Problem solving: Highscore lists.

1 Apr

A while ago, I thought I had the highscore list for this game sorted.

I wrote the code for it, got it looking alright and had it implemented as a working part of my game.

Then I introduced the kinect and suddenly nothing it didnt work and it was too hard to control.

The kinect gives you a better method of interaction for my game, but it made data input harder.

The problem with the highscore list is that it requires you to enter your name. Of course the best method of interaction for this is a keyboard, but thats not something I wanted to use.

So, as I set about slowly debugging the highscore interaction to find out why it wouldn’t work, I got more and more frustrated and more inclined just to give up on it all together.

Thats when I decided to rewatch some documentaries about arcade games to inspire me once more.

I watched two documentaries, The King of Kong and Chasing Ghosts. Both are documentaries about how the highscore list of an arcade game is very influential and a big part of what makes an arcade game.

The documentaries both follow some of the best arcade game players in America who try to get the highest scores in their favourite arcade game.

Chasing Ghosts talks more about the highscore culture and how having a highscore on a game made you a celebrity in that arcade.

Not having a highscore list at this point would be very foolish of me, so I plugged on knowing that I was bound to find an answer.

I had a thought, maybe I could replace the keyboard?

Maybe I could replace it with a photobooth type thing. Instead of typing in a name, you would pose for a photo.

But, as I was coding this, it turned out that this was even harder to figure out. Saving text locally and importing that data back in as a highscore list was one thing, but saving photos into an array and then sorting them was nearly impossible.

I scrapped that idea and went back to the keyboard thought.

It turned out that the hit detection wasnt working correctly. One of flash’s quirks I guess. I renamed every key instance name and it started to work again.

Then I set about redesigning my current interface to be more kinect friendly.

First of all, I noticed that there was trouble when it came to buttons being very close together. It made it hard to hit one button because the cursor would be hitting two.

I fixed this by spacing the buttons out better, making them rounded so there was more space in between each key and then making the target area of the cursor in this screen smaller.

With these changes, it was working a lot better. Although, this screen does not like having multiple hands up in the kinect at a time.

Well, now I have a working highscore screen again and it’s far more functional than it was before, plus it looks nicer. So isnt life grand.


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