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Strange Eons 2.1


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#1 Thelric

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 06:39 PM

Strange Eons (SE) is the custom component design tool for Arkham Horror and other board games.

The current work-in-progress version is called 2.1, although the final "stable" release may have a different version number.
 
SE is available for download from http://cgjennings.ca/eons.
 
SOME OF THE NEW FEATURES IN 2.1
 
- Plug-in catalogue (download and install plug-ins from within the application) and optional update notifications.
- The project system: this is a set of new features that help you to organize and manage large, multi-file projects. Some highlights:
    - Automatically build a deck for a set of cards.
    - Automatically build cards by reading data from a table.
    - Integrated plug-in development.
- Many improvements to the deck/expansion board editor, including object groups and the oft-requested curved movement lines.
- Support for Innsmouth Horror, including Personal Story cards.
- Better control over the placement of images in mark-up text.
- Source-level debugger for script code. 
 
 
(ARKHAM HORROR) GAME COMPONENTS SUPPORTED BY SE 2.1

LEGEND
{N} New for 2.1
{P} Requires a (non-core) Plug-in

  

Ally Card
Ancient One Card
Ancient One Plot or Epic Battle Card
Arkham Nights Foldable {P}
Benefit or Detriment Card
Black Goat Cult Encounter Card
Blight Card
Case Book
Common Item Card
Corruption Card
Deck of Cards
Difficulty Card
Exhibit Item Card
Expansion Boards (various sizes)
Foldable Tome Leaf
Game Marker or Token
Gate Card
Gate Marker
Guardian Effect Card
Herald or Guardian Card
Injury or Madness Card
Investigator Card
Investigator Card, Variable Health {P}
Location
Location Card
Magical Effect Card
Miscellaneous Large Card (portrait and landscape)
Miscellaneous Small Card
Monster Token
Mythos Card
Other World Location
Personal Story {N}
Scenario Card
Scenario Card, large format {P}
Servitor {P}
Skill Card
Special Location
Spell Card
Street Location
Unique Item Card
  
 
 
 
 
 
PLUG-INS
 
More than 50 plug-ins are already available for SE 2.1, either included with the main release or available through the plug-in catalogue. (Or for older verisons, available for now from the plug-in page of the SE site.) Download the plug-in authoring kit to develop your own plug-ins. There are some basic tutorials on the Miriam Beecher's Basement page of the site, and there are several examples in the kit.
 
BUG REPORTS
 
The best place to send bug reports is the Feedback form on the SE web page. You can also post questions, feedback, or bug reports in this thread. When reporting a bug, try to provide as much information as possible, including your operating system, Java version (if known), SE version, what you were doing at the time, and any messages that are displayed. If no error message pops up but the program does not seem to be working correctly, it may help to run SE in debug mode (ask if you want help doing this).
 
 
Cheers,
Chris


#2 thorgrim

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 09:25 PM

Excellent stuff Chris. SE is a great program. Have noticed a bug or two, and will compile a (short) list of them for you in the coming weeks. Will also (hopefully) finish off some of my add-ons and share them in a couple of weeks or so when I can put Visual Basic away (learning it for a potential new job) and go back to Java.



#3 Razrael

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 11:31 PM

Great stuff.

Now to download the plugins.

 

RAZ



#4 squad

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 12:16 PM

Chris (Thelric),

Any chance you can add an option to start with the "One of the Thousand" Cult Membership?  I would imagine it would cost $10 like the Silver Twilight membership.  Or has it already been added and I just missed it?



#5 Frank

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 09:39 PM

I get a graphical error where it clips the base and right hand side of the terror track ovals and the Kingsport Rift Progression circles. Anything can be done about that?

 

-Frank



#6 Thelric

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 03:41 AM

@thorgrim:

Thanks again for the report.

 @squad:

A good idea. Yeah I suppose the cost will be $10, this was is the standard cost set by the designers for "special things" like blessings and the STL membership.

@Frank:

It appears to be clipping all token types, not just round ones (it is just more obvious on the round ones). I'll look into it.

Cheers,
Chris



#7 Thelric

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 12:17 PM

Frank said:

I get a graphical error where it clips the base and right hand side of the terror track ovals and the Kingsport Rift Progression circles. Anything can be done about that?

This has been fixed for the next release. Thanks. I think someone may have mentioned it on the old forum, too, now that I'm thinking about it.  If so, sorry about that to whoever else reported it.

