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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Finishing up the Year

The holidays have been a bit busy, so I apologize for the slowness in getting a new release out. I do have a bunch of stuff together, including new tile graphics (replaced my low rez ones with some higher quality images from Dan Evans' website).

The biggest change to note, is a different handling of the action recording stage, which will enable players to anticipate changes that may occur during the day (flipping tiles, encountering color sources, etc.) There's also a cool display of the actions that are available, which makes planning your day a bit more intuitive. The hardest thing for me to get used to, is that you cannot reorganize your things during Birdsong. If you forget to activate your boots during your previous days turn, then you are out of luck gaining that extra move! Because this is hard for me, I've made a house rule which allows you to ignore that bit, and allow reorganization during birdsong. Don't worry, the interface is much more flexible now, and updates dynamically when you move stuff around! For example, you have your Pony activated, and use it to record a move halfway across the board (8 moves). Then you inactivate the Pony. In an instant, the last four moves will turn red, indicating that they are invalid "at present". If you leave them be, and take your turn, the interface will automatically activate your Pony, and continue. If you lost your Pony, then the actions become invalid, and do not happen.

I should have this release together very soon, hopefully before the turn of the new year. I want to do a bit more playtesting to make sure the new stuff I've added works as advertised. In any case, you'll see it here when its ready!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas in the Realm

The Woodsgirl decided to get a few friends together in the woods, to share in some merrymaking. The Woodsfolk and the Elf were quick to accept her invitation, as did the Black Knight (who wasn't really invited, but managed to bully the party location from one of the Guard). The Swordsman brought a very special brew of wine that his own father (so he claims!) made from the finest grapes, found only in the farthest corner of the Realm (an uninteresting tile known as the Wine Valley). Even the Dwarf felt drawn to the celebration, though he was none too pleased to see the Elf (at least as far as his whiskers betrayed him!) The Magician entertained the group by making a few rabbits appear from inside a black bag he had shown previously to be empty, and later turned into colorful bits of paper.

There was at least one uninvited guest watching from a distance, angry to be forgotten. A squirrel, to the untrained eyes, but really the Sorcerer in a magical guise. Though tempted to unleash the fury of a fiery blast apon the group, his transform spell would persist until Midnight, and would keep him silent for the time being. The late arrival of the White Knight with a friend from the Order changes the Sorcerer's mind, and he scampers off to find some nuts (which he is craving most intently!)

Others in the Realm will not arrive at the party. The Witch-King, with a smile most unpleasant, is crafting a plan to foil the merrymaking, and cause harm to many. Some may say it is because his shoes are too tight, or that his head is not screwed on quite right. Because he stares intently at the Woods where the party even now has gotten loud enough to waken a sleeping Troll (the White Knight is clearly enjoying the Wine!), he does not see the tentacles emerging from the Pool...

...and the Captain, who moves quickly through the Realm, has stumbled on the door to the Vault. As he was unable to move with stealth for fear of being late to the party, a Tremendous Troll (known to the locals as Grom the Hungry) has bumbled onto the scene. As the Elf had earlier encountered this very Troll, and removed all of his teeth (seems the Elf has an interest in Dentistry), Grom is rendered fairly ineffective and is easily put aside. The Captain laughs as he carelessly walks past Grom as if he were a large tree stump. Unfortunately, the Captain failed to see Morg, Grom's troll mate, and he is torn asunder. Fresh meat for the twins!

Merry Christmas from the Realm!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Transform Works!

A recent discussion on the Magic Realm mailing list spurned me into getting the Transform and Melt-into-Mist spells going. Since Absorb Essence is already coded, I was hoping these similar spells wouldn't be too far away. Though there were a couple of complications (you can transform things that are not characters!), I think I've got it together.

I just finished a successful test combat, where I pitted the Witch King agains a Giant. I laughed as cast my transform spell on the poor beast, and it was turned into an.... Eagle. Wait, an Eagle is pretty damned tough. Noooooooo!!!!! The Witch King met his end.

I tried it again, and the Giant turned into a Dragon! Nooooooo!!!!!

Third time's a charm: this time, I decided to Transform the Witch King.... into.... a frog. Nooooooo!!!!

Okay, the Transform spell is cool, and brutal, all at the same time. Now to get "Walking the Woods" working correctly, and I can start thinking about puttin a release together. (I may do Melt-into-Mist too at this time...)

Thanks for being patient!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Slow Progress?

There aren't very many changes to report, so you may wonder what the heck is going on. I've been spending a lot of time redesigning the action interface to allow for recording "anticipatory" type actions. For example, suppose you are the Magician, and you've absorbed a Flying Dragon. During BirdSong, you are planning on walking through a clearing with the Toadstool Circle, so that you can energize the spell, and fly to a neighboring tile. Right now, there is no way to do that.

I'm working on a system now where the action buttons will turn "red" instead of becoming disabled buttons. This will enable you to record actions that are currently invalid, but may change during the turn. It's slow going, because I built a lot of code around preventing you from recording actions when you cannot. I'm making progress, but it may be awhile before the next release.

On an entirely different note, Glenn Pruitt has agreed to let me use his "Alternate Monsters" in RealmSpeak. If you haven't seem them, go to Bryan's Magic Realm page:

and check out the downloads section (Thanks for putting that online, Bryan!). He's got monster chits and an alternative monster setup sheet to help you get started, if you want to use them with your own boardgame. Thanks Glenn!

Well, I've got a lot of coding to do, and a weekend that is quickly slipping away from me. Back to it!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Version 0.20.1 Released

A quick update to fix (primarily) a problem with attack spells. Seems my change to the logic for fame/notoriety of transmorphed monster heads/clubs broke the attack spell logic. Casting any attack spell with v0.20 will leave you with a frozen game. This version will fix that.

  • New Menu Item in the Help menu: Spur Game. If the game seems to freeze, try selecting this item to "spur the game" back into action

  • Fixed problem where attack spells were freezing game (a side effect of fixing the fame/notoriety bug of monster heads!).
  • Fixed issue where natives would "lose" the ability to lure denizens during combat.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Version 0.20 Released

I'm hoping to play some Magic Realm this weekend, and wanted to get the optional character abilities in place. These are done, along with the last of the character special abilities (Swordsman can "Choose his turn" now).

Also new in this release, is the ability to play RealmSpeak as a local application, instead of a host server. This should enable those of you that have had difficulties with your firewalls to play solitaire games without trouble.

Anyway, here's the official list of changes:

  • Swordsman's special ability to choose when he takes his turn is implemented. Note the new "Postpone Turn" button in the turn panel.
  • Character Optional Abilities (all optional, of course!):
    • Wizard ignores SPX; uses a MAGIC III2* instead of one MOVE M5 chit
    • Captain rolls one die for all HIRE rolls
    • Woodsgirl uses one die for all HIDE, SEARCH, and MEETING rolls in any Woods Clearing (not just tiles)
    • Magician's alerted MAGIC chits don't fatigue at Midnight (become active again)
    • Druid doesn't summon monsters from Site chits. Also, immune to curses.
    • Elf must choose between Light Elf, or Great Elf. Affects which chits can be played during the game.

  • Advanced Ambush rules (4.2)
  • Can now run RealmSpeak locally, without connecting to the network. Let's you avoid dealing with your firewall.

  • Added a delay to the server's initial connection: hoping this will kill the bug Dan F has been seeing when doing a network game.
  • Can no longer "Hang Out" between clearings. You MUST move to a clearing on your turn.
  • Fixed issue where killing a monster with a transformed monster head/club was not scoring any fame or notoriety.
  • Native group inventory hold radiates magic

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Version 0.19 Released

Yes, another release in under a week. Why? Two reasons: a) I didn't want to do a v0.18.1 bug patch (but really needed to), and b) I wanted to release some new spells that were very close to being finished. As such, I feel there is enough new stuff here to warrant a new release number.

In any case, who cares about the numbers!! Here's what's new:

  • New Spells:
    • Control Bats
    • Guide Spider/Octopus

  • Action Panel is default to "shown" when switching frames during recording actions phase

  • Fixed alerted MAGIC chit bug (weren't getting speed zero during combat)
  • Fixed behavior of Familiar/Phantasm on the board: they no longer cause chits to flip
  • Transmorphed monsters don't fatigue when looting the CAIRNS
  • Added a button in the Combat Window for using color chits to energize inert spells (too many people confused about how to do this, so I made it really obvious... I hope!)
  • Fixed the behavior of turn ordering when the Familiar or Phantasm was in play
  • Fixed the "sense" of the spell target chooser - added a "Select All" button
  • Removed the extra image of the incantation chit on the combat sheet for attack spells
  • Fixed bug where battle would stop after respawining a dead character
  • Fixed bug where absorbing a Red-Side up monster would crash the game
  • Fixed bug where combat was not being reset after death

Friday, November 18, 2005

Two Little Bugs

I'm glad there are people who have already tried RealmSpeak! Unfortunately, two bugs have come to light.

