I’d like to share some ideas in comparison to the Making Fun solution, which I played some thousand times now – and specifically the graphical features of MF by the way were not the badest. I am not talking about gimmicks, sounds and music, but what I am missing after 2 days of bots testing is especially the interaction feeling.
1) The only way to “understand”, what your opponent is doing (or has done) is reading the log file – all actions are happening within seconds - this is very technically. You get no graphical support like showing bought cards, trashed cards, you have no real chance to take care about other players decisions etc.
At the end this might be not important, because it is in the log file anyway, but the impression, that the opponent players are doing a real-time turn, it’s not there. In MF I always got a good feeling what even the bots are doing, without reading the log file.
2) Why wasting the top screen area with facedown cards from the opponents ? – and even more confusing why showing the visible pile headfirst ? – perhaps this space can be used for the information missing from point 1) (like a graphical log file)
3) The pile counters are quite small – you get no pre-warning, when it’s going to 3 or less. Sometimes I was surprised about that (also due to the missing chord sound, if someone is buying a province / colony). Of course this is nearer to the real card gaming, and professional players will have to keep an eye especially on the green piles anyhow, but it could be a helping hand for other players to know, that game’s end is approaching.
To avoid sounds you can use blinking symbols etc. (as an option)
4) When the opponent takes the last turn to end the game, you get no information how and why – this refers again to point 1), the player makes a turn, but you are not aware of it – the screen is switched directly to the results and you have to scroll into the log file again, to learn what really happened - quite unemotional for a finished game. I don't need fanfares like in MF but a bit more victory feeling could increase the desire to play again.
I have read in a former thread, that is was intended from you to be nearer to Isotrophic, which I am not familiar with, but I guess this was more fact- and data driven implementation. Again, professionals might not have problems with that, but occasional players (or newbies) could be overstrained or bewildered, because the game interactions take place in a written log file only – and they could ask, where is the game feeling.