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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Big Bad Permanent Spell Bug Fixed!

As some of you may have encountered, there has been a problem with Permanent spells in RealmSpeak. On occasion (seemingly at random), a Permanent spell will get stuck in one state or another. The most common appearance of the bug, is the inability to energize an inert spell. Worse yet, is having a Permanent spell (ie., Transform) get stuck in the ON state!!

At long last, I found the source of the problem in the code. Want to see the bug? It's easy to reproduce in version 0.27 or earlier: play the Sorceror and choose these spells: Transform, Fiery Blast, and Phantasm. Make sure you have at least three purple color chits, and move yourself to a safe Valley clearing. Save the game, and then try one of the following scenarios:

Scenario 1:
Day 1 - Cast Transform on yourself.
Day 2 - Cast Phantasm
Day 3 - Do nothing (ie., waste the Phantasm)
Day 4 - Fatigue a color chit: no spells to energize!!

Scenario 2:
Day 1 - Cast Transform on yourself.
Day 2 - Cast Phantasm
Day 3 - Fatigue a color chit during the day: energize your transform spell
Day 4 - You are stuck in a transformed state!!

You see, in both scenarios, the Phantasm spell expires at the end of the 3rd day. When it expires, the permanent spell list is wiped out (this is the bug), and RealmSpeak "forgets" which permanent spells were alive. If you are transformed when this happens, you never come out of it, because RealmSpeak doesn't know to make it inert. If it was inert, RealmSpeak doesn't list it when you fatigue a color chit.

The bug was so glaring in the code, I'm surprised it took me this long to see it. Fixing it was trivial, and should permanently (pun intended) resolve the situation. This fix will be in version 0.28, coming soon.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Version 0.27 Released

Lots of bug fixes here, including some that have been on my TODO list for many months. Also, I fixed a prowling problem with Pruitt's monsters, so if you tried the expansion, and were confused about their behavior, it will work now.

Here's what's new:

  • Right-clicking on map brings up a pop-up menu to allow you to specify which chits are shown, and which are not

  • RandomAssignment phase doesn't cause luring to fail in proceeding rounds of combat
  • Dwarf (without the house rule) no longer does sun actions
  • Mists (Melt into Mist) can only Move, Hide, or Follow, as per the rules
  • Pruitt's Monsters prowl correctly (I had forgotten to specify the correct prowling monster die for these new monsters!)
  • Combat detail now correctly identifies when a horse is hit and/or killed
  • Fixed a bug that caused strange behavior when getting opportunity or trouble rolls on the meeting tables
  • Spells that don't target Character or Denizen, no longer cause the spellcaster to become unhidden (ie., REMEDY, DISSOLVE SPELL)
  • Hired Native Leaders no longer meet the requirement for summoning a visitor chit
  • Transformed characters use color images (when that option is active)
  • Items in inventory stay activated/inactivated when transformed (though frozen and unavailable)
  • You can FLY to the same tile now without getting the error "Target tile too far away."
  • Fixed a problem that was causing a slowdown when a player is between clearings
  • Fixed a problem when several characters are running from a clearing at once
  • Multiple simultaneous attacks no longer pass through armor and horses
  • Added some text to describe the damage or destruction of armor
  • Fixed problem where Encounter Stage was getting skipped when dissolving an Absorb Essence spell
  • Fixed issues surrounding Transmorphed characters and fatigued chits
    • Cannot rest chits while transformed
    • Are not affected by Flowers of Rest while transformed

  • Activate Potions are no longer dropped when you are killed (they go to the specified visitor)
  • Treasure cards (Bejeweled Dwarf Vest, Golden Crown, Golden Arm Band) will now properly increase a character's gold amount when destroyed during combat.
  • PEACE result from WISH table no longer ends combat immediately: you get the normal two rounds of combat to do actions

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Version 0.26 Released

This release is a bit heavy on features, and light on bug fixes. I apologize to those of you waiting for bug fixes, but I got a bit sidetracked in this release doing things that will add some new flavor to the game. First off, I've got a first run of the visitor/mission chits going. It's not fully tested, but it should work. Characters can place the chits in boxes on the setup card, and they appear as they should. You can pick them up, provided you pay the fee, and the rewards should work. That's the part I haven't fully tested, but it should work. :-)

A big new feature in this release is the new color chits. Yes, that means you have to download a new resource pack, but the advantage should be obvious. Look in the options pulldown menu to make changes to the chit style. You can change these "in-game" so feel free to play around with it. I actually prefer the appearance of the color chits over the remodeled ones, but will switch to the remodeled chits to get information. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this bit.

