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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Version 0.53 Released

Hoo boy. Some interesting new features here, and a couple of necessary bug fixes. It appears that my quick patch didn't really solve the ALERT phase issue discovered in version 0.52, but rather made it a bit weird. That's what I get for doing a "quick fix", and releasing a patch. I can assure you that the bug is fixed in this version, so those of you frustrated with the inability to ALERT your weapons, will find that this is back to normal.

The biggest new feature here, is what I'm calling a "Comprehensive VP Page". If you have ever flipped over to the victory point tab on your character frame, you've seen the bland table that's been there forever. A number of rows and columns, with not so much as a single tooltip or hint to let you know what is going on. I've never liked this interface, because it always leaves people questioning whether or not I'm doing the calculations right.

No more. The new table has more columns, and more breakdown of the numbers that go together to make up your score, as well as colored sections to keep related info together. The best part, is that you can click on any cell in this table, and get a quick picture of how the number is derived, right down to the details of individual treasures you've acquired during the game:

The cell of interest is always bordered in blue, and if other cells are involved in the calculation, you'll see them bordered in green. Having never been a fan of the whole VP endgame built into Magic Realm, this interface actually makes it a bit more interesting. It helps you make decisions about which items you should keep, and which you should sell, and keeps you attuned to the bizarre logic from which your score is derived.

There's another feature I added, that has been requested multiple times. The reason I've put it off for so long, is that I thought it would be an annoying and useless feature. Turns out, after adding it in, I discovered that I rather like it. Take a look in the options menu under "Popup Window Options", and you'll find an option for "Turn End Results". Turn this on, and a window will popup at the end of your turn to let you know which monsters were summoned to your tile. Of course, if there are no monsters summoned, no pop up will show. Try it out!

Ok, here's what's new:

  • New comprehensive Victory Point page
    • More columns break down the points to more detail
    • Every cell can be highlighted for more information:
      • Calculation of cell broken down into an equation
      • All treasures that make up the highlighted score are shown

  • [989] - Gold Chit dialog now has a "Place Random" button that will place a random chit in a random box, if you don't want to pick one yourself.
  • [1002],[234] - Option to show turn end results. Right now, all this does is show you which monsters are summoned to the tile (if any).
  • [991] - A tweak to the map mouse clicking logic that should yield more reliable map clicks (important when you are plotting your moves)

  • [978] - Enchanted Cards in a cache will show face up now
  • [982] - Fixed a harmless error that is generated when dropping items while using the Timeless Jewel.
  • Some Pruitt Monster attributes fixed:
    • [983] - Fire Drake head has length 14, not 7
    • [984] - Frost Giant RED-side: move speed 5, not 4
    • [985] - Cockatrice length is 3, not 0

  • [981] - Fixed an error that crashes the game when you have an encumbered follower.
  • [992] - Fixed a problem where if you start placing gold chits, and then let the computer finish them off, you can end up with multiple chits being placed per box.
  • [1008] - Fixed a bug that would raise an error when you have the ASHES curse, and you are selling items to natives that offer/demand gold with a negative penalty (ie., OFFER GOLD -5)
  • [980] - Treasure Site Cards will remain visible on the setup card.
  • [1001] - Truly fixed ALERT phase bug - this will work correctly in ALL characters now.
  • [996] - Hired tremendous monsters, when using the remodeled chits option, cannot be flipped during combat anymore.
  • [1000] - When running away, after enchanting the Deep Woods and losing the path, you no longer get a free round of combat.
  • [974] - Native relationship shown when "Buy Drinks?" dialog is displayed.
  • [993] - All Hire/Trade windows (including those when you don't have enough gold) show the offer (ie., Offer - Price x 3)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Version 0.52.1 Released

Sorry folks, I had to release a patched version because of a nasty bug that was preventing the ALERT phase from working! If you already downloaded version 0.52, you're going to want to download version 0.52.1, which is online now. You might have to hit "refresh" in your browser when you go to the download page to see it.

Here's what I changed:

  • [971] - Fixed ALERT phase (broke this in 0.52)
  • [973] - Fixed a harmless error related to cancelling placement of gold chits

Friday, September 21, 2007

Version 0.52 Released

Every few months or so, I get a new RealmSpeak user that decides to hit the game really hard, and report bugs. I love this, because it's always good to get new eyes on the program, and get a new perspective on the interface. It's also a chance to get someone's honest first impression, which in turn gives me a chance to improve the interface.

Recently, I got a new user (alias Yxklyx) that took this to a whole new level. He began discovering little nits here and there, and decided to report every thing he found that was either wrong, or difficult to use. A large part of his bug reports were simply "It would be cool if" types of requests, and I decided to implement a bunch of them. He also found some pretty gnarly bugs that have gone unnoticed for some time. Did you know that with version 0.51, that if you are between clearings, you can move to any clearing on the board? :-) Of course, this kind of reporting is what keeps RealmSpeak on track to becoming bug-free, and user-friendly.

