Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Fighting Eleven #13: Progress

Jump-starting development with that five day period turns out to have been very, very positive, because I've maintained the momentum.

Fredrik always laughs at me when I spend time on visuals at this stage, but the visuals create a style and a look that incent me to develop with personality. Card games/sports sims are, in essence, spreadsheets and dice rolls.

Who wants to play that?

I don't. I want to play something that feels alive. So part of what I'm working on are small, dynamic touches. For instance, on the recruiting screen, there will be a waving flag staked out at your home school location. And I'm trying to add as many small animations as possible on these screens, so that it feels like something that breathes.

Now, this is going to look janky as hell, because a bunch of different things are in process, but here's a screenshot of the recruiting screen:

Let me try to bundle this up and explain what's supposed to be going on, even though certain pieces aren't working yet. Plus, click on the image for a larger version. Oh, and obviously, this is 100% placeholder art cobbled together.

You'll come to this screen in the offseason to replace graduating players. The remaining players on your team are listed in the right panel, so you know how many players you have at each position, plus the quality of those players.

In the left panel are the position buttons you press to recruit a player at that position. When you do, six recruits are generated that are appropriate for your program level (those are the green dots). The green dots will be linked with a "shorty" display (basically, the name/stars portion of the player card) that gives you a basic indicator of the player quality. If you hover over the shorty, you'll get the full player info card.

On the left of that card are player data that you'll use throughout his career. On the right side is information related only to recruiting, which will no longer be relevant after the player's recruiting is complete.

There will be a button on the player card if you want to recruit the player, and from there you'll be sent to the recruiting battle screen.

There are still some layout issues, obviously, but what I'm working on right now is generating authentic locations for the recruits. To do it and have it feel real, it takes a ton of tremendously boring research that I'm plowing through right now. When it's done, though, recruits will be coming from cities that mirror real life college football, and that's going to be a big moment in development.

I know. A hundred miles deep on something almost no one notices. I notice, though.

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