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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