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Friday, June 29, 2007

Version 0.48 Released

The first thing you'll notice about this release, is the large number of bug fixes. I wanted to knock the bug tracker issues down to a manageable level, focusing on some of the oldest bugs. Some of you may remember posting these issues more than (gasp) a year ago! I apologize for taking so long to get to them, but that's just how things go when you are a single programmer.

I redid the character list window interface a little bit. You'll notice the change immediately with the presence of a lot of new little buttons. Don't worry, the log button is still in the same place (I took some heat for moving that one last time). Mostly this affects the host, but if you only play solitaire anyway, this is you. I'm not going to explain them in great detail here, because I think you'll figure them out quickly enough. If my icons leave you baffled, hold your mouse cursor over the button for a couple of seconds, and and explanation should appear.

During my last online game, one player suggested that there be a popup calendar, so that he could plan for a certain type of color. This is especially true with Seasons in play, because the 7th day color changes every month. The calendar button on the character list window (3rd button in from the left, in the image above) replaces the season icon that used to adorn the individual character windows. I think you'll like the change.

Lots of other nice goodies to talk about here, but I gotta get my act together for a game starting at 9:00 pm tonight. Just take a look at what's new:

  • [133] - Riding Horses Optional rule implemented
  • [134],[135] - Horses in combat, Optional rules implemented
  • [136] - Penetrating Armor Optional rules implemented
  • [844] - New Calendar window (thanks Dave S for the great idea!)
    • Shows the current day from the perspective of an entire month
    • Shows all the 7th day colors
    • Season (if any) and weather (if any) are shown, and a detail button allows access to more information about the displayed month.
    • Some notes on specific days to identify when:
      • Weather changes
      • Denizens reset

    • If playing with seasons, you can step through the months to see what is coming
    • Since this button is on the character list window, you can check the season (when using random seasons) before picking a character

  • Iconized the buttons on the character list control for easier layout
  • Many Modal Dialogs converted to Frames (will reduce the likelihood of a game freeze due to a locked window state)
    • Treasure Setup Card View
    • Character Card View
    • [852] - Transform and Weather dialogs
    • Any of the "VIEW TABLES"
    • View Remodeled Counters
    • Memory window
    • About window
    • View Hall of Fame

  • Experimental feature in combat frame to "Lock" the Next button
    • Allows you to lock any of your own characters out of combat
    • This feature can only be activated if the "End" button is enabled (ie., there are no angry denizens in your clearing)
    • Spellcasters don't have to wait for other players to press next
    • Pressing END only confirms with the non-locked characters
    • Currently, there is no way to undo the lock for a given combat, so don't activate it unless you really want out
    • Use this as a convenience, not as a way out of trouble! If there are hostile characters in the clearing, locking your next button is the surest way to die.
    • Cannot lock ALL characters. The last character must either play the combat through, or press END.

  • [633] - New House rule must be turned on for results of looting and reading runes to appear in the log (which is visible to all players)
    • If it is turned off (default), the log simply shows "Found Treasure" or "Learned a Spell".
    • Enchanted cards, sites, the Mouldy Skeleton and Remains of Thief are always revealed, as per the rules.

  • [633] - Double-clicking on a character in the list will now bring up a display that allows you to spy on:
    • Character Card
    • Fame/Notoriety
    • Current state of chits
    • Activated Inventory
    • Current relationships

  • [836] - Fixed an issue with double prowling (from Solitaire rules)
  • [835] - Don't show the "Decline Opportunity" dialog when simply rolling for native block/battle in the Evening.
  • [765] - Fixed a harmless warning message, when a flying character follows another character.
  • [756] - Fixed a rare bug that happens with Watchful Natives, and the Wish I Was Elsewhere result
  • [840] - Fixed another Absorb Essence problem, that was allowing controlled denizens from continuing to battle an absorbed monster
  • Combat log is now cleared between battle simulations
  • [838] - Fixed another harmless bug, that happens when you exit the map, and press the Reveal All button.
  • Fixed a problem with Premonition spell lasting beyond its expiration
  • Shuffled some spell activation to the host, where they are less likely to crash the game.
  • [842] - Fixed a problem with weather fatigue and the Witch's familiar
  • Better reporting of fumble logic and meeting rolls in the log
  • Bunch of Wish You Were Elsewhere result fixes:
    • [755] - can no longer select a horse in the clearing
    • [851] - no longer carries all following hirelings with you
    • [849] - no longer includes yourself in the possible choices
    • [850] - hirelings which teleport to dwellings on the board, will not become unhired