The first one is a rule-interpretation bug: The familiar (and phantasm) shouldn't turn chits face up. I didn't know this, but a discussion over at the BGG Forum makes this problem clear.

The second one is a bit more annoying: alerted spell chits don't get the benefit of zero-speed! I likely broke this behavior when I added support for the spell Elvin Grace.

I'm not going to fling out a version 0.18.1 this time. I want to get some other bits in place, and maybe a few more spells, and do a v0.19 release. I'll make these two bugs top priority, but I want to make the download worth your trouble!

Update: I've fixed both of these bugs. I should be able to do a v0.19 release this weekend, provided all goes well with the new spells I'm working on. (Anybody want to try and Persuade me?)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Version 0.18 Released

This is it! I'm calling it the Spellcaster's delight for several reasons:
  • Lots of new spells
  • Fixed all casting bugs from v0.17
  • Two words: Absorb Essence

I've really given this one a workover, and playtested it more than any previous release. I really wanted this one to be fully playable, unlike v0.17. I'm pretty confident everything is working this time, so give it your best shot!

Oh, important note: You're going to need to download a new resource pack (available in the usual place). Without this, RealmSpeak WILL complain (a new feature), and prevent the game from launching. Why a new resource pack? I added some images to support the Witch's Familiar, the Sorceror's Phantasm, and the future Transform and Melt-into-Mist spells. I'm not doing a patch this time, so you'll need to download the entire 4.5 Megs. If you are running on a modem, and really don't want to do the download, drop me an e-mail, and I'll see what I can do to get you the changed files in a smaller package.

Here's what's new:

  • RealmSpeak now checks for the images folder - if not found, it reports the problem, and exits.
  • When moving, you can opt to leave behind followers that haven't yet found hidden enemies
  • Support for Day/Combat/Permanent spells
  • New Spells:
    • Witch's Brew
    • Fairie Lights
    • Elemental Spirit
    • Unleash Power
    • Elvin Grace
    • Blend into Background
    • See Hidden Signs
    • Sense Danger
    • Absorb Essence
    • Dissolve Spell
    • Phantasm
    • Cancel portion of Remedy works
    • Exorcise now kills all spells in the clearing

  • The Witch's familiar is implemented
  • Replaced the "Give" button with a "Trade" button, for doing 2-way character trading (inventory and gold)

  • Fixed problem where doing a PEER ADJACENT CLEARING would use the destination clearing as a reference, rather than your current clearing
  • Better information in table for "Discover Chits" result on MAGIC SIGHT table
  • Fixed a new problem from v0.17 where spell casting options were not getting refreshed. (Hopefully the last bug fix from the so-called "optimization")
  • Fixed a bug where the Witch King was able to MOVE with L inventory
  • Fixed a problem with the GUI where the Deploy/Charge step was shown every time, regardless of need
  • Fixed a bug which would crash RealmSpeak when a character was respawned after being stripped of all his/her inventory, and no new inventory was available
  • Adjusted the length of the Woodfolk HQ Bow from 14 to 16, as per Richard Hamblen's comment on Nand's magic realm site
  • Fixed a problem where prowling monsters moving to a clearing where a character ended his/her turn were not being blocked.
  • Fixed a bug where underlings following a hired leader vanish after becoming unhired
  • Can no longer "peek" at native items during TRADE, and press cancel

Special Note - I gave Absorb Essence a LOT of my time, so its virtually perfect in every way. That said, there are going to be a few rules-issues I'm sure. For one thing, if you record a turn as a character, and stumble through some magic and transform, it will still let you play out your turn as the character. I realize this is wrong, but rather than work on the problem, I decided to let it slide this time. The spell is solid (its not going to crash your game!), and will do what you expect 95% of the time. Try it out and see what you think. I'll get the minor issues worked out in a future release.

Have fun!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Spellcasters Delight

The last release (v0.17) was rather buggy, and severely hampered the spellcaster side of things. So buggy, in fact, that I think most of you have stuck with v0.16, for which I don't blame you. That's what I get for rushing a release!

I'm trying to make that up with v0.18: Lots of new spells (11 at last count), and plenty of playtesting. I played a game tonight with the Witch that went fairly well. The Witch let her familiar explore the tiles ahead of her, while she strolled leisurely through some early treasure site finds. She absorbed a Giant (probably not the best monster to absorb...), and kicked some serious butt. At one point, she faced down both Tremendous Land Dragons, and beat them! I was fairly amazed (and probably really lucky).

I've played the Amazon, Witch-King, Elf, Witch, and Druid with very few bugs to report. I'm very close to wrapping up the last few bugs with Absorb Essence (man that's a fun spell!). I should have v0.18 out in the next couple of days, assuming my evenings aren't totally consumed this week! At the very least, there will be a Sat PM or Sun PM release.

Thanks for all your support, and I hope you will enjoy v0.18!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Absorb Essence

I've got this spell mostly done. You can absorb any monster, move/fly around the board as that monster, fight (clubs and heads included), and let it go inert. Still don't have a way to charge a permanent spell by fatiguing color chits yet, but that wont be very hard to complete.

I had hoped on getting v0.18 out this weekend, but seeing as it is late on Sunday, I doubt this is going to happen. I'm really playtesting this version hard, because I don't want there to be any game-killing bugs this time around. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ugly Spell Bug

This bug is soooo ugly, it needs mention here!

When I optimized the combat portion of RealmSpeak, I opted to "reuse" the combat frame, rather than spawn a new one each time. Because of this, I need to reset some of the parameters each time it is reused. Unfortunately, I forgot to reset one of the parameters, and its causing some rather unpleasant game play.

When you cast a spell for the first time, you'll get a realistic set of spell options: spells to cast, chits to use, etc. Unfortunately, these same set of spell options come up each after that, for every magic user in the game! Yes, you keep seeing the same spell, and same chits each time. (sigh)

This problem has been fixed in v0.18, and is quite possibly the last major bug from my optimization work. I do apologize to those of you who have been encountering this problem, but this is the very nature of a program that is a "work in progress". I try very hard to get working versions out, but the last several releases have been a bit buggy. Hopefully v0.18 will be more stable, and enjoyable to play.

As a follow-up to my previous post, I did finish "Absorb Essence". I'm still juggling what to work on next, but my short list looks like this:
  • Enchant Artifact
  • Absorb Essence
  • Broomstick
  • Control Bats

No promises yet though!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


That's what I decided to call the critters that are controlled exclusively by a particular character. This includes the Witch's familiar, and the Day spell Phantasm. Both of these are finished, and will be included in v0.18. I even made some new icons for these two things, so this means a new resource pack will become available to go with it.

Side Note: I've never really used the familiar or phantasm in any live games. They were always such a pain to deal with, that I often neglected or forgot to use them, and they were wasted. In RealmSpeak, its a cinch to record actions for both, so I can see how these abilities are useful! I even played the Sorceror with multiple Phantasm spells. This is a cool way for the Sorceror to scout out territory!

I'm finishing up the spell "Unleash Power", and thinking about turning my attention towards "Absorb Essence", and "Broomstick". Yes, v0.18 is going to be a Witch's delight!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Long Duration Spells Working

I finally got some time this evening to work up some longer duration spells: Day, Combat, and (drum roll please) Permanent spells. That is to say, the logic is in place. I've worked up a few spells, with many more to follow very soon. Here is what I got so far:
  • Witch's Brew
  • Fairie Lights
  • Elemental Spirit
  • See Hidden Signs
  • Sense Danger
  • Blend into Background

Sense Danger is the only Permanent spell so far, but it works correctly: it goes into effect during the evening, it goes inert at midnight, and reenergizes as soon as it is in the presence of Purple magic. I don't have the logic in for energizing an inert spell with a magic chit yet, but probably will before version 0.18 is released.

How many total spells yet to do? I counted 30 (damn this game has a lot of spells!), so I've still got my work cut out for me! Version 0.18 will definitely pack a punch!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Version 0.17.1 Released

Okay, let's try this again! I played a v0.17 game last night with a friend of mine, and everything went well until we hit our first combat. Though I had never seen any in-game combat problems before, the !@#$ hit the fan when there were multiple players. Suddenly, we were deluged with 1-4 combat windows at once, and stages were getting skipped left and right. It got to a point, where combat stopped, and hung altogether. Bad news!

