Search This Blog

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Dream Come True

I finally got the opportunity to play RealmSpeak with combat with players online (1000 miles away) last night. It was awesome.

The first game we played, I chose the Elf, and my friend selected the Black Knight. Pretty good team, until the second week found us facing down a Tremendous Troll and 2 Heavies. A crummy missile roll and some clever monster moves left the Black Knight and the Elf dead in the clearing.

We took a quick break, and then started a new game, with another player joining in. This time, I played the Woods Girl (love those archers!), joined by the Dwarf, and the Berserker. The map layout was sweet, with a lot of the major tiles clustered along the Eastern edge.

Combat broke out in several clearings at once, when we split up to explore two different tiles. The Dwarf and Woods Girl slaughtered a Tremendous spider in the Caves, and the Berserker cooked himself a Heavy spider in the Ledges. Though the Caves had the Cairns treasure location, we opted to leave it behind in favor of looting the Hoard, discovered by the Berserker in the Ledges.

After cleaning out that location (and a few more combats), we moved on to the Borderlands to work on the Vault in the Lost City. The fear of Orcs hovered over our heads, but the Monster Roll never let us down. Though a few monsters came our way, the Berserker, Dwarf, Woods Girl combination was a well oiled killing machine, and took care of business without batting an eye.

We cleaned out the Vault as much as we could before moving further South to explore the several clustered Mountain tiles. We ran into a Heavy Bat in the Deep Woods, and decided to move on quickly (where there's one bat...), since there was nothing of interest there. We made a brief visit to the Statue in the Mountain, and decided to check out the Crag. Motherlode, baby!

Yes, it was the Lost Castle, and 3 major treasure locations: Lair, Pool, Altar. We quickly dispensed with the Tremendous Dragon guarding the lair, and moved into the Lair, only to discover the Demon was hanging out there too! Fortunately, the Dwarf had the Magic Wand, and thus was able to subvert the Power of the Pit roll that hit him to a fairly harmless "Rust" result. The demon went down quickly, and the Lair was all ours!

Lots of treasure, including the Toadstool Circle (which we left ALONE), and it was time to move to the Pool. Hadn't seen the Octopus yet, so it was time to work on that treasure before time ran out on the game. Lots of fatigues later, (and still no Octopus), we ended the game.

Don't remember the precise scores, but the Dwarf won with something like 8 points. The Berserker was just under that, and I scored a measly -18 points.

Not one thing failed during the whole game. No crashes or freezes, and play was quick, even with three different players. FOLLOW worked very well (important for the Dwarf!) for its first real field use! There's still stuff to work on (Character trading was sorely needed during our game!), but for the most part, it worked like a champ (if I do say so myself). :)

If you haven't tried an online game, I highly recommend it. Make sure you have some form of online communication, since RealmSpeak doesn't have a chat interface yet. I recommend TeamSpeak if you don't already use it. It's easy to set up a server, and get many people talking at once (miked-headphones are your best bet here).

Now, its time for some breakfast.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Version 0.7 Released

Lots of stuff in this release. Here's what's new:
  • Fixed Revised Optional Missile Table (no longer backwards!)
  • Dwarf House Rules implemented
  • Remembers last option configuration
  • Fixed problem with Game Options when pressing the ALL button
  • First version of FOLLOW activity implemented. These are the current flaws:
    • no option to stop following during the turn
    • no way to leave followers behind
    • Pony moves don't affect followers yet

  • Missile/Fumble rolls are shown in order of action
  • Missile/Fumble rolls appear in right hand panel instead of on combat sheets
  • Fixed bug with Replace FIGHT (Battle Bracelets) where it was evaluating the wrong group (attackers instead of targets)
  • Fixed bug when activating a new weapon when one is already alerted
  • Fixed bug where placing GLOVES on a sheet other than your own wouldn't show
  • Fixed bug where Block/Battle during trade wasn't causing the character to become unhidden
  • Added a feature to show contents of boxes on the combat sheet when the mouse pointer is over one
  • Changed monster-summoning logic so that each chit only summons once per day, as per rule 12.5/3
  • Fixed Swordsman BARTER advantage (wasn't using ONE die)
  • Fixed scoring when multiple characters kill the same monster simultaneously
  • Fixed a bug where multiple combat frames would open during multiplayer combat
  • Fixed bug where hitting destroyed armor still blocks attack
  • No longer does fumble rolls for Magic attacks or RED-side up monsters (meaningless!)

