Monday, February 04, 2013

Gridiron Solitaire #41: The New Offseason

The new offseason is developing nicely, even though it's clearly a ton of work to get through, and it's going to take another full week, at least.

I took a few screenshots to show you the basic layout. Ignore the outlines of other controls--that's just part of the Visual Studio development environment.

First, here's the opening screen for the offseason min-game:

Obviously, some elements are missing from that screen (like a header at the top). The buttons, though, are almost finished. The "Purchased" label at the bottom of the buttons only shows up when you've actually purchased a card, to help you keep track of what you're doing.

Fredrik is creating a little accountant to put next to the Team Budget field, so that it looks like he's crunching the numbers as you buy cards (and as the Team Budget total increments). Here's a very cool concept sketch he sent me last night:

One of my favorite parts of this project has been working with Fredrik. He has a whimsical sense of humor that is much less sarcastic than mine--which is good--and he puts so much of his personality into his art.

So when the harried accountant is finished, he'll take his place on all the offseason screens (because the team budget is on every screen).

When you click on any of the ranking buttons, you go to the purchase screen for that particular rating, and it will look something like this:

Again, that screen isn't complete (no header, and most importantly, no return button!), but you can see the basic layout. Seven cards, each with a different rating and priced accordingly. After thinking about it this morning, I think I'm going to ask Fredrik to modify a few of the card poses to show their actual ratings potential. So a jersey number will say "+2", for example, and you'll be able to look at the card and see what it could do for your rating, instead of having a separate label.

I also came up with something I like very much in terms of the cards, and that's a lifecycle. Each card has a seven year lifecycle, basically, and their rating changes like this: +1, +2, +3, +4, +2, +1, +/-2. That's meant to basically correspond to a real athlete's change in performance from rookie to peak to retirement.

In a player's last season, they're basically radioactive, because they can actually hurt a rating. That simulates a team picking up a veteran near the end of their career, hoping for one last hurrah. Those radioactive cards will be cheap, but they're very, very risky.

The other cards will have predictable results, unless the cards goes "bust" (10% chance), in which case the rating won't change at all.

Each year, the currently active cards that are available for purchase "age" by a year, and their rating changes. So you'll see a particular card (Donovan McThrowfarson, for example) become more and more expensive, then come down in price as it nears the end of its career.

It's not impossible to think that I might somehow tie this into the game more dynamically, where your team ratings change each year as the purchased cards age, but it would make the game much, much complicated, and I'm not sure many people would want that. I'm trying to have a degree of depth without turning off people who just want to play a fun card game. So for now, the aging dynamic just makes the purchase screen more interesting, so you can get a sense of players changing over time.

Oh, and that layout of the card itself is not complete, because each card will have a player's name as well. And they'll be silly. Very silly.

I'm hoping this will be done by next Monday, and if so, I'll have some finished screenshots for you.

Site Meter