Harpoon2002 progress...getting closer!

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Byron Audler

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Apr 8, 2003, 7:20:48 PM4/8/03
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It's been a while since I posted any news on our progress, so here we
go...

"Harpoon 2002 Progress Update
"The Meanest Damn Poon Ever!"

I Want My HC2002 CD, What's Happening?

This update is long overdue, and I apologize for its delay.

The first release of HC2002 featured a vastly improved game engine
with major AI enhancements. It took the all-volunteer Development Team
nearly a year to design, test, and deliver by last September. Not too
shabby, all things considered. We had hoped that the next release,
including a "first time ever in Harpoon Classic" Platform Editor, and
a revised and updated Database, would be achieved after a several
month sprint, and we initially projected November as the target date.

Instead of a sprint, this second phase has turned into a marathon. The
code we inherited has been more difficult to adapt to an editable
database than we originally anticipated. The good news is that the
entire Development Team is committed to seeing it through and some
very good things are happening as we endeavor to cross the finish
line. The following will give you a better idea where things stand
today and what remains to be achieved prior to the CD-ROM release.

Jon Reimer has completed the design of a very functional and user
friendly MS Access based Platform Editor for HC2002. Bret Mckee has
completed the code that successfully imports the output of Jon's
Platform Editor to the game engine and the scenario editor.
Manipulating all this data back and forth is something that HC97 was
never designed to handle. Thanks to Bret and Jon's hard work, we can
now edit existing game platforms, create entirely new ones, and see
the result show up in our test scenarios.

Additionally, the Database Editing team, headed by Brad Leyte and
including Fred Galano, Calum Gibson, and Saul Jacobs, has nearly
completed the database upgrade. The database relies primarily on data
gleaned from Larry Bond's H4 Annexes, who has graciously provided us
with his latest, and most up to date spreadsheets to facilitate this
work. Upon release of the CD, users will immediately notice the
effects of the database upgrade in ranges, loadouts, sensors, and just
about every aspect of the game. This has been very exciting to be part
of and it signifies that we are in the home stretch of this effort.

"So when do I get my CD?", you are probably asking. Simple answer: We
don't yet know. Once we were able to open the database and started
editing, we hit upon a rather high hurdle: the original db has one
large and very unfortunate limitation. It caps the number of sensors
for any given platform at six. In order to make the database more
truly reflective of the H4 data and to make HC2002 a more realistic
simulation, it has become necessary to expand the caps for sensors,
mounts and loadouts.

This has required Bret to rework big portions of the code, and again,
he and all of us are doing this after our day jobs. Bret feels he's
about a week or so from giving us a testable game engine and scenario
editor that will support the expanded data field caps. But it is very
probable that these will need revision after initial testing, then
more testing and more revisions until we get things right. How long
that will take is anyone's guess. I'd like to say "x" number of days
or weeks, but given how things always seem to take more time than
estimated, I think it's just safer to say soon. One thing I can say
with certainty: when this work is done, HC2002 will rock!!! I promise
you all, it will have been well worth the wait. Thanks for your
patience and continued interest in HC2002. Stay tuned <G>...

Bruce Fenster
Lead Tech Support, HC2002
HCDB Database Team Member
Assistant HULL Moderator
http://www.teuton.org/mailman/listinfo/hull

The FAQ For The HULL can be found at:
http://www.foto.infi.net/~edladner/hullfaq.htm"

Bruce wrote that a few weeks ago. Since then, work on the database
itself is as complete as we plan to make it this time around. It's now
up to Bret Mckee and Jon Reimer to complete the intergration of the
code and the data files. Believe me...this has not been an easy
marraige, but it will happen, and very soon. We are currently in
Alpha, and I expect another two weeks of this. A bit of beta testing
will follow, to wring things out. Last time, when we did the beta
test, we found a rather nasty bug...and unlike "normal" producers, we
fixed it

Have no fear...we are very, very close to being done.


Byron Audler,
moderator, HULL,
project manager, Harpoon2002

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