Strategic Primer assistive programs development report and roadmap (#25)

In the month since my last report on the development of my suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer I’ve added one new feature that will be of interest to users.

As usual, you can download the new version from Bitbucket, and if you want to know more details than I list below, you can see the full history in the Mercurial repository.


Most of the changes in the past month have been warning fixes. But there were two more substantial changes:

First, I made the first steps toward visually grouping units in the worker-management app by their “kind,” as they are grouped in the “proto-strategy” the app can export. I don’t consider this feature finished yet, because I haven’t integrated the new organization into the drag-and-drop code, among other omissions, but it’s in a state that players may find useful. This feature comes in belated response to a complaint from a user.

Second, every app (other than those that are purely command-line or console interfaces) now switches to the system default “look-and-feel” before starting up. Previously, they did nothing with the “look-and-feel,” and they were thus stuck with the Java default, which is the same but rather ugly across all platforms. Now, they will look at least closer to how a native application would look.


The list of “planned” features (which has debatable correspondence with the Pivotal Tracker backlog, remains largely unchanged from previous months.

The first item is to make the apps a proper MDI application, with a Window menu keeping track of windows and their status, and to make them behave like native apps (following human-interface guidelines, etc.) on the major platforms, starting with Mac OS X. I think I made something of a start on this, but I’m not sure.

Second, with it possible for players to make changes to a known-world map using the “helper apps” (rather than just a text editor) and send it back, changesets need to become a priority.

Third, I want to “finish,” test, and switch to (once I’ve demonstrated it won’t lose data) the new map API; this may make developing changesets easier, and it’s possible it’ll bring performance improvements, but we’ll have to see.

Fourth, I want to write programs to automate the more tedious parts of running a turn, such as agriculture, herding, food gathering, and hunting—the latter two are much better now, but how much meat any given animal produces, for example, still has to be looked up by hand.

That ties into the fifth item on the list, “resource management,” eventually including modeling resource production and resource accounting.

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

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 or contacting me directly.


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