Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Combat Summary

With the last release (0.60) came a new feature you might enjoy. During battle resolution, a new button will appear near the "Next" button:

Pressing this button will give you a concise summary of the round's results:

The display is shown in the order of resolution, so you can pretty much read it from top to bottom like a story. The big arrows give you a visual indication of the results: blue means miss, red means hit, solid red means kill. You'll see any rolls that are tied to the individual hits, and any changes in the level of harm are shown.

Of course, all of this information has always been there, but never in a way that you can quickly discern the results. Most of the time, I'll be playing with friends, and someone will say "Hey, who killed the Great Axeman?" You can stare at the combat sheets and figure it out, but sometimes it takes a bit (let's see, we both hit, but I was faster... no wait... length goes first because it round 1....) This new display lays it out in a way that there is no doubt as to who killed what. Then, if you want to refer back to the combat sheets or detail log to get the gritty details, you can.

What doesn't it do? It doesn't show non-attack spells. If the Pilgrim casts Small Blessing, it will not appear in this window. Sometimes, when someone is killed, it shows them as alive further down the summary - this happens when there are simultaneous hits. These are things I'd like to fix down the road, but I think its pretty useful even in its current state.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Three Custom Characters

My friends and I decided to fire up a game of RealmSpeak tonight, using only custom characters. For the most part, we've had a pretty successful run at it! Though the Vizier (me) lost his companion Viper pretty early on, he's still managed to stay alive by nursing his Transform into squirrel spell. I would have preferred a T Dragon, but ah well.

The Ogre Hero, and Dark Elf did a nice job of dispatching all the Rogues and Patrol at the Inn, and collected a bunch of booty (horses, armor, some treasures).

We just discovered the Lair, and we're getting ready to move in. The current state of the game can be viewed here if you are interested.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Version 0.60 Released

This release requires a new resource pack. Make sure you download the latest resource pack (v0.60) before playing!

OMG its been a long time since I've put a new version up! If you've read my previous posts, you'll know that I took a bit of a break from the coding to get myself together again. This is a fairly massive release that includes a ton of bug fixes, and lots of fun new features. For the most part, my aim was to make the "Slow Game" concept (see previous post) a bit more user-friendly, but there's tons of stuff for the solo player to enjoy as well.

One new thing, that I think veteran RealmSpeak players will appreciate, is that the autosave feature has been expanded a bit. Now, instead of only saving at BIRDSONG, autosave will kick in after every player turn, and after each individual combat. That should make those unexpected game crashes, a bit less tragic. Don't worry - I kept a separate BIRDSONG autosave, in case you want to restart the day anyway, which is good for playing "what if" scenarios. Be sure to select "Restore from autosave BIRDSONG" instead of the usual restore from the menu.

Another cool new feature, is the Export HTML Game Summary feature. This new bit of code will actually generate a publishable set of web pages to describe your current game to its fullest extent. If you have a good game going on, and want to share, generate and publish! An example of the output can be seen here:

Oh, another feature for the veteran players: you know how when you quit a game in progress, and restart later, you lose the entire detail log? No more. The detail log will be saved alongside of your save game. Look for the extension rslog, and you'll find the file. Note that this file isn't necessary to load the game: if it isn't there, you simply start your log from scratch.

Ok, its been long enough. Here's what's new:

  • Bunch of new features aimed at making Kyle's "Slow Game" concept workable:
    • When players are offline, RealmSpeak will no longer simply show "Not Online", but rather show the current step the player is doing.
    • Export HTML Game Summary feature
      • New File menu option allows anyone playing to generate a cluster of HTML documents that could be uploaded to the web, to describe the current state of the game.
      • You can generate these files ANYTIME, even during combat

    • Couple of game server improvements:
      • Added a 10-second timeout to the RealmSpeak server-side, so that random non-RealmSpeak connections don't tie up the connection pool.
      • Any connection which does not have a logical RealmSpeak-like request, will be immediately dropped.

    • Detail log is now persistent:
      • The log is saved anytime the game is saved (including autosave)
      • Players joining a server will get an automatic copy of the full log
      • You'll see a new "rslog" file along with your "rsgame" save files, with the same name
      • "rslog" files are NOT required to load a game, but if you load a game without a corresponding rslog file, your detail log will start out as empty

    • When joining a game, the last 10 IP addresses are remembered.
    • You can now view a readonly host pref dialog when you are not the host, so you can see which options the host is playing with.
    • Autosave used to only happen at the start of each new day, as any RealmSpeak veteran knows. Now it will happen with more frequency, so that restarts are less painful:
      • At the start of each new day
      • At the beginning of every new turn
      • At the beginning of the every new clearing combat (NOT every round, though)
      • At the end of ALL combats (MIDNIGHT)

    • A separate autosave_birdsong.rsgame file is saved at the start of each new day, in case you want to replay the day (like RealmSpeak did previous to this release)
    • The e-mail framework is in place, but it DOES NOT DO EMAIL right now. I still need to figure out where all to put stuff.

