Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Good News!

First thank gosh Romney didn't get elected.  I'm no Obama supporter, but to think that 50 million Americans are stupid (or racist) enough to vote for Romney, well... we obviously need a better education system.  Romney/Ryan never actually had any plan at all, changed their stories daily, and neither was of good character.  Obama, well, he sucks too.  It'd be nice if we could get a good candidate that would get over 55% of the vote again (meaning people aren't voting for the lesser of 2 evils).  Enough of that, I probably just lost 49% of my viewers :)

Anyway, a minor update....

Though I *really* wanted at *least* 10 folks to vote, it really appears that the people still around want to see me do what I've always said.  Makes sense.  So, it looks like my next big project will be the update to the Encyclopedia.  I won't be using all my free time, as there just isn't that much support (that could change), but I will "get er done!".

My tentative list of "todo's" for the Encyclopedia v2.

  • Standard record sheets for everything, that includes buildings, mobile structures, warships, power armor (both ATOW and CBT), etc, etc...
  • Quick strike sheets for everything.  That will include various options (like 5 point damage instead of 10, and my own math intensive but far more accurate attack factors)
  • You'll have a login.  This will allow you to have force lists.
  • Ability to mark damage on online sheets, with options for automatic damage.
  • Calculation of repair times, do the repairs based on provided techs, track every little detail of your whole force.  Display your force in ATOW, BT, QS/BF, or any scale.
  • Ability to design all the unit types online, including custom weapons if you so desire (canon and non-canon will be shown on final RS's).
  • Ability to get a PDF of your force, with every detail you could ever want
  • Save to various file formats a possibility, but there will be a web services API for those of you more web savy who want to write applications that integrate with it.  This could even support a web based version of megamek, as my system can track all stats on units by turn.
  • Ability to upload/add your own designs
  • Screen saver ability, that'll sit there and randomly show RS's and graphics while your computer is idle.
  • Ability to play another player, and show limited intelligence version of sheets (so an arm may be green, or blue, and no longer have circles)
  • ATOW character generator
  • A random force generator, random unit selector for any year, random system generator, any other random stuff I can think of.  
  • Support for multiple images (you can select one of many for printing on RS/QS, or just to see)
  • Better support for colorization of B&W images (adding your faction colors to the units themselves).
  • Much better and more complete searching, by any criteria
  • A planet database.  Very similar to ISAtlas, but with updated data from more recent books.  You can make a game from this, and move your units from planet to planet, do combat, and slowly implement various IO rules until its a complete web based game.
  • A forum.  I already have it setup, though I will probably redo it.  I will need a moderator or two (not for banning folks, but for watching spam and reminding people when they are being a troll).  Apply within.
  • A real time chat system.  Think of it as IRC, but it'll be Battletech based, with things like die rollers available.  It'll also integrate with the forum.
  • Fix the online displays so you get a much more "browsing a TRO" like experience.
  • Ability to take any 2 units, give them a to hit mod and pilots, and have them slug it out a few thousand times to see which is the "better" design in a very specific situation.
  • I'll be trying to make the site very touch friendly, for all the tablets and smart phones out there.  Its idiotic IMO to write an "app" these days, when everybody has fast web access and can just use their browser instead of VERY proprietary interfaces for Android/iPhones.
  • Of course all the units from the game in the encyclopedia.  I may add characters later, but as of today it has every single unit ever published, even some fan ones.
  • I will be supporting some "2nd generation" Battletech equipment (optional of course) that some of ya'll may find kinda cool.
  • I'll be moving my server to a hosted environment which means it'll never have a bandwidth issue again, and should be extremely fast.  I may even upgrade the hardware.
Timeline?  Beats me, but I'm betting me saying I'll be done with it all at my current job it'll be unlikely to be finished in 2013.

Other stuff:
  • I'll give somebody my MWO founders account ($120, 80 or so days left with bonus xp) if they get me reinstated on the official forums under my old account.  Tracking my other accounts and keeping them bouncing around is tedious and silly.
  • I need moderators (1-2) for my forum.  I can have this up and running, well, yesterday (guess a port and you can find it now!).  I won't be banning, and my only real rules are "don't be an ass" which kinda encompasses "no commercial advertising".  I say moderation, but right now somebody helping create the various boards would be helpful too.   I was using phpBB.


  1. A minor update not quite worthy of a new posting.

    I've now created a system construction program using all the new beta Interstellar Operations rules. Well, almost all of them. I skipped government stuff, asteroid/moon details, and the various optional rules. I also need to work on how to present it to the user, but the code is essentially done.

    Once I get it pretty, I'll generate a few thousand systems in a PDF and put it up for download. Maybe people can see some issues by going through them and help submit some bug reports.

  2. This all sounds very exciting, but instead of asking for volunteers to moderate, I suggest you invite people to become moderators based on what you know about them. Just a suggestion, is all.

  3. I'll be rebuilding my home server over the weekend from 2 loud old HP servers to a single old supermicro server/workstation. My old workstation is a bit faster, though with a bit less space and memory. However, I'm having serious heat problems in my server room and this should fix them. Plus, when I do it, I'll put phpBB online so it may be up by Monday.

  4. Awesome! I'm excited to see the latest version and planned updates for the encyclopedia. Keep up the great work!