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In game experience
Real Deal Bridge provides players with the same interactions and flow of attending a session at your local bridge club. Your personal calendar will show you the upcoming games that are available from clubs that you are a member of and also track if you have registered to play in them.
A player lobby opens 30 minutes before each game time so that you can grab a cuppa and enjoy a group chat with other players. Directors will also be able to voice broadcast to the lobby which allows for announcements or pre-game lessons.
Registrations close 5 minutes before start time and players are taken to their table two minutes before play begins. After the session ends, there is a lobby to continue to text chat about hands and review scores before leaving the session.
Here's a look at some of the Real Deal in game functionality at work.
The first week of testing
We have just wrapped up our first week of live user testing which has been all about real people playing real bridge. It sounds simple enough but there are some interesting fringe cases to think about, especially with disconnects. On board 1 of day 1 of testing, a tester made their first bid and did their duty by asking for an undo, you know, just to see if it worked. The problem was, one of their opponents hadn't even made it to the table yet! The program was expecting two answers in order to unwind the game and it certainly wasn't going to do any favours for the player who asked but was only getting one answer.
Another case that we ran into was the equivalent of someone claiming and one of the opponents leaving the table (their internet drops out). Despite the challenges of the online world there are certainly some benefits. You can't make an insufficient bid, call out of rotation or drop any cards on the floor which is great.
Our stage 1 test group have certainly earned their keep by finding all sorts of ways to challenge the program and giving the team at No Moss some challenges to overcome. We are excited to now get players using the lobby systems and other out of game functions.
The second week of testing
So far the stage 1 group has:
- Signed up for accounts
- Registered for games
- Played games
There is one more important step that we need them to take a look at before we are happy to begin stage 2. Before each game there is a lobby where participants can text chat and directors can make voice broadcasts. After the game, players will also go into a lobby to see all of the scores and chat about the hands.
We have held off on implementing these additions until the in game play scenarios were all accounted for which means that we will only be starting testing on these new additions early next week. We are going to hold off on inviting stage 2 players until the stage 1 group has had a chance to try to break these features for us. Wednesday will be the earliest that we may invite stage 2 players to games which might also push out when we are looking to release to the stage 3 users. We will keep you posted on the progress next week.