Wednesday, November 04, 2015

German Edition - I Can Get It, But I Need Help!


Last entry, I noted the slow (read: nonexistent) progress of the German translation of this fan-made Technical Readout.

I have since begun to speak in $$$ and things are changing.

My translator, who does such work for a living, has agreed to a sum I can *almost* manage.

In return, we have a full translation by the end of January.

I am going to put up a PayPal button and see what sort of interest is out there for a good translation of this book into Deutsche

Donate if you want to see it happen.  I have about a month to decide if there's going to be demand for it.  If there is, I will commit.   I need to gather at least US $850 - half the cost - before I can proceed.

Thank you!

Steve Satak

Saturday, September 26, 2015

An update on the various TRO:3063-related Projects....

Hello, everyone.

It's been nine months since my last post.  My apologies for the silence.

-  The German translation has bogged down, with the translator having other things to do in the Real World.  I am not sure when he will be able to work on it again... we may never see a German translation of the book, but that's life.  It was a great idea and started out very promising.  But it's 350+ pages and there's only one guy doing the work.  I will keep you updated if things change.

-  The 3063 Upgrade had funding at one point, but prices have gone up and keeping my son in college takes priority.  The folks who were to assist me in providing new machines had other projects in the works, and I was busy this summer with several non-BT projects of my own.  I did get a lot of work done on weeding out bad ideas, 'improvements' that were not really worth the effort, and the like through various reviews of the TRO found online.  The denizens of 4Chan seemed more concerned with factionalism, 'realism', flippancy and the like, so I have abandoned that venue as a source of input.

The Upgrade is NOT abandoned, but merely on the back burner for now; as soon as I clear the decks (November), I will begin working on the list of machines that will appear.  I am currently entertaining about 12 Mechs and 20 Vees, all to be Inner Sphere technology and placed in the year 3069.  I plan to have the writing and so forth finished by Spring of 2016, in time for the art to be laid down.

-  The Infantry Primer remains on hiatus, as I wait for the shuffling over at CGL to die down.  It has been nearly three years and with IO Beta, things appear to still be in flux.  Jon Morford has, in the last year, greatly impressed me with the potential for Vees and infantry in combat.  He has handed me my ass in at least two games - I doff my hat at these opportunities to improve my game!

There is a lot to be done with the 'squishies' on a BT battlefield, as they are far more effective now than they ever were in my mind.  My only complaint has been, and remains, that the rules for bombing, running infantry and so on are scattered across several books.  I want infantry and vees to be at least as easy to assess, assemble and play as Mechs.  Combined arms deployment should not have such a steep learning curve!  So in the next few months, I will confer with Jon and others and see if the scene has stabilized enough to get the ball rolling again.

-  My son is going off to France for school in a few days.  Wish him luck!  He will be over there for four months and we will miss him terribly.  This will be the first Christmas he has not been home in twenty years.

-  Bad Syntax is hard at work on a new BT unit generator, and by that, I mean something that uses the new rules to create just about any unit you care to have.  In his own words...

"This program will be an all-encompassing battletech support utility. But mostly it'll be a build-everything production, you can build everything in the game with it. This includes things never supported before like buildings, mobile structure, support vehicles, and infantry platoons. However, I'll have lots of other stuff implemented in there too like random tables, star maps, system generators, and whatever else I can think of.

It would be nice to get something stable like HMP that can be easily modified for new units in the coming years.

Thank you for stopping by.



Saturday, January 10, 2015

Some Proposed Upgrades for 3069...

Welcome back.

I have been waiting on the next installment of German translations.  And Bad Syntax is busy with other things and cannot work on Alpha Strike cards for the 3063.  

But there is my proposed Upgrades: 3063.  

We always wanted those HPPCs and so on.  And we always knew, despite the cries of 'MUNCHKIN!  OVER-OPTIMIZED!', there were machines that were not all they could be.  Much of this was due to a priority chain that was supposed to prevent min-maxing... the focus was on price and the minimum technology required to get what we wanted from a given design.  So the machines were cheap, but yeah, a lot of them could be better.  And let's face it.  

We originally present a machine of payload 'X' that costs 'Y' C-bills and is worth 'Z' Battle Value.  Then, later, we present an upgraded version that can carry '2X', costs nearly '3Y' but whose Battle Value is only '1.2Z'.  Do you build your battleforce based on C-Bill cost?  Or do you use BV2?  Would you rather pay '2Z' to transport your troops, or '1.2Z'?

That's what *I* thought.  Thus, Upgrades: 3063.  

Better costs money.  How good do you want to be?

Getting the Ball Rolling... 

  So I keep busy by going through reviews of the fan-TRO I found on 4Chan.  I could only find a short review of vehicles - apparently a fellow with the screen name of Munnin did a more thorough review, but I cannot seem to find it.

Acting on the writer's comments, I have come up with a list of machines that can be improved.  Mind you, this is just the start - I have the rest of the Vee review to go through, and it doesn't even touch on 'Mechs or Aerospace.  I am already looking at the amount of machines that need 'upgrade' and am taken aback. 

It appears that the Upgrade is going to be something huge, at least in the number of machines inside.  This does not even take into account the new machines I wished to include - such as a variant on the Grand Dragon.  It looks like I am going to have to keep the writeups brief, maybe 350 words at most.

I had planned on new art for at least 50% for these Upgrade entries.  We'll have to see; after the dust settles, I will check the budget and see what we can afford.

Meanwhile, we have to start walking before we can run!

Proposed Vehicle Upgrades

I have also put out an appeal on 4Chan to submit reviews of the 3063 contents.  However, that place is more transitory than I expected.  I may have to address individuals rather than what appears to be a very nebulous group to get the results I need.

