really like the game which are the ones most likely to look at stats. I'd get concerned how big the game would get if you add in stats for every games, charting, etc.

    Anyone else out there trying any version of Freecell besides TomJ and I? What do you think about the statistics in the game? You've got a developer willing to implement it the way users want. Now's the time to speak up and support this type of developer. (OK, I'll get off my soapbox )
    Rgds/Mark M.
  18. spare's Avatar
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    #98  
    I am and there are more features then I could have hoped for. Great app and developer.

    btw, does the game tell you when there are no more moves left or not because of the unlimited undo? I find myself taking more risks because I know I won't have to restart the game which I really like.
    Last edited by spare; 05/01/2010 at 11:35 AM.
  19.    #99  
    Quote Originally Posted by spare View Post
    I am and there are more features then I could have hoped for. Great app and developer.

    btw, does the game tell you when there are no more moves left or not because of the unlimited undo? I find myself taking more risks because I know I won't have to restart the game which I really like.
    It doesn't tell you when there are no moves left. I've thought about implementing it, but from what I can tell people don't really like the feature in most freecell implementations. There are a LOT of cases to detect, and if you miss one then people get annoyed that it isn't always right. For instance, you may be able to move some cards, but if you can't actually get any to the foundations then the game might as well be over. There are just a LOT of cases to check for, and some of them are really complex.

    Now that being said, if you'd really like the feature I can look into it a bit more.
  20. #100  
    Quote Originally Posted by minego View Post
    haha, I thought it was better than "meh".
    It is better than "meh"! WAY better! She doesn't know what she's talking about. But, there may be others like her out there....

    If you do make it optional, maybe it could be in 3 steps: none, aces, aces&next. I really like having aces highlighted, but somehow I find aces&next to be a little distracting. I think this is especially (only?) true when there's a mix of aces & next in the tableaus; the "next" distract me from the aces.

    Regards,
    Tom
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