Smolitaire is now in Beta on Itch!
I’ve been excited about the Playdate ever since I got to play with it at PAX 2019, and I knew I’d want to make games for it. I decided solitaire would be a great project to get familiar with the SDK and a welcome addition/time waster on the platform.
Introducing Smolitaire! A smol collection of solo card games for a tiny handheld.
I’ve been working on this game and in anticipating of getting my hands on the hardware for the past few months, and now that I’ve had a chance to try it on the Playdate itself and get some feedback it’s ready for an open beta!
Here’s an accelerated graphical timeline of the game itself:
Early days, just getting stuff on screen and working.
A bit more to it, more graphical snazz and I hit upon the idea of using the crank to speed up the tedious endgame of moving cards up to the winning foundations (did you know those piles where you stack the cards to win were called foundations? I didn’t!)
More game modes! This is Spiderette, a one-deck variation of Spider Solitaire because on this tiny screen there’s not room for 2+ decks, let along 8 whole card piles. At this point I redrew the suits and ranks on the cards to be easier to read at the small size. I also added Yukon, a patience-style solitaire where all the cards are dealt already and you need to carefully sift them into their foundations.
Here’s where we are today- A play-tester suggested using the crank to sift through large piles of cards to make them easier to work with. It was a good idea! I also redrew and made the suits larger again. Once I could test on-console in less-than-ideal lighting it was clear high contrast is important.
What else? I also drew 4 custom fonts for the game, scaffolded a build system for Playdate games, and wrote a whole of helper libraries including a basic box model for UI and a promise-like async library. I’ll write more about those and probably release them here on itch some time soon.
If you’d like to try Smolitaire and provide feedback, I’d be much obliged. It’s currently in what I hope is its final beta and barring any last-minute bugs I’ll be releasing it to proper fanfare in the next week. Smolitaire will be pay-what-you want even in its final release.
I have a few other ideas for games that will take even more advantage of the delightfully quirky handheld that is the Playdate, so stay tuned!
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