Monthly Archives: March 2021

Uses bits (b133)


When GCA outputs to the log that it found plugins, it now also lists their names and versions, to provide an easy way at startup to verify exactly what is being loaded.

Changed the code in Unified trait boxes slightly, to allow clicking an empty trait box to set the focus there, which clears active selections in other boxes.

Added some helper features to ModeManager: made the modes in ModeManager enumerable, added a function to get a sub-set ModeManager for all modes that have a value for a given tag.

Added the calculated tag charskillusedkey() to modes. This allows for more easily referencing the trait found and used for charskillscore() and charskillused().

Updated the Edit Modes dialog to properly show/hide the calculated values while also allowing the rows to be auto-resized to show long text strings.

Made some adjustments to the Edit Modes dialog to attempt to work around a bug in the grid that prevents user-resizing of the last column at times.

Hooked up hiding/showing the Edit Modes dialog explainer on the Edit Modes dialog and in Options.

When a Mode is in the clipboard as an XML fragment, in the same format as copied from the Edit Modes dialog, it can now be pasted to traits. A mode pasted in this way is tacked on as a new mode, with no value checking or any attempt at avoiding duplicates.

Fixed a bug related to some old code in the Colors & Layout dialog.

Noticed that GCA wasn’t saving/loading the order of the boxes in Unified as set in Colors & Layout. Fixed that.

Found a bug that would crash GCA and prevent it from loading if the Horizontal Page Override setting was On in Unified view. I’ve adjusted some of the form initialization code, which fixed it.

Added an option to opening and closing GCA. If the Shift + Ctrl keys are being held down when GCA starts up, GCA will not load most saved settings values. This should allow for a way to get GCA started if a rogue setting is crashing things, although all the other settings will also be lost. Likewise, if the Shift + Ctrl keys are being held down when the main GCA window is closing, GCA will not save the current settings. This allows for a way to avoid saving settings you changed but don’t want to keep.

Fixed an issue where GCA was keeping way more files in the saved MRU files list than was correct for the value set in Options.

* Select()

Select() dialogs will now return the number of items selected and the points spent, and the number of items unselected and points unspent when it’s possible to determine that, when the user finishes the dialog. This allows for referencing those values in other Select() dialogs down the line.

Note that if ‘atleast’ is specified for points or count, the unused or unspent values will always be zero.

To use these values, you will need to add a name() tag into the tag list for the Select(), and specify a name. If you don’t specify the name(), the default name is just the number of the Select() in the processing order (if you used SelectX() outside of triggers(), X will be the number, otherwise it’s counted from 1 with the first Select() dialog). You can then reference the desired value in the pointswanted() or itemswanted()/numberwanted() tags, just as you would with a #ChoiceList substition, using the name of the Select() and the desired value within % signs.

The variables are: %Xunspentpoints%, %Xspentpoints%, %Xunusedslots%, %Xusedslots%, %Xnumberunused%, %Xnumberused%.

The X in each is replaced by the Select’s name() value.

%Xunspentpoints% and %Xspentpoints% return unspent and spent points, respectively, for the specified Select().

%Xunusedslots% and %Xnumberunused% will both return the allowed number of picks that went unused, and %Xusedslots% and %Xnumberused% will both return the number of picks actually used.

So, a Select() with name(Alpha) would use %alphaunspentpoints% in a subsequent Select() pointswanted() tag to reference those unused points, maybe something like pointswanted(30 + %alphaunspentpoints%) to allow for those unused points to be spent here.

Of course, this means that math is now enabled for pointswanted() and itemswanted()/numberwanted().

Also fixed a bug in the Select() code while I was doing this, where the MaxCost was being set incorrectly when ‘exactly’ was used for pointswanted().

* Protection

Changing the text in the Description boxes on the Locations and Hit Table tabs will now remember that for the character, and for the currently selected Body Type or Hit Table while in the same session of the Protection dialog. However, opening the dialog again later will have the library versions of the descriptions restored, so if you choose a different option from the drop-downs, the standard library text will replace the text in the Description box.

Renamed the Locations tab to Body & Locations.