I'm finally getting the chance to play RealmSpeak tonight online with another player (first time since combat has been added). Should be interesting!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Lucky Amazon

I just finished a game with the Amazon. She survived the whole 28 days, having encountered T dragons, the Winged Demon, and many spiders. Here's one close combat where she nearly died. Love that fumble table! She actually managed to kill the other two dragons, scoring a whopping 35 points! At one point, she faced the Winged Demon, and rolled snake eyes for the kill!

Very good game that. I can go to bed with a smile on my face tonight.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Revised Optional Missile table is Backward

I'm playing a game this morning, and realizing that I got this table backwards. In other words, high rolls are increasing levels, and low rolls are decreasing them!! Ack!

Until I fix this, just stick with the Optional Missile table or Standard Missile table - they are both correct. (I thought the Elf was doing remarkably well....)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Version 0.6 Released

Here's what's new:
  • Java 1.5 combat freeze-up problem fixed! Please let me know if you still encounter freeze-ups after updating to this version.
  • Added ability to save/load host games - I recommend only saving games at the beginning of a new day (the only way I've tested).
  • Fixed issue with Rest Manager dialog when WITHER Curse was active (from Wiki)
  • Optional and Revised Optional Missile tables (from Wiki) added to host options
  • Fumble rules added to host options
  • Stumble rules added to host options

Friday, May 20, 2005

White Knight was Imp'd!

I don't know, but 1 Notoriety and 2 Fame just doesn't seem like much after having the White Knight batted around like a toy by the Imp for 7 rounds. I got cursed by WITHER, ILL-HEALTH, and DISGUST, took 2 wounds, and there's no Chapel in sight! Guess I should have hidden before entering the Ruins tile.... :-)

On a positive note, still no freezes with the newest code....

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Freeze Fixed

I ended up having some time this evening to work on the code after all!

I decided to change the presentation of the combat window from a modal dialog, to a non-modal frame (means you can switch between combat and the main window). This appears to have solved the problem with the game freezing up on systems running Java 1.5, and makes the combat interface a bit less "demanding". Now you will be able to switch to the main window in the middle of combat if you want to check the map, or look over your character (you wont be able to freely adjust your inventory while combat is going on!). You will also be able to quit the game during combat, if you like, or start a new game altogether.

Which reminds me: I just finished writing the code necessary to save and load games. This should make playing a longer game (several months) more enjoyable, since it wouldn't have to be done in one sitting. I also fixed the Rest/Wither bug pointed out over on the Wiki.

I'm debating about putting some optional combat rules in now, because I can't stand the base rules! Too often I'm frustrated with not being able to take down a Tremendous monster simply because the base rules don't allow it! Let me roll some snake eyes already! Of course, I will make it so that you decide whether you want the optional rules - certainly wouldn't want to force them on anybody!

Another approach...

Well, the bug is definitely not related to a bug in the Java VM, near as I can tell. Having done some investigation, it seems it has something to do with multi-threaded Dialogs, something I shouldn't be doing (apparently!)

In any case, I think I have a solution that will eliminate the freeze-ups for good, but it may be a few days to implement. I might get some time on Saturday to work on it, so maybe some time this weekend! Wish me luck, and thanks for your patience on this matter!

Java 1.5.0_02 bug

... at least I think that's the reason for the freeze-ups people have been reporting with the combat portion of RealmSpeak. I just updated my own computer to 1.5.0_03, and the problem seems to go away. Unfortunately, its really hard to tell with this kind of intermittent bug, so I can't be sure this is the solution until I get a few games under my belt without freeze-ups. I'll let you know!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Bug Fix v0.5.1 Release

The only thing new is the bug fix stated earlier.

On another note (when it rains, it pours), I'm hearing that combat is freezing up on people that are running Java version 1.5. I'll make this top priority for the next release.

New Bug - Patch Tonight

I hate to even bring it up, but its true. I introduced a new bug in v0.5 when I fixed the gloves/boots cards. It happens when you play a 2 asterisk chit for attack/maneuver, and then change your mind. The chit isn't removed, and then it doesn't go away. The solution is quick and easy, and I'll have a v0.5.1 fix online tonight. This bug is also posted over at the Magic Realm Wiki. Sorry about that!

