The first version Birthright Campaign Manager will be a tool to visualize, add, and edit game data. That is, no automatic income generation, logic validation or anything like that. Just simple capabilities related to add/edit/view data. GMs will be the ones capable of adding and editing anything in the game, while players will mostly consult game data, although they will be able to make minor edits to the data they own (for example, a description of their characters).
There will be very little logic in the program at this point, just a few minor things:
- Magic potential calculation
- Scout reports
- Character and Turn submission
Turn resolution will be handled by the GMs. They will have to generate incomes, read turns, resolve actions, and update realms and characters accordingly.
Why doing something so simple
? Because developing the database and the interface to all of this is not simple, it requires quite a lot of work, and it's the base for anything more complex that comes after this version. If the program is not usable, it does not matter it resolves turns wonderfully, so this basic part has to be nailed down first.
I hope that after this version is released, I will get feedback on how to improve it and there will be several revisions fixing any issues reported by the users.
This version of the tool will come as a Windows installer that people can install in their machines to give it a try it or to use it for their own games. It will be possible to deploy the tool to a website for a PbeM game, but I can not provide a simple installer for that, as deployment is quite complicated, but the documentation has some guides on how to achieve it.
This version objective will be to add logic to the tool. The biggest thing will be handling calculated properties and modifiers. For example, a building that changes the income of a province, a spell that makes units stronger,... All of that will be handled automatically by the game, with no need for the GMs to make anything.
There will be also some logic to validate game data so it follows the Birthright rules (for example that there are not 10 regents having holdings of the same type in the same province). It will be possible by the GMs to define these rules to a certain extent.
Turns will be automated and realms will update according to the result of the actions, income collections,...
And lastly, a few minor entities that did not do it for the first version will be added (things like magic schools, divine spheres,...) and some entities will become a little more complex (realm spells, blood powers, ley lines,...).
When this version is released expect a few revisions fixing bugs in game logic, it is a fairly complicated part, and the interface will need to be refined to show the information in a meaningful way.
Version 2 includes all that is basically needed to run a Birthright game more or less easily, but there are a few extra capabilities that can help GMs a lot when running a game:
- Reports: so the GMs and Players are able to get printouts from their realms, turns, actions,... This is so-so useful for PbeM games, but it is a nice feature for a GM running a game for a local group of players.
- Game map: so game data can be consulted and edited in a real map instead of using grids and tables.
- Integration with forums boards. This tool is used to manage the game data, but PbeM games need a forum for players to interact between each other. It would be nice if characters generated in the tool were automatically created as forum accounts, linked to the player, and a few other things.
Ideally, and if things work as expected, around version 2 I will try to set up a host for public games using this tool, so people can ask for a game to be created for them and they can forget about all the technical parts of the project. This would be similar to the great work the people working on Legacy of Blood
While I really want to make this a reality, I depend on other people to achieve it (as I lack knowledge of this part), so I can not promise if it will happen or not in the end.