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Online chat and RPG tool

General Description:
Thinkg of a chat program, then put it on steroids, then stick it in front of a radioactive lamp for a few years... that in essence is DNDOnline. At its heart it is a chat program intended to facilitate online role playing, primarily with AD&D 2nd Ed. It uses a custom built network protocal that runs a client-server architecture.

Some History:
DNDOnline started out as a collage project with me and some friends. As with most things in those days, we envisioned a final product that would stand alone on the open market. And agan with most things in those days... the project fell apart after only a few weeks of development. I never completely gave up on the project however and several years after graduating pulled it out and dusted it off. Fairly quickly after that I began taking part in an online chat based game of AD&D. All of the development of DNDOnline was done under the name of FOTA, the group programming initive that I was part of prior to forming DarkStride software.

Development Style:
Once my online group began to use DNDOnline we quickly realized that there were some features we wanted added. No sooner would I finish one set of enhancements, another would be requsted. I later realized that I was using an evolutionary software design process. This is the first and only time I have had an opportunity to use that type of process, overall it was quite satisfying. Features were added into the software as we needed them, and were always appreciated. I was able to release small fixes on a weekly basis or hold off and release a large group of new enhancements. I look forward to trying this development style again in the future.

What am I doing with it now?
Nothing, not a cottin pickin thing. After almost five solid years of development I have stopped all work on it. My various online RPG groups still use it for all our 2nd Ed gaming needs however, so from time to time I will put out patches. However only in the most dire of circumstances and only if no workarounds are available. It was a fun project and I sometimes miss working with it, but five years is enough, i'm ready to move on. You'll actually find a forum in the forums section that talks about features for a project called RPG Chat Pro. While this is to eventually be the successor to DNDOnline, my time frame is so far out as to make talking about it almost pointless. One last thing about the current product. This is the most feature rich product I have ever written. The menu, which contains only a fraction of the functionality, is almost unweidly in its size. You could easly create a second "Configuration" module for DNDOnline, there are that many settings.

Features: (A small subset, seriously)
  • Fully functional network capability
  • No limits to the number of players that can join a session
  • Network Address book
  • Multiple characters can be had by each player
  • A fully functional character sheet
  • Char pictures which display thruout the system
  • Automatic leveling and stat updates
  • Auto-dice rolling for all stats and saves
  • A built in dice rolling utility
  • A complete spell tracking and point system
  • An item management system on a char by char basis
  • Special DM screens allowing custom actions like exp and item distribution
  • Automatic logging of the sessionfor later playback
  • Special "lite" char for easy NPC creation (i.e. minions)
  • Ability to save minions and chars to files for easy sharing
  • Individual player DBs for easy backup
  • Full proficiancy and language tracking
  • Automatic damage and attack calculations based on stats and proficiancies
  • A built in macro system for adding new functionality
  • Ability to tie macros to items to create things like one shot abilities
  • Full emote system to allow you to search and replace text with graphics (like :) )
  • Combat round tracking including automatic init rolling and tracking
  • Hot-key system for hands off play
  • Built in IM ability for behind the scenes conversations
  • "I'm currently typing" functionality
  • File transfer capability
  • An overland map system that tracks current party location
  • Ability to add custom classes
  • A combat map with automatically looting
  • A combat map AI to control basic monsters
  • AI automatically handles death and looting
  • Combat map interface allows players to attack with a simple click
  • A complete online reference section including monster compendiums
  • Ability to make minions with stats by clicking on monster in online reference
  • DM can see all player stats

Warstrider (10/26/2005)

Copyright © by DarkStride All Right Reserved.

Published on: 2005-10-26 (3563 reads)

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