Monday, September 30, 2013

BattleTech Tripod Record Sheets? Yeah, I got em!

First of all sorry for the last few days without updates, it isn't like I wasn't doing anything BattleTech, I just wasn't updating the blog :)

I've made a few more changes to the Alpha Strike card generation algorithms.  Fixed a few "bugs", though I still have yet to design out the single universal card template that'll work with everything.  It is hard :(

I did re-enable all the record sheet generation for mechs, fighters, and combat vehicles.  There are a few bugs (mostly with armor slots showing as blank, but I'll fix that this week).  I'll also try to get small/medium support vehicles implement this week, and *maybe* something else like dropships or buildings.

However, what I have done was get Superheavy Tripods working, mostly.  The record sheets come up, and work, but there are a couple bugs.  One is the number of weapons, which I need to support up to 25-30 types and/or ammo, when right now I'm only supporting 20.  So when you pull up a superheavy tripod (one of the few canon ones) the weapon listing overwrites itself.  I'll figure it out.  Another feature not yet implemented is removing the 3rd crew block if the tripod isn't over 100 tons.  There is also an extra number down by the right leg structure that I *think* I have no removed.  Plus, the head criticals aren't 'canon', though that really doesn't matter.  Oh, and the tech rating, availability, and rules level aren't displaying correctly.  The sheets *are* usable though, the armor circles and crit diagram are correct.  The bipedal superheavy's still work, like they have for quite a while.

However, I *still* think my hexagon based armor/structure circles look 'cooler' and are easier to use, and they will be  easy to implement as an option.  Which do you prefer?

View on the Record Sheet

View on the Record Sheet
(notice some of the 'gray' on the CT/RT/LT is gone, sorry, I had no good template for the Tripods yet and had to mspaint one from FM3145)

And just FYI, the Poseidon, Ares Omni, and Omega are the only canon superheavy designs that exist right now, if you want to view the record sheets on the BattleTech Encyclopedia site.


  1. sorry to tell you BS, but the Poseidon at least does not work properly... But i like the RecSheet!!

    1. Hmmm.. the Poseidon worked for me.... ok, appears I found the issue.

      Download the file and view it locally, the browsers all display PDFs differently (but acrobat/foxit/pdf-xchange seem to be fine) and that is what screws it up. Chrome can't display WingDings, which is a MSFT font, so that is what screws up the circles.

      But it mostly works, just download it and view it with some PDF reader, if its still broke let me know which and I'll troubleshoot further.

    2. Yeah, the problem here is that your PDF generation library isn't embedding the font subsets that it's using -- so anyone who doesn't have them installed is out of luck. Same with the text fonts; while the sheet is still readable, the metrics are all screwed up if they aren't installed. PDF can handle automatic font embedding, it's just a matter of telling it to do so.

      (There are standard fonts that every PDF viewer is required to have available -- Times, Helvetica, Courier and Zapf Dingbats. But not Wingdings or "MicrosoftSansSerif".)

    3. Ahhhh, ok, didn't know that. Well, Times New Roman and Courier New didn't have the "O" character needed, and I don't have Helvetica on my PC. Dingbats doesn't look to have what I need either. Basically, this all happened when I went from a PNG, to a PDF, for rendering record sheets (as well as the horrible slowdown you see now, as PDF generation has a LOT of overhead).

      I thought I figured out how to get PDFSharp to embed the fonts, but it doesn't seem to work for me. Basically, view this in your browsers:

      It works fine in Chrome/IE10 for me, but FireFox doesn't render the new fonts and its all ugly. I'll tinker with it, though I may end up at some point reverting back to PNG. They make much larger PDF documents, but they are far simpler and faster.

    4. I made a version with circles instead of "O"'s (well the wingdings circle), and it sorta works in FireFox, but not always for some reason:

      But the circles, which are just graphics, look better in chrome, and too light in firefox.

      Ugh, browser and PDF reader incompatibilities are so much more of a pain than OS incompatibilities ever were.

  2. That 5675_Circle.pdf still isn't embedding the fonts, so a standards-compliant reader will just try to get whatever it has available that's closest. What's the PDF generator you're using? In the libraries I know, embedding fonts is absolutely standard.

    I have to admit I prefer the hexes anyway. Haven't tried ticking them off with a pencil, but they certainly look better.

    1. I'm using the PDFSharp libraries, which is all I could find available (for free) with .NET.

      The option to embed is there, I've added it, but it doesn't seem to be working quite right.

      I'll tinker with it last tonight when I try to add support for naval/sub/wige combat vehicles, conventional aircraft on their own RS, and all the small/medium and maybe large support vehicles.