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RE: [pcgen-xml] It lives! And is reborn!

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  • Edwin Holley
    I agree, this seemed lost on me as well. I would love to be able to put PCGen into a mode where I can see the character progress. This is something difficult
    Message 1 of 19 , Sep 29, 2005
      I agree, this seemed lost on me as well.
      I would love to be able to put PCGen into a mode where I can see the
      character progress. This is something difficult to do in P&P RPGs. While
      you could easily create a new character sheet for each level, you would miss
      out on "granted +1 spell success by wild magic misfire at level 1.43".
      Although this level of logging would make pcg files BIG (say at level 10
      from a first level character), it would be very cool to be able to turn this
      on and see the characters improvements and losses over the long term.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: pcgen-xml@yahoogroups.com [mailto:pcgen-xml@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of Brass Tilde
      Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005 18:21
      To: pcgen-xml@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [pcgen-xml] It lives! And is reborn!

      > Section 1
      >
      > Section 2
      >
      > The second expands on the first, showing the 'non-decision' data.
      > For instance, where section shows "add a level of fighter,
      > gain 8 hit points, take Cleave, assign 3 skill points to Swim skill",
      > this would show "add a level of fighter, gain 8 hit points, take
      > Cleave, assign 3 skill points to Swim skill, +1 BAB, +1 Fort".

      Why have two sections containing the same data? Ease of processing, or some
      other reason? It would seem simpler to either confine section 2 to the
      "non-decision" data, in your case +1 BAB, +1 Fort, or to just eliminate
      section 1 entirely. Unless I've missed something obvious, or you've left
      something out.

      > Actually, I'd like to go a step further and show running totals:

      Which is what section 3 is for, no?

      As I say, if I've missed something, let me know.
    • Fred Drake
      ... I m surprised technically-literate people are having a hard time with this. I don t even think the sections are all that similar, though I d expect the
      Message 2 of 19 , Sep 29, 2005
        On 9/29/05, Keith Davies <keith.davies@...> wrote:
        > These two sections have different purpose and application, despite being
        > somewhat similar.

        I'm surprised technically-literate people are having a hard time with
        this. I don't even think the sections are all that similar, though
        I'd expect the structure of the second would largely mirror and extend
        the structure of the first.

        > Also, and very important to me, it runs the risk of introducing
        > inconsistency. If the definition of an entity changes, the information
        > in the second section could be rendered incorrect.

        I actually disagree on this point, however. As the sections have been
        described so far, I think of them this way:

        1. User decisions.

        2. Software decisions.

        3. Fluffy stuff.

        The third section can clearly be regenerated, but supplemental tools
        that only care about the "current" value of the information only need
        to look there. This is nice to have, but could be dropped.

        That leaves the first two, where all the contention seems to be.
        Section 1 is obviously necessary, and seems well defined. Section 2
        *appears* derivative of section 1 + game rule information (race &
        class definitions, etc.), and usually will be. Where you're looking
        at inconsistency, I see an opportunity to check that the character is
        being viewed relative to the right "universe" (the game rule
        information set); it also allows you to separate changes in game rules
        from the characters created under different versions.

        For example, suppose I create a character and play her until level 5.
        The GM decides he doesn't like some rule, so forks the universe by
        reducing the number of spells my character would have received at
        level 3. Whether my character loses a spell or not, since she's
        already in play, depends on the GM's policy for handling that. As
        described, section 2 allows that decision to be handled either way.
        The application that checks for this sort of inconsistency should
        allow the policy to be applied on a case-by-case basis by inserting
        "inconsistency approvals" into the second section for each
        inconsistency. This would allow a character from a legacy universe to
        continue to be used in the new universe in the same way that happens
        in real games.

        > I don't mind being *wrong*, but I had being inconsistent.

        Absolutely understandable!

        > It's probably a matter of preference. The first section as I've
        > described it is *necessary*. The second section isn't, but is useful.
        > I don't like mixing optional data and required data in the same
        > containers, especially when it isn't evident through examination which
        > is which.

        Understandable, but I think the information is necessary.

