Mobile Tablet App for 3-player Hearts with Video Conference

By:  Jim Schrempp   |  Posted: April 4, 2014   |  Updated: April 19, 2023

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The Problem to be Solved

Regular card playing group can't get together any more

Regular card playing group can’t get together any more

A group of friends used to get together regularly to play cards. One moved away. The others are getting older and have trouble getting out at night. They think they can’t get together any more. But perhaps they can. What to do?

Solution Details

The solution I envision (and I would love other thoughts on this) is an app that runs on Android or iOS (cross platform is great. Single platform works. Either platform is ok with me).

Each person playing hearts would have their own tablet. They would be able to rendezvous with their card partners. Each tablet would show video of the other players and allow an open mic conference.

Each tablet would

  • have some controls for the card game itself, such as Deal Cards, End Game, etc.
  • show the cards for the specific player
  • show the “already taken” tricks of other players
  • show a video stream of each of the other players
  • allow a player to rearrange the cards in their hand
  • prompt a player when it is their turn to play
  • allow a player to play a card from their hand
  • display the other cards that have been played for the current trick
  • be able to connect with other players without needing any network firewall configuration

The app should

  • have simple controls that are very, very easy to see and very, very easy to manipulate. Remember that as Joe and Joanne age their eyesight will decline and so will fine motor skills.
  • degrade video streams to compensate for the available network bandwidth. Keeping the audio and the game alive is a priority.

Each tablet might

  • show the scores of the game. This is not that important as Joe, Joanne, and Sarah usually keep score on a paper pad. This solution is not meant to be a complete score keeping, high score, who’s winning Hearts app. This app is meant to allow the social interaction of playing cards.

The app does not need

  • a chat window. The players want to talk to each other; they do not want to text chat.
  • long term leader board. The players just want to play friendly games. Competition is not the point.

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