I make no apologies: The 6 month torture of Geoffrey “DocDoom” Evans has come to an end. No, he’s still here. No, he’s not been demoted, transferred, relocated, transgendered or endangered.
Last Sunday, Doc turned up at my house to see if I wanted to go for a bite to eat, but I’d just eaten (note: when cooking frozen Mexican dinners, don’t be sparing with the microwave seconds). I’d been getting a few questions about RDP stuff (which I keep as far away from as I can) but mostly people asking about when the vehicle ranks would change.
Since I avoid RDP like a hooker with the plague and a gov. issued biohaz t-shirt, I couldn’t answer the questions, I asked Doc about this. When I wrote the code and modified the database to make the vehicle levels dynamic, I gave Doc a little web-tool for setting the next cycle rank for each vehicle, and I think its tied in with Ramp’s RDP cycle planning tools too.
Apparently, though, I’d never actually plugged this in. So last Thursday, I sat down, looked at the code, modified the cycle-execution perl script to transfer the “next cycle” ranks to “current cycle” column and added the code to notify the host of a vehicle data change.
So much time chasing my tail on CTHLs and working on big thing like brigades and toes… It’s nice to get something small done (Is it me or is this becoming a theme for me lately?). And the rdp script shows my fear and loathing in how elegantly the output data is presented.
The game servers were designed with a decidedly closed perspective. Nobody controls the game but the game. RDP was one of our first big breaks from that, and so I consider the RDP stuff to be a minefield. So the emailed feedback is a little more pleasant than the usual “Done” type notification.
Even though it’s only a small amount of code, its the sort of thing that has every opportunity to create a catastrophe. Naturally it got some testing (the snapshot is from the final testing using live data copied to the beta server). But all the same, once it goes live there is the chance that something “isn’t exactly the same”.
And it’s always gratifying when code, even such a small piece, works straight off the fingers. (It’s about 60-80 lines of code total) It’s been running and doing its thing since last week, and although Doc is going to continue monitoring it well into the next campaign, that’s pretty much the last RDP issue dragging him into the office at wild and crazy hours.
Hoorah for automation (that doesn’t go horribly wrong).
Now he can spend more time in the forums — hopefully with the benefit of many many more regular hours of sleep :)