        > Also, frankly, the first section as described is pretty easy to
        > implement. The second will be harder and probably more error-prone.
        > There's a certain amount of overlap between them and probably code
        > reuse, but we can prove the first section fairly easily. The second
        > will be more work.

        Most definately. They also serve clearly different purposes.

        > 2. examination difficulty. This is a much more important one, IMO. If
        > you show the entire state, that means the whole thing needs to be
        > examined if you're trying to figure out what happened. If you only
        > highlight what changed (including the new (and possibly old) values)
        > then it's very easy to see the effects of the change.

        This is very valuable. Anything that makes development easier is a good thing.


        -Fred

        --
        Fred L. Drake, Jr. <fdrake at gmail.com>
        Zope Corporation
      • Keith Davies
        ... The structure probably would be very close to the first, just with more information. ... ... I didn t write that, but that summarizes what I was trying to
        Message 3 of 19 , Sep 29, 2005
          On Thu, Sep 29, 2005 at 09:11:43PM -0400, Fred Drake wrote:
          > On 9/29/05, Keith Davies <keith.davies@...> wrote:
          > > These two sections have different purpose and application, despite being
          > > somewhat similar.
          >
          > I'm surprised technically-literate people are having a hard time with
          > this. I don't even think the sections are all that similar, though
          > I'd expect the structure of the second would largely mirror and extend
          > the structure of the first.

          The structure probably would be very close to the first, just with more
          information.

          > > Also, and very important to me, it runs the risk of introducing
          > > inconsistency. If the definition of an entity changes, the information
          > > in the second section could be rendered incorrect.
          >
          > I actually disagree on this point, however. As the sections have been
          > described so far, I think of them this way:
          >
          > 1. User decisions.
          >
          > 2. Software decisions.
          >
          > 3. Fluffy stuff.

          ... I didn't write that, but that summarizes what I was trying to say
          very well.

          > The third section can clearly be regenerated, but supplemental tools
          > that only care about the "current" value of the information only need
          > to look there. This is nice to have, but could be dropped.

          I agree. The second should provide sufficient information to regenerate
          the third section for the character at *any* point in the series of
          transformations.

          > That leaves the first two, where all the contention seems to be.
          > Section 1 is obviously necessary, and seems well defined. Section 2
          > *appears* derivative of section 1 + game rule information (race &
          > class definitions, etc.), and usually will be. Where you're looking
          > at inconsistency, I see an opportunity to check that the character is
          > being viewed relative to the right "universe" (the game rule
          > information set); it also allows you to separate changes in game rules
          > from the characters created under different versions.

          I agree that it could be used for sanity checks -- does this version
          match what the software thought before?

          That kind of falls down, though, in that if they differ between
          versions, they *should* differ (code or data patch, most likely). I
          wouldn't want to try to implement an automated check for this. Until we
          decide to do something with a discovery of a mismatch, I wouldn't worry
          about.

          > For example, suppose I create a character and play her until level 5.
          > The GM decides he doesn't like some rule, so forks the universe by
          > reducing the number of spells my character would have received at
          > level 3. Whether my character loses a spell or not, since she's
          > already in play, depends on the GM's policy for handling that. As
          > described, section 2 allows that decision to be handled either way.

          Or at least automatically discover it.

          > The application that checks for this sort of inconsistency should
          > allow the policy to be applied on a case-by-case basis by inserting
          > "inconsistency approvals" into the second section for each
          > inconsistency. This would allow a character from a legacy universe to
          > continue to be used in the new universe in the same way that happens
          > in real games.

          That's getting into the question of branching data and having multiple
          versions extant -- to the point of "this is how it is for *me*".

          I don't want to go here right now. It's an interesting idea, and
          potentially quite valuable, but I'd like to keep it simple for now.
          We're already going somewhere the program doesn't yet, let's not go too
          far.

          > > I don't mind being *wrong*, but I had being inconsistent.
          >
          > Absolutely understandable!

          Heh, I learned that working for government. You can make a mistake
          without it being *too* embarassing, but an inconsistency indicates you
          didn't even *check*... and that's *very* embarassing.

