I don’t yet know if I’ve been selected for Microsoft’s Pre-PAX event this year yet, but I am working on a demo-able build just in case. I wrote up a big list of things I wanted fixed for a demo, and then it occurred to me to add one more item: Test the Xbox One completely offline.
It did not work. This took me by surprise as while I was adding cloud saves, I’d tested the game with the network cable unplugged. The whole point is it should work on or offline. Well, apparently I had not tested booting the system with the network cable unplugged from the get-go! I had no idea what was causing this, so I put some debug code in to figure out if [NDA–CAN’T DISCUSS ITEMS] were completing or what.
Essentially I have code in a coroutine that some other code was checking up on. So I put a “while (!SECRET.CODE_COMPLETED)” check in a while loop that would yield return null while the operation was underway. This way I could print debug info and see what was up. Strangely, this didn’t just give me the information I needed to fix the problem, it actually fixed the problem. I can’t say why, and don’t have time to investigate this much further, but if I had to guess: not only did my code not work offline, it would probably have failed on a slow internet connection as well. The act of trying to debug it fixed it. So that sweat can be wiped off my brow for now, and I can move on to the giant list of things to do!
The first glaring issue was that a multiplayer session in Season Mode really ground to a halt during tryouts. The first draft of tryouts had a normalish player selection screen where multiple players could select any unlocked character to run through the tryouts process. Then, one at a time, they would follow Coach Cliphord’s instructions while everybody else, well, just sat there waiting. Boring. So I reconburbulated the flow to take you straight into the gameplay arena, with Coach Cliphord instructing everyone to press [A] and join the game. There is a 5 second window for additional players to join after the first player hits [A].
The big issue before was you couldn’t do a proper tutorial for one type of player if there were multiple types on the field. Now it’s smart enough to know which type of player should be in the tryouts, so everyone can run around in tryouts and not sit there waiting. The flip side of this is that Tryouts will get a little more chaotic in multiplayer: any player that is first to complete a task causes the tutorial to move on. I think this is okay. I think I will improve it somewhat with some additional text if there is more than one player. It would be helpful for instance to demonstrate passing the ball.
The last thing I got to was cleaning up the player select screen for Season Mode. For one thing, it now correctly labels the match as a home or away game. I still need to change the in-game labeling.
I also got my text wrapping code in so I can easily add description text for the match, including the opponenent’s name, the arena type, or anything else I want to stuff in there. I only have a few blurbs for the first few games, but the framework is there to add more.
There were a few more things added and fixed here and there, including a new generic photo for the Sports Pages, fixing the Exit button on the Team HQ, as well as adding prize money to the Exhibition game at the start of the season. There’s more work to do there as well, but it’s looking better every day. Fingers crossed for Pre-PAX, but either way getting a demoable Season Mode is the priority while I work on the Xbox One port.