Launching RealmSpeak

There has been some confusion with the latest release (v0.5), and people are reporting difficulties launching the program. In v0.4, I changed the way you are supposed to launch the game due to memory issues. Java Geeks: Apparently, there is no way to make a MANIFEST in a jar file designate the memory configuration for the Java Virtual Machine!

Anyway, I added a batch file (run.bat) and a Unix script (run_osx.command) that should be double-clicked instead of the jar file itself. This allows me to specify the memory configuration for the launching program. In v0.5, I disabled the double-clickable jar file, so that players would be forced to use the batch/script file instead, guaranteeing a particular memory configuration.

Though I wrote these instructions in the readme.txt file that is included with the jar file, the tutorial still shows the old instructions (I'll change these soon...), and so I can see where people might be confused.

Sorry about that!

(Guess its time for me to learn Java Web Start...)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


This was just too funny, and I had to share:

I decided to sit back and enjoy a game of RealmSpeak v0.5 with the Captain as my character. I found the Hoard and Pool in the Ruins hex, in the cave, and decided to loot the heck out of them. After successfully hiding 10 days in a row, and looting items one at a time (stupid caves!), I suddenly failed my hide roll, and had this to contend with!

Needless to say, that was the end of the Captain. :)

Version 0.5 Released

Sorry for the closeness in release versions, but there were enough issues with version 0.4 to make it frustrating to enjoy. Fixed in this version:
  • Fixed gloves/boots cards in combat
  • Horses take hits before characters
  • Monsters are removed from combat sheets when combat ends due to inactivity
  • Typo on "Abandon Belongings" button fixed
  • Clearing Chooser centers properly now
  • Items are dropped in clearing on player death
  • Fixed Demon's attack/move on Red side
  • Mark armor with Red X when destroyed, rather than removing it right away
  • Fixed DUCK chit move speed (wasn't recognizing it as a move chit during combat resolution)
  • Armor treasures (Bejeweled Dwarf Vest, Golden Crown, Golden Arm Band) can be activated in addition to other armor

As always, thanks goes out to those people that gave me bug reports in a short amount of time. :-)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Lots of Feedback

Thanks! I'm glad there are so many of you downloading and trying version 0.4. The feedback I've been getting through the Wiki (thanks again to Petros for setting that up!), as well as through the MR discussion group and e-mail, has been very helpful.

I appreciate those of you that have taken the time to let me know about your bugs/issues. Its this kind of information that helps me improve RealmSpeak in the most expedient way. Thank you!!

I'll try to get version 0.5 up in the next couple of days. Some of the bugs/issues are just too annoying to leave alone, and I want them fixed. If you haven't downloaded v0.4, you might want to wait for v0.5 before you check it out. At least I wont change the resource pack on you again! ;-)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Version 0.4 Released

I think I'm finally happy enough to release the first combat version of RealmSpeak. The game now plays like the 2nd Encounter in the 2nd Edition Rules. Here's what's new:
  • 2nd Encounter Combat, and everything that goes with it (too much to mention here)
  • Fixed the Three Map Treasures (-1 to LOCATE only)
  • Fixed the bug where move button was disabled even though there were still "possible" moves (yellow clearings)
  • New "Detail" button on inventory panel to allow character's to view additional information about their inventory
  • Repair damaged armor when sold
  • Fixed Treasure Location and path/passage discovery by players observing another (this still wasn't working correctly, but is now!)
  • New Treasures Supported
    • Penetrating Grease
    • Oil of Poison
    • Reflecting Grease
    • Ointment of Bite
    • Gripping Dust
    • Potion of Energy
    • Girdle of Energy
    • Battle Bracelets
    • Elusive Cloak
    • Bejeweled Dwarf Vest
    • Golden Arm Band
    • Golden Crown
    • Ointment of Steel

Be sure to check out the new Combat Tutorial before you dive into the game and have fun!

Thursday, May 12, 2005


I just got my butt handed to me by RealmSpeak about 6 times. Yes, I lost 6 different characters (Captain, White Knight, Black Knight, Swordsman, Woodsgirl, Berserker) in just under an hour. Ouch! I'm definitely not used to playing without the optional stumble/fumble tables. I'm discovering things like: The captain just cannot kill a Tremendous monster with his starting equipment...

