Spin solitaire came from the original solitaire game. After hours and hundreds of games, I remembered that my Grandmother used to lay her stock cards out in a row. I thought, “Why can’t I do that?”

Having programmed many things before, I decided to program my first game on the iPhone, Spin Solitaire.


One of the first things I had to do was design the cards. These “face cards” of king, queen, and jack are all based on athlerics. The jack is based on the jumping jack, a good all round warm up. The queen is a sprinter just out of the block: she is leaning forward and has her arms and legs in a star position. The king is a Gold Medal Winner on the podium with a flag wrapped around him.

With these basic poses, I then combined traditional playing cards with their colorful patterns. I mixed in these wonderful bright colors and beautiful patterns to create the final figures. You can see the full queen on launch, but the full jack and king are never visible: you only see their torsos! The golden crowns on the king and queen are a final touch.

Once the cards were complete, I could begin development of the game.


The first part of development involved building the spinner or carousel and the card holders of the carousel. This was a long and fulfilling process.  The hardest part of this was ensuring smooth animation and a natural feel.

After that, I added the stacks or tableau and the piles or foundation.  Once this was all in place, I programmed in the rules of play and animated the card movement.  The main issue here was that the iPhone is almost too flexible when it comes to touches so you really have to control these.

User interface

This includes that great sliding drawer where you can access statistics and records, themes, settings, achievements, and info.

I included rather exhaustive statistics as some of them can be interesting and you never know what people enjoy keeping track of.  For me it is about many things: what was the longest game I played (and didn’t give up on).  How many games can I win (I like it above 80, and I’m usually over that).  What was my longest winning streak?

You’ve also got a couple of great settings: no sound so the game doesn’t interrupt your music, and spinner speed, so you can have a very stiff spinner or a very loose one.

Finishing touches

The finishing touches involved the beautiful themes which not only help pay me, but also let you have beautiful surroundings while you play the game.  I believe much of the reason people play a game is subconscious: ie is it pretty?  These themes are all beautiful.  I enjoy them all!  None are for girls or boys, instead they are all for everybody!  Along with each theme is a unique winning sound, so try them out!

Enjoy the game!

-Daniel Kanaan

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