Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Everrryybboodddyyy-- Jump! Jump! Jump!

Friday 11/20: Started work on a jump animation.

Monday 11/23: Finished jump animation. Added jump action. Added action button. New dpad style. Made dpad a little bigger.

Tuesday 11/24: Made jump action more responsive, like a Mario jump. Fixed up input mechanism so that it can handle dpad and button events at the same time. Added layouts.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

To Throw Or Not To Throw

Friday 11/13: AI won't dump it more than 20'. Fix bug that sometimes caused AI blindly throw into the mark. Improved AI's calculation of whether to throw a backhand or forehand. Allow AI to stop their throwing motion if the receiver turns away. Made marking with dpad a bit smoother. AI won't throw to you if you aren't running toward them. Defensive reaction time is now random.

Tuesday 11/17: Added variable running speeds with the dpad.

Wednesday 11/18: Started to rework the system that decides whether a throw to a cutter is open.

Thursday 11/19: Finished reworking the open-throw system, which yields better calculations of whether the mark is blocking the throw, and whether to throw a forehand or backhand. Added hucks to the AI.

Hmm...now that there's a deep game, I want to add jumping and diving...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Don'tcha Wish You Could Play This Game?

Monday 11/9: Continued work on restructuring the AI system. I've come to realize that this is the most complicated part of the whole program and I'll probably need to completely rewrite it a handful more times before I'm done. Anyway, it's getting more flexible all the time.

Tuesday 11/10: Added breakside cuts from the stack. Refactored AI loading code.

Wednesday 11/11: Added a whole bunch of different strong side cuts, including a couple deep cuts. Rewrote the throwing actions so that they are easier to control.

Thursday 10/12: Fixed backhand animation. Hid the status bar. AI players now throw backhands. AI now moves around a little (randomly) on the mark. Fixed some bugs (AI would sometimes run away with the disc). Turning with the disc is now done with the d-pad.

This week had a bunch of small changes that really increased the playability. The controls still need some refining, but you might actually call it "fun" to play now, whereas before it was simply frustrating. (Don't get me wrong, it's still fairly frustrating)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sorry, Still No Screenshot

Wednesday 11/4: Human controlled players can now mark. Small tweak to AI cuts. Beginning of movement while marking. Decreased effectiveness of marks. Added a directional pad.

Thursday 11/5: Added generic way for actions to access DPad data. Added mark movement.

Friday 11/6: Added structure for AI choosing among different options (e.g., between force side or break side cut).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I played in my first Club Nationals in the Open division and it was great. It was also the first trip for my team (including 26/27 members) and we finished 13th (out of 16).

I've heard that playing at Nationals somehow drastically improves the game of you and your team, and I guess that's true. The long term effect on Madcow is yet to be seen, but I think my game has been improving. I think that started at Regionals however.

As a rookie, Regionals was understandably a pretty nervous event for me, but by the end of it I found a comfort zone. I didn't play amazingly, but I did gain some confidence. During Nationals, I again faced a little nervousness (who wouldn't?) but I soon realized that I had control over my play. Almost all of the teams we played were at the same level as the guys I practice against all the time. The guy guarding me might be a little better or worse than average, but it's still the same game. If I run hard no one is going to shut me down.

I think the magic of Nationals is that each game matters as much as the last and each game requires the same amount of effort. And, each game feels very meaningful. And it happens over a longer time-span (3 days). It gets you into a groove of playing competitive ultimate that irons out the inconsistencies in your game. Of course, I don't think that's too different from someone playing in their first college tournament, but that's why that first college tourney can also be a big step in someone's game.

In the end, it's not that a new competitive experience gives you new skills, but rather it brings you mentally to a new level of play, and you see new possibilities in your game.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Monday 10/26: Create backhand animation.

Tuesday 10/27: Start implementing backhands in-game.

Wednesday 10/28: Leave for Nationals

Monday 11/2: Come back from Nationals

Tuesday 11/3: Finish implementing backhands and pivot motion from forehand to backhand. Make AI defense aggressive about catching a thrown disc and getting in front of a cutter.