          > > It's probably a matter of preference. The first section as I've
          > > described it is *necessary*. The second section isn't, but is
          > > useful. I don't like mixing optional data and required data in the
          > > same containers, especially when it isn't evident through
          > > examination which is which.
          >
          > Understandable, but I think the information is necessary.

          I think the second section would be terribly useful -- not necessary,
          but from a pragmatic sense a damn good idea.

          What I want to avoid is "here's a bunch of stuff, some of which you need
          and some you don't, and it's up to the reader [program] to know which is
          which". This is much more complex than "here's what you need to know,
          and you need to know all of it". Simpler rules almost invariably lead
          to simpler software.

          > > Also, frankly, the first section as described is pretty easy to
          > > implement. The second will be harder and probably more error-prone.
          > > There's a certain amount of overlap between them and probably code
          > > reuse, but we can prove the first section fairly easily. The second
          > > will be more work.
          >
          > Most definately. They also serve clearly different purposes.

          Yes. Even though the first one could be derived from the second, being
          a subset of it.

          > > 2. examination difficulty. This is a much more important one, IMO. If
          > > you show the entire state, that means the whole thing needs to be
          > > examined if you're trying to figure out what happened. If you only
          > > highlight what changed (including the new (and possibly old) values)
          > > then it's very easy to see the effects of the change.
          >
          > This is very valuable. Anything that makes development easier is a
          > good thing.

          Such is my thought.


          Keith
          --
          Keith Davies "Always code as if the guy who ends up
          keith.davies@... maintaining your code is a psychopath
          keith.davies@... who knows where you live."
          http://www.kjdavies.org/ -- Damian Conway
        • Fred Drake
          ... Exactly how an application should respond to such a mismatch should not be defined by the data model. It s likely fine to start by expecting the model of
          Message 4 of 19 , Sep 29, 2005
            On 9/29/05, Keith Davies <keith.davies@...> wrote:
            > I agree that it could be used for sanity checks -- does this version
            > match what the software thought before?
            >
            > That kind of falls down, though, in that if they differ between
            > versions, they *should* differ (code or data patch, most likely). I
            > wouldn't want to try to implement an automated check for this. Until we
            > decide to do something with a discovery of a mismatch, I wouldn't worry
            > about.

            Exactly how an application should respond to such a mismatch should
            not be defined by the data model. It's likely fine to start by
            expecting the model of the universe to match the fragments of the
            universe model exposed in the character data (section 2).

            I think it important to keep separate the (abstract) data model and
            the application requirements. If you don't require sharing data with
            an application that may have a different universe model, there's no
            need to ever perform the checks of even store section 2 (other than
            for debugging). However, the model should certainly *allow* an
            application that cares about interchage or a universe in flux can make
            the additional use of the information from section 2 to support
            whatever operations it cares about. (For some reason, this makes me
            think back to Jack Chalker's Flux & Anchor books; not really sure
            why...)

            > That's getting into the question of branching data and having multiple
            > versions extant -- to the point of "this is how it is for *me*".
            >
            > I don't want to go here right now. It's an interesting idea, and
            > potentially quite valuable, but I'd like to keep it simple for now.
            > We're already going somewhere the program doesn't yet, let's not go too
            > far.

            Again, we need to keep distinct the model and the application. PCgen
            is one application; perhaps it doesn't need all the bells and
            whistles. I work on web-based content-management applications with
            highly inter-related content objects, and the rules for checking and
            enforcing relationships always belong in the software. The data model
            needs to provide enough information for checks and future application
            evolution; keeping these sorts of aspects separated is amazingly
            important. (I also imagine any software I write that consumes more
            than section 3 of this format would be very interested in detecting
            changes in the universe after the fact rather than having to dig
            through characters every time something in the universe changed.)

            > What I want to avoid is "here's a bunch of stuff, some of which you need
            > and some you don't, and it's up to the reader [program] to know which is
            > which". This is much more complex than "here's what you need to know,
            > and you need to know all of it". Simpler rules almost invariably lead
            > to simpler software.
            ...
            > > Most definately. They also serve clearly different purposes.
            >
            > Yes. Even though the first one could be derived from the second, being
            > a subset of it.

