Sunday, November 11, 2012

Encyclopedia Updates!

Just a quite update as I did a lot of work today on BTE due to a user requesting a bug fix.

I fixed all the primitive stuff, I think.  I went through all the mechs from the 3 XTRO Primitives books and they all loaded.  May not be correct because of other issues, but at least they no longer result in errors.  I think some other units were broken as well due to an engine bug, but its fixed now too.

I went and updated my code to read from the recently redon canon Master Unit List site.  They made lots of code changes (it looks nicer, but still not nearly as good as mine!) and all my code needed updating.  This of course broke the app I wrote a while back that used the site to generate quick strike cards.  They also apparently stopped supporting the XML data, which kinda sucks, but as I bet I was the only person using it I can work around it.

I have a big request for folks.  I can make record sheets (QS or Regular) in 2 methods.  One is a PNG, this is like you see on the encyclopedia now.  The other is PDF.  PNG allows you to view the record sheet quickly and easily online, as its just an image.  PDF allows easier printing and *much* smaller file sizes, especially if I combine multiple sheets together into 1 file.

So yeah, PDF sounds better in pretty much every way, but its soooooo much slower to work with. I can generate a 300 dpi PNG in a second, it takes 6 or so for each page of a PDF, plus 10 to create the PDF.  Another downside of PDF is the way I make them.  With a PNG, each value has an X/Y value, which corresponds to pixels on the screen.  I can jump into paint, and my mouse quickly tells me where I need to write text or a circle.  PDFs though, well, they are vector not raster.  That means that a line in a PDF is 2 points, with data for the line between them.  Raster would be every single point on the line.  This is why PDFs are much smaller (plus I can use an empty mech sheet as the background and it is only 1 image in a big file).  But when I need to put text on a PDF form, its wacky.  I can't just use the same coordinates, so making a PDF takes a LOT more time as I gotta write a bunch of them, wriggling the text around until it is in the right place.  Its amazingly painful.

So, do people have an overwhelming desire for one format or another?

If not, I'll probably do everything in PNG for now, then I'll print gridded PDF files so if you want PDF, just shoot me a list of the coordinates for each value on the page.  FYI a mech is about 90 various coordinates.

Also, a follow up.  If I make record sheets with all the same data as the canon ones, but change a few things around, perhaps the background silouhettes or logos, is that totally ok or would ya'll rather me make my sheets 100% canon (even circles instead of hexagons, though I liked hexagons as it differentiated mine from canon)?

Oh, and just FYI, the Encyclopedia is now 100% updated with data from every single unit in the game that has ever been published.  I also have TRO 3063, a few from Battletechnology (the ones with not-crappy art), and stubs for the big tri-legged MWDA mechs.  By default you only see canon designs.

Oh, and since I always seem to go off-topic.  I have 5 planetside 2 beta keys.  If anybody is interested shoot me an email.

MINOR UPDATE:  I've gone through my database and compared it to the latest canon Master Unit List   Roughly 3.8%, or about 200 units, exist in my database that do NOT exist in the canon database.  There are also quite a few units in the canon Master Unit List that do NOT exist in my database.  These are always simply units that haven't been published yet, with a few incorrect names tossed in.  There are about 517 of these, or about 9% of the canon Master Unit List   Not much point in having units in the master unit list when there is no record sheet or quick strike card available to support it.  If anybody wants a detailed list shoot me an email.


  1. I do appreciate everything you do!

  2. As always i would vote for a "let the user decide" approach about the record sheets. If you can accommodate both, i would simply make it a decision in the setup screen... And if you at it, i have met a guy from BT Hamburg the other day (big chapter here) that mentioned they use the simple starter rulesheets for bigger games. Could you include these too into your considerations?

  3. Thanks for your work on this. It's fantastic. Personally, I prefer cannon record sheets with the dots over the hexes but since your driving this whole thing I can't complain. Thanks again

  4. For speed, I'll be doing the PNG record sheets first. However I already have the code to do the PDF ones, so once I finish the RS version all I should have to do is updated some X/Y coordinates within a text file to go from PNG to PDF.

    Though I think I prefer the hexes, I'll give an option you can configure in your profile so you see hexes, circles, or squares when the record sheets pop up.

    I'll also add support for the starter sheets within the critical block or heat info. I may do a non-canon BV for these, not caring about heat, internal slots, or ammo/weapon explosions. In my experience, those starter sheets ensure FAST kills as heads get destroyed a LOT more often.