Saturday, June 28, 2008

More Moving Crap

I'm still moving, still destroying the walls of my prison brick by brick and carting the debris down three flights of stairs to the dumpster heh.

I should be done tomorrow sometime, unless I get lazy and need to finish up on Monday.

It'll be good to be out of here, this place used to be cool when I had a cornfield and a farmhouse to look out at from my balcony, back in the first couple years I lived here, but now its just a bunch of houses, 'cause the farmer guy sold his land to housing development folks and took off.

Which is what I'm doing heh.

No time to really work on the game or anything but that'll get better in the next couple of days.

Ex-b has been on a scouting mission in Florida this week, checking it out, looking for some place to set up shop, but he ain't really decided on Florida, I don't think.

Its been humid as hell up here in Chicago and if its even worse down there in Florida then I can't even imagine what he's dealing with right now.

Yah, he's the only guy that's actually seen my game in motion so far, and he's pretty excited about it, excited enough to give serious criticism and talk about business shit insteada saying encouraging crap, saying shit like "well, that's pretty good for a beta, but..." so I know I'm on to something good heh.

Most of my junk is actually alpha 'cause its only had one pass and I was learning everything I was doing as I was going along, so the first pieces I built are totally rough around the edges and the more recent things I've added are more the "knock your socks off" kinda shit.

Whatever, to do everything I did in the relatively small amount of time I did it is pretty kickass no matter what, when I think about how far along I'll be in another month I get all excited, the only time I've ever seen anybody do what I been doing lately is when the Real Life Dwarf did his genius thingie, doing stuff in three days that took a "professional" team of twenty a couple months to do worse than he did it, so now I'm all like, oh sweet, I musta stole some of the Dwarf's Power or something ahaha.

Y'know, as much as I talk about the tropical island shit, I'm more the "let's move to Alaska or Canada or Norway or something" kinda guy, my brain is a sensitive instrument that generates a lot of heat, and I like it cold.

I don't mind driving in a blizzard either.

Actually I don't mind the heat as long as I ain't gotta go up and down three flights of stairs with a ton of stuff that weighs as much as water.

And the tropical island stuff ain't good because of the heat, its good for every reason except the heat heh.

And the heat is even good when it makes chicks dress in skimpy shit, y'know, insteada big poomfy snowsuits and stuff, so it does have that going for it ahaha.

Friday, June 27, 2008


So now that the North Pole is totally melted, and we can grow asparagus on Mars, Ole Billie Boy is stepping away from Microsoft.


Aw c'mon man we gotta get one last jab in there wtf ahaha.


Did they ever do a movie where the stunt guy for an actor looked totally different than the guy he was supposed to be the double for, and you ended up liking the stunt guy better than the actor?

'Cause like, he was the guy that took all the kicks to the nuts and everything?

A movie about a movie like that would make a good movie heh.

And then maybe the actor could try to do better and make up for what a dweeb he was and the stuntman and the actor could solve a mystery and it'd end up being a buddy movie where they beat a bad guy or something ahaha.

See that's the classic SNL comedian formula crap right there, all it needs is some lame "unnoticed best friend" love story, like where the actor ends up falling in love with his biggest fan or the chick that does his hair, and the stuntman gets the lead actress from the movie AHAHA.

And I wonder why there ain't never been a movie that starts out being about an alien invasion or a zombie apocalypse but then halfway through the thing you start to wonder if the people in the movie are hallucinating everything and killing regular people insteada aliens and zombies and stuff.

I mean, you think there'd be a lot more of those 'cause I'm sure there's plenty of us that think about that shit when we're watching a movie that might go that way heh.

And from that, I got the idea for a story I ain't got time to write.

You know how sometimes folks say that maybe life is just a dream and we're all just the figments of somebody's imagination?

'Cause of that thing where there's really no proof that your sensory system ain't been compromised and that's the only road into and out of you, y'know, you can't use your only input to determine if that input has been compromised, you need a good one to compare it to, which you don't got.

Mostly you just go by whatever seems consistent as if there's some rule about crazy shit being inconsistent heh.

When actually anything that's been compromised by any sort of intelligence is bound to seem pretty consistent on the surface in order to remain undetected.

Its the basic premise of the whole Matrix thing really.

Anyways, what if there really was a guy that was dreaming the world up and we were all stuck in his dream?

What if his dream was really crappy, and we figured out who he was, and we killed him, and then the world didn't just stop, it just switched to being somebody else's dream, a better dream, or maybe an even worse one.

But we can always track down the next guy and get rid of his ass too y'know until we finally "roll" a good one heh.

See, now that's a good idea for a story, might be some secret society of folks that know the truth about stuff, the only folks who remember what the worlds were like from dream to dream ('cause all the other figments just "play along" and don't notice the way the world keeps changing), and so there's some secret war over the power, might even be a little kid or something like that that ends up with the power, which makes it hard to kill 'em, even though their world-defining dreams are horrible, 'cause he or she is cute (not just when they're sleeping haha) and they're just a little kid.

And then maybe you got the whole deal where the guy that was gonna kill 'em ends up protecting 'em from the other guys like him, even though the world is crappy, that's a kickass setup.

I don't wanna forget that one.

Plus you can combine that with the zombie-hunter movie that turns out to be a hallucination AND the stuntman one for some much needed comedic relief and buddy movie slash love story shit heh.

Only thing bad about it is that when the kid grows up, he or she won't be so cute anymore, and that makes it easier to kill 'em off, especially when you have always been torn between killing 'em off in a bid to make a rotten world a better place, or protecting 'em and just putting up with having the world be a crappy place.

Well, that's not really a bad thing for the story, actually its a good thing for a sequel, its just a bad thing in general.

Yah, I guess if you wanna keep 'em around you gotta make the dreamer a really sweet little girl that stays sweet (somehow, my suspension of disbelief is starting to go right off the tracks at this point heh).

That'd be good for the third story in the trilogy, after the first kid turns into a rotten teenager and an evil Caligula overlord or whatever in the sequel ahaha.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I'm packing up my crap and getting ready to move.

And I can't take a lot of junk with me, y'know, fer a lot of reasons, but mostly 'cause I'll probably be moving again pretty quick and really there's a part of me that just wants to get back to my hobo roots where I can carry everything I care about in the entire world in a guitar case.

My mom used to laugh 'cause I really did do that in the old days and she's a total packrat.

I can't say exactly what's going on (well, yet) but I can say that it ain't anything really interesting or cool in any way (well, not yet), and it ain't anything that's gonna change much of anything for me at the moment.

Anyways the whole "getting old" and "computer guy thing" really messed up that "fit it all into a guitar bag" gag for me, nowadays I got like ten million books and an entire room full of Frankenstein's computer equipment, even if all my furniture and everything else I own is a bunch of crap that folks gave to me.

Plus my mom dumped all this stuff on me from when I was a kid, one of the times one of their houses flooded, so now I got ten thousand comic books in dusty crates (that I'm never gonna read and I'm thinking about tossing out even though I've heard ten million old guys say they wish they hadn't thrown out their old comic books) and I got all this pen and paper roleplaying game crap, boxes full of all the old books and a bunch of shit I drew and pads of graph paper filled with maps and "adventures" me and the other kids played and character sheets and index cards with pictures of swords on 'em and little kid descriptions of how awesome they are and little boxes of mashed-up miniatures and dice and all this other crap like that.

It'd be funner to look at if it wasn't covered in twenty years of dust bunnies and shit heh.

Man, there's nothing worse than reading something "dramatic" and "serious" and "poemy" you wrote when you were a kid ahaha.

Unless its good, y'know, then its okay.

There's a few things I'm thinking about stealing from my old self already ahaha.

I got a pretty horrendously humongous dvd (and vhs haha) video libray, too, I'm thinking about chucking a lot of that out.

I do appreciate the fact that I got the time to pick the junk I wanna keep, y'know, some folks get burned out of their houses and stuff and they just lose their junk forever, they don't get to choose.

Not that I gotta lotta stuff that I really care about, I don't think I really do care about any of this stuff, I can always make or get at whatever I need wherever I go.

I'm gonna try to dump some of the junk I wanna keep on my mom, like all this dungeons and dragons crap, give whatever else is good to my little brother so his kids can wreck it, and just throw everything else out.

I'm hoping I can whittle it all down to "my big frankenstein computer," my linux laptop that's the historical museum of every arcade and console game ever made, and a guitar bag fulla clothes in the end.

It'll be sweet to feel light on my feet again like I was in the old days.

I wish I could get rid of the frankenstein computer and just do the laptop deal but personally I'm pretty sure that I'm gonna die without ever becoming a big fan of laptops at this point heh.

Well, you never know, I guess, I mean, maybe I'll find a laptop that I don't hate at least a little someday ahaha.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I gotta add the leveling system to the game.

'Cause when I get bored of refreshing the screen in the game to see what my changes look like as I'm programming something, I go out and strangle a few monsters (with no items and my bare hands heh) for a couple minutes and I always gotta worry that I might trigger a level up when I ain't got the code in place for it.

Sometimes little numbers are cooler and more brutal and satisfying than big numbers.

That's how DK's first level works, its like, 18 experience points to second level, and 1st level monsters are 1 or 2 experience points each.

I kinda like that.

