Strategic Primer: Assistive programs progress

The suite of assistive programs for the players of my strategy game, Strategic Primer has progressed significantly since I last wrote about it. All progress has gone into the first program, the character management application.

First, as mentioned, I implemented reading of characters from file. This means that the program is finally usable by players, who (with “admin mode” disabled) cannot edit the characters themselves.

Second, I improved the interface. Before, the program launched with a blank character, and opening an existing one created a new window. There was also no way to create more than one new character in a session. The interface now places the various characters, whether loaded from file or new, in tabs of a main window. I’ve also designed the user interface code with an eye to generality, so that when I begin work on another module it can be another set of panels in the same application, and even share the file (opening, saving, closing) interface.

Third, I began working on adding levels in Jobs to characters. The file format supports this, as does the program internally, but I have not yet figured out how to represent levels properly in the interface—though I have had a few ideas that I haven’t had a chance to try out yet.

Once Jobs are working properly, I intend to switch from hard-coded Jobs to a solution where Jobs and their effects are loaded from file, like PCGen. After that I intend to add Skills, then equipment. Eventually I hope to be able to import data from PCGen format files, so I won’t have to enter data from the over 250 existing characters manually.

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