* Uses

Started integrating support for the uses() tag, as pioneered by Phoenix. Right now, this includes a floating window with the uses for all selected traits, but that likely won’t stick around.

Added a Uses block to the Simple Edit dialog.

All of this support is mode-enabled, so each of the tags mentioned here are mode-specific tags. Even a trait that otherwise would have no modes will have at least one mode to support the uses() system.

Support currently exists as a mini-subsystem within GCA, utilizing the uses(), uses_sections(), uses_settings(), and uses_used() tags.

Uses() allows for specifying how many uses (doses, shots, bullets, etc.) are available, and to create check boxes for them. The special variable ‘count’ is supported as it is for Phoenix.

Uses_sections() allows for specifying how many groups of the uses() check boxes to create, which are shown in different sections on the current display control. This was called usescount() by Phoenix, but I wanted to have all the sub-tags use underscores and thought this would more clearly show how I see it working. I have set up aliases in GCA to allow using the usescount() tag to access the uses_sections() tag data. GCA should handle that transparently, but will save it out to the save files as the uses_sections() tag.. The special variable ‘count’ is supported as it is for Phoenix.

Uses_settings() contains a uses() specific set of tags that specifies display and operational settings for the Uses subsystem and controls. These tags should be formatted exactly like any other tag list, separated by commas. For example: usersettings( selectioncolor(orange), trackusesbysection(False), uselargerboxes(True) ).

Uses_used() tracks how many uses have been used of the uses() available. If tracking uses by section, then this may be a list of numbers separated by + signs, such as ‘4+0+1’ to show that there are three sections, and there have been 4 uses used in the first section and 1 uses used in the last section. If not tracking uses by section, then even if you have different sections specified, all uses are consumed as if from one big pile. Tracking uses by section is currently the default behavior.

If you right-click on a Uses display, you should get the option to make changes to the block’s settings.

* GCA5.xsd

Updated for uses(), uses_sections(), uses_used(), and uses_settings() in the GCAAttackMode block.

Updated for charskillusedkey().

* tagdefs.xml

Updated for the uses(), uses_sections(), uses_used(), and uses_settings() mode tags.

Updated for charskillusedkey().

* Basic Set

In the Basic Set file, the Karate skill has an extra | in itemnotes() at the end, which results in an unnecessary second Kick mode being added. I haved added a corrected version of Karate to the GCA5 Changes.GDF file.

* Official Character Sheet

This now has options for printing the User Notes and/or Description tags for traits, settable per trait type in Sheet Options.

A bit more byte, really (b132)


In Unified view, at some point the Encumbrance & Move box stopped updating the Loadout pulldown correctly when the Loadout in the Protection box was changed, unless some of the traits referenced within it had also changed. Since the pulldown is meant to always be the same in both places, that discrepancy has been fixed..

* Book processing

I’ve adjusted how loading category headers for some data blocks works. For blocks that are not traits, but use sections in the style, GCA will now allow a colon to be used in the category name instead of unnecessarily separating out a non-existent category/college code.

I’ve updated the code for saving GDF files from the Build Campaign Book tool so that it will save the new or updated [Bodies], [HitTables], and [Wizards] sections.

Made some minor adjustments for how a Body is now built in the Library, but the files themselves aren’t changed.

* Body processing

I have changed the way that a Library handles the bodies and the [Body] block. Instead of a huge list of body parts that belong to various bodies, the Library now manages Body objects, each of which has its own BodyPart collection; like how a Character handles it. This has required some changes in the Book loading code, but the Book files themselves require no changes.

You can also now specify a [Body] section in a Book file using [Bodies].

Because I went ahead and changed this, the code I previously shoehorned in for body descriptions is no longer necessary, but you still add a description to a body the same way: just put a line into the Body data like this: description(This is the description). It should be the only thing on the line.

* Body part definitions

I was annoyed at myself that there’s a mix of body parts/locations with or without appropriate spaces in the name, so I’ve standardized on having spaces in the names. (This was my fault, since the default body messed this up. I think the Humanoid Expanded body always had spaces in the part names.). This will have an effect on any item/trait with a location() coverage that uses a name without a space when now the name has a space, so we’ll need to update data files to fix those where appropriate.

