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  1.    #141  
    I'm getting closer to having a beta for the new game. I'm hoping to put it up in the next few days. I think I'll do an open beta this time around. The game will have a "BETA" banner across the corner, and will expire after a few days. I'll update frequently so that the expiration won't be a problem, and will force you to stay up to date.

    I'll post the link here when it is ready.
  2.    #142  
    http://developer.palm.com/appredirec....solitairebeta

    I've just uploaded it so it may not be available to download for a few minutes. Like I said earlier this is a very early beta. Klondike, Freecell and Spider are all working. I expect some quirks and I know that there are missing features. For example I don't have preview images for any game except freecell. (If anyone wants to create some images I'd appreciate the help. Otherwise I'll get them in as soon as I can.)

    Yukon and Spiderette are not enabled in this build, but they should be in the next. This build will expire on the 17th, so I'll make sure to update before then.

    There are some missing features as well. For example I'm not doing scoring correctly for klondike right now, and there is no help. (Once again if anyone feels like writing some help documents about how to play the various types of solitaire I'd really appreciate the help.)

    This is an open beta. Feel free to give the link to anyone. I just ask that anyone trying the beta be willing to give me feedback and bug reports.

    Thanks and enjoy!
  3. #143  
    yay! I was the first to download the Beta from the feed. Looks very good. I love the way the screen dims to show the valid move when dragging cards.

    I hope you do very well with this app. I know I'll buy it!
    Palm history: II, IIIc, Kyocera 7135, Treo 650, Centro, Pre, FrankenPre+, (legit) Pre+ & TouchPad.
  4. markm's Avatar
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    #144  
    Very nice. Tried Spider. I like the basic play but ran into issues if the columns get longer than the screen. I couldn't see what cards were there nor move cards to the end. Not sure I have a great solution in mind. Also discovered that itis not keeping statistics and the stats screen that comes up after playing Spider is labeled Klondike statistics. I'm not certain what elements of autopay you plan to put in Spider, but I'd vote for completed stacks automatically moving up.

    Also, on the deal screen that comes up after you select a game -- should you consider a cancel button or a choose game button so if they decide that wasn't what they wanted there's a way to get back without dealing? Finally, I was unable to get any of the Klondikes to play. Am I missing something?
    Last edited by mmeltser; 05/13/2010 at 07:52 AM. Reason: Added some additional Spider feedback after another game :-)
    Rgds/Mark M.
  5.    #145  
    Quote Originally Posted by mmeltser View Post
    Very nice. Tried Spider. I like the basic play but ran into issues if the columns get longer than the screen. I couldn't see what cards were there nor move cards to the end. Not sure I have a great solution in mind. Also discovered that itis not keeping statistics and the stats screen that comes up after playing Spider is labeled Klondike statistics. I'm not certain what elements of autopay you plan to put in Spider, but I'd vote for completed stacks automatically moving up.

    Also, on the deal screen that comes up after you select a game -- should you consider a cancel button or a choose game button so if they decide that wasn't what they wanted there's a way to get back without dealing? Finally, I was unable to get any of the Klondikes to play. Am I missing something?
    I'm working on the really tall stacks for spider. It is a tricky one. I may just end up letting the screen scroll.

    I didn't realize that the stats where broken, or mislabeled. Thanks for the heads up. I'm sure it is an easy fix. I plan to move completed stacks automatically. I just haven't figured out how I'd like to animate it. I'll try to get that into the next update.

    I like the idea of a "Choose Game" button on the deal screen. If you just start a game and change your mind, or if you win a game and don't want to start another then it would be very nice to go back to the game selection screen. I may change the wording to "Change Game" though. Thanks for the good idea.

    The klondikes wouldn't start at all? Strange. I'll take a look.
  6.    #146  
    Oops, yeah it seems that I broke klondike right before putting the beta up. It was a tiny little bug. I'll post a new version in a few minutes that fixes that.
  7.    #147  
    Ok 0.1.1 is being uploaded right now. Klondike should now work, you can now scroll in spider and the new deal dialog now has a button to go back to the game selection screen.

