Tuesday, May 19, 2015

tips to play hearts better

There's a Hearts tutorial at World of Card Games. It's designed to introduce you to the mechanics of Hearts, but barely scratches the surface when it comes to strategy. The help box has a few hints, too, but it's minimal.

After playing a few hundred games of Hearts, I think I've gotten a little better at it. This was, in part, due to some players who discussed strategy with me. Thanks to those who did so in a polite manner, you know who you are!

It's nice to share, so I wrote up a discussion of Hearts strategy and placed it on the site. There's a comment section where anyone can add their thoughts, and you can also tweet them, or post in the comments section here. Or send me an email. I will rewrite sections of that page based upon feedback.

I want to mention that I like the way that some more expert players try to help those who are beginners to the games. I don't mean the ones who mock beginners! I mean the ones who offer to explain or give a short tip to people who confess to being inexperienced. It benefits everyone to help those who are new. They are more likely to continue to play when people are friendly and not mean. It's a win-win to get more good players to your favorite card game.

server update for bug fixes

The server was down for a short time early this morning to apply a few bug fixes: in particular, the game timer that had been added with the last update was buggy, and is now fixed. Also, in Firefox, some people noticed a player's name hanging around (literally, attached to their cursor) after they clicked into a game from the list of tables. This has been fixed.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

world of card games postcards!

I had some postcards made up as advertisements for World of Card Games. The goal is to publicize the site. I don't know if this is a good strategy, but I feel there are probably a lot of people out there who would enjoy playing cards online, and they just don't realize it's an option. This is an attempt at letting people know about the site. I plan to drop the postcards off at senior centers, libraries, and similar places.

If you enjoy playing at World of Card Games, and you know some place where you could leave a card or two, write to me! My email address is marya@worldofcardgames.com. I can mail a few to you.

Here's the image that I used for the postcard (a big thanks to Karen for that glowing testimonial!). It's 8.5" x 5.5":
postcard for World of Card Games
I had these cards printed up at Staples.com. Here's a mini-review: The process is fairly easy, and the price is reasonable (about $60 for 100). I have two caveats: when you upload your image, they display that image in a way that makes it look as if it is too wide and will be cropped at the sides. If you decided to get postcards from them, you should upload your image and ignore what's displayed there. Proceed through their print process all the way until near the end, just before you have to buy. You'll be shown a "real-life" picture of your image which looks wider than what you'd seen on their edit page. The latter is just a draft and is not accurate (at least it was not for me).

It took only a few days after ordering for me to get my cards in the mail. I'm pretty happy with the result overall! Three of the cards had some bleed (red into black) but the rest are fine.

Monday, April 27, 2015

table listings show player names

Sorry for the brief downtime this morning! World of Card Games was updated so that you can now see who is sitting at each table by using the table listings. This can help to make a choice between tables.

player names in table listings
Have you ever wondered how long a game has been going on? You can now view the total elapsed time for your game by clicking on the table info link in the lower left corner (it shows you the total game time, which may be longer than the time you've been playing, if you entered mid-game):
elapsed game time
[Edit: I just played a game and noticed the time does not always function correctly. If you reload the page it seems to be correct, however. Next time I make changes, I'll fix this. Update: fixed this issue May 19 2015]

Tournament players will be interested to know that I've increased the time to take your turn in tourneys to 1 minute. This will help people who are sometimes affected by a spotty internet connection.

Finally, I've added a quick-setting panel that allows people who are new to the site to choose between playing with robots and/or playing with people:
quick options settings
This panel will appear if the site does not detect that you've visited there before. I did this because I'm concerned that people are coming to the site and getting confused by popping into the middle of a game, not knowing how to set their options. This way, they can make the choice to play against the computer or play against people immediately.

You may see this "quick options" panel just after you've logged out. This happens because the site doesn't realize you've visited before. You can use the "Remember this choice" checkbox to quickly set your options this way, in that case.

If you're wondering how to set options - use the Options button! Here it is for Hearts:
Options button for Hearts card game

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

other kinds of tournaments? euchre?

winning a trophy is hard work!
A few weeks ago, I created a Spades league at World of Card Games, at the request of one player. It turned out to be a fairly popular idea! We've had a few bumps in the road in getting our tournaments started, but overall I think it's been a fun experience for most of the people involved.

Running the league requires a certain amount of administrative work. Currently, I am the sole administrator and tournament director. I'm working on some tools to make it easier for others to run tournaments. That will help to make it possible for tourneys to run more frequently... And that could mean more room for tournaments or leagues in card games other than Spades.

I've had a vote (from Benno - you may have met this player on the site) to run Euchre tournaments at World of Card Games. Is anyone else interested? How about other games, for example Hearts?

I should make it clear that if people are interested in running tournaments in other games, or even forming other leagues, it's not just something that's up to me. You can start a league and run tournaments completely independent of me. There are a few sites that I know of that can be used to create leagues: Case's Ladder, MyLeague (which is a division of Case's Ladder), and Eliters. There may be more. It will take a little bit of internet savvy and some cooperation with other players, but you can totally do it if you are committed to it. I'm willing to provide support if you need it, too.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

bug fix in 29

Sorry for the disruption in service this morning! The site was down for about 10 minutes to apply some changes.

A bug has been fixed in 29. You may have noticed that sometimes a trick looked like it was going to the wrong player (it wasn't counted that way, it just looked like it). This bug is now fixed. A big thanks to Kaycie, who reported this - that was very helpful!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

more avatars!

World of Card Games was down for a brief time this morning, while some updates were applied. My apologies for the interruption in your games.

There are now 7 new avatars! Enjoy!