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  1. #121  
    Quote Originally Posted by minego View Post
    The button for the "normal" version of the game is green, and the rest are grey.
    You know, I know you said gray is the standard, but I wonder if it wouldn't look more attractive if you used green and dull green, or something like that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Grace View Post
    Unfortunately the new tap/drag code doesn't make things better for me. Dragging still works OK, but tapping is actually a little harder. The top card in the deck can be dragged around even if it can't be placed anywhere but back on the deck.
    I have a slightly different tap/drag issue. In spider, where the piles of cards are very small, I sometimes have trouble getting it to register than I want to drop some cards on a particular pile. Sometimes it bounces back and forth between the two on either side. The pile to the far right is especially hard, somehow, and I wonder if maybe the hot-spots are designed for right-handed people? (I'm left handed.) It's still far and away the best solitaire out there, but I wonder if that could be improved a little.

    Quote Originally Posted by TomJ View Post
    ...and, a Restart Game button would be nice, if there's room.

    Regards,
    Tom
    Oooh, oooh, and a bookmark button and a jump-back-to-bookmark button? I had those in the solitaire game I used to play on the Treo. (Something out of Russia called "solitaires", or something like that.) That game had the nice feature that the button-bar was configurable. There was a menu somewhere in the options that let you add and remove items from it. (It also included "time" and "battery indicator" among the options, along with a bunch of other stuff I never used. There were a lot of little buttons if you wanted them.)

    How can I download the new beta version? Is it available in Preware?
  2.    #122  
    Quote Originally Posted by mmeltser View Post
    Tried the new beta -- once I figured out you have to drag the cards to make a match, I definitely like pyramid, but definitely has some bugs. I dragged a
    4 onto a 9 and two other cards from the stack matched, but the 9 disappeared and the 4 showed up in its place. Later, I matched that 4 with a 9 and, lo and behold, the 9 was actually under the 4.

    I'll go ahead and enter it the tracker although, at the moment, I don't have a repeatable test case.
    Yeah there is some weirdness with the deck. Currently it uses the same logic as the other stacks so that you can drag a card to the deck. The problem is that when you flip a card it thinks you drug a card there. I have a work around in mind. I'm going to make all the cards in the deck that aren't visible face down, and the check for cards that add up to 13 will ignore cards that are face down.
  3.    #123  
    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    You know, I know you said gray is the standard, but I wonder if it wouldn't look more attractive if you used green and dull green, or something like that?
    I think I'm going to end up completely redoing the choose game screen. I like the screen shots, but with more games being added it has to scroll now, and I don't like that. I think I am just going to do a big list grouped by game type. Each game type will be collapsible, and there will be a "Recently Played" section at the top with the 5 games you've played most recently.

    Doing a list like this also means that you'll be able to search through the list of games by typing a few characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    I have a slightly different tap/drag issue. In spider, where the piles of cards are very small, I sometimes have trouble getting it to register than I want to drop some cards on a particular pile. Sometimes it bounces back and forth between the two on either side. The pile to the far right is especially hard, somehow, and I wonder if maybe the hot-spots are designed for right-handed people? (I'm left handed.) It's still far and away the best solitaire out there, but I wonder if that could be improved a little.
    Yeah it could be improved for spider. I will keep working on it. Spider is tricky because there is just so much on the screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    Oooh, oooh, and a bookmark button and a jump-back-to-bookmark button? I had those in the solitaire game I used to play on the Treo. (Something out of Russia called "solitaires", or something like that.) That game had the nice feature that the button-bar was configurable. There was a menu somewhere in the options that let you add and remove items from it. (It also included "time" and "battery indicator" among the options, along with a bunch of other stuff I never used. There were a lot of little buttons if you wanted them.)
    I'm sure that eventually I'll allow you to customize the buttons on the button bar. For the first version I don't think I'll do anything that complex though. I like the bookmarks idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    How can I download the new beta version? Is it available in Preware?
    Palm USA | Palm webOS Applications | Mobile apps that go further.

    If you click on that link on your phone then it should take you right to the app catalog. If you click on the link from your computer then you can enter your phone number and it will send the link to your phone.
  4. #124  
    Thanks. I found it in Preware this morning, before checking this thread. I tried Pyramid, and found two bugs:

    1) the screen shot for pyramid was blank
    2) when I asked for instructions on how to play pyramid, I got a blank page (same blank page from the "pick version" menu and the help menu)

    Oh, and after I backed out of the blank page, the screen showing minis of all the games had a gap where pyramid used to be, and pyramid and spider were in a column on the lower left of the display.

