Monday, April 08, 2013

Gridiron Solitaire #50: New Stadiums and the Domino Effect

Putting something into the game, even when it seems simple, has a ripple effect.

Putting in four new stadiums? Major ripple effect.
--change the TeamInfo file to have a new field: "stadiums".
--change the team load information to include a default stadium value. Since there's a stadium on the edge of a lake/ocean, make the water stadium assignment geographically appropriate.
--change the team customization screen to include stadium selection. This is important, because a user might like/dislike a particular stadium, so there has to be an option to assign the stadiums as the user wishes.

Here's what that screen looks like now:

The new layout looks easy, but doing the layout and the supporting code took about four hours.

--the new stadiums need a differently-shaped away crowd shape. Copy an existing home team rectangle and change all the assignments for color (this requires quite a bit of work in XAML, believe it or not, because the colors are dynamically assigned when the game is loaded).
--rework all the crowd animation code to included "if visible" checks, because with different stadium sizes in terms of crowd blocks, not all crowd shapes will be visible in every stadium.
--along with that, the positioning of every crowd element has to be revised for every stadium, then assigned when the game window loads.
--rewrite the stadium assignment code when the main game window loads, because instead of 3 possible stadium images (standard/rain/snow), there are now 4x3 possibilities.

Holy crap. So this is an enhancement that takes one second to describe ("new stadiums") and 15 hours to implement. It's almost done, though, and it's a good use of time, because the different stadiums will give the game a more distinct feel.

This is going to be in by Friday (Thursday, I'm hoping), and come hell or high water, the second beta is starting this weekend. I've been resisting because there are still outstanding items, but that's a trap, because I need the additional feedback. I'm seeing an occasional display issue that I can't duplicate on either of my machines (dev machine and crappy netbook), so I need to get more instances to narrow down the cause.

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