Lead Developer, Stardock Entertainment
CariElf's Articles
October 17, 2016 by CariElf
Hi everyone!

For those of you who don't know me, I was the lead developer on GalCiv1, GalCiv2 and I did some of the game engine code for GalCiv3 before I went on maternity leave and decided to stay at home with my daughter. I loved staying at home with my daughter, but she's a little older now and I thought that it might be nice to be around adults again.  At the moment, I'll only be working part-time.

Currently, the plan is for me to work on low-level engine issues with m...
May 20, 2011 by CariElf
Maybe it won't be as amusing to you guys as it was to me, but it made me laugh.  [1:35:38 PM] CrazyC0330: i love how when you use the cheat to kill a unit, they do their death animation instead of just disappearing from the map. makes it so much more satisfying
[1:35:51 PM] cari_elf: bloodthirsty much?
[1:36:04 PM] CrazyC0330: i usually do it right after they say something about my city being ripe for the taking
[1:36:23 PM] CrazyC0330: mess with fire, ya get burnt. ya know.
November 8, 2010 by CariElf
The Zone of control (ZOC) code has always been a bit odd since it was written for GalCiv2, with weird little bubbles, twists, etc. But it mostly worked in GC2, and I didn't have time to give it a lot of love when porting it to the new engine. The code to update the ZOC is also fairly inefficient, which is why it only updates at the end of a turn. The ZOC expands based on the influence of the city and the player's influence ability.  It works by specifying a source, which has a power and a r...
September 24, 2010 by CariElf
It's been awhile since I've written a dev journal and we've got some new faces around here, so I'll take the opportunity to introduce myself. I'm Cari Begle, and I'm Stardock's Senior Game Designer and the programming lead on Elemental.  I've been working here at Stardock for 10 years.  

Today I'm going to talk about Multiplayer.  I'll start with a quick rundown of the features for the people who haven't tried the beta,  and then get into some techie talk for those of you ...
December 3, 2009 by CariElf
One of my tasks for this beta was getting in basic diplomacy, although it's still pretty primitive because the relations code is still pretty basic.

You can bring up the Diplomacy screen by going to KingdomWnd and clicking on Foreign Relations.  If you've encountered another player, you can click on their entry and click the speak to button or double click on the entry.  This gives you 3 options, one of which is disabled: Info, Trade (disabled) and Negotiations.  Info compares ...
November 13, 2009 by CariElf
We actually made a fairly major change to the code this week so I thought that I'd actually write a dev journal about it: CodeCritter and I gutted the movement code and re-implemented it.  For the developers out there, that meant creating a branch which generally makes me a bit nervous because I always worry that merging the branch back into the trunk is going to go poorly. But making a branch was essential in case it took us longer than a week to get the code to the poi...
July 31, 2009 by CariElf
We've got a new coder starting on Monday and in order to help him out, my co-workers and I have been compiling a list of guidelines about our coding practices.  Up until now, I've just sat down with new coders and given them a tour of our codebase and tried to convey our coding practices at that point, but new people always have a lot to remember and having a document to refer to might help.  I thought that I'd share our list with you and see if you have any suggestions to add.

June 10, 2009 by CariElf
This was mainly a connectivity update, only ImpulseReactor.dll was replaced. 

+ Made data packet size smaller which should help people whose routers don’t allow such large packets. The
symptoms of this are losing connection to the NAT facilitator or the connection dialog showing that you are
connected to someone but they are not connected to you (or vice versa)

+ Changed the channels some of the messages were being sent on to try to prevent one channel from getting
too ...
March 19, 2009 by CariElf
Today's update is only to the connection code. Before certain of you go up in flames, GPG IS working on balance and other issues near and dear to your hearts.  Beta 3E is focused on the connection code, however.  If you got 0.95.033, make sure that you grab the second update from today as it fixes a problem with joining games.  As I post this, it's not up yet but it will be soon.

I've spent a lot of time hammering at the connection code, plus being able to specify which ports y...
March 5, 2009 by CariElf
With previous versions, the connection code would randomly pick the ports to listen on.  The disadvantage of this was that you couldn't open and forward those ports manually in your router.  With Beta 3B, we included a .NET application that will let you set registry keys to specify which ports the connection code will use.  The file is ImpulseReactorOptions.exe and it needs to be run as an administrator on Vista. 

Once you enable the option, you can open and forward the de...
February 27, 2009 by CariElf
Watch here and in #demigod on irc.stardock.com for updated test dlls this weekend! 

This update has three changes since the version that went out with Beta 3A:

1) Increased timeout time, since it appears that some of you not in the US are having trouble with timeouts when connecting to the NAT facilitator

2) Fixed issues with special characters in overlay chat

3) Fixed a crash

February 23, 2009 by CariElf
I tweaked the connection code today, and we also got the in game chat overlay running today, although it still needs some work.  If you'd like to try it out, follow these instructions:

1) Close Demigod if it's running

2) Download http://sd.stardock.com/impulsereactor/testchat.zip

3) Extract the files and copy them to Demigod\bin.  You may have to reboot before replacing the files if they're locked.

Hit Shift+Tab to unhide the chat window.  It'll use your windows user n...
December 3, 2008 by CariElf
EDIT: EU users should now be able to download the update for 2.02. 

All of the tweaks were done by Brad over Thanksgiving weekend, since he can't help but start tweaking stuff while he's playing.     So you have an additional reason to be thankful this year!

+ TWEAK: Ethical alignment becomes increasingly a source of tension as the game goes on in terms of diplomatic relations

+ TWEAK: Altarian AI more sensitive about falling behind in military hardware tech.

+ TW...
November 26, 2008 by CariElf
See Brad's post http://forums.galciv2.com/331132/page/1/#1954133 for more details and screenshots.

+ NEW: Added option to popup governor wnd (if there are governors) on colonization of a planet

+ NEW: Greater use of expanded sound track for background music

+ TWEAK: Drengin, Yor and Korath will now colonize more aggressively

+ TWEAK: Tourism revenue slowly increases over time

+ TWEAK: Music no longer changes at the end of a game year but rather periodically during the cours...
August 11, 2008 by CariElf
So it's official, I'm a Guest at Dragon*Con 2008!  I don't think that I mentioned that before, although I've known that I would be a Guest since about a week after I posted the first article mentioning Dragon*Con.  I have been waiting to see what panels I'd end up doing, because they hadn't gotten back to me at all.  I finally got an e-mail from the programming comittee with my tentative schedule today (they may still make minor changes to the schedule). 

So her...