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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Version 1.00 Released

Update #1 - Edited the Mac command-line script below based on commenter Mark's suggestions, and removed my reference to Mac-users as Mac-heads. I didn't mean it to be insulting, but re-reading it this morning, it certainly comes off that way, so I just removed the line. Sorry if I offended anyone!
Update #2 - Just a couple of notes from the comment thread for this post:
  • The optional solitaire "No Dwelling Start" option is broken. It will cause the game to stop after choosing a clearing, but no character window will be showing.
  • If you are running on Linux, you will also have to heed the advice in this post (below) for Mac users, and adjust your classpath.
  • Linux users should use the "Cross Platform Look and Feel". Apparently there is some problem with the "Native L&F" for Linux: at least the way I'm using it in RealmSpeak.
I meant to get this out earlier in the day, but we decided to go to Knotts Berry Farms today, and we're just now getting home! Our season passes expire tomorrow, and we thought we'd get in one last hurrah before the summer crowd hits.

Well, it's finally here, a little over a year after the last release. A project I thought I had put away forever suddenly regenerated itself, and came back with a vengeance. I decided to bump RealmSpeak to version 1.00, since it's about 99.95% the way there (will it ever be 100%?-NO). Before you skip all the boring chat here (maybe I'm too late), I want to bring your attention to a number of things that will be important if you want to enjoy the new version:

  • Mail Support Means Mac & Linux Scripts are Broken
  • Networking menu has changed a bit
  • New images folder
  • Lots of new game setup options

Let's deal with these one at a time:

Mail Support Means Mac & Linux Scripts are Broken

If I had planned this better, I would have had someone help me with this before the release, but the apple scripts will NOT work with RealmSpeak, because they lack a reference to the two required libraries: mail.jar and activation.jar. I was able to fix this in the Windows batch files, but without a Mac, I have no ability to update the apple scripts. If you want to play RealmSpeak on the Mac, you'll need to open a unix window, cd to the directory where RealmSpeak.jar is, and type the following:

    java -mx384m -cp mail.jar:activation.jar:RealmSpeak.jar com.robin.magic_realm.RealmSpeak.RealmSpeakFrame

To keep all the config file local to the directory RealmSpeak is launched from, type this instead:

    java -Duser.home="." -mx384m -cp mail.jar:activation.jar:RealmSpeak.jar com.robin.magic_realm.RealmSpeak.RealmSpeakFrame

To play with CHEAT enabled:

    java -mx384m -cp mail.jar:activation.jar:RealmSpeak.jar com.robin.magic_realm.RealmSpeak.RealmSpeakFrame CHEAT

To run the battle simulator:

    java -mx384m -cp mail.jar:activation.jar:RealmSpeak.jar com.robin.magic_realm.RealmBattle.CombatFrame

To run the character builder:

    java -mx384m -cp mail.jar:activation.jar:RealmSpeak.jar com.robin.magic_realm.RealmCharacterBuilder.RealmCharacterBuilderFrame

If somebody wanted to write apple scripts, or whatever is equivalent to batch files on Windows, and send them my way, I would greatly appreciate the help! I don't own a Mac, and I no longer have access to them at work, so I have no way to create these scripts, or even to test them.

Networking menu changed a bit

In the previous versions of RealmSpeak, I had two complete menus with identical items, with the exception that one was for playing a local (non-networked) game, and the other was for playing online with friends. THIS HAS CHANGED! NOW, when you start RealmSpeak, there is a File menu for all actions related to playing the game (save/load/restart/exit), and a Network menu with just a few non-redundant items. If you want to play online, you'll have to FIRST turn network hosting ON. You do this by clicking on the "Network Hosting OFF" menu item under Network. This will add the words "Networking Active" into the title bar. Any game you play with networking active, will make your game visible to the internet community. RealmSpeak remembers your last setting, so if you close RealmSpeak with Networking active, it will open with it active again.

New images folder
You're going to need a new images folder, which means you'll have to download the latest resource pack with this release. I would recommend keeping whatever version of RealmSpeak you have intact, and download this release into a new location. That way, if there is anything major broken in this release, you can still get back to playing the game until I get it fixed. I've playtested it a bunch of times, but you never know!

Lots of new game setup options

You are going to want to look through all the new options on every page of the setup dialog. You'll find there are a lot of new things there, and you may or may not want them. By default, new stuff is turned OFF, so if you click through, it should keep your favorite options in play. However, there were some minor changes, and stuff moved around a teensy bit, so its probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with what's there!

Okay, THAT's out of the way. Let's not wait any longer. Here's what's new:

Version 1.00 - Changes since 0.60
  • email notification
    • When you host a game, you have the option to turn on e-mail notification. You'll need to provide and SMTP host, and a home e-mail address to get started.
    • A "Test email" button will allow you to verify that you set things up correctly.
    • The application will automatically e-mail any player when it is their turn, when combat starts, or when it is a new day.
    • The application will only e-mail players that provide an e-mail address when they join, and then only if they are offline when the event occurs (no need to send e-mail when they are online!)

