Monday, August 18, 2014

Gridiron Solitaire #118: A Big Week

Here's the layout of the new difficulty options:

This screenshot was taken from the development environment, which is why that funky little icon is in the top left. 

The layout isn't hooked up to any code yet, but that will happen over the next few days. How it basically works is that when you're on a non-custom difficulty, you'll see yardage boxes checked to show you what that setting actually means. If you select "custom difficulty," you can then change any of those yardage settings to your preference.

I'm very hopeful that for people having problems with offense or defense but not both, custom settings will help them enjoy the game more.

One of my favorite testers had an interesting comment about the new Team Museum last week. He said it felt like a storage space, not a museum. Bland.

Have a look:

Well, I'll be damned: he's right.

Even though the museum adds a new season book each year, and Gridiron Bowl trophies will be displayed proudly, it does feel like a storage closet. I spent so much time thinking about functionality that I dropped the ball in terms of design.

I thought about it for a few days, and the tester's comments mixed with my own meandering, and I think I have a much better idea. This is a very, very crude representation, and it's very much incomplete, but have a look:

That window opens up the space, and Fredrik originally included one, but it was taken out because we needed the wall space. As it turns out, though, the expansive feeling is much more important than the wall space. In the background will be a small portion of the team's stadium as viewed from the outside (giving the museum the feeling of being part of a much larger team facility). The stadium's suggestion was tosh's idea (the tester), and it's terrific.

I was trying to think of something whimsical that would suit Fredrik's playful art style, and I realized that we could use placeable objects  much like they're currently used in the lake and coastal stadiums ( where boats and surfers are dynamically placed). Plus, these objects could be trailing team banners or something.

So, for example, a small plane could be flying by, trailing a team banner. Or a big plane. Or a parachutist. Or a guy in a squirrel suit. Or a balloon.

There are plenty of possibilities, and it will make the world around the museum feel dynamic instead of static. This will be lots of fun, and the amount of coding I will have to do to accommodate it is minimal.

One more screenshot. This is now populating with real data:

Individual players now have unique portraits, and those portraits follow them throughout their careers. Plus, and this was a big deal, career totals are now calculating, not just single-season totals. There's still at least one bit of temporary art (the close book icon), but the vast majority of work is complete.

Amusingly, the most difficult element of this screen, by far, was the portraits. You would not believe how much time it took to get them working properly!

Alright, that's enough for this week. Eli is in a day-long camp all week, so I have a big opportunity in terms of time. By next Monday, this essentially needs to be completed and tested. Well, not the art, unless Fredrik is Superman, although that's a distinct possibility.

I have my suspicions.

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