As I mentioned before, MAGWest was a great opportunity to get feedback for the first time on the Xbox One port of Super Slam Dunk Touchdown’s new Season Mode. I learned a lot, and also found some bugs. Let’s get to it.
I knew I probably had to make the Season Mode save slot buttons wider, but would you believe I never ran into this limit at home? During MAG West it kept happening over and over: Too long team names. So that was an easy fix this week, and I did some alignment cleanup on the buttons while I was at it. Another bug was that if you deleted your season data, the text on the button would still say CONTINUE SEASON. Another easy fix there!
An issue that was on my to-do list was making the player numbers you and your friends are assigned in Season Mode stick through the whole season. Well, this was a common complaint at MAGWest, so I implemented that into the season save data.
Other bugs included:
After Reset All Data the color unlocks were not being cleared, and CPU difficulty text not displaying correctly
Unlocks were being activated after every match instead of after player’s winning matches (I need to learn to lose more!)
The first stick to control the main menu mouse pointer would not time out correctly for other sticks to take over
Changed new fan counter to be + + + and – – – instead of o o o and x x x (people thought the o’s looked like 0’s)
Before the season, all teams are now UNRANKED instead of default starting rank order of 1-6.
Slam dunks were able to be activated if the button was held, not simply pressed. This means sometimes dunks occurred when you were simply charging a shot and rushing past the goalie for a quick goal. I don’t know how long that bug has been in the game!
Season Mode roadmap
My roadmap for completing the Xbox One version of SSDT has been cleaned up with the feedback from MAGWest. These are the major milestones (aside from all the remaining Xbox One release items, such as achievements).
While the tutorial, or Tryouts mode, was useful for getting a lot of players used to each type of sport, sometimes people would get stuck. Getting stuck in the tutorial is a really, really bad thing, so I put some thought into how to improve it.
One of the items on my roadmap was unlockable minigames. I have a few ideas for minigames, but it occurred to me I could combine two birds into like, a stone or something? My current thought is that each minigame is designed to teach some kind of skill. For example, instead of the current Soccer tutorial, this could be a minigame where you have to hit targets at different heights. This new Training game would show up in the Team HQ menu, and if you complete the training, you would unlock a Soccer Targets minigame. My challenge is to come up with multiple minigames for each sport, design them to train players on how to use that sport, and show players what makes it special. Sometimes players would quit after losing 2 matches, so perhaps I can analyze their failure, and have Coach Cliphord take you into a training mode based on whether or not you could score, how good you are at deflecting attacks, whether or not you pass the ball, etc.
Some players at MAGWest really, really, really enjoyed Super Slam Dunk Touchdown’s season mode and kept playing match after match. Some players got 5-7 games into the season! This is a lot when you include the new player tryouts and exhibition game, that’s something like 10 or more games in a row, co-op. Good signs all around!
One thing that helped to keep players interested was earning fans, and the cash you got from winning games and having fans buy tickets. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to spend this cash on yet!
I put some more thought into how the shop would work. What can you buy? How will it work? Do you have to equip things? How does it tie into the arena editor? As I was considering these questions, I realized I could do away with the arena editor, and simply sell the different arena options in the shop. If you want to resurface your home arena with ice, you simply would buy ICE RINK and your next home game would be on ice. If you want to have a larger arena, simply buy EXPAND ARENA. This is good because it takes the planned arena editor functionality off my plate.
Another planned feature that will come into play during Season Mode is the mechanic of SECRETSECRET which advances the SECRET leading up to SECRETSECRETSECRETSECRETSECRET, the availability of SECRETSECRETSECRETSECRETSECRET which leads to the SECRET, SECRET, and SECRET endings. And the SECRETSECRET ending. But before we get to that, let alone the SECRETSECRETSECRETSECRET, the SECRETSECRET mechanic needs to be implemented. It should be a unique and fun addition to Season Mode.
One thing I will probably regret wanting to do is multiple endings for Season Mode. Different endings will depend on your success, failure, whether SECRETSECRET is SECRET or SECRET, etc. Basically there are a lot of ways the Season Mode can end. Of course, then you can start the next season, and end Season Mode a different way next time. While the Single Player Ending is great and in place, the Co-Op ending is pretty lack-luster. Additionally, there needs to be a tie in with the game credits and a SECRET end credits SECRETSECRET.
Endings are going to be a lot of work to design, get the art together and implement, but I think they are important for Season Mode’s replayability.
I’m pretty excited about adding minigames, so I will probably start on the target hitting game and go from there. Have a sporty weekend!