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Work in Progress: SDL Mille - Mille Bornes for webOS
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Old 07/04/2010, 03:49 PM   #21 (permalink)
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One of the trickier things for me was figuring out which card was which. Once I figured that out, the game was easy to play. I was thinking about posting something to show each card and identify it on this thread. I even downloaded your card images from the GIT repository. But then I realized that to display them I would have to upload them someplace where I could link the IMG into a post. I didn't think I had the right to store your images someplace else so I had to give this idea up.

I had been thinking of putting all the cards into one view with text to identify their purpose. That would help get new people up to speed faster. I was thinking of hazards in one column, remedies in column 2, and safeties in column 3 (to show how they relate to each other. Then distance cards could appear below that.

If you have time, I might suggest you think about adding that to your instructions.

Still playing and having fun. Hope you get time to do more.
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Old 07/05/2010, 01:40 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Thank you for all the feedback, michael05! I agree with all of your points. I have taken a couple of weeks off from development due to illness and vacation, but my top priority is starting new games without exiting.

The card design is based on the (to my knowledge) most popular card version of the game. But I realize that it must be difficult for users coming from other decks, and especially users who have only played digital versions of the game. I will definitely add some guidance there.

The colors really benefit me. I got the idea from MilleCE (now known as Right of Way). What I didn't like about their implementation were the dark colors and low contrast. The status of opponents is crucial information, and can be quite frustrating when missed. I will create options for lower contrast and to disable color-coding entirely.

Play on!
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Old 07/05/2010, 07:08 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by michael05 View Post
I know this is an alpha and it will be a while before this app is done. But if you have a priority list, the two biggest annoyances for me are that you have to restart the app for each new game and that there's no score sheet that shows how your cards add up after each game.
I agree with these as the top two. I hadn't bothered to mention them before since I figured these were already part of your plans for the app. It's fun to see the point breakdown after each hand. A running score so you can play multiple hands for a full "first to 5000" game would be my third.

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Originally Posted by dallashigh View Post
The colors really benefit me. I got the idea from MilleCE (now known as Right of Way). What I didn't like about their implementation were the dark colors and low contrast. The status of opponents is crucial information, and can be quite frustrating when missed. I will create options for lower contrast and to disable color-coding entirely.
Yes, once I got used to this I really like it and think it adds to the game.

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Originally Posted by dallashigh View Post
The card design is based on the (to my knowledge) most popular card version of the game. But I realize that it must be difficult for users coming from other decks, and especially users who have only played digital versions of the game. I will definitely add some guidance there.
The key Aha! moment for me was realizing the color codes on the cards themselves--if you make any kind of guide it might be helpful to draw attention to these for new users: hazards, remedies, and safeties. Anything to make the last stand out more might be cool, just because they're the most important cards of the game.

Here's the version I grew up playing. While it may not lend itself as well to the available resolution on a small screen, the one thing it did really well was to make the safeties stand out from the rest.




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Old 07/07/2010, 08:43 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I agree with these as the top two. I hadn't bothered to mention them before since I figured these were already part of your plans for the app. It's fun to see the point breakdown after each hand. A running score so you can play multiple hands for a full "first to 5000" game would be my third.
I agree with this ordering, and that's what I will follow. See the next post for alpha2, which allows you to start a new game by clicking anywhere on the score screen. To add a fourth, I think trip extensions will be the focus after numbers 2 and 3 are knocked out.

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The key Aha! moment for me was realizing the color codes on the cards themselves--if you make any kind of guide it might be helpful to draw attention to these for new users: hazards, remedies, and safeties. Anything to make the last stand out more might be cool, just because they're the most important cards of the game. ... the version I grew up playing. While it may not lend itself as well to the available resolution on a small screen, the one thing it did really well was to make the safeties stand out from the rest.
Thanks, that is good advice. I will play with the safeties and see if I can make them stand out more. Perhaps a different background color and wider bands.