Yxklyx joins the top ten RealmSpeak reporters of all time:

  • vincegamer - 178 Reports
  • dwfiv - 152 Reports
  • dewkid - 135 Reports
  • Yxklyx - 52 Reports
  • srschacher - 37 Reports
  • gambulator - 36 Reports
  • mcknight - 35 Reports
  • Netzilla - 21 Reports
  • Brightstar - 20 Reports
  • ahiggins - 17 Reports

Of course, bug reporting isn't just about the number of reports. Quite often I'll get somebody who reports a couple of bugs/ideas, and really makes a big difference. Thanks!!

Lots of neat interface enhancements in this one. One of my favorites so far, is the character notebook (a Yxklyx idea). You'll see a new tab on the character frame:

Anytime you discover clues (Peer), learn something from magic sight, or see what the natives have to trade, it will be added to this window. You can even manage your own custom notes!

I redid the spell selector window for spellcasters, so that you can manage your color chits and spell selections at the same time. I know, I know, that just makes too much sense. Heck, you can even see how many slots you have to fill!

One piece that was sorely lacking, was the code that allowed you to place visitor/mission/campaign chits. You know, that clunky thing that forced you to step through three windows, with not even a wink or a smile. Thanks to Yxklyx and vincegamer's suggestions, I compiled the code into a single dialog that has a complete library of information at your fingertips for making the tough decision as to what goes where.

The last new interface improvement I want to point out (you can see all the new changes listed below), is the addition of "Castable Spells" above the character icon in the battle windows. This gives spellcasters a quick look at what they can do, and acts as a reminder to cast spells in the evening.

Ok, it's late and my daughter has an early soccer game tomorrow. Here's what's new:

  • A bunch of interface improvements:
    • [932] - Treasure Locations show clearing number on Discoveries Tab
    • [927] - Prowling row(s) highlighted on setup card.
    • [930],[942] - Choosing spells and starting chit enchantments now occur at the same time.
    • [933] - Treasure backs on Setup Card show Large/Small, and Spell backs show type.
    • [926] - New option in the options menu, to allow you to visualize clearing numbers on mouseover. This can be very handy when a lot of clearings are covered by chits!
    • [949] - Display game phase (BIRDSONG,DAYLIGHT,EVENING,MIDNIGHT) in the title bar of each character window.
    • [949] - Added current season/weather to title bar on game map window
    • [951] - Added a submenu to the View menu for viewing all 16 of the character cards.
    • [954] - Added some more information to the TRADE PAYMENT window, so you can see the current relationship, and roll result.
    • [956] - Character Spy window (the one you get when you double-click a character row in the upper left window) includes following hirelings, and active curses
    • [941] - All castable spells are visible on the spellcasters combat sheet during combat (but only for the owning player!)
    • [935] - You can drop active inventory now (no need to deactivate first), unless of course the item cannot be deactivated (ie., potions)
    • [934] - Fame/Notoriety value of inventory has been added to the detail view.
    • [957] - You can view the price lists from the VIEW menu now.
    • [879],[931],[937] - Character notebook tracks information you learn throughout the game:
      • Clues (local or remote)
      • Perceive Spell
      • "I Wish for a Vision"
      • Native & Visitor Treasures/Spells
      • Custom notes can be added to your notebook by clicking a button

    • [962] - The Witch has a new button that will enable her to turn her familiar ON or OFF. This is useful in long games, where the familiar becomes fairly useless.
    • [928] - Right-clicking on the treasure setup card will enable you to view the back sides of all the counters
    • Horses, Clubs, and Dragon Heads (if any) are now shown in the popup window on the treasure setup card.
    • [929] - Revamped the gold chit (mission/campaign/visitor) placement dialog to include lots of relevant information
      • Relationships for visitors
      • Relationships for natives in the respective boxes
      • Mission/Campaign stats are shown
      • Visitor's stores (treasures, spell types) are shown
      • Types of spells (if any) that your character can learn
      • Chits that have already been placed

  • [692] - By clicking the pony icon in the phase window, you can now lock the pony extra move, and use regular moves. This will enable non-pony-mounted followers to stay with you as their guide. Pony-locked moves are represented by "M!" instead of "M".

