This project started as an idea from a friend. He was running a Dungeons and Dragons group I was apart of and was talking about how he wished there was an easier way of creating magical items for his games, since it took about 5 minutes to generate one magical item. I offered to create him a program that, given a couple parameters, will generate him a collection of magical items. He was interested, and sent me some lists of possible items, enchantments, and other details I needed.
First and foremost, I was originally going to write this program in C#, as that was the only language I knew how to make a graphical interface in. Since then I’ve grown familiar in other areas, and decided that this kind of project would be better suited to be on the web than a stand-alone program. From a usability standpoint, users wouldn’t take the time to download a piece of software just to roll some dice for them, I know I wouldn’t. It’s key to be able to load up the program, enter a few numbers, and have your answers there. No downloads, no setup, just quick and easy. So, I’ve moved this project over to the web, which wasn’t that bad since all I had originally was a UI. It also allows me to practice my web development skills, something that I’m a bit rusty on anyways.
As for the projects current state, it’s pretty much just a simple UI with some fields the user can type in. I've also made a small document attached to it to keep future features listed in, as I’d probably forget them by the time I got around to developing them…
While there hasn’t been too much progress on the development side of things, there has been in the project’s scope. When it comes to actual Dungeons and Dragons, I wouldn’t consider myself an expert in the slightest. While I run a campaign for my friends, I’m not very well-versed in what would be considered “fair” and “just” in terms of enchantments. So, I’ve turned to a few friends of mine who have been playing and running campaigns for years. I explained to them what the project was about, and asked them if they were to use this tool, what would they what as features? Man am I glad I asked them, for they had some ideas that I haven’t even considered, but made complete sense (like enchantment “levels”, how strong is the enchantment/curse). It actually gives this project some complexity, rather than a couple random numbers, which makes all that more excited to begin working on this project again!
As for the next steps, I’m planning to give it some tables of data to load from, so that when a random number is generated, it is able to select an enchantment to present. How I’m going to go about doing that I’m not quite sure, but once I begin developing it again an answer should come to light then. If you want to see the current state of the program, you can view it from here. It won’t be the most “up-to-date” version, but when I get to stable parts of development, the page there will be updated.