  • [805] - Swordsman (or Premonition spell) will no longer allow you to take a turn between the Witch and her familiar.
  • [771] - Killing the last Giant Bat in the same round you take control of it no longer ties up your spell (and chit) for the following day.
  • [290] - Hirelings and Red-Side Monster combat issues fixed
    • [847] - Deploying a native to a RED-side T Monster on another native sheet, causes the T Monster to move to its own sheet
    • [848] - Natives attacking a RED-side T Monster, that aren't its target, will disengage properly now.
    • [557] - Natives deploying to a RED-side T Monster on another native sheet that also has randomly assigned monsters will work correctly now.
    • Hirelings locked in combat with a RED-side T Monster can no longer deploy to another monster

  • [846] - Monsters moving to a clearing will properly block ALL the unhidden characters, not just the first one.
  • [845] - Native relationships are handled properly now for multiple boards
    • Soldiers B are a completely different group than Soldiers A for purposes of affecting relationships
    • Missions from Board B affect only natives from Board B, and so on.

  • [644] - Characters that restart will get a fresh slate with the natives.
  • [416] - When you fly to a tile, and record a non-fly action, the character token is moved to the clearing immediately so you can decide what to do.
  • [462] - If you transform after recording phases gained by activated treasure items, those items will no longer be automatically activated, and the phases will be cancelled.
  • [689] - Activated items that become inactivated due to a transmorphing spell, will return to active state when the spell goes inert.
  • Character option panel shows the full name of the character, including board identifier (B,C,D)
  • Natives with Board Identifier properly show # now. (Was showing RB for all, instead of RHQ, R1, R2, R3, etc)
  • Non-hostile attack spell placement is no longer invisible to the other players

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Luring versus Deployment

Magic Realm is a game that is both very complicated to learn, and very rich in detail. The strategies we use to get the best score vary from character to character, and often from game to game. You never know where you'll find the next treasure site, or if it will be in a cave or a mountain. You can't be sure that you'll ever encounter the tremendous flying dragon, or find the motherlode of goodies in the Hoard. If you are lucky enough to find one of the magic swords, you can change your course in the game from being a lowly peasant, to being the king of the realm, but then only if you know how to wield it in combat.

That's what it all comes down to: combat in the realm. If you don't know how to handle yourself when besieged by monsters, you will die before you even make it through the week. If you are smart and/or lucky enough to have hirelings, you may be able to survive even longer, especially if you know how to use them. In a recent discussion on the Magic Realm mail group (see for joining information), the strategy behind luring and deploying was dissected, and I thought it would be worth bringing forth here.

The luring stage comes before the deploy stage, and the end result is similar: your hireling is battling a monster on a separate combat sheet. What really differentiates these two actions, is what happens during battle resolution. A hireling that lures a denizen, gets to choose its side and position and will not be affected by random placement or changing tactics. This can be very important if your hireling has a definite power attack on one side. The most dramatic example of this is an archer, who has no attack on one side, and a speed 1 attack on the other. If you lure with an archer, you are guaranteed to at least undercut the lured opponent, and score a hit. If you deploy an archer, you lose that control, and the archer even has a chance to "change tactics" (ie., flip) and become virtually worthless for one round of combat.

Why then would you ever deploy? Where luring only allows a hireling to bring one denizen onto his sheet, deploying enables you to pile your hirelings onto a denizen's sheet, and better your chances of getting the kill. It's true that you cannot guarantee where they will end up during battle resolution, or even which side they will be on, but the numbers are in your favor. Remember that when you deploy, the LAST attacker on the denizen sheet, is the TARGET of that denizen.

If you are playing by yourself, this enables you great control over how the hirelings will lay out on the sheet, and lets you choose which hapless hireling will be the target. However, playing with multiple people can definitely mess things up a bit. You might lure with your archer, assuring a kill, but then lose the advantage when another player deploys his hireling assassin to your target. What happens in this case? The target moves to its own sheet, with the assassin as the first attacker. The luring archer is now added as the second attacker, and the target of the denizen. Not only is your archer a target of the original lured denizen, but his position and tactics are randomized, limiting its effectiveness! (Thanks Vincent for pointing this out!)

If you are confused about the comings and goings of luring and deployment, this example (provided by Vincent on the discussion group) does a good job of bringing it all together:

  • A lures monster
    • Monster moves to A's sheet, A is the defender.

  • B is deployed against monster
    • Monster moves to its own sheet with B as the target
    • A is now alone, so A moves to Monster's sheet
    • Monster switches to targeting A since A was the last to enter his sheet.

  • C is deployed against monster
    • Monster targets C since C was the last to enter his sheet.

