After a somewhat successful "Portland build" I've been making some ambitious changes to the shooting system.
Playing with the demo revealed some problems with the shooting and I'm overhauling all three phases of the shot process.
The first thing I wanted to tackle was the shot weight. Until now, the weight was set by a single gauge, so every type of shot, from guards to heavy takeouts, was relying on this single mechanism. Experience has convinced me that this is not the way to go.
What I've done is added a set of three shot modes, and you select the mode based on the type of shot you want to throw. This is much closer to the actual mindset that you have before delivering a rock when curling for real, and it seems to work fairly well.
The modes constrain the weight of the shot to a certain range, so you can still screw up and over/under throw. Plus, there's a little bit of overlap between the modes. Proper sweeping will also be essential, once I get around to actually implementing that.
Here you can see the shooter in guard mode. The three modes are guard, draw, and takeout. For those unfamiliar with curling lingo, this is what these mean:
A guard is a shot that's typically placed in front of the house, either to defend an existing rock or to cut off certain areas of play.
A draw is a shot intended to come to rest in the house, typically with the intent to score.
A takeout is a heavy shot meant to strike and remove a rock from play. Takeouts are usually thrown so hard that they won't be remaining in play unless they hit another rock and deflect properly.
The shot modes are selected with the 1-3 keys on the controller keypad. 1 selects guard mode, 2 selects a draw, 3 selects a takeout. I've also added the ability to press the 0 key to cancel weight mode and go back to reset your aim.
So far, I'm loving this new system, and it may even be the excuse I need to have controller overlays produced. Wouldn't that be sweet?
Next I need to make some changes to the two remaining shot phases, aim and curl. The aim changes I have in mind are largely cosmetic, but should help aiming immensely. The curl changes will drastically simplify this part of the shot process, hopefully for the better, since it's the weakest part right now.