Monday, November 16, 2015

Dev Diary Week 10 - BattleTech Design Software

Quick update as I'm exhausted tonight.

This week I finished up a lot of the code flow, tweaked the way actuators work, made a LOT of little bug fixes, and started working on supporting all the armor options.

Funny thing.  Buildings can be up to 30 hexes in size, and up to 30 levels tall, and each hex can have a turret.  This means to track building damage you need 900 groups of CF (1 per hex, 1 per level) of up to 150 (1500 for capital scale), PLUS armor, PLUS turrets.... its horrible.  I'll have to create a dynamic system to be able to handle that sort of system... no biggie, just didn't realize it was THAT mind boggling!

I also have costs *mostly* working now.  I can create an AS7-D Atlas and the cost is right except the lower arm and hand actuators, which I haven't written up the actuator allocation part yet (things like PPCs on omni's replace hand actuators, need special handling).

Years of availability are also right, so you know when a unit is available as experimental, advanced, standard, and tournament legal.  Weights are also working in most cases.

I think I'm only getting about 4-6 hours per week on this, so for the 10 weeks I've been working on it it is really only a full week, though probably not that much as I've had a lot come up.

Anyway, chugging along.  I'll try to finish up all the armor combinations for various units next, and maybe work on the critical allocation system after that, dunno yet.

Other battletech news:  I bought 11 of the new lance packs, for the cards and the 2 new miniatures.  Nice stuff.  I *really* hope the alpha strike boxed has 13 reseen miniatures, plus 10 or so clanners and some nifty design, but we'll see.  If they are that, I'll take a dozen please! :)

Been a couple weeks now since the Battletech Kickstarter closed.  I haven't seen a pledge manager yet to add on the $140 in books, but based on their past kickstarters we will only see a communication a month so I guess maybe in a couple weeks.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, I need to post an update on the blog. I have made quite a bit more progress, just been stagnate for the past few weeks.

      I'm working on the critical slot allocation for mechs. Once done I'll hit up a few little bugs/features (quick stuff, so rapidly done) and then start working on record sheets (time consuming, but easy as I've done it before). Just hard to stay focused sometimes, and when I get to a hard part its *extremely* hard to stay focused. So far I'm still hanging on though. Just a couple more humps and I'll toss out the beta for folks.

  2. Replies
    1. Pretty much stopped. Well, I made a lot more progress after this update. Mech critical allocation killed progress for a few weeks, as it was a huge pain to setup (in hindsight I should have skipped it, we already have mech creators). I cleaned up a bunch of interface, fixed a lot of bugs, and figured out how to deal with the mech critical allocation. I didn't finish that part though, as its just a huge chunk of time. Next thing I'll do is saving/loading stuff, then start filling in the holes. It is pretty close to functional, maybe a solid week of development, but 1 solid day of development has ended up being 1-6 weeks of real time over the life of this.

      What really killed progress though is that I stopped playing Battletech at my local group. Just saw too many instances of poor gaming attitude and decided not to join the rebooted campaign. My wife has played a few games with me since, and I've gotten a bunch more stuff and plan on a $750 building purchase soon that should let me fill a 4'x'8 table with a fully functional logically designed city. So maybe I'll get back into it, especially if I can find some folks who may want to game with a bit more depth.

      Another thing that killed progress was Interstellar Operations, though I went through and updated all my data from the beta, I now have to do it all over again. Its a good week of data entry, and without motivation it hasn't been easy to get to.

      And finally, good old real life, a new 120" TV screen in my living room, and trying to go to bed earlier have all taken their toll.

      The last big killer was just other games, both PC and tabletop, just chew into time here and there.

      It is still on my plate though, and I'm hoping to jump back into it this weekend and get stuff saved/loading. Combined with my database, I should be able to find a lot of errors by parsing my 6500+ units pretty quickly.

      I started the facebook group to hopefully keep me on task, but its more "me post, they like" rather than "keep bugging me until its done" I was hoping for.

      I'll try to have less excuses in the future. I *really* want to finish this, as the project I *really* want to do is dependent upon it (real time battletech, scaling up to the entire inner sphere).

      Bad Syntax