  • RealmSpeak is now a bit more lenient with older version game files. It WILL allow you to load them (with a warning), but you must keep in mind that there may be version-related bugs that come out of it. In most cases however, this should work just fine.
  • [1324] - Using the remodeled counters, the hired leader chits now show their commerce behavior: +N when they add notoriety, +F when they add fame, or both when they add both.
  • [235] - When the "Show Turn End Results" option is checked, the denizens that regenerated are shown at the start of your turn.
  • [979] - The Spell Selector dialog now shows the color(s) that will be available on the next 7th day, to help you decide which chits to start with as enchanted.
  • A couple of combat sheet improvements:
    • [995] - Mouseovers on castable spells on a character combat sheet will now show the spell full-size for clarity.
    • [1003] - When transformed, your attack/move chits, and any head/club is shown next to your character counter, so you know what kind of damage you can deliver.
    • [1015] - Round Summary button allows you a quick analysis of the current round, so you can see who hit who, and figure out what the die rolls were. This feature is a little rough around the edges, but I think it accomplishes the task well enough.
      • Visually see whether you hit, undercut, or missed outright
      • Die rolls accompany each hit row where appropriate. This will make Fiery Blast missile rolls a bit more obvious.
      • Character battle/maneuver chits are shown along with the token, so you can see WHY the hit happens.
      • Summary is shown in proper combat order, so you can follow the logic of the battle.
      • No more searching through the detail log to figure out why you lost a henchmen.
      • Does NOT show non-attack spells right now, so if you cast WISH on yourself, nothing will appear in the summary.

  • [628] - New House rule allows you to make the Lost City and Lost Castle act like shelters for purposes of sheltered phases and weather. Obviously, if you are playing without weather, this will have no effect.
  • [948] - Following characters now get a button to allow them to stop following. If you are being followed by other players, the Play All button will be disabled, and the Play Next button will force you to wait 5 seconds between clicks to allow other players to stop following.

