Monday, July 2, 2012

Android Battletech?

Sorry but I don't have the record sheets done yet, in fact, I haven't touched BTE since my last post.  Well, not the app, I did update all the 3057 Revised, 3067, and 3058 Update fluff data (it isn't on the site yet, but will be in my next data update).

But, while playing with my new HTC EVO 4G LTE (stupid name!) on the couch while watching Big Bang Theory I got file shares working on my phone, so I can access movies and stuff over my local network.

Then I pulled up some BTE Quick Strike cards, and they looked *great*.

So I went to the site and pulled one up, it looked GREAT too.  

Then I thought, if I cut off the right side, added 5 buttons or so to the bottom, I could have an assistant to play quick strike that could handle all your record sheets, do damage/criticals, get your to-hit numbers, hotlink to what the ability acronyms are, etc.  The assistant could even link with others online, and you could view your opponents record sheet without asking.  Lots of optional rules could take place, like using AEP to show different levels of data to your opponent, all my optional rules, more detailed system where I actually look at the *actual* weapons firing on a unit, and *actually* allocate battletech damage, and simply show the quick strike card of the underlying battletech unit.

So I sat down with the Android SDK, threw up in my mouth a bit, and decided all these phones are so proprietary, written so differently than real computers (silly, since they ARE real computers), every phone has different screens, and there are so many quirks I decided upon a different approach.  I do hope Microsoft gets it together with their next phone incarnation, at least they understand it is still a computer.

I'll make a website that can display a single card, has those buttons at the bottom, and hopefully can use  Ajax to make it run smooth (Ajax allows dynamic updates on a website without having to reload the whole thing, key for this, like google instant search).  I am not real familiar with Ajax so there will be a bit of time to figure it out, but all the rest is really easy.

I may end up using the cards I created earlier.  Though they aren't as pretty, they are a lot more functional.  For example I had blanks for the attack value and fire control criticals, the canon cards you just gotta write it wherever you can find room, not very eloquent.  I'll also be able to show numbers for armor on warships that would have 600+ circles :)

This is a lot easier to implement than the eventual version that helps with regular level Battletech games, but it'll help me learn the requirements for that project as well.

There are a few things I have to do to get this running:
- Implement a username/login
- Implement the ability to have lists of units (save, load, import from MUL, etc)
- Create new quick strike card.  I may make this modular enough you can design your own, adding themes and what-not, if you don't like my designs.

I'll try to knock out the remaining record sheets first, and maybe the cost/BV/construction calculation.  This will bump a web interface to design your own units for a bit.

Anybody wanna be my advocate on the official forums?  Occasionally I have somebody ask a question in some thread I started and I can't reply (rude of me for being in the ever expanding permaban group) or I need a place to announce major feature creation.

Here are some pictures of the latest quick strike cards I had created, though all could be completely changed when I do a computer conversion:

Also, chime in if this interests you, or what else you may want to see.  Feedback makes me work faster ;)


  1. You should have my email address? I'm not up for forwarding requests, that's too much like trying to circumvent things, but I could either answer myself or if I don't know see if I can find out (assuming I don't think the question is meaningless *grin*).

    1. I just meant if I let you know of some thread where somebody kinda asked me a direct question, just say something like "I don't believe he's active on the forum anymore, but his blog at seems to be". Not wanting to circumvent, I just know how much it sucks to ask a question on there and never have it be answered :) I don't want to be "that guy" even if it is beyond my control.

  2. Also, any chance of a canon version? Not necessarily using the exact canon card, but using canon stats/hiding non-canon options?

    1. Sure, I was actually creating all the cards right now so I could create a 1200 page PDF with every unit, just because I can ;)

      I can remove my custom stuff (its in a special area so it is easy to do), and use any method of calculating relatively easily. For example, I can start rounding up again instead of normally, could use strategic operations rules, etc, or any mix. I think my "BG" needs to get removed until I figure out how to implement it (if ever), same with PUL, but the LA #/# and the second energy attacks can easily be ignored, though I could remove them as well.

      I should have warship, dropship, mobile structure, etc, cards soon too, though those are more battleforce and less quick strike. In fact, I should probably commit to making the cards I have no "quick strike", and make new ones for "battleforce".

      Just let me know all the options you want and I'll start an extraction. Want all the cards, or just an excel type file? Also, what data aside from Name/PV/OV/SR/MR/LR/ER/AP/SP/Size/MP/Abilities would you want? And many units don't have BV currently, but most do have year.

  3. Keep it up! I like the way this all is progressing. If there is a way I can help, please let me know. I put at least 4 guys this weekend onto your site hopefully. Maybe we can get some more traction.

    1. Thanks, I appreciate it greatly. It is kind of discouraging sometimes to notice that the only traffic I had over some particular day was google bot traffic :)

      Though I was happy to see how easy it was to use google to find a specific design on my site from their search engine. I'm still not on the first page for as much as I'd like to be tho.