Looking into the code this morning, I had realized I made a dumb mistake. I had forgotten to take out a line of code I put in for some firewall testing, and it caused everything I had worked so hard to get right, to fall apart. I removed the line of code, made a couple of tweaks (I noticed during our game, that it was no longer describing the combat stages in the player list window), and tried it again with our save game from last night. Looks good this time, and nothing freaky going on.

I sincerely apologize to those of you that downloaded v0.17 and have to redownload v0.17.1. I took the link down as soon as I saw the problem, but I know it was too late for some of you. At least its not that big of a file to download (assuming you are on cable/DSL).

Just a few things, but they are worth mentioning:
  • Fixed display of character status during combat (was only showing "In Combat"!!)
  • Fixed multiple combat frame spawning (this is THE reason for breaking the link online!)
  • Added a new menu item to restore games from the autosave file

Jumping the Gun

I may have jumped the gun with the v0.17 release. I tried playing an online game last night, and we ran into a game killing bug (happens during combat). Before too many people did the download, I decided to break the link. If you've tried to download, you have probably noticed the broken link by now. If you managed to get it before I did that, I recommend tossing it, and rolling back to version 0.16.1.

I'm really sorry about that! I did the release so my friend could get it, and we could play. I'm going to see if I can fix it today (not a lot of time today though....) and get it back online.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Version 0.17 Released

I put a lot of effort into this release to get all the little bugs surrounding natives and hired leaders resolved. I also did some optimization work, to resolve some issues with speed (see this entry).

Finally, I added a bunch of options to the Option Menu, and made these options persist from game to game. Yes, that means you won't have to tweak these anymore! Once you get them where you like, they should stay until you change them. This includes the location of your last load/save file (some of you, I know, will rejoice!)

I'm playing a game online tonight, so hopefully I'll hit any game killing bugs before you do. I've got my fingers crossed that v0.17 isn't a repeat of v0.16, where I seemed to break everything!!

Okay, here's what you are getting this time around:

  • Warning if you press send before recording all your phases (option can be turned off)
  • Menu options to set default "Daily Combat" setting for each new character
  • Menu options to turn warnings off (heavy inventory, incomplete phases)
  • Menu options and frame size are "remembered" from game to game
  • Last Save folder for RealmSpeak is "remembered" from game to game
  • Button in character chooser to select a random character

  • Several speed optimizations
  • Fixed bug where combat would sometimes "hang" when there were a lot of participants
  • Character curses are now reset after death
  • Magic chit effort is calculated correctly again (alerted AND non-alerted)
  • Character token on frame doesn't appear "green" anymore when loading a game where the character is hidden
  • Can unalert a weapon in combat (why? Example: Pilgrim with alerted mace speed 3, might want to use FIGHT M2 chit!)
  • Reading Runes on Book with all spells awakened, allows a choice of spell to learn
  • Stumble rolls now include the number of attackers
  • Change Tactics roll not done on boxes containing ONLY Tremendous monsters or native horses
  • Clarified INSULT and CHALLENGE result windows to identify the natives and character affected
  • Fixed problem where a monster with a weapon was being counted as TWO attackers, and thwarting automatic assignments
  • Fixed issue where monster and weapon/head were getting repositioned into the same box
  • Fixed issue where unhired natives could be placed in the same box with their horse
  • Hirelings following a hired leader are used in combat
  • If you run from combat with hirelings, the hirelings will finish the battle.
  • "Show Card" button is disabled on hired leader frames
  • Cancel illegal MOVEs without blocking character turn
  • Can FOLLOW a hired leader now
  • Hired Leaders can no longer drop their horses in the clearing!!
  • Shows interactive character when combat windows are displayed (guarantees correct character is shown when asked to buy drinks for natives)
  • Suicide and Transfer buttons are not enabled on on Hired Leaders
  • Tweaked the positioning stage a bit:
    • You position your own hirelings on any sheet
    • You position denizens only on your own sheets
    • For monster sheets, the monster's target gets to move denizens
    • You NEVER position hirelings that aren't your own

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

RealmSpeak Optimization

I spent some time this weekend working to optimize RealmSpeak. The reason for this, is that some people had reported having problems with 5 or more characters. As a test, I set up a game with all 16 characters, and RealmSpeak slowed to a crawl. The first combat to appear, caused the whole game to crash. Bummer!

Since the whole point of RealmSpeak is to allow any number of players to join, I really needed to get this fixed. After playing around with some code profilers, I was finally able to locate some of the problem code. I'm happy to say, that RealmSpeak is flying at about 3-times the speed it used to, and this is good for everyone, even if you are only playing a couple characters!

During this stage of coding, I also located and removed a bug that would sometimes cause RealmSpeak to hang during combat. A number of you have reported this behavior, and though the autosave allows you to quit and restart where you left off, it wasn't a desirable thing to do. I can hardly wait to get v0.17 out (this weekend, for sure), and see how this works for everyone.

Oh, I retried the 16 character game... and it worked normally! Yes, it was a pain clicking endlessly through all the stages, but they are fast now, and combat doesn't hang. Wheee!!

Now maybe I can start knocking those bugs off the bug tracker!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Maintenance Release v0.16.1

Due to a couple of annoying problems, I decided to get a quick fix online, so everyone could get to playing with the new features in v0.16. I apologize to those who already downloaded 0.16, but you are really going to want v0.16.1. Here's what I fixed:

  • Fixed bug that prevented multiple color chits being chosen at start of game
  • IP Address no longer relevant when saving/loading save files - in other words, you should be able to load those autosave.rsgame files now!
  • Duplicate player names are disallowed when joining a game server (this was sorely needed)
  • New button to allow transfer of characters between player names (in case someone leaves)
  • Smarter client handling, when server is shut down

Autosave Woes

Thought I should mention a caveat with the autosave files. They wont work right if you try to open them on another computer. The reason for this, is that RealmSpeak is using the IP address to identify who get which character windows. This works great if everyone uses the same computer they used when they last played, but this isn't always ideal.

If you try to open a save file with a different IP address (different computer, different network, etc), then everything will open *except* the character windows. This is a problem I am aware of (the bug is posted over at Mantis), and will be a high priority for the next release.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Version 0.16 Released

This is a fairly major release. I reworked a lot of the combat logic to allow for Hired Leaders, and the absence of Hiring Characters. If you've been playing RealmSpeak for awhile, you are going to have to get back into the habit of assigning your hirelings to a guide. You only have to do this once after each successful hire (they remember their assignments from day to day), but if you forget, your hirelings will stand idly by when you move on. This also means you can no longer do a HIRE and move on in the same day. Hirelings can only be assigned at the beginning of the day, so you'll have to stick around for the night.

This release also sports a couple new spells: Remedy (by request) and Whistle for Monsters. I also fixed the "Stones Fly" spell, so it will behave like described in the rules. This should make the Druid character a bit more playable!

Oh, several new options in the host setup dialog. You can specify an "auto-save" now. What this means, is that the game will be saved every turn at midnight, to a file in the same folder as RealmSpeak, called "autosave.rsgame". It doesn't ask about overwrite, so if you start a new game, any previous autosave is lost (I'll fix this someday). If you don't want autosave turned on, simply uncheck the box.

Okay, enough blabbering. Here's the rundown of what is new:

  • Native handling updated to match the rules
    • Underlings don't follow until Sunrise assignments
    • Underlings can be assigned to follow guides (including other characters!)
    • Running leaves underlings behind
    • Characters don't have to be present to manage the combat for their hirelings
    • Option in combat frame to exclude character from clearing
    • Native Leaders, and all that they do!

