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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

brajalle

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Hmmm, do you suggest Brother @brajalle I should make donation link in application more visible?
I'm sure someone somewhere could potentially be upset by it, but I can't think of a downside to making sure people who like your product know you don't mind a tip. The flashlight app literally just uses a small steaming coffee cup icon that you click on, and says - "Buy me a coffee" $1.99+tax - via google pay. On a PC app a mouseover could say the same thing. For some reason, I like the social engineering concept of buying someone a coffee as a way of thanks more than just asking for a donation. I thought it was quite clever.
 

MasterBLB

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@brajalle
Already did it, will be introduced in the next release.
Mech Designer tip.PNG
 

RecklessCaution

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For what it's worth I'm sorry for my part in not commenting. I don't do that much in general, although I am trying to get better about it. But I have recommended Mech Designer to all my friends who play Battletech (even got overenthusiastic and gave some of them the zipped file directly, which is why you might not have seen any extra downloads), and have been planning on mentioning it on some other boards that have active HBS Btech communities. It is one of the most useful tools I've used for any game I've ever played, and I often find myself firing it up just to tinker. In fact, you've inspired me to start work on a similar program for a different game entirely that also has a deep customisation system, although when it will be released I have no idea - still learning how that game's data is structured.

So, I know producing content for the internet is thankless work, made all the worse by the few comments you receive usually being 'this is broken/incorrect/whatever, please fix' when they're not straight-up abuse, but please know that I and all my Btech-playing friends are very thankful for your work, and it's made sharing builds and tinkering with designs far easier, as well as providing more detailed information than Battletech's UI does on a number of issues that have changed the way I think about outfitting my mechs - I don't refit a mech in-game until I've run the numbers in Mech Designer, and almost always have it open at the same time so I can alt-tab to it!

Thank-you so much for your work, I never knew I needed this program until I got it and now I can't conceive of ever going back. If you ever do get really burnt out to the point of never wanting to think about this program again, know that if you throw it up on github and make it open source there is at least one software-developer-in-training who would gladly contribute to it!
 

MasterBLB

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(...) and it's made sharing builds and tinkering with designs far easier, as well as providing more detailed information than Battletech's UI does(...)
Thanks, these was among my goals while I was developing Mech Designer. I'm glad I made it.

Btw, what features of Mech Designer you Brother @RecklessCaution and your friends have found the most useful?
 

CthulhuBeard

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I haven't gotten enough into it to really give opinions about this program, but i really hope you keep working on it. from the little i have toyed around with, it is highly useful and seems to be a great tool for playing around with mech builds without booting up the game.

you are doing great work. when i find something more note-worthy, or feel like i have worked with it enough to give a fuller opinion i will do so, but just wanted to say: Nice job.
 

RecklessCaution

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Thanks, these was among my goals while I was developing Mech Designer. I'm glad I made it.

Btw, what features of Mech Designer you Brother @RecklessCaution and your friends have found the most useful?
(First off, I apologise for how long it took me to answer you, wanted to really think about it)

Well, apart from the Screenshot feature that lets us easily share builds, a big one is basically everything you've done with information on Heat, from Alphas-to-Overheat to Environments to Heat per Turn to Heat on Jump to being able to Disable all your weapons and see how much heat you'll sink to something I've found very useful - selectively re-enabling weapons, so you can see what, say, not using your Support Weapons or other shorter-ranged weapons will do to your heat curve, or see what disabling one high-heat weapon will do, or so on. It's really changed the way I think about heat and cooling down after an Alpha or two, and so on.

Some other things are being able to see Damage and Stability Damage from melee damage, which has made me rethink what kind of Actuators I favour on different designs, as well as the Focused and Scatter damage being listed seperately, which allowed me to more easily see how much of my damage will be hole-punching and how much will be sandblasting (although mass Medium or Small Lasers are listed under Focus, when mounting so many of them leans them more toward the sandblasting kinda thing, that's not something that's easily accounted for in the program, requiring the user to realise the difference between doing a lot of damage all in one packet and doing a whole bunch of 20-35 damage (depending on Small/Medium and whether they've got any dam+), but really a few missions' play should teach them that) - not that that wasn't something I wasn't already aware of, but moving the calculation from my head to the program allows me more headspace for other considerations.

But the all-encompassing Heat feedback, especially being able to disable and reenable weapons selectively, and the Melee-related damage numbers, were the two biggest ones for me, since they changed the way I approached designing refits, simply by giving me more information to base decisions off and allowing me to see what different situations and choices in combat would change. Apart from, of course, being able to see the entire possible design space, all the possible mech variants and weapon/equipment options, which has allowed me to plan things I want to build for later or know what kind of equipment I want to hunt for.

So I must again thank you for how much further insight this program has given me into the nitty-gritty of how things work, and allowing me to make more informed decisions about the mechs my pilots will be riding.
 

MasterBLB

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Thanks @RecklessCaution
Indeed, the feature enable/disable stuff was meant exactly for that purposes. In case you haven't noticed you can enable/disable all equipment, ex. simulate loss of heatsinks-side for HBK-4P.

And how about Clone option, and multi-window work area which allows to design few mechs simultaneously?
 
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RecklessCaution

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Thanks @RecklessCaution
Indeed, the feature enable/disable stuff was meant exactly for that purposes. In case you haven't noticed you can enable/disable all equipment, ex. simulate loss of heatsinks-side for HBK-4P.

And how about Clone option, and multi-window work area which allows to design few mechs simultaneously?
Oh yeah, both of those are really useful too, although Clone sees more use for me during most of the design process, with multi-window usually being used more in the last step for me, when I want to compare a few designs and see if I can build a separate design that has most of the strengths of them. For organising my files, I usually call them 'Unified' designs, with their role following, like 'Unified Firesupport' when I've combined a number of firesupport designs into a compromise one, since we only get to take a lance out at any one time.

Between the two of them, they've allowed me to speed up the overall design process by quite a bit, easily specialise refits during it, and yet cut down on the number of seperate designs I have at the end of the process significantly, for all they proliferate before they are rationalised. Meaning I'm not scratching my head going 'well I've got a really good company here that works well together, too bad I can only field a lance at the end of the day'.

I'm not always using a USB mouse on my laptop, since I might be working on something else on the train or something and have a flash of inspiration, so I can't always take advantage of middle mouse button enable/disable, but thanks for reminding me that we can do equipment too - I've kinda gotten used to just clicking 'Disable Weapons' and dragging individual weapons to the same location to reenable them, often doing it even when I do have a mouse plugged in out of habit - but you can't do that with equipment except by removing it, so I had kinda forgotten that portion of the feature existed.
 

MasterBLB

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I'm not always using a USB mouse on my laptop, since I might be working on something else on the train or something and have a flash of inspiration, so I can't always take advantage of middle mouse button enable/disable
Hmmm that's a very serious flaw that must be addressed. Thanks mate, it's a very good catch.
Will test several alternative activators for the feature - mainly LMB + alt, or ctrl, or shift.

EDIT:
And done - added CTRL + LMB activator. Upload newest 0.76.2 version Brother @RecklessCaution
 
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