Strategic Primer assistive programs development report and roadmap

In the month since my last report on the development of my suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, there have been a few noteworthy changes.

For more details of changes, you can see the full history in the Bitbucket repository.

Changes

The “biggest” change is that the viewer no longer supports writing objects in a map to a different file than the rest of the map. I had added that feature as part of the doomed “submap” attempt, and had plans for using it in the future, but several times this month this corrupted map files. (Each time I thanked God for version control, which meant that I could trivially recover the files that were corrupted.) In each case it was because I wasn’t careful enough in making sure that objects’ filenames were managed properly, but I decided that at this point the potential benefit wasn’t worth the danger; this allowed me to significantly simplify the code, and if I need it I can add the feature back again. It’s still possible to read a map spread over several files (using ‘include’ tags), as that can’t corrupt data, but reading such a map and writing it back out won’t produce identical files on disk.

The other user-visible change is that the visible list of a tile’s fixtures now starts with its terrain type; this was needed to let me copy that information from the main map to a player’s map without also copying all fixtures.

And the third major change this month was a revision of the exploration-running “driver” (which players might not have even been aware existed) to finally use the fixtures on a tile rather than the old “encounter tables.”

Roadmap

The number one item on the roadmap is still fixture editing and UI support for unit details (basic model and I/O support for them having been added a few weeks ago). I have some ideas of how to go about these, and just need to buckle down and implement them. These still head the list because they should make running the current turn in the campaign much easier.

Another big item I’d like to get to is changesets. They, too, would make running the turn easier, once some additional code was added. But, like I’ve said before, I don’t really have a good idea of how to go about implementing them, so they’ll probably just sit for awhile longer.

Another major item, which I think may be the first I get to (after the current turn; running the turn is a higher priority than development at the moment), is the interface revision I talked about a few weeks ago. (See that post for more details.)

I hope to add a “find” feature, so players don’t have to search the (increasingly “busy”) map by scrolling.

I hope to add larger images (“portraits”) for units and some other kinds of fixtures.

And I hope to let fixtures have custom images (so that different kinds of units use different icons).

Among other planned features.

If you have any features you’d like me to add, or you run into any problems with the software, please let me know—perhaps using the issue tracker.

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