  • Added the die result to Wish, Curse, and Power of the Pit result windows, so you can see what the dice did.
  • Auto-save option in host setup window - saves a copy of the game every turn to a file "autosave.rsgame" in your RealmSpeak directory
  • Remedy works (removes curses only - doesn't target spells, because there are no spells with a duration to target yet)
  • Whistle for Monsters works
  • New House Rule to keep sound/warning/treasureLocation chits from flipping face down once they are discovered
  • Characters can be recycled after death (turn this feature OFF in my house rules)
  • Window appears at the end of your character turn if you have unavailable maneuver options due to heavy inventory

  • Can get negative fame/notoriety (I also added a house rule if you don't like this rule interpetation!)
  • Can actually get the 50 gold from the Chest now
  • Fixed "Negligible Harm" result on FUMBLE table (wasn't modifying harm!)
  • Dead Native Horses regenerate properly
  • Fixed a problem where a hidden CombatFrame was being created each round of combat, and never being disposed
  • Spells cancel spells as per rule 41.1/1
  • Spells that target the clearing do not affect hidden status
  • Switched positions of Position/Attack hotspot on denizen battle sheets
  • Added a hash to the base game object layer to improve data access speed
  • Default # of characters per player is set to 16 now (though if you've played RealmSpeak before, it will keep your last entry for this)
  • Fixed problem where not placing an attack was hitting non-maneuvering characters
  • Fixed option chooser when the number of items is too many (used to run off the screen) - now organized into tabs
  • Native group treasures are dropped face down on leader's death
  • Wish for Strength is tested AFTER natives when attempting to open the VAULT (or other)
  • Deploying hirelings against natives causes appropriate BATTLING response.
  • Fixed rare problem where hired natives would sometimes battle their employer!
  • Gripping dust stays with the affected weapon now
  • Magic Sight shows ALL spells on a site/artifact with Perceive Spell before allowing user to choose a spell to learn
  • Magic Sight "Counters" result will NOT take treasure from Site CARDS (like the Enchanted Meadow)
  • Hireling Horses are included when checking MOVE strength (Patrol 1 is M, his horse is H)
  • Fixed WoodsGirl's special ability: her die roll ability in woods affects all meeting rolls too.
  • Relationships for Native Leaders are the same as character
  • Stones Fly has a minimum of four attacks as per the rules
  • Fixed problem with showing too many spell casting options

As always, let me know if you run into any problems. The most effective way to do this is through the RealmSpeak Bug Tracker. Many of you have been using this forum, and its worked out rather nicely. Thank you!!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

First draft of Hired Leaders

I actually have working Hired Leaders now! It was remarkably easy to incorporate into RealmSpeak, and though there's still a couple of minor issues to deal with, they are working nicely.

I don't think I'll get a release out this weekend, but it shouldn't be too long - maybe next weekend.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Underlings on the Move

I've got a ton of bugs piling up over at the bug tracker, but that's primarily because I've been focusing all my effort lately to get the Underlings working correctly. That is, I'm moving away from the "Hirelings as Inventory" concept, and implementing the proper rules.

I've currently got the following working:
  • Underlings can get assigned to follow any guide, and only during Birdsong
  • Employing characters can control their hirlings in combat, even if they aren't there.
  • Underlings are left behind if the character runs away
  • Random assignment works correctly if the character is hidden or absent from the clearing: the character chooses which hireling gets the random assignment when he/she "wins" the random assignment roll.

Next step: Hired Leaders. As far along as I am, there's no way this wont happen before version 0.16. Then maybe I can get to some of those bugs.... ;-)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Version 0.15 Released

I didn't get to fixing the Natives like I had hoped, but I did fix a bunch of other things. Here's what's new:

  • Flashing Button reminders when multiple players online
  • New Spell: Curse (Power of the Pit is enabled, but not fully working yet)
  • Join game options are remembered from game to game
  • Detail about "Spoils of War" in the Combat Detail panel
  • Added a "Close" button to the battle detail window
  • Daily Monster Die is shown in action table

  • Removed DEBUG code that was causing MAGIC SIGHT to only "Perceive Spells"
  • Fixed bug where casting Small Blessing (or Curse) caused the game to freeze up when there were multiple characters
  • Fixed bug where enchanted tiles would revert to green each time a new player joined the game
  • Enchanted Meadow result #4 will now properly cancel the WITHER curse, in addtion to healing your chits.
  • Fixed a bug where the GUI would crash when the Pilgrim casts Exorcise on demons while hidden
  • Hidden natives can deploy to unassigned targets
  • RED-side-up monsters can no longer be lured off a character sheet (I know that natives can do this, but I'm not doing this now)
  • Hirelings no longer get the Pilgrim's HEAVENLY PROTECTION, and can lure demons/imp.
  • WISH for PEACE no longer freezes combat when monsters are on caster's sheet
  • MAGIC chits count towards effort
  • Running from a peaceful clearing with other characters no longer freezes the game.
  • Reworked Spoils of War code - this should be accurate now - (Exception: When hired leaders kill, their inventory score goes to the character for now)
  • Multiple spell kills are sorted from most to least points (rule 43.4)
  • Hireling kills appear on character table

Monday, October 03, 2005

Another Online Game

Played another online game last night, this time with four online players! Though I wont detail the game here, it went fairly well. The Druid, Wizard, Captain, and White Knight explored a good portion of the Realm without getting killed. We saved the game (it was getting late), to play another day.

At one point, the player playing the Captain had a problem with the interface: it said he was playing his turn, but in fact nothing appeared on his screen. A game killing bug? I suggested dropping out and rejoining, knowing that there was at least a chance that it would resync itself, and get going again. In fact, it worked, and the game was off and running again.

Some problems we noted:
  • Each time a new player joined, all the enchanted tiles flipped back to their normal side. This is a bug, and quite annoying to the magic users!
  • At one point, the Captain (unhidden) discovered the Altar, and no-one else in the clearing got the discovery. Argh, I know this USED to work. At least the "trade discoveries" feature worked, so we were still able to save us some searches, and get to looting.
  • Something strange happened when a person tried to log on with the wrong password. It didn't affect the game, really, but it left a strange ghost row in the Connections window.
  • People couldn't log on during a turn. Apparently, there is something preventing a new player from connecting to the server during a turn. The solution was to tell them to wait (we were using TeamSpeak to communicate) until the turn was finished (Midnight), and then it worked fine.
  • Its frustrating when someone (including myself) forgets to press "Send", "Next", or "Done". At least the character list window makes it clear what is happening, so you can shout at the person who has forgotten, and keep the game moving. I'm thinking about adding a feature that flashes the button after a few seconds to remind you that you haven't yet pressed it.

Version 0.15 is moving along. I've already had to fix a game killing bug where casting Small Blessing with more than one character in a clearing will crash the game. There's also a problem with Magic Sight again, although this time it has to do with some debugging code I forgot to remove (sigh). I'll probably do another release next weekend just to get these bugs out of the mix. I finished the Curse spell (my first V), and I may be able to finish Power of the Pit by then too.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Hireling changes are next

I think the single biggest flaw in RealmSpeak at this time, is the way Hirelings are handled. They shouldn't follow the same day they are hired, and they shouldn't run when you run. There should be a mechanism to trade hirelings among characters, and/or leave them behind.

I intentionally wrote the code this way, as a sort of temporary way to handle hirelings, but its time to get this fixed. Look for a change in the way hirelings are handled coming very soon, likely the next release.

Hired leaders? Maybe, but I'm not sure yet.

Version 0.14 Released

First off, I want to thank everyone who has signed on over at the bug tracker database, and contributed a report. This system is working out nicely, and I think it keeps things organized in a way that everyone can track the progress.

Here's what's new in this release:

  • New option for hiding DEAD Characters
  • Manual zoom added to map as an option
  • Chit adjustment panels (fatigue, wound, rest) gray out chits that can't be moved

  • Followers remain hidden at the start of their turn, if hidden as a result of following their guide
  • Magic Sight crash bug fixed (would freeze if doing Magic Sight on an artifact with all spells already learned)
  • Berserker can play MOVE-H6 chit now after going BERSERK (used to say no moves were available)
  • Toadstool Circle PEER ANY is implemented
  • Fixed a bug with the Kill Character button that was preventing it from working
  • Captain's action chits fixed
  • Luring is no longer skipped when there are no unassigned denizens
  • Maneuver hotspots added back on character sheet
  • WISH for STRENGTH is implemented
  • Character's with WITHER curse no longer fall asleep in a clearing with the Flowers of Rest
  • Books with fully awakened spells no longer prevent searching
  • More cleanup of the text of trade interactions
  • WISH for PEACE is implemented

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I wish for X

Someone pointed out to me that casually mentioning that WISH isn't fully implemented is a bit of a cheat on my part. Want to know what works and what doesn't?

These WISH results work:

1 - I wish I were elsewhere
3 - I wish for a vision
5 - I wish for health

These WISH results are not yet implemented

2 - I wish you were elsewhere (seems like it should be as easy as 1, but its actually quite a bit more complicated!)
4 - I wish for peace
6 - I wish for STRENGTH

Hey, odd works, even doesn't! That means that if you select Small Blessing as your spell, only half of the possible results are even going to be useful to you in v0.13. I'll make an effort to finish at least 4 and 6 for the next release. I'm not sure about 2, but hopefully...

