The Home Stretch

It’s high time for an update on Wild Card Creator development! First, I’d like to show you a bit of what I’ve been working on lately.

Homebrewing is an important part of Savage Worlds (I’ve created two homebrew settings myself), and one of my big priorities is to have Wild Card Creator support homebrewing material from the get go. Also, I think it’s very important for the process of homebrewing material to be as easy as possible, and not something that requires mucking around with markup language. Instead, you’ll be able to homebrew content like this:

Homebrew Preview

Simple, graphical, and easy to understand. The idea is to make it so that you can create your own material in the same way that you would write it down on paper in a homebrew document.

You’ll notice that the bottom part is labeled “mechanical effects”. This is for identifying how the Edge or other character content affects the character mechanically. You’ll note that this is a change from what I had been planning for a text parser that can interpret the meaning of a description. Despite a lot of effort, this parser I have developed has been consistently at about the 90% accuracy mark and, although it’s good, it’s not to my satisfaction. Improving it beyond that has taken a lot of time that is better spent on making more important features work in order to get Wild Card Creator released to you sooner. This also means that I have changed the way that character content is imported; it is now “unlocked” rather than truly parsed.

To make sure that there’s no misunderstanding, I’d like to reiterate that Wild Card Creator will still import supplemental PDFs and will still let you add homebrew content. It just isn’t going to be smart enough to automatically determine the meaning of Edges and such; you have to tell it what it means (and I’ll be telling Wild Card Creator how all published settings are supposed to behave). This change is somewhat late in the game, but it certainly hasn’t been a waste of time because having a parser that has about 90% accuracy means that I can add support for published settings more quickly. And at some point I believe that I can improve the parser to a point that I believe it’s ready for users to use to interpret any Edge you write a description for; it’s just not going to happen during the initial release.

There is a bit of bad news. One of the stretch goals for Wild Card Creator was to be able to make the program “skinnable” with themes that are reminiscent of many of the Savage Worlds books. Unfortunately, my attempts to make this happen haven’t produced results that I am happy with. Furthermore, this is something that I’ve realized is rather a gray area with Mac OS X and iOS because Apple requires all products sold through their official app stores to have a look and feel that matches that of default programs for the operating system. So unfortunately, this is not going to happen and I’m working on something better that will be able to replace this stretch goal.

Now that that’s out of the way, on to some fantastic news! The backer only beta will be released to you all this month! It will be feature complete and will allow you to:

  • Create and save characters
  • Access all material from Savage Worlds Deluxe
  • Import a number of additional settings, including the Super Powers Companion/Necessary Evil
  • Add your own homebrew content using a simple, powerful graphical interface
  • Export characters in RTF, Plain Text, HTML, BBCode, Wiki Markup, Form-fillable PDFs, and Customized XML character sheets

I’ll be providing you all with download instructions for the backer-only beta when it is ready. All backers will be able to download copies for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.

We’re in the home stretch now! I hope that you’re all as excited to use Wild Card Creator as I am to complete this and let you play around with it!

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