That's all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.



Thursday, January 01, 2015

√úbersetzung hat begonnen! [Translation has Begun!]

Hey!  Welcome back!

Glad to see you here.  The holidays being what they were, we got only about four or five pages done.  Andre has his life and a job performing (what else?) translations of entire books, so we're kind of feeling our way along here.

Our editing team of Thomas Lagemann and Nadja from Germany have been busy too, but they took a look at what I produced and offered only minor changes.

Most of my trouble comes from having forgotten how to make InDesign 3.0 do the wonderful things it did for me back in late 2012.  I have to relearn it, with my Dummies book in one hand.

Here is a sample of one of the early pages...

 photo EnglishGermanPageOneComparison_zpsc4bd70f8.jpg

Looks like the Draconis Combine will be ready to install around mid-January, as we all recover from the holidays and welcome the New Year!  Happy 2015, everyone!

Thank you for stopping by.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Sollte es eine TRO 3063 in Deutsch sein?


It has been two years since we published the fan-made TRO:3063.

I have been busy with other hobbies and interests since then, but have continued to maintain my OpenDrive account for downloads.

If you want to download the Technical Readout and accompanying files, the links are in the September 2012 blog entry.



I have recently been discussing a German translation of the fan-made TRO:3063 with Andre Winter, a professional translator.  He seems to think such an effort would be worthwhile.  I have never detected a demand for a German language version, but I do know BattleTech is quite popular in Germany.

Does anyone out there have an insight into this?  I cannot promise it will be done quickly - we're talking probably a couple entries a week, if that, and it would be a year before it would be ready.  And of course, I would have to run it out there and check it with German-speaking editors.

However, my son John is studying German in college (sophomore) and so this seems appropriate.

Thanks for stopping by!

Steve Satak

Sunday, September 09, 2012

The Fan-made Technical Readout: 3063 Final Entry


The fan-made BattleTech Technical Readout:3063 is finished.

There are two versions: one is Web-quality and about 37mb in size.  The other is Print-quality and is about 95mb.

There are several additional books you can download that are directly associated with this TRO.

- Record Sheets: 3063 - as you might imagine, a PDF file containing all the record sheets for the TRO entries, including all the variants mentioned in each entry.

- QuickStrike Cards - these are cards corresponding to each record sheet; they are for use with the BattleForce version of the game.

- Art of the TRO - a fifty-plus page book outlining the evolution of the TRO art.  This includes the art we did not use, as well as sketches and alternate views.  Also inside is a section on the playtesting of the entries and an illustration of the various miniatures we created for our playtest.  Also! a bonus TRO entry.

Here are the links:

Art of the TRO

QuickStrike Rules Cards

TRO: 3063 Web Quality

TRO: 3063 Print Quality

Record Sheets: 3063

*** I have been having trouble maintaining the integrity of the files on my OpenDrive account.  If any of the above links fails, please visit the link below to get your copies. ***,2do30rpvgop1p0g,lgih87s3d5i25h3,4rd4slraun2male,mgvpefslpfzkc2e


Please note that we have been receiving errors in the various books, mostly to do with art quality, typos and record sheet errors.  We have corrected all of the issues thus far.  If you spot an error, please leave a note!  We will fix it and update these links.

*** If you want a copy of the 'Lessons Learned' from making this TRO, go here:

Our next project will be a BattleTech Infantry Primer.  We feel that infantry are a much-maligned, much-ignored force in the game.  This, despite the carefully designed rules for their use!  So we are writing a book to guide you through the process of selecting, assembling and deploying infantry in a game of big stompy robots.  Think of it as 'BattleTech Infantry for Dummies'.

This is the link to the new blog.  We hope to see you there!

Thank you for your support - and for stopping by!

Steve Satak

Saturday, August 25, 2012

3...2...1... Liftoff!

I Screwed Up...

I will keep this brief:

   Despite our attempts to bring the best product to you, we released flawed versions.

-  Bad or missing data in the Record Sheets.

- Internal structure dots don't show up in the Vehicle Record Sheets.

- The images in the TRO have degraded over time due to multiple printings to PDF format.  We caught it on the covers, but the interior art slipped by us (we rarely zoom in on it).

- Other stuff.

The Current Status of the Fix...
(1pm PST, Saturday 1 September 2012)

The old Record Sheets

The NEW Record Sheets

           Please Click on the Images and LOOK!

- As you can see, we have made some changes in the RS book.  The internal structure dots are back, we added data to the Quick Selector bar on the left and there is now a time/date stamp at the upper left of each record sheet... so you can keep all this shit straight if we have to 'fix' anything again. We are working through what appear to be tonnage issues - a good part of it is simply me not keeping my buddy Bad Syntax up to date with changes, and part of it is design software that has not kept up with changes in the actual design formulae.

Time: 1345.  Our hard-working  Bad Syntax has now been hugged.  But he is not my 'entourage', he is a working partner!  I take a definite back seat when it comes to what he is doing - in fact, I decide things only after he has educated me to the point where I know what I am deciding *on*.   I am lucky if I get to ride on the bumper - the last programming I did was in COBOL back in 1988.

- I am 60% finished with replacing the degraded  images in the TRO.  The damage was not as bad as I expected.  

- I have made the necessary corrections in the TRO text and data as Bad Syntax makes corrections in the RS files.

- I have not yet checked the Art of the TRO for image degradation as well.  I will get on that after I drop my wife and son off at work, vacuum the house, clean the bathroom and start the laundry.

- We now have Lords of the Battlefield, BattleTech Universe and OurBattleTech as download sources, and will update all of them by this evening.


Issue date for the Revised TRO files:
Evening - 1 September 2012

Again, please accept my apologies....