Thursday, June 30, 2005

Origins 2005 Day 1 Report

I am blogging this at Javas Cyber Espresso Bar at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, home to Origins 2005. Click on the Javas WebCam link to see Origins in action!

This first day has been a very good one. Charlie had exhibitor badges waiting for us at con registration. We added some "War Room" credentials and setup in the War Room hall, run by the Columbus Area Boardgaming Society (CABS). These are really friendly folks.

We had a number of people come by. Everyone seemed to like the look of the game, and were eager for us to get it out the door. A couple of people wondered why we didn't publish an initial version without the full AI. Hmm...

The dealer's room was awesome, as usual. I made the rounds of the booths, shopping for my purchases later this weekend. I did make one purchase: I bought several back issues of Knights of the Dinner Table. Kudos to the gentleman who checked me out, Mike Plemmons. He gave me a copy of the Hackmaster Player's Handbook and the Gamemaster's Guide. My gaming group is definitely going to play now!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Origins 2005 Day 0 Report

Monthly total effort 26 hours; yearly total 163 hours.

I put in a few hours of work today on the plane and at the hotel. I
was mostly fixing bugs:

fix bug 050622-2:
Disordered artillery has no fire zone.

I'm not even sure artillery can fire when disordered, but just in case, I updated the FillFireZone() code to do so.

fix bug 050622-1:

Artillery is not plotted to regroup by the AI.

The CEylauCommander::FindAStarPath() function was not processing hexes unless the hex was in a path that was attainable using the unit's total movement points. I changed this to allow proper support for MP-limited pathing.

fix bug 050629-3:

Reinforcing units do not move as reinforcements after entry turn.

fix bug 050629-2:

IV/2 has CP when IV does as well.

I added code to "move" the CP up to a higher echelon command if the division leader was in command.

I've been getting a contact high just from being here. There's something about Origins. It's like going to the Superbowl (of gaming).

vive L'E!

Bill N.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Thursday, June 23, 2005

My Current Eylau TODO List 6/23/05

I'm waiting for the caffeine to kick in tonight...just thought I'd post my current TODO list of tasks for Eylau:

a fix bug 050622-3:
AV in CEylauGameChronologie::executeCharges() for charging unit

debug is in place for "test om turn 5 co.eyl", Iz Hussars

looks like the m_olChargePlot has junk in it

bug see Chris' e-mail [this is a save game bug that Chris found when playing in Hotseat mode]

bug 050622-1:
Artillery is not plotted to regroup by the AI

root cause and example: artillery is listed as "In command" when it is not
ex. "test om turn 5 co.eyl", co 13/5th Art a Pied in IV/2 at (70, 10)

bug 050622-2:
Disordered artillery has no fire zone (?)

ex. "test om turn 5 co.eyl", 8th Lt Art 2 at (47, 6)

next: confirm artillery can fire while disordered

bug 050523-1:
IV/3/26 Legere in (48, ?) fires 2 hexes away thru friendlies in ?, ? at NME in ?, ?

attempt to repro

enh 050622+1:
show a range fan for Assault plot selection

enh 050614+1:
mid-high implement ricochet fire
see Regs XXII, page 32 for rules
ricochet fire hits all units along the path of fire, out to extreme range

notes 6/14/05:
planning...estimate 4 hours

  • draw an overlay image to indicate artillery fire
  • write code to identify all target hexes (occupied by NME, in LOS) along path of fire
  • write code to attack each hex in turn, applying range modifiers appropriate
  • add list of hexes to doc that received fire
  • view iterates through list and displays overlay
  • test each of the above features
bug 050611-2:
detection code is spotty, see "test om turn 4 co.eyl"

next: attempt to repro

bug 050615-4:
assaulting unit that went PGD and was destroyed is not listed in the Melee results dlg

next: make a save game file for testing

enh 050615+1:
change range fan determination to take LOS into account

vive L'E (as soon as I can find that defib machine)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 - Important Safety Tips

I attended the Houston DevCon yesterday. It was a very well put-together day of sessions, despite some minor logistics problems (proceedings DVD missing from some goodie bags, including mine). If you can, send enough people to see all the tracks.

They announced that the release of VS 2005 is November 7, 2005.

