MegaMooseCon is approaching very much like an oncoming express train. Running around buying pickup trucks, even one just the one pickup truck, hasn’t helped. :p But one critical thing is now done and ready for the proofreader: the new version of the dead-trees manual.
As I mentioned in the last post about the new .ASK command, I hadn’t settled on how I was going to handle variable types. There were a number of alternatives, including separate commands, but I finally settled on having .ASK check to see if the user’s input is valid for the variable type given, whether it’s text or numeric.
That, of course, led to the question of what happens if you want to do that at some other time, not just with an .ASK. The answer to that is probably indicative of why TBL, at last count, has 83 commands and another 64 synonyms for some of those commands: I keep thinking of things that should have a command, so I put one in. In this case, it’s .CONVERT.
Also, there’s a new they-variable. More after the jump.
Those of you who remember the original TableMaster have, no doubt, noticed the absence of the .ASK command in TableMaster II, and its relatives .SCREEN and .CLEARSCREEN. Wonder no more — it’s back, and it’ll be in the next release. (watch the download page) I left it until now because getting it right is actually surprisingly complicated.
Just a notice: I’m going to be out of town for my late aunt’s funeral service and to (hopefully) resolve the issues with her estate. Back next week. For obvious reasons, no orders will be shipped (or emailed) until I get back. I’ll be in Lubec, Maine, where my cell phone service will be irregular at best (it’s out where the T-Mobile don’t run), so if you need to get in touch in the interim, contact me through the Gmail account, wintertree.software, naturally at gmail.com.
Hopefully this will be the end of the estate-related chaos (which has reached the point of involving a lawyer) and I’ll be able to turn my attention back to being a software company.
Oh, and make a will. Your heirs (and their customers) will thank you.
Update: Back. Busy being a software company again. Getting ready for MegaMooseCon. Adding some last few changes to TableMaster before the manual goes to the printer for its next iteration, alternating with working on the heraldry font. (note: need an artist who can draw lions rampant, etc.; contact me for details) Hating on American Airlines, whose screwed-up scheduling led to me running through Charlotte airport to make my connection (turns out I can cover over a kilometer of airport in less than 8 minutes, at the cost of my right knee). Still sorting out the aunt’s estate, too, but things are a lot less chaotic than they were.
I even had a vacation! We spent part of an afternoon at Quoddy Head State Park, walking along the cliff trail, taking pictures of the lighthouse, etc. That’s a vacation, right? I mean, it doesn’t have to be a full day or anything?
I still don’t have the forums fixed. Real Life, so-called, has intruded rather badly. (as my silence on Twitter might make obvious) I have, however, been tinkering with TableMaster some more.
So there’s another new command: .ATTACH
First, no news on the forum front. Still need to dig into that on a system level. I was going to be going after that today, but a little issue of hexes, or at least hexadecimals, came up.
Since the beginning, some TableMaster players have been Traveller referees. If you’ve played Traveller, you know that not only can your character in fact die during character creation, but if it does survive, one of the things produced is the Universal Personality Profile, a string of hex digits. And, since TableMaster is not system-specific, there was never any way to really do this with TBL.
After an amazing amount of trouble, some emails that must have convinced my host that I’m that customer, and an annoying DNS issue, the server migration is complete. This is good.
On the other hand, phpBB, the forum software, is having issues with SQL usernames. This is not good. So, the forums are offline (and throwing errors) until I work out exactly which script is trying to use the wrong username and fix it. It’s not helping that the server migration has included a change in control panels … it’s much like switching from PC to Mac … and I’m just learning my way around the new one.
In the interim, while I was waiting for some of the server issues to sort themselves out, I did some more tinkering with the dice fonts. The results are below.
And then there’s the hole in my head….
Here’s an updated picture of the new PolyDice font I just did, which will be going in Arcane Alphabets:
I made a lot of minor changes, and redrew the d4 and d6 outlines to get the line widths right — those were the first I did, so they didn’t quite match. I’m still not really happy with the spacing on some of them, so I’ll be tinkering with that some more. Aside from those little tweaks, though, this is basically what will be the production font. There will also be two different black versions of this (and every other PolyDice font) — one with a border and one without.
If you’re wondering what happened to Arcane Alphabets, which I was going to put on the online store on Monday after GnomeCon … well, fonts happened.
Specifically, what happened was that I saw a sign that had a very nice black-on-white d20. I liked how that looked. I thought that should go into PolyDice. And then I thought that there should be another way of doing it, too. And I really should do that d10 font, even though it isn’t a regular Platonic solid. And I had the embarrassing realization that one thing you couldn’t do with my d20 font was … a 20! So back to the font mines.
Folds what kinds of things? Well, I have discovered cardstock modeling.
This actually came about for mundane business reasons. Or as mundane as any business reasons can be in a business where a bag of plastic eyeballs is a legitimate business expense. GnomeCon is in a couple of weeks, and I always try to have something interesting and different at the booth. I had the idea of some kind of 3D display showing some of the places in a typical setting that TableMaster could be used to describe. After dorking around with ideas for a while and making no headway, I picked up some of the E-Z Dungeons PDFs from Fat Dragon Games on DriveThruRPG. I printed … cut … folded … and now I’m addicted.
So what can you do with TableMaster and a bunch of little cardboard foldy things?