  • Completely removed player/character count restrictions. As long as there are still characters to play, you can add them.
  • Added a "player password" concept for joining players. If you use a password (it is optional), then your player name and password must match before you are given control of the character. This would prevent someone else from grabbing your character while you were offline (especially possible in a "slow" game)! The host will have control over this, and will be able to reset a player password if a player forgets it.
  • New game option tab: "Other House Rules"
  • New game options:
    • [1230] - Optional Magic Rules
      • [1457] - Optional Automatic Enchanting implemented
      • [1458] - Optional Enhanced Magic rules implemented
      • [1459] - Optional Enhanced Artifacts and Spell Books rules implemented

    • [1460] - Revised Enhanced Magic rule implemented (under "Other House Rules")
    • [1315] - Optional Quiet Monsters rule implemented as two separate options:
      • Hidden characters and hirelings do not cause chits to flip, or monsters to be summoned. New "Tile Chits" button on character frame appears when appropriate to allow you to view chits secretly.
      • When positioning attackers on a character sheet, they do NOT have to be positioned in as many red boxes as possible.

    • [1101] - 3rd Edition Extended Grudges implemented
    • [1210] - Advanced Dropping Items rules implemented
      • Buttons that read "Abandon" will abandon the item in the clearing (can only loot)
      • Buttons that read "Drop" will drop the item in the clearing at your feet

    • [1477] - Advanced Sudden Death rules implemented (on the first tab of game options)
    • [1420] - New house rule to allow native leaders to remember discoveries between hire terms. However, killed natives still lose their discoveries. Monsters are unchanged.

  • New character builder features:
    • [1142] - New "Evaluate" button in character builder checks your custom character for flaws that would make it non-Hamblen-like.
    • [1473] - New "Export Gear" button in character builder allows you to create an image file which you can print, so you can create chits for boardgame play.
    • [1483] - Custom Weapons can be set to start with the Visitor's now.
    • [1221] - In the "Edit Symbol" dialog, you can now generate a default icon, which is simply the first two letters of the character name, or if you have two words in the name, it will use the first letter of each.

  • [1096] - Remapped the menu controls a bit (hope that's not too annoying), and added a new menu item called "Restart Last Game", which will allow you to start a game over from the VERY beginning, using the same setup.
  • [1237] - Many more monsters added to custom advantages "Companion" tab in the character builder, including Tremendous monsters, and natives. Take it easy now!
  • [1338] - New characters can choose where their starting inventory comes from now (or you can continue to have your starting inventory taken from random dwellings)
  • Added a few more credits to the "About Box", and fixed the 3rd edition citation.
  • [1262] - New voluntary Unhide button (looks like a lantern) next to Trade/Share and Block buttons on character frame
  • [1478] - New "Shout Out" button allows you to share all relevant discoveries in your clearing to every legal character in the clearing you choose, with one action. Makes group play a bit easier.
  • [1298] - New feature to view running Fame/Notoriety/Gold tally on the combat sheet by mousing over the character tokens.
  • [1482] - Added mission/campaign chit information to view menu.
  • [1474] - Notes page now keeps track of inventory stolen by previously hired leaders, and potions after they have regenerated.

