Tuesday, May 15, 2012

HUGE Update!

Another HUGE BattleTech Encyclopedia Master Unit List Update.  I think this will be my last that revolves around those darned mech record sheets, which are easily the most complicated of any record sheet in the game.  I'll do vehicle record sheets next, which should take me only an hour or two, then fighters, dropships, battle armor, infantry, etc, etc... I'll save warships, mobile structures, and buildings for last as they can be pretty complex.

Oh, and I'm adding some links to additional pages off the main page, mostly with stuff related to the BattleTech Encyclopedia.

In short, I redid the search page, fixed a huge number of bugs, verified 100% of the units work with the BF stat validation, added the ability for you to save/define your favorite colors and megamek camo, and allow you to have search results returned as megamek icons, in your favorite camo pattern!  Try just changing the source to a technical readout, the general type to 'any', and of course click on the settings page and set a camo.  Then when you search, you can see a megamek icon (all link to a TRO and RS for the unit) for every unit in the TRO, on a SINGLE page!  It could take a bit of time to generate the first time, but in my testing it rarely took over 5-10 seconds for the largest TROs.  Of course you can just view a table if you prefer with no graphics, or a mix of the two that is a table list with just a plain megamek icon.  Only the TRO 2750 units have fluff data at this time, though all of them have it, and also only the Deimos and TRO 2750 mechs have color coatings, and I'm not real happy with the results.

I haven't seen anybody use the site in a few days, and when somebody does use it they only click on a couple mechs before moving on, any ideas on what I need to do to increase traffic a bit or make the site more usuable?

Here is a detailed list of changes, which can also be found on the history page that I keep more updated than the blog.
  • Completely changed the stylesheet, though its still really not what I want, it made some stuff more usable.
  • Replaced the search page with a completely new one, with a bit more detail
  • Updated default page to have links for history/issues/etc instead of making the page ugly and excessively large over time
  • LOTS of minor updates to the database.  Tweaked the way cargo was handled, renamed a bunch of things to make them easier to read, remove duplicate command consoles, etc.
  • Went through about 900 mech sheets, any issues that I noticed were resolved (however there were very few that weren't just text size related)
  • Full head ejection system (FHES) listed on W&E list
  • Units with armored actuators or cockpit components now show armored correctly
  • Changed "[cont]" that was added to multislot equipment to "... " before the item name, I still need those darned lines tho!
  • Modular armor now adds hexes to the armor of the location it is in, they are bolded to show a difference between that and normal armor hexes
  • Fixed some issues with heat sink counts on the TRO weapons and equipment table, usually a negative number was involved
  • All units from TRO2750 have full fluff, all the mechs also have colorized images (the Exterminator however was anti-aliased, and it looks like ass, sorry)
    • These drawings sucked hard, not sure why, maybe the PDF I had.  Most of them I had to fill in some lines so I could do fills and such.  
    • I won't do any other units, these were here to prove I could do it and if ya'll like it, well, you'll have to colorize units yourself, I'm simply not motivated to
  • Added support for URL parameters, you can now append the following to the http://goodsects.gotdns.com/bte/default.aspx line to get started faster.  Here is a demo line to get you started.  However this is not fully functional yet (I tested searchstring, but not the rest), I'll work on it if anybody complains.
    • Each has options that should match any options in the list boxes
      • Sourcebook
      • GeneralType
      • SpecificType
      • Mobility
      • Canon
      • TechBase
      • RulesLevel
      • DataIssues
      • OutputMethod
      • SearchString
        • If this one is presented, a search is automatically performed when the page is loaded

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