    Unfortunately, the lack of instructions seems to be reproducible. Since I don't know the rules for this game, I guess I won't test it today. Maybe someone can post them here, and I can try it tomorrow?
    I think I'm going to end up completely redoing the choose game screen. I like the screen shots, but with more games being added it has to scroll now, and I don't like that. I think I am just going to do a big list grouped by game type. Each game type will be collapsible, and there will be a "Recently Played" section at the top with the 5 games you've played most recently.

    Doing a list like this also means that you'll be able to search through the list of games by typing a few characters.
    I like this, but I wonder if you might also leave the screen shots as an option, if that doesn't make it too clumsy. I think people sometimes don't know the name of a favorite solitaire but know what it looks like, and the _first_ time they play this game the pictures might be helpful.

    (I found "gaps" in my book of solitaires by looking at the pictures.)
  5.    #125  
    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    Thanks. I found it in Preware this morning, before checking this thread. I tried Pyramid, and found two bugs:

    1) the screen shot for pyramid was blank
    2) when I asked for instructions on how to play pyramid, I got a blank page (same blank page from the "pick version" menu and the help menu)

    Oh, and after I backed out of the blank page, the screen showing minis of all the games had a gap where pyramid used to be, and pyramid and spider were in a column on the lower left of the display.

    Unfortunately, the lack of instructions seems to be reproducible. Since I don't know the rules for this game, I guess I won't test it today. Maybe someone can post them here, and I can try it tomorrow?
    Both the screen shot and the instructions are missing because I was too lazy. I wanted to get a few people trying pyramid and quickly as I could, so I didn't take the time to create the screenshot and write the instructions. I'll probably post another beta soon with some bug fixes to pyramid, and the screenshot and help.

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    I like this, but I wonder if you might also leave the screen shots as an option, if that doesn't make it too clumsy. I think people sometimes don't know the name of a favorite solitaire but know what it looks like, and the _first_ time they play this game the pictures might be helpful.

    (I found "gaps" in my book of solitaires by looking at the pictures.)
    The screenshots are kinda nice, but they are a bit of a pain to keep up to date. In fact some of the variants should have a different screenshot, like spiderette. I'll keep thinking about it. It would be nice to keep them in some form.
  6. #126  
    Quote Originally Posted by minego View Post
    I think I'm going to end up completely redoing the choose game screen. I like the screen shots, but with more games being added it has to scroll now, and I don't like that.
    Is it possible to allow the user to rearrange the screen shots (games) in the "choose game screen", like apps in the launcher? That might at least solve the scrolling issue, in that any one user will likely only have 6 games or less that they care about, thus not have to scroll once arranged to their liking.

    Also, I look forward to seeing buttons first. And, I really like the idea of a bookmark.

    Concerning the beta: does it write to the existing stats file of the official release? (I would prefer it didn't.)

    Regards,
    Tom
  7.    #127  
    Quote Originally Posted by TomJ View Post
    Is it possible to allow the user to rearrange the screen shots (games) in the "choose game screen", like apps in the launcher? That might at least solve the scrolling issue, in that any one user will likely only have 6 games or less that they care about, thus not have to scroll once arranged to their liking.
    If I keep the screen shots interface then I can add the ability to reorder them. I'm still throwing around ideas though.

    Quote Originally Posted by TomJ View Post
    Also, I look forward to seeing buttons first. And, I really like the idea of a bookmark.

    Concerning the beta: does it write to the existing stats file of the official release? (I would prefer it didn't.)
    The beta is a separate app ID so it has it's own preferences and it's own stats etc. I couldn't touch the stats from the release version even if I wanted to. I used a different app ID so that the beta can be free. Palm doesn't let you change an app from paid to free.
  8.    #128  
    I've just uploaded a new version of the beta. It adds the following:

    - Some fixes for Pyramid
    - If you drag a stack of cards to another stack and there are multiple valid moves then a dialog will now be displayed to let you choose the top card of the stack that should be moved. This applies to all games, so spider and freecell will now show the dialog if you drag multiple cards to an empty tableau.
    - Added Yukon
    - A new game selection screen (don't worry, the old one is still there so I can switch back if people prefer that one). The new screen shows a list of all the game variants, grouped by game type. You can type to filter the list.
    - Recently Played list. The 5 most recently played games are displayed at the top of the list.
  9.    #129  
    Wow, I can't believe it. I post a beta with Yukon (finally) and a completely redone game selection screen, and there isn't a single comment? Wow.