In summary, lure when you want to have control over your hireling, deploy when you want multiple attackers against a single denizen. When playing with others, watch out for luring/deployment combinations that might change your battle plans.

Update - I just got this note from Steve M:
But there is another obvious reason to deploy rather than lure. You can only lure unhired denizens. If you want to attack a character or another hired denizen with your hired Rogue, you've got to deploy!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Friday's Game

I promised I would get a report online, to let you know how version 0.47 worked for us, but then I got sidetracked with a lot of other things this weekend.

We started at about 9:00pm, and selected a double-board, with player build option turned on. We also had random starting season, and weather active. With three of us placing 40 tiles, it took somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 minutes to setup the board, but it was worth it. We ended up with a board that concentrated treasure tiles in the middle, and woods/valleys around the border. I did end up with a bunch of errors going into the log, but they were harmless, as they didn't affect the process at all.

I saved the game immediately (in case something crashed), and then we began choosing characters. I always press "Random Character", because it keeps me from playing the same thing every game. I got the White Knight, and I realized that I hadn't played this character in a very long time. I selected Make Whole as my spell, and started at the Inn, knowing that's where I'd find my friends. George started with the Black Knight, and my friend Dave picked up the Magician. The season started with Halloween.

The first turn found the two Knights hiking into the Mountains to scope out the treasure possibilities (of which there were none), leaving the Magician behind to chat with the Rogues. He was able to hire two short-swordsman, and catch up with the Knights in the woods beyond the Mountains.

As a group again, they had a choice: explore the Caves to the north, or continue west into the Borderland tile. Both choices required entering caves, so it was agreed that checking out the Caves first was the best option, since it really connected to nothing else, and would be good to get out of the way. Both Knights followed the Magician, so they could take advantage of his bonus Alert phase, and moved into the Caves. Nothing, and another wasted turn.

After a short bout of cursing, the party turned around, and using the same follow strategy, moved into the Borderland. At last, the group found a treasure site: the Altar. The Magician, knowing that he had the Absorb Essence spell, and a day filled with color magic coming up (Halloween is EVERY color on the 7th day), rubbed his hands together in anticipation.

The first treasure discovered, was a site: Toadstool Circle. A permanent source of BLACK magic, and an evil temptation for all players. After fending off a couple of heavy Trolls, and some pretty fruitless looting, the Demon finally makes his appearance. As I mention, in an earlier post, the Absorb Essence spell was broken, so we were forced to dispatch the Demon with brawn and steel.

As the Altar was not proving very valuable, the White Knight decided to roll the dice on searching the Toadstool Circle. First roll, he is teleported to any cave. Rather than making a smart choice, and choosing a cave in the same tile, he decided to explore the adjacent Borderland B tile. Having neither alerted a weapon, nor hidden, the two Heavy Trolls that appeared were more than a little concerning for the White Knight. The Magician, knowing precisely what happened, searched the Toadstool Circle, and actually got the same result right away. He popped over to the same Cave clearing with the White Knight, and assisted him in the combat. Both Heavy Trolls were dispatched fairly quickly, and the Knight having suffered no damage, and just a little fatigue, was pretty happy.

The Black Knight, having been left behind (and unable to locate the Toadstool Circle) decided to reunite with the party on foot, in the Ruins tile just South of the two Borderland tiles. As all three members convened in the same clearing (hidden), the Lost City made an appearance, and brought with it, the Lair, Hoard, and the Vault. Thanks to a monster die roll of four, it also brought two Tremendous Trolls, which immediately moved to our clearing. Damn!

The mismatched trio decided it was best to escape the situation, and plan a course of action. All three moved into a nearby woods clearing...

... and that's where we stopped. It was getting late, and at least two of us had early days on Saturday. Not to mention the fact that the computer I was playing on is in our bedroom, and my Wife was trying to sleep. I knew I should have used the laptop!!

Anyway, I think we only had a couple of technical problems. The Combat Frame messed up on one of the players, and we had to restart. The second time it happened, the affected player had been looking at the Treasure Setup card, and simply had to "find" that window (ALT-TAB), close it, and then all was well. I'm convinced that at least 70% of the so-called game freezes are due to this kind of problem. I'm hoping to get rid of most of the modal dialogs in RealmSpeak, so this should happen less and less.

I'm very pleased that the manual board builder worked without a hitch. If you haven't been using it because of the past problems, I think you can safely try it now.

Well, that's all I got. We'll pick up our game next week, and I'll let you know how it goes.

Version 0.47.1 Bugfix Released

I'm probably going to regret doing this one so quickly, but I really wanted to get this done, and enjoy the rest of my Father's Day.