The other two tables, Curse and Power of the Pit, are fully implemented. If you've ever been hit by the Demon or the Imp, you'll know what I mean. They aren't ready as castable spells, just yet, but should be in the near future.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Realm is a Cruel Mistress

Played a game last night online with a friend of mine, and it went something like this:

The White Knight and Sorceror meet at the Inn, and decide to pair up to do some adventuring. After being blocked by the Rogues, the Sorceror buys them drinks to make the night's stay an uneventful one. The next morning the Sorceror and White Knight hurry out into the Realm, moving into the adjacent Borderlands.

Stumbling immediately onto the Altar, the Sorceror and White Knight locate the entrance, and start looting. The first day yields the Crypt of the Knight, and not much else. After dealing with the Demon, and a couple of heavy serpents, the White Knight excitedly explores the Crypt. Hurrah! It's the Sacred Grail (a source of WHITE magic for the Knight), and the Tremendous armor! The Realm is being suspiciously nice today.

After gathering a few more trinkets (and an ASHES curse for the Knight), the pair decide to move on towards the Chapel to get some healing (Make Whole doesn't remove curses). The Sorceror moves quickly through the woods to a safe location in a neighboring valley, but the Knight hangs back a bit to explore a sound in the woods. Before he realizes what is happening, he finds himself surrounded by wolves. Though he fights heroicly, and kills two wolves, they ultimately knock him down and finish him off. Damn!

Meanwhile, something was stirring at the Chapel, as a new character entered the Realm. With the Order as his ally, the Pilgrim decides it would be worth hiring one of them as an escort before heading out into the Realm. Though the Order offers O3 as a BOON, the Pilgrim chooses not to hurt his alliance, and pays the wage. But something is amiss! In the dark of the evening, the Pilgrim realizes the Patrol has arrived, and with no money to buy drinks, is quickly drawn into a battle against his will. The hired Knight is clumsy, and is worthless in combat. The rest of the Order watches in amusement as the Pilgrim is quickly cut down by the Patrol, and left for dead on the steps of the Chapel!

Back in the Valley, the Sorceror realizes his gallant friend would not be emerging from the darkened woods. He decides to wander a bit, and get a peek at the Cliff and High Pass along the way. Neither place offers any adventure, and so he turns back and heads to the dreaded woods. Knowing something ugly awaits him, the Sorceror spends part of the day preparing his magic, and moves into the woods under the cover of stealth. Quietly entering the clearing with the wolves, the Sorceror sees the Black Knight and a rogue hireling coming in from the opposite side. Though he wonders briefly if this is the source of his friends demise, a quick glance at the wolves tearing apart the remains of a human is all he needs to know. The Black Knight, still unaware of the hidden eyes, lures the wolves into battle. Fwwooossh!!! The Sorceror lets loose a Fiery Blast, and leaves four hapless piles of Wolven ash.

Still a bit wary of each other, the Sorceror and Black Knight join forces, and do a bit of searching for the White Knight's belongings. Only able to locate the Blasted Jewel (where is that grail!!), the two leave to travel towards the beckoning Crags. Enchanting a woods tile along the way, to ensure safe passage to the Mountain after exploring the Crags, the only pause the two make before entering the first clearing of the Crags. The Pool, Cairns, and Altar Shrine are there, along with the Tremendous Octopus. The Sorceror quietly enchants the Crags, to generate a source of permanent PURPLE magic, but the two are quickly besieged by two Heavy Flying Dragons, and a Heavy Land Dragon. Fortunately, both characters were hidden, so there is still a chance to spend a day preparing for the battle.

The Black Knight succeeds in hiding the next day, and alerts the mace with no effort. The Sorceror is not so lucky, and is quickly spotted by the dragons, and now the Octopus joins the fray! With no alerted spells, the Sorceror is going to have to work hard to get his dinner tonight!

With the hireling luring the Octopus, the first round works out quite nicely, as the Heavy Land Dragon (Sorceror), and one Heavy Flying Dragon (Black Knight), go down. The ensuing rounds do not go so well, as each attack misses, and the remaining Heavy Flying Dragon whittles the Black Knight down with fatigue and wounds. The Octopus ultimately gets ahold of the hireling, and crushes him like a bug. As the Sorceror is out of spells, he decides to lure the Octopus in the hopes that he can distract it long enough for the Knight to kill the dragon, and come to help. The Knight does manage to kill the remaining dragon, but it is too late for the Sorceror, who is being tossed aside like so much meat. The Octopus turns on the Black Knight, who is determined to make this end well. Already slowed by fatigue and wounds from the previous melee with the dragons, the Knight is no match for the speed of the Octopus, and he is quickly snatched up, and slammed to the ground like a tin can.

As it was 11:00pm (in the real world), and day 22 (in the Realm), we decided to hang it up for the night. Though we were severely crushed, we still had a great time, and got a good 3 hours of game time without any game-ending bugs.

A couple things we DID notice:
  • At one point, after the Black Knight lured opponents, the Sorceror never got the opportunity to lure off the Black Knight's sheet. I need to fix that.
  • Native combat is tricky! The interface worked for the most part, but there is definitely room for improvement.

One thing that I tested, worked out great: Before the game went too far, I saved it. After the game was over, we tested restarting from the save file, and it worked like a champ! Too bad I didn't save it AFTER the White Knight got the grail and BEFORE he got chewed up by the Wolves!! Ah well!

The combat detail page worked out very nice - it helped point out exactly what happened during each round of combat, which was definitely a plus when doing the native interactions. If you haven't seen this feature yet, download version 0.13, and check it out!

Okay, that's all for now!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Version 0.13 Released

This is a relatively small release, but I think its worth it anyway. Fixed a couple of annoying bugs, and added some new features I think you'll like. I'm playing with this version tonight with some friends online, so I'll let you know how that goes!

Here's what's new:

  • New Spells Working:
    • Exorcism
    • Small Blessing (Works mostly, though the WISH table isn't complete...)

  • Reset button on combat panel to allow "takebacks" during combat.
  • Detail button on combat panel displays a text description of combat resolution.

  • Maneuver hotspots are disabled if there are no attackers
  • Luring from character sheets is supported. Click on the LURE hotspot without selecting an unassigned denizen to see this option.
  • Changed buttons around a bit on SpellSelector (was a bit confusing)
  • Can no longer close SpellSelector by clicking the "Close Window" box (was causing some problems)
  • Reinstated code to allow selling of activated items (except activated potions, of course). All sold items are deactivated (and unalerted) on sale.
  • Fixed the wording in the TRADE dialog to better describe what is happening (especially in the case of a BOON)
  • Fixed a bug where your gold could go negative when turning down a BOON.
  • Fixed a bug where having the ASHES curse prevented you from accepting a BOON.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Tracking Bugs

I've always managed bugs the same way: people send me e-mails and I add the bug to a growing ToDo list. As I finish the work, I delete the bug from my ToDo list, and add it to my Changes list.

This works pretty good, except when I forget to move a bug from my INBOX, to my ToDo list, and it gets forgotten. It's nearly impossible to go back through all my e-mails to locate an old bug report, and so I usually dont.

For some time now, I've thought I should use a web-based bug tracking system that would enable people to report bugs in a logical way, and view existing bugs already in progress. I'm experimenting with such a system called Mantis, and so far its looking pretty good for what I want. If you want to see the RealmSpeak bug tracker, go to:

This link is also in my sidebar. You will be able to set up an account, by following the directions there, and immediately begin viewing my bug list. I haven't transferred too many bugs from my list yet, so don't be too surprised at the small number of bugs there (I've only got 2 in there at the time of this post).

This isn't to say I wont accept bug reports via e-mail, because I know sometimes people are intimidated by web systems, but I would hope that people consider the bug tracker as an alternative, at the very least.

There should be a release (v0.13) very soon, as I've added some cool features I want out there. I also fixed the "Native's can't Lure off a character" issue, and added a few new spells (Exorcise, Small Blessing).

Friday, September 02, 2005

Version 0.12 Released

This is a fairly big release, with lots of new features and fixed bugs. I really want to give a special thanks to Vincent L, who provided me with very long, and very detailed bug reports. Without this help, I'm not sure I'd have gotten half of these things done.

That said, there were a few bugs I didn't address, simply because I could never recreate them on my machine. The most major of these are:
  • Spell targeting problems, where sometimes targets are targeted more than once
  • Natives sometimes use horses in caves during combat
  • Starting a turn between two clearings where one is a cave, sometimes acts as though you started in a cave.

If you encounter any of these, can you please save the game at your next possible opportunity, and send it to me? I really don't like leaving these bugs unaddressed, but until I can see them myself, there's nothing I can do!