Its got the standard "takes more monster kills per level" deal as you level up, so by the time you are 50th level, its taking like a hundred and sixty thousand experience points to get to the next level and monsters are two hundred something experience points a piece, but all the DK stuff is hard coded and I don't wanna do it that way 'cause it just seems silly to me to make a table of crap for that and do queries when you can just make an equation for it.

I can even do hell levels and stuff with an equation.

Should I make my thing like that?

Anybody got any preferences for it to be another way?

I'm not really into the cult-building cognitive dissonance garbage so I don't actually care how it works, no matter what kinda system I do, the stuff you get from leveling is gonna eventually matter less and less to you ('cause those "increases" are not going to "increase" as you level) and things will reach some sorta plateau.

There'll probably be other ways to get experience points besides killing monsters, too, y'know, like quests and all that, but I wanna base the thing on the monster killing.

So like, how many experience points should you get for killing a monster that's your size?

And as you level up?

And how many experience points should it take to reach the next level as you level up?

And should there be a bonus for killing things bigger than you, and a penalty for killing stuff smaller than you, where junk eventually "grays out," or should it be a flat sorta thing, like, you get a certain amount of experience point per level of the monster that you killed (or more likely it'd be calculated off the monster's hitpoints and not its level) and that is that.

I kinda like the flat thing, since I don't gotta ever let anybody bother each other and fight over spawns and all that crap, I don't really have any reason to make shit "gray out" to try make you wanna leave the newbie yard or whatever.

Heck, the way I figure it, if little shit is gonna bug you, you better get paid for it heh.

Should a first level monster give you 2 experience points, and a second level monster give you 4, and a 50th level monster give you 100?

That seems kinda crappy to me.

Or should that and the experience points you need to level do the traditional deal where they jack everything up and make it hard to figure out in your head?

So a first level monster is worth 4-6 experience points, and you need 54 experience points to get to level 2, and second level monsters are worth 7-9 experience points, and it takes 126 experience points to go from level 2 to level 3 (or a total of 180 experience points to get to level 3 from level 1), and all that kinda crap.

Somehow the obfuscated logic of the "scrambled eggs" thing seems better, aside from the cult building time investment boil-the-frog-slowly thingie where you make people do more and more.

I guess that's 'cause it makes it hard for your brain to turn it into 99 bottles of beer on the wall.

Y'know, like, you can't really figure out how many monsters you need to kill until you kill enough that you can use a calculator to figure it out (once you figure out how much monsters are worth) or you kill enough that you can figure it out by eyeballing your experience bar.

I guess I oughta do it that way.

Should I have "hell levels" and stuff?

"Oh that level 35 is a bitch!"

'Member that shit?

Bad stuff for no good reason that gives folks some shit to complain about together and feel sympathy for each other and stuff heh.

"Oh I remember when I had to do 35! I almost quit the game! Level 60 is even worse!"

Goddam cult crap ahaha.

Oh, we can have "bonus to experience points" items and stuff too.

And I was planning on trying to make "more the merrier" style grouping, where everybody gets the experience points and loot for monsters as if they killed them all by themselves, and that would tend to make leveling (and powerleveling) easier (and grouping more fun), but my game is evil enough with the way it does encounters and the way that monsters are hard to control to make it work out so that a Big Guy would be better off escorting his Little Buddies around places that fit the Little Guys better (a bunch of Big Guys and one Little Guy would do better, but eventually the Little Guy is gonna get it heh).

Big Guys with friends in real life that don't play as much wouldn't mind it working like that, that's way better than not being able to group with your buddies at all 'cause you'll ruin their points or something, and even if the loot is crappy to you, you can always give it over to your midget pals (and obviously you play more than them, 'cause you are bigger, so you can keep doing whatever it was that made you bigger than them when they ain't around heh).

So that's gotta be included in the deal some too.

UO was the only game that really did the more-the-merrier any-level-guy-can-come-along style grouping thing right, but that "point for every three swings of your sword" stuff has its own problems heh.

Well, Mount&Blade worked out really sweet, if you think about it from the perspective of having the NPCs you were in charge of being your "little buddies," y'know, 'cause you had tons of guys of all shapes and sizes in those fights, that's more like the way that I'm looking at it, 'cause my mathematical model fits that better.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Getting Slap Happy Again

Man I'm getting slap happy again I gotta straighten out.

I redid the items table to try to make one table that'll hold all the different kinds of items and item templates and instances of actual items and everything.

Its not that hard, its just gonna be hard to remember how a weapon uses the structure compared to a piece of armor and stuff like that until I add the front end that'll do all the remembering for me heh.

Anyways right after I do that, I figure I'd start adding some hard-coded basic items, and the first thing I figgered I'd add was a bag, y'know, 'cause I'm gonna need a goddam bag to hold all this other awesome newbie shit I'm adding, right?

And now I can't stop laughing about the "Large Sack" I added, and the ten thousand "sack" jokes it makes me think of.

Its bad enough that I didn't add a "small sack" first, I just din't have the heart to give nobody a tiny sack, y'know, sacks gotta start at "Big" and go up from there or something ahaha.

Ugh I ain't laughed this hard since the time I was doing the one-hand weapon versus two-hand weapon versus dual wield thingie and it reminded me of the way that Raph and all his followers are the only folks who never made the leap to "dual wielding is cool" for some weird, possibly Greg Brady Goes to College "fencing" inspired reason.

I mean, think about how many games have "ambidexterity" in 'em for like five seconds and then you gotta sit there and ponder the whole "what the hell could Raph be thinking?" question.

Is it a black sock and sandals at the beach kinda american tourist with no-taste thingie?

I'm okay with the idea of a guy using a one handed weapon and a shield, as long as its a spear and he's using a round shield, 'cause that looks cool.

Or a guy with a pistol in one hand and a flashlight or a briefcase or something in the other hand ahaha.

What the hell are the Raph People doing with their other hand? AHAHA.

Oh man I'm gonna blow a blood vessel or something I gotta cool off.

I wonder what percentage of internet nerds would say that they're "ambidextrous."

I bet that number is over fifty percent AHAHA.

The Book of Many Things

I'm adding the Encyclopedia to the game now.

Y'know, the Monster Manual, the thing that lets everybody add their own Monsters and Items to the game.

Items being armor, weapons, accessories, bags, and commodities at this point, the things that are randomly redistributed by the game (which leaves towns and buildings and vehicles out of it for now, 'cause those are mostly hardcoded and not received as loot and stuff, although vehicles might end up in there if I end up making them a little more complex).

Players will only be allowed to see the stuff that they've added to the game (and that'll let them check out how people have rated the stuff they've added), even if they have their own world (I might make something so that a guild or multiple people can work together on adding monsters and items though).

Actually the author id for all that stuff is that of their current character, and not the user, 'cause I don't want nobody to see each other's User Names, but I might wanna show the name of the author of a thing, for User Content Ratings contests or something, so I'm doing it all by character.

The reason players are limited like that (not allowed to browse the entire Encyclopedia) is because they're supposed to be sorta randomly browsing the Encyclopedia by playing the game, I don't want them ruining their appetites and stuff.

Real admins will be able to browse everything in the database, and even add new types of items (that's really why I'm building it right now), so they're the only folks that it will really look like an "encyclopedia" to, which makes "encyclopedia" a pretty stupid name for it *sighs*

As usual, if any of you guys got a better name for it, lemme know.

I dunno why I suck at names so bad, its like its some kinda metaphysical curse to make up fer all the other shit I can do or something heh.

Its kinda like that curse where all the movies you really want haven't ever been out on DVD and stuff ahaha.

Oh yah, eventually this'll be the same thingie that hosts the quest-maker and npc-maker and dungeon-maker and all that other kinda junk.

And even the world-settings stuff for player's that have their own worlds.

Ooh I could call it the Grimoire, a summoner's book, that's all fancy and stuff ahaha.

Dunga Dunga Dunk

Just more screenies of the things I been fooling with.

The inventory deal at the bottom of each page was a total pain in the butt, actually, it still IS a pain in the butt, I'm gonna have to do a lot of fancy tricks to get it to resize properly for folks at different resolutions, its the only thing on the screen that don't auto-adjust too well.

The headers are frozen and work fine when you scroll and resize things, I'm doing it the right/hard way, without any cheap tricks, but its the fact that I had to hard code a couple of its dimensions in pixels to get it to work that bugs me, and its the only thing (beside the exploring map) that makes me think I'm gonna need to have player's specify their screen size and save their settings in the user table, if I didn't have that, I could just give the map a toggle-type button that made it shrink and expand to a size you liked (sorta like the way I do the chat box, which is actually a setting that's saved with each of your characters).

I might get luckier if I don't have to show so much "quick glance" info in the columns, once I get the "details pane" up and running.

I think part of my problem was that I got a bit of overkill in there, when all I probably need to show is the name of the thing so you can click on it and check it out.

If I can get away with that, a name and maybe an icon or something, that'll totally help things out with the way I'm starving for screen space.

Hmm, I can prolly do that for a lot of the stuff in the columns.

But whatever, it's all broken out from the database in a way that lets me fool with the stuff in there (so it'll go through your bags and only show whatever "armor items" you have in your inventory on the armor page and stuff like that) and that also lets me turn the names into things you can click on that'll make the "details" for the items pop up in the space that's being used by the paperdoll placeholder guy with the skull.

