Monday, December 24, 2012

Gridiron Solitaire #35: A Big Week

Gloria and Eli 11.4 went to San Antonio for an overnight trip last weekend, which meant that I got in 10 hours of development time in two days.

For playoff games, we now have a national anthem, sung by this lady:
Fredrik really outdid himself on this one. The spittle puts it totally over the top.

The singer only does the last line of the anthem, in "blah blah blah" format, and there's a different singer depending on if you're home or away (no neutral sites).

I also had time to dig into something I've wanted to change for months: field goal logic. I wanted the highest and lowest possible special teams rankings to correspond to the best and worst kickers in the NFL, but I couldn't quite manage it the first time around. What I discovered after doing some additional research, though, is that from 35 yards in (field goal distance, not line of scrimmage), all NFL kickers are basically money. There's very little difference between them, because their accuracy is almost 100%. The difference is in kicks longer than 35 yards, and the longer the kick, the greater the difference, particularly for >50 yard kicks. I was accurately able to model that this time, and also able to add in the correct accuracy adjustment for snow games (again, there's only an affect on the success rate beyond a certain distance). It's something little that most people wouldn't notice, but it was driving me crazy.

I also made a few changes to the offseason broadcast, and now, you'll get to see the three favorites for the Gridiron Bowl before the season begins.

The extra time I had to work also meant that I finished testing the team history screens. They're all displaying data properly now, navigation is working, and I've very pleased with how they turned out. Having a card for each season is consistent with the card theme of the game, and there's plenty of information to work with if you want to compare different seasons.

Along with those additions, I was able to make a fair number of small, cosmetic fixes to various screens.

Right now, there are really only two features of any significance that still need to be added: playoff brackets to display over the Team Hub (during the playoffs, obviously), and a cut scene that comes up when the game is started for the first time. Fredrik has created some outstanding images for the cut scene, and I have a script written, so things are proceeding, although it may be a few more weeks before even a rough cut is ready.

I also bought a cruddy, low-end notebook for testing purposes. I figure that if I can get everything to display properly at the lowest possible resolution someone could run the game, and also optimize the code so that it runs quickly, then it should work on anything.

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