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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Version Released

Note: This release is NOT compatible with save games from earlier releases. I made changes to the data file that will affect the Ancient Telescope and the Crystal Ball. If you use this version with an older save game, THESE TWO TREASURES WILL NOT WORK CORRECTLY! Sorry about that, but it was a necessary change to make them consistent with other objects in the game.


Mostly just working through reported issues and feature requests. I think the list is down to only 34 items now!

Anyway, here's what's new this time:

  • [1694] - For map builders, enlarged the tile pick view, added the tile flipside, and made the tile currently being placed respond to the SHIFT key to show you the enchanted side.
  • Some new house rules are available under the title "More House Rules":
    • [1285] - Enable a feature where damaged armor can be repaired at any dwelling for the difference in price between intact and damaged.
    • [1494] - An optional house rule where Soft Ground and Early Snow only prevent Hide rolls in non-Cave clearings.

  • [967],[1148] - Fixed issues with Ancient Telescope, and Crystal Ball.
  • Fixed a problem with REPAIR, HEAL, and FORTIFY as base character abilities.
  • [1716] - Fixed a problem with custom characters with light armor in a non-expansion game.
  • Fixed a bug that was crashing the combat simulator when launching it in "Original Game" mode.
  • [1717] - Luring an attacker off another sheet no longer leaves a "ghost" image behind.
  • [1679] - A RED-side up monster on a native no longer prevents random assignment from occurring with other unassigned denizens.
  • [1718] - Host game setup dialog made slightly bigger to accommodate most OS's.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

RealmSpeak Home has Moved

I decided to move the base webpages where RealmSpeak is managed to a new home:

Note: This blog is NOT moving!

Why move the home page? I did this for a number of reasons. The main reason, is that I wanted RealmSpeak to have its own subdomain. I actually set up the subdomain a year or so ago, but I've never made the switch to a new webpage.

Recently, my domain host ICDSoft (see link on the top left) announced that they had a beta version of a web design tool, that is available to members for free. Since my web design skills are pretty atrocious, I figured I'd give it a try. Turns out it was pretty easy to slap together something that looks somewhat professional (IMHO).

My goal with the new web design, was to make it more intuitive, so a new user could quickly find what they were after, without trundling through a maze of links. I think I've accomplished that, but if you have any suggestions on how to improve it, I'd love to hear from you.

In any case, if you have any bookmarks to the old site, you'll find that the webpages now give you a new link to follow. I suggest updating your bookmarks, so that if the old site vanishes someday, you'll still be connected.

Of course, as mentioned above, this blog isn't moving, and it has links to everything you need to get started. If you use the blog as a launch point, you'll be safe. :-)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Version Released

GMs - If you are running a game now, it is SAFE to upgrade to this version. It will not harm your game file. In fact, I recommend upgrading, because of the random number bug I fixed (see below).

I've been wanting to get this release online, but I've been sick the last week. The big bug-fix in this one is to restore the behavior of the random number generator when loading a save game. It used to be (several versions ago), that saving a game would also save the state of the random number generator, thus making it a) impossible to cheat and b) possible to replay a day with the same result (important for GMs). Alas, I broke this functionality when I implemented the new random number generators, and that's something I wanted fixed ASAP.

New in the release is an experimental feature to make board generation more... better? I decided that too often, my online games started with our characters at the Inn, with only one possible way to go, and that way was through a maze of caves and/or a hidden path/secret passage. To alleviate that possibility, I decided that there needed to be a way to "rate" a map, and then have RealmSpeak rebuild the map when it fell below a certain rating.

The rating system I came up with is fairly simple: For every Valley clearing where a dwelling or ghosts would start, start moving down the path in both directions, and count the total number of tiles that can be reached WITHOUT entering a cave, or using a hidden path or secret passage. The total number of tiles that can be reached (including the starting tile) is the rating for that tile. The map rating is simply the worst (lowest) rating of all five Valley tiles. Say for example, a map is rated a "6". This means that in the worst case, you will be able to visit SIX tiles without ever having to enter a cave or use a special road.

With the rating system in place, I then added a control in the game setup options that allows you to select a preferred rating, from 0 to 5, that must be achieved before RealmSpeak will select a map. If you set it to zero (the worst possible rating), then RealmSpeak will take the first map it generates, just like you are always used to. If you set it higher, the maps it allows will be fewer. Remember the more times RealmSpeak is forced to toss a map, the longer it can take to start a game. Keep an eye on the status bar at the bottom of the window to watch it's progress.

Now I can hear some of you already groaning that my algorithm here is too simplistic, and perhaps even favors some characters over others. Also, the logic of rebuilding a map that fails might be the lazy way out, and isn't the most efficient solution. If you have better ideas on how to accomplish "smarter" maps, please let me know. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

By the way, this new rating system works great on the original game as well as the expansion. It does NOT, however, work too great with 2x/3x/4x size maps, as the number of Valley tiles increases, and causes a LONG delay in map building. It took nearly 2 minutes to build a reasonable 2x map, and then all it did was line all the valleys up in one long path right in the middle of the map. :-O

What else... oh, I added a new "export" button in the battle window, that let's you dump the current state of combat to HTML, much like the "Game Export" works. When I was GMing the tournament, I found the most difficult part was relating what was happening, where everybody was, and who had what chits fatigued/wounded where. I'm hoping this new feature alleviates that pain, as it puts everything in a nice navigable set of web pages with everything you could possibly want to see in a combat. It's probably not perfect yet, but it'll get there.

Enough jabber, here's what's new:

  • You can include travelers as hirelings in the battle builder now (so you can test those kinds of scenarios out)
  • Experimental new feature for setting the rating of a map, so you don't end up with crummy starting places. If you don't want to use it, just set the minimum map rating to zero (default).
    • Not recommended for double/triple/quadruple maps (it can take a REALLY long time to build one of these)

  • [1673] - Attackers can be seen in the summary table of the combat frame, instead of only on the combat sheets.
  • [1665] - You can now export information about a battle to HTML, to simplify GMing in a combat situation.
  • [1703] - Transferring a character allows you to choose from a list of names now, instead of requiring case-sensitive typing. Of course, you can still type a name if you like.
  • [1013] - New full featured window memory system (see "Custom Layout" under "Window" menu)
    • Allows you store your favorite window layout in up to seven different slots.
    • Layouts are remembered the next time you play, so if you have something you like, it will default to it.
    • You can name your layouts, so that it is easy to remember which is which. (Witch?)
    • Even the size/position of the main frame is remembered, so spanning multiple monitors is a really easy thing to do now.

  • Fixed a bug that caused an error to be logged when you attack a Giant while carrying the Pretty Rock (Expansion treasure)
  • When deploying a combative traveler (i.e., Dragon Slayer) no longer prompted for a deploy side.
  • Carnoplant box #3 reads "5" instead of "35" now
  • [1713] - Fixed a problem where saving and reloading a game wasn't restoring the state of the random number generator.
  • Fixed an issue where transferring a character didn't always remove the character frame from the player losing the character
  • Fixed a bug where Archeological Dig and Fountain of Health (expansion) could end up in a TWT.