Tuesday, March 25, 2014

periodic outages

Hi all, the site has been experiencing some brief, periodic outages over the last couple days (right now, too). Sorry about that! I'm investigating with my host, and will post here if/when I find out what is wrong.

Edit: I'm sorry, it's just more network problems at my host! I can't tell you when it will be fixed... hopefully soon. Meantime, I'm sorry for the occasional interruption in your games!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

bags in Spades

sandbagging near Missouri Route 63
I sometimes get requests to allow new options for variants in the rules of a card game. Recently, I got a request to have an option to play without the penalty for taking bags in Spades.

The standard rule for Spades, according to Pagat, is to keep track of "bags" or overtricks as they accrue. These are just extra tricks taken, above what the team bid. When a team collects 10 bags, they are penalized -100 points, and their bag count is wiped clean.

It seems that "most" players do play with a penalty for bags. Tell me - how do you feel about playing a game of Spades without the bag penalty? Have you ever done this? Opinions, pro and con, are welcome.

Edit: I'm adding this not to make it clear that if this feature is added as a new option, it would be opt-in. So a player would have to edit their Spades options to sit at such a table. There is a similar kind of option for Hearts, right now ("allow first turn hearts").

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

network problems

I've had a number of reports about the site "freezing" on people, or cards piling up in the middle when they shouldn't. This has been happening occasionally since the site came into existence. However, it seems to have become more of a problem in the last couple of weeks.

network switch
network switch by kusumsiri
These problems can occur when there is internet "packet loss."  Packet loss is something like static on a telephone line. A human may be able to understand what a person is saying, based on partial delivery of the words being transmitted over a static-y phone line. In contrast, a computer cannot. The internet is designed to re-deliver messages that were interrupted by this kind of static, but it can lead to unusually long delays - a big problem for an online real-time game site, where timing matters.

I have no control over the internet hardware used to transmit messages around the globe... so this problem is not something that I can do much about. The most that I can do is report it to the people who own the computer hardware on which World of Card Games runs - these people are my "hosting service." Usually they resolve the problem, although it can take a while.

I still rely on reports from players in order to become aware of bugs. So I do appreciate getting your feedback!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

a game of spades

Last night, I attended my second live, in-person card game event. It's been over a month since my last event, so it's about time.

These games last much longer than an online game. I arrived at 7, left at 9:30, and only had time for one game of Spades. There's no timer at the table, and people are talking and eating... That makes a difference.

My partner and I managed to win the game! It was touch-and-go for a while. I got set when bidding nil; I had a decent hand for a nil bid, but had too many medium-value cards in the clubs suit. Our luck turned later in the game. We were able to set our opponents, and then my partner managed to pull off a nil bid when she was holding the King of Spades! A desperate ploy! Fortunately, I was holding the Ace, and was able to cover her. This nil put us ahead, and undoubtedly won us the game.

These events are a lot of fun... I highly recommend that you get out and play some card games, if you can. Meetup is a great resource for finding card game groups. If you don't have the time, or can't get out, head on over to World of Card Games for the next best thing.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014


Hi all - just a note that the site is down at the moment (7:07 PM EST). There appears to be a rather severe problem at my host. I can't even contact them, since they're offline. I'll let you know asap what's up.

Edit: the site's back up as of 7:22 PM EST. I hope it stays that way! My host said they had an issue with an "edge router."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

replace robots feature has returned

It has been almost a month since the "replace robots" feature was introduced to World of Card Games, only to be removed when a bug was uncovered. Today this feature was reintroduced. I think the bug has been fixed... Give it a try! And please let me know if you experience any issues with this new feature. For more info about how it works, visit the "replace robots" blog post.

[Edit Feb 14 2014: another bug occurred on the same day which caused serious problems, so the replace robots feature has been removed once again. I'll be working to fix it, and it should return in the future.]