Date: 1994-02-15
From: Paul
Subject: No Alex Valentine :-{

Good news - bad news: Rather than focus on coding issues tonight, I turned the tape around instead.

Actually, I *do* have enough code to ship - but only if you're desperate. Scrolling, particularly scroll-by-line, is horribly hosed, and it's going to take me some time to understand and fix the problem. But the "home" position of the main battle window successfully shows non-destructive scrolling. Do you want to see this right away?

The tape filled before I could get to several Alex notes. I'll address them here.

Last tape I started a discussion about the top section of the battle window, the "toolbar thingie". For clarity, let's call it the "status display". In S.C., this includes a graphic of the current piece along with information about its strength and movement, and any battle information. Real estate issues aside for the moment, my inclination would be to include this information in another window - a sort of "General's console", if you know what I mean. But if we agree that we are space limited, we might be constrained from that sort of design. I think the S.C. method is fairly space-efficient.

On display programs for your graphic designs: I used Photoshop for the last download simply because it came across the wire as a Photoshop document. Most of the previous downloads came across as TeachText documents. Those programs are two of my more obvious choices; I don't have SuperPaint, for example. Oh - I do also have Color It!, which is kind of a poor man's Photoshop. Close inspection reveals that at 256 colors Color It! is similar to, but not identical with, TeachText. All three products are similar but non-identical in their rendering at thousands of colors. I don't know anything about the underlying technology yet, so I'll just make a mental note to watch for hazards on the road. In the meanwhile, do you want to standardize on TeachText as the display tool of choice?

No, I don't have KAI (sp?) slide show - point me to it and I'll amend the deficiency. Would this represent a better standard?

Recently I asked about your feelings on upgrading to Quickdraw GX. It's possible this will affect the rendering of images, so the issue is gaining immediacy. The upgrade is also currently pretty messy so I've backburnered it for the month. Still, GX looks like it will play a big role in Alexander, and I'm eager for a near-future upgrade.

A note left over from the previous tape: your suggestion to pack all the pieces for a particular style into one pict resource sounds fine to me, although again the technology is too far away for me to make a really informed choice. I bet such a pict would make a striking graphic. How tough would it be for you to crank one out?

I really liked your suggestion of using sound during drags rather than afterwards; this seems innovative and quite clever to me.

You still owe me a detailed description of piece limits and how they work, right? I'm currently quite happy with the concept of 9 land pieces per cell and confused about how you extend this to air, sea, undersea, and cities.

Ciao and HVD,