Archived Posts from this Category

Database Maintenance Tonight

Posted by on 27 Mar 2011 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

We’re doing some database maintenance tonight so the high scores tables and leader boards aren’t going to work. Any games you play will be recorded and we’ll load them into the database when it comes back up.

Don’t worry about any “internal errors” you see… They should probably say something about the database being down… but they don’t.


Posted by on 31 Oct 2010 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Hope you enjoy our slightly late to the game Halloween themed cards. The normal cards will be back tomorrow.

Happy Halloween!

Serial New Gamers

Posted by on 14 Oct 2010 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Every time a game is played we store it in our master database. We like to go through our data and look at interesting things, like how many unique people play games and what games get played most, etc.

One thing we’ve noticed is that many players click “New Game” really fast, over and over. This is presumably because they are looking for a new game with the cards dealt in some specific way that makes the game look easier/harder/more fun.

If this describes you, we’d love to know what exactly you are looking for. We don’t mind that you do it—we are just wondering if there is some way that we can improve the site so the cards that get dealt are exactly what you are looking for, automatically.

So, serial “New Game” clickers, leave us a comment here and let us know what you are looking for. Also may sure you mention the game, since the criteria for a good game of Sea Haven Towers is probably different than that of Forty Thieves.


Auto sizing the cards

Posted by on 25 Sep 2010 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

We just found a bug last night that caused the card size auto-detect code to choose the wrong size in certain cases. In particular it was choosing the “ludicrous” size cards when the screen was much too small to support them. It seemed to only affect Internet Explorer (definitely version 6 and possibly 7 and 8 too) but it was intermittent so we couldn’t see it at first.

At any rate, the bug is now fixed and so if you were unhappy with how the “automatic” setting was working we invite you to try it again. Please let us know if it now chooses the correct size for your browser window.

Big update today

Posted by on 17 Sep 2010 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Jim and I have been working on the site a lot more than usual in the last couple months. Today we’ve pushed some big changes we’ve been working on up to the main site. Here’s a list of some of the things we did:

  1. We got rid of the card size popup. Instead of choosing card sizes manually, the game picks the best card size based on how big your window is. If you want bigger cards, make the window bigger; a smaller window makes cards smaller.
  2. We (re)added pause support. It has been improved based on the feedback we got last time. It pauses automatically when you click away from the window, or manually if you click the pause button or press the pause key (Control-P). The auto-pause after 15 seconds of inactivity is not enabled at this time. We may add an option to enable it in the future because we like it, but we realize it’s confusing and annoying to some play styles.
  3. We fixed a ton of Internet Explorer bugs. A huge percentage of our users use Internet Explorer but it’s not convenient for us to test since neither Jim nor I run Windows on our main computers. Side note: we still haven’t tried the IE 9 beta out–if any of you have it we’d be very happy to hear feedback on how the site works with it.
  4. We added new, hopefully tastier looking buttons to the solitaire games. These buttons only show up on newer browsers–Firefox, Safari and Chrome users will see them right now. IE 9 may or may not show them and IE 6, 7, and 8 definitely will not.
  5. We added pause support to Asteroids.
  6. We added a high score table to Asteroids.
  7. Hopeless got its high score table re-enabled after being dead for 2 or 3 years.

Those are the big visible changes. There are, as always, many more changes under the hood that should make our lives easier in the future.

As usual, we’d love to hear what you think. If you find any bugs, make sure you report them.

HTML5 Asteroids

Posted by on 28 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

If you run a recent version of the Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Opera you’ll see a new game in the menus: Asteroids. This is a clone of the classic arcade game of the same name. It uses the brand new HTML5 <canvas> tag to draw the graphics which unfortunately makes it incompatible with Internet Explorer (6, 7 and 8). We’re hopeful that IE 9.0 will be compatible when it comes out. We’ll see…

The game isn’t completely done yet. We’d still like to add the flying saucer, hyperspace and high scores. And maybe even some tasteful sounds. But we think that even in its current state it’s still pretty fun. Anyway, if you have a supported browser, go try it out and let us know what you think.

New card design

Posted by on 27 Jul 2010 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

You might have already noticed that we tweaked the cards a little. We think they look better now and as a bonus the numbers should be easier to read. Just in case you don’t remember the old cards, here’s the Jack of Clubs:

Old: New:

The J is more legible now and not stuck into the top of the suit. The corners on the card are correctly rounded now, and the border is cleaner. Here’s another example:

Old: New:

Again, the rank (“9”) is much clearer now.

We’ve been playing with these cards ourselves for a few months and have really grown to like the changes. We hope you do too.

Server Issues

Posted by on 20 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

You might have noticed a 4 hour window where our site wouldn’t even load today. Our hosting provider moved us to a new computer and, while they warned us ahead of time it was imminent, they didn’t tell us what day it would happen. And they didn’t provide any time beforehand to use the new computer and get it set up for a smooth transition.

So when things suddenly broke today we figured they’d finally made the switch. We’ve spent the last few hours trying to get everything back up and running and, for the most part, it seems to be working.

I am still seeing timeouts all the time though, and so I assume everyone else is too. We’re still trying to clear it up–the cause of this last issue is not entirely clear yet.

If anything else is wonky, let us know.

Cool statistics

Posted by on 07 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

This weekend I was talking with Jim, and each of us was lamenting the lack of good statistics on this site. We wanted to know how many games are played and which games get played more and how many unique users there are per day, etc. Jim pointed out rrdtool and I decided to set it up and see what kind of data I could get. We thought the end results were pretty interesting and thought they might be of interest to the Greenfelt users.

Here is 1 days worth of Greenfelt data:

The data is stacked up so that the total height of each bar is the total number of games per hour. The bar is then divided so you can see which games make up what percentage of that bar. Each bar represents 15 minutes. The graph is updated every 15 minutes so if you check back here later it will always be up to date.
Not so surprisingly, Freecell looks like the most popular game. Somewhat surprising to me is that Forty Thieves seems to have a lot of plays. Spider, which is really hard also manages to have a respectable number of games played.

Next is the 30 day view:

This is interesting because it shows that huge difference between days and nights. Also you can see that more people play at night in the middle of the week than on weekends (what you have better things to do?? :-)). And Wednesday seems to be the peak. Right now you can also see a huge gap in the Sunday before last when hosting provider (Dreamhost) went down for a couple hours (since this is also updated every 15 minutes that will eventually go away).

And finally, another interesting one is the year long view:

This show total number of games in orange. The green show how many of those games people actually won (getting a score of 52 in Freecell, for instance). The black line show how many of those games were played by anonymous users.

This one had 3 surprises for me. The first was that our overall growth curve is pretty good. Some spikes here and there but it seems to be increasing nicely. The second was that a really good portion of games are winnable. I expected the green bars to be much lower. The third surprise is that apparently 90% or so of people playing Green Felt play without logging in. I expected a large amount of anonymous users, but such a high percentage really surprises me.

Anonymous users, I’m curious–why do you prefer to be anonymous? Does the high score table not interest you? What kind of incentive would it take to make you decided to create an account?

Hello from the developers

Posted by on 13 Aug 2006 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Hello to all Green Felt players. We’ve set up this blog so that we have more direct contact with each of you. We’d like to discuss new ideas and issues that exist with Green Felt and in the past felt held back by the forum. It’s so complicated. We like it for bug reports (or at least, I do–Jim’s not so gung-ho) but we think it’s just too much for a simple blog.

Anyway, this is just a taste of what’s to come. It’s too late for me to write anything terribly profound!


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