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!