Sunday, July 24, 2011

Driven to Distraction

In the past week, I've received verification that my Telnet interface works on at least one other platform. But other than that, I haven't thought about the project much. I had been treating it like a thesis project, letting it consume every idle moment for the better part of three months. It's time to take a break.

I thought it might be fun to play a little Trade Wars 2002 again. You know, for research purposes. John Pritchett has been actively developing the Trade Wars Game Server, and I'd like to know what today's players have come to expect from the genre.

So I installed SWATH 1.9.8 and TWGS 2.0.7 on WINE. The SWATH scripting API has been significantly expanded since I quit playing in 2003. To get back into it, I wrote a simple script called MoveTrade that follows the shortest path to a specified sector, trading along the way. That's when I found the first potential bug in the SWATH API, but it was one I could work around. Next I tried writing a UserDefinedCommand that calls the built-in Trade command and returns a bit of extra data about the transaction. That's when I found the second potential bug, and it's one I can't work around.

Running Windows apps on WINE, you never know if a bug is in the application or in WINE. So I emailed Stein about it and put scripting out of my mind for a bit. Maybe I'll read a book...

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