By the way, michael05, all game graphics fall under the GPL license, so modifying and posting them in this thread is OK. They can be posted elsewhere as well, according to the terms of the license.
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Old 07/07/2010, 08:44 PM   #25 (permalink)
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alpha2

The second alpha release is here, allowing you to start a new game at the end of the hand just by tapping anywhere on the screen. The IPK can be downloaded here. Preware will be a bit longer; I have yet to sink my teeth into that task.
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Last edited by dallashigh; 07/20/2010 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 07/08/2010, 02:56 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Glad to see you back, dallashigh. I was a bit worried with your slow response and was a bit afraid we might have lost the only guy working on mille bornes. But I know how it goes. For most people, this type of thing has to be a hobby that doesn't take top priority. Real life has to interfere.

If I was selfish, I'd say don't worry about Preware, after all, *I* can still download updates. But the reality is that more people are likely to plug into this if its in Preware, so it's probably a good thing to figure that out when you have time. A lot of stuff starts out beta in Preware so this would fit in OK I think.

And I also recommend you put in one of those donate buttons on the first post like some other apps I've seen. I know its a *little* early at this point, but for those of us real mille bornes fan-boy's... (is fan-boy a bad word? originally i left out the dash and it replaced it with asterisks)

Can't tell you how much I like being able to click to restart!
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Old 07/08/2010, 05:16 PM   #27 (permalink)
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great i like mille bornes, i'h a version for my Palm Treo before...
i would like to test it, i try to install it on my Pre
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Old 07/08/2010, 08:44 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Again, good points michael05. I have gone ahead and submitted the latest IPK to the PreCentral homebrew feed. Hopefully, it will be pushed within 24 hours. I have also updated the first post with a contribution link. Thank you for your interest and ideas!
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Old 07/08/2010, 10:39 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Nice, I like this.

I'm not sure I got each card figured out - if you have a chart telling what the non-mileage cards are, that would help.

This is great! Thanks!
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Old 07/09/2010, 04:48 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I don't have a chart yet, but I will try to explain it. The hazard cards have red bands, remedies green, and safeties blue.

The green cars go together, the red cars go together and their safety is the steering wheel with a hand on it. The gas nozzles go together, and their safety is a blue fuel truck. The hands are speed limit cards, and the Right of Way safety is a fire truck.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07/14/2010, 09:48 PM   #31 (permalink)
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alpha3

The third alpha release is now available, featuring a detailed scoring break-down at the end of each hand. Expect the next release to feature games to 5,000 points.

I don't know why it's not in Preware yet. I've gone ahead and re-submitted it using the alpha3 IPK. Hopefully it won't be much longer. *Update: in Preware now!

The alpha3 IPK is here, and has also been attached to this post.
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Old 07/19/2010, 04:41 PM   #32 (permalink)
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The next release should be out by Wednesday. It will feature full games to 5,000 points as promised, and will also include Android support. I know that doesn't mean much to most of you, but it will help maintain my interest in the game since the EVO is my daily driver now. The more often I'm able to play the game, the more incentive I'll have to make it better.
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Old 07/20/2010, 05:46 PM   #33 (permalink)
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alpha4

The fourth alpha is now available! Games now go up to 5,000 points. It's a lot more exciting with multiple rounds. The scoring screen has also been tweaked to include running totals.

I've found myself tapping the screen during that split second after the scores pop up, which closes the scoring screen and starts a new game before I get a chance to see it. So I've inserted a one-second delay after the scoring screen appears. During that moment, all touch input is ignored.

You may download the IPK from my server, or attached to this post. It has also been submitted to Preware.

As mentioned, this version also has Android support. For those of you who may be interested in downloading the Android package, please visit the wiki page.
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Old 07/20/2010, 09:16 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Absolutely love this game. It seems very well done so far - very happy this has been created for the Pre.

The cards are fine once you know what they are, but they're a bit confusing at first even having played the game before. A page with instructions/images for it would help, though I wonder if there isn't a good way to work in a zoom/larger display after you select a card or something?

Aside from that, the only thing I've noticed is once or twice the status didn't change from red back to green when the AI had played a repair card/was in "Go" state again due to safeties. At least, I think that's what happened... I wasn't paying enough attention to be sure what caused it.
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Old 07/20/2010, 11:49 PM   #35 (permalink)
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i love this card game, was introduced to it as an 11 yr old as a b-day present, and still have the same deck of cards 30 yrs later that i play with my kids! i've had versions for palm os and windows mobile, i will try this one out and help test as much as i can!!
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Old 07/21/2010, 10:39 PM   #36 (permalink)
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The cards are fine once you know what they are, but they're a bit confusing at first even having played the game before. A page with instructions/images for it would help, though I wonder if there isn't a good way to work in a zoom/larger display after you select a card or something?
In the next release, I'll include a page that explains the cards. Zooming is definitely something worth considering, but it would be a pretty substantial undertaking in terms of programming.

