Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Fighting Eleven #7: The Work List

I'm struggling with something.

I have a completed, detailed design, which should allow me to create the game.

With Gridiron, because I'd never done anything like this before, I built it screen by screen. It was entirely linear, because that's how I saw it in my head.

That worked, eventually, but I'd like to be more efficient this time.

Now I'm building the work plan, and this is unknown territory for me, because it's not necessarily linear this time. I find it overwhelming to try to sort out everything I need to do in an order that's not strictly related to screen sequence.

I'm going to start with data structures and classes, because to be able to progress on the recruiting portion, I need to have a data file that represents the football universe. From that file, I can pull all the information I need to assign "badges" to teams for use in the recruiting process.

I've also decided that I'm going to use text files for game data because I want everyone to be able to mod the game in any way they want.

I have a long, long history of modifying game text files in sports games to change how the world behaves, all the way back to Front Page Sports: Baseball Pro '98. To me, tweaking that .ini file, which literally controlled everything in terms of how the game behaved, was a game in itself.

So if users want to dig into the data and modify how the world works, they're going to be able to do whatever they want.

Beyond that, though, in terms of a work plan, I'm sort of stuck.

I also have to make one more adjustment. Fredrik came in fairly early in GS, over two years before the game was completed, and I wasted a ton of his time, because I wasn't sure what I wanted, art-wise.

This time, I have to be more efficient, and more targeted. But it's going to be difficult.

All right, I'm off to finish the data file, and next week, I'll share with you what's in it. Of course, it's 10X overkill for what the user will actually see, but drilling 10,000 feet deep unnecessarily into something is kind of my signature.

Maybe no one else will notice that I actually have a rating for Wyoming's athletic facilities in relation to all other D1 football programs, but I will.

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