Good Monday, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for this week's WCRPG Update.
Week nine was productive, but rough; that's pretty much my own fault, though. I decided last weekend that I would like to go ahead and have WCRPG ready for Free RPG Day this year, which meant that for the first time in the project's history, I have a hard deadline: May 15th. Next thing I did was get estimates of how much work was left using the method my friend suggested the week before. The results were sobering: at the rate at which I was completing work, I could expect to finish the proofreading by the end of June. The bright lining there is that the method I used assumed I'd actually have to read an equivalent amount of text - it ignored the fact that there were some chapters in the game whose content was mostly data and which I already knew to be correct. So that's where I wound up this week - knocking those chapters out. And it was a hell of a week: fourteen pages were completed, pushing me up past the three-quarters mark. My estimated completion date as of Saturday night had moved all the way up to May 6th (knock on wood). And while y'all are praying, y'all can hope my estimate of the game's final size is also way off; otherwise I'm going to have to investigate making the game a two-volume set, which I flat out DON'T want to do.
So on Monday after I got my estimations, I hit the smallest pages that were left, which turned out to be Chapters 2.2.15 and 2.2.16 (the Mantu and Nephilim profiles), Chapter 6.1 (Basic Rules regarding Vehicles), Chapter 6.2.2 (Vehicle Users) and Chapter 9.5 (Mixed-Scale Combat). Chapters 5.5 (Commodities), 7.1 (Basic Rules regarding Capital Ships) and 7.2.1 (Capital Ship Chassis) went down on Tuesday with work commencing on Chapter 6.4 (the Non-Canonical Vehicle Catalog). On Wednesday, I performed some serious kludge-coding work to verify that there were no duplications, errors or omissions in the Skill Sets of the Archetype tables in Chapter 2.4 (by kludge-coding, I mean that I was using a brute force solution; no way that code can be re-used for any other purpose). That effort proved to be a complete success and as a result I was able to knock out Chapter 2.4 - the second largest single section of the entire game - in a single day and leaving 2.3 as the last bit of work to do in Chapter Two as of this morning. Wednesday through Friday saw efforts to button up the vehicle and capital ship catalogs; 6.4 was finished on Thursday, with the other three catalog Chapters reaching completion on Friday. Finally, Saturday saw the completion of Chapter 8.5 (Navigational Data). I did let the post-proofreading work fall by the wayside this week unfortunately; I did get 2.2.15 and 2.2.16 converted, formatted and collated with the rest of Chapter Two, and 2.4 was converted and formatted on Friday. It's awaiting the completion of 2.3 before it can be collated; it did teach me that the really time consuming part of working with the heavy table sections is going to be formatting the tables (I shudder when I think on the amount of work that is going to be required when it comes time to do the Who's Who). I also can foresee tables being a pain in my ass with one of my re-sizing scenarios; I'm still hoping I don't have to implement that particular plan, which I'll remain vague about for the time being. Corrective work occurred in the craft catalogs to add more usage to the "X" rating and to update all heavy ordnance occurrences for the recent changes made in Chapter 9.5. Cloaked HD ratings were also added for ships so equipped. Finally, I made a minor change to the rules for spoofing in Chapter 9.3.
No work on Vespus this week, unfortunately. If you can't tell why, you haven't read the last couple of paragraphs. Once I can get the required workload for WCRPG eased up a bit more, though, I can pick it back up; with luck, that will be soon. Missions are still next on the game plan there.
Thursday, after having still not heard from Sinclair on his preferences, I decided to open up plans for a combat demo to the WC community. Whistler has, once again, been helping me to get that set up and I'm actually hoping to have enough time to put an initial demo together sometime next week. I decided to go ahead and start off with the second simplest form of combat you can use in WCRPG, which is a gridless, Final Fantasy-I/Dragon Warrior-esque format and probably what most folks are used to when they think of RPGs. We'll be modelling the third mission from WC2, when Blair and Shadow have to escort a pair of Broadswords on a strike against a Fralthra.
So, my whole work plan was pretty well wrecked this last week, on account of the smaller sections of the game not being where I thought they were. I think I need to return to the original plan now and hit Chapter 2.3. Estimates say it'll take two full days to complete, but so be it; I finish that one up and I've got Chapter Two done, and can even get it, Chapter Three and Chapter Four through the pagination process. I may or may not move into Chapter Five afterwards; the estimate says that the rest of that chapter will take another five full days to complete in its entirety, but I know that three of the four sections are, once again, mainly tables. I've pretty well knocked out all the data chapters at this point, so we'll have to see how the rest of it goes.
Proofeading of the final draft is 77.27% complete as of this morning with 25 sub-Chapters remaining.