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Help us test a new version for high-resolution phones

posted Jul 13, 2012, 10:56 PM by Mike Brau

We have reports that 3qual doesn't display properly on high-resolution phones like the Galaxy SIII and Galaxy Nexus.

Please help us test a new version before we update the Play store.

Download the file attached to this blog post, or email us at 3qual@pascalcula.com and we'll send you an .apk file for you to install on your device.

We need both Galaxy users to test the fixes, and non-Galaxy users to test that we didn't break anything.

Post a comment here, or email 3qual@pascalcula.com, to let us know what phone/tablet you use, and how well (or not-so-well) the game plays for you.

Thanks!

Sprucing up the Joint

posted Aug 14, 2011, 7:24 AM by Mike Brau

We just published an update to 3qual. This version adds a splash of color to the UI and reorganizes some buttons and checkboxes to make the app experience more friendly and responsive. Let us know what you think of it!

3qual World Record!

posted Jul 12, 2011, 9:02 AM by Mike Brau

We received this email from a 3qual Super-3q (That's pronounced "super-threeq")

Can anyone top this?

I just finished a game of 3qual on Android.
Here's what I scored:

Congratulations!
Score: 5290
Total time: 1:50
Hints: 1

Matched sets found: 25
Average time:  4.4s
Fastest:  1.4s

Use this seed code to play the same deck I did: 07g33bqf4tqv0n7m9s8911p994x54x

qy28d80j1v0pyy2xw87vnn4j115ql69m2ma7592h6l00vt6aq072xq36ex7kw6au7l9dqd7rnl3270

Play 3qual online at http://pascalcula.com/3qual and tell me what you score!

Play on Android: https://market.android.com/search?q=pascalcula&so=1&c=apps


Post your high scores here, or send them to 3qual@pascalcula.com!

High Score Tracking, and a Warmer Welcome

posted Jul 5, 2011, 10:32 AM by Mike Brau

We just uploaded a new version of 3qual to the Android Market.

3qual now remembers your highest score and fastest time, and congratulates you when reach a personal best.

We also added a Welcome/Help screen at startup, to help new players get accustomed to the game, and to relieve the stress of the game clock starting as soon as the app launches. If you like to play fast, fret not! You can set a preference to start dealing cards as soon as the app launches.

Enjoy!

Color correction

posted Jul 5, 2011, 10:32 AM by Mike Brau

Hey 3qual players,

Have you had trouble distinguishing the empty shapes from the lightly-shaded ones?
It's not because you are blind or your display is broken, and it's not because 3qual's designers are color blind. It's because we got fooled by a tricky bit of color management software.

An eagle-eyed played noticed that 3qual's colors were not consistent between different web browsers (Firefox vs Chrome vs Safari, Mac vs Windows). Upon investigation, we found that this was due to a "color profile" embedded in the game graphics, which was handled differently in different browsers.

We have removed the bogus color profile and we have published the corrected graphics file, so now 3qual will look (closer to) exactly the same no matter where you play, at home on your computer, or on the go on your phone.

(Technical notes: The "Cruise 2008" ColorSync profile was attached to the graphics. Now we know what dangers come from taking vacations! No more for us! Maybe...)

Why does 3qual need Internet permissions? Well, I'll tell you.

posted Jul 5, 2011, 10:10 AM by Mike Brau

In our Independence Day update to 3qual for Android, we added some Internet-related permissions (INTERNET, NETWORK_STATE, and READ_PHONE_STATE). The sometimes-ad-supported version always used these permissions in order to serve ads, of course. In the Free and Donate versions, we took it as a point of pride to respect the user and not be greedy about permissions. We don't like having all of our games chattering online or phoning home all the time, and we know some of you don't either. Also, we like having an "Anyone" content rating, which we lost when we added the Internet permissions. So it's not great, for a bunch of reasons.

3qual Free and Donate editions do not connect to the Internet.

I repeat, 3qual Free and Donate do not use the Internet. So, what are the permissions for?
3qual is a cross-platform game, that you can play on your Android phone or right here online. In order to make the same game run on different platforms, we use a fantastic framework called PhoneGap, that lets us run a web-style game inside an Android or iPhone native app. To make the magic happen, the newest version of PhoneGap sets up a "virtual" server inside your device, and the "web-style" part of the game connects to this local server inside your device in order to access features like local storage, email-drafting, and the vibration buzzer (you've felt that buzzer if case you've after mis-tapped a matched set in the game).

