Monday, June 25, 2012

Gridiron Solitaire #11: Amateur Hour

The Maine Lobsters did get to the playoffs. Not as a division winner, but an 11-4 record, given their lowly 2 1/2 star team rating, was quite an accomplishment.

Plucky, they were.

In the first round of playoffs, they played the division-winning Columbus Explorers on the road.

Midway through the first half, I was on defense, staring at a full layout of red cards. This is one of the luckiest layouts in the game, because if you have seven red cards on the field, almost any black card will result in a valid play. This often sets up a long run of playable cards.

I had six big play presses left, the drive meter was about half full, and this was a great opportunity to make a stop. So I pressed the Big Play button.

Red card.

Pressed it again. Red card.

Six times in a row I pressed, and six times I got a red card. Touchdown, Columbus, and I was also out of defensive Big Play presses for the half.


In spite of this, though, I stayed in the game, because my offense was clicking. Maine has a terrible running attack (2), but a decent passing attack (6), so I called a higher percentage of passing plays than I would have with another team.

In this game, it paid off. I couldn't stop Columbus, but they couldn't stop me, either.

In the end, I scored with 1:20 left in the fourth quarter to take a 42-38 lead. Columbus drove down to my twenty-three yard line with :20 and had one play left to win. On the final play, I was out of matches on the board, had two Big Play presses left, and needed two more matches to stop the drive.

I got nothing. Two cards that didn't help me, Columbus scored, and they won 45-42.

It was a bummer, but I did get what I wanted out of season--exciting, close games that kept me involved.

Also, Fredrik finished the new card art. Instead of action poses for just the face cards, every card has an action pose now, and they look terrific, like everything he does.

That's the good news.

The rest isn't bad news, necessarily, just the realities of learning.

I've been using Dropbox to share versions of the game with a few testers (John, Paul, occasionally someone else). I decided last night to have a friend of mine take a look (he called and said he was bored, since his family was out of town, and he's a huge football fan). So I gave him access to the primary Dropbox folder.

About half an hour later, that folder got updated with save game files from him.

That's logical, right? I mean, it's a shared folder. That's kind of the purpose of Dropbox. But because everyone else had been downloading a copy to their local drive and didn't have Dropbox active when they played, I'd never seen that before, and totally did not realize that's what would happen. I kept thinking that they would play the game, but all their save game files would reside on their local drives and wouldn't affect the Dropbox folder.


No big deal, except I also sent an invite to another friend of mine in the industry who I highly respect, and because of this, I had to send him two follow-up e-mails changing the download location.


It's particularly embarrassing because it has always been a priority to only share the game on a wider scale when it is bug-free. I literally have one outstanding bug right now, but because I didn't understand Dropbox, it still looks like amateur hour. Arghhh.

So, that one outstanding bug. DQ Film Advisor And Nicest Guy In The World Ben Ormand downloaded the game today, and send me a note that when he exited the program, the game music kept playing and he had to go into Task Manager and kill the application.

This is a problem that I've had months, because if someone hits "X" in the top-right of the game window, that closes the application automatically (via Windows, not via my code).


In practice, though, it only closes successfully 80-90% of the time. Occasionally, the window closes and everything looks fine, but the application is still actually running in the background, and it has to manually be killed.

It's good, in a way, that Ben encountered this, because it made me completely determined to fix it now, not later, but again, it's embarrassing.

The good news, overall, is that the "friends and family" beta has started. And it will expand when I fix the application closing error.

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