Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dungeons And Databases

It's been a couple months since I last provided you with an update as to my brother's progress on World of Warcraft (WoW).

My brother has a little problem. He's got a little something I'm going to call "organizational mania". It's probably more correctly identified as a strain of your garden-variety anal-retentiveness, but lemme just call it what I want to call it.

In WoW, one's character (or as they say in WoW, "toon") has lots of different body parts that can be festooned with gear, and a variety of weapons that can be wielded as well. For someone playing multiple toons, it can get rather confusing as to what toon is wearing what equipment.

When I was playing WoW's predecessor Diablo II, I would occasionally scribble down some of the belongings of my various characters. This is not a valid approach for my brother.

So, enter a new Microsoft Access Database application called Toon!. My brother wrote Toon! to keep track of all his characters' gear.

In my brother's words:
I created it was so I could check to see if any new item that dropped would be an improvement in equipment on any of my characters. In order to complete the database I had to overcome the following challenges:

1. I needed to concatenate all modifications into one line because MS Access does not permit nesting sub forms.
2. I needed to be able to minimize the application window to use as little screen space as possible (allowing me to easily enter data while having the game running).
3. Also wanted a "nice to have", that any new modification type encountered (strength, intelligence, attack power, etc.) would be automatically added to the modifications table.

Originally I was planning on using the report as a paper print-out and marking it up with updates, but I've since streamlined by making updates directly to the database. Still, the report is useful to have as an "at a glance" tool while playing.

So, please enjoy these screenshots of Toon!, a database application written by my crazy-organized brother.

Please note that in some of the thumbnails only a partial view of an application screen is displayed. Click on an image to view the app in its full screen glory.

Main screen (it's more functional than fancy-looking)

Screen to add a new toon:

Screen to edit an existing toon (can update toon data and edit equipment carried or worn by toon):

Screen to edit an individual piece of equipment on a toon:

Report of all items worn by toon:


heals. said...

the last video game i bought was NHL '95 for Sega Genesis. I'm completely clueless about all the new systems and everything. I used to play Bond against some real gamers in college and they would kill me so quick, I hadn't even figured out how to re-load my weapon. I'd be carrying a rocket launcher and they would be able to sneak up behind me and kill me with a knife. I had no idea what was going on.

Joe said...

You know, he could rule the world. If he wanted.

Splotchy said...

heals, I had the exact same experience as you, except when I rematerialized after being killed, someone would repeatedly pick me off before I could even move. Good times!

bubs, then he'd have to categorize it.

Dr. Zaius said...

Your brother is insane, it's as plain and simple as that.

p0nk said...

on an aside. i think Microsoft ought to bundle your brother's database as a sample with Access instead of the Northwinds POS they currently bundle.