Tag Archives: design

A New Granny Squares Design Incoming

So… not to put too much pressure on my designer, but I’ve actually hired someone to do a design for Granny Squares!

A screenshot of Granny Square Colors as of July 2014.
The site as of July 2014.
Its current look was always intended to be revamped down the road — I just needed something simple and clean to get the site rolling. With a few thousand visitors a month now, and with 56% of my users on some form of mobile device, it’s time for a facelift. I’ve gotten a few donations from running the site over the last 3 years, and that’s enough to cover the design costs.

I should have ready-to-implement designs by mid-August. I won’t promise an implementation date yet, but I’ll wrap up whatever version of the site I’m on at that point and make getting the new look in place the priority.

Tools, Consumption, and Sin-Eaters

These are on my desk at work.  I haven't eaten any yet.In working on my Character Sheet Manager for Geist characters, I’m finally building something that I’ve wanted for a couple of years now in projects at work — an Exception logger. Just a piece of middleware that grabs exceptions and logs them somewhere. In my case that’s Redmine, which has an API for manipulating issues. It’s not a perfect API, alas, because I can’t add notes to issues; I have to update the description of the original item. Django makes this very, very easy to build. I have an app in my project just for this Redmine connectivity, and I can keep its code and tests separate and independent.

I’m never sure how robust to build out something like this. It’s going to prove handy to me in the case of this app and others I’ll be building out, but there’s no way I’m going to try to implement every nook and cranny of Redmine’s API — I don’t need it. If I release it, though, other people could want the things I don’t need. What’s the right balance in releasing a tool?

As always when working on an app, it’s a struggle not to over-engineer things. This Character Sheet Manager project consists of two apps (ignoring the Redmine integration): the Game Manager and the Sheet Manager. The Game Manager is (right now) just a data app — it’s for me (and Greg) to put in Merits, Skills, various powers, etc. The Sheet Manager will be the consumer of said data.

But character creation logic — knowing how many skills someone gets, knowing how many specialties — is really per-game knowledge. But it’s the same for all White Wolf games of this version. …But what if I want to support something like Scion, where the rules differ a bit?

But… I don’t want to support them right now, and might not ever. Is this also a case of You Ain’t Gonna Need It? Right now, I kinda just want to get it out the door and in use as an evolving prototype. I don’t mind refactoring and rewriting some, but I don’t want to shoot my foot completely off, either.

In related news, there’s apparently been grumbling in global-level out of character Geist mailing lists about the existing character sheet. I should hurry.

Feeling way behind

I came down with a cold two weeks ago, and the next thing I know, I’ve missed three of my own deadlines for posting stories, haven’t danced in two Mondays, and haven’t done a lick of the design work for the non-profit I’m trying to work with. In good news, I can sleep soundly through the night again without choking on my own phlegm.

It’s times like these that remind me not to try to “catch up”, but just to keep moving. It’s not like I fell off a bandwagon; I can’t make up for two weeks of missed productivity.

That said, there will be a story this Saturday. It may not be in the morning, and it may be a Witches story instead of a TC story, but there’ll be a story. And then another one no later than Wednesday. …And so on. The moral of this tale is that I should have had a damn backlog of stories. I’ll be getting on that now.