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Open Q&A with Joe

Joe Lesko captainApr '15
Hi MMLers,

Since I don't post as often as I used to, I thought I would start an ongoing thread where you can ask questions, and I'll do my best to respond. It could be about the site, or topics like web development, game development, etc.

You can ask about features, but actual feature requests should be posted to the Suggestion Box instead.

Thanks!
Los Valientes Apr '15
How are the images of the marchers manipulated to do the animations that are provided?
Justin Ekstrom captainApr '15
How long did it take you to develop the initial concept into something functional?
Joe Lesko captainApr '15
@Justin

I remember it taking about a month or so.

@Los Valientes

Like most 2D games, it uses sprites for animation. A sprite sheet is a single image that contains all of the animation frames in a grid.

For example:
created.mmlimg.com/show/1.60/111916/musician_95158...

Each marcher "carries" the entire sprite sheet with it, but it only shows one frame. It's like a small sliding window that hides everything outside of its borders. When it goes from say, horns up to horns down, it just moves the sprite sheet inside the window to show a different frame.

Note that this is largely the reason why it's difficult to have different facings. Because if you multiply all of the facing angles (backfield/side-field, etc) with every pose (horns up, horns down, etc), for every instrument, each sprite sheet could have hundreds of frames. The images would be very large and have a performance impact in the current system.
Willie Careri Apr '15
What is your favorite memory from marching with Pioneer?
Univion Apr '15
How did you come up with or receive the idea of turning marching of all sorts into a game?
What motivated you?
CL Musie Apr '15
What are you hoping to accomplish most with this new version of MML?
Joe Lesko captainApr '15
@Willie

Not sure if I have a favorite, but I always liked when we interacted with other corps outside of competition. Like in '93, when we met a couple Crossmen snare players while they were warming up. Normally pre-show warmups are very focused, but they took time out to show us their snare feature (early 90's Crossmen had some serious chops).

There was one time we traded lunch with Glassmen.

And before a parade ('92?), we did a combined warmup with a couple other Division II/III (now Open Class) corps. I don't remember who, they are probably folded by now. Anyway, the arc had something like 20 snares. It was a total mess, but a lot of fun.

In '92, when we were a small corps with 60 members, a few drummers from Star of Indiana took time to watch us warm up, and were really respectful about it.

Stuff like that, which as a fan, you don't really get to see.

@Univion

I had been thinking of making a marching game on and off for many years. In '07, I was looking for a project that would help me improve my JavaScript skills, and figured a web-based marching game would be a neat portfolio piece. As I mentioned elsewhere, MML was ahead of its time in terms of using native web technologies instead of Flash.

@CL Musie

Do you mean the feature I'm most interested in? Probably music, which will also be the most difficult to get right.
mrjanitor99 Sep '15
Hey. Do you think an MML app is a possibility in the near future? :D
zanetaylor53 Nov '15
Do you think that you could open up floor shows to everyone. It will give people more exposure and the site would be used more if there are more options.
schneweis13 Jun '16
Hey there Joe! I've seen talk about members that march can get free premium for 3 months-is that true? If so, just wanted to say that I am now on my third summer with the Colt Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. Would greatly appreciate it if you respond! Thankyou!
gstringerosd Jul '16
Do you think you could let us have a trial run on the upgrade.
royalDM Jan '17
Would you ever add features like:
Marching facing the goals
Pit not as a prop
Tarps on the field
customizable uniforms(guard and band)
Swing flag option
mylesj29 Jan '17
@royalDM and ...
New props
and Marching Visuals
Baripwn Jan '17
@royalDM
and more dance animations for guard e.g. groundwork (or at least kneeling)
mylesj29 Jan '17
and the ability to design our own props
Are you still working on updating the site?
Lithium Nitro 6 days ago
Have you thought about things like:
Tarps for the field
More prop designs/styles/colors etc
Colored rifles and sabres
More animations for all marchers

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