From CS 160 User Interfaces Sp10

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Restatement of idea

The idea from the Group Brainstorm is to use the iPhone/iPod Touch as a deck of cards, where touch screen interactions shuffle, deal, draw, and toss cards on a virtual table.

List of competitors

  1. CDE:SlapJack
  2. Raisix Inc: CardWar
  3. Neurotic Nerd Software: Gin Rummy
  4. Yu Gi Oh Deck Builder
  5. Deck of cards
  6. Solitaire
  7. Coylebilt Industries, LLC: Deckster
  8. Supremum Software
  9. Ryan Ashcraft: Playing Cards
  10. Evo Point: Card Deck
  11. Spades Ace



URL: [1]

Target User Group The target user group for this app is SlapJack fans, which is very specific. This target user group is more specific than what we are aiming.

Functionality The game provides English and Chinese voice over, varied backgrounds and card designs, programmed game logic. The supports 2-4 players only, so practicing by yourself may not be an option. It seems that the scope of the game is limited to the logic of SlapJack and the bonus game included. I don't think my group will be able to have a voice over that compares to this app. We do want to implement a means of communication, however, our idea is about users communicating instead of a programmed voice. Also, we will definitely be implementing one player capabilities.

Usability The game SlapJack requires slapping cards on a table. This must have been a compromise, but they created four buttons on the corners of the screen to emulate the slap. I think this is not very usable because an iPod is small and four people can't crowd too well around such a small device. Our group project avoids this potential problem by allowing multiple iPods/iPhones to communicate over a network, so each person has their own hand on their own device.

Raisix Inc: CardWar

URL: [2]

Target User Group The target user group is players of the game war. This is also more specific than gamblers (our user group), and they have different goals. Typically gamblers are playing for money whereas this game is for fun.

Functionality This game is very simple. You simply iterate through the deck one card at a time and play the game war. Very simple and the scope is small: war. Our game with allow war to be played as well as other games.

Usability Very simple game and very easy to learn. The trouble with many games is that they are not all this intuitive. Fortunately this game is not run over a network and the users can communicate in person about how to play.

Neurotic Nerd Software: Gin Rummy

URL: [3]

Target User Group The target user group is gin rummy fans. This game is closer to our target user group than the war and slapjack games', however, these games also tend to be more recreational. There is also a component of the fact that this is a one player game only that may attract people who are just passing time by themselves.

Functionality It seems like a great touch-screen one player game. However, the scope is limited to one player versus the computer. The way that you interact with the cards seems very simple and intuitive. Our groups implementation will provide the same usability in terms of card gestures and interaction. Our implementation will be less restricted in that we can have one player or multiplayer.

Usability Seems like using the game is simple, but registration is required. Although the registration is free, people do not want to register for things. We will not impose such conditions upon our users.

Yu Gi Oh Deck Builder

URL: [4]

Target User Group This game is targeted towards Magic the Gathering enthusiasts. This differs greatly from our target group, but analysis of their game is worth taking note of. Both user groups will have customized decks and will often want to store custom decks. For example, a game of Euchre requires a subset of a full deck, and this would be worth saving after creating in an app.

Functionality The user can create decks on the fly, store and save them. This is a great feature and it seems as though you can add your own cards. The context seems to be that of magic the gathering, however, the fact that you can create your own card decks makes me think that it could potentially be used to store a standard deck of playing cards. Our proposed idea may not allow the addition of user-created cards, however, we will want to have the ability to save custom decks and reuse them for specific games.

Usability How to share cards or link to the network with other users, and connect. I think both games require a seamless integration with the network, and the iPhone has great built-in features to overcome this.

Deck of cards

URL: [5]

Target User Group The target user group seems to be card enthusiasts, which would be a super set of our user group (gamblers). This game seems to target poker players which is almost right on target with our group.

Functionality You can play interactively with a deck of cards utilizing hand gestures to shuffle and deal hands. It also allows you to arrange and move cards around a virtual table in any way the user likes. This is very flexible, and is very close to what our group is aiming for. However, I don't believe this app has any networking capabilities, bluetooth or wireless. Our app will provide this connectivity that this app is lacking.

Usability It seems that an open-ended deck of cards is hard to replicate in the digital world. Allowing the user to make the organization of the table seems like a good idea, but also may be more work than if the game logic was preprogrammed. Our group will implement a table organization that could be stored just like custom decks are stored. This be time-saving without storing game logic.


URL: [6]

Target User Group This game attracts people who are trying to play one game and one game only---solitaire. These people are not necessarily the gambling types and may or may not be interested in poker. These people are also not necessarily concerned with playing with others.

Functionality The app lets you play by yourself a simple drag-and-drop game of solitaire. It launches up fast and to the point where you lasted left off. This feature is useful as some games of solitaire can be long. It also saves a list of high scores. My group's app will be more social in the sense that you are limited to playing this game by yourself.

