Fate of the Norns

Dweller/Denizen Builder
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Author:  Dumnbunny [ Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:14 am ]
Post subject:  Dweller/Denizen Builder

I've only run a few sessions of FotN (one of which was dweller creation), and I'm already quite taken with the game, and so are the players; box sets and metal runes have been/are being purchased, other sessions they run are being converted to FotN:R, etc. I'm so taken with the game that I've begun work on a web-based Dweller/Denizen Builder. I wanted this to be web-based so that any one could use it, regardless of which OS they are using, on everything from desktops to mobile devices, or something cobbled together with a Raspberry Pi.

I’ve been developing it in between project work, trying to decide when to approach Andrew about it. As it happens, a buddy from my group was at GenCon, and showed Andrew some samples, and he relayed a request that I start a thread here, adding in some screenshots. So, here we are!

So far, almost all the work has been on the back-end, setting up data structures, data entry, relationships between beings, runes, powers, etc. I did create a basic view of a Dweller. I want to pretty it up some, but this should give you an idea of where I'm going. Eventually, the system will produce PDF character sheets.


This is very rudimentary, but here’s a view of the Dweller creation page. Again, this is going to be prettied up (though still with a clean, clear design; I don’t do clutter).


Now, one potential concern is that there a lot of Andrew's IP on that page, and I will fully respect Andrew’s wishes regarding his IP rights.

That's where I'm at so far, with work proceeding as fast as I can get away with. I got a little side-tracked with a custom power-builder based on the tables in Lords of the Ash, but that's another project ...

Author:  raleel [ Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dweller/Denizen Builder

I think somewhere buried in the bowels of my docs I have a json structure for the powers and a doc with all the core book powers done up. Similar aspirations on this, but time gets in my way.

Author:  JarlDM [ Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dweller/Denizen Builder

Oh my goodness, this would be so INCREDIBLY helpful for character creation with new players, especially in the online environment. I run most of my games online via Roll20 and Google Hangouts, and it can be pretty tricky to manage all of that stuff in one window. This character creator would be incredibly handy. Keen to see where it goes!

Author:  andrew [ Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dweller/Denizen Builder

This looks great!

We have a monster generator in the works using Unity. This will allow us to push the builder to many different platforms including mobile. We plan to evolve the monster builder into a dweller creation tool which is a super-set of the monster builder. I'm always excited to see apps for our game, so thanks for posting. Obviously we need to protect our IP, so one of the things we're planning is a powers/skills server. External apps can register and use the API to fetch the descriptions from a database. This would help secure the client from unlawful hacking exposing all of the content. I want to encourage the fan based projects so I'm keen to hear your ideas on how we can achieve both.

The server would also keep your save data (account info), so you can access your dwellers/denizens from anywhere and any device.

Author:  LarryFr [ Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dweller/Denizen Builder

The most difficult part for the dweller/denizen creation is how to store the grids.
I've made a OO structure for denizens, dwellers, active powers, passive powers and skills.

Each square of the powers' grid (active, passive, skill) for a specific denizen/dweller must have :
- a coordonate (position in the grid),
- a link to the denizen/dweller
- a link to the power

I've began to create a database for storing all datas and I've got some problems with the squares.
If you have any ideas, you can contact me by MP.

Author:  raleel [ Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dweller/Denizen Builder

Hmm, I would have thought a linked list arrangement might work, with links to the adjacent powers. Starting point, afaik, is always the middle.

Author:  Dumnbunny [ Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dweller/Denizen Builder

LarryFr wrote:
I've began to create a database for storing all datas and I've got some problems with the squares.
If you have any ideas, you can contact me by MP.

I can't send PMs yet, but that's OK.

My database schema is in a bit of flux at the moment, and when it solidifies I'll pull together an ERD and send it off to you. Broadly speaking, I'm following a bottom-up methodology with this app. I started with the smallest components, such as ActivePowerTypes and Metas, for example. They hold the name and description of each item.

From there, the next stop is ActivePowers. I added a join table between ActivePower and ActivePowerTypes, because there are a handful of ActivePowers with two types, necessitating a many-to-many relationship. Metas were simpler, as there's always one-and-only-one each of physical, mental and spiritual metas. So I have three foreign keys in ActivePowers pointing to their respective metas.

This leads to Boards, which is indeed more complex. The Board itself just holds its type (active/passive/skills) and dimensions. Boards are always square, so I just hold one dimension. Thinking ahead (mainly of the Godi archetype), I also have foreign keys pointing to four sub-boards; but I digress.

I added a join table for a many-to-many relationship between Boards and ActivePowers (there are other relationships, to PassivePowers and Skills, but I'll just deal with ActivePowers in this post). Unlike the join table between ActivePowers and Metas, for example, which just holds foreign keys, this join table holds a lot of extra data.

In addition to the foreign keys for the Board and ActivePower ids, it also holds the row and column coordinates. I also needed to account for the many instances where a board links to an ActivePower, but modified it as well, giving it a different name, type, and metas. So this join table includes a column for name as well as foreign keys pointing to the physical, mental and spiritual metas. There's also a join table setting up a many-to-many relationship between this join table and ActivePowerTypes, to accommodate those cases where a board modifies an ActivePower giving it two types. Finally, I noted some cases where a board gives an active power a description of the power's effects, so I added a column for that as well.

The name, metas, types and description are all optional. If they are nil or empty, the system defaults to the values on the actual ActivePower.

All of this can be a little unwieldy to actually code against, so I've set up a series of simple facades. Take, for example, the Dweller class*. A Dweller object looks through all the ActivePowers assigned to it (through the BeingsRunes table, but that's another story), the rune tied to it, handles any modifications a board has made to that power, pulls in the void rune assigned to the Dweller's chosen archetype (I'm not 100% happy with how I'm handling Void rune assignments, one reason my schema is in flux) and any modifications made there, and puts it all into one, easy to use, hash. This greatly simplifies things like displaying the character in a view, and keeps the view code much cleaner.

*: As an aside, I don't have a Dweller table. I have a Being table with a type column (STI scheme), a Being class, and Dweller and Denizen classes which inherit from Being. The ORM handles the instantiation based on the type column. This is the reason I'm developing dweller and denizen support more or less in parallel.

Author:  LarryFr [ Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dweller/Denizen Builder

Where do you live ?
I'd like to meet you to discuss about the dweller/denizen creator.

Author:  Dumnbunny [ Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dweller/Denizen Builder

I live in Alberta, which is kind of a ways to go for a meeting. Perhaps Google Meetup, or something along those lines.

Author:  LarryFr [ Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dweller/Denizen Builder

Hi everyone,

I've made some screenshots of the app on my blog :

Presently, I've completely finished the denizen creation. An upgrade will be the levelup of the denizen.

Send me any comments/remarks.

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