    Please let me know how you like the change to spider. I'm happy to keep changing it if needed.
  8.    #148  
    Ok 0.1.2 is being uploaded right now. It includes all the fixes in 0.1.1 and fixes statistics.
  9. #149  
    Who's got time for Klondike?! The new version of freecell is out!

    (If you start a new thread for the solitaire pack you might attract more eyes.)

    I'm liking the timer pause in freecell already. It appears it doesn't start until the first card play, too. I was wishing I had mentioned that earlier, so I was glad to see it.

    I was also glad to see that the new version didn't pull in stats from the beta. I think it did pull in the last dealt game from the beta, though, as it didn't show a game number. After winning that game, I reset stats so as not to have an undefined game # included. Not sure if this will be an issue for folks just updating from the last official release.

    Looks good! And, I'll be downloading the collection beta shortly.

    Regards,
    Tom
  10. #150  
    There appears to be a timer bug in freecell 1.5. As I was finishing a game, I noticed that the timer at the bottom of the screen was still reading zero. When I finished up the game, the "You won" dialog showed nothing for the time, no zero or anything, just something like "you finished in with XX moves" or something.

    Also, the stat screen shows 00:00 for that game, but still reports the previous (real) best game time as my best time.

    Let me know if you need more info.

    Regards,
    Tom
  11.    #151  
    Quote Originally Posted by TomJ View Post
    There appears to be a timer bug in freecell 1.5. As I was finishing a game, I noticed that the timer at the bottom of the screen was still reading zero. When I finished up the game, the "You won" dialog showed nothing for the time, no zero or anything, just something like "you finished in with XX moves" or something.

    Also, the stat screen shows 00:00 for that game, but still reports the previous (real) best game time as my best time.

    Let me know if you need more info.

    Regards,
    Tom
    Odd, there must be some case where the timer doesn't get started. Please let me know if you can work out exactly how to reproduce it. I'll try to cause it as well.

    When the beta is a little further along I'm going to start a new thread for it. I'd like to get a few of the quirks worked out with a smaller group of testers first.
  12. #152  
    Quote Originally Posted by minego View Post
    Odd, there must be some case where the timer doesn't get started. Please let me know if you can work out exactly how to reproduce it. I'll try to cause it as well.
    It happened again. I had a new game dealt, but before starting the game, I minimized to card view. When I pulled it back up and started the game, the timer stayed at zero. Then, I closed the card, and when I restarted the app, the timer started from zero.

    Quote Originally Posted by minego View Post
    When the beta is a little further along I'm going to start a new thread for it. I'd like to get a few of the quirks worked out with a smaller group of testers first.
    Good idea!

    Regards,
    Tom
  13.    #153  
    Quote Originally Posted by TomJ View Post
    It happened again. I had a new game dealt, but before starting the game, I minimized to card view. When I pulled it back up and started the game, the timer stayed at zero. Then, I closed the card, and when I restarted the app, the timer started from zero.
    Interesting. I just tried that with my latest build of freecell (Which has been updated slightly from 1.5) and it seems that I've fixed it, but I'm not sure you'll like the change.

    It now starts the timer as soon as you deal the game, which seems to resolve the problem. Personally I like starting the timer right away, because I spend a fair amount of time staring at the screen right after a deal and I don't know that it is really fair to not count that time.... What do you think?
  14. #154  
    You're right, the timer really should start right away for that reason. I liked that it didn't for other reasons that may not pertain any more if the timer pauses correctly upon opening the menu, or minimizing to card view, etc. So, no problems with me.

    Regards,
    Tom
  15.    #155  
    Ok I'm happy with the behavior then. It should match the behavior in the solitaire beta.

    The next update to the solitaire beta (probably later tonight) will also include a nice little plus for freecell fans. It now includes 6 variants of freecell (FreeCell, Relaxed FreeCell, Baker's Game, ForeCell, Challenge FreeCell and Super Challenge FreeCell).