Usability Solitaire is a very simplistic and everyone knows the game. I think that dragging and dropping cards is not as easy it says. The piles of cards look small and for people with big hands this may be an issue. I think it may be a good idea to implement a zoom feature so you can select a pile with more accuracy.

Coylebilt Industries, LLC: Deckster

URL: [7]

Target User Group Gamblers and card enthusiasts would be part of the target user group here. The target user group is practically the same as our group's. Although this may not reach the same audience because it seems like a novelty in its function.

Functionality The app provides two unique decks, you can shake to shuffle, and use gestures to deal cards and interact. Decks retain their order after use, and you can actually discard and rearrange cards in your hand. It said that you also have to box the cards up when you are done and put them back. I think that they really provided some realistic features such as actually contained the cards in a box and the cards keeping their order, which is great. I do think that our group will take the best of this idea, keeping the cards in order, but having to put the cards in a box seems to be a waste of time. Also, you cannot play a game with these cards. All you can do is open a deck, shuffle, and deal. You can't really see the table and play. This missing feature is something our group is aiming for.

Usability I was reading some reviews and found that people really had a hard time putting cards back into the box. That "feature" that may add a realistic feel to the app has shown to be burdensome to the users of the application. My group's implementation will try to balance realism with digitalism and bring out the best of both worlds. People like things to be easy, but also intuitive. A deck of cards that you can shuffle and stays in the order you shuffled is good, but there should be a simple button to put the cards away.

Supremum Software

URL: [8]

Target User Group Gamblers and playing card enthusiasts would be the target market for this app. Same target market as my group.

Functionality The website says that the card table allows you to play any card game, and with many players. There implementation and features are not widely documented, but it seems as though there is no way to track your money or play over a network. Our application will include chips and networking.

Usability A table that allows you to play any game requires the human to "program" the computer to understand the game, at least for display purposes. This can be a tough hill to climb but if generalized properly, this can be done well. They seem to have some sort of template approach which I think makes the table look bad. The way our group wants to approach this is though user communication an allowing the table to be arranged though gestures.

Ryan Ashcraft: Playing Cards

URL: [9] VIDEO: [10]

Target User Group Playing card enthusiasts and gamblers would definitely be in this target market which is identical to my groups target market.

Functionality You can shake the iPhone to shuffle the cards and tap cards to flip them. Very simple gestures to manipulate the deck or pile of cards. You can also connect over bluetooth to another iPhone to play a two player game. It seems great that you can connect over bluetooth, but a remote connection is not supported. Our application will provide remote connections. Also, only one or two players can play at a time. An app with more players is more fun, which is what our group will implement.

Usability This app prompts you whether or not you would like the jokers, but this is very limited. This should be an option or preference where you can store and manipulate custom decks, and not only choose jokers to discard.

Evo Point: Card Deck

URL: [11]

Target User Group The target user group is identical to ours---gambler and poker players.

Functionality As they say it, "this is not a cookie-cutter" card deck. They aim to allow users to play any game on a table. users can shuffle, cut, draw, and deal cards from the deck. It allows multi-player modes and even resizes the cards to fit more players. It even lets the user change card designs and table appearance using user photos. The functionality this app provides is great, however, there is no way to play over a network. Our app will be built with the intent that connectivity to the web and other players anywhere in the world is of paramount importance.

Usability Seems that the game is limited to four players. Also, you may have to actually deal the cards on the table in the way you want, without programming table design, which seems intuitive. I do think that this is good, but can be more time consuming and inaccurate.

Spades Ace

URL: [12]

Target User Group Gamblers and gamblers only. This app deals with money and in effect the same target user group.

Functionality The user can play a game and can use gold coins to place bets. This is a key feature for gamblers. Play "hi or low" style bets where your money at stake (not real money). However, this game only plays against the dealer who happens to be the computer. Although this app is a step above the others because it does track money, it fails to connect multiple people through multi-player functionality.

Usability It seems as though its a very simple interface to use, with one screen for the table where you can place a bet. However, I don't think that you can interact with the cards in anyway. It probably seems like another iPhone app and not much like a deck of cards. Our app will try to give the user an intuition to using the deck of cards app because they will be interacted with in the same manner as a real deck of cards.


Most all applications supported touch-screen card gestures and interaction. Other features were more sporadically dispersed among the competition.


Our groups project has unique value in its portability and ability to connect users remotely. Most card game applications did not have a tight integration with networking or bluetooth. Communication was an assumption among most of the multi-player applications. Our application will attempt voice recognition to send other players messages to help game-play.

In respect to online casinos, these applications are missing a very important concept--money and chips. Our application will have money and a ratio to track your status. The more you win, your ratio (and reputation over the network) will increase.

Overall, our application will span most of the areas covered by the other applications, as well as bring gamblers together from all over the world.

Back to the main Competitive Analysis page.

This page was created by Dan Lynch.

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