            Certainly. It could even be stored as a single piece, but the data
            model should certainly distinguish the two aspects. Section 2 could
            be viewed as a set of annotations on section 1. Keeping them separate
            could make it easier for a human to consume the storage file directly
            (in a text editor, for instance). Keeping them together could make it
            easier for a human to modify the stored data in a text editor.

            So I'll go so far as to suggest that applications should write out
            both sections 1 & 2, and that humans armed with text editors remove
            section 1 if they modify section 2, and let applications regenerate
            that as needed.

            Hmm. Should the sections have better names yet? I could see
            something like Decision, Transformation, and Sheet sections. (Where
            Sheet sections can occur zero or more times, and each has a reference
            to the point in the Decision or Transformation section that it
            corresponds to.


            -Fred

            --
            Fred L. Drake, Jr. <fdrake at gmail.com>
            Zope Corporation
          • andargor
            ... I would strongly suggest that the character should be saved in a format based on a de facto XML standard for the sake of not reinventing the wheel, and
            Message 5 of 19 , Sep 30, 2005
              --- In pcgen-xml@yahoogroups.com, Keith Davies <keith.davies@k...> wrote:
              > Hi All,
              >
              > I just finished an interesting IM conversation with Devon. Here's what
              > he's looking for -- and it's pretty easy, I think.
              >
              > Continue using LST format for PCC files, for now at least. We may
              > revisit it later and convert the LST files to XML.
              >
              > The character file would consist of three sections. Each section is
              > optional, but there are reasons for each.
              >

              I would strongly suggest that the character should be saved in a
              format based on a "de facto" XML standard for the sake of not
              reinventing the wheel, and interoperability. I have been citing
              OpenRPG for some time. (get it here:
              http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=2237&package_id=2193&release_id=201695))

              Look in the OpenRPG\orpg\templates\nodes\d20character.xml file for the
              format they use.

              It could be another format, such as Twin Roses' or DMGenie, it doesn't
              really matter, as long as tools out there can support the format.

              I realize that PCGen might need "internal representations" or
              additional info within the character just for PCGen. This is where the
              power of XML comes in: you just add a <pcgen version="x.x"> section
              and include whatever extra "mechanics" are needed by PCGen. The other
              tools that support OpenRPG will simply ignore it, and use the common
              OpenRPG data to import.

              Please let us be truly open, and allow PCGen to finally be able to
              work with other tools.

              As for data sets, that's an entirely different discussion, but we'll
              get to that eventually. I suggest you look at Frugal's stuff in this
              list. He is in the process of revamping his XML based character
              generator, and some ideas could be reused or expanded upon for the
              future of PCGen.

              Needless to say that I'm excited about this... :)

              Andargor
            • Edwin Holley
              ... From: pcgen-xml@yahoogroups.com [mailto:pcgen-xml@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of andargor Sent: Friday, September 30, 2005 10:17 To:
              Message 6 of 19 , Sep 30, 2005
                -----Original Message-----
                From: pcgen-xml@yahoogroups.com [mailto:pcgen-xml@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                Of andargor
                Sent: Friday, September 30, 2005 10:17
                To: pcgen-xml@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [pcgen-xml] Re: It lives! And is reborn! [Using defacto standards]

                >SNIP< I should look at this stuff :-)

                I would strongly suggest that the character should be saved in a
                format based on a "de facto" XML standard for the sake of not
                reinventing the wheel, and interoperability. I have been citing
                OpenRPG for some time. (get it here:
                http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=2237&package_id=2193&r
                elease_id=201695))

                >SNIP< I don't know that being open means that your software works with
                other programs. This program is very unique; it has capabilities far beyond
                any commercial program. I have compared any programs I could for evaluation
                and found them severely lacking in even half the features\capabilities that
                pcgen has. Even excluding some of the decent XML files. The available
                programs do not have the capability to incorporate the games or character
                classes that pcgen is currently includes or being used by various members.
                Including creating new worlds like ice planets. The capabilities that we
                wish to include in the data will require a level of sophistication far
                beyond anything else I have seen. Also by creating an output sheet, you are
                able to create your character in just about any format you can imagine.

                Please let us be truly open, and allow PCGen to finally be able to
                work with other tools.

