Sep 6, 2020



This week I came back to a team with broad consensus on what we want to do for a live experiment, and a very basic tech prototype, which was a nice change.

We still need to do some work to bring together the design prototypes used in user research with the tech prototypes—which so far have been developing completely independently—but I’m now less worried that we’re careening towards the self-selected “live experiment launch date” without any hope of achieving it.


This week I read:


This week I ran a one-shot of Traveller, we had a session for character creation on Wednesday, and then played through a scenario I prepared in our usual game slot on Sunday. It went pretty well, I managed to cover a nice variety of the game’s subsystems, though the space combat I’d prepared ended up being avoided when the players escaped really effectively.

I tried out the fancy dynamic lighting on Roll20, but had to abandon it about 15 minutes into the session because it kept crashing one player’s browser; so I had to switch back to drawing regions of light and dark around the player character’s tokens as they moved around a derelict spaceship with no lights. Not great, but it was functional at least. The Roll20 character sheet for Mongoose Traveller is a bit confusing too, and doesn’t work as well as we’d have liked.

Roll20 is a bit of a disappointment, I keep toying with the idea of trying out one of the fancier-looking virtual tabletops, like Foundry, but they’re all more expensive…


Not much to report this week. I’ve been working on my bookmarks tool a bit; I think I’ve hit the difficult part of a search engine: scraping web pages well. Extracting all the text from the page is easy enough, but it’s nice to be able to do things like strip out navigation or “related posts” sidebars so the search is over the actual meat of the page. Fortunately the scope of this tool is small enough that I can just implement lots of special cases.

I also slightly tweaked the templates and CSS for this site (438bb24, c649e6f, 82986bf) so the index page gets a score of 100, up from 98, on Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.