Monday, September 21, 2015

Dev Diary Week 2 - BattleTech Design Software

Over the last week production has been slow due to all sorts of things (vendor, cars, parties, etc) but I have cleaned up most of my equipment data, and have now gone through and inputted quite a bit of the stuff from IO Beta, though just the 2 big sets of tables I found 40 errors on them, and some inconsistencies with formation/combat unit/etc sizes.  However, its a beta, so I won't be critical of it.

This isn't the kind of work that lets me show you much, but it does need to be done.  I have to make sure I have full support for 4 availability ratings, not 3, as well as a lot more information on years and factions equipment is available and what its production state is.  A couple changes that if I hard-coded things, would have been a serious pain to fix.

So over the next week I plan on finishing up the data import from IO Beta (about 12-16 hours I think).  At that point I'll tweak my data once more (another 8 hours) and be ready to jump back into the code.

The main portion of the code I'll be working on first is ensuring I can design out units down to the equipment level.  This means tonnage, speeds, engine/gyro/cockpit/etc types, and even armor type.  All of these should fall pretty fast once I start coding on them, so that is good.  This could take from a few days to a few weeks, depending on how much I finish before moving onto the next item.  For example, I may not worry about calculating cost or BV right now (isn't there a new BV anyway?) so may just skip those.  

Equipment critical allocation is a big step.  This only applies to mechs/industrialmechs, and is the process of placing criticals in particular locations.  I know people like dragging stuff around, and moving slots to particular numbers, but all 6 or 12 locations have the *exact* same chance to hit, so the actual # is 100% irrelevant.  So, I was thinking when I get to that part just skipping the allocation completely.  Actuators would go first, then equipment that can take a critical, and finally things like armor/structure that are "reroll on hit".  I know this may upset some folks, but it really shouldn't.  I may do something later to let you rearrange them, but for right now that interface is pretty time consuming for me to write, and it'll be skipped the first time around I think.  If you think location matters, read the rules again, when you roll 1 dice for upper/lower, and another for 1-6, and you get a reroll or something that has already been hit, you reroll BOTH dice, not just one.  I know numerous people who have made that mistake (and that WOULD affect locations of stuff, dramatically).  

Anyway, just a quick update to know things are progressing.  If I had to guess right now, which is a wild guess, I'd say I have about 2-4 months before having something you can do designs with.  There are a LOT of variables in there, but mostly it just comes down to hours I have available (most of which are spent on this).


  1. Following you progress on Facebook and here when I remember. Don't sweat it. Slow and steady wins in the end.

  2. Will do! I really bit off a lot inputting everything from IOBeta. Though I'll most assuredly have to do it later as I won't know what all changed, it will save me some headaches in the future. Availability is completely changed though (for some reason tho, ammo still only has 3 characters in IOBeta, go figure). Now, for each item, I have to track:

    Inner Sphere Prototype Year
    Inner Sphere Prototype Faction
    Inner Sphere Introduction
    Inner Sphere Introduction Faction
    Inner Sphere Common
    Inner Sphere Extinct
    Inner Sphere Reintroduction
    Inner Sphere Reintroduction Faction
    Clan Prototype Year
    Clan Prototype Faction
    Clan Introduction
    Clan Introduction Faction
    Clan Common
    Clan Extinct
    Clan Reintroduction
    Clan Reintroduction Faction
    Availability Code, Succession Wars
    Availability Code, Clan Invasion
    Availability Code, Jihad
    Availability Code, Dark Age

    So, 20 pieces of data, PER item, just for when it is available. However, doing it this way I've been able to remove plenty of duplicates where I had both a Clan and Inner Sphere version, purely because of the availability.

    Continuing mission!

  3. Go Go, Johnny Go, GOO!
    Nice to see you back in the saddle! If it is ok, i would like to spread the word among the german BT-Facebook crowd!

    1. Thanks! I'll need some help with the German translations when I get to that point, but I'll ensure I can easily implement any other languages.