I just don't have any of the new kinds of items yet to do that part (that's the next thing, now that I've sorta ironed out what I need for items in a basic way, I can make something like the Character and Town Editing screens to add new junk from those pages for admins and do the monster manual type thingie).

Although I might be adding a few more fields 'cause of Colbey's cool stuff.

Ex-b really hates dicking around with his inventory in these games so I'm trying to streamline the whole thing some by only showing whatever weapons you got in your inventory (regardless of bags) on the weapons page and stuff like that, the inventory page with the bags will let you nose around in all your crap (and that's prolly the same table stuff I'm gonna use when you loot junk and sell crap to merchants and use the auction house and whatever).

And I'm sure I'll be jacking stuff around once I start playing a little and see what else I wanna add, I really don't like the way the armor and weapons pages are so similar right now, but that's the info I need for ironing out basic combat (well, the I stuff need to balance out the basic differences in combat gameplay between the different classes).

And most of the "controls" for items, like the buttons for being able to equip and unequip them or destroy them and whatever, are going to be in the "details" pane that you can't see 'cause I ain't programmed it yet 'cause I don't have any items to work with yet heh.

Well, I gotta do that, and I gotta start making the paperdoll "dress up" (in a kinda generic and symbolic way, based on the different categories for items, y'know, like, there'll be a difference between a cowboy hat and a motorcycle helmet, or a trenchcoat and riot armor, but not different kinds of cowboy hats and motorcycle helmets and trenchcoats and riot armor) as you add stuff to your guy.

And I prolly gotta do a paperdoll for girls, although I was trying to stay away from doing anything like giving you a dropdown box to pick a sex or a race, 'cause I don't have any plans to use that crap for anything (except for this paper doll thing, mebbe).

And there's just something really wrong and creepy and Leave It To Beaver about the idea of items like "dresses" that are hard-coded to be female-only and stuff, I don't really wanna have to program any of that kinda ethnocentric cultural crap based on my personal sexual preferences and shit, y'know, I'll leave that up to the discretion of the player, I ain't here to teach nobody nothing about that kinda stuff, wtf do I know, I just think its prolly kinda sucky to have to dress-up some generic muscle-dude action figure if you are something like a girl, and its easy for me to make a couple arrows at the bottom that let's you switch your paper doll to something that'll suit your tastes (its just the clothes that might then become a total pain in the ass for me if I can't make 'em fit a different body type without looking really weird, but then again, I ain't sure how many different types of things I need to make yet and how quick I can do it, so maybe that won't be such a big deal).

Well, okay, the real reason I don't wanna do that stuff is 'cause I really hate getting "female" loot that I can't use in games, but that other thing makes it sound so much better heh.

Plus, in any game where there's "male and female" loot, you never know if the stupid ass nerds who made the game gave "the girls" a little something extra ahaha.

But I suppose I could just check your character out before I dished out the loot, even if I had female items in there.

Even if I didn't know a shit ton of female gamers, I'd still have to make the game fun for girls 'cause I got some folks in real life that I wanna make sure the game is fun for.

One of my "acid tests" is my little brother's wife, 'cause she's totally a "girly girl" that doesn't like this kinda shit at all, but she'd like to run a bar or an inn or something in a game, y'know, some place to meet all the "adventurers," for the social part, so I gotta build that "townie" end up of it some, for her and everybody else like her.

And I'd like her to be one of the folks in the "parental advisory" guild that lets you hook up the game settings so that it don't have none of my (or anybody else's) evil shit innit that ain't for little kids and stuff, 'cause she's got my two nephews and a niece to worry about.

Anyways I'd like to add a paper doll for the Planet of the Apes guys and Robots and mebbe even midgets and elves, too, but we'll have to see how much of a waste of time that is.

I'm not sure I'm gonna let anybody else look at your paper doll, although I was considering showing that and the image and description stuff you added to you character, insteada any numbers and statistics and stuff (besides base class and level).

And eventually I'll do the bionic crap and augmentation pages, but for right now, that kinda crap can go into the "accessories slots."

Man, I just don't like my weapons page yet.

I kinda want the Quick Slots to be like what we called your "ranged slots" in WoW, something that might have a quiver in it or a spellbook or something if you were a Wizard.

Mebbe I should get rid of the columns in there like damage and stuff and just let you inspect the item to see its info.

And later on (after I test the basic combat junk) I'm probably going to be adding different damage types and ammo and stuff (I'm not totally decided on that, I'm not sure if the "fun" of that is worth the headache for everybody, but its so easy to add immunities and stuff to monsters and do the junk for ammo).

Oh yah I already got the stuff for doing 1H/2hand/Dual Wield crap, that's the "type" column in there.

Whether a weapon is "ranged" or not doesn't really matter yet.

I'm not sure if I'm gonna do any of that, you sorta need a graphical representation of combat for junk like "close" and "long range" to matter, and I don't want folks having to click around on the screen and move their guy around in fights and stuff.

Well, not yet, anyways.

The melee and ranged thing is a part of the weapons stats, and its used to determine whether you use dex or str and stuff, and whether you do a flat 2-8 damage per bullet (or whatever, aside from critical hits) or use your strength to add to the damage of a weapon, it just isn't shown on the page.

Monday, June 23, 2008

More Paper Doll Crap

Haha man this item stuff is driving me crazy.

I'm reworking the basic paper doll thingie again.

I'll put a picture up.

There ya go.

I still gotta add some kinda statistics totaling thing (for your total armor and weapon damage and weight) and the currently open "bag" of your inventory to the bottom (although the names of things in the slots will also be clickable and take you to a screen where you can see the details of an item and swap it out with something else in your inventory, so there ain't just one way to equip and unequip junk).

And it has zeros in the place of the names of things 'cause I ain't made it pretty yet (zero is just the default ID number for when a slot is empty).

And I'll probably add an icon and an armor (or weapon) value and a weight field and what level the item is to each row at some point, although I'm already getting crunched for screen space and I'm probably going to end up chopping this paper doll thing into separate screens for armor and weapons and trinkets and crap.

Actually I guess I should just go ahead and to that.

I got the option of making everything "expand and collapse" when you click on the title bars too but I'd prefer to keep the junk simple so I can be sure it all looks halfway decent no matter what screen size you are at.

Anyways I think I'm gonna go with...


...for the Armor and Clothing slots.

"Body" will be the "chest" or "shirt" thingie, the "bullet proof vest" spot.

And "Hands" will do arm stuff (especially if I ever do junk like called shots to body parts or anything).

And "Shoulders" will be for Trenchcoats and Biker Jackets and Cloaks and Capes and even Spacesuits and Hazmat jumpsuits and stuff I guess.

And shoulderpads for folks who just love the shoulderpads *rolls his one good eye*

I was calling that slot the "Back" slot before but I think "Shoulders" is a little better.

"Back" is sorta misleading when you can equip the slot with stuff that protects you from the front and all around.

I don't particularly like "Belt" but it is something that they had even back in the ancient roman times (even if it was just a rope).

Belt is especially lame for the "called shots" thingie, but I guess it might be considered the Groin area, and if that's the case, then its like, the whole point of having "called shots," really heh.

And the dudes who didn't wear pants (like them ancient roman guys) usually had loincloths or something that could go in that "leg" slot, so "legs" is alright, even though I don't really feel like doing a lot of programming for the Exciting World of Fashionable Pants.

The Accessories slot is for all the trinkets like rings and amulets and scarves and crap.

This would be so much easier if I was just doing a scifi thing or something.

I'm tempted to just go ahead and do the Augmentation Overlay thingie for kickass Cyborg Parts and Genetic Muatations and stuff (that's why my paper doll has a Terminator Robot Skull ahaha) but I'm trying to keep that impulse under control.

The other option is to go with a D&D style thingie, where there'd be less body slots, like, there'd only be head, body, hands and feet, and body would be for "outfits" like suits of armor and "street clothes" and shit.

I kinda like that way of doing it, 'cause it makes more sense to me, but I also like having more kinds of loot and more customization and junk, even though it starts making less and less sense the more you add to it.

Its pretty Greg Brady either way, I mean, I'm either stucking "making outfits" for folks, or I'm stuck making pants and capes for people.


Mebbe I should just go with...


...and just make Armor and Jumpsuits and "dresses" fit into it.

I was also gonna do "Favored Hand" and "Off Hand" insteada "Left" and "Right" but that's more letters and I was running out of space.

I guess if I bust the paperdoll up into separate weapons and armor and accessory screens I could do cooler stuff like that though 'cause I'd have more room.

That'd allow me to show the Dual Wield and Two Handed Weapon thingie in a cooler way too.

And give me room for a "swap out different types of ammo" deal if I end up wanting to do that.

And I could show the details for the item when you click on it in the place of the paper doll, or temporarily in the place of the statistics totaling panel, insteada having that be a separate screen.

And that template would probably work for a looting screen too.

Man, I gotta figger out my randomly applied bonuses for weapons and armor and stuff too, besides the +10 dex junk, y'know, like making things "lighter" and giving them a "keen edge" bonus to crits and crap like that.

Bah, that can wait for later.

Right now, a bonus to dex or str would give you a bonus to crits anyways.

The Unlucky Newb

I'm in the middle of my "ten thousand changes at once" pass for combat.

