Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Flames of War Tournament App 2.01

With the permission of Joe Krone and with his guidance, I have begun work on a new official Flames of War Tournament app.  Yes to go along with the other umpteen FoW projects I have on the go.  Do I love this game or what?

The reason being is I could never get the old one to work on a windows 7 machine.  And even when I did get it to work on an old XP machine, there were...issues.  Plus it uses access...who develops with access anyway?  Actually whom ever did it, this was probably they only "database" (i use the term loosely when talking about Access) they had available.  No offense to whom ever took the time to build it, but I've never liked access.  And since I'm a professional developer, I might as well put my skills to use for the game I love.

What I'd really like to see in the long run is a web based one, where clubs can log into, and battlefront could keep a central database for all tournaments run around the world.  But I'll start with a stand alone app for now. 

I've even been talking to Greg who built the AWESOME Easyarmy app.  There could be some potential to integrate the 2 apps in the future. 

I've got a pretty good start on it.  I'm going by the old app as much as I can as a model.  Then I will change and add features.  Hopefully when I'm done we'll have something that Battlefront will be proud of, and we can all use.

The tricky part is a portable database that isn't Access.  I have a lot of experience with SQL, and you can't exactly have a portable version of SQL Server...or can you? Why yes you can.  I spent the past weekend setting this all up.  So, we are off and running.

What I would like to do is hear what people liked and hated about the old one.  Maybe even some suggestions of what people would like to see.  If some people would like to even be testers, you could send me your e-mail address.  Just remember Battlefront and Joe Krone have final say on everything.  And I realized a long time ago you'll never make everyone happy.  Your lucky if you ever make one person totally happy.  So, please don't take offense if your ideas aren't used.  I'll always do whats best for the app.

One of the biggest issues for developers is things never work in deployment the same as they do in development.  So half the battle is just getting the app to install on different machines.

Post ideas and suggestions here and/or send me your e-mail address.

ckopciuch (at) sasktel (dot) net

I'd especially like to hear from Steve and the WWPD guys.  I know they have some development experiance in their group and have lots of tournament experience.

Once Joe gives me the go ahead I will also start looking for testers. 

You can follow the progress on the FOW App Page.


  1. Sounds like an interesting new project if it is as good as easyarmy. What does the app do in a nutshell?

  2. I will test!! We run tournaments every 4-6 weeks in Madison, so I will be happy to make Joe (keamma) or Mike (cornishkeebler) use the software since they are the T.O.s - Gosh, I love volunteering others to do the work.

    BTW - the web based thing is the way to go. I understand the start at point A, then go to B - but I just want to let you know that point B is the place to be.

    And now I know why I "get" your humor and enjoy your blog / comments - I too am in IT. Go figure.


  3. webgriffin - ha....I actually took out some crapple comments...figured I shouldn't offend our IQ-challenged friends who choose to use inferior machines....ooops.

    Braxen - It is a tournament organizer. calculates standings and awards for you based on Battlefronts recommendations. They already have one, but it really sucks.

    plus mine will do some extra stuff. i've already added in a random mission generator. so even individuals can use it.

  4. If you haven't settled on a database, you might consider SQLite http://www.sqlite.org/features.html

    Very small, very fast, cross-platform.

  5. SQLite is exactly what I'm using.

  6. I pursued this for a while with the I95 crew. Eventually the consensus was- dragging a computer to manage a tournament is LESS convenient than the card system they have worked out. I still think there's potential for it though! I had a cool interface for managing table/opponent match ups with a neat drag and drop GUI and the like.

    I used SQLite as well. It worked pretty good.

  7. hey I like the drag and drop idea.

    for now i'm just going to get the logic working, then i'll look at making it function and look cool.

    i'd really like to do it in silverlight but. windows forms will have to do for now.

  8. Silverlight looks to be a dead-end technology; while it's true that 5.0 just came out there's no current plans for 6.0 in the pipeline.

    Right now (subject to change) it looks like Microsoft is fully behind HTML5 + CSS for their Metro interface (Win 8+).

  9. http://www.tomsguide.com/us/microsoft-flash-html5-silverlight-plugin,news-13485.html

  10. Ya I've read that. but I just think there is far to much potential in Silverlight for it to be dead.

    I watched the gold medal hockey game which was done with silverlight. There was zero lag with millions and millions of users watching.