  • [1310] - Memory Leak is fixed! This should resolve the "Out of Memory" crash we are all familiar with on long games with many characters. You'll also notice that RealmSpeak performance has improved somewhat.
  • [1343] - Couple of harmless NPEs fixed
  • Fixed a problem with the HTML generator that would sometimes put map messages on the final image.
  • When highlighting clearings (blue circles), use the word "Exit" on map edges rather than "-1"
  • IP address is trimmed to remove any external whitespace.
  • [1348],[1361],[1382] - Fixed a bug that prevented you from running from a clearing you ran towards.
  • [1349],[1435],[1445] - Incentive payments to take treasures off a native's hands during TRADE (like the Order getting rid of the Black Book) is fixed.
  • [1410] - Fixed a Power of the Pit bug that caused the game to crash on a result of THREE, when a hired leader is following another hired leader.
  • [1362] - Fixed a bug in the turn panel that put secondary actions (like a PoP roll after searching Toadstool Circle) in the wrong order on the screen.
  • [1129] - Empty cache's will no longer appear on the treasure setup card
  • [1286] - Roman numerals on enchanted artifacts no longer duplicated
  • [1233] - Fixed a bug when Garb of Speed or Belt of Strength was used by a custom character with a three asterisk chit.
  • [1353] - No more Great Great Elves (or Light Great Elves) (or Great Light Elves) (or...)
  • [1351] - Timeless Jewel can be traded between characters now. (no more "must be deactivated" warning when its obviously NOT activated!)
  • [1444] - Fixed a bug that was allowing you to redo the prebattle by reloading the game!
  • [1438] - Fixed a bug that could leave the game hung when between mountain clearings in the ice/cold.
  • [1446] - When looting treasure that is heavier than your character, you have the option to abandon it now.
  • [1215] - Can cancel out of REST dialog now, in case you want to rearrange your inventory first.
  • [1449] - Custom characters with starting gold other than the standard "10" is figured correctly now in "starting worth" calculations.
  • [1448] - Commerce rules no longer affect visitors
  • [1441] - Characters following in frigid weather (fatigue one asterisk per phase) will have to pay for fatigue equal to that which the leader got.
  • [1443] - Heat Wave will no longer kill transmorphed characters because they have no chits.
  • [1415] - Fixed a bug where sometimes a character chosen at a lower development level would get all 12 chits at the start.
  • [1437] - Pressing "Play All" will now stop anytime you arrive at an invalid move action (in case you need to energize a spell to walk woods, or fly).
  • [1402] - Hired leaders killed in the line of duty will regenerate properly now.
  • [1425] - FightAlert chits (like BERSERK) will be limited by the monsters on your sheet now.
  • [1395] - Fixed a problem with GRUDGES where a hireling (NOT a hired leader) killing a FRIENDLY or ALLIED native was not having an effect. Now ALL hirelings will work as expected.
  • [1419] - Changed how "speed 8" is represented in the log, so that you don't see "infinitely slow".
  • [1396] - Being on a roadway connected to the Chapel no longer heals curses, or provides WHITE magic.
  • [1461] - Natives that start a fight with the character will not change friendliness when killed using extended grudges (e.g., characters are allowed to defend themselves without penalty)
  • [1439] - Fixed a bug where absorbing a monster off another character sheet with multiple monsters was causing that character's attack to be canceled.
  • [1405] - Can no longer pickup a campaign chit where the foes are already dead. Same bug also made finishing Pillage impossible.
  • [1414] - Wish for Vision will include the Visitor boxes now (assuming they have any treasure).
  • [1411] - Destroyed armor will no longer remain activated when you buy it back.
  • [1404] - Pruitt's dragons (Wyrm and Firedrake) are included in the Quest chit now. If the dragon can never come out because of clearing type (Pruitt's rules), it isn't counted.
  • [1392] - Dialog that shows who was regenerated will only show ONCE per online player (used to be once per character)
  • [1397] - Fixed a problem with custom character item restrictions, that was failing on any weapon with a space in the name
  • [1390] - Hired Leaders and Controlled Monsters will have a Spells tab (like the character) so you can see which spells are bewitching them
  • [1385] - Dark Forest no longer prevents entry from off-map, in a solitaire game.
  • [1373] - Viewing Clearing Detail (right-click on map) no longer causes face down treasures to turn face up.
  • [1375] - Changed spelling of "Gray" to "Grey" to match the rulebook.
  • [1398] - Trading with hired natives on the day of hire work correctly now.
  • [1381] - Fixed Pruitt's Cockatrice to automatically kill like a RED-side-up T Monster, as per the rules for this monster.
  • [990] - Orc Archers will now change tactics on a 5 or a 6, as per the rules.
  • [1379] - Blend into Background spell will work properly with hired leaders now.
  • [1463] - Fixed problem with Witch's familiar badge button, when saving and loading a game without exiting RealmSpeak.
  • Added an exception to the situation where the game handler is calling a DEAD client. This should quickly reveal the source of any other game freezes that are the result of this problem.
  • [1470] - Character following another character can now trade with others at beginning of phase
  • [1378] - Horses no longer count as kills for purposes of the multiplier
  • Allow the host to transfer a character during combat
  • [1345] - Running with horses logic is fixed. You can choose either side, and if you fail on gallop side, you wont be able to gallop during melee.
  • [1469] - Die rolls will no longer appear when you are selling to natives, and commerce rules are off.
  • [1283] - No longer lose your horses between tiles after flying away from combat.
  • [1297] - Enchanted Meadow/Altar, and Toadstool Circle/Shrine summoning boxes will work on multiple boards now.
  • [1471] - Move/Fight chit conflicts during positioning are fixed.
  • [1440] - Fixed a problem where transformed magic users couldn't ride flying steeds
  • [1355] - Daily combat checkbox should be a bit more persistent now, and remember what you last had set it at. This will be helpful for long server games!
  • [1231] - Character card correctly shows how much gold you start off with, for custom characters with special gold allowances.
  • [1472] - Sleeping characters will not be able to trade anymore.
  • [1464] - Custom character speed 8 chits will not be excluded by filters when determining which chit can be played.
  • [1429] - Pack horses will no longer support the weight of activated items!
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing flying characters from dropping items.
  • [1416],[1480] - Fixed a problem where a spell interrupted by hirelings could never be cast again. The same problem affected Enchant Artifact and other spells.
  • [1366] - Fixed the order of treasure locations on the discovery tab of the character window.
  • [1481] - Fixed a problem with the logic for determining whether actions were sheltered or not.
  • [1302] - Fixed the text of the Amulet treasure to include "(discard to shaman)"
  • [1205] - If you create a custom character that uses the familiar, it will adopt the character name, rather than always being the "Witch's Familiar"
  • [1295] - Fixed the "drop/abandon" buttons on the turn panel to allow dropping of activated items (used to only be inactive items).
  • [880],[1479] - Fixed how simultaneous attacks are handled, to a system that should be much more robust.
  • [1432] - Fixed a problem where character horses were absorbing non-simultaneous hits.
  • [1342] - Added the correct filtering to the logic behind choosing a chit to charge another character.
  • [1484] - Fixed a bug that would allow you to skip choosing attack spell targets if you also had a native pick a target, which eventually lead to a locked up combat.
  • [1209] - Invalid custom character files will no longer prevent RealmSpeak from launching.
  • [1222] - Fixed some problems with how abandoned color-source treasures were shown on the map, and in the "View Clearing Detail" window.
  • [1350] - Fixed a problem with casting Control Bats on a transformed bat. Also made similar adjustments to other monster-specific spells, so that transformed dragons, goblins, spiders, etc can be targeted too.
  • [1367] - Fixed a bug with Magic Sight, that would cause a treasure card site (like Enchanted Meadow) to jump to the backwoods when a "Treasure cards" result was rolled!
  • [1347] - Fixed a bug that allowed monsters to attack a character playing a horse directly, if another character targeted the rider.
  • [1204] - Fixed a problem with random assignment, that was allowing two hidden characters with hirelings to take monsters not assigned to them, and end up in a game deadlock.
  • [1344] - Extending the game with low level characters, no longer leads to negative VP assignment!
  • [1134] - Unhired Native Leaders killed by PoP will drop inventory in the clearing correctly now.
  • [1227] - Fixed a deadlock related to Control Bats and Wish cast by two characters at the same time.
  • [1456] - When you start the game with a low level character, and seasons, you still must (at the least) record 2 VPs.
  • [1306] - Fixed a bug that was preventing hired leader's inventory from dropping into the clearing when killed by a monster.
  • [1384] - Persuaded Giants/Goblins will no longer block your hirelings