I've redone the way monsters work but I still need to add some of the new kinds of monsters to the game.

And I'm in the middle of redoing the way items work, and I'll need to add some of them to the game and redo the interfaces for a lot of the stuff relating to that too, before I can really test all the stuff I've been working on in the combat engine.

So now I'm thinking about doing the Monster Manual and Item Adding Front Ends to the database, so I can use them myself a little, to populate the game with some junk that I can use to test stuff.

That's where I bogged down yesterday, researching all the different kinds of handguns to figure out how I should add things like that to the database, figuring out how much I should boil everything down into an abstraction and stuff, how simple I can make it and still be able to do all the "cool stuff" I might wanna do with it later (like silver bullets and junk), I need to build the format and structure of the things that you'll end up seeing as a bunch of crap in drop-down boxes when you go to add something of your own to the game, y'know.

And I've redone the combat and random encounter system, and got it operating in an organic way that I'm pretty I'm happy with, with a bunch of placeholder hooks put into it for all this cool stuff I thought of as I was doing it, besides ambushes and surprise, like "hunting" and "tracking monsters back to their lair for bonus treasure" and having encounters that aren't fights, where maybe you just came across the corpse of an adventurer as you were exploring, or some kid from town that fell down a well and broke his leg, like the start of a "quest" (I guess, although I hate that word ahaha) but maybe its a trap, and some other kickass things like that.

It made me think about the way that there's this argument you hear sometimes, about the way a bear shouldn't drop a chainsaw as loot, 'cause that doesn't make sense.

But it does make sense if the bear killed some adventurers just like you and their corpses are laying around his cave heh.

"You have discovered the Corpse of an Unlucky Newb."

And that made me think of cool junk like allowing the players to join the Town Guard for "standard issue" riot gear and equipment and stuff, and then making 'em track down serial killers and solve mysteries around town and crap like that.

Which would be totally cool in a bizarro parallel universe fulla time travelers and radioactive mutants and sorcerers and robots and Planet of the Apes dudes from the future and Evil Twins with ancient alien necropolises to tomb rob and whatever.

Y'know, like Time Police Online or something.

I'm probably going to cut my "starter world" back to a single town, a single safe starting place, to start with, and then maybe replicate that out in other countries, allowing folks to build and run their own towns out from there, sorta like a chain of safe harbors and islands taming a world of chaos, I like that organic "empire" building thing.

Well, I was thinking about having more than one town to start with, but only the first one wouldn't turn out to be some kind of evil Lovecraftian trap fulla body snatchers or a classic Fistful of Dollars setup or something heh.

Yah, see, I need to think about junk like this some to get my energy level back up after reading about handguns too much ahaha.

Post Apocalyptic Hedge Wizards with Gas Masks and Hockey Sticks for Staves and Monks with a sawed-off Shotgun in one hand and a flask fulla Mutant Hooch in the other for the occasional dose of liquid courage as required.

Cowboy stories fulla con artists and double crosses and junk.

But I can't think about that too much 'cause I got a lot of boring ditches to dig first heh.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I'm pretty much ready to go to continue my programming crusade.

I know which two specials I'm gonna dish out for each guy (well, at first level, at least).

Yah, there won't be anything "to pick" from in the beginning, some of the classes really need to have two specials in order to do their class-defining thing (like Wise Guys need the Drain Sass and Heal combo), and that's not something I wanna rely on folks (like my Brother's Wife) to pick for themselves, although all the rest of the crap is okay for them to do whatever they want with.

Maybe I'll go back and give them a third special slot to start with, so they can pick something for themselves when they're first starting out, but I'm not gonna worry about that right now, all I really wanna be sure about is that each class feels different from the other classes as soon as you step into the world with 'em.

And I'm pretty cool with how I gotta do the monsters, they're gonna be a lot like characters, with the same sorta stats, but I'll probably end up giving them their own monster "classes" too, based off something more like whether they're a Reptile or a Zombie or something instead of the Strong Quick Tough stuff, so that all the Reptiles can share a Reptilian pool of specials to use on players, and all the Zombies have access to the Zombie Specials Pool.

That'll also make it easier for folks adding their own monsters to the game, 'cause they can just use a drop-down box to pick what "club" the monster belongs in.

But that's for after I get the basic combat thingie working.

And I need to work on the random encounter system, but that's not gonna get really beefy until I do the "zone" and "terrain" bit later on, initially I'll probably just do something where the monsters are weaker closer to towns, and less safe farther out in the wilderness (I kinda wanna keep up with that some, 'cause I'd like to grant folks the rights to build their own forts and stuff later on, and I want to make them "patrol" the area around their fort (as a quest) to "tame the wild frontier" and stuff so it'll be safe for newbs and npc villagers and junk.

And I want to make it so that you can actively "hunt" and "track" for stuff in a certain level range, insteada just wandering around in the right area until you get "jumped."

And then there's the loot-n-item bank-and-inventory-and-paperdoll bit.

Which I need to finish programming some before I can get combat running.

And the way I was thinking about doing that (at least to start with) was making all the items that you can equip have a level restriction, and having the monsters drop loot that was the same level as they were (or mebbe 1-to-2 levels above or below their level).

So that you can "shop" for stuff by fighting monsters.

And that would tend to shorten the lifespan of items, like, you'd probably wanna find a pair of 5th level revolvers at 5th level and quit using your 4th level ones (and hand them out to a pal or sell 'em on the auction house).

Especially if I'm really generous with the loot (which I intend to be, just 'cause its possible that it'll eventually become so goddam random you might need to go through a lot of loot before you find something you'll "want").

There's a couple things that can make that "I need a new helmet" thingie less annoying, and that's that I don't need to make level 5 helmets all that much better than level 4 ones, and that a good level 4 helmet might be better than any level 5 helmet you can find 'cause its got some kinda kickass Colbey Bonus on it heh.

And if I do it like that, then the folks that love to shop and top things off don't feel ripped-off, and the dudes that don't wanna always have to look for new crap every level don't gotta worry about it either, so that's kinda perfect, I guess.

And I could also have npc merchants sell some pretty good stuff (without the killer +3 Versus Humanoids Colbey Bonuses) in places like Guildhalls for Quick Guys in town.

I wanna have multiple auctions houses and stuff, that aren't connected (actually I want people to be able to own and run their own inns and pubs and casinos and Wizard Colleges and stuff in the game, and have their own auction houses inside 'em, which will tend to make certain places become hot spots for "Smart Guy Items" and junk) and I wanna make npc merchants that don't trash the items folks sell to 'em, too, but I'm not gonna do that in this sweep, I gotta get the database stabilized as far as items go before I do that, that's what I'm working in this "combat" sweep.

So far I don't have any "regeneration" of hit points and sass in the game, you need to go and spend a night at an Inn to "recharge," and I kinda like that, although its a little weird, 'cause it reminds me of the way we used to play D&D, where the gambles got more intense as you went along 'cause everybody was getting busted up.

You know how you play games like that, you keep going at half hit points, hoping you'll get lucky, and you almost always keep going until you die and get sent back to town Warrior Port Style, or you get knocked down to like, two hit points, and then you try to run back to town in a panic, hoping you don't get a random encounter that punches your ticket before you can keep running, that shit is kickass ahaha.

Well, Wise Guys are almost a perpetual motion system, although they ain't really great at fighting, they can vampire sass and heal themselves with it, so they can basically stay out in the wilderness all they want (which makes sense, 'cause they're the Wilderness Guys).

And Charming guys can recharge their own (or somebody else's) sass, but they can't do anything for hit points (which also makes sense, 'cause they're car salesmen ahaha).

And Smart guys are big damage, but they don't have a sass recovery system, so I was going to make their "sass tank" bigger than everybody else (same way I'm going to make Tough guys have a bigger "hit point tank").

Smart guys get pooped and need to go back to town and rest unless they're traveling with a Charming dude, same as everybody else needs a Wise guy to heal 'em.

And I like that, I think.

Well, we'll see how it is.

Mebbe I'll make some kinda "camping" option, where you might get jumped while you are resting unless you take turns with somebody standing guard or you gotta special to make you invisible or something heh.

Or something like liquid courage potions and pipe smoking and first aid kits and food for health recovery while camping (I don't wanna do potion chugging fights, that's lame ahaha).

There's also Post Apocalyptic Recreational Vehicles, and they might be sorta like Mobile Inns, y'know, or Camping Accesories or something, I guess.

I dunno, I gotta think about that s'more, I kinda like the Run Back to Town With Two Hit Points thingie, I s'pose I could maintain that, even if you had a vehicle, driving back to town with six bullets in your chest, as long as the vehicles didn't have an infinite supply of First Aid Kits in their First Aid Dispensers or whatever.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Two Hundred and Fifty-Three Sided Dice

Anyways that roofing stuff gave me time to think about the game.

And I was sorta stuck anyways 'cause I hit a wall where I needed to think up a lot of crap at once.

Like specials for every single kinda guy and how exactly to do combat in a game with infinite levels and attributes and all the item stuff with weapons and armor and the monster junk and how exactly I wanna do the "level-up" stuff.

'Cause I need to do all that stuff in one pass so I can play the game a little and see what I need to nudge around some.