Cheers,
Chris



#8 Thelric

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 10:41 PM

Thanks to everyone who has been testing out RC1. All the bugs that have been reported so far have been fixed and will appear in the final version of 2.00. In the meantime, if you installed RC1 using the Windows installer, you can download a small (240kB) updater that will patch your copy of RC1 with the latest bug fixes.

And of course, please keep reporting any bugs you discover. Cheers, Chris



#9 Frank

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 02:33 AM

It doesn't seem to want to patch mine. But then, I was using V2 beta. Should I update it myself by uninstalling and reinstalling RC1 and then patching that?

 

-Frank



#10 Thelric

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 03:25 AM

Frank said:

It doesn't seem to want to patch mine. But then, I was using V2 beta. Should I update it myself by uninstalling and reinstalling RC1 and then patching that?

Yep. The patch only applies to 2.00 RC 1.

Cheers,
Chris



#11 drswoboda

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:51 AM

Hi Chris!

Hey great program. I found this back when I first bought AH, and you have really added some great features. Thanks.

Now this next bit is Off Topic, but i'd love to see you use the technology you have put into Strange Eons, and use it for a card creator for Cosmic Encounters. That would really rock...

-David



#12 Thelric

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:52 AM

drswoboda said:

Now this next bit is Off Topic, but i'd love to see you use the technology you have put into Strange Eons, and use it for a card creator for Cosmic Encounters. That would really rock...

I haven't considering writing something for any game in particular, but I have consiered writing a general tool that would work for any game. But there is no way I'll have time to start any new projects until my dissertation is finished, so it will be a while before anything might happen on that front.

Cheers,
Chris



#13 Criswell

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 02:02 AM

What a wonderful creation. Sterling work, good sir.

I just wish I had a decent printer to manifest my works in physical reality.  BTW, has anyone managed to succeed in producing cards that are indistinguishable in quality from the official materials? I mean to the point that they could be mixed into a deck and genuinely get lost in the shuffle?



#14 TheDukester

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 11:26 AM

Wow. Great work.

But now I want something like this for Cosmic Encounter, too. 

 

 

 



#15 Thelric

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 04:15 AM

Criswell said:

What a wonderful creation. Sterling work, good sir.

I just wish I had a decent printer to manifest my works in physical reality.  BTW, has anyone managed to succeed in producing cards that are indistinguishable in quality from the official materials? I mean to the point that they could be mixed into a deck and genuinely get lost in the shuffle?

This is unlikely without a lot of effort and expense. In fact, I can often tell what expansion an official card is from by looking at the back of the card, because there are minor variations in colour or the card coating between printers and print runs. But don't despair. There were a few threads on mixing custom and official components on the old/old old forums. Here are the replies from one of those (one of, if not the, most recent one):

 

(Thelric:)

When you add new components of some kind, also add in some copies of existing items. For example, add in some extra cultists when adding new monster tokens. This separates the fact that new tokens feel or look different from the fact that they have new content, so there is less temptation to take advantage of the different look/feel.

Instead of mixing new material into the decks, only use it in conjunction with something that is not random (or that is easier to randomize). For example, an investigator who starts with a specific starting item as opposed to mixing that item into the deck.

Completely replace a particular deck with new content. The Gilman Memorial Exhibit does this for Exhibit Items.

Balance the content that you add (you should do this anyway). For example, if you add new unique items, the mean of their list prices should be approximately $5. If you know that the custom item at the top of the deck could be one of the ones that is worth $1, it reduces the temptation to make a special effort to get it. The Dunwich Horror expansion added several powerful new items, but it also added tasks and missions (worth $0 and $2-3, respectively) to balance them out.

Don't worry about it and rely on the honesty of the players.

When drawing a monster, tip the cup and gently shake until a monster falls out instead of using your hand. If more than one falls out, take the one that is closest to you. Or, use something other than your hands to draw (such as tongs). Or, wear a glove.

For some decks, you can easily keep the official and custom decks separate and then randomly (or even deterministically) determine which to draw from when a card is needed. For example, if you make a new mythos deck that is 1/2 the size of the official deck, then you can roll a die at the start of the Mythos phase. On a 5-6, draw from the custom deck. Otherwise, draw from the official deck.


