Monday, November 2, 2015

Dev Diary Week 8 - BattleTech Design Software

Week 8, not a real productive week, I suck, however it was far from unproductive!

Again, I go into more detail on my daily facebook group, so this is just the highlights.

Now, it all isn't done, there are numerous issues I can point out in the attached picture, but it is pretty considerable progress.

Though not 100%, the following parts are now working:
- Total weights (no ammo counted, also did not exclude free HS that come with engine yet)
- Total unit cost (missing life support, sensors, chassis multiplier, free HS, and musculature in pic)
- Overall tech rating of unit, so you know where you can get one.
- Availability of the unit in all 4 (yes 4 now, thanks IOBeta!) eras
- The 5 years are determined (Prototype/L3/Exp, Introduction/L2/Adv, Common/L1/TL, Extinction, and reintroduction) so you know when what you are designing could possibly have been built, and went it become extinct.

Sorry it isn't sized right, blame blogspot.  Click here for full size.

I still have a lot of cleanup, and some item renaming, but getting closer.  It'd help if I spent more than 4 hours a week on it, but you know, life. :(

Other stuff:

I already found a bug in the way SSW deals with actuator cost, which apparently has resulted in at least the AS7-D cost on the MUL being incorrect, though I suspect many others may be affected, and this was just an original 3025 design!  Hopefully SkyHigh will notice and fix it.  Not sure if MegaMekLab does it right, hope so I guess, but I don't really care as nothing ever written in Java hasn't sucked (interface/stability wise - not the developers faults) and I don't use MML.  :(

I wrote a little excel spreadsheet to track the necessary roll and time it takes for a repair based on rules in Strategic Operations.  Note that you always want the best possible techs you get, else you will always be sending your mechs back to the factory for refits, else they fall apart on you.  Interesting stuff, anyway link here.

Looks like the HBS Battletech kickstarter met all its goals, with plenty of time to spare, woot.  Stretch goals are pretty weak IMO which hurt it, and I have like 5% faith the game won't be boring as heck (War machine was made into a great looking turn based game, but it plays so slow I just can't keep interest). Nothing like waiting 15 minutes for your opponent to move something as you sit there and twiddle your thumbs.  They aren't implementing the features necessary for it to have a long life (custom maps, custom units, modding) and are using the unity engine, which nearly always results in nothing more than mediocrity.  But I funded it anyway, because its battletech!

A whopping 12 views last week, probably mostly on my facebook group, hopefully once I'm done the community finds out about it.  I'd hate to think only the 30 or so users on my facebook group are going to be users, but that'd still be enough ;)


  1. I don't be discouraged about the views. I dropped out of the FB group because it was so, soooo technical that honestly I had no idea what I was reading.

    I love battletech, always have, always will, but I'm no programmer (and a lot of us aren't). So don't try and connect the WIP views to the number of end users.

    1. Yeah, I get very technical in the FB daily updates, and I'm sure if I don't put some of ya'll to sleep I bored you to death :)

      BUT, having to do that daily update keeps me from getting bored and moving onto other things.

      I guess my biggest fear is I put in all this time and effort to make something for everybody, then read posts on the forums like "is there any software to design mechs?". Kinda frustrating, but probably unavoidable.

      I'm making this though, for me and the community, and once done the tool will allow me to do what I *really* want to do, which is make my own battletech game ;)

  2. Dude... don't diss the Devs supporting MM/MHQ/MML. It just makes you seem like a f*cktard. Which I know you aren't but it gives the appearance. Think of the combined hours they have provided. Hell of a thing. Also I FB only when I must... so... not as much as you would like :)

    1. Not "dissing" anybody at all. In fact, I've helped SkyHigh in the past find bugs like the MG array bug he recently fixed (not sure why it was there so long, maybe people don't report bugs?) and helped him out with generating the alpha strike cards on the MUL.

      But there are bugs, everybody knows it, and with a project of this size and scope it isn't exactly unexpected.

      The only "beef" I have with all the current designers is I really don't like java, in many ways. I will say SSW has the best version of it though, and I have no complaints about that interface. MML and even MM though, ugh, the default java system for rendering windows makes me feel like I'm using a pre-windows based gui, or any flavor of *nix, which is just as bad.