I don't gotta do it perfect and do all the icons for specials or anything on the first pass, though, y'know, 'cause its easy to go back and soup things up once you've brought the monster to life.

But its still a lot of junk to think about at once.

I got what I think is a totally cool idea for how to do combat but I never seen nobody do anything like it so I can't wait to put it in and see what it ends up feeling like.

What I'm planning on doing is using your attribute scores as the Max Value for random number generation.

Like, let's say your Dexterity is 251 after all things are considered (bonuses from items and all that).

And your Luck is 154.

You'd basically have a 251-sided dice you rolled whenever you used your Dex, and a 154-sided dice your rolled whenever you used your Luck.

So you might roll anything between a 1 and 251 for any equation that involved your Dex, and a 1 to 154 for your Luck.

And then I could use your character's Level as something to tack on there, either as a Minimum for the random roll, or as an adjustment for the end result or a combat equation, so that you were always guaranteed to do a little better as you got bigger.

Which would be mitigated by the Level of the enemy you were fighting, 'cause he'd have his own equations involving his Dex and stuff to try to avoid your attacks and all that, and then he'd add his Level on to that mess to adjust stuff.

So like, a very basic equation for hitting a guy might look something like this:

Player Character: (1-to-Dex) + (1-to-Luck) + Level= Player's To Hit Score


Monster : (1-to-Dex) + (1-to-Luck) + Level= Monster's Dodge Score

And if your To Hit score was way above the Dodge score, by some percentage, then mebbe it'd be a critical hit.

And a Humanoid (like the Player Characters) might not only Dodge, he might also Parry (if he's got a melee weapon) or Block (if he's got a shield), and then there' s the Damage Calculation afterwards, which would be modified by your Strength if you were using a melee weapon, or a flat range for ranged weapons (that's why they need crits to do anything exciting), versus the "toughness of the monster's armor" and whatever (his Constitution would be involved, Constitution needs love), and blah blah blah.

And I might make it more complicated than that, by giving weapons and armor a "weight attribute," and using your Strength to mitigate that, in order to simulate the speed at which a dude could put a weapon into position (which would give Strength some extra love in the equation, although the accuracy of the "final position" would be Dexterity's Jurisdiction, some weapons are just too damn heavy for a weak guy to use no matter how coordinated he is), and have heavy armor affect your ability to Dodge, and I know I need to "weight" Luck (by dividing it by some number) to make it have a weaker effect on the equations if I'm gonna use it in every equation or else combat would favor Luck way too much over all the other attributes (and I was thinking of giving Lucky Characters a Special that allowed them to randomly use their Luck score in the place of another attribute anyways).

And there's some other stuff with that whole thing that I'm thinking about, like the opposite of a critical hit, when you totally duff it, or what the hell a Critical Dodge or Parry or Block might do.

But I think that's how I'm gonna do it.

I'd also like to make some cool little thing that showed you your character's rolls (and your buddies' rolls) in a way that wasn't totally annoying, y'know, something smooth that didn't slow the speed of the game down with all that minutia, 'cause its cool to watch dice and see how lucky you get and shit so you can groan when you roll crappy and cheer when you really blow the top off the thing heh.


I been helping my P's rip-up and redo a roof on another one of their houses for the last few days so I'm all beat-to-shit and sunburned again.

Goddam am I out of shape.

But I always eat good when I help 'em with one of those projects so all things considered I'm probably in better shape than I was when I started.

And this time it was the "fairy tale" house they got that's like an old barn covered in over-sized plants and trees, and my little brother was helping too, and he's fucking awesome at all that constructive shit, so it was totally cool.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Goddam Ape

Not finished with it yet but I'm on a smoke break.

I love all the new tricks I learned how to do with Javascript and AJAX and stuff so I don't gotta reload pages anymore.

The way you can google for anything you wanna do with a webpage and get like four different totally awesome supergeniuses giving you the answers is totally kickass man.

I'm still using tables for a lot of shit insteada divs but I'm doing a ton of table shit on the fly (pretty much everything I'm doing is database table stuff) and divs were a pain in the ass to set up for that.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sleep Laughing

Its pretty normal for me to wake myself up when a dream starts getting freaky (although I like the freaky ones with good special effects so I stick around for those heh).

Its pretty unusual for anything in a dream to make me laugh.

I'd say its more than rare, actually, I think its pretty damn close to "doesn't ever happen."

What's weird is that this is the second time in the last couple of weeks that I've actually woke myself up laughing.

Where I wake up and I'm smiling and laughing for real in the real world, like a "sleep laffer" or something ahaha.

The first time it was actually a joke in a dream that made me laugh (you had to be there heh), and then this time it was physical comedy, so its not even the same shit every time.

And its not something from my past, this is complex new junk that I ain't never heard before, stuff I don't feel like I made up, the same way you don't feel like you make up your own nightmares.

Y'know, its weird enough that there's a part of our brain that's separate from us, a part of our brain that likes to freak us out with nightmares when we're sleeping, but we get used to that.

But now I got this part of my brain doing stand-up comedy and trying to entertain me with three stooges jokes and stuff.

Not that I'm complaining, I mean, actually its kinda awesome to wake up laughing and happy like that.

Its just weird.

The Specials List

This is just a placeholder for when I come back to fill this out some later, 'cause its the next thing I'm gonna mess with, but I'd appreciate anybody's input on crap I oughta put in there for 'em.

(melee type stuff)
Starting Stats: str:12 dex:9 con:9 int:6 wis:6 cha:6 luck: 6 (with 3 free points to spend)
Health=10 ((str+dex+con)/3)
Sass=6 ((int+wis+cha)/3)

Possible 1st Level Strong Specials:
1. Berserk: Dodge and Parry bonuses are removed for one round and applied to damage.
2. Get Serious: Dodge and Parry bonuses are removed and applied to accuracy.
3. Triple Play: if first attack lands, second attack is made, if second attack lands, third attack is made (each attack automagically targets a new enemy, so you need three enemies to make the most of it).
4. Rock 'Em Sock 'Em: Chance (based on damage) for each attack to thwart an enemy's ability to attack for the rest of the round.
5. Some kinda permanent damage increase.
6. Some kinda permanent parry increase (since they're parry guys).

(ranged and sneaky thief stuff)
Starting Stats: str:9 dex:12 con:9 int:6 wis:6 cha:6 luck: 6 (with 3 free points to spend)
Health=10 ((str+dex+con)/3)
Sass=6 ((int+wis+cha)/3)

Possible 1st Level Quick Specials:
1. Sure Thing: a guaranteed hit.
2. Snake Eyes: Permanent increased chance for critical hits.
3. Roomsweeper: attacks all enemies in one round but at penalty to hit that increases per enemy involved.
4. Bullet Time: Doubles attack speed and Dodge and Initiative for one round (maybe the first round, maybe the next round after its triggered, maybe I'll make it something permanent that's triggered off a critical hit and applies to the next combat round, I'm not sure yet).
5. Some kinda permanent Dodge increase.

(die-hard tank stuff, could be ranged or melee)
Starting Stats: str:9 dex:9 con:12 int:6 wis:6 cha:6 luck: 6 (with 3 free points to spend)
Health=10 ((str+dex+con)/3)
Sass=6 ((int+wis+cha)/3)

Possible 1st Level Tough Specials:
1. Flesh Wound: Ignores one attack every four rounds.
2. Teeter on the Brink: Any round where a Tough Guy is reduced to Zero hit points, he will hover at 1 hit point until the next round (this means that it takes a minimum of two rounds to put down a Tough Guy).
3. Disrespect: Taunts all enemies in an area of effect, maybe makes them sloppy.
4. Bring It On: Reflects some amount of damage (have to think about it) back on every attacker 'cause of the thickness of the Tough Guy's skull (doesn't make a whole lot of sense for anything but melee damage though).
5. Second Wind: Self-heal, Hulkamaniac style, but I gotta see how combat works some to know how I'll do it, might make it some kinda thing that allows them to "Surge" their hitpoints over their limit and use those as "free hit points" before it wears off, 'cause that could also be used as a "heal."
6. Maybe some kinda damage resistance increase buff thingie, or a buff to block and parry and dodge, I gotta be careful with Tough Guys 'cause of the way stuff starts stacking up with them heh.

(wizard and mad scientist type junk)
Starting Stats: str:6 dex:6 con:6 int:12 wis:9 cha:9 luck: 6 (with 3 free points to spend)
Health=6 ((str+dex+con)/3)
Sass=10 ((int+wis+cha)/3)

Possible 1st Level Smart Specials:
1. Missile Madness: Fires off one missile per level that does 1d4 damage to random targets. Critical hits if it gets them in the eye.
2. Jolt: Electrocutes an enemy for a random amount of health and sass damage (up to a max of the Smart Guy's intelligence).
3. Fire It Up: Area of effect fire damage over time, starts slow, gets worse.
4. Summon Familiar: It might look like an animal, but it ain't. It also might be Holographic Entity stored in a laptop. Or maybe it isn't.
5. Boom: Chance to knock enemies down for a round (well, make 'em all duck and cringe at least).