Here's what's new:

  • [834] - Absorb Essence bug introduced in 0.47 fixed.
  • [830],[832] - Witch can enter the board with her familiar now (Solitaire Rules)
  • Fixed a bug in the Suggest Action AI, that would throw an error if you don't have a weapon, or are transmorphed.

Absorb Essence Broken in 0.47

I played a game on Friday with a double-board, and all went pretty well, except for a one thing: Absorb Essence is broken.

The White Knight, Black Knight, and Magician were looting the Altar. To the Magician's pleasant surprise, the Toadstool Circle appeared, bathing the party in the sickly glow of BLACK magic. Why would the Magician care? Because he chose Absorb Essence as one of his spells, of course! After dispatching a couple of Heavy Trolls, the Demon appeared. The Magician grinned an evil grin, and the two Knights stepped back to let him do his work... but things didn't go as planned.

The Magician lured the Demon onto his own sheet, knowing that the Demon's speed of 4 was equally matched to his sole MAGIC V4** chit. He cast his spell, targeted the demon, and in a flash of lightning, and maniacal laughter.... the Demon became unassigned.

That's it? No transformation? No Magician/Demon to protect the Knights? Augh!! It it weren't for the Magician's loyal Rogue servants, the Demon might have taken us all down - it did manage to hit the Magician with a FORGET result, but the White Knight was able to counter with "Make Whole". One of the Rogue's managed to line up with the RED-side demon, and take it down before it killed the other Rogue. Freaking amazing!

So, it's true. This spell is broken, and I suspect Transform is too. As this spell is pretty important to a lot of people, I want to recommend that you all wait for a bug fix, coming later today, or maybe tomorrow. There's a couple of other bugs I can fix related to the new Solitaire rules, so that will make it worth it. If you've already downloaded v0.47, just stay away from the transmorphing spells, and you should be good.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Version 0.47 Released

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why Ask Demon?

I got this in my e-mail today:

How does "Ask Demon" work in Realmspeak? Seems to me that this would be pretty hard to replicate in an online game. Surely you could just replicate the effect by asking your opponent via TeamSpeak the question? And how does it work single-player?

Good questions!! Basically, it works like any spell. You cast it during the actions phase, and during the assign targets phase, you specify a Demon, a player (by name), and a question. There is no logic preventing you from asking whatever you want, but it does remind you that you must ask a yes/no question about the past or present, or a question that requires a number response.

Once the spell is energized, the targeted player gets a dialog that looks like this:

Really, they have three options, and three options only. Once the target player responds, the casting player will get a simple dialog with the answer (ie., Dave responded YES). Simple.

Why not just throw up a dialog that says "Hey, you cast Ask Demon, so go ahead and ask your question to the person you want to ask..." Well, for a couple of reasons. First, if you use voice to ask the question, then there is no easy way to make it private. Everyone will hear the question, and everyone will hear the answer. I think that kind of defeats the purpose of the spell, as it is supposed to be a SECRET communication. Now I know that TeamSpeak has the capability of sending private text, or alternatively, you could use MSN or IM or whatever, but then you have to hope that everyone has the right software, and/or knows how to do it. I'd rather just let RealmSpeak handle the busy work, and let the players play.

Regarding single-player: when it comes up with player names during the assign target phase, it filters out your own name. If you are playing alone, the interface will recognize this, and report that there are no valid targets. After all, why would you risk a confrontation with a demon to ask yourself a question? :)

Honestly, I've never used this spell before either, so I don't really understand its utility. I suppose if you were playing a referee'd championship game, and needed to know something important (ie., do you have the Flying Carpet?), it could mean the difference between winning and losing. That's hypothetical, of course, but you get my drift.

If no-one actually uses this spell, why work on it at all? I wasn't going to, but then, why leave just one spell unfinished? I want to someday make the claim that RealmSpeak is "finished", and without tackling every last spell, this is something I wouldn't be able to do.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Version 0.46 Released

This is a pretty nice build. I figured it was time to get a boatload of features into a release, especially since the last couple of releases have had a fairly small amount of "obvious" changes.

First, I thought I'd tackle all the "mean" spells: the spells you would only use if you were playing competitively, and wanted to mess up another character. Basically, this is Fog, Illusion, Bad Luck, Lost, and Violent Storm. Rather than taking a long time to do, I got through them fairly quickly, and realized I only had three spells left to do. I was thinking how cool it would be to have them all done, and decided to go for it.

