Strategic Primer Worker Advancement User’s Guide

Several weeks ago I wrote a “user’s guide” for the Strategic Primer map viewer, which is the “flagship application” of my suite of “assistive programs” for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, the strategy game I’m developing. For the time being, the “worker advancement app” is the second program in the suite that most players will deal with most (after the map viewer), so this post is further basic user documentation to explain how to launch and use the worker advancement app. (For installation see the map viewer documentation.)

The worker advancement app was intended mainly for my use, in creating the “worker skill advancement” part of each player’s results for each turn, but since I haven’t developed an app for players to manage their workers yet, this works (sort of) as a stopgap solution. A report produced by the report generator (which I’ll also cover below) also helps to meet that need, but presents a daunting amount of information all at once, so the view that this presents is still useful.

So I’m writing and posting this documentation because, until I create a worker management app for players, the program will likely be of general use for players. But I intend to cover all the program’s features, not only those that players are likely to find useful.

The app-chooser windowAs I have repeatedly mentioned, this is a “suite” bundled as if it were a single “app,” so unless you’ve used command-line options to specify an app already, you’ll see the “app chooser.” Click “Worker Advancement” to launch the “app” we’re talking about today.

The file-chooser windowJust like with the map viewer, you’ll then be prompted to select the map file to open if you haven’t specified one on the command line. And as before, it’ll probably take at least a few moments to read and parse the file and launch the app.

The worker advancement progam main windowWhen the app opens, you’ll see a window that looks like this.

The first thing you’ll want to note is the “Current Player” selection in the upper left hand corner. If you’re a player working with a “known-world” map at this point in the campaign, you probably won’t have to change this, but it’s still wise to make sure. If you see your “code name” (or the “code name” of the player whose strategy you’re running), move on to the next step; if not, click on the name to bring up the drop-down list, then select the one you do want from the list by clicking on it.

Below the player selection box is a list of all the units owned by the selected player. Select the unit you’d like to work with (or accept the default; whenever a player is selected, the first unit is automatically selected).

At the top of the window, in the middle, is a list of the members of the currently selected unit. Most of these will be workers (which appear as “name, a human” (or dwarf, or whatever), but also animals (in herds, for instance), among other possibilities—but while you can select any unit member, if you select anything other than a worker all the “worker details” sections of the window go blank rather than showing details.

When you’ve selected a worker, the remainder of the window represents the “details” of that worker. To begin with, the label below the list of unit members displays the worker’s “stats”—health, maximum health, and ability modifiers for strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma—if those are included in the map file. (I sent updated map files containing stats to all players actively participating in my current campaign earlier this week.) It’s not currently possible to edit those stats, though that’s a feature I’m likely to add before too long.

The worker advancement program window showing a worker's Jobs.In the upper right corner of the window is a list of Jobs the currently selected player has some training or experience in, with the worker’s number of levels in that Job in parentheses. To add a new Job to the worker, click the + (plus) button below the list. A text box will appear; enter the name of the Job into the text box and click “OK”. (Pressing “Enter” has the same effect—if it doesn’t have the same effect as clicking “OK” in any context in one of these programs, that’s a bug that needs to be fixed, so please let me know about it.) If you’ve changed your mind, press “Cancel”.

Below the list of Jobs is a list of the Skills associated with the currently-selected Job. The procedure to add a new Skill is the same as that to add a new Job: click the + button below the list, enter the name of the Skill, and click “OK” or press Enter. Like the list of Jobs, each Skill name in the list is followed by the worker’s number of levels in that Skill in parentheses.

The last section of the window, below the list of Skills, allows the user to add hours of training or experience to a Skill. Type the number of hours into the text box (which automatically gets the focus when a Skill is selected), then press OK. In addition to adding the hours, the program randomly generates a number between 0 and 100. If that number is less than the total number of hours of training and experience the worker has in that Skill, the worker gains a level in that Skill (as you’ll see in the list—and if you ran the program from a command line you’ll see a line of output there indicating the gained level) and the number of hours is reset to zero.

Lastly, the one menu, the “File” menu, is fairly standard: the “Load” command lets you select a map file, which is then opened in a new worker-advancement window. “Save” writes the currently-opened map back to the file it was loaded from, while “Save As” asks you to specify a new file name to write to. And “Close” closes the current window (without saving!), while “Quit” closes all windows in the current process (the current one and any opened via “Load” in the same session).

If you run into any problems, please report them either in the issue tracker or by contacting me directly. If you’d like to contribute to the development of this suite of programs, please get in touch. And if you’d like to join the campaign of Strategic Primer I’m currently running, please contact me; that would be most welcome news.

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