(healing, tactical, wilderness, and survival stuff)
Starting Stats: str:6 dex:6 con:6 int:9 wis:12 cha:9 luck: 6 (with 3 free points to spend)
Health=6 ((str+dex+con)/3)
Sass=10 ((int+wis+cha)/3)

Possible 1st Level Wise Specials:
1. Animal Taming: Summons a pet (selectable).
2. First Aid (heals 1d8 hit points + level?)
3. School 'Em: Vampires sass off an enemy.
4. Saw It Coming: Increases Dodge, parry, and block rating for one round, or something sorta like the Cleric Sanctuary spell.
5. Need a heal-over-time, but don't know if I wanna give it away for the first few levels.
6. Maybe some kinda damage-triggered heal or heal-over-time thingie that can be put on somebody ahead of time.
7. Thinking about some kinda "Choose Battlefield" special that makes it hard for them to be surprised by ambushes and allows them to see encounters coming from a long ways off so they can avoid 'em if they want (although I was going to use everybody's Wisdom for those kinds of calculations anyways, so Wise guys just have a sorta innate advantage with that).

(con-artistry, crowd control, pets, illusionist, enchanter, and bard-type junk)
Starting Stats: str:6 dex:6 con:6 int:9 wis:9 cha:12 luck: 6 (with 3 free points to spend)
Health=6 ((str+dex+con)/3)
Sass=10 ((int+wis+cha)/3)

Possible 1st Level Charming Specials:
1. There's a Sucker Born Every Minute: Summons somebody from the audience to use as a pet (eventually they'll have a Beautiful and Dim-witted Assistant as a pet, but not at first level).
2. Sucker Punch: Charisma versus Wisdom to make a single enemy wait until the Charming character strikes first.
3. Scapegoat: Charisma versus Wisdom to make an enemy attack another enemy for a single round.
4. Distraction: Charisma versus Wisdom against every member of a group of enemies to make them waste a round looking for Superman or something.
5. Inspiration: heals 1d8+level points of Sass.

(jack-of-all-trades, master-of-only-random-and-lucky stuff)
Starting Stats: str:7 dex:7 con:7 int:7 wis:7 cha:7 luck: 12 (with 3 free points to spend)
Health=7 ((str+dex+con)/3)
Sass=7 ((int+wis+cha)/3)

Possible 1st Level Lucky Specials:
1. Luck Out: (permanent buff) Character's Luck divided by Enemy Luck * 50% base chance to avoid any blow that would have put him into negative health (uses some amount of Sass each time its called on).
2. Lucky Shot: Once every four combat rounds, the character can fire off an extra attack that always hits (a random target).
3. Lady's Choice: Once every four combat rounds, the character can drain (from one up to his Luck attribute) in health and sass from a random enemy and randomly provide it to somebody else (although it may be provided to the character, someone in his group, another enemy, or even the same enemy, just 'cause it might be a one-on-one).
4. Fluke: Causes an enemy to choose a completely random target on accident (including another enemy, but not limited to that)

(Later on, I might make Lucky guys be able to learn certain lower level specials from other classes, mebbe with a chance to flub it, or in a way where they aren't really in control of which one goes off)

I'm gonna stick with the plan not to have Strange and Bent and just keep that as part of Smart for now, 'cause otherwise I think Smart gets too weak, but we'll see.

Just looking at this, I seem to have a few different kinds of Specials.


1. Permanent Buff type things that are always on.
2. Permanent Buffs that might be triggered by something during combat.
2. Buffs that might be toggles.
3. Specials (including some Buffs) that seem like they ought to be put in place at the beginning of a combat round before there's a roll for initiative.

But that's it.

I wanna have some that "reverse" or "counter" or "absorb" or "take advantage of" or "are triggered" by other powers, and weirdo ones like "breath weapons" for monster, but that's not so much the kinda junk you wanna have for 1st level guys, you need meat-and-potatoes stuff for that.

Each one of these kinda things I have to do some programming for, but that's the fun kinda stuff.

The only problem is that its the kinda stuff that you gotta playtest some to fine tune the math on it so you don't end up with totally invulnerable steamroller guys and junk like that.

Its really not that bad to deal with the "Unlimited" level and attribute thingie, though, 'cause I can always compare your attributes and levels and stuff to the monsters you are fighting (which are randomly created and unlimited too, although I'm gonna mix it up so that you'll have Gauntlet-style popcorn fights with lots of guys that are littler than you, and fights where a whole team needs to beat something huge down).

Oh yah, I'm just doing the first level junk and putting some permanent buff stuff in there that I might move to later levels ('cause I think I oughta check out how they'll work).

Its easy to think up cool junk like Meteor Strikes and Timestop and Build a Wizard Tower (or an Evil Supervillain Laboratory) and all that stuff to give to Smart guys when they're bigger.

But folks need at least one cool "power" in their list when they walk out of the character creation screen, I was thinking about giving them some "class defining" permanent buff type thingie (like a permanent health buff for Tough Guys) by default, and letting them choose their own first "active" power from a list, so that everybody would start out with SOMETHING fun to throw down in a fight.

Oh, I'm also not sure exactly how I'm gonna do the pet thing.

I love the way hunters needed to hunt for pets and train 'em and stuff in WoW, and that'd be cool as hell in a totally bizzarro-world game, where you might have a Teletubby with a Skull for a Face or the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man as a pet or something.

But I don't think that's first level stuff fer sure.

And I'm not really sure that the first level guys need combat pets, I might just make their first pets into something like buffs, or not give 'em their first pets until fourth level or something like that, but I do need to work out the interface stuff for 'em, so I included 'em in here.

Mmm, I need to lock in s'more "debuffs."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Combat and Stuff

Okay combat and stat stuff.

I don't think I'm gonna do a skill system.

At first I actually put a basic one in there, 'cause its cool to have stuff like Dual Wield and Robotics and Engineering and Driving.

And I like the idea of numbers going up while you are fighting, y'know, like "Your Ranged Attack Skill has increased by 1!"

That's cool.

But the problem is that a skill system like that turns into a headache for players eventually.

'Cause eventually it makes you feel like you need to practice shit to get skills up that you weren't bothering with.

And I don't think I wanna have that "I gotta get my two hand blunt skill up" shit in there heh.

Where, if I just based your Dual Wielding skill off your Dexterity, or your ability to fix the Time Machine off your Intelligence (which goes up with your level), you don't ever gotta worry about stuff like that.

Plus I don't want people not using an item 'cause of some skill system thingie, y'know, like, if you are good at fighting, you can pick up anything in a room and kill someone with it.

So I don't think I'm gonna do a skill system.

Although there could still be "skill checks" based off your attributes.

And I already added a "free point" thingie into there so that folks will get some automatic increases based on their class every time they level, and some points that they're free to spend any way they want on their attributes, so they'll still be able to customize their guy to some degree.

I'm programming that bit of the thing right now as I'm watching SNL heh.

And then there's the way combat works.

This is how I was thinking about doing that:

First there's a Dodge Rating, where you might just be able to move out of the goddam way, depending on how quick and coordinated (dexterity) and situationally aware (wisdom, I'm gonna have wisdom be a measure of your perception and cunning for tactical things) you are.

And mebbe I'll add strength into that mix too.

And there's gonna be an optional Parry-entangle thing after that, if you have a melee weapon equipped that you can block an attack with.

And a Block thing after that, for dudes who are carrying some kind of shields (y'know, there's still Riot Shields in modern times, and force fields and junk in scifi, and there's all sorts of shield-like crap in sorcery).

And I'm gonna have a damage resistance system, based on the Armor you are wearing, and whatever "specials" you got, if you are a "Tough" Guy, which will mitigate different sorts of damage.

And your Constitution affects your hit points, so that's already factored in to "how much damage you can take" against ALL damage types (which makes sense), and if everybody recovers hit points at a percentage, instead of so-many-per-round or something, then it effects your regen rate, too.

And your Strength attribute will make it so you can wear heavier armor and carry heavier weapons and stuff and still Dodge and Parry and Block effectively.

I don't think I'm gonna do weight stuff with the crap in your inventory, I'm gonna pretend you aren't actually carrying that around with you in a fight, but I think its cool if dudes carrying around a mini-gun or a telephone pole are generally easier-to-hit than a chick in a swimsuit armed with a ballpoint pen or something heh.

And Luck will randomly help you do everything.

I dunno if Intelligence should help you with any blood-n-guts combat stuff, it might help you know where to shoot something to land a critical hit, I guess, but Intelligence is more for the "special dependent" spellcasters and mad scientist types (who do the same kinda junk as wizards through technological devices and traps and explosives and stuff in the place of sorcery).

Specials are gonna be like "special moves" for everybody, and the meat-and-potatoes of a Smart guy, 'cause Intelligence gives you more Mana (which I been calling Sass, just to make it independent of magic), just like Constitution gives you more hit points.

I guess Charisma should give you Sass too, 'cause Charming guys are Special Spammers (they're illusionists and enchanters and con artists and animal tamers and tricksters and stuff in combat).

Oh, and its gonna be turned based combat, where everybody declares their intentions (you pick your targets and say what you are gonna do), and then there's a roll for "initiative" (which we always called "Nish") which is modified by your Dexterity ('cause that's how "quick" you are) and maybe your Wisdom (for that situational awareness thing), and then the "round" plays out automagically in front of everybody, where the fastest guy goes first, and you see what he does, and then the next guy throws down a special, and everybody gets to just kick back and see what happens, until the next "round."

