Today I don’t have a lot to write about, because I’ve been working largely on the technical side of XMICYOA. I have good news, fortunately. XMICYOA can now load XML files with four distinct focuses; two header/title text elements, a main body text element, and a “link” element that makes it load up another file.
In addition, I’ve been working hard on increasing both my understanding of PHP and the quality of the platform’s game features. Right now I have the game generating an automatic character sheet that prints every attribute defined in an “attributetypes.php” file. I’m going to work on save/load and attribute change next, then move back to the XMI parsing system to put requirements in. My progress will likely be slow, as my save/load paradigm will determine whether I want to put the burden on PHP/MySQL with loads of data storage and retrieval requests, or just on PHP by limiting MySQL requests. I’m thinking sending lots of stuff to MySQL is the way to go, since it’s all server-side and we’re not going to see a huge performance hit either way; if anything it may make the solution more feasible for people using a low-end shared server host, as the load is balanced equally between their PHP and SQL, which may both be throttled separately. This is entirely theoretical on my behalf, and I’m talking about things I don’t really know, but I’ve heard that most shared hosting services cut people off at ~20 concurrent operations, and since each $_SESSION data gets stored server-side (though it is accessed by a cookie, yay), it means PHP takes a hit for each $_SESSION file.
Sleep-deprived ramblings aside, XMICYOA’s in a good place. The remaining features should be pretty scaleable (manually, mind you, but that’s not as much of a concern) for the immediate future, so we should see rapid feature growth once I get enough time free to work on XMICYOA like it deserves. I also need to implement the player-accessible features, such as having a working character creation system. Hopefully players can name their character and then move on to the actual statistics setting system. I’m thinking that it’ll use some fancy form magic and a two-part PHP system (for validation of input). It’s also likely going to involve my first graphical work (barring the CSS, which needs to be overhauled) for XMICYOA, which will be in the form of plus-sign buttons for leveling up. This excites me for no particularly good reason.