poker fight recap / TODOs

Posted by (twitter: @SimianLogic)
December 16th, 2013 4:07 pm

submission here

Made Art vs Found Art vs Paid Art

The competition rules say you have to make all the art yourself to get around people grabbing stuff off of Google that may or may not have a license (as well as just to make something entirely in 48 hours). I get why those rules exist, but I feel like they’re missing a few edge cases. I have a (paid) license on the Oryx 16-bit sprite set and LD would be a perfect venue to actually play with those. There’s no murkiness in the license, and the only reason not to allow stuff like that is that I guess people who haven’t paid for them might feel like their art puts them at a disadvantage. I mostly do LD for the design/engineering side, though. I could switch to the JAM, but I like the 48-hour format better.

Re: Card Art — I feel like I spent the whole first day just making the card art. I don’t think public domain poker cards would be violating the spirit of the art rules, as that’s sort of the raw material needed for designing a game on top of the standard 52-card deck. Content generators are allowed, but I didn’t see any for playing cards.

Work Flow

The Futile/Unity workflow is nicer than I thought it would be. For my current iOS projects, I do something like:

compose screens in photoshop -> export individual layers/metadata -> in code, automagically lay out screens based on filenames and metadata (including image layout, text fields, and buttons)

I tweaked my layout scripts as I was going and probably made some choices that need revisiting… but in general the workflow for Unity/Futile became:

compose screens in photoshop -> export to a metadata file + individual sprites -> texturepack as needed / create bitmap fonts as needed -> write code

I wrote a base node (an FContainer) that does most of the metadata processing and import for me. FLabels and FButtons are created where appropriate. The only thing it doesn’t do is add images automatically. Instead I create a set of named positions that I can use to anchor sprites/images. For the purposes of this tiny project, I just decided that all my dynamic text fields would be the same size and only used one BitmapFont… now that I’m not under a time crunch I’d like to

Poker Fight v1.0, v2.0?

I’m not sure if I’ll keep working on the project. It’s tempting to at least finish what I had scoped, but what then? Mobile version? Web version? Desktop downloadable? For simplicity’s sake I only put the player’s cards on screen and simulate the opponent using weighted random poker hands… but it was actually more fun testing with real cards having each player have their own hand (pulls 20 cards out of 52 instead of 10, which gives you more knowledge). Writing an AI for this isn’t all that trivial if we’re optimizing for best poker hand (and do we even want to play against a master statistician?).

Before LD 29

I’d like to take what I’ve learned/built from LD28 and contribute back to save more time for future LD’s… I see two big things to continue work on:

I want to clean up my photoshop export script and make it more Futile-friendly (y-positive, origin in the center, multiple resolutions). To go along with that, I’ll have to clean up my base Futile node (I call it MetadataNode) so that it supports all the new changes and adds some more nice things. Having this class built and ready to go for the next LD will probably save me ~4-5 hours (can just start building UI instead of architecting a UI system before building it).

I want to build a poker card generator (either in Processing.JS or maybe Flash or Adobe Air) that lets you provide the suit icons, faces, and select from 2-3 different layouts… then spits out either a sprite sheet or 52 individual cards at a chosen size. Having this tool would save me ~3-4 hours on future LD entries that are based around poker cards.

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