Looking Back at 2020

Things continued to move in fits and spurts over this last year (and through 2019 before that).

I made some good progress on various things, and the engine is looking solid to me. There are definitely some things that still need work, but nothing that I can see stopping us from doing a larger-scale beta test to help shake out issues in the core. Ugh, so close I can almost touch it.

Anyway. A pretty standard year, I think. Sorry it’s taking so many of them.

Happy holidays, everyone!

8 thoughts on “Looking Back at 2020

    1. Armin Post author

      The decision on how any large-scale testing happens lies with Steve Jackson Games. If we do any sort of public beta, I will try hard to announce it everywhere that I can, including here and the SJGames forums. If it is some kind of large-but-closed testing, it will likely not be publicly announced. But that’s just speculation on my part; I am personally hoping for some kind of public beta open to all existing users.

  1. David C Johnson

    Pardon me if you’d been asked this a thousand times but…
    How much faster will GCA5 be than the Beta 4.X? And how much better will it be able to handle large numbers of character features?

    1. Armin Post author

      Do you seriously mean the *beta* of 4? That was a long time ago, so I don’t have any numbers for that, but that beta was *much* slower than even the current version of 4.

      GCA5 is significantly faster than 4, both in loading characters and in loading data files (books). A comparison will vary based on a number of factors, including that each character in 5 is allowed to have its own reference library, rather than having a single data set for everything in the program as 4 does it. That means loading times for a character in 5 may include loading the data library, if it’s not already loaded. I’ll include some numbers below.

      If by large numbers of character features, you mean large numbers of traits, then 5 handles that better than 4. (It handles everything better.) However, I’m not sure how to quantify that. It’s just better, and the whole program stays more responsive much better with lots of traits on a character.

      Here are some example numbers for speed:

      A spell-heavy character takes 30 seconds to load in GCA4. The same character file loaded in GCA5 takes 12 seconds, and it also loads the FastLoad for the library during that. A Recalc All takes 28 seconds in GCA4, 1.5 seconds in GCA5.

      A different character, kind of a fantasy super with some spells, but *lots* of every trait. GCA4 was 44 seconds to load, 32 seconds to Recalc All. GCA5 took 61 seconds to load the file *and 31 books*; it took 43 seconds to load when a FastLoad was available to load, and just 23 seconds to load the character when the library had already been loaded (which is similar to the GCA4 situation); Recalc All was 9 seconds.

      Note that GCA5 characters use a different file format. These examples all load the GCA4 files. GCA5 can load GCA4 characters, but can not save back to the GCA4 file format.

      1. David C Johnson

        I’m sorry. I meant current v4. When I looked at ‘about GCA’, it listed the version as b4.0.423. I assumed that meant beta?
        And yes, I also meant trait heavy characters. I haven’t played in quite a while, nor have I read from my GURPS library in that time.
        Thank you very much for your reply

        1. Armin Post author

          You’re welcome.
          Ah! I’m sorry about that. The ‘b’ just stands for ‘build’, because I generally don’t change the minor version numbers of my projects often, if ever. I’m not even sure why or when I started doing that rather than using ‘v’.

  2. Lizard

    Hey there! I am desperately hoping to get back into running GURPS after too many years. I did manage to get GCA 4 running again, after some tries, and I’m thrilled to learn that the project is not abandoned, as I’m sure there will be a point where GCA4 just doesn’t run.

    I’d love to be part of any beta for GCA5. My qualifications are: Played GURPS since 1.0. Programmer — so I know what to expect from a beta and how to write up bug reports. Author of two GURPS 4e supplements (Lands Out of Time and Tales of the Solar Patrol). I also know how to keep an NDA.

  3. Wayne A Twitchell

    very glad that this is moving forward! This makes GURPS much more accessible to my more casual players and helps get them up and playing with a character they are happy with.
    i look forward to the word form SJG about a beta


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