A few weeks ago I wrote about designing a new suite of programs to help players to play, and me to run, the campaign version of my strategy game, Strategic Primer. I only got a few ideas from readers (by email), but decided to go ahead with the project anyway.
I began by breaking things down into features I could think about just sitting down and implementing. I added them to the Pivotal Tracker project for the viewer, which is now publicly readable (so if you like you can see what I’ve been working on).
Next I started writing the “character management” program. As of last week, it supported a minimal set of attributes (name and stats) for a character, had a distinction between “administrative” users and mere players (though that’s a compile-time option for now), and could write characters to file. Reading characters from file was the next item on the list of features to implement, and may have been implemented by now.
I picked this program because I think it’s the most likely to be immediately helpful to players. Except for one non-player “player” (whose strategy makes him a deliberate outlier), each player has between nineteen and forty-nine characters (workers and warriors) in his or her headquarters fortress, each with different strong and weak abilities, experience, and training. I remind players of their workers’ levels in Jobs and orders for the turn in each turn’s results, but not orders for any previous turns, skill improvements, or abilities. I hope this program will help.