Thursday, February 07, 2019

Backend Updates Complete

Well this was a rigorous month for Elthos. The short and sweet update (and probably boring albeit accurate) is that most of my time since last post was spent working on cleaning up data on the back end of the Mythos Machine. It wasn't what you'd call fun, but it was satisfying in the end. Here's the raw details.

Feb 3, 2019

World Page Look & Feel
Update to the Worlds page configuration. It now allows you to go directly to the Things Management page from the Worlds Page by hovering the button Go To and clicking World Things. Earlier you had to go to the Administration Console first, which made it feel a bit confusing. Now it is more clear that Things are under Worlds.

In addition I cleaned up the way that the Expand boxes look, how they work, and their position on the page to make them less prone to triggering the Question mark hover. Additional work on coloring now separates the sections a little more clearly. In addition the Images dialog box was centered horizontally and vertically with a better coverage of its space in the div.

While seemingly minor improvements, each of these small things adds up to a better user experience overall. As we move forward I will continue to make such improvements as may seem necessary and useful.

Jan 29, 2019

World Stores Management
Earlier versions did not allow the user to delete or modify the name of the General Store, or the Body Things store. However, now they can be modified or deleted, however both of them are nevertheless required and will be recreated if they are not found in any given world. The reason for this is because in some cases two of either or both of these Stores could potentially exist (if the user inadvertently creates a duplicate) and the former method did not allow the user to clean up this kind of mistake. So now, the user can manage these stores more explicitly.

And now, thank goodness, I can get back to what I started to work on a few weeks ago ... the creation of my first Publishable World - 'The Way of All Flesh' - Space Opera of truly cosmic proportions. That said, I'm putting that on hold for a little bit while I work on creating a few smaller and more compact Worlds for the Worlds Marketplace. That's also going well. So things are happening ... even if you can't see them! Ha!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Mythos Machine - Site Update

Bug Fix - Deleting Things Issue

In the Mythos Machine "Things" are World building objects, such as weapons, armor, races, classes, cultures, etc.

There was an issue with the Things Deletion System where references to deleted Things remained with the Character, and when Armors, Equipment and Weapons were deleted Characters could still have them. While this was non-disruptive to the application in the sense that it didn't cause any errors, it did leave orphaned items where they didn't belong, and this had an effect on the quality of the underlying data, and also may have produced a few, albeit rare, cases of unexpected results for the Gamemasters. Now, once a Thing is deleted it is completely removed from the World in every aspect. Both the code and the data have been cleansed of orphans and where necessary missing data was replaced.

At this point the Mythos Machine will alter the Characters that have associations either by deleting them , or by assigning a new value from the World, such as when a Class or Race is deleted. In this case the first Thing in the list will be selected as a replacement. For example, if you have a Monk Class, and three Characters in your World are Monks, when you delete the Monk Class, the three Characters will be assigned to Thief instead.

A further step will be to provide the GM a list of those things that will be changed when the deletion is completed, in case they are not entirely aware of everything that might change. In addition, when something like the Race, or Class are changed, instead of selecting the first Thing in the list as a substitute, the GM will be given an option to change them to a specified Class. This piece will take some effort to construct, but it's not something that should take very long. A week of concerted effort will do the trick.

However, I am eager to get back to building the first Published World, and so I'm going to hustle that forward first. Priorities, priorities. The reason for this is that right now we don't have any Purchasable Worlds in the Marketplace for Free Marketplace GM's to try out. We need those. Obviously. So my goal now is to get content out there that people can check out. Then I will circle back around and continue the polishing effort.

Ok, that's the report for today.  Meanwhile, have a listen to Tenkar's RPG Breakfast Club Podcast (ep 1) (note, Privacy Badger and similar blockers can inhibit you from seeing this embed to the podcast. If so, please take a hop over to the website here: Anchor FM RPG Breakfast Club Podcast...

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Mythos Machine - Skills Organization Revision Planning

Currently working on simplification of the Skills System. Right now, due to the evolution of how I created the system, and then programmed it, there are three methods for organizing Skills: Generic, Skill-Class, and Skill-Book-Class. These three were created to solve different problems. The Generic is the simplest to maintain as a list on a piece of paper. The Skill-Class is the easiest to understand. The Skill-Book-Class is the easiest to understand in context to the Mystic Powers system which also uses Books. In the end there can be only one, because having three systems is too complicated and opens the door to people mixing the systems and getting confused.

Here's how the current three methods work (expert from the Mythos Machine World Weaver's Strategy Guide):

Generic Skill Building
You create your skills assigning them a status of Primary, Elective, Combined or Prohibited for each of the four Cardinal Classes, Thief, Fighter, Spell Chanter and Cleric. This way, when Characters go to select their Skills the system looks to see what Class the Character is, and then displays the skills that fit their Class. So for example if you had a Character who is a Multi-Class like Fighter-Thief, then the system would show the Character Primary and Elective Skills for all Skills that are designated as belonging to Fighters and Thieves, and not show Skills designated as belonging to Magic Users and Clerics. This Generic Skill Building Method takes a bit more time and more thought but it also means that when you create new classes you don't have to assign specific Skills to it. In that sense it's more generic and easier.

Class Specific Skill Building
Conversely, you may find it easier to Assign each Skill to specific Classes. You can do this when you create the Skills or you can do it afterwards. Or you can do it when you create a New Class. To do so you go to the Edit Skill screen and click the "Show Additional Item Options" button, and you will see a check list that you can select from. You can either go to Edit Skills and decide which Classes each Skill belongs to, or you can do it the other way and go to Edit Classes and choose which Skills each Class has associated to it. If you want to use this method, then when you create new Skills assign them all Elective for every Class.

Skill Book Building
Lastly, you may find it easier to Assign Skills to specific Skill Books, and then associate each Book to the Classes you want. Again, if you want to use this method, then when you create new Skills assign them all Elective for every Class.

I think the clearest method for the Mythos Machine is probably going to be the Skills-Class method.  You create a skill and then you assign it as Primary to specific Classes. Everyone else can learn it as Elective. In this system there won't be any way to prohibit skills from being learned by characters who might choose to learn it as an Elective Skill but that is an acceptable price to pay if the result is a simplification of the system overall. So I think that is the direction I will go with it. Of course I will ruminate over it and try this and try that before deciding, but I think Skill-Class will turn out to be the best option.