I still need to work out some kind of system for being able to move and attack in the same round (for melee dudes or anybody else who wants to move-and-then-do-something, maybe I'll have sneak attacks and stuff), and something that allows a guy with multiple attacks per round to pick another target if his first target explodes on the first shot or whatever.

I keep forgetting about that stuff 'cause DK doesn't have anything like that in it (DK doesn't have anything like any of this stuff in it), but I could do a combat-placement-position thingie (like we did with miniatures in D&D) pretty easy in a window so that it didn't bother the rest of it without the thing turning into Diablo.

I just don't really wanna get into having dudes in your group hit each other with friendly fire and "cone attacks" and stuff like that, or people needing to click around a lot to position themselves for a "backstab" or something, that's too much of a headache for drunk folks, but if I can automate stuff like that, where a melee guy just picks his target and his character moves forward and starts fighting (with his penalty to initiative and everything calculated in the background) that's fine, and it'd be cool to have something like a "battle map" so that the AI of the monsters would be able to pick targets that make sense ('cause then, when the thief moves into position to backstab a guy, he's also made himself a choice target for the other badguys over there).

And monsters could have cone attacks and stuff then too.

But I could do all that "area of effect" stuff without a battle map, too, where you just think of it like two teams of guys playing tennis and firing volleys of stuff across the net at each other.

And that has nothing to do with traps and moving around in a dungeon and stuff, 'cause I already got everything except collision detection set up for that, I'm just talking about skipping all the complicated gear-head miniature wargames tactical junk to start with, and maybe adding that as an optional thing later.

Or moving to a Fallout-style combat thingie, or a Baldur's Gate one, or even a real-time Syndicate style thing eventually, it all depends on how fun stuff is at each step, but each one of those steps toward "button-mashing" turns some of the older guys off, and the younger folks already got a lot of cooler things that they could be jacking around with, I just wanna make it fun and lighthearted and easy and entertaining and relaxing and fast paced without a lot of complicated interactions.

But whatever, that's probably how I'm gonna set it up to start with, I'm not against changing anything if anybody's got better ideas for any part of it, the only "rules" are that I don't want the thing to get too complicated on the surface where the "average user" is gonna need to deal with it, aside from that, it can be more complicated than anything anybody's ever done before heh.

Oh yah, there's gonna be a lot of mechanical junk to Specials, like, for a machine gun guy, he might be able to do an "area-of-effect" full-auto burst type Special once every four rounds, or an "aimed shot" every six or something, so those Specials will "go gray" on his screen until its "recharged" and ready to be used again.

I was thinking about the ranged and melee types being less "special" focused and more "normal attack" focused, and having the "caster" types be constantly using their specials to do everything.

And Specials might be passive buffs that are "always on" once you get 'em, or short term buffs and whatever else (they're already spells like healing and spell attacks).

Specials are gonna be different for each class (although there might be similar things in each pool) and they'll also have level restrictions, like, first level guys only have so many to pick from, and they don't get a new one until level 5, and then they get to pick another one, which might be a level 5 Special, or another level 1 Special.

I don't have 'em worked out yet so I have no idea how many folks are gonna have to pick from or any of that, I'm just saying.

And even though I need to program how Specials work mechanically, underneath the surface, like, First Aid heals for 4-8 hit points, players can still add their own versions of the First Aid Card ('cause I sorta think of Specials as the Card Game part) to the mix, with different pictures and descriptions, so that there'll be more than one "wrapper" for First Aid to pick from for different kinds of guys and different game "themes and time periods" and stuff.

But they'll all be First Aid underneath, and at 5th level (or whatever), there'll be a more powerful healing "Special" that heals more in one round but takes longer than First Aid to recharge.

And as long as First Aid and its "Upgrades" are made more potent by your ever-increasing Wisdom attribute (or level as a Wise Guy), they'll never become obsolete.

Mmm I gotta think about whether I wanna do ammo and reloading or not.

I hate the idea of a cowboy needing to reload y'know that's so painful for those guys.

They need a Quick Reload special for sure heh.

Specials are also how I was thinking of granting things like the ability to Build a Fort or a Wizard's Tower and the Paladin's Horse dealie and stuff.

They're not restricted to combat, they could be things for exploring (or not being surprised by monsters while exploring) or having a permanent pet and whatever.

Body Slot Madness

Alright, this is what I think I'm gonna do...

1. Head (for helmets, hats, sweatbands, whatever)
2. Neck (for necklace, scarves, etc.)
4. Back (for coats, cloaks, capes)
5. Body (for a shirt, breastplate, jumpsuit...)
6. Belt (for any kind of belt thingie including gunbelts, toolbelts, and scabbards)
7. Legs (pants, blah blah blah)
8. Feet(boots, whatever)
9. Hands (gauntlets, gloves)
10, Wrist (bracers, wristwatches, bracelets)
11. Ring
12. Pocket (towels, magic gems, lucky charms)
13. Ear (could be earrings, could be a comm thingie or something in a futuristic deal)
14. Eye (sunglasses, spectacles, targeting reticule, whatever)

And there's two slots for what weapons you got in your hands, which might both be used by a two handed weapon, or it might be two separate pistols, or a pistol and a shield, if you are in ancient greece or something heh.

The only thing I'm not sure about is how many slots to do for stuff like Rings and junk.

I was kinda kinda thinking that maybe I should just set a certain number of Jewelry slots aside for Rings, Pocket Items, Necklaces, Ear thingies, Bracelets, and Eyewear, so you can put whatever you want in there, like, have four earrings, or two rings an eyepiece and and a wristwatch, or even four pairs of sunglasses (what the hell do I care really heh).

And then it'd be something like this:

1. Head
2. Back
3. Body
4. Belt
5. Legs
6. Feet
7. Hands

8. Left Hand Weapon
9. Right Hand Weapon

1. Whatever
2. Whatever
3. Whatever
4. Whatever
5. Whatever
6. Whatever
7. Whatever
8. Whatever
9. Whatever

Or something.

I think that second one is better.

And you don't gotta have it be jewelry (if you don't like jewelry) 'cause there's crap like Doctor Who Scarves and Hitchhiker Towels and Voodoo Dolls and Pocket Editions of Time Travel for Dummies and stuff.

I think its better if I do it that way for another reason, 'cause if I make the slots too complicated, then it makes it more of a hassle for people to add stuff, where a broad grouping for weird little trinkets makes it easier for 'em.

Plus this setup fits any kind of theme or time period and stuff.

Well, the "hands" slot is still kinda stupid, wearing gloves and mittens is pretty damn lame when it ain't fashionable to wear gauntlets, but it got Grandfathered into roleplaying games before I could do anything about it heh.

Y'know, like, all us Computer Guys would have to wear magical fingerless bum gloves so we could type and still get the stat bonuses in that universe ahaha.

Hmm, mebbe I will get rid of the "hands" slot.

"Body" could take care of that.

And gauntlets could be a melee weapon, and then I wouldn't need gloves.

Nah, that still ain't right, even with a spacesuit there's gloves.

And "hands" sorta make up for the way we don't have "arm" clothes heh.

The Paper Doll

Armor and Clothing:

1. Head
-great helm, bicycle helmet, hockey mask, construction hat with beer mod, baseball cap, French guy hat, furry Russian hat, World War I Pilot Hat with Ear Flaps, Hippy Wreath of Flowers, Gambling Visor, Turban...

2. Body
-breastplate, hawaiian shirt, black latex catsuit, hospital gown, silver spacesuit with lightning bolt on chest, wife-beater shirt, pajamas, pasties...

3. Legs
-greaves, shorts, jogging pants, super sexy acid washed jeans, pantyhose, kilt, mini-skirt, camouflage parachute pants, g-string...

4. Feet
-combat boots, moon boots, black socks and sandals, clown shoes, swimfins, spiked heels and leg warmers, shoe-phone...

5. Hands
-gauntlets, oven mits, rubber gloves, furry mittens, fingerless "toughguy" gloves, Michael Jackson-type glove...

6. Back
-cloak, cape, trenchcoat, poncho, shawl, surcoat, blanket, astronaut suit, kickass nuclear powered robotic exoskeleton that can turn into a motorcycle, medical scrubs, towel with a safety pin...

Note: No love for sizzle-chested "shoulderpad fans" wtf is that all about anyways how the hell did "shoulderpads" ever even get to be an item in games that must be that Billy Joel Gym Shoes From the 80s Guy again heh.

Other Slots:

7. Eyewear
-mirrored shades (can only be equipped by cops and helicopter pilots with mustaches), taped-up horned rim glasses, safety glasses, colored contact lenses, night vision goggles...

8. Neck
-turquoise amulet from Arizona, power tie, soap-on-a-rope, musical gangster clock, bib...

9. Rings
-toe rings, nipple rings, nose rings, lip rings, bellybutton rings, tongue studs, eyebrow rings (man, a guy in the modern age can wear a lot of magic rings, I mean seriously, there's like no limit if a dude really puts his heart into it, I think mebbe I should just make a "bottomless pit" type of inventory slot for that so I don't gotta think about all the gross shit ahaha)...

10, Ears
-earrings, earmuffs, headphones, ear piece, hearing aid, that little hands-free cell phone thingie that makes you look like a total jagbag...