    Ok I guess I didn't post that long ago. Seriously though, I really want to know what people think of the game selection screen. Please give suggestions about what you would prefer.
  10. #130  
    Quote Originally Posted by minego View Post
    Wow, I can't believe it. I post a beta with Yukon (finally) and a completely redone game selection screen, and there isn't a single comment? Wow.
    OK, OK! Geez, is there no rest for the solitaire player?

    Firstly, can you change the name of the beta to something different than the official release? (I think it used to be Solitaire Beta or something, didn't it?)

    Selection Screen:

    Definitely lacks pizazz, but perhaps that can be addressed. Functionally, it definitely works, and it certainly shows you get a lot for your money. I like that the recently played games go to the top of the list. Without this, I'd probably give it a thumbs down.

    As I recall, one issue you were trying to solve is the need to scroll. In this version, you're not really showing that many more game variants in one screen. Something to consider in the old version is to make the screenshots just a little smaller so you can get 9 on the screen at a time. Perhaps put the name of the game on the playing field of the screenshot? Then you don't even have to make the screenshots smaller.

    The new version is nice in that you go directly to your game without having to make a second, game variant selection.

    One problem that may arise with the Recently Played List is the sorting. If I switch between two or three games that I play most, I may not want their order in the list to keep updating.

    That's all I've got for now...may finally have to try this Pyramid game.

    Regards,
    Tom
  11.    #131  
    Quote Originally Posted by TomJ View Post
    OK, OK! Geez, is there no rest for the solitaire player?

    Firstly, can you change the name of the beta to something different than the official release? (I think it used to be Solitaire Beta or something, didn't it?)
    It should still say "Solitaire Collection Beta"... I don't know why it wouldn't....

    Quote Originally Posted by TomJ View Post
    Selection Screen:

    Definitely lacks pizazz, but perhaps that can be addressed. Functionally, it definitely works, and it certainly shows you get a lot for your money. I like that the recently played games go to the top of the list. Without this, I'd probably give it a thumbs down.
    Yeah you are right. There is much less pizazz.... I'm going to keep thinking about it. One possible solution would be to have 2 views for the screen, but I'm not in love with that idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by TomJ View Post
    As I recall, one issue you were trying to solve is the need to scroll. In this version, you're not really showing that many more game variants in one screen. Something to consider in the old version is to make the screenshots just a little smaller so you can get 9 on the screen at a time. Perhaps put the name of the game on the playing field of the screenshot? Then you don't even have to make the screenshots smaller.
    Yeah I dislike the scrolling.... but I think the recently played list helps a lot there.

    I've thought about making the screenshots smaller, but I'm worried that they aren't clear enough and making them smaller won't help...

    Quote Originally Posted by TomJ View Post
    The new version is nice in that you go directly to your game without having to make a second, game variant selection.

    One problem that may arise with the Recently Played List is the sorting. If I switch between two or three games that I play most, I may not want their order in the list to keep updating.

    That's all I've got for now...may finally have to try this Pyramid game.
    Yeah I wonder how annoying the sorting would be in the long run. Also keep in mind that if you play a few games frequently you can still add them directly to the launcher.
  12. #132  
    Okay, I tried it, too. But I don't know the rules of Yukon, so I pulled a few cards there and quit.

    Selection Screen: Agree that it lacks pizazz. It deems functional enough, though. Instead of tapping twice I have to scroll and tap, but I guess the last-5 means in practice I'll usually just tap. I don't see any value in the pre-set "favorites" at the top. And I agree about the disorientation of having the order of the "last 5" change. How about, if you go with this sort of layout, you have a section for "favorites" that is user-settable, through a menu? So you can start with the same 5 default favorites, but there's a menu somewhere where you can check and uncheck items to put them in the favorites section at the top. (In addition to their natural place by category.)

    It would be nice if users could also select the order of "favorites". I can think of 3 ways of doing that:
    1) have it depend on the order in which you click on them in the "select favorites" menu. (in this case, feedback such as a little number showing where on the list it would be would be helpful)
    2) in the "select favorites" menu, have people click AND TYPE A NUMBER instead of just clicking. Maybe an awkward interface, but explicit.
    3) the favorites section defaults to some order (alphabetic, the order in the big list, whatever) but when you are in that menu, you can change the order of the favorites part by grabbing and dragging bars. This is sort of the Pre-style way to do it, although it's non-obvious. It would be nice if a note in the help, or at the bottom of the "select favorites" page, mentioned the option, but perhaps not needed, since a lot of other stuff works that way.