Another biggie in this release, is my first run of an in-game log. This log is broadcast live to all the players, so should alleviate some of the "disconnected" feeling when playing with people online. Its got a ways to go (you can't save this log, and it's lost between games) but its a start. Look for the new button on the window that lists all the characters: it's the button with the three blue dots. Click this button anytime, and the log frame will appear. This frame can be left open, or closed again. Since it is a real frame, it appears separately on the task bar (Windows users), so you can quickly switch between it and the game. If you don't like the way I've implemented it, I'm definitely open for suggestion!!

Oh, I almost forgot! This release ALSO has the new monsters that a Magic Realm fan (Glenn Pruitt) put together. When you start a new game, look at the "Game Version" option. You have the choice of "Original Game" and "Pruitt's Monsters". When you use Glenn's monsters, you also commit to a new treasure setup card layout, so forget all your old habits! Wolves may pounce on you in the woods, and Bats (oh no, not bats!) might swarm you when you least expect! Of course, you may encounter a flock of crows, or a grumpy old Behemoth. If you want to know more about these monsters before commiting to a game, take a look at the previous post in this blog for a link.

I should mention something else: Glenn offered a number of possibilities for dealing with the Treasure Locations. Rather than make ALL the possibilities available, I decided instead to pick one, and use it. The one I liked the best, was letting the location of the Treasure Site determine which of the two available T monsters will come out. For example, the Pool in the caves will summon the T Octopus, but the same Pool in the Mountains will lure a Swamp Haunt!

Here's the official "What's New":

  • Visitor/Mission/Campaign chits
    • Placement by characters, or randomized
    • Proper Summoning/Prowling behavior
    • Visitors: trading (buying spells!) - no buying drinks
    • Mission chits: properly display destination and reward
    • Campaign chits: properly display partners/foes and who is left

  • Support for color chits OR remodeled (Evans/Frenzel) style chits
  • Option to use Glen Pruitt's alternate monsters
  • Live game log - this should alleviate some of the disconnected feeling when playing an online game.

  • Transforming a mounted native into a frog (or whatever) includes the horse.
  • Garrison natives regenerate properly now
  • Terror results on PoP table no longer kills Heavies (L and M only)
  • Can no longer read runes off of the Flying Carpet and DragonFang Necklace

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Remodeled Chits and New Monsters

A number of you have asked for an option in RealmSpeak to use the new remodeled counters that Dan Evans made available (from John Frenzel's original design). Currently, the chits are quite boring:

They work, and you can tell what they are, but they don't offer much else. I decided to get onto Dan Evans' website, and see what it would take to make the chits work better. Swiping the graphics directly from the files provided (Dan, I hope you are cool with that!), I first did a run keeping the chits the same, but with the colorings that Dan did:

These look pretty nice, and are a definite improvement over the ones I was using! I then wrote the code required to make the chits render all the same values, which is the real reason for attacking this task. The result is good:

RealmSpeak will now have an option in the options menu that will let you choose between Classic, Color, and Remodeled chits.

Another task I tackled this time, is working a monster expansion into the game. That's right, an expansion, and the first of its kind in RealmSpeak. This expansion is the Alternate Monster Set by Glenn Pruitt, originally available here. Glenn provides a bunch of new monsters, and a completely new monster setup arrangement! Take a peek at this snip from the monster setup card:

Haven't played with the new monsters in a real game yet, but everything else about them works: they summon, reset, and behave the way Glenn designed them. Thanks Glenn!

Probably wont be a release for another week or so. I really need to tackle some nasty bugs before putting it out. Until next time.