Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fighting 11 #9: On Campus

Have a look:

That's not art from the game. It's just an image I found (Middlebury College, from the Veritas Forum) that shows the perspective I want to use.

The campus view of the game is where you can upgrade facilities, which will increase your program's desirability to recruits. There are four major upgrade areas: Academics, training facilities, stadium, and a fourth one I've forgotten for now. 

If you upgrade your program, you'll get more recruiting badges for that area, so you can get better recruits. 

Users gain general upgrade points for campus facilities by winning games and exceeding expectations, be it on the field or in recruiting.

Instead of talking about the nuts and bolts of all that today, though, I want to focus on presentation. 

Here's how I envision this working. The screen is going to be divided into four equal sections, and each one represents an upgrade area. In essence, there will be four big buttons on the screen, and clicking on one takes you to the upgrade screen for that area. 

That's easy to create, but of course I don't want it to be easy. 

I want to make a "sandwich" of elements, with a transparent button on top. So there would be a background image (just the landscape, essentially) for each season. 

That's the base layer. 

The second layer consists of trees and buildings, and they're individual elements that can be placed anywhere on the background layer. Then the top layer, which is transparent, is a button control--one for each quadrant.

There are some strong advantages to this approach. For one, individual buildings can change their appearance when they get upgraded, so if you upgrade an area, you're going to see your campus change in appearance as well. 

It also lets me create custom presets that would produce different looking campuses, so if you play through multiple dynasties, you won't have to look at the same campus every time.

The best part about this, though, is the tinkering. 

I really enjoy games where I can do non-directed tinkering. It doesn't even have to reward me in the game, because the tinkering is the reward. 

Want to make your campus look different? Well, you can. You can go into a campus construction screen and place individual elements where you want. All I have to do is save the coordinates for the element locations to reproduce them in-game. 

You won't have to tinker if you don't want to--the presets should look very nice--but if you want to do everything down to the last detail, you can. 

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