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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!