Gameplay Improvements, Routes, Rushing, Defensive Roles – Indie Devlog Series

This week was busy continuing work on game play issues from the changes to add two player to the game, along with new AI logic for players to adhere to called plays using the new play calling system.

The work began with testing turnovers and making sure the proper teams were getting the ball and the ball was being placed at the correct spot on the field. The new changes to add two player to the game has caused a variety of new bugs that continue to pop up and should be around for a little while until I can test things enough to clean up the core game play engine.

While dealing with testing game play issue, I spent time working through the play calling screens to get plays you pick to be the actual plays being run by each team on both offense and defense. Depth chart issues needed to be added into the mix and players needed to get proper routes and roles assigned to them prior to the snap.

Offensive plays were the first priority with blockers, receivers, and rushers all taking on new AI programming to act out each play as designed. This included go routes, cutback routes, and more. Rush blocking was vastly improved to run on a path more intelligently and block defenders in their way. This took some time to get working because on a toss play, for instance, the blockers would try to block the lineman on the line too early and not run their path before looking for defenders to block. In the end, I think it’s working better now and I’m satisfied for now to keep moving onto defensive plays.

Defensive plays were never being drawn or used up to this point. So I had to get the plays from the play calling menu to draw for the defense on the field as the first step. Next, was to get the players to actually take on a role of QB spy, man, zone, deep zone, blitz, or delayed blitz where as before it was simply man or zone roles.

In the end, I’m satisfied with the progress made this week and the game is getting closer to feeling like a complete game on the field each week that passes. I’m looking forward to the next coming weeks and can’t wait for what lies ahead in 2020!

Be sure to leave comments if you want to get your voice heard or have any feedback on the game.

Indie Game Devlog #16 – A New Foundation

Building A New Foundation

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a video on Legend Bowl, so I thought I’d share some updates with you guys!

Let’s start with some back story to get you up to speed on all that’s happened since my last dev log.  Around May of last year, I took a detour and started working on another project I planned on trying to knock out in a few months.  Like any other software development project, things always take two to three times longer to finish and planning is almost always a difficult task to master.

Leading up to the break on Legend Bowl, my main developer was beginning to distance himself and eventually left the project without any notice or warning.  Fast forward 6 months and now I’m back at Legend Bowl 100% and I’m rebuilding the code base from scratch.  Yea that’s right, from scratch!

The reason is two fold… for starters the previous code base was too robust and things were beginning to get a bit unorganized and cumbersome.  Secondly, since my developer left I thought it was time for be to quickly transition into something more manageable.  Something I could build on my own to be 100% intune with all aspects of the project without depending on another coder.

I’ve been working on Legend Bowl again since the start of the new year.  I’m super excited to get this project moving and I’ve made quite a bit of progress leading up to this post.  My plan is build a brand new “state” system which allows me to isolate player behaviors and animations without needing to jump through 20 hoops to get there.  This will be the foundation of the new engine and will allow for quicker tuning for improved gameplay and behavior.

The plan is to get the on-field game working at some basic level and then move onto the polish.  I’ll be sharing the journey with new videos and I progress through this phase so stay tuned!

Indie Dev Life #15 – Initial Gameplay Showcase

Initial Gameplay Showcase

Have you been waiting to see some type of gameplay?  Well you’re in for a treat because we go through quit a bit in this video.

This video covers all of the new features in Legend Bowl and we’re excited to show the latest and greatest.  We will run through a new UI system, a Training Simulator, and Gameplay (if that’s what you want to call it).

User Interface / Experience (UI/UX)

Splash screen with new logo.

The game is coming along well, but there’s still a ton more work and it’s nowhere near close to anything for the public to see.  With that said, I’ve added some things to begin forming something that looks like an actual game.  This was done by adding UI/UX screens to the game, starting with a simple splash secreen using the new red & blue Legend Bowl logo recently made by our artist.

These screens are all placeholders for now, but are a massive help to test the game and navigate without having to change code and restart each time.  This will speed up the testing aspects of the game as we begin to move into the deeper mechanics like complex “Steering Behaviors” and “Artificial Intelligence”.

New UI changes to main menu.

The Main Menu consists of several options, but all are not functional at the moment.  We will breakdown each menu item briefly to cover what each does or will be intended to do.

Play Football – Similar to the “Play Now” menu in other sports titled video games where you go to the field and have some pigskin battles!  Currently, this menu simply loads two random teams onto the field and pins them together for some simple gameplay.

New Coin Toss with UI.

New Story – Future menu for the RPG component of Legend Bowl, where you go on a quest to build your player and construct a team in hopes of winning it all one day!

More menu mockups.

Load Story – Will load the story Save file to continue your adventure.

Training Camp – This is the simulator, currently utilized to “hone” in on specific gameplay aspects (throwing, catching, tackling, kicking, lineman interactions, etc.) in hopes of refining them to one day transport into the game.  This mode will eventually become a practice facility with special skills challenges to help boost your player/team abilities and collect new goodies in the process!

Throwing Simulator

New Throwing Simulator to test out your skills!

We are in the process of drastically improving the player movement (every actor in the game for that matter) in the game and Steering Behaviors need a reboot.  We have them in the game now, but there are issues and limitations with the current version which cause Referees to get stuck, Cameramen to miss their destinations and “float” by and Players to disappear off the screen!

Steering Behaviors Revisited

Steering Behaviors prototyping.

This prototype will aid in this goal and, like the Simulator, it really helps isolate the core functionality, while excluding any unrelated mechanics that may interfere with the code.  We hope to see some new behavior soon, but as with anything else, it will take time and need refinement along the way.

Options – Exactly what it means and what every game includes.  So no need to dive into this one just yet.

Quit To Desktop – Say bye bye to game when you click this puppy!

Well that’s it for now fans!  Be sure to checkout the video for a deeper look into these new updates and stay tuned for upcoming news on where Legend Bowl lands next!

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