Monday, October 5, 2015

Dev Diary Week 4 - BattleTech Design Software

Super short version:  Data update will be done this week, back to coding!

Wow, nearly a month already!  Still on target though, and updating daily!

I have now successfully imported all the new data from the IO Beta into my data.  This was very painful and time consuming as every single item needed the years of introduction rechecked (this kinda replaced rules levels in a way), the availability updated, and in many cases various other stats changed.  I know IO Beta is just a beta, and based on the absolutely mind blowing number of errors (no judgement, its a beta) I've encountered with it I know I'll have to basically redo a few weeks worth of work whenever it released.  However, in doing this it gained me a bit closer to what CGL has in mind for the future of Battletech, and in that way my designer systems will have less growth necessary when they take that next step.

On top of this, I had never implemented ammunition in my system in any way.  I didn't really need to before, as nothing really cares about costs/BV based on ammo.  However, it had to be done, so now I have all the ammo types for all the weapons done.

I am now at 3,885 unique weapons, equipment, items, and so forth that can be added to units.

I have 814 total unique chassis implemented.

I have 6,562 unique *CANON* units (6302 with images, a third with 2+ of them, and many with megamek icons) from the battletech universe in my database now, many with images/fluff/MM Icons (but many more still need those added).  This compares very closely with the MUL, and the units I'm missing are those that simply aren't published yet.

I still have a bit of cleanup left on the data to make things consistent, as it took me a few tries before I got the way I wanted to store some data down.  However, this should be done in the next couple days.

After I finish the data cleanup, it is back to the fun stuff, writing the designer!  Since my project is data driven, instead of code driven, progress will go VERY fast until I get to the various ways of presenting data to the user.  Things like record sheets, TRO views, and so forth will take time to make look pretty as they are all time consuming.  However, me being able to design a unit of various types I could see working within a few weeks of dev time.  I doubt I'll release an alpha until a couple months down the road though, and then only to the folks reading my facebook daily update page here.

I had a friend tell me to watermark any record sheets, very faintly, to prove that my app created them so I know when it gets used.  Not sure I'll do that, maybe, but I probably at the least put some goofy pixel at least somewhere so I always know sheets were generated with my software with a quick glance at the sheet.


  1. Just started following this... and forgive me but... what other work have you done for BT? I'm super curious now.

    1. An alpha strike card maker, in both english and german, that would make alpha strike cards and had most of the typical units within it. The MUL kinda made this obsolete though. I also write my stellar cartographer, which mapped out the star systems in various years, did hex maps, ranges, production, etc. I also did an infantry platoon designer. I also did my BTE encyclopedia site (links at the top) that had all the units from battletech, and would generate alpha strike cards or in most cases record sheets. Most are deprecated now, but most should be available by going through previous postings on this blog.

    2. I have been steering folks this way whenever I can. More hits=happier Eric.