With that "disclaimer" out of the way, here's what's new in this version (warning - very long list):

New Features:
  • Option on character sheet to have combat windows open every Evening - default ON
  • Better error reporting when an image file cannot be found (causes the game to exit, rather than play on)
  • New spell selector interface: allows choosing the same spell more than once
  • New Character Frame header layout
  • New Spell Working: Make Whole
  • New BattleBuilder GUI
    • Full interface for standalone Battle tester
    • Non-linear creation of battle situations
    • More control over inventory (ie., damaged armor)
    • Easy to make changes before playing the battle

Fixed Bugs/Issues:
  • Counter typos reported by beta-testers:
    • Vulnerability fixed on Soldier HQ - Heavy not Medium
    • Added the words "HIDE 1 die" to Shoes of Stealth treasure card (though it always worked that way)
    • The Silver Breastplate has been fixed: Heavy vulnerability, not Medium
    • Octopus is now circled 4 instead of circled 2 on RED side

  • Proofread all counters: found 3 more errors which are now fixed: }
    • T Spider front move time is now 3 instead of 4
    • Patrol 1 values switched (was backward: light on dark, and dark on light)
    • Morning Star unalerted speed is now 6 (was blank)

  • No longer have unlimited actions after moving with a Pony
  • Fixed problem when loading a save game where characters have hirelings
  • Characters become unhidden at the start of their turn (instead of midnight)
  • Horses cannot be activated unless they are strong enough to carry your character AND your inventory
  • Inactive horses are included when determining what you can carry (rule 3.6/4)
  • Cannot switch out horses after recording a MOVE action for the day (I know this isn't completely accurate, but will work for now)
  • Die modifiers work on spells
  • When no target is selected, and active weapon is not played, it's alerted state no longer changes
  • Trying to LOOT the CAIRNS with no active asterisk chits no longer freezes the game
  • Fixed MagicSight "Perceive Spell" issues (can't learn spells outside your ability; can only learn spell once)
  • Save and End game options ONLY available during BIRDSONG now
  • Boots cannot be activated unless they are strong enough to carry your character AND your inventory
  • Followers with SQUEAK curse do not hide when guide hides
  • Revamped Run logic to use a new system: squashes all "run" problems reported to date
  • Can no longer loot the clearing directly instead of Magic Sight, when that ability is enabled
  • Natives become unhidden when luring or deploying
  • Natives can no longer deploy to hidden enemies that haven't been found yet
  • Natives that become unhired (end of term) become unhidden
  • Can only sell INACTIVE inventory now
  • Disabled character development levels for now - not fully implemented
  • When running, hirelings are disengaged from targets (I know that natives don't run, but I'm not fixing it this time around)
  • Fixed problem with multiple free actions (Amazon with 3 extra MOVE phases due to 7L Boots, and a Horse - she was getting 4!)
  • Die bonus is no longer lost on Trade table when opportunity or trouble occurs
  • Gray magic spells no longer work with ANY color
  • Buying drinks includes all members of the native group in the clearing, including those already hired
  • Awakening all the spells on a book/artifact no longer prevents further Read Runes rolls
  • Oil of Poison no longer affects daggers (may add this back as a house rule, if people want it)
  • Multiple rests for a guide translate to multiple rests for the followers
  • Dwarf drinking the Poultice of Health gets 3 asterisks per REST phase
  • Destroyed armor is repaired before being used on a new character
  • Demon MOVE times no longer affect Pilgrim's ability to ALERT, run, or cast spells
  • Only "carryable" items are counted towards victory points

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Make Whole

Woo-Hoo! I finally broke down and got another spell done. I had to add a bunch of code (surprisingly) to support the behavior of an instant spell, but I got it done. That's one: Make Whole.

With that done, there's not much reason to put off any of the Instant spells, which means most of the I's.

More Maintenance Today

I managed to find several hours today to work on RealmSpeak, and thus have fixed many little problems that accumulated in my inbox while I was on vacation. Version 0.12 is going to be one of the largest maintenance releases since some of the very early versions.

I'm really hoping to find some time for some new spells (it's been too long since I've adding anything substantially "new"). If I do any, it will be the WHITE magic spells, so that the Pilgrim can see his full potential.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Image Files

(I meant to post this yesterday)

There have been some issues surrounding the new image files I introduced in v0.10. If these image files are not put into the correct directory (/images/combat), the game behaves strangely, especially when playing hired natives in combat. Part of the problem is that RealmSpeak doesn't report this error, and continues happily as if nothing is wrong. When native combat ensues, there is no indication of the missing denizen melee sheet in combat, instead showing no change when clicking the natives.

If you are having problems, I recommend downloading the entire resource pack again, and reinstalling the image folder. This will guarantee that you have things where they belong. Version 0.12 of RealmSpeak will indicate when an image file is missing or misplaced, and will not run until the problem is resolved. This should alleviate any future difficulties with the program, and should settle any confusion.

I really need to either use Java WebStart (a Java install & run application by Sun) or come up with a way to do updates that requires a little less file-manipulation. Some day...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Pony Bug Fixed

Vincent pointed out a bug that has a tendancy to be exploited: If you own a Pony and record a single move, you will suddenly have an infinite amount of actions at your disposal! Makes looting the Lair in one turn a piece of cake! Needless to say, this bug is squashed, and will be fixed in v0.12.

There's another bug that relates to horses that I'm not sure I will get to this time. If you have a Pony/Horse and a Warhorse, you can use the Horse or Pony to gain a movement advantage, and then use the Warhorse to transport heavy items. This is clearly wrong and should be fixed, but the rareity of it precludes from jumping on it right away. I don't know about you all, but the times I've ever even owned a horse I can count on one hand! How do you do it Vincent!! ;-)

Proofreading the Counters

A number of people have reported some typos in RealmSpeak, which can affect the game greatly. Here are the one's I've fixed in v0.12:
  • Soldier HQ - Vulnerability is Heavy, not Medium
  • Octopus - RED attack speed is 4, not 2
  • Silver Breastplate - Heavy, not Medium
  • Shoes of Stealth - Missing text HIDE 1 die

With these errors, I decided it was time to proofread all the counter data, something I haven't done since the data was entered years ago (yes, years ago!). I found a few other errors which are fixed in 0.12:
  • T Spider - Light side move time is 3, not 4
  • Patrol 1 - front/back sides were backwards
  • Morning Star - Unalerted speed is 6, not blank

I'm pretty sure that's all of them. I will provide a counter data sheet with all future release, generated directly off the XML data file RealmSpeak uses. This will allow players to check the stats, if they think something might be wrong during the game.

I just finished enabling the combat screen for every turn of the game. Several of you have been requesting this, so that you may do Encounters without enemies (running, spellcasting, etc). Of course, if you (like me) don't want combat to pop up every turn, there will be a checkbox to disable this feature on your main character window.

Speaking of which, I decided to rearrange the top of the character window a bit. That whole part of the window just seemed a bit chaotic to me, and needed some structuring. I think you'll like the result.

Okay, that's enough chatter for now. I've a got a couple more hours to work on the code, and time's a wastin!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Back to the Realm

Just got back from my 2 week "vacation" to Oregon with my family. I see many of you have been sending me bug reports (none of which I have even looked at yet), so I'm guessing I've got my work cut out for me for version 0.12.

Don't expect too much in the next couple of days, but maybe this weekend I'll get back into some coding!

For the record, 19 hours of driving in two days with three kids (7, 5, and 2) is about 15 hours too long! Home sweet home.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Version 0.11 Released

There's a lot more in this release than I originally thought I'd have time to do. A couple of late nights was all I needed. Here's what's new:
  • Fixed the bug that occurs when you try to run from a combat after being blocked during a move (HOORAY!!)
  • Fixed the bug that causes the game to crash if a character dies while owning hirelings
  • Fixed the bug where you are between two mountain clearings, each with a monster, and you cannot move because you are endlessly blocked!
  • If you are blocked during your turn, the point at which it happens is denoted with the word "BLOCKED"
  • Fixed "End Current Game" option. No more black-edge maps, or dead frames.
  • Fixed issues with T Monster vs. mounted native (Rule 34.7/7)
  • RED-side-up T Monster flips back when its target is dead
  • Can choose a horse (or two) in the Combat Tester
  • Native Archers roll 1 die instead of 2
  • Hits that don't fatigue, wound, kill, or damage armor don't count when determining if combat ends
  • Spellcasting is not considered "inactivity" for a round of combat (ie., combat can continue as long as spells are being cast)
  • Swordsman only rolls 1 die when doing TRADE (not HIRE!)
  • Can't cheat anymore by mousing over clearings, and finding out where state chits were hiding
  • Fixed the bug where a spellcaster couldn't unselect other characters when casting an area effect attack spell
  • Must place spell attack before being allowed to continue
  • Doesn't offer buy drinks for FRIENDLY or ALLY when looking for block/battle at days end
  • Magic Sight works with clearing pile now
  • Can only save games during recording stage (Birdsong) - Save games should work more reliably now
  • Finished Power of the Pit results
  • T Monster flips to RED when their part/weapon hits
  • Natives no longer ride horses in CAVES
  • When running, targets are now disengaged
  • Missile table WOUND result no longer wounds the archer doing the roll!
  • Bug where Combat round sometimes doesn't get reset between battles is fixed

Unless there is a game killing bug in there, this is going to be the last release for awhile (several weeks). I've got a bunch of stuff going on, and I'm not going to be near my computer. You can continue to send bug reports, but don't fret if I don't answer my e-mail. I'll get to it again when things settle down, and pick up where I left off.

