Alpha 8.3

Alpha 8.3 is up! Click ‘Download Now!’ above to, well, download it now.

Older saved games will not work with this new version, but as I wrote in my last post I’m hoping that the next few updates will be cosmetic and will not break compatibility with saved games created with this version. Most of the core changes will not be immediately apparent during gameplay, but rest assured that they lay the groundwork for good things to come. Full changelog follows:

##### Alpha 8.3 Changelog #####
– New screen for advancing to next calendar day; no longer possible to save and quit or issue commands on days when the player doesn’t not see action, but there’s very little that has to be done on those days anyway. This system provides more of a smoothly flowing narrative and moves gameplay quickly to the next active campaign day or refit period
– Changed key to issue a crew order to ‘o’, now you open the orders menu with ‘o’ and issue the order with the same key, should be more intuitive
– Changed the text description used for enemy units so that instead of TANK or SPG a more descriptive text string is used instead, eg. ‘Tank’ and ‘Self-propelled Gun’
– Slightly increased the pause time before on-screen labels are cleared
– Added confirmation window if player has no main gun ammunition loaded and tries to leave resupply tank view (eg. at the start of a campaign day)
– PSW/SPW unit class no longer exists, has been replaced with two separate classes:
– APC: Armoured Personnel Carrier
– AC: Armoured Car
– the specific units in the Patton’s Best campaign remain the same as before, but each¬†¬† unit class will have new unique abilities in the future
– The Gyrostabilizer skill is now restricted to USA player forces. Doesn’t have any effect yet but will matter when new campaigns are added
– System for selecting a random tank model as a replacement for a knocked out one has been updated; more streamlined and will be easier to shift to a new, more generic tank rarity system in the future
– Campaign info is now held within an XML file, when starting a new campaign the player has a choice of which campaign file to load. For now this screen is disabled since there’s only one playable campaign!
– The “Canada’s Best” campaign has been disabled for now, as has the screen to select a campaign, since there’s still a few more features that need to be added to make the Canadian campaign work.
– Sherman VC ‘Firefly’ added to player tank list for Canadian campaign
– 76LL main gun and APDS ammo added for the Firefly
– Added flag for player tanks to not have an assistant driver position, a crewman for this position won’t be generated for these tanks
– AA, co-ax, and bow MG FP ratings are now stored in the vehicle info; if a tank does not have a particular MG, the order to fire it will not be included in list of crew orders
– Several changes to the calendar for the Patton’s Best campaign, changed based on ongoing research
– Fixed a bug where the enemy gun type was not being passed to the player tank knockout function properly. It had been using a variable I created and never ended up using.
– Fixed a bug where PaK 43 AT Guns were being given an 88L rather than an 88LL gun. This small correction is going to be very bad for players!

The first few times I tried to run Py2Exe on this version I got a crash to desktop and the following error when trying to start a new campaign:

LookupError: unknown encoding: ascii

Turns out that the Py2Exe version has to have the ascii and UTF-8 encodings imported for the ElementTree library to work. For some reason the script will run fine, but the packaged executable must have these explicitly imported. Well it’s fixed now and seems to be running fine, but as always please let me know if/when you encounter any bugs in this version.

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