Monday, November 19, 2012

Gridiron Solitaire #30

DQ is live today from the snack bar at the Sci-Port children's science museum in Shreveport.

Oh, the humanity.

So after the redesign of the league creation screen, my most prolific beta tester in wave one had an interesting observation: seeing the rankings for each rating, when you first start up the game, is a bit overwhelming. I had done it this way so that I was consistent across all screens that showed team strength, but he was right. The whole point of that screen--and what I thought I had done with the redesign--was to enable the player to pick out a team with the appropriate strength and style for how they wanted to play. And to do that, rankings weren't absolutely necessary.

Some indication of strength, though, was necessary. Something inexact. The same beta tester suggested letter grades, and that makes sense. It's information, but A-D letter grades are less exact than a 1-10 point scale. It only took about an hour to put in, and it's just easier to grasp.

Everywhere else, rankings are used, but the letter grades make it easier to find the team that you want.

Also, I was struggling with the league creation screen because it has a counter-inutitive layout for editing (sorry, no screenshot because I'm in hell, but I think there was one in last week's post). Basically, the team names are buttons, and when you click on a team name, it takes you to the edit screen.

That's fine, but most people seem to expect the button to function as a team selector, not as a "go to edit" function.

I've been screwing around with this for months, trying to get it just right, because I'm only willing to lay it out one more time. I polled for ideas, and DQ VB.Net Advisor Garret Rempel made the perfect suggestion: a little button with a pencil icon, next to each team's name.

I'd been thinking of putting in edit buttons, but the pencil icon ties everything together so neatly. No explanation is necessary, because the pencil is a universal icon for edit. That's just what I wanted. Fredrik has created the image, and it will be in by the end of the week.

Also, while we were driving out here, I worked on a second headline feature, this one following the offseason mini-game. With a second broadcast now in the game, I wanted a second headline as well, one that would evaluate how the player did in the offseason mini-game. So now, once the card outcomes are revealed, a sub runs that evaluates how the team changed and puts up a headline evaluating the player as GM. It's not a big deal, but it's just another way to add flavor.

Eli 11.3 and his friend Jacob played through a full game last night, and just like last year, it was incredibly fun to watch them play. They went ahead 17 in the fourth quarter, gave up a late touchdown, then recovered the onside kick with about 2 minutes left and started celebrating. Now Jacob has a USB key with the game on it, and hopefully he'll keep playing.

There are other things I'm working on this week, but I'm too tired to remember them right now, and I don't have my design notebook with me, so that's it for today.

Site Meter