Quote:
Aside from that, the only thing I've noticed is once or twice the status didn't change from red back to green when the AI had played a repair card/was in "Go" state again due to safeties. At least, I think that's what happened... I wasn't paying enough attention to be sure what caused it.
I haven't experienced this personally, but I will review the code and see if I spot any bugs. I'll also keep an ear out for more reports.

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i love this card game, ... will try this one out and help test as much as i can!!
Thank you!
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Old 07/23/2010, 04:05 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I just want to post a note of encouragement. I've been playing this game almost non-stop since it came out in PreWare, and I think it rocks!

Haven't noticed any bugs. The dead zone on the cards was unexpected and can get a titch annoying, considering there's visual feedback showing which card you picked, so it's easy to switch to the correct card if the wrong one gets selected.

I _really_ appreciate the two-step turn process, where you first select a card, then choose what to do with it. On my Treo, I loved playing Rally 5000, but one annoyance with it was that it would just automatically play or discard whatever card you selected. It made the gameplay a bit faster, but there are plenty of times that I want to discard a card that I could play. Thanks for letting us have that option.

Can't wait to see extended trips!
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Old 07/25/2010, 08:26 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Thanks, zelmo. I put a lot of thought into the interface, which may not come through since it's so simple. It's good to hear that it is appreciated.

I just finished up the latest version, only to discover that it lags like crazy on the Pre. I fixed a bug, and the fix I implemented seems to have slowed things down significantly. I already know how to fix the problem, but it will probably be another day or two before I get it coded, built, and tested.

By the way, the bug I fixed was this: if you discard the same card that is already on the discard pile, it will still appear in your hand until the computer makes a move. I'm sure some of you have noticed this bug, and probably assumed it was lag. It's actually because the empty card graphic is transparent, and if the background does not get re-drawn, your discarded card does not get drawn over, and it looks like it's still there.

Anyways, look for the next release within the next few days.
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Old 07/27/2010, 10:59 AM   #39 (permalink)
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I just stumbled upon this in the ap catalog and love it! Looking forward to when extension is added though I'm sure that's a difficult task to check-off.

No real issues/critiques except the very initial figuring out which cards go to which, which I agree might go well in a table in the Learning page to help out new people. other than that, fantastic!
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Old 07/27/2010, 01:32 PM   #40 (permalink)
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First of all, thanks for this massive undertaking! It's been so long since I last played Mille Bornes, and this is a great implementation of it (especially for an alpha version). Here are my thoughts:
  • The high-contrast appearance was pretty jarring at first, but over time it became second-nature (and like you've mentioned, it makes it very obvious what state each player is in). I guess we've all been spoiled by the kind of graphical polish the Pre, iPhone, etc. bring to the table. I wonder if something more subtle could be offered... I'm thinking of the colours used in webOS' own messaging app, where there's a gradient to the side that differentiates each person. Then you could have one big solid table graphic as your background. I migh try making a mockup of this when I get home.
  • The cards are clear and very readable... but make no sense if you're unfamiliar with the game itself. :-) I'm not sure if there's any way to substantially improve this... you just really need to know the rules going in. I liked the idea posed earlier about zooming in on the selected card. Also, maybe there could be a line of text at the bottom of the screen with a quick description of the selected card?
  • The gameplay itself seems perfect, in terms of rules, player order, etc. My only comment here is that everything happens instantaneously, so it can be hard to tell who did what at any given moment. I find myself staring at the screen sometimes, unaware that it's my turn already (I'm expecting the computer to take longer than it does!). I know it would add many layers of development pain, but animated card movement would be a good way of showing exactly what actions are taking place.
  • It's been many years since I played the actual card game, but was it always a race to 700? I thought it was to 1000. I forget the rule about "trip extensions," maybe that's what I'm thinking of.
Anyways, what you've achieved so far is fantastic, and I'd be happy to buy the finished product!
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