Main Project Inspirations — Arcade/Solitaire

Undoubtably, the best game in existence– and I know this is probably your grandma’s favourite game too–is solitaire. Specifically, free-cell. I have spent countless hours playing. For those that don’t know about free-cell solitaire, the goal of the game is similar to traditional solitaire in that you want to match all the suits together with their respective colours. The difference is that all the cards are layed out into 8 columns, alternating between red and black, and with randomized number and suit. There are four spaces at the top of the board, which is like a loading zone. The number of cards you can move at once is the number of open loading spaces in addition to cards that follow the rules. The main rule is that cards can be moved from one column to the next if they are a number one less than the “top” card and the opposite colour. The suit does not matter. Therefore, kings cannot be moved unless into the loading zone or into a free column–or one may call it “free cell”. My favorite thing about this game is that I /always/ win. I believe this game has many ways of being solved–which is why I haven’t found a certain algorithm that always solve it. (I mean it’s not as if I try to find an algorithm…).

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[1] Free-cell solitaire: loading zone on left; suit piles on right

I want to do something with circuits and coding for a project. Originally I wanted to build a nightstand in the mid-century style, but realize I lack with projects on my resume…I also just want to get better with circuitry and coding.
Therefore I will try to great some sort of arcade game. A small one anyways. The main inspiration is the minesweeper(?) game that’s on the wall of the EC-ITLL passageway. Except a different game.

[2] photo I see all the damn time

I want to build like an offline version of a game. I would like to free-cell solitaire, but I am worried about the resolution of a screen–I don’t really have all the money in the worried but also don’t want do work with 8-bit style…although it is pretty much the aesthetic I want? I would need to display colour, suit, and number, for all 52 cards which I see getting hard with large boxes. Therefore, spider solitaire may be easier since it’s only worried about the number of the card (all cards are black and suit does not matter). But spider solitaire also includes multiple decks that can be on the screen (so 104 cards…). I also am thinking about sudoku, as that is another game I am fond of. The only issue for the display would be if I wanted to include pen marks. Maybe snake? I think ones with tetris already exists. Of course pac-man too. Atari… I could go as far as to design my own game–but I fear that might be a little too crazy for the time I have for this project and other classes. Therefore, I think of sticking to the card games. I think if I can even recreate solitaire with code I would be sufficiently happy!



[2] my photo

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Tianna I really enjoyed your post and I think your idea is super cool! Transitioning from playing FreeCell to wanting to work on a project involving circuits and coding is quite an interesting shift. Building an offline version of a game sounds like a fantastic idea, especially if it’s something you’re fond of like FreeCell. Considering the challenges with screen resolution and displaying all 52 cards, have you thought about potentially simplifying the game mechanics or focusing on a specific aspect of it to make it more feasible for your project?

    • Tiana Vitry
      March 6, 2024 9:41 am

      Thank you! I’ve changed the game from free-cell solitaire to the Club Penguin minigame “Thin Ice”; as it’s less logic intensive! It’s also into the pixel style, which shouldn’t be as hard to replicate as Free-Cell…

  • Hi Tiana! I am super excited to see your final project! In regards to the aesthetic, I saw that you mentioned the pixel bit art style, will you be creating a custom solitaire art style or will you use a pre made one? I was also curious what screen you planned to use, and what the layout/ size of the machine would be/ look like.

    • Tiana Vitry
      March 6, 2024 9:39 am

      I was thinking of using a 128×64 OLED display. As for the solitaire part–I’ve more or less ditched it already as it requires lots for just the code (and then the circuit stuff….). I was thinking of doing something like a Gameboy!


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