Monday, July 15, 2013

Gridiron Solitaire #63: A Quality

I know I have two problems:
1. People are used to strategy when playing cards in a card game. They're not used to making strategic decisions "outside" the cards. Gridiron Solitaire has cards, but the card play is simple. It's the strategic decisions that give the game its shape.
2. GS is a deep game, but it's not immediately apparent that it's deep. There are so many little touches that only get seen over time. So for people who only want gratification in the first 15 minutes, I'm in trouble.

I do have hope, though, because the game has a flow to it that is very unique for a card game.

An example: I played a game with the Lobsters against Cleveland. In the 3rd period, down 24-17, I was stopped on fourth down on Cleveland's two-yard line. In the fourth period, with time winding down, I scored to tie the game at 24. Cleveland took the ball and started driving, and they reached midfield.

It was 4th down and twelve.

There was enough time on the clock for two CPU pass plays, but only one running play. So Cleveland had a decision to make. If they passed, they could possibly get into field goal position, but if they didn't make a first down, I'd have the ball near midfield with time to run one play.

They could punt, but a kicking play wouldn't run all the time off the clock, and I'd still get one play.

So the CPU did what an NFL team would do in that situation (normally): they called a kneel down (a running play where the quarterback just takes the snap and kneels), which took all the time off the clock and didn't allow me to run a play.


In overtime, I made it to the forty-five yard line of Cleveland, and faced fourth down and eight. I decided to go for it, because a first down would put me in field goal position.

I gained exactly eight yards.

On fourth down, that triggers a first down measurement, and I watched as the chain extended. When it finally stopped, I was two inches short of a first down. Turnover on downs.

Cleveland drove down the field, although I managed to force a fourth down at my own thirty-five. They attempted a field goal, and the text message said it hit the crossbar--and bounced over.

Game over.

That's the kind of drama I was hoping for when I started 3+ years ago. It took a long time to get to this point, but I feel good about the experience the game gives a user. It doesn't reveal itself immediately, necessarily, but it's there, and it's lasting.

So like I said, I have problems, but I also have hope.

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