Tag Archives: geist

Brain Twist: .NET MVC 3, Entity Framework 4.1, and TDD

Talk about taking a large bite.

In the interests of pushing my .NET knowledge, I began migrating the Geist character sheet project that I’d started in Django to .NET MVC 3. I hadn’t done MVC in .NET since MVC 1 was beta’d, but hey, MVC is MVC is MVC. Right?

So in the interests of making things more interesting and more testable, I decided to dive into the Entity Framework 4. My beginning read of POJOs in Action, along with my previous experience with .netTears–I mean, .netTiers–had me generally familiar with the concepts of entities, contexts, and repositories.

Kicker is, POJOs is just a book (and one I’ve barely dived into), and .netTears uses code generation, meaning I could get away with treating it as just a very hefty ORM in the applications it was in. Generate and go.

Getting my fingers in it was a whole ‘nother experience.

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Deployment Automation with Fabric: Bee’s Knees

One immensely valuable thing I learned at Skookum was the value of automated deployments. I worked with a gent who took the time to work up Capistrano scripts for each staging and production environment of the whale of a project I worked with him on.

I appreciated it during development, but I didn’t appreciate it until we were deploying single tweaks out to production on Amazon EC2 in rapid cycles. I haven’t worked with EC2 since then (second half of 2009), but let me tell you, deployments were for the birds.

With his scripts though: run the script, enter your SSH or git password(s) a few times, and you have an automated deployment that runs for each person on the team, despite all our separate setups (Mac, Linux, cygwin, etc.).

It sounds trivial and obvious, but how many deployments did I do by hand, or try (poorly) to document for someone else, or forget how to do before that really sunk in?

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Ghost Characters Sheets: Simple JavaScript is Magick

I’ve written before about writing a character sheet manager for Geist characters, but there have been some upheavals within the Camarilla (now the Midnight Dance, a non-profit separate from White Wolf) that have the project on hold.

For one, their developers may be doing it themselves, and they’re competent.

For another, even if they don’t, they may be exposing a handy API that I can tie into.

Lastly, I’m busy finishing a novel at the moment.

That said, Greg offers Midnight Dance/Camarilla prestige (like, um, club brownie points; with enough of them, you can get more XP for your characters) if we submit ghost non-player characters to him. It’s not terribly onerous to do, but if you don’t have the book and don’t make them often, it can be annoying to remember the calculations for stats like Willpower.

So I made a JavaScript-based ghost character sheet. Plug in the basics of the ghost’s stats and background, and the calculated values will spit out for you.

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Assisting in Story Telling: Fun But Complicated

Last weekend at the city-wide Geist live-action roleplaying game I play in, I let Greg twist my arm into running a plot. In a game the size of ours (10-20 people, depending on sleep schedules), there almost has to be more than one person running stories–there just isn’t enough of one game master’s attention to go around.

The trouble with me getting involved in running plots is that Greg is the main game master (or “story teller”, in the Geist system). Nepotism, anyone? Eep.

I was very, very worried about accusations of such, especially since I’ve been accused by others of using my “feminine wiles” to get judgments in my favor in tabletop games.

I guess I should just be flattered that he thought I had wiles to use. Can’t say I was, really.

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