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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Visitor/Mission chits

I had someone e-mail me the other day, and ask when I was planning on getting the Visitor/Mission chits into RealmSpeak. I've long put it off, because it was going to take some effort to get implemented, and the chance of getting one of these is so darn small anyway.

Well, the question sparked an interest, and with the Treasure Setup card view in place, I thought I'd toy with getting this part working. The good news is, the chits were fairly easy to add to my components list, and get into the view. They can be placed by characters (or randomly, your choice), and they can be summoned to the board (and flip on a die roll of six on the 7th day) as they should.

I still need to give the chits their behavior (they are just decorative right now), and build a way for characters to pick these up. That shouldn't be too hard, but I'm not sure. At the very least, I'll finish the Visitors so we can at least trade with them.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Back on Track

My friends and I played another game last night using the latest version (v0.25.1), and things ran a LOT more smoothly. We actually didn't have any trouble with the game until one point where trying to do a trade between two characters was causing a freeze up on one of the players machines. I saved the game, so hopefully I'll be able to duplicate the problem on my own machine, and get an error log to see what is happening. I suspect it has something to do with two players pressing the trade button at the same time, but I'm not sure.

In any event, the game was great. Though we are still mid-game (we quit at midnight) a LOT has happened, and these three characters (Captain, White Knight, Wizard) have gotten quite powerful. All three have horses, the White Knight has the Sacred Grail, the Wizard has the Dragon Essence, and the Captain has the Deft Gloves (among other things). We've looted the Lair and the Cairns, and wiped out the Inn. We are currently sitting in a safe woods tile pondering whether to explore the Altar (in the caves!) or the Shrine. That's for another day!

The Treasure Setup card view is sweet. It's so cool to check the status of the monsters now and again, and feel comfortable that a particular monster or native group wont be back for awhile. Feels a lot more like the board game.

Anyway, I'm happy with that release, so if you've been waiting, I say check it out. Now back to the code... :-)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Patch Version 0.25.1 Released

It was inevitable, I suppose, with having a game go so badly, that there would be a couple more issues to fix. Since I'm likely not going to be doing another release for a week or so, I thought it was worth getting this minor release done.

Not much new, but possibly worth it to avoid a hung combat:

  • Had to fix another game killing bug that I introduced in v0.24 (sigh)
  • Persuade now only kicks the caster's opponents off, not ALL of them (though they are ALL still persuaded)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Version 0.25 Released

So, version 0.24 was a bit of a bust, because of a stupid error on my part that led to a strange cycling combat behavior (see "Broken" post below). I fixed this, plus a couple of things that quickly popped up on the bug tracker, and I think its good this time. I pulled up the game that killed us so hard on Friday, and it ran like a charm.

Here's what's new:

  • New house rule: Characters joining after host starts the game MUST start at the INN (this is now optional instead of mandatory!)

  • Fixed cycling combat bug (this is what killed our game!)
  • Battling natives list in summary window (Combat) is readable now when there is more than one line of information
  • Can no longer use the mouse pointer to reveal clearing contents BEFORE the host starts the game
  • Heads/Clubs should now be light-side-up at the beginning of a new combat, regardless of previous battles.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Last night's game didn't go very well. There's something broken in 0.24 that's preventing combat from completing normally. Sometimes combat goes round and round again with nothing occuring, and everyone keeps having to press the END button. Several times, the game crashed so completely that we had to start over.

I'm not sure if it only occurs in a multiplayer game or if the problem is more general. I played a couple of solo games before doing the release, and all seemed to be well, so I'm guessing it has something to do with being online.

I'm very frustrated, but that's how it goes sometimes. I'm convinced the code problem is minor, and should be fairly easy to change. I might get something up in the next couple of days to fix it.

If you haven't yet downloaded v0.24, you might want to wait. If you already downloaded it, go ahead and give it a try (I think the solo game is working). The good news is that the error logging portion is working right, so send me your error logs if you have them. If you'd rather not mess with it, go back to version 0.23 until I can get a more stable release together.

Sorry about that folks!

Friday, February 17, 2006

RealmSpeak on UnderDogs

On a whim, I did a search for RealmSpeak at the Home of the Underdogs, and would you believe, its listed there?

That made my day.

Sneaky Me

Found another small bug, and decided to swap out the file before anybody downloaded the release. Near as I can tell from my web site statistics, no-one has downloaded it yet, so I think I'm good. If you somehow managed to download this release before 3:40pm PST, you're going to want to download it again now, especially if you like playing magic users... ;-)

Version 0.24 Released

Lots of neat new features and bug fixes in this release, definitely worth the download. One item in particular will make reporting bugs a bit easier: Error logging. When the game crashes for one reason or another, there will now be an error log generated in the same folder as the game is run from. If you e-mail this log to me, along with a short explanation about what was happening at the time, I should be able to locate the bug quickly, and get it fixed. I'm hoping this will lessen the "my game crashed" reports that I've had a tough time resolving.

Also new this time, is a view of the treasure setup card. This should make figuring out what the dangers are for a particular tile, without having to use external references.

I'll be playing this version online tonight, so I'll let you know how that goes.