                >SNIP< I agree

                Needless to say that I'm excited about this... :)

                Andargor






                Yahoo! Groups Links
              • Devon Jones
                ... In fact, in our discussions, section 2 will be the last to be implemented, as there are potentially major code hurtles. Section 2 is a debugging to IMHO,
                Message 7 of 19 , Oct 3, 2005
                  Keith Davies wrote:

                  >It's probably a matter of preference. The first section as I've
                  >described it is *necessary*. The second section isn't, but is useful.
                  >I don't like mixing optional data and required data in the same
                  >containers, especially when it isn't evident through examination which
                  >is which.
                  >
                  >Also, frankly, the first section as described is pretty easy to
                  >implement. The second will be harder and probably more error-prone.
                  >There's a certain amount of overlap between them and probably code
                  >reuse, but we can prove the first section fairly easily. The second
                  >will be more work.
                  >
                  >
                  In fact, in our discussions, section 2 will be the last to be
                  implemented, as there are potentially major code hurtles. Section 2 is
                  a debugging to IMHO, intended as a log so that we can more easily detect
                  errors. I don't see a real use for section 2 outside pcgen developers.

                  >I see no reason why you couldn't generate the third section "as at" a
                  >particular transformation (right after 4th level, say), despite having
                  >10 levels of information present. In fact, you could generate *just*
                  >the third section, without including either of the others.
                  >
                  >
                  Indeed, we essentially do now, the third section is for most intents and
                  purposes already implemented - it's called base.xml. My goal here is to
                  be able to drive exports completely from the new pcg format, as well as
                  allow other programs to transform section 3 into usable input for their
                  program.

                  Here is how I see the sections:
                  Section 1: this is designed to tell pcgen how to build a character.
                  This is meant purely for internal pcgen consumption. Using this and
                  cdom, there is no reason that we can't show a character at multiple
                  points in their development. This section will be absolutely necessary
                  if I want CDOM to happen.

                  Section 2: This is a log, and as such is mostly useful as a debugging
                  tool. This section in the hardest one to implement (for internal pcgen
                  reasons I don't want to go into right now). This section contains a log
                  of decisions and their consequences. It's really mostly useful for
                  debugging.

                  Section 3: This is for export, as well as import. This section allows
                  us to show a complete character, sans lst data, and sans decisions. It
                  can be used for exports, it can be use to generate character sheets, and
                  it can be used to build an object structure in pcgen such that we can
                  import read only characters from other programs.

                  Devon
                • Devon Jones
                  ... Ok, my position on this is that we probably shouldn t. By being xml, we are being open, and we can certainly build xslt to transform to other formats, but
                  Message 8 of 19 , Oct 3, 2005
                    andargor wrote:

                    >I would strongly suggest that the character should be saved in a
                    >format based on a "de facto" XML standard for the sake of not
                    >reinventing the wheel, and interoperability. I have been citing
                    >OpenRPG for some time. (get it here:
                    >http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=2237&package_id=2193&release_id=201695))
                    >
                    >Look in the OpenRPG\orpg\templates\nodes\d20character.xml file for the
                    >format they use.
                    >
                    >It could be another format, such as Twin Roses' or DMGenie, it doesn't
                    >really matter, as long as tools out there can support the format.
                    >
                    >I realize that PCGen might need "internal representations" or
                    >additional info within the character just for PCGen. This is where the
                    >power of XML comes in: you just add a <pcgen version="x.x"> section
                    >and include whatever extra "mechanics" are needed by PCGen. The other
                    >tools that support OpenRPG will simply ignore it, and use the common
                    >OpenRPG data to import.
                    >
                    >Please let us be truly open, and allow PCGen to finally be able to
                    >work with other tools.
                    >
                    >As for data sets, that's an entirely different discussion, but we'll
                    >get to that eventually. I suggest you look at Frugal's stuff in this
                    >list. He is in the process of revamping his XML based character
                    >generator, and some ideas could be reused or expanded upon for the
                    >future of PCGen.
                    >
                    >Needless to say that I'm excited about this... :)
                    >
                    >Andargor
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    Ok, my position on this is that we probably shouldn't. By being xml, we
                    are being open, and we can certainly build xslt to transform to other
                    formats, but we need more and different information then these programs do.

