First of all I'd like to apologize to the few of ya'll who watch for a lack of updates. I post often on the cbt forums but for some reason don't on here.
Anyway, as for what I've been working on.
I am buying a house here in Dallas. I used to live in Wylie (a suburb of Dallas) and my drive to work was about 30 miles, taking anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes depending on traffic. It sucked, hard, even with a carpool lane the best I could do was 45 minutes. You only live once, and spending my time in traffic wasn't something I wanted to do with my life. So we sold our house, and got an apartment about 8 minutes from work (the wife and I work very close, so its great). But apartment life kinda sucks, and our awesome dog really loved her yard, so we are buying a new (well an old remodeled) house in Dallas proper for about the same cost. So this has been sucking up quite a bit of time, inspections, dealing with the bank, and getting estimates for additional work we want done. The end is far from over, we close at the end of May but still have to move and get a few weeks of work done. This, as well as my wife getting hurt at work and needing another week of my time really cut into my hobbies.
But I haven't been totally idle. I will be creating a battletech database for all the equipment, and have a few people who have volunteered to make sure all the data was correct and consistent. This is the first step in a long line of computer based battletech stuff in the future, but a *very* important step. This database will have all 2000 or so pieces of equipment in the BTU, and all their individual attributes created so there will be no inconsistencies in things being created using this list. Right now, there are lots of rules that either conflict with each other, or ignore each other. With humans they often just assume what is missing, without even seeing a conflict, but computers can't do that. This list is the #1 thing preventing a good mech/vehicle/etc designer from being out there. Megamek, Skunkworks, and HMP all suffer serious limitations or inconsistencies due to this data not being accurate.
Once the database is finished, I can write builder applications for, well, *everything*, including maps and maps with building complexes on them (interlinked buildings on 1 or more maps, calculating power and supply requirements and such). Even though I'm saying this is a database, it won't be in SQL/MySQL/Oracle/etc, as I am trying to keep it simple for everybody. Unfortunately unless I get permissions from the folks at CGL, I won't be able to make this public, as half of the tech manual and total ops will be useless if you have access to this data, and once I make the builders TM at least is completely useless. I wanted to get this done last weekend, but I got busy with other things, and it looks like this weekend won't be much different. I have to do it on a weekend so I can stay focused for a large chunk of time.
During the week, in my hour or so here and there I took some old code I wrote in directx that used top-down sprites for the Warhammer 40K VASSAL project. I fixed a few things to make it all work, and was going to see about making a game where you played 40K units, starting at a scout marine and working up to chapter master, against near constant (breaks for promotions) waves of various Xeno's (mostly Tyranids, but some other stuff in there later). The game will be pretty simple, mindless, and I think pretty fun. I'm sure games workshop will send me a cease and desist letter over it, but I welcome being sued for IP, if I'm not impacting their revenue stream I have a hard time thinking they can take money from me (I could be wrong, only time will tell). The game will be 100% moddable as well, so you can replace space marines with BT elementals, starships, Heavy Gears, Imperial Guard, Mechs (using megamek icons), or whatever you can think of. I may get bored with it and not go back to it for months though, like I've done in the past with it :)
I recently purchased all the stuff for the game Strike Legion (Legionnaire Games) and was pretty happy with it. They have a system where you can build pretty much anything in 1:300 scale, with pretty cool detail. The units have a few stats, like move/mobility, signature, EW, shields, defense, armor for turret/hull front/side/rear, and point value. Damage is variable. The game scales up to planetary invasions even, much like Epic/40K. Basically, if you love 1/300 scale games its a great game system, all PDFs, reasonably priced, and really worth it.
I also bought the latest addition to the Starmada set and the Star Fleet Battles version of the same game (http://mj12games.com). The Starmada series is a great game for starship combat, being very versatile and easy to play. The latest addon allows large fleets, and the SFB version lets you play in the star trek universe easily and quickly.
Anyway, more updates soon, I'll try to update this sucker at least once a week.