Monday, March 24, 2014

Gridiron Solitaire #98: Opportunities

This is a big week.

I'm back in a normal coding rhythm. The schedule is normal. Fredrik is working on new "big" images in addition to the kickoff images.

So after a period of time where I was fighting the schedule and everything else to make progress, now everything is flowing in a positive direction.

When I integrated the big image into kickoffs last week, I originally set it up to function outside the message queue. The message queue is what I use to coordinate sound effects/images/text messages, but for various reasons, kickoffs didn't integrate easily, so I scotch-taped something separately. It worked, but the timing between the kickoff routine and the message queue was incredibly complicated.

This was stupid, obviously, and bad programming. Really bad.

On Friday and Saturday, I started doing it the right way. I dismantled the separate routine and integrated it properly into the message queue. Now, instead of having to write additional, separate routines to use big images with field goals, punts, touchdowns, etc., it's all integrated into the message queue. It's going to be very, very simple to add as many big images as I want to, and they'll all flow through the message queue, so there will be no timing issues.

Lesson: do it the right way the first time. That's a good lesson in general.

I thought about the logical way to use big images, and I think it's a fairly simple separation. Referee signals will still be used for "administrative" events (first downs, end of quarter, halftime, end of game), but big images will be used for "action" events (touchdowns, fumbles, interceptions, punts, field goals).

This makes the game presentation much more dynamic, and I can't wait to see it all working together. That's why this week is big, potentially--I think I can integrate most of these images and events into the game by the end of the week. So I may have a working version of the new presentation by Saturday.

I'll have plenty of screenshots next week, hopefully.

Eli 12.7 had a terrific idea last week.

What was interesting is that he threw out something that was so raw it I could barely even understand what he was talking about. So I told him he needed to go back and think about what he was trying to do, and present it to me in a more complete form.

Instead of forgetting all about it, like most twelve-year-olds would do, he brought it up again the next day, and this time, it was much more substantial. There was enough there that I could do something with it.

What he wanted, as it turned out, was something very cool.

The outcome of our discussions was this: there's going to be a "trade deadline week" added to the season around week eight. I'm going to write  a little routine where teams can move ratings points to other teams in exchange for budget dollars in the offseason.

A bad team, for example, might trade a ratings point or two to a good team, but at an inflated price. The maximum price for a 1-star card in the offseason is 60k, but if a team wants to do it during the season, it will cost 75k a point, or even 80k. Sacrificing tomorrow for today, in other words, if a team has a chance at a championship.

This happens less in football than it does in other team sports, so there won't be a ton of transactions, but it's a way to add some spice to the world during the season.

The visual payoff is that during trade deadline week, there will be a scrolling ticker on the Team Hub screen that displays the transactions--both deals and near deals.

The human player will be able to trade ratings points, too. Since there's a premium to pay, though, if the player tries to add ratings points during a good season, it's going to hurt them in the future. So there's no free lunch here, but it gives the player more flexibility to shape their team.

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