Thanks to everyone who sent me bug reports this week! The credit really goes to you for helping me find out what's wrong with RealmSpeak. I'm not sure I would have ever been able to fix that annoying "Run Away" bug if it wasn't for the playtesters. Some new playtesters (see the About box) found some particularly nasty bugs that I was able to get fixed in this release. Hooray!!

Thank you!!!!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Dieing with Hirelings

I became aware of a new bug today. A couple people on the Magic Realm discussion list said that RealmSpeak "crashed" on them, after a character died. After some experimentation over lunch, it seems that if you die while owning hirelings, the combat window closes, and the screen goes gray. The game crashes.

As this is a fairly serious bug (crashes are very VERY discouraging), I'll be putting together a release fairly soon. Hopefully, I can squeeze a couple other things in to make it worth the trouble to download.

Thanks to Steve and Vincent for bringing this one to my attention!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Run Away Bug Found!

Thanks to the detailed comments of one playtester (Peter), I was finally able to recreate this bug! Here's how it happens:

You record a move across several clearings. Because you plan to be hidden, the monster in your path isn't too much of a worry. Unfortunately, you fail your hide roll, and are blocked before you reach your ultimate destination! Since you are caught unprepared, you decide to run away at the first opportunity. You succeed, but realize that instead of being placed between the clearings, you are still sitting in the clearing with the monster!!

On your next turn, you move, and discover that your only option, is to return to the same clearing! This isn't good!! You've encountered.... THE BUG!!

First reported on the MagicRealm Wiki by Eric Topp, this bug has been plagueing me for some time (since v0.4!!). It seemed to pop up rarely, but it is almost always a game killer. It has been hell for me to find it, because it never popped up when I was looking for it, and thus was never able to really get AT it.

Now (finally) I can recreate the bug at will, by simply recording a move "through" a monster without hiding, getting blocked, and trying to run. A fix will be in place by version 0.11.

Thanks to everyone that sent me information and screenshots on this one!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Version 0.10 Released

For the first time, Native Combat! Here's what's new:
  • Clear out Serious Wound Rolls each round
  • Fixed "Decrease Levels" logic in Harm (decreases final harm, not just strength)
  • Missile weapons don't benefit from excess FIGHT strength
  • Added ability to alert MAGIC chits in combat simulator
  • T Serpent is armored now
  • Fixed Ghosts Notoriety Earnings (was 1, is now 2)
  • Highlight all rows with pending actions
  • Character attacks/maneuvers are secret if a character is attacking him/her
  • Hireling maneuvers on their own sheet (defender) are secret if a character is attacking them
  • Characters can mark which other characters are their enemy (Relationships tab) so friends aren't presented with the combat window on every turn.
  • Battling natives works (complete with drink buying)
  • Sucker punch - Monster gets its own combat sheet
  • Native combat, and most aspects of it, are implemented - NO NATIVE LEADER SUPPORT YET!
  • Monster/Native Regeneration - has always been there, but the code was never called!
  • Fixed Ghosts respawning - they are always prowling, and thus always respawn on the 7th day
  • HIRE action works
  • Show current month/day in character frame header
  • Fixed problem with taking a BOON from an Ally (used to bump down to Neutral!!)
  • Spell Selection page no longer shows "You may select more than ONE" if you can't.
  • Can place an attack without selecting a target (characters only) to alert a weapon (Rule 22.4/2a)

What's next? I think I'm going to take a step back, and work on some annoying things that have been broken for awhile (run bug, save/load features, combat simulator, etc.). Expect version 0.11 to be a bit of a maintenance release, with not a whole lot of new features. I imagine that will be okay, since this version should give you to plenty to play with for a while!

Have fun!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Done with Testing

I'm done with my testing for v0.10, so now all I need to do is get the files together for the release. I should be able to put it up tomorrow (Monday) night or Tuesday. I'd do it now, except I'm tired, and I have a family to attend to! :-)

As soon as the release is up, I'll post it here, and send a message to the RealmSpeak mailing list.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Slow but Sure

I had forgotten how much there was to do with natives on the non-combat side of things! I think in the interest in getting a version out sooner rather than later, I'm going to forgo writing the code for handling Native Leaders for now. In other words, you'll hire natives, and they'll follow you until their hire term is up, then they'll drop into the clearing. They'll give you T strength when you need it (and if they have it!), and they'll fight in your interest when you get into combat, but outside of that, they are just... well.... inventory!

I changed the mystery "followers" panel that has always occupied the RealmSpeak character frames with a "hirelings" panel that shows who is working for you, where they are, and how long their hire term is. Of course, hirelings will always be with the hiring character for now, but when I finish writing code to support sending your leaders off in different directions, and transferring hirelings to other players, this part at least will be ready.

I am getting very close to releasing v0.10. I'm currently dealing with a couple of bugs related to spell targeting amongst natives and other characters, as well as a problem with native friendliness change after a BOON is taken (still isn't working!!), but other than that, its ready. Once I fix the bugs I've found, I need to play through a couple of solo games to make sure nothing else is broken, and then I'll post the release (maybe this weekend??)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

HIRE Phase Working

Not much point having native combat in place, if you can't hire them in the first place! I got that piece finished, and I'm beginning to work on how spoils happen. In other words, when you slaughter the natives at the Inn (a strategy I'm not terribly fond of), their supplies are open for looting.

Oh, and I discovered rather inadvertently that monster respawning wasn't working. The piece of code that does this has been tested and in place since version 0.1, but simply never been called by the RealmSpeak main frame! I doubt many of you noticed this, unless you ever killed the ghosts, and noticed they never came back... This is fixed now, and you'll see it in version 0.10, which will come out sometime this month, I promise! Thanks to Steve M for pointing out the problems with the Ghosts!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Still Progressing on Native Combat

I've got Native combat mostly finished. Native horses behave properly, deployment works (even against other characters!), and monsters can own their own combat sheet. Still need to support Character-Character combat (almost there), and then I have to turn to the game itself: Hiring phases, Battling Natives, Native Leader turns, etc.

Can't promise a release time yet (got a busy holiday weekend), so the best I can offer is to keep an eye here, or better yet, sign up for the mailing list (see link on left sidebar).

Happy Fourth of July!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Native Combat

I've got an early version of Native combat in place. I actually did a battle with the Elf + Woodfolk versus all six bats, and it worked fairly well. A few friends sure make that battle a bit more reasonable! Still, I've got a lot to do. Deployment is turning out to be a tricky endeavour, and handling repositioning/tactics rolls is a nightmare when there are so many combatants and possibilities! Still, I'm confident it will come together fairly soon, and certainly by the next release.

What else to expect in version 0.10? Despite my earlier comments on this blog, I'm not going to do any more spells for this release: native combat is occupying all of my limited time, and when that's done, I'm releasing it before starting on anything new. There were a few bugs in harm calculations, which will be fixed, and I corrected an error in my data file that rendered the T Serpent as an unarmored monster! (If you've ever killed this beast when you thought you shouldn't have, then you know what I mean!)

Oh, with the implementation of Native combat, the "Sucker Punch" will probably fall into place too. If you aren't familiar with it, its when you hide during random assignment, and then attack an unassigned denizen during target assignment. Gives you one round where the denizen can't fight back, and can be critical to surviving some battles, especially against Natives.

When to expect the next release? I don't imagine it will be ready for a couple of weeks. With summer here, the weekends are turning into busy days, and I'm not getting nearly the same amount of time on the computer at home as before. Of course, news will always be posted here, and on the mailing list.

Thanks for all your support!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Harm Issue with v0.9

I just discovered an unpleasant bug with v0.9. Actually, this bug has always been present, just never been obvious before... When Harm is calculated, and the result (missile or fumble) is a reduction in levels, the sharpness is being ignored, and the strength alone is being reduced. This means a spell like Fiery Blast is relatively immune to the missile table: Light is reduced to neglible, and the three sharpness stars maintain the overall harm at Heavy! This has lead to some kills in my games where I shouldn't have succeeded.