  • [917] - Monster die is red again
  • [925] - Casting a spell while hidden, no longer causes your hidden hirelings to be unhidden.
  • [913] - Fixed a problem where the Swordsman was not getting one die on rolls on the Commerce table.
  • [921] - Fixed the Warlock's special pricing to comply with 3rd edition rules, which really is a reflection of 2nd edition rules + The General's Errata.
  • [918] - Fixed the representation of ownership on Native Horses from extra boards.
  • [920] - Option to abandon Dragon Essence (and other enchanted treasures) before energizing permanent spells.
  • [902] - Boons taken by hiring are now treated the same as those taken by buying goods.
  • [899],[924] - Fixed a bug that would crash the game on loading a save game where a player is between tiles. Fix should also address other issues where RealmSpeak is trying to determine the location of a clearing before the map has been drawn for the first time.
  • [915] - Fixed a bug that would crash a multi-player game, when more than one player is in a dwelling at the same time, and needs to buy drinks. I think this same bug is responsible for other in-combat crashes, so I believe you will find it to be a lot more stable.
  • [908] - No longer able to make a controlled T Monster RED-side-up by simply flipping it in the Luring stage.
  • [869] - When all hirelings are held by Red-side-up monsters at once, and the character is absent/hidden, random assignment no longer locks up the game.
  • [960] - Balrog (Pruitt's Monster Set) is now armored, as it should be.
  • [914] - ALERT phase can be used to turn weapon counter EITHER-side up.
  • [954] - No longer able to close BUY window by pressing the RED-X (close button). This complies with 3rd ed rule 7.6.5.
  • [963] - Fixed a game crash that would occur when a hired leader or controlled monster created a new CACHE.
  • [959] - Fixed a problem with how the third H Spider returns to the setup card in the Pruitt's monster option. Also fixed a similar problem with the Minotaurs.
  • [947] - Getting blocked during the day no longer affects whether you can do day-end trades, or not.
  • [964] - Map of Lost Ruins, and Map of Lost Castle no longer tied to specific board in a multi-board game (I could have sworn that was in the rules, but alas it is not!)
  • [966] - Frigid Air will no longer cause fatigue when you cancel an action.
  • [953] - Trade window shouldn't hide behind the main frame anymore.
  • Fixed a problem in the battle builder, where characters were not getting the default starting native relationships.
  • [935] - Enchanted cards are always active inventory now.
  • [922] - Transforming into a Mist will prevent your own underlings from following now (they are left in the last clearing where you were solid).
  • [965] - Enchanted cards acquired from Remains of Thief will properly radiate magic.
  • [874] - Flying away from combat properly drops horses, if applicable.
  • [944] - Underlings are left behind when flying, if applicable.
  • [903] - Hired Leaders no longer keep the FAME for themselves when selling items with a FAME value.
  • [943] - Controlled Monsters will drop all inventory in the clearing when the spell ends, instead of moving it to the SETUP card.
  • [901] - Campaign/Mission Chits can no longer be sold.
  • [895] - Enchanted cards will now remain face up on the treasure setup card.
  • [418] - Spellcasters limited to a maximum of 14 spells at any time. Added an option in the house rules tab, to disable this limit.
  • [872] - When casting POP as a Demon, you now appropriately get credit for multiple kills with Terror result.
  • [968] - Orc Archers will properly use the MISSILE table now.
  • [955] - You can enter the mountains in Easter with a Pony now, when you only have 2 phases.
  • [970] - Can no longer move from between clearings to any clearing on the map (ouch!)
  • [722],[969] - Fixed a serious bug that crashes the game if you end up between tiles after flying away, and then stay there for a day (intentionally or unintentionally)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Version 0.51 Released

Well, I'm slowly recovering from my hard drive loss, so I don't really have much to say about this release. Here's what's new:

  • [896] - Added the clearing color magic to the mouseover display
  • [883] - A new option in the option menu allows you to display monster numbers on the monster chits, where there is more than one kind of monster. This is helpful (for example) when you need to identify which Bat is which.

  • [877] - Expansion tile Lake is properly distinguished from Ledges now.
  • [892] - Woodsgirl no longer gains ONE DIE advantage when in a clearing with her own cache.
  • [878] - Accidentally allowing characters to choose Visitor/Mission chits, and then changing your mind, will no longer leave the Choose button active.
  • Fixed a couple of problems with the Pruitt's Monsters option:
    • [873] - Game crashes when also using the expansion tiles
    • [898] - Game crashes when starting the Witch King with the ghosts

  • [887] - Denizens returning to the setup card will correctly have all bewitching spells canceled
  • [897] - Mandatory "Gold" special action buttons (Assign VPs, Energize Spell, etc.) have been fixed.
  • [885] - Using Power Gauntlets with Battle Bracelets no longer prevents changing your attack.
  • [888] - Moved "Unassigned Hirelings" warning to the SEND button, so it doesn't harass Timeless Jewel users.
  • [871] - Fixed a problem where RealmSpeak wouldn't allow you to pick up FOOD/ALE if your FAME was negative, even though FOOD/ALE only charges Notoriety.
  • [886] - Inert spells (ie., Transform) that are nullified by Melt-into-Mist, will no longer energize when Melt-into-Mist goes Inert.
  • [884] - The T Dragon from the Transform spell is now armored, as it should be.
  • [876] - World Fades no longer allows you to hide during combat, when you also have the SQUEAK curse.