11. Underpants
-some people wear 'em...

12. Wrists
-bracers, watches, cheesy communication devices from 1960s style scifi, sweatbands (ooh that's a hat too haha)...

Hmm.... what else can people hang shit off of?

There's gotta be more heh.

And I might as well have 'em all 'cause I'm making up the Rules and so the First Rule is that There Ain't No Rules.

Except that Rule about Shoulderpads=sux.

I wanna have like, twice as many slots on the paper doll as everybody else, at least, y'know, I mean, its no sweat off my back.

I think mebbe I'll make each hand and foot be able to wear a different glove and shoe heh.

Well its not like you gotta match.

And I suppose I could break "body" up into a couple more slots for an "undershirt, shirt, and sweater vest" or something.

And if you really had like, three magical t-shirts in Real Life, I bet you'd wear 'em all on top of each other, so maybe I should make that into three slots ahaha.

And "pasties and tassels" could be a separate slot too.

Or mebbe even two separate slots, if you can wear pasties and tassels at the same time, I'm not sure how they work, exactly (but I'm more than willing to learn baby ahaha).

And you could wear one of each on each nipple, so that's a couple more slots right there.

Unless you got to wear a pair for the magic to work, somebody needs to check with Gary Gygax on that, that's a tough call ahaha.

And the Back slot could be broken up too, 'cause you could wear an overcoat with a cape inside an astronaut suit, so that's three more slots.

Oh, and then there's the Scarf Slot, I forgot all about that one.

Yah, the neck one could broken up into a "scarf" and "tie" and a bunch of "necklace slots" so you can go totally Mr. T on the stuff.

Oh, and the "Hanky Slot," there's no sense in doing away with that one just because nobody does that anymore ahaha.

"I got me a Magical Hankerchief +2."

Oh man, socks could be separate from shoes too.

And that's two slots right there 'cause you ain't gotta having matching socks either.

And there's gotta be a "belt" slot, shit man, I forgot all about that one, and that's not even a weird one.

And a fanny pack slot.

Magical wallets and toolbelts and gun belts and holsters and scabbards.

And what about "magical gems" or pocketwatches or something you can put in your pockets?

Oh yah they had that in WoW.

Or how about those Ioun Stone thingies from D&D that orbit your head like little planets, dude, what's the limit on those, I think you can have like ten of those things, I mean, those things would totally make it tough to comb your hair and eat soup, what with all them damn rocks bouncing off the kitchen table and shit, but its ten more slots, y'know?

Oooh, if it was the seventies, you could have a magical Plastic Comb for your "back pocket slot" ahaha.

And all this stuff could have sockets that you could put things into, too.

And hats can actually have slots for magical fishing lures and cards you could stick in your hatband and rabbits and whatever else people stick in their hats.

And magical penny slots for your magical penny loafers.

Ioun Stones that orbit other Ioun Stones ahaha.

'Member when patches were cool in the seventies?

I had a "spider man" patch on this red hoodie and I thought I was the shiznit.

And iron-ons?

Oh man magical iron-ons ahaha yah baby and magical lipgloss and "tattoo slots" ahaha.

I can even have a slot for what kinda magical perfume and deodorant you are wearing.

And a magical golden tooth slot.

A glass eyeball socket.

Oh man, and then there's all the bionic shit.

And nanobots.

And genetic augmentations.

And the Random Mutation Overlay ahaha.

Friday, June 13, 2008

...And the Rest of It

And the next thing is the way I gotta redo the database to handle monsters and stuff.

'Cause I wanna make three tables for monsters and loot and towns and buildings and specials (which are the same thing as spells) and everything else the players can add to the game.

One that stores all the junk that Users can add to the database, like pictures and descriptions and all that cool stuff.

And one where I store the naked mechanical skeletons for monsters (and everything else) that the game uses to sorta randomly apply all that window dressing junk to, the attributes and number of attacks and what kind elemental damage it does and what kind of loot it drops and whatever, in the case of monsters, but its other things for specials and weapons and armor and magical items and buildings and towns and vehicles and blah blah blah.

And the third one being actual monsters and items and towns and buildings and stuff that people own and junk (monsters only being somewhat persistent unless they're pets or the boss of a dungeon that nobody has killed or something).

I think that's the way that I gotta do it.


Alright, so I'm gonna do yet another database revision.

I gotta do it anyway so I can clean up my map code with "selectable icons" for the users and make it all done by variables (I don't have a field in the tables of Towns and Players for what "icons" they use, the urls for pictures need really long fields and I didn't have any extra).

Plus I wanna start working on the Character Class and Combat and Monster and Loot and Inventory stuff, 'cause that's the fun shit.

And one of the things I need to do for that is to change the stuff I put in the database for how to handle inventory and backpacks and bank slots and treasure chests and places you can stash shit in your vehicles and whatever buildings you own and npc merchants and stuff.

'Cause right now all I got is forty inventory slots and forty bank slots per "character" inside the character table.

Which is a really dumb way to do it.

'Cause I can give people the potential for way the hell more inventory if I make a separate table to store something like "forty-slot backpacks" and then just make sure that the "backpacks" have the character's name on it (well, their ID, but same thing).

And its just more efficient to do it that way anyway, when you think about cutting down the amount of data moving through the pipes, like, you don't really need to know about your inventory (and especially all the shit in your bank and whatever else) unless you wanna look at it or equip something out of it or sell it or put something in the bank or something, aside from those things, it can stay "asleep," basically.

Well, there's also the thing about like, giving people crappy backpacks to start with, and a limited amount of bank slots, and then giving them better ones and more slots as they get bigger, so I need some fields for that "how many slots does the backpack have" in the Inventory Database.

Hmm, are backpacks a kind of loot?

They're definitely something the users could add pictures for, a cheap way to customize your User Interface to suit your character heh.

But really all they'd have is a pic and a number of slots, they ain't got any other attributes, I don't think.

Well, they'd need to know who they belonged to, so I could pull them back out of the "Inventory" database by character ID, and then they'd need to know what kind of inventory they were, like, whether they were a backpack on a character, or a bank slot, or the trunk of a car, or something in a building.

And they might not have an "owner," if they're a treasure chest in a dungeon or an abandoned car or something.

So I need some fields for "where" they belonged, too.

Or I could just reference them from the thing they belonged to, by giving buildings and vehicles "slots' for storing whatever "backpacks" or "inventories" they own.

And then the user owns the character, the character owns the car, and the car owns whatever its got in its glove box and trunk, and it checks back up the tree to its owner before it lets anybody else mess with it heh.

And if it don't have an owner, then whatever its got in its trunk is free for the taking to everybody.

Yah, that's the way to do it, same thing with all the houses and Taverns and forts your character might own and stuff.

But his bank slots and personal inventory will be directly assigned to him, and not assigned to him through some other object that's between him and that inventory with a chain of command and stuff.

Okay, so that's the way I'm gonna do it.

An inventory table made out of "forty slot backpacks" with fields for an owner, a name (so you can give the backpack a name), an image, the max number of slots it has ('cause it might be less than forty), the number of slots that its using, and some space to store the IDs of the items that are currently stored in that backpack.

I'm just going with 40 'cause I think that's a good number even though there's some junk like "gloveboxes" that can't hardly store anything, it don't take a "glovebox" any more time to move out of the database than it takes a forty slot backpack with the same amount of items in it.

And I don't wanna get into chaining "ten slot backpacks" together into one big forty slot back pack, that's actually inefficient in the database ('cause each of those "tiny bags" would need to store their owners and all those other "header" variables, which are just about as big as the tiny bag itself heh) and its inefficient on the player side of things where their machine has to do more math and queries and crap to put things together, its better to go with the "biggest" size you think you might wanna display as a single inventory, I think, even though that don't sound exactly right.

I could make the slots as a "text field" that expanded to any size too, and then just parse the thing.

Mebbe I should do that.

The only bad thing about that is that you gotta parse the thing before you can grab something out of it, if you got forty fields in the database, instead of a "variable" amount of slots stored as a string that you gotta parse, you can go straight to field 32 in the database and grab whatever that thing is without bothering with anything else.

I dunno if I'm ever gonna wanna do that, I'm just thinking it all out heh.

And if you store it as a string, you gotta parse it out into an array to play with it and then smush it all back into a string to stick it back in there, insteada just updating one slot of it.

I dunno if that's that big a deal though, I mean, a string with forty IDs isn't all that big a deal, and its one read or write from and to the database either way.

And with the string, you could grow it to anything you want, 100 slot backpacks and all that, and it doesn't waste any "unused" space in the database on "empty slots."

Yah but one programming mistake or a glitch and that whole backpack gets torched, where if you do things one at a time you are limiting the potential damage heh.

I think that's what is giving me the willies about the string idea ahaha.

I think I'm gonna do the string thing though.

Hmm, the thing with the car owning an inventory isn't going to work, 'cause cars (and all the other things that might have an inventory) might have the same ID as a character, 'cause they live in a separate table.

So I need to keep track of the ID of the inventory in the thing that owns it, and not search the database for "things owned by this or that guy," 'cause it might not be a guy that owns it.

Unless I add a field that's a number that says what type of thing it is that owns it.

Yah I'm gonna do that just so that I can do it either way, its always good to have a little more rope than you need, y'know, 'cause what if I wanna do treasure chests that only open up after you kill their owner or something like that heh.