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Friday, April 21, 2006

Still No Dice

I just finished an hour's worth of trying to play RealmSpeak online with no luck. The interface froze up after one day, and we had to quit. Trying it again with an older version (0.28) it died after one day.

(sigh) I'm thinking its time to rethink how I'm doing the networking in RealmSpeak. The solo game is just fine (mostly), and it really only breaks down when you are playing online (recently). I really don't like the instability I'm seeing, so I gotta come up with a better solution.

Sorry guys!

Cheating in RealmSpeak

Cheating? You can cheat in RealmSpeak?

Well, yes you can. I created code long ago that allowed me to cause things to happen in the game, without having to wait for them to happen at random. I thought that there are enough of you now playtesting the game all the time, that it might be worth letting you know how to do this, so you can recreate situations at will.

With the release of version 0.30, you'll find a new batch file called: cheat.bat. Use this, instead of the run.bat you normally use, and you will run the game in "CHEAT" mode. To cheat in game, click on the character token in your character frame, and a nondescript dialog will appear. Type "help" in this dialog, and you will see all the good stuff you can do.

What about online games? Anyone using the CHEAT mode will gain the permanent title "Cheater!". I wouldn't recommend doing this if you want to play with the same people again! ;-)

One other note: the cheat mode was meant for me, and as such, is not exactly "user-friendly". To gain a particular item, you have to type it's name EXACTLY as it is printed on the card, and it IS case-sensitive. For example: to aquire the timeless jewel, you'd have to type:

Timeless Jewel

Any other way you type it, nothing will happen.

Okay, that's all I have to say about that. If you have questions, let me know!

Version 0.30 Released

Well, this should alleviate the issues of v0.29. If you want to wait a day or two, I'll let you know how tonight's game goes. I'm playing with 3 other players (I think), so if it works, I'll be happy! I'll post the experience here, either tomorrow or Sunday. If you want to give it a go yourself, it's only a 2 MB download!

Assuming all is well with v0.30, I think this will be a cool release. Combined with the features I attempted to add in v0.29, this will be the first release that permits battle "observation", which is a big plus. That means if you aren't involved directly in a combat, you can STILL watch the goings-on, something that wasn't possible in earlier releases. This also means you can have "game observers" that don't actually play a character (assuming people have an interest in that).

One neat new feature in v0.30, is the ability to click on clearings without the requirement of first pressing the MOVE button on the character frame. This will save a lot of back-and-forth motions with the mouse, especially when you are travelling a long ways across the map with a horse or pony! Make sure the top character frame is the one you want to move, and then simply click clearings to move. Of course, if you prefer to see your options, you can still press the MOVE button each time. That's up to you!

Oh, before I forget, I made a change to the time delay that's built into the client/server relationship. If you've ever played online, you've probably noticed a bit of a delay getting things to happen. Hopefully this works well: another reason to wait and see how tonight's game goes!

Okay, here's what's new:

  • You can rehire your hirelings now (extends their term of hire by 14 days)
  • If you click on a clearing during the recording phase, RealmSpeak will now automatically record a MOVE action for the active character (no need to continuously hit the MOVE button)

  • Reduced the delay in the server wait time per request. This should make the online game a bit more spunky. (Though I'm concerned it will have an adverse effect on slower computers... I'm sure you'll tell me if you have problems!)
  • I think I fixed the recent combat frame problems for good. I did a bit more hard-core testing, including all of these situations:
    • Normal combat for a single local player
    • Normal combat for a single online player
    • Normal combat for two local characters
    • Normal combat for two different online combats
    • Running from combat without hirelings
    • Running from combat with hirelings
    • Running from combat with another online character staying behind
    • Ending combat while in a clearing with another character's hireling(s)

  • Realm Log window now scrolls to the bottom by default
  • Fixed a bug that caused Native HQ's horse to get put into the native's hold when becoming unhired
  • RealmSpeak no longer tries to make the Witch's familiar place a visitor/mission chit
  • Discovering the Flowers of Sleep now affects players that have already taken their turn too
  • Losing your turn do to the Flowers of Sleep will no longer summon monsters (as per Richard Hamblen's Q&A on Nand's site)
  • Moved the "Setup Card" button out of the character frame, and into the character list window (makes more sense there)
  • The REST dialog no longer allows you to skip your rests by pressing the Done button.
  • The detail button in the combat frame now opens the game log window (or moves it to the front) since it now has the same information anyway
  • When you do an SP phase and get the options, its much clearer which buttons will affect the tile, and which will affect the chit (the tile icon is included on the button)
  • Fixed a bug where clearing restrictions (ie., Mountain clearing) were being ignored for spells on artifacts and books

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Not Quite Right

Well, there are still some issues with how I changed the behavior of the combat frame, and I think I'm going to stop with the "bugfix" releases for now. I need to give it some real testing, and that isn't likely to happen until the weekend (my weeknights have been insane recently!) If you want to play RealmSpeak, I recommend v0.28, as it is the last version before I changed the combat screens. I'll get the code tested, and do a real release in the next week or so. Thanks for being patient with me!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Version 0.29.2 Bugfix Release

Still some major things wrong with 0.29, so I'm doing another bugfix. Sorry about that!