(Dublin Ireland/Glasgow Scotland:)

The only way we know to add new things to the decks so their appearance is indistinguishable from the other cards --- is to take rejected cards that one has previously removed -- example, really stupid spells that don't work well -- and just print a couple of words across their text side with a felt tip pen or something. This marked card is then shuffled back into the appropriate deck. The home-made card with complete instructions is in the box for a reference, but is not actually drawn.

For example, we took a few discarded spells, wrote a couple of words across the text, and then shuffled them back into the spell deck. They link to home-made cards not actually drawn.

This system would not be good for many of you, who are very intent on not marring or blemishing any cards in your set, regardless of whether you want those cards in play or not.


(Squidnibble:)

The simple solution to monsters in the cup feeling different to the others in the cup is to use spawn monsters from Dunwich that are not in play as tokens that cause the custom monsters to arrive on the board.

Glaaki isn't the GOO? You've got five tokens right there that will cause you to pull a homebrew creature instead.


(Formerly known as Jake:)

GOO and Investigators is pretty easy to add. Roll of randomly at start of game to detremine them. Small cards are tricky.


(Bill Andel:)

Do you know what would be extraordinarily helpful? If FFG were to put out a set of cards with blank fronts and some blank monster counter sheets to which players could "sticker" their custom components.


(Shawn Kehoe:)

For the full-size cards, you could use card protectors that prevent players from feeling the texture of the card. You could even get the ones which mask the back side of the cards, although that would make sorting trickier. Also, your cards wouldn't fit in the original AH box anymore.

You could look for a cheap copy of King in Yellow or Curse of the Dark Pharoah to get spare cards to customise.

 



#16 Frank

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 11:09 PM

TheDukester said:

Wow. Great work.

But now I want something like this for Cosmic Encounter, too. 

 

 

That's fair. Actually Strange Eons is fairly easy to modify. The biggest stumbling block for adding components to a game like Cosmic Encounters would be getting the high quality scans of actual cards to make base pictures out of. Once you have that, using a program like gimp or photoshop to erase the text so that you can write on it would be pretty easy. Modifying card types so that they have different backs and use different pictures is fairly straight forward.

 

Karma Card

 

Once you had some high quality scans of Cosmic Encounter or Runebound cards, making the card bases for those games would be very easy. I can't do it myself because my only "scanner" is a digital camera.

 

-Frank



#17 DaJackel

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:41 AM

I've had some ideas rolling through my head that I'd like to add to AH, but never wanted to go through all the effort to actually create them. I'm new to the FFG forums and just happened to stumble across SE, looks like it's exactly what I need, thanks for making this available!



#18 sulphurea

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 12:33 PM

IDIOT NEEDS HELP

How do you install and make use of plug-ins?

I’ve downloaded various plug-ins that look really interesting, but I have been unable to make use of any of them. I end up with a zip file containing files that strange eons doesn’t seem to recognise and I don’t seem to be able to do anything with. I’ve tried adding plug-ins through the ‘manage plug-ins and extensions’ window within strange eons as well as taking darker paths, but have been unsuccessful at every turn. I’m sure it's really easy, but I have reached an impasse and need some help.

If I have overlooked something in the published docs and FAQs I apologise for wasting your time, just point me in the right direction.
I’m running strange eons 2.0 Release Candidate 3 and the plug-ins all come from the official site e.g. Case Book Player.

Thanks
 



#19 Thelric

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 07:37 PM

sulphurea said:

I end up with a zip file containing files that strange eons doesn’t seem to recognise and I don’t seem to be able to do anything with

Some versions of Internet Explorer incorrectly rename these files to have the extension .zip. The extension should be one of .seplugin.seext, or .setheme, depending on the type. The files will not work correctly without the proper extension; you must rename them if necessary.

Once they have the correct extension, you can just drag and drop them onto SE to install them.

To rename the file you need to display file extensions if they are hidden (Folder Options | Advanced | Uncheck Hide file extensions for known file types).

You can prevent Internet Explorer from renaming these files by Disabling "Open files based on content, not file extension" under security settings (click Custom Level, scroll down about 3/4 of the way through the list).

Cheers,
Chris



#20 sulphurea

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 12:12 AM

Disabling "Open files based on content, not file extension" under security settings had the effect of displaying a page of code with explorer flagging restricted content. Allowing the restricted content allowed me to save the file which still ended up a .zip.  The address bar did show what the proper extension should be and using your advice I changed the extension manually and everything is working fine now.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and responding so quickly. I wouldn't have sorted this out without your help.

A fantastic program,

Tom






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