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Name: Mark Dickenson

State: Missouri
Country: United States

Sex: Male
Age: 60
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Panama Jack
Jul 26, 2009 - 1:48 am
Title: RUNAWAY HE IS BLOGGING!!!

Call Homeland Security Panama Jack is actually posting!!!

Yes, it has been over a year since I last posted a blog.  I never have been able to get excited about blogging like so many other people but I figured it was time.  I thought I would talk about some of the upcoming changes to AATrade and give a late update to my work on the house.

As you can tell from my last blog I bought a very, very rundown Ranch Style house and posted pictures to prove it.   I said I would post pictures of the finished work and never did.  So, in keeping with my delayed posting of the work on the house here are some pictures of the kitchen and the living room front door I took almost a year ago.

Just for reference this first picture is what the kitchen looked like right after I bought it.  You would have been hard pressed to find anything worse off.



Below are three angles looking into the kitchen after i finished most of the major work.  At that time there were no wall cabinets installed because I ran out of money.   You can't tell from the pictures too well but the counter top is all bisque colored porcelain tile.  Also, the brown tiles you see above the counter are gone.  The back-splash between the counter and wall cabinets is now tiled using 2 inch dull white ceramic tile with very faint grayish speckles.  That tile is trimmed on the edges using a brown porcelain 1 inch by 2 inch tile.  It looks amazing.  Also, you can see the floor is tiled with a ceramic rough stone looking greenish tile.  Also, there isn't a kick-panel under the floor cabinets in the pictures but it now has real copper kick-panels that really stand out with those cabinets and floor tile.  All of the cabinet doors and drawers have brushed stainless steel pulls and I didn't use knobs but regular pull handles for everything.  It looks much better than knobs.

Every bit of work you see from the ceiling spots to cabinets to all of tile work (yes, floor and counter) to the paint and trim was done by myself.  Didn't ask for any help.  I am damned proud of the work I have accomplished.

Tarnus and Max Headroom helped with the demo work on the kitchen. Watching a 6'+ Max swinging a pickaxe is a scary sight from any horror movie.  The only thing missing was a mask.

In another month or two I may get around to posting another blog with pictures of the finished kitchen.  There are cabinets all along the wall and the microwave you see sitting on the floor is mounted above the stove under a cabinet.





This is a picture of what the front door and walls looked like when I bought the house.



This is what the front door looks like from the dining room.   And the 4' x 4' entryway floor is tiled using a brown and gray river rock looking ceramic tile.  The carpet in the living-room is a brown, gray and beige Berber carpet with a faint diamond pattern.



I have NEVER done anything like this before.  I was a complete novice when it came to remodeling.  It was definitely an on-the-job learning experience.  I am thankful for the Internet because it let me find all kinds of information on how to lay tile, put up sheet-rock, install cabinets, paint, trim and all kinds of other things.

The only down side is when I leave town to visit my relatives I get hooked into doing remodeling work for them.   My last job was removing stainless steel back-splash around the stove and two walls of cabinets in the kitchen.  Then tiling the back-splash at my moms kitchen.  

Word to the wise...  

If you don't want family asking for remodeling help don't let them know you can do it.

Now, on to the game...

I was looking though some of the game files and noticed that most of the attack code for ships and planets has never been templated.  Plus I noticed that the result screens are HORRIBLE.  They are a jumble of information and  just plain look like crap.  Once we release 0.40, yes we are just making sure everything is stable before releasing, we will start working on the attack result screens.  They will be reformatted and templated so the information can be presented in a more legible manner.

There are also a number of other files like ports that have never been templated either.  Once the attack screens have been reworked we will be converting the port code to use templates.  This will make them look better and be easier to change their look in the future.

We will also be completely changing the COST and AMOUNT system used by tech levels.  We are going to go to a smooth scale based upon preset incremental values for how much planet and ship tech will cost.  The number of items supported by tech levels will no longer be outrageously high the higher the tech level.  Basically, we will be completely scrapping the logarithmic method used for calculating cost and amounts for tech levels.  Players will actually be able to get to level 600 tech.

We will also be rewriting the combat routines to support the new methods.  You will see an actual randomness in combat that you see in other games.  Not every shot will hit and not every shot will do 100% damage.  We also plan to add a combat experience factor to the game.  This value will change depending upon your combat.  The more experienced you become in combat will give you a little more edge in the outcome of the battle.

Now here is the big announcement...

Once the above items are completed we will FINALLY be starting work on Research and Build.  Most of the code for R&B was created in 0.40.  We had to completely rewrite many sections of the game to incorporate new device types, commodities, spies and dignitaries among other things.  

This helped us refine how to implement R&B.  Some of our initial work on paper used some very complex methods and were way out there.  Then we hit on a simple idea that for some reason totally escaped us.  The idea is exactly what we are using for planets building the new commodities.  The R&B items will be created in the exact same manner as building something like Bio Medical on a planet.  There will be a certain number of colonists needed to create an item just like the new commodities.  The items will be built slowly over time in a similar manner.  The only difference is under R&B other commodities on the planet will be consumed by what ever is being Researched or Built.

An example would be researching a Rebound Probe.  This is a probe that causes anyone that enters the same sector as the probe to rebound back to their start sector.

To research the probe make take 1 million colonists, 200 organics per colonist assigned per tick (every 5 minutes), 1,000 energy per colonist assigned per tick to complete the research phase.

To build the probe it may take 5 million colonists, 400 organics per colonist assigned per tick, 5,000 goods per colonist per tick and 5,000 energy per colonist assigned per tick to build one of those probes.

The changes to the commodity system make this very, very easy to do now.   

Now, for those of you who are worried about this stuff affecting the Main Game...  Don't Worry!

None of these things will ever see the light of day on the Main Game until the the next version is ready for release.  The only changes you should see on the Main Game are bug fixes or cosmetic changes.  Basically what you see now is what you are going to be getting for quite some time.

When we finally get enough of the new code semi-working we will open the Beta Game with it.  We hope people will play both games but it would be nice to have enough people playing the beta in the future to really make sure things are worked out properly.  But that isn't anything to worry about for a while,  No one should expect to see the Beta Game open for maybe 2-3 months as there is a lot of preliminary coding we have to do first.

So that's my latest blog.  I hope it was just as boringly tedious as I hoped.


Entry Edited 5 times - Edited on Jul 26, 2009 - 1:58 am

Posted Jul 26, 2009 - 1:48 am


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