  • Fixed a problem with targeting monsters on another character's sheet while you have monsters on your own sheet (broke this back in version 0.24!)
  • Fixed the run problem a different way (the way I fixed it in 0.29.1 didn't account for hirelings! oops...)
  • Fixed the situation where one hidden character is being battled by natives, and another unhidden character is not, and you couldn't press the End button. (does that make any sense?) In any case, it's fixed.
  • Fatigue/Wounds center on combat frame now, NOT game frame

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Version 0.29.1 Bugfix Release

This always happens when I'm anxious to get new features out: I hurry through the testing stage, and miss something crucial. Since I never "ran away" in any of my tests, I completely missed the problem. The problem was minor but annoying enough to require a fix. I also found a problem with something I fixed in the pacify spells (Persuade, to be specific) that needed immediate attention. I apologize if you already downloaded 0.29, but you are really going to want this release where these problems are now fixed.

Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention in my last release: v0.29 requires a new resource pack, so be sure to grab that before playing. If you don't, RealmSpeak will complain. :-)

Here's what's new here:

  • Fixed a problem with the combat window not closing after a character runs
  • Fixed another issue with the pacify spells

Run Away might be broken in v0.29

Not sure, but I had the combat window freak out on me while running away. May have to do a quick bug fix...

Version 0.29 Released

Not much to say, except here's what's new:

  • No longer need to "approve" trades between characters belonging to the same player
  • Improvements to the combat interface:
    • Pressing END now polls by PLAYER, not by CHARACTER. This means that if you are playing a SOLO game, you need only press the END button one time per clearing. No more endless clicks on the stupid END button when playing multiple characters in a solo game!!
    • All players can observe all battles now (no more twiddling your thumbs wondering what is going on)
    • Combat Window stays "open" until combat has ended for all players (no more flashing window - there is still some blink in the interface itself though)
    • "End Simulation" button when playing a combat simulation so you can quit right away.

  • RealmBattle allows you to choose awakened spells on books now too
  • New Help menu item: Key to Remodeled Counters
  • Playing the game with combat turned OFF now displays the words "COMBAT OFF" instead of the "Daily Combat" checkbox.

  • Fixed a bug when absorbing one of Pruitt's monsters
  • "Hide character chits" option includes phantasms and familiars now
  • Using a color chit to transform during combat now immediately updates the frame image
  • Pacification spells are properly cancelled now if hirelings are already assigned to attack the pacification target (3rd edition rule 8.4.2.h.1)
  • Can only assign hirelings during Birdsong
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes hides the "Game Over" screen before you have a chance to look at it.
  • Blocked characters can no longer trade

Monday, April 03, 2006

Version 0.28 Released

Hooray! This is a big release, in my opinion, because it is the first one since I added long duration spells to RealmSpeak that actually works as I meant it to. If you don't know what I'm talking about, see the previous post below. For the rest of you, here's what's new:

  • RealmBattle (the battle simulator) now uses the chit style you have selected in RealmSpeak
  • RealmBattle now supports making duplicates (if you so desire) of denizens for testing double-board battles. Simply make sure the "Make Duplicates" checkbox is checked before adding denizens or hirelings.
  • RealmBattle now allows you to choose an awakened spell for an artifact (not books yet)

  • Fixed a bug with phases gained from permanent spells
  • Fixed a general bug in the action panel behavior when the Timeless Jewel is activated
  • Fixed (at long last) the bug which caused duration spells to sometimes get stuck in one state or another
  • Fixed a problem where characters are able to move Gloves cards from other characters
  • When an invalid action is encountered during your turn, you must resolve the issue, or press Play Next to make it a BLANK phase.
  • Multiple non-simultaneous hits on a mounted native will spill through to the rider, making it possible now to kill a mounted native in one round.
  • If a character is not in the same clearing with his hirelings (they are following another character), the 1st hireling is highlighted on the character's turn in combat instead. (used to default to the first row which is confusing)
  • Monsters under the influence of Melt-into-Mist no longer block character activities
  • Misty monsters are ignored when determining whether the END button should be disabled or not (ie., you can end combat in a clearing that contains only a monster transformed into Mist)
  • Another fix to Pruitt's monsters (sigh) to get them to return to the setup card properly
  • Terror result in Power of the Pit, no longer kills L and M characters outright
  • Power of the Pit no longer affects transformed character chits
  • Transformed characters that are killed, will now properly untransform, and drop inventory in the clearing
  • Witch's familiar no longer loses its turn when the Witch is following another character.
  • Any character with ability to use one die with missile weapons (ie., Elf), no longer get an advantage with missile attacks (ie., Fiery Blast)