Lead Developer, Stardock Entertainment
CariElf's Articles » Page 4
September 26, 2007 by CariElf
All the discussion on Brad's last dev journal sparked another discussion about the right of passage treaty here at the office, and I have come up with another suggestion that I would like to put to you, our users.

Currently, you can attack a ship or planet, which causes a declaration of war. My suggestion is that we put a "Declare War" button on the foreign policy screen and make it so that the player must declare war before attacking any ships or planets. When you first declare war, any of y...
April 27, 2007 by CariElf
I'll admit, I'm rather ashamed by how long it's been since the last time that I wrote a dev journal. The trouble is, I usually feel that what I'm working on is not interesting to end users (particularly the ones who aren't programmers). The stuff that I work on is usually not visible, unless it's a screen. It's usually something like data manipulation or i/o or something like that. I've been told I'm wrong, but I don't really expect many people to get as geeked as I do about generic xml parsers....
September 15, 2006 by CariElf
We started working on Dark Avatar before we even started 1.3, so we've essentially been working on two different code bases (I'm leaving out most of the technical details to spare the non-coders). Well, with 1.31 up it was time to merge the Dark Avatar code back into the 1.3 code. I was getting increasingly nervous about the merge because our version control program doesn't always handle file comparison and merging that well, and we changed A LOT of files, including converting all of the model...
September 3, 2006 by CariElf
Dragon*Con: Day 2

We got a little more sleep last night, but there was a 10 AM panel that I wanted to attend, so we got up around 8. It was now obvious to us that there was something leaking in our bathroom, so I called the front desk and they sent a maintenance man up. He promised to either fix the toilet or have our stuff transferred to another room, seeing as we were ready to leave for the convention. However, we missed the free breakfast at our hotel and we didn't have time to go up to...
September 1, 2006 by CariElf
Dragon*Con: Day 1

My sister and I arrived in Atlanta around 10:00 pm last night, after having gotten on the road at about 9. Despite the length, it was a pretty nice drive. The weather was mostly good (we only hit pockets of rain) and for the most part, traffic was light. I did, however, experience several periods of extreme stir crazy boredom when I wasn't driving. I was at several points tempted to play Tetris or Jewel Quest on my cell phone, but my sister would have probably done somet...
August 25, 2006 by CariElf
In GalCiv1/Altarian Prophecy and (for the most part) GalCiv2, we had variables in the Civilization class for both RaceID and PlayerID, but they were generally the same and particularly in GC1, were used interchangeably. This was not a problem because there was no multiplayer, and we never had more races defined than the possible number of players. When I was transferring the code from GC1/AP to GC2 and cleaning it up, I made sure that they were distinct; we wanted to leave the option for addi...
August 18, 2006 by CariElf
It's been awhile since I posted a dev journal. There always seems so much stuff to be done, that it's hard for me to take the time to write one. While all of us have been working on Dark Avatar, I've also been spending a lot of time on 1.3. Bug fixing can be satisfying, because it's not hard to come up with a huge list of stuff, whereas you might hours (or longer) working on a particular feature and it ends up being one or two lines in the log. However, bug fixing can also be very frustrati...
June 21, 2006 by CariElf
The concept behind BumpTop 3D Desktop is that people organize (or disorganize) items on their desk to convey information by how and where they are placed, and that this could be simulated on the computer desktop using a 3D physics engine.  For example, let's say that you keep piles of papers that have to be processed by the end of the week on one part of your desk, say an IN box, and you move them to an OUT box as you deal with each one.  With BumpTop 3D Deskto...
June 16, 2006 by CariElf
Here I've been grinning over all these tagged people thinking that I was safe since I'm not really a regular here on joeuser.com, but I do hang out regularly in #joeuser on irc.stardock.com, so Zoomba got me. I started it yesterday once I realized that I was indeed tagged, but I didn't want to spend too much time on it so I didn't finish until today.

I remember being embarrassed a lot when I was younger although I had trouble coming up with some specific incidents. I was not popular as a ch...
May 19, 2006 by CariElf
I've been working on stuff for 1.2 this week as well as bug fixing and helping out with support. First, let's start out with the shiny new mods browse dialog! I don't get to post screenshots very often.

By default, the mods folder is in My Documents\My Games\GalCiv2\Mods. This folder and all its subfolders are created when GalCiv2 runs for the first time. Several versions ago, I added an option to the prefs.ini file so that modders could change the location of this folder, but we didn't hav...
May 1, 2006 by CariElf
Our top priority since 1.1 came out has been resolving the memory and performance issues that people have been having. BoundsChecker didn't come up with any significant memory leaks, so that left us with checking the change logs to see what we might have done to cause the issues. We were obviously doing something wacky, because people with 4 GB page files were still getting out of virtual memory errors.

One of the changes we made was to the way that the shipcfg files were parsed. The shi...
December 13, 2005 by CariElf
Hey all, I know it's been awhile since I've done a dev journal, so I thought that I'd take the time to do one while I'm compiling. Some of the bigger changes that I made for Beta 4 were to improve performance. I spent some time with BoundsChecker tracking down memory leaks. The nice thing about fixing memory leaks is that often fixing one will fix others, and fixing memory leaks fixes problems that they cause. For example, a lot of the memory leaks were in the graphics code. When you leak ...
August 19, 2005 by CariElf
We've been pretty busy here getting ready for Beta 3. The game has come a long way since Beta 2, and we still have miles (or should I say, milestones) yet to go. For the last two weeks, my primary responsibility has been fixing and tweaking stuff. One of the bigger issues that we've been dealing with almost since we started working on GC2 has been the load time.

The way that the interface and other graphics are created in GC2 is radically different than it was in GC1. In GC1, a screen ...
July 29, 2005 by CariElf
When last we met our intrepid explorer, er, developer, she was tracking down crashes and memory that was modified after it was deleted. Having slain all the bugs in her path, our heroine has since moved on to more exciting work, development of the fabled Fleet Combat Window.

It began as many adventures begin; that is to say, it was pretty mundane. (You can’t really make setting up string fields and the like sound exciting.) The excitement begins when heroine began working on main feature o...
July 27, 2005 by CariElf
On Monday, CNN used the furor over the change in rating for GTA: San Andreas to ride one of the game industry's favorite hobbyhorses: why most women aren't interested in computer games. This is something that seems to mystify the mostly male game industry, and the IDGA even formed a Special Interest Group (SIG) called "Women in Game Development" to try and get more women in the industry. Being one of the few women developers in the game industry, this sort of thing interests me, and I've read...