The body parts affected by this (just the Humanoid ones since other bodies didn’t exist before): LeftEye, RightEye, LeftArm, RightArm, LeftHand, RightHand, LeftLeg, RightLeg, LeftFoot, RightFoot.

I’ve adjusted GCA5 Changes.GDF and the GCA5 version of GURPS Additional Body Types.GDF to fix the bodies defined there to use spaces as appropriate.

* Protection dialog

Added a box for the Description of the Body Type to the Locations tab of the Protection dialog.

Added a new tab for Hit Table to the Protection dialog.

Made a lot of changes in the Protection dialog for the new handling of Bodies, Hit Locations Tables, and per-Loadout images.

You can now set and change the protection image for each loadout, allowing you to customize as you’d like.

Fixed the grids in use to support the dialog’s Zoom mode.

Description fields don’t currently save any changes.

Hit Location Tables aren’t currently editable.

The buttons on the Hit Table tab are not working.

* GCACharacter

GCA now has an ImageStore object (a Collection of the new ImageReference object), and GCACharacter is using that for the BodyImageStore, which stores the various body images. When images are loaded, they’ll be loaded in the store and referenced as needed. This should mean that no image ever needs to be in memory more than once, no matter how many Loadouts may specify it.

The character now has a bunch of new or reorganized properties related to the default body and body image. These defaults are used when a new Loadout is created, and are used for the “All unassigned items” loadout, so changing those values in the Protection dialog will affect the default values. All of these properties are too esoteric to get into here.

* Saved Characters

With each Loadout able to have its own image now, the character file can get pretty large. (Actually, it was already getting pretty large with the various possible images stored inside.)

The existing experimental program option “Store character portraits within the character files” is now also used to determine whether or not the new Body Image Store writes the stored images out to the saved character file. If this option is not set, the images are not saved, and must be loaded from the file name references when first needed after a character is loaded.

GCA should also no longer be saving an image out to the BodyImage element of the file, since if it exists now, it should be found inside the Body Image Store.

GCA also now saves a Hit Location Table with each Loadout, and a default one within the main character body.

* Hit Location Tables

GCA will now read and store the HitTables block from data files. That block looks like this:

description(Like a dog or a cow.)
roll(-), location(Eye), penalty(-9)
roll(3-4), location(Skull), penalty(-7)
roll(5), location(Face), penalty(-5)
roll(6), location(Neck), penalty(-5)
roll(7-8), location(Foreleg), penalty(-2), notes(*)
roll(9-10), location(Torso), penalty(0)
roll(11), location(Torso), penalty(0)
roll(12), location(Groin), penalty(-3)
roll(13-14), location(Hind Leg), penalty(-2), notes(*)
roll(15-16), location(Foot), penalty(-4), notes(*)
roll(17-18), location(Tail), penalty(-3), notes(T)
roll(-), location(Vitals), penalty(-3)
note(*), text(note text here)
note(T), text(other note text here)

Using a section with a HitTable name that already exists will replace the existing one with the new one.

There are three different types of data lines there, which shouldn’t be mixed: description, roll, and note.

I elected to separate notes() from note() like this so I could specify exactly the note markers for the notes to be used, rather than relying on GCA’s footnote system later. I figured in this case, where these tables are often printed in truncated form, it was better to use the same markers as might appear in the source material for easier book reference.

This is just data. GCA makes no effort to check roll ranges, or to verify that notes() entries match note() lines.

Each Loadout can specify the appropriate Hit Location Table to use. If a table uses the same name as a body type, it should be the default when the body type is changed. However, if the Body Type and the Hit Location Table name do not match, GCA won’t change the Hit Location Table to match the Body Type when Body Type is changed, because it’s assumed you wanted a different table.

* Data Files

GURPS Additional Body Types.GDF is now included in \books\, and includes both the Body body part definitions and the HitTables hit location tables.

FastLoad files will be rebuilt, because I updated a bunch of code related to [Bodies] and [HitTables].

* Plugins

The GCACharacter object model has had some changes with the work to support various things in this update, plus I made a couple things that weren’t properties into properties, so you’ll likely need to recompile any compiled plug-ins.

* GCA5.xsd

Updated for various new stuff.