Devin W.C. Ryan

Dirty Marbles: A Board & Card Game

I was introduced to the board & card game combo Dirty Marbles years ago by friends of the family.  Being a lover of board and card games I fell in love with the game almost instantly.  The game is played using a board similar to the one displayed at the end of this post and a regular deck of 52 playing cards.  Unfortunately I haven’t been able to play in years, though I still talk about the game, due to not having a board.  Thus, I thought it would be an interesting project to develop the game myself with the networking/multiplayer component.  Since this thought first occurred to me back in 2014 I now have different ideas for implementation, like perhaps as an iOS app, Android app and/or desktop application for greater flexibility in play, but also added complexity (mainly because I’m still learning iOS and thus only have a faint idea as to what I would need to do for notifications).

My initial thoughts on a starting point were as follows:

  • Console app first
  • Multiplayer, on a single machine
  • Prints:
    • ‘-‘ for empty slots
    • First letter of colour for player marbles,  followed by num so can choose the one to play???
  • View:
    • P to print board
    • H to print hand contents of human players
    • M to move, ask for card and marble num, move if valid and print board or error message otherwise

Of course that is but the tip of the iceberg and some key features I want to implement include:

  • Graphical User Interface
  • Multiplayer, network play
  • Save/Load Games
  • Difficulty levels (Artificial Intelligence)

Now I am thinking of still getting the logic down first but doing an implementation for iOS and/or a Windows C# application first.  When I will actually get to start this I do not know as I currently have other projects preceding this one.  I don’t expect that I will implement every idea but I wanted to put this one out there, finally as it’s been in draft since 2014, for if I’m ever lacking in projects or have an over abundance of free time. 🙂

Dirty Marbles Board
Dirty Marbles Board


If you are curious to check out my most active project right now, which isn’t in the development realm but hands on building, is building a Sig 4 Star 60 which you can check out.

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