home of 5Cubes Software
GCard (Golf card database and statistics, freeware) – Users Guide
GView (Golf statistics w/data from internet archival site, private)
CookieEater (Internet cookie management, freeware)
Basic 3 Tarot (a 3-handed card game, freeware) Source Code on CodePlex
I spend some time writing applications with Visual Basic. Some of these I’m willing to share, others are for my personal use only. All are published as 5Cubes Software products. I’m currently using Visual Basic 10 in Visual Studio 2010. The freeware programs can be found at the links above as zipped installation packages, which (typically) require unzipping and running setup.exe to install. The programs can be uninstalled from the Windows Control Panel.
GView actually uses the same data generated by GCard (i.e., golf card data and stats), but it gets the data from an online storage site. This allows me to enter golf card data into GCard, then upload the data files to the online site. Then other golfers (using GView) can update their data with just a button-click, and get up-to-date stats and handicaps.
Basic 3 Tarot
Version 1.0 is completed. This game is, arguably, one of the first trick-taking card games ever played. It does not involve any bidding. Play and the deal proceeds to the player on the right. It plays something like Spades, but of course, the tarot trumps are always trump. There are 78 cards in 5 suits, including 21 trumps (major arcana) and 14 each of the four suits (or minor arcana). Each player is dealt 24 cards with a 6-card dog (or kitty) remaining. The dealer gets to exchange cards with the kitty before play starts. Meld is counted for all players before each hand is played.
Tricks count as a point and court cards are pointers of different values. After each hand the highest scoring player counts his score minus the second highest scoring player’s score. The first player to reach a preset total wins the game.
There are a few unusual features compared to modern card games. The extra court card between the jack and queen called the knight (“Cavalier” in the French deck). The play and the deal pass to the right (counter-clockwise). The Fool (“Excuse” in the French deck) is part of no suit and has no value and can be played at any time. The order of the black suits are from ace (low) to 10 (high) then Jack, Knight, Queen and King as one might expect, but the order of the non-court cards in the red suits is reversed, 10 (low) to ace (high) then Jack, Knight, Queen and King. Strategically, due to the method of scoring and being a three-handed game, when you draw a poor hand it’s in your best interest to have the opponents totals be as close to each other as possible to minimize the final hand total. Also there is a lot of trump (21 trumps versus 14 cards in each suit) so the games are mostly about how trump is used.
This is the first application that I’ve written using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). The main advantage of WPF is the use of XAML code to handle the building of the user interface. The “code behind” is still 99% straight Visual Basic code (in fact, I started with the Microsoft Blackjack Card Game Template), but things that would be difficult in VB, like animating aspects of the user interface or using styles for display, are now simply done in WPF.