  • [1311] - Extended the limit on the VP selector from 100 to 1000, to accomodate LONG campaigns
  • [1327] - Chest can be looted from the clearing using Magic Sight now.
  • [1318] - A problem with the PEACE result from Small Blessing that was not updating the combat window, is fixed.
  • [1325] - Transformed animals no longer return to the clearing of their transformation at days end.
  • [1317] - Fixed a couple issues with Transformed Flying Dragon result: null name, and flying ability.
  • [1291],[1313],[1314] - Control spell logic updated to make sure monsters disengage once controlled, when appropriate.
  • [1312] - Fixed a syncing problem between Transform and Pentangle
  • [1235] - Roof Collapses and Exorcise will now also affect hidden characters/natives in the clearing.
  • [1296] - Wishing denizens elsewhere when lured by hirelings works now.
  • [1323] - Selling the Timeless Jewel while active will now BLOCK the character.
  • [1163] - Underlings no longer included as carry strength, when determining score.
  • [1087] - Fixed a null pointer when mixing Alchemists Mixture with Oil of Poison
  • [1064] - "Hire Window" no longer goes off-screen when dealing with MANY individually hired natives (like Rogues)
  • [906] - Fixed a problem where a Timless Jewel carrying character would not get REST or ALERT phases when following a character who does them. Also fixed the behavior of the action screen, so that the FOLLOW activity isn't hidden.
  • [812] - Related to the previous bug, there was a problem with how following characters using the TJ were hiding, which is now fixed.
  • [1299] - When a Woods tile has no clearings leading back to Borderland (due to other tile enchantments), the Campfire summoning no longer causes the game to crash.
  • [912] - When you specify a controlled flying monster to follow you, the FLY button is appropriately highlighted to indicate that this is now possible.
  • [1308] - Fixed a problem that was preventing a Giant Bat from being targeted by a spell after it was blocked by a player, using the "Block Now!" button.
  • [1332] - Fixed a harmless bug related to the note window
  • [988] - Tweaks to treasure setup card generation code, to make the summoning words a bit more readable.
  • [1005] - Native leaders no longer make change when you trade valuable items to buy something.
  • [1021] - Wish for Vision dialog is modeless now, so you can check the map or character window before choosing a vision result.
  • [1014] - Fixed some problems with how Phase Chits were implemented. Protection from Magic should work correctly now.
  • [1333] - Monster targets are cleared at the beginning of any new combat, to guarantee that no previous battles targets influence the current one (wish I knew how that happened anyway, but at least it wont be a problems anymore!)
  • [1080] - All combat participants are flipped to their light side before combat starts. This actually happened already, but there were cases where this wasn't, and that is now fixed.
  • [1093] - Denizen's attacking a RED-side-up monster on a Character sheet will properly reposition and change tactics now.
  • [1025] - Dragon Essence is no longer affected by "Peace with Nature" (spell or abiliy), as per the rules.
  • [1034] - Fixed a loophole that would allow you to record an invalid move on purpose, while between clearings, to keep from having to move to either clearing.
  • [1335] - Fixed clearing 3 and 6 on the Lake tile, and Clearing 3 on the Tristar tile, to be WOODS (were mismarked as NORMAL).
  • [1321] - Fixed a problem where the Woods Girl, with optional rules turned off, was not getting her bonus on Woods tiles from non A maps (B, C, D)
  • [1033],[1035] - Fixed a problem where you would sometimes run in a direction you did not come from. Only happens when running back and forth out of the same clearing multiple times.
  • [1048] - You can view the flipsides of visitor/mission chits on the treasure setup card now.
  • [1070] - Persuade will work correctly with your OWN hirelings now.
  • [1336] - Controlled monsters will now correctly use their vulnerability to carry items.
  • [1045] - If you kill a FRIENDLY/ALLIED native with an absorbed monster's weapons (club/head/axe), GRUDGES will apply appropriately now.
  • [1337] - Fixed a bug that allowed the Dwarf to place his Duck T3* chit in CHARGE/DODGE when playing a horse.
  • [1047] - Fixed a couple of bugs related to killing a character with an absorbed monster:
    • You will now get an appropriate fame/notoriety bounty from the absorbed monster in addition to the notoriety of the killed character.
    • When a character is killed with their absorbed monster, the monster (which is killed too) will properly regenerate back to the setup card, the next time it is appropriate.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Slow Game of RealmSpeak

A couple of weeks ago, Kyle, a Magic Realm enthusiast, presented an open invitation to join in a "Slow Game" of RealmSpeak. Basically, it's an online game of RealmSpeak, but setup in a way that you can jump on, do your turn, and then jump off.

Of course, this wasn't how I intended RealmSpeak to be played, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized its actually fairly well suited to do this. It was designed to handle lost connections with grace, and so it just kinda works.

Anyway, myself and five others (including Kyle) are currently playing a game. We're on day 3, and though there hasn't been much action yet, its getting rolling pretty quick. With the exception of an initial problem with connection handling due to a rogue internet process, everything has been running smoothly, and I'm having a blast. Thanks Kyle for the great idea, and providing the host server!!

As you have probably noticed, I've been out of the RealmSpeak coding mood for nearly four months. I think I burned out on it, and just needed a LONG break. Thanks to Kyle, I'm seeing RealmSpeak in a new light, and starting work on it again in earnest. Because of the SlowGame idea, I decided to focus on some things to make that type of game more workable. For example, I've improved the connection handling a bit, so that rogue processes can't eat up the RealmSpeak connection pool. I've changed how the display shows offline users, so that you can still see what they are doing.

The biggest thing I've added, however, is a new tool to allow you (or the host) to export a set of HTML pages to describe the current state of the game. The idea is that others who are not participating, can still follow the progress of things by looking at the status page. For our current game, I've generated these pages out of RealmSpeak:

SlowGame - Host Kyle

There is still an issue with the detail log, because this is lost every time you log out (this will be fixed in the new version coming soon), but mostly everything else is there. A complete summary of the game rules are available, and you can check out the game map. You can even click on map clearings to see the contents of any clearing with chits in it. I'll try to keep this page up to date as things progress, in case you are interested.

The next question you'll ask: when will there be a new version available? I was hoping to get one out by the end of April, but it's looking to slip a bit into May. If I get time on Sunday, I may put version 0.60 out, but no promises. If you are curious what is in store, check out the Bug Tracker Change Log for details.

Hope you are all enjoying a great year so far!