Development Sprint #7, codenamed Prototypes and Metadata, finished today. Where the last sprint report talked about partially finished stories, Paul and I were very productive over the last three weeks and completed quite a few stories:

  • Use or Create UI Layout Objects
  • Implement a Layered Window Interface
  • Prototype: Login Window
  • Map Metadata Specification
  • Expand Russian WWI OOB
  • Start Serbian WWI OOB
  • Create Brick Mill Games Post of Nor’easter Playtest
  • Set Claire up as a Tester

The top three stories are a culmination of work begun 2-3 months ago. After tire-kicking some Swift/Cocoa code, and delving into Apple’s world of auto layouts, I decided to take the plunge and bypass Apple’s convoluted machinery and port the layout ideas that I developed as part of my Ruby/Canvas project, a code library that I use to generate wargame graphics, counters and markers. It took a bit of massaging (class & subclass development) to work with Apple’s Cocoa library, but the final work bore excellent fruit. The new LoginWindow code is half the size of the previous tire-kicked version. Tedious layout machinery has been subsumed into the various container classes that I’ve created, the majority based on JavaFX containers. With these new tools created, the rest of the application should begin to flow at a faster pace.

While I was focusing on the application, Paul has been hard at work on defining map metadata. The goal of the metadata piece of the project is to allow the application to “read” the map instead of just displaying a pretty graphic. TClient will be able to calculate the number of MPs spent as you drag a unit across the map. It will be able to calculate the best route from one hex to another. It will be able to calculate LOS based on elevation and terrain. It will be able to do all the mental things that wargamers do when playing a game. All maps in the TOCS system will have associated metadata to allow the application to do intelligent player-aid things. As of this sprint, the specification has been completed and 2/3rds of the AttM map has been done.

WWI OOB work is one of those things that pops up from time to time as I find new references. For the Russian OOB, I found a Russian site that contained information on the locations and army assignments of the first wave of reserve divisions. For the Serbian OOB, I found a reference to a book called, “Serbia’s Part in the War”, published in 1918. It’s a beginning and it’s better than nothing.

Finally, I got around to setting up Claire’s Mac to support our application testing efforts. I’ll be working with Claire to develop test plans for the TClient application. This will allow Paul to focus on his part of the product development effort without my constant interruptions. As Claire is not a wargamer, this will allow us to get a fresh perspective on the state of the application as it’s developed.