Anyway, with that out of the way, I started hitting the bug list pretty hard. It has grown past 100 issues, and I really hate that. Also, some older issues needed some attention, so I just kept going until I reached a point where I was comfortable (just barely under 100).

I added a new button to the combat interface, that I'm planning a lot of work on in the near future: "Suggest Action". The idea is that you can press this button at any point during combat, and a little bit of AI determines what your best course of action might be. My thinking here is not that it would be so smart, that you could hone your strategy, but rather be a tool for new players to get a feel of the game without having to understand it all at once. I've played a few online games where new players get completely lost, and it would nice to just tell them to press the "Suggest Action" button. Right now, I think the only place where it actually does anything, is during the Actions phase, and then only if you have an unalerted weapon (can you guess what the advice is?)

Okay, I could blather on forever here, but YOU just want to know what's new:

  • All spells are finished! New in this release:
    • Fog
    • Illusion
    • Bad Luck
    • Lost
    • Violent Storm
    • Hurricane Winds
    • Peace
    • Ask Demon

  • Spells affecting individual tiles (like Fog and Lost) are shown on the tile itself, and in the mouseover. There is an option in the "right-click" menu to turn these indicators off, if desired.
  • New "Suggest Action" feature in combat (VERY alpha right now)
  • [742] - Added a check for character attack placement, so that you wont forget to do this, and get yourself killed!
  • [479] - A new house rule to allow you to decline an OPPORTUNITY roll on MEETING/COMMERCE, and instead take the result of rolling a 2 on the same table.
  • Ability to save a combat while doing combat in the battle simulator. This allows you to setup a situation, play a round to get things into position, and then save that point in time.
  • Added log button back to main character panel - I should have never removed it

  • Fixed a problem with Enchant Artifact not removing the added spell when INERT
  • You are properly able to use multiple magic types (like from Enchant Artifact) on an artifact now
  • [794] - Fixed an issue with Transform causing the appearance of a game freeze.
  • [294],[795] - Fixed a problem where a magic user killing an opponent with a spell, and then getting killed himself, would cause combat to freeze.
  • [494],[733] - Fixed a problem where Transform was taking natives out of combat
  • [494],[698] - Fixed a problem where deploying a native to an unassigned denizen, and then pressing cancel, was causing the denizen to vanish
  • Fixed a gnarly bug that killed my last online game - involves using a transmorphing spell from an artifact while carrying another artifact with an active permanent spell on it
  • [711] - Heads/Clubs will show light-side up when a monster is killed and regenerates
  • [539] - Hirelings following HQ will properly be counted when buying drinks
  • [714] - Character that fatigues when running will properly extend combat for those left behind
  • [817] - Fixed a harmless exception that is sometimes generated when you quit a game
  • [757] - Fixed the PEACE wish result from affecting the entire tile: now it properly affects only a single clearing
  • [516] - Day actions no longer lost when saving/reloading.
  • [816] - Reveal All button goes away after extending game.
  • [815] - Don't assign VPs to hired leaders when extending game.
  • [770] - Double board discoveries will no longer cross boards
  • [693] - Double board treasures/spells/chits are appropriately mixed across both boards.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Fixing a TeamSpeak echo problem

TeamSpeak is a great tool for playing games online. The only problem, is that sometimes, somebody joins the group, and causes an echo. The problem IS solvable, but it isn't always obvious how to do it. Here's a short article from the TeamSpeak FAQ on at least one way to fix the problem:

Q: My mates tell me I produce echos. How to fix?

A: There basicly are two ways echos can occur:

    a)   Sound from your speakers/headphones being recorded by your microphone.
    b)   Your sound driver recording all sound that you hear for you.

Now, 'which one do I have' you might be asking yourself... You can find out quite easily: Just turn your speakers/headsets off (volume = 0%), and ask your mates if you are still echoing. If you are not, you got (a); if you are still echoing you have (b).

Fixing (a):

This type of echo is nearly impossible to fix completely, but you can minimize it greatly if you follow a few general points:

* Switch your speakers off when TeamSpeak is on, use a headset to hear.
* Use headphones that shield well, meaning they prevent as much sound as possible from being audible to the outside.
* Try and keep your microphone as far away as possible from the headset (or more general, the sound-source).
* Lower the volume of the sound-source.

Fixing (b):

These echos are produced by your sound-drivers, they should be configurable by your driver too (its not a bug, its a feature). From windows users we have often heard you can select from which devices to record in the mixer (a mixer is the place where you can slide all these volume controls). Make sure the microphone is the only entry that is being recorded from. How exactly this is called, and where exactly you can find it depends on your driver/OS combination, you just have to search around. Good luck.

Hope this helps!