Monday, February 7, 2011

Forge's Biggest Flaw

Two weeks ago Psycho X left this comment on my blog, "The reasons I chose this program over the others is it's ease of use, ability to play solo against a computer controlled opponent, and also to play decks that I have constructed when I get whim to play and have no live person to play against. The former two I have been able to do, but the latter I keep running into a block, as not all the cards I use in my own deck are available to use in this program."

I understand where he is coming from but Forge is not a playtesting tool.  You can build many decks with Forge but you probably won't be able to build copy a pre-built deck.  Forge has many cards but inevitably it will be missing a few.

Last month in GamePro magazine the director for Epic Mickey was irritated since people were comparing his videogame to Mario.  He insisted that he wasn't trying to make a "Mario killer" but a game that had different action elements like being able to draw or erase any part of the background.  This is similar to how I feel about Forge.   

Many people understand that Forge won't have all of their favorite cards.  I know some people see this as a "flaw" but it is just a fact of life.  Forge doesn't have all of the cards in standard and probably never will since standard includes so many cards because Forge is a volunteer project.  Many people have spent more than 100 hours programming Forge, myself included, and some of these people are still putting in more hours.  It may be hard to realize but Forge is a very unique program.

Nowhere else can you play a TCG with 6,000 cards against the computer and while Forge probably won't have all of your favorite cards, it will have a few of them.

Keep on forging,

Question of the Day:
What is your favorite card in Forge?  Mine is probably Steward of Valeron.  He is a simple card but I enjoy using him.

--Forge isn't totally unique, there is Wagic, which has 6,700 cards.  It is designed to work on a PSP but it can run on Windows, now with mouse support! Wagic Homepage

--Next Monday I plant to write on Forge 2.0 - the greatest program never written.


The Turquoise Mage said...

My favorite card to use in Forge is Relentless Rats!!! This is because I know I will never own enough of hem to make a rat deck. I have 6 :(

Keep up the great work in Forge.

The fact that ti does not have all the cards I use in decks is part of the challenge ... how to replace cards in decks with what is available in Forge. Who know you may find something better. :)

Chris H. said...

The current verion of Forge (rev 6188) on the SVN has 6713 cards. We may be able to break the 7000 card mark using the newish AbilityFactory + trigger system of card scripting. :)

Forge said...

Relentless Rats was one of the first 100 cards that I added to Forge. When they were first printed, they were a little expensive. I think I added Relentless Rats right after Glorious Anthem because in my mind they were similar cards.

Anonymous said...

Forge's current biggest flaw is the memory issues that make the game slow as molasses, especially when booster drafting. Somewhere around the end of the first pack, it takes over a minute to process each pick (and gets slower and slower with each made pick).

Anonymous said...

Oh, also: older versions of Forge (say, before August of last year) didn't have that problem. I'm on Mac OS X 10.5, relatively modern machine.

Chris H. said...

Some people have noticed java heap space errors and lengthy pauses. The memory requirements for Forge have increased over time. The default setting on your computer for the java heap space may not be enough to prevent the above problems.

The technically proficient can launch the forge jar with an argument from the CLI. The argument "-Xmx512m" may work for computers with 1 Gig of memory. Computers with 2 Gigs or more of memory should be able to use "-Xmx1024m" as an argument.

We are attempting to create several scripts that will launch the Forge jar with an "-Xmx1024m" as an argument. People using Apple's Mac OS X should double click the "Mac Run Forge.command" file.

If the above suggestions do not work, you can try the following. Remove the background jpg picture from /res/images/ui/ folder. You can try using LQ pictures rather than the high quality pictures. Or you can try removing all of the jpg pictures from the pics folder. You can also try using the old style battlefield UI rather than the newer battlefield UI.

The new Mac script can be found on the Forum at topic:

Anonymous said...

I disagree. I believe that the biggest flaw with Forge is the ability to tap your opponent's lands for mana. XD

Chris H. said...

The tapping your opponent's lands for mana bug was fixed recently.

Forge said...

I'm guessing that Forge's memory problem is a common problem with big computer programs. Not that big programs aren't nice, they are, they just have different problems versus smaller programs.

In essence a big program is a tall building while a small program is a much shorter building. And different (more) knowledge is needed to build a tall building versus a smaller one.

Psycho X said...

I think you are misunderstanding what my intent was. I do not intend to use Forge as a playtesting tool, but simply to play my own decks (which I already know work as I would like them to).

Chris H said...

We apologize for any misunderstanding. Rares spent as much time as he could developing this project before he burned out and turned it over to the open source community.

Other people stepped in and helped where and when they could to move this project forward. It would be nice if forge had no flaws. But the devs are just a group of volunteers that do their best.

Rares stated: "Forge doesn't have all of the cards in standard and probably never will since standard includes so many cards because Forge is a volunteer project. Many people have spent more than 100 hours programming Forge, myself included, and some of these people are still putting in more hours. It may be hard to realize but Forge is a very unique program."

zethfox said...

small correction, wagics current uniques count is 7613...

it uses the text formatting you are describing in the post about forge 2,
you should contact wololo and maybe discuss with him the downsides of this type of parsing... because lately our dev team has been considering this a downfall....

as an ability coder for the wagic program, I run into the issues of abilities being coded far to generic, and alot of what forge has been able to support, we can not, because of the two very distinct path we choose to code the card support.

that's just my 2cents
-cheers and bravo to a great MTG engine kudos to you and your team.