Monday, November 05, 2012

Gridiron Solitaire #28

Last week was completely insane. Eli 11.3 had three flag football playoff games, plus there was a hockey tournament in Dallas last weekend (which I'm writing about for later in the week).

In other words, time was a precious, vanishing commodity.

I did manage to finish and test the new information display where you see ratings ranked in relation to other teams. And the "t.v. broadcast" for the offseason, while simple, is also working. What I basically do is pick three teams at random for a +3 adjustment to one of their ratings, and the broadcaster tells you the team and the rating. Plus, if the human player had ten or more wins in the previous season, he mentions that the league has taken notice of that team's success.

On the way to Dallas, I rewrote part of the offseason code to be more dynamic. Previously, the three ratings that were selected for change in the offseason were determined entirely at random. They were all equally weighted, and it was just a simple dice roll to pick which ratings, plus another dice roll to determine the outcome.

Now that teams respond to the success and play style of the human player, though, I felt like I needed to improve the CPU evaluation of its own talent. So now, if a team has a rating of 3 or below in any category, there will be a slightly higher chance that they will attempt to improve that rating. It's not a huge effect, but it should (over time) reduce the number of teams that have low ratings in a particular area.

Now that the CPU offseason has been taken care of, I'm moving on the human player's mini-game. The display of information needs to be improved, and I also am considering some slight changes to the visual layout. I used the Windows default buttons originally, but since the in-game buttons are round, I like the idea of making the buttons on this screen round as well, since the player is actually making a decision related to the game. That way, all round buttons would be related to decisions, while the rectangular, traditional Windows-shaped buttons are all related to navigation or non-game decisions. I like that, from a design standpoint, not that I'm sure anyone else would ever notice or even make the connection.

It's been a little discouraging, I admit, to have 15 people in a beta at one time. The amount of feedback overwhelmed me, and I felt like I was failing. but I realized last week that this was just a development stage that I had no experience with. So I've settled down and realized that this stage of the beta is going to last longer than I expected.

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