Monday, August 25, 2014

Gridiron Solitaire #119: It's Jumping Around Here

First off, I think the window backgrounds in the team museum are going to be very popular. These aren't final, but have a look at a few prototypes.

I particularly like the background for the big city stadium. You see those lights from a different perspective in-game, and Frederick was very clever  in terms of how he changed the perspective while still evoking the stadium.

Like I said, not quite done, but substantial progress. And the coding for this is essentially done, which lets me work on other parts of the game.

For instance, Visionary Annoyance John Harwood said that matching the penalty card with a wildcard should not result in any yards gained. That's not how I was doing it, but he's totally correct. So I reduced the frequency of penalty cards (easier) while removing any yardage benefit when matching a penalty card (harder). Hopefully, that balances out in the middle in terms of difficulty. Plus, it presents some interesting strategic decisions in terms of using the wildcard to remove a penalty card (for zero yards gained, but opening up the board) or using the wildcard to make a yardage-positive match instead (but ending your chances of removing the penalty card on that play).

That's a much better match for decisions that coaches have to make about penalties in real football.

I'm also, um, rewriting the sound code.

I'd written some very situation-specific code, with an unbelievable number of different sound levels, but the problem was that those sound levels were not really distinguishable by the human ear. So if I had several hundred situations where the difference in volume might be 5%, that was just wasted code, because no one could actually hear that small of a difference.

I made a little soundboard that let me tinker with relative sound levels at different effects, and I think it's helped me understand the size of the difference necessary to actually sound different. So using that as a basic principle, I'm trying to simplify the sound code while also making it more effective.

I was hoping to release this version by Wednesday of this week, but it's not going to happen for testing reasons. However, I'm very hopeful that Labor Day will work out. That's still almost a week before the NFL season starts.

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