Anyway, the good news is that I didn't have any errors pop up the entire time, which means RealmSpeak is pretty stable. Everything worked as expected. I'm still hoping to release version 0.4 tomorrow or Saturday, so check back soon!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Finished Combat Treasures

That's nine more treasures that work as they should. The only combat treasure left unfinished at this point is the Alchemists Mixture. Not sure if I will tackle that one before or after the 0.4 release.

Speaking of the release, I'm having difficulty getting time to test this version online, so I may do a release without going through that bit. I know it works well locally, so if that's all you play it for, then it will be good for you. I should be able to get version 0.4 up Friday or Saturday.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Character Chooser

I decided to re-do the character chooser, to make the task of selecting one a bit more user friendly. Here is a screenshot of the new layout.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

A White Knight Tale

As promised, some screenshots.

I played a game as the White Knight (very good choice for a solo character!) Wandering around, I happened across a Giant hunting for food in the Crag. Not to be swayed by its enormous size, I drew my weapon and charged into the clearing.

After luring the Giant to my sheet, I'm presented with the Encounter phase where I have the option to run. No way!

The next thing I'm presented with, is an Assign Targets page where I quickly designate the sole Giant as my target.

Once the target is chosen, I have the opportunity to place my attacks and maneuvers, and put the giant into any box I desire. After placing my attack and maneuver, and pressing the "Auto-position" hotspot, the sheet is ready for combat resolution.

Pressing the "Done" button is all I need to do to see the results of my battle. The Giant shifted down and right, directly into the line of fire (not that I needed it with an attack speed of 4!) Since the sword beats tooth and claw, and the Giant's club is too slow to undercut my maneuver, the beast goes down, and I score fame/notoriety. I still have to pay for my fast attack by fatiguing a chit, but its worth it.

Later, my cockiness gets the better of me, and I find myself trapped in a clearing with 3 Heavy Bats and a Demon. Two rounds is all it takes to crush the White Knight, and end my game for good.

Encounter Step Done

Yes, this part is FINALLY finished. As it turned out, running was the easy part, and even worked out to show the character between clearings with no trouble at all. The tough part came from (believe it or not) activating and inactivating items during combat! I made a couple of bad decisions early on in the design of the code for this, and it came back to bite me. After a bunch of refactoring (code geeks will understand this), this is finally working correctly.

I think I'm done with combat for now. I still need to do a test run with one of my friends to make sure its all there, but aside from bugs, I wont be building much more into it until I start working on the 3rd encounter.

Now its time to take a step back, and fix a couple of issues in the "Daytime" game that I've let stagnate while I was working on combat. Since I've been working on this code all day today, and tomorrow is mothers day, I don't see a release happening this weekend (sorry!). I'll try to get a couple of screenshots of combat up for you to take a peek at shortly.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Going Berserk!

No, not me! With the bug out of the way, my sanity has returned and I'm making big progress.

I finished writing support for the special chits: BERSERK and DUCK. I added the character's vulnerability to the display, so you can see this change when the Berserker does his thing.

Fatigues and wounds are finished, and dealing with two consecutive rounds without any hits is done. Hidden characters becoming unhidden when attacking works, and weapon alerting/unalerting during combat is finished.

What's left? STILL need to handle the encounter step (running away, alert, etc) I keep putting this off, because handling running away requires a new map state (between clearings) that I haven't dealt with before. I may punt on this (for now), and make it so that running away simply ends combat without the character leaving the clearing. Not sure yet.

The other major thing I need to do, is handle scoring for kills (notoriety and fame). This should be fairly easy.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Bug Fixed - Moving Forward

Whew! Found the source of my problem, and got this fixed. Combat is now fully functional: multiple players connected to a single host, can participate in combat with any number of monsters/characters! Sweet!

With the bug fixed, I can move forward again. I should be able to finish the fatigue/wounds, and encounter stuff tomorrow night, which will bring RealmSpeak remarkably close to release version 0.4. Next weekend is looking very promising...

Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Bug in the Mix

I spent a goodly amount of time working out a kink in the design of my new combat interface. I really want the results of a round of combat to "display" to everyone at the same time, but since that goes against the normal "flow" I built into the program, its causing me some grief. Needless to say, I didn't make much other progress, because I spent nearly all my time working on the bug!

There's still something in there thats keeping it from working correctly (sigh) so I'm going to have to tackle it again some evening this week. Once I can squash this bug, I should be able to finish up the missing features (running away, fatigue/wounds, etc) and get this out.

Thanks for being patient!