Monday, August 05, 2013

Gridiron Solitaire #66: Revised Stadium Architecture

Fredrik, of course, knew what to do about stadium architecture. Have a look:

You'll need to click on the image to see all the detail at full resolution, but it's a huge improvement. A stadium framework around the stands, flags that add a sense of depth, individual rows of stairs, press boxes--it's cohesive now. And when the fans are in the stands, it looks even better.

That's the good news. The bad news is that there are seven more stadiums to revise. It's going to work, though.

At this point in the second beta, most of the participants have either dropped off or only rarely e-mail, but I have three testers (Tosh, Darrel, and Nate) who are basically superstars. They find all kinds of obscure things that I would never have caught in a hundred years. Just yesterday, for example, Darrel sent me a ton of screenshots to show where long team names/nicknames weren't displaying properly.

I had set an arbitrary character limit for the team and nickname fields, but it had never crossed my mind that someone might choose a very long team name AND a very long team nickname. If they did, though, it was going to cause big problems. 

This made me think in more detail about how long those team name fields really needed to be, and because of that, both fields now have far more realistic length limitations, and those limitations ensure that even with a long/long combination, text will display properly.

It's the same thing with resolutions. Man, supporting various resolutions and doing all the checks necessary are just a huge pain in the ass. I've done it, but these guys found some holes in what I'd done, so I get to fix it now instead of getting hammered when the game ships (well, if someone actually buys the game--it may be the sound of crickets chirping instead).

So I'm doing a lot of this grindy stuff now, and after I finish this I'm going to play a game on my ultra-crappy low-resolution netbook (which I bought specifically because it IS ultra-crappy and provides a worst-case scenario for performance). 

Oh, there is at least one fun thing: a ten-second sample from the cut scene is in the game now. It only displays once--the first time you start the game--but it's great fun to see it actually in place, even if it's only an excerpt. No audio yet--well, only my voice, which is lousy--but it's getting there. 

When I have the full cut scene in there with finished audio, it will be the first time that the entire game--absolutely everything--will be stitched together. I still find it impossible to believe that this is actually going to happen. Sometimes it pays off being so stupid that you don't know when to quit.

Oh, and if you want to be in the last beta test, just shoot me an e-mail. I'd be happy to add another ten people or so, if anyone is interested.

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