Mastering the Play Creator

This post will go through the ins and outs of creating plays with XO Wizard. It’s gonna take a while so let’s dive right into it and create a new play.

But first of all, here’s a table of contents:

1 Overview
2 Navigating the field
3 Tools and attributes
…. 3.1 Select
…. 3.2 Item
…. 3.3 Path
…….. 3.3.1 Modifying path
…….. 3.3.2 Snapping
…. 3.4 Area
…. 3.5 Text
…. 3.6 Instruction
…. 3.7 Video
…. 3.8 Template
…….. 3.8.1 Use template
…….. 3.8.2 Create template
…….. 3.8.3 Delete template
4 Working with objects
5 Saving and editing
6 Rounding up

1 OVERVIEW

When the play is created we get an empty field on our screen, and we’re ready to go.

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Figure 1. Creator overview

As shown in figure 1, we also see some things around the edges of the field. 

Top bar: Here you can add videos to the play, show the edit history or change the play settings (such as name, description etc).

Save: Well, you gotta be able to save your progress.

Tools: This is where all the creator tools are.

Zoom controls: You can use this to zoom in or out on the field.

2 Navigating the field

You always have the entire field to work with. By scrolling up and down, you can get to the part of the field where you want to draw your play. You can also use the arrow keys to navigate. This comes in handy when you’ve zoomed in and don’t have any other horizontal scrolling options.

If you’re using a touch device you can navigate around the field by dragging two fingers on the screen.

Shortcuts
Up                                       Navigate up the field
Left                                     Navigate to the left
Right                                    Navigate to the right
Down                                     Navigate down the field

Ctrl + Up                                Get to the top of the field
Ctrl + Left, Ctrl + Right                Get to midfield
Ctrl + Down                              Get to the bottom of the field

3 Tools and attributes

Let’s start going through how you actually draw stuff. This is done by using tools to create objects and then changing the attributes of these objects. Each tool is dedicated to creating one type of object.

When a created object is selected (using the select tool), the attribute bar is shown (as shown in figure 2). This is where you modify your objects.

You also see the action bar appear. Here you can unsnap objects (more about snapping later) or delete them.

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Figure 2. Attributes and actions

So, to create an object, you start by selecting the appropriate tool. A text will appear that tells you how to create the object (either by clicking or dragging/marking on the field). This will create the object and automatically select it. As stated earlier, the selection of an object makes it possible to change its attributes. By doing this, you can make the object look like you want it to.

3.1 Select

We have already mentioned the select tool. This tool doesn’t create any objects but makes it possible to select and modify them. With the select tool, you can also move objects around and change length, size and more.

3.2 Item

The item tool creates items. So what’s an item? Well, currently it can be of 5 different shapes where the X and the O, of course, are included. The item is created by selecting the item tool and simply clicking on the field. An X will appear on the clicked location.

Attributes
Type: The shape of the item
Filling: Which part of the shape that should be filled
Dotted: If the shape should be dotted or not
Color: Color of  item
Text: A text connected to the item
Text position: If the text should appear outside or inside of the item

3.3 Path

The path tool has two ways to create the path object:

  1. Drag across the field (free hand) to place the path on the field
  2. Click where you want the path to start, then click to add another point and so on. End the path drawing by a long press.

Attributes
Type: Solid, dotted, dashed or zig-zag
Ending: The way the end of the path looks
Color: Color of  the path
Show Length: Adds a text box showing the length of the path

3.3.1 Modifying path

When a path is selected you can modify its different segments and change the path exactly as you want. The segments are marked with squares and can be moved around. Each segment has two handles which change the curve of the segment. Check out figure 3 below.

If this wasn’t crystal clear, the easiest way to learn is to start drawing and try it out.

an unsnap objects (more about snapping later) or delete them.

Figure 3. Path segments and handles

3.3.2 Snapping

You can snap a path to objects of the types item and text. By doing this, the objects are grouped together and if one is moved, the other one will follow. You undo the snapping by using the unsnap action (see figure 2).