                    Section 1 is absolutely necessary. period.
                    Section 2 is not
                    Section 3 is IMHO utterly necessary, as I intend to drive our Sheet
                    exports off of it, and it makes a perfect interchange format, as it will
                    literally contain *all* the final data about a character, with zero
                    information that is driving the pcgen program.

                    Having looked at OpenRPG's format, their format is purely an internal
                    program representation, and (IMHO) not useful for really anything else -
                    it depends on things that are basically internal needs of their
                    program. What I intend with section 3 is essentially a representation
                    of a character that is utterly complete, and would result in the
                    capability of transforming into really any other data format that uses
                    xml. Furthur, if we *find* something that it can't be transformed to, I
                    would see us as adding to out format to make it capable of that kind of
                    transformation.

                    Finally, with this kind of transformation capability, we could finally
                    add the ability to save characters in these other formats, much like you
                    can save as rtf in word. The problem here is that these other programs
                    (OpenRPG, DMGenie and Twin Rose) were not designed as interchange
                    formats, and were designed with their programs in mind. I want to break
                    this model, and design a format that can function as a full interchange
                    format (section 3), and have sections designed in this format for other
                    usage (section 1 and 2). That being said, I would seriously consider a
                    section 4: external Apps. An optional section (since all the sections
                    are optional) that can contain the character, already transformed for
                    OpenRPG, DMGenie, Twin Rose, etc.

                    This is getting somewhat stream of consciousness now, but I could see us
                    developing one top level format that is intended to embed any number of
                    other formats, and then consider sections 1-3, and any other formats to
                    each be their own xml format, that is embeddable in the upper level
                    pcgen xml document.

                    Devon
                  • Brass Tilde
                    ... Ah hah! Now I get it. If this was explained earlier, I apologize for not understanding. Put this way, it makes excellent sense, though I might prefer it
                    Message 9 of 19 , Oct 3, 2005
                      > Section 1: this is designed to tell pcgen how to build a character.
                      >
                      > Section 2: This is a log, and as such is mostly useful as a debugging
                      > tool.

                      > Section 3: This is for export, as well as import. This section allows
                      > us to show a complete character, sans lst data, and sans decisions.

                      Ah hah! Now I get it. If this was explained earlier, I apologize for
                      not understanding. Put this way, it makes excellent sense, though I
                      might prefer it if the presence of the second section were a
                      configuration option. I don't feel very strongly about that, though.

                      In your design, I'm assuming that it would be possible to generate a
                      "section 3" from any set of levels in section 1, e.g. if I have 10
                      levels, but I want a sheet that shows what the character looked like at
                      level 9.

                      Good stuff. I wish I had more time to help with it.
                    • Brass Tilde
                      ... the ... we ... programs do. Honestly, I don t think you two are that far apart on this. andargor s element is Devon s section 1 .
                      Message 10 of 19 , Oct 3, 2005
                        > > andargor wrote:
                        >
                        > >I realize that PCGen might need "internal representations" or
                        > >additional info within the character just for PCGen. This is where
                        the
                        > >power of XML comes in: you just add a <pcgen version="x.x"> section
                        > >and include whatever extra "mechanics" are needed by PCGen.

                        > From: "Devon Jones" <soulcatcher@...>

                        > Ok, my position on this is that we probably shouldn't. By being xml,
                        we
                        > are being open, and we can certainly build xslt to transform to other
                        > formats, but we need more and different information then these
                        programs do.

                        Honestly, I don't think you two are that far apart on this. andargor's
                        <pcgen version="x.x" /> element is Devon's "section 1".

                        > > andargor again.

                        > >Please let us be truly open, and allow PCGen to finally be able to
                        > >work with other tools.

                        This would be Devon's "section 3". The end product of all the
                        calculations and other stuff that PCGen does, in a format that can be
                        transformed to virtually anything anybody else needs. If a piece of
                        info isn't there, it can be added (as long as PCGen processes that
                        information).

