Friday, April 06, 2007


Most of the time spent in the last few days has concerned teams. I've got a simple import function in the editor that will read data from a csv file, so I've filled it out with 189 clubs from the UK and Ireland. Not much in the way of data, just names, formation years and club colours, but also a team rating.

One thing that irritates me about some games is that if the developers can't get the player data, they leave the team out altogether. Sometimes the team exists but cannot be controlled, they're there in order that certain competitions work accurately (for example, having a number of Andorran clubs in the game so that they compete in UEFA competitions), but in more extreme cases they just cease to exist.

This strikes me as a mistake. Surely, when it comes to accuracy, the hierarchy is Real Players -> Fake Players -> Non Existence?

I'm a one-man band at the moment. I may well be able to draft in some volunteers to help me out with player data, but there's no chance whatsoever of every team in the game having real players. Restricting the number of playable teams has a greater negative impact than having having them slightly inaccurate.

Clubs in the game have ratings for more than just random player generation in the event of missing data. For a start, in testing the game I need as many players in there as possible, and working on real data just isn't quick enough. A quick routine in the code to flesh out every side and I'm ready to test.

The second reason is due to the game's focus system. The less important the competition from your perspective, the less time you want the game to spend on it. By giving each club a rating that changes as players move and develop, I can generate reasonably accurate results for distant leagues based on club ratings instead of calculating individually. Speed is vitally important, it is a game after all. More playing, less waiting.

I've also tweaked FryGUI some more, and now it's possible to add new gadgets to the system without altering the module itself. This is perfect for game-specific features such as a league table in a football game - why do I need that in a graphic adventure? Gadgets are easily added, and the XML system has been revamped to allow for the new gadgets to be added so that the parser can recognise them.

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