In any case, I'll get this fixed in v0.10, along with a minor problem with the new Serious Wounds code (the die rolls accumulate during combat - annoying but not damaging).

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Version 0.9 Released

Here's what's new:
  • Lightning, Fiery Blast, Roof Collapses, and Stones Fly work
  • Spells with a clearing requirement are checked properly (Mountain: Lightning Bolt, Hurricane Winds, Cave: Roof Collapses, Blazing Light)
  • Doesn't include MAGIC chits anymore when calculating fatigue at the end of a combat round
  • Show damage on attack spell cards
  • Automatically fatigue MAGIC chits at the end of a combat round
  • Battle Chit Viewer shows available color magic
  • Fixed bug where combat would end after two rounds with a red-side up T monster
  • Goblin's with SPEAR on their LIGHT side should have NO attack at all: fumble should not occur!
  • If a monster weapon kills you, the slower monster body shouldn't be able to destroy your armor too! (Death is instantaneous)
  • Fixed combat so that simultaneous (speed/length) hits do damage simultaneously.
  • After death, spells should NOT be added to clearing pile
  • Can now view a tally of kills for any given day, by double-clicking that row in your action table.
  • Elusive Cloak also checks monster weapon speeds now
  • Fixed bug where negligible weight treasures weren't appearing in the clearing loot pile
  • Added an option in the search dialog to Open the Vault (when appropriate) - too many people were confused by the Open button in the frame itself.
  • Enchanting the tile doesn't fatigue the MAGIC chit (only the color chit, if one was used)
  • Monster weapons flip back to light side at the end of combat
  • Artifacts/Books show how many spells are awakened and total
  • Examine awakened spells on any artifact/book, by double-clicking in inventory panel
  • Advanced rule - Serious Wounds
  • Advanced rule - Dragon Heads

Yes, you read that correctly. Attack spells work! Playing the Sorceror is a real possibility now, and something I recommend trying. Note that awakening and using spells on artifacts/books works too, so finding the Book of Lore will have a bit more meaning now.

This release also includes the new AppleScript files Don L wrote for me. Mac users need only unpack the provided SIT file, and use one of the two AppleScripts to launch the program:
  • MacRealmSpeak - Runs RealmSpeak
  • MacRealmSpeakBattle - Runs RealmBattle (for testing out combat scenarios)

Next on my list? Of course, more spells, and possibly getting the first step towards native combat underway: the Sucker Punch!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

RealmSpeak Coding Continues

It's been about a week since I've touched the code, but I finally had a few hours tonight to dig into it a bit. Being sick for over a week certainly hasn't helped!

Anyway, I changed my mind a bit regarding how the spell logic works, and thus have dismantled a bit of my Fiery Blast success. The primary reason for doing this, is that I was quickly painting myself into a corner, and decided it was better to fix the logic now, than have to mess with it down the road. I know that doesn't mean anything to any readers of this blog, but trust me, it was necessary.

I don't know if I'll have it all together for a release this weekend, but I'm thinking probably not. I really want the spell stuff in there solid, and that's going to take some work. If things fall in place quickly, you can bet I'll get a release out, and announce it on the RealmSpeak mailing list!

Thanks for being patient!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

New MacRealmSpeak

Thanks to a good friend of mine, there is now an AppleScript over at the download page for Mac-users to run RealmSpeak. I've had a couple people (besides the script author) tell me that the script worked for them, and they are up and running. If you are still having trouble, ditch those stupid command files, and try the AppleScript instead!

If you are interested in keeping notified of new RealmSpeak uploads, be sure to join the RealmSpeak mailing list. This may also prove to be a good forum for reporting bugs, as everyone who joins will get to be involved in new bug reports.

Being that I've been pretty sick all weekend, there's not much else new to report.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Mac Issues

Seems the reason I haven't heard from many Mac users, is that RealmSpeak isn't working at all for them. The reason is that the .command file I'm providing isn't being recognized as an executable, and it fails before it ever gets off the ground!

I apologize for my lack of Mac knowledge! Not owning a Mac makes it tough for me to troubleshoot the problem. I'll do some research and see if I can come up with a solution so that everyone can enjoy this program. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Attack Spells Done

All four attack spells are finished. The Lightning Bolt only works in the Mountains for a single target. The Roof Collapses spell targets everyone in a cave clearing along the SMASH box. The Fiery Blast... well, you know the rest.

With those out of the way, I'm thinking about moving onto the spells that grant actions, but not totally sure yet. I wont get to work on it at all tonight (my middle child is graduating from preschool), but I'll be sure to post any news here, as usual.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Call for Spells

I'm planning on knocking off the four attack spells first (Lightning bolt, Fiery Blast, Roof Collapses, Stones Fly), but after that, I'm open for suggestion. If you have a favorite spell or two (or three or four), please add them in the comments to this post (you can post anonymously). I can't promise I'll do them (some require more coding than others), but it will definitely help me prioritize them!


First Fiery Blast

Did my first Fiery Blast tonight, blowing way 6 goblins at once! It's not totally right yet, but I believe I'll have the first combat spells ready to go in version 0.9. Once those are done, I'll starting knocking off the other spells in some random order only I would understand! :-)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Version 0.8 Released

Lots of little fixes, and even a first draft of spellcasting. Here's what's new:
  • Option to allow host to extend the game by one month, anytime the game ends
  • In game option to change icon size or show text
  • New start option to access the standalone RealmBattle utility for testing out combat situations (use battle.bat or battle_osx.command)
  • Fixed problem where running caused all evening combats to cease (Thanks for your help with this one, Scott!)
  • Made it so you can close the rest dialog even if you haven't used all your rests (but not if you use too many!)
  • Fixed the fatigue dialog to recognize the situation where you can't make change, and must simply lose the extra asterisk (Rule 11.2/1)
  • Option to Suicide a character: can only suicide your own character, unless you are hosting the game.
  • Clone Spells as characters take them, so they can appear in more than one place!
  • Can Learn a new spell, even if you already have the same one as a starting spell (Rule 40.4/2)
  • Dropping inventory updates all clients live during daylight
  • Characters can give items/gold to other characters in the clearing (Rule 14.3)
  • Characters can share discoveries (14.3/1)
  • Toadstool Circle allows extra SPELL phase (missed this one somehow!)
  • Update the map during each phase of the player turn for all connected clients (used to have to wait until the end of the current players turn to see what transpired!)
  • Only allow "looting" clearing inventory (dropped things) (Rule 9.3/1)
  • Deft Gloves shouldn't be usable to alert a Heavy Weapon
  • Blocked monsters stop prowling
  • Fixed problem with spell attacks repeating on every connected client!
  • Allow enchant when calendar or tile color is available
  • When transported to a cave, horse is properly deactivated now
  • Followers can't follow someone who is flying
  • Spell Casting alpha version (Can cast spells in combat, but they don't do anything yet!)
  • Button to view character card
  • Center on next character after pressing Send

Taking a Stab at Spells

Can't promise that this will be in the next release, but as much as I'm getting done today, I'm thinking that there may be a spell or two that work very soon.

Lots of things in version 0.8. If all goes well, I'll have this up later today.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Mac Users

I haven't yet heard from any Mac users regarding RealmSpeak. I'd like to know how its working for you, (ie., whether or not you had to tweak the command file I provided, played online with other Mac or PC users, etc.). If you are running RealmSpeak on a Mac, I'd love to hear from you!

Run Bugs

There are a number of bugs related to running from combat that are being reported about RealmSpeak version 0.7:
  • When there are combats in multiple clearings, running from one clearing causes combat to end in all the others (this is fixed in version 0.8)
  • In rare instances (I haven't been able to recreate these bugs):
    • Running from a clearing sends you down the wrong path if you just moved there
    • The turn immediately following a run from combat only gives you the option to move back into the same clearing, instead of giving you the opportunity to move further away.

If anybody runs into the "rare" situation, can you send me a screenshot, and/or tell me what you did leading up to the problem? I'm having a dickens of a time figuring out this problem, because it never seems to happen to me! (of course!) I've looked at the code, and it all seems very logical, so I just don't see what is wrong here. The more information I have on this bug, the more likely I'll be able to recreate it, and fix it.

The most useful things to capture in the screenshot is the player record sheet (for the player caught between clearings), and a decent picture of the map with surrounding tiles.

In the meantime, I'll keep trying different things to see if I can ferret it out.


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!