                        Publishing the schema to section 3 enables other programs, should they
                        wish to do so, to publish transforms that can be used to use that data
                        in whatever way they want.

                        Brad
                      • Devon Jones
                        ... Section 2 will take a long time, and may never be fully realized. Section 2 may not appear it, but it s *hard* ... Precisely, we can even contain if we
                        Message 11 of 19 , Oct 3, 2005
                          Brass Tilde wrote:

                          >
                          >Ah hah! Now I get it. If this was explained earlier, I apologize for
                          >not understanding. Put this way, it makes excellent sense, though I
                          >might prefer it if the presence of the second section were a
                          >configuration option. I don't feel very strongly about that, though.
                          >
                          >
                          Section 2 will take a long time, and may never be fully realized.
                          Section 2 may not appear it, but it's *hard*

                          >In your design, I'm assuming that it would be possible to generate a
                          >"section 3" from any set of levels in section 1, e.g. if I have 10
                          >levels, but I want a sheet that shows what the character looked like at
                          >level 9.
                          >
                          >
                          Precisely, we can even contain if we wish, more then one section 3, and
                          if we can get the code fast enough, that may end up defaulting to that
                          for each level. If not, it'll be optional.

                          >Good stuff. I wish I had more time to help with it.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                        • Brass Tilde
                          ... I ll reiterate someone else s point here though, that some things are *not* necessarily level dependent, such as one s possessions. It *is* true that most
                          Message 12 of 19 , Oct 3, 2005
                            > > In your design, I'm assuming that it would be possible to generate a
                            > > "section 3" from any set of levels in section 1, e.g. if I have 10
                            > > levels, but I want a sheet that shows what the character
                            > > looked like at level 9.

                            > Precisely, we can even contain if we wish, more then one
                            > section 3, and if we can get the code fast enough, that
                            > may end up defaulting to that for each level. If not,
                            > it'll be optional.

                            I'll reiterate someone else's point here though, that some things are
                            *not* necessarily level dependent, such as one's possessions. It *is*
                            true that most people gather those things over the course of their
                            careers, so a strict "point in time" snap-shot section 3 would show
                            different equipment for each level.

                            However, in the case of losing one or more levels, the equipment would
                            need to be retained, and displayed for the new lower level. Not a
                            showstopper by any means, and not terribly difficult to implement I
                            imagine (I can think of at least one way to do it right now). The whole
                            thing implies a sequence to the character, even if part of that sequence
                            is going backwards!

                            Again, good stuff. Keep up the good work.

                            Brad
                          • Fred Drake
                            ... They were right, of course. Sections 1 and 2 are strictly level-based information; possessions or other point-in-time information ( broken arm ) is
                            Message 13 of 19 , Oct 3, 2005
                              On 10/3/05, Brass Tilde <brasstilde@...> wrote:
                              > I'll reiterate someone else's point here though, that some things are
                              > *not* necessarily level dependent, such as one's possessions. It *is*
                              > true that most people gather those things over the course of their
                              > careers, so a strict "point in time" snap-shot section 3 would show
                              > different equipment for each level.

                              They were right, of course. Sections 1 and 2 are strictly level-based
                              information; possessions or other point-in-time information ("broken
                              arm") is separate. I don't know if this really belongs in section 3
                              or not, but seems parallel. Points in time also don't generally
                              correspond to level transitions. (If you require training in-game to
                              learn/advance skills, then levelling up earns skill points, and the
                              decisions on spending them happen outside the levelling process.)

                              I suspect that full point-in-time rollback should reasonably be
                              considered out-of-scope for the data format. This sort of
                              functionality is easily enough implemented using copies of the data
                              files, either directly on the filesystem or using an external revision
                              control system.

                              Which is not to say that it's a bad idea to included other timestamped
                              information: "Noon, 12 Octember 2345, -1 STR damage (permanent) from
                              cursed ray gun." But that's game time; real-world time should still
                              be handled externally. There's a lot of messy interactions between
                              game time and real-world time, and more tricks to pull if the game
                              world isn't on the Gregorian calendar.


                              -Fred

                              --
                              Fred L. Drake, Jr. <fdrake at gmail.com>
                              "Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless." --B.F. Skinner
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