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Figure 4. A dashed path with yard length shown (snapped to an X item)

You can also snap the beginning of a path to the end of a previous path. This is useful if you want to change the type of path in the middle of a longer route (like in figure 5).

Figure 5. An item and two paths, all snapped together

3.4 Area tool

An area object is created by “marking” an area of the field.

Attributes
Color: Color of area
Opacity: Opacity of area

3.5 Text tool

The text object is a short text, such as QB or 87.  Before deciding what your text will be you have to click where you want to place the object (just like with the other tools). You can of course, just like any other object, move it later.

The text is then changed by using the text attribute. Here you can choose from some standard texts, but you’re also able to write whatever you want.

Attributes
Text: The text
Color: Color of text
Size: The size of the text

3.6 instruction tool

The instruction tool is used to create a longer text. Other than being better at the task of viewing a larger amount of text, it works much like the text tool.

Attributes
Text: The text
Color: The background color of the text area

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Figure 6. A text object (left) and an instruction object (right)

3.7 Video

The video tool is used to place video spots on the field. This requires that a video has already been uploaded and connected to the play. You connect a video to a play under the video tab in the top bar (see figure 1).

When you have a connected video to the play you can continue to place it on the field. The video tool lets you click where you want to place the video spot and after that you use the video attribute to select which video to add. If you don’t choose a video, the video spot will be deleted the next time you save the play. The same thing will happen if you delete an uploaded video that is added to a play.

Attributes
Video: The video to be shown (needs to be connected to the play)
Color: The color of the video spot

3.8 Template

The template tool is a bit different, and doesn’t work quite like the other ones. This tool let’s you place templates of objects on the field, so that you don’t have to start from scratch every time. We have some templates ready for you by default, but you may also create your own templates to reuse.

3.8.1 Use template

To use a template you select the template tool and then choose the template you want to add. After that you can click on the field and a group of objects will appear. The entire template will be selected, so that you can move it around and place it where you want it to be. When you deselect the template you can keep working with the objects as normal.

3.8.2 Create template

When the template tool is selected, you have the option to create a new template based on the objects already placed on the canvas. When created, the template will be possible to use by all coaches of your team.

3.8.3 Delete template

You’re able to delete the templates that has been created by the coaches of your team. You do this by select it in the select tool and click the delete button to the right (see figure 7).

Figure 7. The look of the tool bar when the template tool is selected

4 Working with objects

So far we’ve learned how to create and change the appearance of the different objects. There are some more things that you can do to speed up your play creation.

When you work with objects, you mostly use the select tool. The select tool lets you move objects around and completely change the way they look. But it also has some more hidden features.

4.1 Copying objects

Using the select tool, you can always copy the selected object by right clicking anywhere on the field. A new object, with the same type and attributes as the previously selected one will be created at that place.

Let’s say you want four item objects that look the same. They should all be red circles. You could then create a new item, make it a red circle, and then right click three times where you want to place the other objects.

4.1 Multiselection

Also using the select tool, you can mark an area of the field to select multiple objects. This makes it possible to move a group of objects around and also use actions (unsnap and delete) on multiple objects on the same time. As a bonus, you can also change the color of all selected objects that has a color attribute.

Shortcuts
DELETE                                       Delete a selected object

5 Editing and saving

Lastly, let’s say something more about editing and saving. To change the general play information (title, description and type) you can use the settings tab (seen in figure 1). To save your drawing progress you have to click the green save button at the top right of the screen, or use the shortcut mentioned below.

Shortcuts
Ctrl + S                                     Save the play

Every time you leave the play creator, we will make sure that you’ve saved your changes. We do this by throwing up a modal window that let’s you decide to leave the creator or save the play one more time.

If you want to see who’s edited the play earlier, you can use the history tab in the top bar.

6 Rounding up

I think that was pretty much it.

We work with continous improvements of the play creator (and other parts of the application as well), so when reading this we might already have put some new exciting stuff in there. We’ll announce new features in this blog and we’ll also put up videos in our YouTube channel.

Thanks for joining me on the journey to mastering the play creator, I hope you got something out of it.


 

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Eric Johansson

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