Unfortunately, Android can't tell the different between (a) a local server in your device, and (b) a real server out on the Internet, so we need the Internet permissions. 3qual does not access the Internet, though. You can turn off your network and radio connections, or put your device into airpline mode, and 3qual will behave exactly the same way as it did before.

We might one day add some in-app anonymous analytics to learn which gameplay styles are the most popular, and keep track of app misbehaviors that indicate bugs in the game software. If we ever add these analytics features, we will prominently announce that change in the blog and in the game, and the game will explicitly ask you for your permission to opt-in to this analytics system.

3qual will never connect to the Internet without your explicitly expressed permission. Never.

If you have any questions, please post a comment here, or send us an email.

3qual Saves!

posted Jul 5, 2011, 10:03 AM by Mike Brau

We just posted an update to 3qual with a long-requested feature: Your Preference settings are saved when you exit the app. When you come back, your saved settings are re-loaded. No more cutting off your first game early to go change the preferences to your favorite play style!

We're quite sheepish about this, because missing this feature was annoying a lot of players, including ourselves, but the fix was super-simple.

We still don't have full state-save, so you can't exit the app mid game and then return to your game in progress (but you can use your device's Home button to switch apps. Usually you'll be able to return to the game you left)

(The web version already had this feature, since checkbox-memory it is built-in to web browsers.)

The latest version also fixed a few minor speed and setup bugs, which required an unfortunate permissions change, which we'll discuss in our next blog post.


Take Two Tablets

posted Jul 2, 2011, 11:11 AM by Mike Brau

No, we're not issuing 10 new Commandments, or prescribing new medications.
3qual is spreading to tablets!

Before today, if you tried to play 3qual on an Android tablet, you had the unpleasant experience of playing a phone-sized game on a tablet-sized device.

No more!

We've done a (simple) upsize of the cards, buttons, and text, so that you can enjoy a less squinty experience of playing the game using the increased real estate a tablet provides.

Since we give you a free game and ask for just $1 donations, we're not rich here at 3qual HQ, so we don't have Androi tablets to test on. If you have one, please send it to us! Or, at least download the game and send us an email with a screen shot, photograph, or beautifully written description tp show us how the game looks on your device. If you do, we'll give you our enduring gratitude, and a free copy of the game (in case you hadn't found it yet. It's hiding.)

You may notice that we don't use *all* the space on your tablet. That's not (just) because tablets have funky resolutions and aspect ratios. It's because we are working on putting together a 2-player version of 3qual! It's like nothing ever seen before (on Android, at least) (especially not here). We'll use that extra tablet space for multi-player stuff like per-player score information.

Got more ideas for 3qual? Sure you do. Post them in the comments!

3qual goes social! Share your Score, and Challenge a Friend!

posted Jul 2, 2011, 11:00 AM by Mike Brau

It took us a while, but 3qual is now (a little bit) social.

We've added a new "Email your friend" button on the end-game  Score screen. With one click, 3qual will copy the Score page for you to send to a friend to show off your sub-5-minute game (wow!), Flawless Completion, or your grit and determination of playing through to end no matter how many minutes, Hints, and Extra Deals, it takes.

Included in the email is something we call a "shuffle seed". This is a special code that represents the exact order that the deck was shuffled when you play your game. Your friends can use this code to play the same shuffle you did, and see if they can finish the deck faster than you.

There are other ways to use the shuffle code, too:
* If you are a sneaky snake, you can replay the same shuffle over and over yourself until you get a super-fast time.
* If you are curious, you can try a *different* way you can play the same deck, by looking for different matched sets that you didn't pick the first time through.

Download the latest version of 3qual in the Android Market, or play online now!

Faster, Lighter, and More Fun: The new 3qual for Android

posted Jul 2, 2011, 10:51 AM by Mike Brau

Welcome to July!

We've just published a new version of 3qual on the Android Market!

We changed the interface so that tapping a card selects it as soon as you touch it with your finger, instead of waiting for you to pick up your finger. This makes the gameplay feel more responsive, and enables the fast-tappers among you to pick up a set in 1.5seconds, twice as fast as previously possible.  (Reminder to you speed demons: You can also un-check "Delay briefly while dealing cards" in Preferences to make the game even faster.)

We also did some spring cleaning, removing some old unused code, which has shrunk the application size by about one-third. 3qual was small, but now it's even smaller. This is good news for folks with tightly-packed memory cards.

Download it here.

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