EDIT: SeaBee has been released! See bottom of this post for download link & instructions!
I would like to announce the development of SeaBee, a utility application designed to help install and configure WitP:AE.
We have WitP Tracker, Combat Reporter, and Intel Monkey to serve all sorts of useful in-game functions. But what about getting WitP:AE installed and running in the first place? This is the gap SeaBee is intended to fill.
The purpose of SeaBee is to make installing and configuring WitP:AE to a "play ready" state as easy as possible. My goal is to reach new players and to help remove any technical barriers standing in the way. I would like to help bridge the gap between potential players who have the interest to play and perhaps some knowledge of history, but are for whatever reason not as comfortable getting "under the hood" of computers.
It is named in honor of the US Navy Construction Battalions ("CBs" or "SeaBees") who turned small jungle islands in the Pacific into the road to victory. SeaBee is also created in the "Can Do!" spirit of the SeaBees, which is also their motto. Like the real SeaBees who built the ports, airfields, and facilities that made fighting the war possible, SeaBee will help "build" an updated, "ready to play" copy of WitP:AE for a new player who may not be familiar with the game (or even veteran players who want an easy way to reinstall WitP:AE) - and by doing so, will help "build" the WitP:AE community.
A sneak preview of "coming attractions" - the screen to select WitP:AE switches and create a game shortcut:
This is an idea I've had for some time, and I've pushed the project forward to its first milestone; SeaBee is now capable of creating a fully functional game shortcut, complete with any game switches.
There is more work that needs to be done before I can begin to release SeaBee to testers. In the meantime, I would like to begin sharing progress and receiving feedback from the WitP:AE community.
To that end, I would like to share a brief roadmap of where SeaBee is today and where I would like to take it. This is, of course, subject to change. I will update this as I receive more feedback.
Alpha 0.1 - Basic Shortcut Code Functionality (complete)
GUI Development / Manual Shortcut Creation (complete)
The goal here was to get basic functionality - create a working WitP:AE shortcut, complete with shortcuts, via a manual GUI selection process. This has been completed. It works.
Alpha 0.2 - Compile .exe / Legal Due Diligence / Basic Automation & Feature Extension
Compiling the program and adding an EULA will allow me to release to alpha testers. The first automation feature has been completed - SeaBee automatically detects the install directory of WitP:AE (with an option to manually select for cases of multiple installs). The next step is to include automatic resolution detection. Menus, help, and an update feature will be added. The end state of Alpha 0.2 will be a (more or less) "release ready" app if creating shortcuts was the only function SeaBee was intended to do.
Alpha 0.3 - WitP:AE Install Assistance
The details are less certain, but the overall goal will be to allow a new player to largely automate the process of installing WitP:AE; that is, going from "nothing installed" to a "fully updated" game with the latest patches, AI files, and data files. No artwork assistance will be included in this version.
Alpha 0.4 - Add WitP:AE Art Assistance
A player isn't fully enjoying WitP:AE without the opportunity to update stock art. The ability to update the map, air art, ship art, and interface art will all be included here. Note - SeaBee will not (likely) provide any new assets, but will facilitate the installation of assets created by our community.
Alpha 0.5 and beyond - TBD
I have ideas, but it's too early to make any determinations without community input.
Beta - "Feature Complete" Testing / QA
When I've decided to freeze the addition of new features. The focus will be on "stress testing" SeaBee and refining existing features.
1.0 Release - "Complete" & Tested Application
SeaBee .zip file download
Current version: Alpha 0.1a (3/31/2018)
Just extract the .zip file to a directory of your choice. The .zip file already contains a SeaBee folder, so you don't need to create one.
You may create a shortcut to SeaBee by navigating to the SeaBee directory using Windows Explorer, then right-clicking the SeaBee.exe file and clicking 'Create Shortcut'. You may then move the shortcut to a more convenient location such as your desktop. You can also pin the shortcut to the start menu or taskbar by right-clicking and choosing the appropriate option.
Alpha 0.1a (3/31/2018) - Initial alpha release
Please let me know what you think.
< Message edited by Korvar -- 4/1/2018 3:59:37 AM >