What Should Be Next?
Descriptions of Choices:
I'll elaborate a bit here on the choices above. First,
I'll mention that yes, there are programs that people are looking forward to,
that are not available for selection here, like HMMechWarrior/HMRPG and HMTO&E.
I am just not ready to think about those programs, as they entail a huge amount
of decisions as to what they would even do. I'd like to go after a more
definable program, and to be honest, one that interests me more and that I would
use more myself, as I think it's important to write about what I know best, when
possible. The choices are:
HeavyMetal Pro 6
A much-improved version of HMPro, this would be a paid upgrade to current HMPro
users (probably about $15 plus S&H to upgrade), and would have a selling price
of about $29. It would no doubt include a huge number of new features and
improvements, but the major ones would be:
* Better Omni handling, like in the new HMBA, where the different Omni variants
would be saved in the same file, printed along with the others in the same TRO,
and share much of the characteristics such as armor, structure type, engine,
* At least two armor diagram options, one being something very close to the
original FASA record sheet outline (the not-a-Crusader, as it has been claimed),
as well as possibly other outines as well.
* Specialty ammo, such as armor-piercing, and possibly custom ammo as well.
* Print preview for record sheets.
* A /bunch/ of smaller, but still important, improvements and features, many of
which have been incorporated into HMBA.
HeavyMetal Map would probably actually include four separate applications:
HM Star Map - A map of
the Inner Sphere plus the Clan Homeworlds, where you can zoom in and out, plan
jumps between systems, make automatic jump calculations and print out jump
itineraries. You will probably be able to print out these maps, or portions of
them. A possibility is also to include a database including information about
each system, such as star type, manufacturers, etc. provided there is enough
information available and assistance from playtesters.
HM Hex Map - A map
editor, capable of designing hex maps for BattleTech gameplay, including
elevation Levels and terrain features, with or without a colored/textured
background. It /may/ be possible to print in more than one scale (like 2" or 4"
per hex, in addition to the standard ~1.3" per hex), but no promises there, as
it takes dozens of sheets to print out a single map.
HM Emplacements - I think
this is where I'll put a designer for emplacements, buildings, gun turrets,
basically any static defense or building. Working with rules from the old
Compendium as well as Maximum Tech, it would print record sheets and calculate
BV and cost for these forgotten pieces of equipment.
HM Origami - As long as
we're designing emplacements, and hex maps to put them on, I think there should
be a neat and quick way of making the buildings to put on them. HMO would, using
the data from the designed emplacements, or simple specs such as hexes, height
and Construction Factor. The program would print out all the walls and roof,
connected with tabs, so they could be cut out and assembled for quick, colorful
and attractive buildings.
HeavyMetal Support Vehicle
Using the new rules which are published in the new Classic BattleTech
Combat Equipment book, it would provide for construction of the new Combat and
Support Equipment allowing designs ranging from buses to trains and large
atmospheric craft to super-large wet navy vessels. The breadth and variation of
these products is amazing, and while intended for Support (i.e. non-Combat)
vehicles, it also allows design of vehicles that are much larger (and therefore
more powerful) than those that can be designed using even the Level 3 standard
combat vehicle rules. The rules are so different, the variety and size of the
vehicles so large, that it is not possible to integrate the rules into
HeavyMetal Vee, even an expanded update of it, so I feel it requires its own new
program to do justice to these incredible rules.
Naturally, the new HM:SV would include the latest new features, as they are
being added to the newest programs, and while I cannot mention more on the SVs
than I have above due to my NDA, I think you will be amazed at the huge variety
of construction and motive options available with this equipment. It will let
people design craft they only dreamt of in the past, and HM:SV would make the
complex construction a snap.