    Menu when there's a choice:
    I know I sort of asked for this feature, and I think I even came up with a situation where I might need it in Spider, but this implementation seems slow and a little clumsy. Usually I do just want to move as much as legal, and that's become tedious. Maybe a double-tap (or something) brings up the "move just some" menu? Or and alt-tap of some sort? (Is there an alt-tap in webOS?)

    Smarter Defaults:
    When you tap on a card it gets played into a default space. In Spider, the default picked by the computer is often not my first choice. In selecting among spaces to move to (by default, after a tap) I think the choice should be:
    1) Onto another stack with the same suit
    2) Onto another stack with mismatched suit
    3) Onto an open space
    This would significantly increase the percentage of time I could just tap instead of having to drag.

    Selecting the left-most of two otherwise equivalent options is fine as a tie breaker.

    Bug in Beta version:

    I was playing 2-suited spider game #642583. There were 50 cards left to deal out. When I tapped on the pile to deal them, they were all dealt to the left-most pile.

    This is reproducible in the sense that I can undo it and redo it. I have not tried restarting the game, as I wanted to retain whatever information I could get out of this one in case that is helpful. Let me know if there's any more info I can give you to debug this. (I rarely check this board at work, however.)
  13.    #133  
    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    Okay, I tried it, too. But I don't know the rules of Yukon, so I pulled a few cards there and quit.
    I'll try to write the help pages for Yukon and Pyramid as soon as I can.

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    Selection Screen: Agree that it lacks pizazz. It deems functional enough, though. Instead of tapping twice I have to scroll and tap, but I guess the last-5 means in practice I'll usually just tap. I don't see any value in the pre-set "favorites" at the top. And I agree about the disorientation of having the order of the "last 5" change. How about, if you go with this sort of layout, you have a section for "favorites" that is user-settable, through a menu? So you can start with the same 5 default favorites, but there's a menu somewhere where you can check and uncheck items to put them in the favorites section at the top. (In addition to their natural place by category.)
    Yeah I'm still torn. I'm going to keep playing with a few ideas. The old interface is still in the code, and I think I'll use that for the next non-beta release.

    One idea I've had is to allow you to re-order the recently played items (or swipe them to remove them). I'd preserve your order, but if you play another game then it would replace one of the items on the list. Even if I don't show them in order I can keep track of the order they where played so that I remove the right one.

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    It would be nice if users could also select the order of "favorites". I can think of 3 ways of doing that:
    1) have it depend on the order in which you click on them in the "select favorites" menu. (in this case, feedback such as a little number showing where on the list it would be would be helpful)
    2) in the "select favorites" menu, have people click AND TYPE A NUMBER instead of just clicking. Maybe an awkward interface, but explicit.
    3) the favorites section defaults to some order (alphabetic, the order in the big list, whatever) but when you are in that menu, you can change the order of the favorites part by grabbing and dragging bars. This is sort of the Pre-style way to do it, although it's non-obvious. It would be nice if a note in the help, or at the bottom of the "select favorites" page, mentioned the option, but perhaps not needed, since a lot of other stuff works that way.
    I'd prefer to have something more automatic. One other possibility is to show a grey star to the left of each game, and if you tap that it turns yellow, and adds that game to the "favorites" list, which stays at the top.

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    Menu when there's a choice: I know I sort of asked for this feature, and I think I even came up with a situation where I might need it in Spider, but this implementation seems slow and a little clumsy. Usually I do just want to move as much as legal, and that's become tedious. Maybe a double-tap (or something) brings up the "move just some" menu? Or and alt-tap of some sort? (Is there an alt-tap in webOS?)
    I can detect if you are touching the gesture area when you start the drag. (I might be able to detect it when you let go, I'm not sure though.)

    I see your point about the dialog, but at the same time in some cases it really is important, and I'm worried that if I just do gesture+tap then users won't know how to do that. Even if I put it in the help, a lot of users won't read the help.

    So, I think I have a compromise. The first time you drag a stack of cards that has multiple possible moves it will show the dialog, but I'll add a drop down option to the bottom of the dialog with 2 options: "Always show this dialog", and "Only show with gesture+tap".

    I think showing the dialog at least once with the option is enough to educate users about how to do it, and shouldn't be too annoying.

