Development of Wild Card Creator has been going much faster lately, now that much of the underlying work has been completed. I compare development of Wild Card Creator to building a pyramid: on the base levels you have to lay a lot of bricks and it doesn’t look much like a pyramid. But the more you build and the higher up you go, the fewer bricks you have to place and it becomes more and more recognizably like a pyramid.
One way that this has become evident is the sort of things that beta testers have been reporting. At first it was bugs like “Wild Card Creator imports PDFs on Mac OS X and Linux, but not Windows”, which was a big bug that was promptly fixed. Lately I’ve been getting more minor bug reports such as “the Elderly Hindrance doesn’t add all the things it says it adds.” Granted, there have still been a few large bugs, but overall the bugs have progressively been getting smaller and smaller, as well as less frequent.
Importing content from a PDF is probably 75% done. Deadlands Reloaded is fully supported (with the exception of two things: becoming Harrowed and the Supernatural Trait Edge), and since that’s one of the most complicated settings out there, I’m finding that adding some of the lesser settings has been fairly trivial. It’s almost to the point where if a setting doesn’t add anything too different and they kept things in a straightforward layout format, I can get a setting fully supported in one sitting.
Currently I’m in the middle of implementing character saving. I had to make this one of the later things I did because I can’t very well save a character if the way that a character is made isn’t finalized. One thing I realized about saving a character is that you don’t need to save all that much information. Basically, you just save the things you get at character creation and the things you get for advances and you’re done. Loading a character basically encompasses creating a new character and then applying the steps that the user took to make the character in the first place. Bottom line: this has turned out to be a fairly simple process and it should be ready in the next beta.
Character output has been the last big thing that I’ve decided to tackle and thus far it has had the least amount of time devoted to it. From the very beginning, Wild Card Creator has been able to display characters in the standard Savage Worlds statblock that you find in the books. Next on the docket will probably be the “expanded” stat block that is like the normal stat block, but includes descriptions for Edges, Hindrances, Powers, etc. at the expense of compactness. This is especially great for con games where new players don’t know what certain Edges do. Finally, work on the XML character sheets and form-fillable PDFs will be done simultaneously since they work on pretty much the same principle (take a part of the character and put it in a designated spot).
Cheyenne Wright has been continuing to work on the commissioned character portraits. He’s sending them to me in bulk when they’re done, so I don’t have more to show you (besides, I’d like to leave a bit of surprise for the first time you open Wild Card Creator).
For those of you who pledged at a level where a character of your creation would be included as a pregen, but you hadn’t submitted your character yet, your procrastination is going to pay off. If you’re one of those people, you’ll just create your character in the Wild Card Creator backer beta (see below), then submit it to me. The only catch is that if you’re making your character for a setting that isn’t support it yet, you’ll have to still make it by hand. And for all of you that already have submitted a character, I’ll do the work for adding it into Wild Card Creator! Relax, you don’t need to do anything more!
Now the big question: when is it going to be released? I’ve decided to take my cue from Pinnacle and reply “when it’s done” until I am 100% sure of when it will be done. That said, I’m going to commit to saying that Wild Card Creator will be released with plenty of time to make characters for any Savage Worlds games running at Origins Game Fair. So if you’re planning on running Savage Worlds games (and going for the Pinnacle GM Event Pack), you can create your characters with Wild Card Creator, making beautiful character sheets and saving time that you can use to prep some really stellar games!
But wait, what about that backer beta I mentioned earlier? Yup, that’s going to happen. I’ve decided that when Wild Card Creator is nearing release, all backers will be part of a backer-only beta of Wild Card Creator, allowing you to use the program before anybody else and help spot any more issues that occur before it goes public. So the final release should give you plenty of time before Origins, and the backer beta will give you even more time. Good news all around!
I’d like to thank you all for your continued excitement in the project! I’ll continue to keep you all informed about developments as they continue. And there may be some surprises not too far on the horizon as well!