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Friday, June 15, 2007

Version 0.47 Released

Already, you ask? Yes, though there isn't a ton of new stuff here... well, there is a lot... I wanted to get this online for my game tonight. I'm hoping that we'll be able to play a double-board game, built by the players, with seasons and weather. You might want to wait until I can post a report on how the game goes before downloading the latest release.

Double board game. I've never really played with a double-board, even though this feature has been in RealmSpeak as "experimental" for quite a few releases. Part of the reason, is because it had so many issues. I think the last release (v0.46) resolved about 80% of the problems, and this release will do away with another 15% or so. There are still some minor nits (see the bug tracker for more info), but mostly its working pretty danged well. Once the logic was in place for 2 boards, taking it out to 3 or 4 boards was as simple as adding a slider to the setup panel. That said, I imagine you are going to run out of memory pretty quickly with a quad-board, but you can give it a try if you like.

Yes, I mentioned that we would be building our own board tonight. If you've ever tried this feature in RealmSpeak, you know that it has had problems: chits appearing off-board, game freeze when building online, failure to save the board. I worked on this part pretty hard, because I really think this feature is essential to Magic Realm. Looking back at a review I wrote at some time back, I suggest that building the board is "quite fun", so it makes sense to get this piece working right, at long last. At least one recent e-mailer will be happy to see this.

Oh, I made a neat change to the way the Magic Wand works. Normally, when you have this treasure item active, and you roll on a spell table (Curse, Wish, PoP, etc), a dialog with 6 faces of the RED die pops up, and asks you to choose one. Unless you have all the tables memorized, this task is pretty daunting, and can often have you choose the result that will get you killed. Now, when this dialog pops up, it will include an image of the table, so you can use it to decide what you will do. I can't tell you how nice this is.

Finally, I added a bunch of code to the "Suggest Action" button, added into the combat frame in the last release. Though its still not complete, and will not always give you the BEST advice, I think it does a pretty good job of guiding you in the right direction. If you have a new player joining you in a game, teach them to press this button often.

Okay, I gotta game coming up in 40 minutes, so I'd better tell you what's new:

  • Player Board Builder is fully working (see bugs below) - I know I've said this before, but it really is working now. Give it a try!
  • Changed "Double Board" feature into an expandable "Multi Board", allowing up to 4 boards to be in play at once (OMG!!)
    • I haven't playtested anything beyond a double board except to see the map, but it should work
    • The only real issues are memory and speed
      • I might need to bump the memory allocation in the batch file for boards larger than 2 (even 2 is pushing the limit!)
      • You will notice that the game startup is slower, but overall, things should run normally

    • Notice the different chit renderings for Board B, C, and D.
    • Quad boards might make for good multi-month games (someday, character development games)
    • I did get an OutOfMemory error trying out the 3 board game, so maybe its not quite ready for prime time... If I can figure out a better way to handle the board memory...

  • [442] - Solitaire Play Options (see new "Expanding the Realm" tab)
    • Two rows of monsters prowling (instead of one)
    • Dwellings not revealed at the beginning: discovered like campfires
    • Start the game by entering from a map edge

  • [351] - You can move off board to exit the game now
  • More work on the "Suggest Action" button in combat, now has suggestions for:
    • Luring
    • Deploy/Charge
    • Attack Spells
    • Alerting Weapons (existed previously)
    • Assigning Targets
    • Playing Maneuvers

  • Removed some harmless debug code that ends up in the error log for every game.
  • Fixed all the issues with the manual board builder:
    • [706],[823] - Clearing locations are no longer messed up after board completion
    • [700] - When a game is saved right after building a map, and then reloaded, the start game is properly shown, instead of the build map button
    • Fixed the issues with building a map in an online game

  • [414] - FLY activity requires that untransmorphed horses are left behind (see 2nd ed 47.2/3). This works now.
  • [743] - You can activate PHASE chits (ie., Protection from Magic) in combat now
  • [826] - Chapels from other boards will properly cure curses at midnight now
  • [813] - Transmorphing with a color chit negates any spell casting you may done during the same actions phase.
  • Play Color Chit triggers the reset button now
  • [504] - You can be blocked after a BLANK phase now
  • [760] - You can activate items before bonus phases when using Timeless Jewel now.
  • [419] - New "Land Now" button in the turn interface will enable flying Timeless Jewel users to land before they perform further actions.
  • Added the "Die Roll" to the popup season/weather dialog, so you can tell better what happened to change the weather, or interpret the weather chit.
  • When using the Magic Wand to affect a spell table, the actual table is shown to aid you in choosing what you want to happen (ie., Power of the Pit)
  • [828] - Summoning logic with double boards is fixed. Monsters/Natives will summon properly now.

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