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    Smarter Defaults:When you tap on a card it gets played into a default space. In Spider, the default picked by the computer is often not my first choice. In selecting among spaces to move to (by default, after a tap) I think the choice should be:
    1) Onto another stack with the same suit
    2) Onto another stack with mismatched suit
    3) Onto an open space
    This would significantly increase the percentage of time I could just tap instead of having to drag.

    Selecting the left-most of two otherwise equivalent options is fine as a tie breaker.
    Very good ideas. I'll update the autoplay in spider.

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    Bug in Beta version:
    I was playing 2-suited spider game #642583. There were 50 cards left to deal out. When I tapped on the pile to deal them, they were all dealt to the left-most pile.

    This is reproducible in the sense that I can undo it and redo it. I have not tried restarting the game, as I wanted to retain whatever information I could get out of this one in case that is helpful. Let me know if there's any more info I can give you to debug this. (I rarely check this board at work, however.)
    I saw this bug myself last night, and fixed it. The fix will be in the next beta update.
  14. #134  
    Quote Originally Posted by minego View Post
    I'd prefer to have something more automatic. One other possibility is to show a grey star to the left of each game, and if you tap that it turns yellow, and adds that game to the "favorites" list, which stays at the top.
    I like this more than "last played". And you don't have to have any arbitrary limit on how many "favorites" someone selects, and you could allow users to drag the bars around within the favorites section to re-order them, like the interface in the "comics" app.
  15.    #135  
    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    I like this more than "last played". And you don't have to have any arbitrary limit on how many "favorites" someone selects, and you could allow users to drag the bars around within the favorites section to re-order them, like the interface in the "comics" app.
    Yeah that is exactly what I was thinking. I may default a few of the most popular games there, and the user can turn those off if they want.
  16.    #136  
    Yesterday Palm announced that they are no longer going to charge the $50 fee to submit an app. Because of this I am now considering a change to how I put the games in the App Catalog.

    I'm tempted now to release many different versions of the app, each with one set of games. So, one app for Spider, one for Klondike, one for Canfield, one for Pyramid etc. I would still sell the full version, and each of these would be half the price of the full version.

    The first time you launch the app I would display the game list and let you choose a variant. Then on subsequent launches I would go directly to the last variant, and if you want to choose a different one you would have to choose "Choose Game" from the menu. I would also allow adding variants to the launcher.

    What do you guys think? Is this a good idea, or a horrible idea? Freecell will remain free as it is now, but it will have the other games as an upsell. I won't try to upsell users who paid for a game though.

    This won't effect the full version at all. I'll continue to sell and update it just as I have.

    I would like to provide a discount on the full version to people who have bought one of the others, but I don't think the App Catalog allows that. I'll ask on the developer forums though.
  17. #137  
    There seems to be a big bug in Spiderette: the entire deck gets played onto the first card.


    edit: Oh, sorry, I guess that's the same bug reported above.


    With regard to your question about multiple free games, my gut feeling is that it's too much like app spam. Maybe other developers are eager to do that, but it leaves a bad impression for a lot of us. I would prefer something like SolFree vs. Solebon: have only a sampling of games in the free app vs. all of them in the paid version.
  18. markm's Avatar
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    #138  
    Yeah, while I don't want to take money out of your pocket, I agree with Dr G that I think having the full blown app and the free version is the way I'd go.
    Rgds/Mark M.
  19.    #139  
    My thought was more that some people would not want to pay $2.00 when they only want one game. I actually think that I might make less doing this, because people that might have bought the full version may buy the cheaper version.

    So I think I'll leave things as they are then. I really don't want to annoy people with this.
  20. #140  
    Quote Originally Posted by minego View Post
    It should still say "Solitaire Collection Beta"... I don't know why it wouldn't....
    The icon in the launcher just shows "Solitaire Collection", so it looks exactly like the official release.


    Quote Originally Posted by minego View Post
    I've thought about making the screenshots smaller, but I'm worried that they aren't clear enough and making them smaller won't help...
    To clarify what I meant: It appears that you could keep the screenshots the same size. By moving the game names onto the screenshot itself, you could free up enough room to get nine on one screen. Just an idea....

    I tend to agree with the others about keeping the two apps as they are now. I don't think your price point seems too high, even for someone that only wants one game. On the contrary, it really looks like quite a good value, compared to other apps out there. And, I think folks would be very likely to consider that they may eventually play one or more of the other games when making their purchase.

    Regards,
    Tom
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