February 9th

In Star Wars Episode I the nitwit character Jar Jar Binks, while fleeing the advancing droid army, jumps underneath a wagon. In the relative safety of his hiding place, he exclaims “This is nuts!” That’s how I’m feeling right now.

On Monday, February 11th, I must deliver the source code to the two programmers who’ll be porting the game to other platforms. I should be in the final stages of bug checking and prettying up the source code. But no! I’ve gotten such great feedback from playtesters that I have lots of great ideas for improvements. I’ve got to get them done, like, YESTERDAY!!!

The first issue concerns the difficulty levels. I had originally planned to make them invisible, just making the characters perform better, but just a few days ago I came up with a better idea: don’t show the perceived affinities. In the Easy Level, you get to see the true affinities. In the Medium Level, you get to see perceived Affinities, but they’re only rough approximations. In the Hard Level, you don’t see anything until somebody fills you in.

The question before me is, will this scheme really work? I have to make a decision RIGHT NOW. I suppose that I’ll go with it.

The second big issue is the addition of animation and sound indicating that other characters are engaging in telephone conversations behind the player’s back. The plan is simple: play a quick “rutabaga” sound effect and have the character’s face show the expressions appropriate to the conversation, but at such a speed that the player really can’t figure it out.

I quickly got together the code for this, but then ran into a nasty problem: it relied on the use of a Java Timer object, which apparently cannot be nested. All the other Timers I use operate separately, but this Timer needs, for complicated reasons, to be executed from inside the Event Handler of another Timer, and apparently that’s a Java no-no, because it refuses to work. So now I am contemplating a major change in the sequencing process of the turns, which will upset a LOT of code. Should I attempt so gross an operation at this delicate stage?

Post Scriptum, 10:11 PM

It’s the last few seconds of the game… Crawford tries a desperate, one-armed throw all the way across the court… the buzzer sounds the end of the game… and he scores!!!! The crowd goes wild!

And with that, I’m 
done with this design!