After switching to my own CD/DVD modular drive, I was able to install Beta 2. Be aware, this took me the better part of an hour. It was a good time for me to catch up on my e-mail and a few other minor tasks.

Important Safety Tips
  1. If you have FireFox set as your default browser, Beta 2 will use that as your default browser for debugging in the IDE. You must right click your .aspx page and select "Browse with..." to change this. Thanks to VinceB's post on Feedmine.
  2. If you choose to make a Website project and select File System as the Location, you will debug using the ASP.Net Development Web Server (a.k.a. Cassini). Cassini will prompt you for a userid and password. How nice. To turn off this nicely secure and quite annoying feature, select Website | Start Options, then deselect NTLM Authentication. I found this in a post on Steve Maine's blog.
Plays nice with its older brothers

So far, I ran some quick checks (compile and runs) and found that Beta 2 does not seem to cause any problems with VS.Net 2003 and Visual C++ 6.0.

I have secured permission to develop an app in Beta 2. I am making space for it on my work laptop this afternoon and will install tonight. News at eleven.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Game Development Status 6/15/05

Monthly total ~17 hours; yearly total ~154 hours.

I had a good trip to Dallas over the weekend to visit with Chris and work on the game. We officially froze the code for Origins 2005 Tuesday evening (I had a few things to cleanup). I am calling this version "Beta-5 and AI Tech Preview-1." The AI is not ready for prime time, but there's enough working to show significant progress from last year. Chris spent a number of hours updating the PBEM code so it would work was broken in a couple of places due to changes we made earlier this year for the AI.

The AI plays all the way through in the Opening Moves and Assault of VII Corps scenarios. The player can save files at any time, and the game will successfully load any saved file and continue.

In the meantime, I have moved on to identify and fix bugs.
  • units remain selected after moving them in Setup
  • error messages in multi-unit artillery feu plotting validation now work
  • the AI Debug Dialog now displays the name of the file when the game is loaded from a file
I continue to lurk on ConsimWorld in the Clash of Arms and La Bat forums. I've not heard anything from Ed or Charlie about Eylau at Origins; I anticipate that we will not be in the dealer's room this year. If so, Chris and I will set up in the War Room if space is available, or perhaps in Open Gaming. I'm going to bring my paper copy of Eylau, so we can play a game or two by hand during the con -- I need to get more into the mindset of how to play La Bat Regs XXII.

The La Bat forum is abuzz with commentary on the upcoming Regs XXX, the new version of the La Bat. I've noticed some comments recently about Ricochet fire: whether it should or shouldn't be in the regs, whether its effect is too great or not, what a pain it is to keep track of the shot paths and evaluate all the resulting feu attacks. We don't have ricochet in PC Eylau, but IIRC we had always intended to do so. I took some time this morning and sketched out some design notes on this. Looks like it would take about 8-12 hours to implement and test. I've moved this to the top of my list of "big" items that I will work on between now and Origins.

As I understand it, we are going to be signing up people for the Beta program at the con. We'll have a few CDs to hand out, as well as instructions on how to get to the Beta test site.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Game Development Status 5/31/05

May monthly total ~31 hours; yearly total ~137 hours.

I continue to work on stabilization issues (read "just another bug hunt"). I am currently working towards getting the Opening Moves scenario to play an AI game to the end, while saving the game to different file names at the end of each turn. This evening I found that we were saving junk values for data that caused problems when the game was reloaded. I spent a couple of hours refactoring the regimental breakdown code in support of this effort.

I looked up my notes from last year: I am 13 hours behind the level of effort I had on this date in 2004. To catch up, all I need to do is work 36 hours between now and the convention. I'll aim to finish 40 hours before I get on the plane.

We really are making progress. Last year the AI behaved like a single-cell organism. This year we're somewhere between a smart dog and a stupid chimpanzee. I'm hoping we can get to village idiot level by the convention.

vive l'E.
I am a thrust ship...

What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Thrust-ship.I am a Thrust-ship.

I am small and tricky - where you think I am, I probably am not. I can work very fast, but I tend to go about things in a round about way, which often leaves me effectively standing still. I hate rocks. Bloody rocks. What Video Game Character Are You?