    My plan is to release an updated version of freecell based on the solitaire code base with just the freecell variants enabled. The rest of the games will still be on the game selection screen, and tapping on one will show a description of the game and let you go to the app catalog to buy the full game. Freecell will remain free, and the freecell variants fill nearly the entire screen, so I don't expect it to be too annoying to those who don't want to pay.

    I'm also working with a good friend who is a bit more artistically inclined than I am to make the cards look a bit nicer. I'm not sure how well that will turn out yet, but I'm optimistic. You can also expect the list of games included to grow. I intend to add as many as I can.
  16.    #156  
    So while working on this game I've spent a lot of time reading up on solitaire, and trying out various different games on my desktop etc. I just tried golf for the first time. I love it!

    I've added 3 types of golf to the solitaire collection (It took me all of 20 minutes to write. It has been by far the simplest so far). The next beta update will include Golf, Relaxed Golf and Dead King Golf. It is really nice for a quick game because you can play it entirely by tapping.

    Next on the list are Yukon (should be pretty easy), CanField (a bit harder) and Spiderette (easy). I also need to do something about the game selection screen. It is getting far too big, and there is no way that I'm going to get screen shots for all of those games.... I mean I can take screen shots but many of them will look just the same. Maybe I'll do one image for each type of game, and then to the side of that have a list of all of the variants and let you click on one.

    I've also been thinking that when you select a game the new deal dialog should have a "How to Play" button (and let you access that from the menu later as well).
  17. markm's Avatar
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    #157  
    I like your idea of a screen shot per game rather than per variety of each gane. Not sure what is possible and would look nice. Could you have a menu that pops up when you click the screen shot that has the varieties as well as the How to play link? It would be nice if the How to play included a description of what the differences were between all the variations within a game. This way you can keep the new game dialog from getting too busy. Just one approach to consider.
    Rgds/Mark M.
  18. #158  
    I'll play devil's advocate -- I think for a given game (Klondike, Freecell, etc.), people will pick a variant they like, and stick with it. So, if the screen is taken up with a lot of variants they don't care about, they may find it annoying. And I'd rather see all the other game options, even if they're grayed out because I haven't bought them. (Can you fill the screen first with apps the person has purchased, and have the grayed out ones come last?)

    When a user first picks a game (first time ever), perhaps they can be given a choice of the variants, but once a choice is made I think the app should remember it and not ask again. When the user wants to play a different variant, they can choose it in the menu of that game.

    That's all based on my first assumption that people pick a variant and stick with it. Is that true?

    Regards,
    Tom
    p.s. Played a grand total of one game of Klondike -- looking good. VERY minor comments - the un-turned over cards could be stacked tighter to save room. And when the flip cards (I really need to learn the terms) are flipped back to face down, you might as well deal a card (or three) from the top right away.
  19. spare's Avatar
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    #159  
    The scrolling in spider doesn't make moving cards to a long stack easier yet.

    Also, smart autoplay doesn't work or I don't know how to use it. In windows spider, you can click the bottom center square to highlight available moves. Would really like that feature.

    Not as important is being able to see how many face down stacks I have left. Don't really care to see how many face up stacks are around. And of course, automatically putting away face up stacks would be nice. Thanks.
  20.    #160  
    Quote Originally Posted by spare View Post
    The scrolling in spider doesn't make moving cards to a long stack easier yet.

    Also, smart autoplay doesn't work or I don't know how to use it. In windows spider, you can click the bottom center square to highlight available moves. Would really like that feature.

    Not as important is being able to see how many face down stacks I have left. Don't really care to see how many face up stacks are around. And of course, automatically putting away face up stacks would be nice. Thanks.
    Yeah spider needs work. I don't have a windows box so I haven't tried the windows version. I do have a VM I can start, so I'll try it out.

    I like the suggestion for the status text. That is easy to update. I'll let you know when I have a version to post that is a little easier for spider.
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