Enough Jibba-Jabba, here's what's new:


  • Error Logging - If RealmSpeak "freezes" or "crashes", look for a file in your RealmSpeak directory called "RealmSpeakErrorxxxx.log. Send this to me, along with an explanation of what you were doing when it crashed (if you remember), and this should make fixing these types of bugs trivial.
  • Treasure Setup Card view (see "Setup Card" button on Character Frame)
  • Map is not revealed until host presses "Start Game" button - characters joining after the game is started MUST start at the Inn.
  • No longer need to hold the CTRL key down to make multiple selections in the trade window.
  • Moved trade/share button out of tabbed panes for easier access. Sharing discoveries is included in the trade window now, so you can GET discoveries, as well as GIVE them.
  • Better Victory Point handling:
    • Host determines VPs that are required per player per month
    • New characters don't specify VPs on the initial setup window
    • Characters must specify VPs by clicking a new button on the Character frame (highlighted in yellow)
    • Each new month requires each character to specify more VPs
    • Characters joining mid-month have reduced requirements, as specified by the rules

  • Natives can target RED-side up monsters on other sheets now.
  • Fixed problem where killing a transformed monster wasn't rewarding the player properly
  • Fixed a major bug that sometimes caused a player's action record to become truncated during online play
  • Changed the text description on Dragonfang Necklace to read "Control one dragon in PURPLE", so it is clear that it needs PURPLE magic
  • Fixed Dragonfang Necklace, so it can actually work now.
  • Peering a warning chit (Smoke W, Stink W) is no longer sufficient to cause the campfires to appear.
  • When making change for a 2-asterisk chit during the fatigue step, you MUST make change with the same type now
  • Flying Carpet no longer appears in INERT list when you haven't yet found it
  • Incomplete record warning no longer appears when you have extra actions after following
  • Fixed a bug where light-side-up archers would sometimes freeze combat
  • Fixed bug that was preventing proper use of Battle Bracelets on another combat sheet
  • Fixed bug that was causing combat to hang after a "I Wish I Were Elsewhere" result
  • Fixed problem with Timeless Jewel and Prophecy where running away left you with no options
  • Casting POISON no longer reveals unseen weapons
  • Fixed a bug where TERROR result in Power of the Pit table when cast by a Demon against a hireling was causing a game freeze
  • Fixed problem where "Daily Combat" checkbox wasn't working for hired leaders.
  • Fixed GUI update problem when trading inventory (inventory would vanish until the next update)
  • Discoveries are traded in the same interface as inventory, meaning you can GET as well as GIVE now
  • Moved Trade/Share buttons out of panels, and into the main frame for easier access.
  • Trade/Share recognizes if a player is playing a turn or not, and filters the list of characters accordingly
  • Fixed bug where "Transform" cast on a native attacker would crash the game
  • Fixed a combat bug, where deployment order was being ignored
  • Fixed a *RARE* situation where you could end up between clearings with an item too heavy to carry, and no color to energize a transform spell. Now it lets you move regardless of weight if you are stuck between clearings.
  • Fixed a bug where INERT permanent spells were deenergizing every night, which sometimes crashes combat

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Fixing lots of "crash" bugs

I've been focusing on getting the bugs that cause the game to "crash" this week, because this really detracts from the fun side of RealmSpeak. Nothing more frustrating than to have your turn be trashed because of a crash!

I'm planning to do an official release Friday AM, so look for it!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Should be a release this week

If you've followed this blog at all, you'll notice a pattern: when I'm about to play an online game, there is usually a frenzy of changes preceeding the event. The same is true now. I'm planning on playing a game Friday, and there were a couple of things that made our game frustrating last time:
  • Sometimes, one of the players records would get truncated, thus messing up their turn. Often, this was a fatal result, as characters would end up in clearings with monsters without their planned HIDE or ALERT ever occurring
  • Permanent spells sometimes fail to get registered, and either stay ON permanently, or stay OFF permanently. Since this bug is rare, I've never truly been able to replicate it.
  • Normally, I play with the Treasure Setup Card next to me, but our last game found me at a computer away from my usual Magic Realm supplies. How annoying is it not to be able to glance at the setup card to determine what dangers reside in a particular tile?
  • Being attacked by a RED-side up tremendous monster is tough enough, without being able to deploy your hirelings to give you a hand!
In a release I'm planning this week, I've addressed all four of these issues (I think...) The first issue I was able to duplicate (hurray!) and thus fixing it was a cinch. While fixing the code, it dawned on me how the same bug might be affecting the Permanent spells, quite possibly killing two birds with one stone here! Since I could never reliably duplicate the problem, only time will tell (I'm about 80% confident its gone for good!).

I got tired of fixing bugs (I've got a BUNCH of them over on the bug tracker), so I wanted to do something fun. I decided to get the Treasure Setup Card viewer in place, and it turned out rather nice! I can hardly wait to try this out in a live game!

Finally, the native deploying to RED-side-up monsters was a tricky situation to fix, but I believe it is working now. I'm crossing my fingers that I didn't break some other aspect of combat!

I'm playing a game Friday (2/17) night, so I'll probably do a release this week. You might want to wait on downloading it, until you hear from me next weekend. If our game goes off without a hitch, you know I'll be trumpeting its praises!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Slow Work

I apologize if you have been keeping tabs on RealmSpeak recently, and have discovered not much has changed. I haven't spent much time with the code in the last few weeks, partly for being sick, and partly for being too danged busy. I also recently rediscovered a favorite old Microprose game of mine (Master of Magic) that I have been playing in my free time.

I have made some small progress: I added an error-reporting feature to RealmSpeak so that those of you reporting "crashes" or "freezes" should have something to send to me that will be more helpful to me for finding a bug.

I also fixed an issue with natives being unable to deploy to RED-side-up tremendous monsters, so that will be nice.

Other than that, nothing new to report. I'm hoping that life will settle down in the near future (or I tire of my Microprose game again), so I can get back to work on RealmSpeak. Lots to do!

Thanks for your patience.