Friday, May 22, 2009

June 1st Deadline

Since everyone is asking, I'll let you know that I'm making June 1, 2009 the deadline for the next RealmSpeak release. Lot's of new optional rules in place, some neat new interface features, and tons of bugs fixed.

You'll see it here first, as well as posted to the RealmSpeak mailing list when it is ready.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

26 Days Later

I just finished playing a game of RealmSpeak with the new "Sudden Death" rule in play (coming in the next release). I set the number of VPs to 1, thinking that I could make a really short game, and test this new feature at the same time.

I chose a random character, and got the Woods Girl (one of my favorite characters, believe it or not). I put my single VP into "Great Treasures" thinking it would be cake to find at least one of these things. I didn't take into account the negative score you start with due to gold...

Anyway, I wandered around the board, and found nothing but empty tiles: no treasure site, and no prowling monsters. The monster rolls I got were really quite amazing, in how they effectively dodged every warning/sound chit I encountered!

Finally, I discovered the Pool in the Caves (great...), and got to looting. The first treasures I found there were the Alchemist's Mixture, and 'lo, the Magic Wand! Yay! A Great Treasure!! Wait, why didn't I win? Ah, a great treasure with -10 fame.

Still no sign of the Goblins or Octopus, so I continued looting. The next two treasures I found were the Withered Claw, and the Cloak of Mist, which was good. I decided to leave, seeing as I was pretty fatigued after looting the pool, and I wasn't really all THAT excited to meet the Goblin clan. After first stopping to rest in the Curst Valley, I moved through the Ledges, and dispatched a wandering Giant with my bow. With no other treasure location in the tile, I proceeded into the Crags where I discovered the mighty Lair!

I moved quickly into the clearing and searched for several days with no success. A giant bat started circling overhead, and that drew the attention of the Lair Dragon. As I was wearing the cloak, and was successfully hidden, it was obvious that all I needed was one good kill, and the game would end victoriously. I activated the Alchemist's Mixture, and flung one pinch of the stuff at the dragon. Direct Hit and instant kill! With only the bat left, the Woods Girl decided to run from the clearing. The fame/notoriety from the two kills (Giant, and then the Dragon) was enough to make my total score equal to "0", which meets the requirement of Sudden Death. We have a winner!

... and it only took me 26 days ... (sheesh!)

(You can see the game here if you are interested.)