BattleTech: Total Control / News: Recent posts

I'm taking a break

I'm going to take a break for an indefinite period from BTTC.

I'm a bit busy with other things. It looks like I have an opportunity to start my own software company writing applications for specific industries. I can seriously kick some butt here. Most of my competitors in these fields are MS lackeys that have very little design / implementation / testing skills. Their favorite phrase in the industry I am now targeting is "Lotus Notes is the best" and "We can't implement that <Critical feature X> for you."... read more

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2002-06-01

Game Rules

I am programming game rules right now, working out the best way to get it done easily.

So far, you can move infantry around on the board. It's not much, but it is a beginning. I'll probably finish all the rules for infantry first, as they are the simplest. Then hopefully, I'll have worked out a good system to add rules. At that point, BattleMechs and Vehicles will be added.

Just to let you know what is happening out there.... read more

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2002-04-17

Graphics Revisited (and it looks great!)

The popularity of MegaMek has inspired me to move forward and implement stuff a little bit backwards. Rather than aiming to get all the support programs working first, I have decided to get the main program running and build the support programs later. I hope this will have the intended affect of turning this project into a "bazaar" and get me out of the "cathedral" building mentality.... read more

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2002-03-27

BTTC v0.3.3 coming up

Major milestons this release will hit:

1) Revamped modular BattleMech editor. A complete rewrite from head to toe to make it modular like the Vehicle Editor.

2) Advanced installation script: More features, maybe a better windows installer.

3) Hooray! Some graphics! I will steal(*) some graphics off the web of people's minis, and use them for graphics of mechs and stuff. I will also include a tutorial on how to create your own graphics using the Gimp.... read more

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2002-03-14

Removed Developers

I have removed all the developers. If you want to join back in, speak up and then I'll add you in if you would like to check stuff in directly.

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2002-03-14

BTTC v0.3.2 Released

BTTC v0.3.2 is uploaded at sourceforge. You can obtain the files with the following urls:

Linux users:

Windows users:

Please read the README supplied with the distribution, along with the file doc/manual/Installation.txt, which will give you all the information you need to get everything working.... read more

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2002-02-21

BTTC v0.3.0 released

I am very proud to announce that BTTC v0.3.0 is finally released.

You can obtain the files for this release here:

Linux users (148kB):

Windows users (252kB):

BTTC v0.3.0 includes a BattleMech Editor and a Vehicle Editor. Many thanks go out to the Python, Qt, and PyQt teams for making such great software to work with. If it wasn't for their software, none of this would be possible.... read more

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2002-02-15

Timid? Try Testing!

Wanted to get involved with software development but you don't know how to start? Testing is a good way to learn the ropes and come into contact with the developers. It is also a great way to start in this industry.

What do you need to be a tester? Absolutely nothing. Just tell me you want to be a tester and I'll help you get set up.

I have started a place to store testing ideas at doc/testing.

Testers do a routine check to see if everything is working pretty good. It is called a sanity check. I wrote some instructions on how you can do a sanity check. The instructions are purposely vague because I don't want you to do exactly the same thing each time.... read more

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-12-20

Head Count

Our project has 11 developers, but only 2 or 3 that are active. If you want to stay on the project, be sure to let me know. Send out an email on the mailing list.

If I drop you and you wanted to stay on, don't worry. I can always re-add you.

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-12-20

New Structure

As is almost routine around here (especially because we are still really new), I have completely restructured the files and stuff. Checkout a fresh copy of the CVS bttc-python to see what has happened.

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-12-20

Screenshots for those who like Eye-Candy

I got some screenshots up, and they look purty. Let me clarify what is happening here, for those of you who really care.

First, I use a function to determine the height of the map based on the surrounding hexes. Then, I calculate the normals to the map. I am using a special equilateral-triangle based map because it integrates very well with the hexes. I went ahead with 96 triangles per hex, so it is pretty high-res. Now that I look at it, 54 won't be so bad. This is easily achieved by skipping 3 out of 4 hexes, so it is easily done with the current setup. (This will be done for when you zoom out...)... read more

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-11-19

Recent Developments

3D Graphics

The 3D graphics is coming along well. I should post some screnshots, but I am so busy adding features. If you have any skins for the ground, please send them to me immediately. I will probably add skins before Wednesday. I am going to be adding trees and other sprites to the game very soon.

It looks exceptionally nice, and it is pretty easily configurable. You can draw the map ground with point. lines, or triangles. You can configure whether to use your own callbacks to set up the material for the triangles or whether to use colors. It is all really easy to use, and I hope it finds its way into other games that are hex-based or tile-based.... read more

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-11-16

I'm back

I just got my computer a few days ago, and today I got it hooked up via cable modem, thanks to the Kangnam Cable Company here in Seoul.

I should be continuing work on this project anytime soon. The next development is going to be a polished map in OpenGL. I have some great ideas that are going to work, so keep your eyes peeled for the next release.

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-11-01

Bye bye for 2 months

I am boxing up my computer toda, so I won't be back developing for another 6-8 weeks.

I have just figured out how to do the map too, so it is a bit upsetting because I won't have a chance to implement it until two months from now.

In the meantime, you can send email to me but I won't be able to respond for 6 to 8 weeks.

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-08-20

BTTC 0.1.10 Released

BTTC 0.1.10 is released. so take a look and tell my what you think.

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-08-15

My computer will be on a boat

After a difficult decision, I decided it was better to send my computer to Korea by boat rather than in my luggage. The 19" monitor just doesn't work.

I will not have computer access from 8/21/2001 and for 6 months.

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-08-15

PyQt 2.5 - a SPOG

Yes, I have SPOG - PyQt 2.5. For those of you who don't know what SPOG is, do a google search for George Hammond or SPOG.

PyQt has QGL support, which is a great blessing. I praise the PyQt team, and my new dream job is working at the Kompany.

I have already gotten it installed, but the question is - have you?

Have fun.

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-08-15

New CVS Branch

As the discussion on the core mailing list revealed, it may be a good idea to seperate out some of the functionality and distinguish between the design, referee, and client versions of an object.

The new branch in CVS is called "new-class-structure" so be sure and get that branch and not the root branch if you want to see it develop.

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-08-02

Using Alpha Textures

I got a simple demo with alpha textures working, using a PNG with RGBA, PyOpenGL with the Numeric extentions. I'm going to work on making the map render correctly now.

You'll need to install NumPy, PIL, and PyOpenGL to get the demo working. You have to make sure that PyOpenGL compiles with Numeric inside, or else some necessary functions won't show up.
It exposed some problems I didn't anticipate, namely the fact that you have to render in the following sequence.... read more

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-08-01

Loading of maps

I added the ability to load maps. The maps are stored in a simple XML file format. The basic.xml map has comments so that no one will ever be confused on how it works.

The code actually turned out to be quite simple. It is weird but I got it all working with only 3 or 4 tests. Python is a really good language to try new stuff in.

I also changed the way hexes are rendered. I did a simple thing by changing the colors of the hexes based on their terrain. This will not be permanent of course.... read more

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-07-27

Temporary Website is Up

The temporary website is up. You can point your links to that now. It is at:

All the art was done with the Gimp. You can find more information on the Gimp at

If you want information on how I made the different things, just ask and I will let you know. It is rather easy to do and I would suggest anyone interested in doing something like that that doesn't know how find out.

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-07-19

BTTC BattleMech Editor Almost Complete

Wow, the time has just flown by, and so has the code. The BattleTech: Total Control BattleMech Editor is almost complete. I estimate by this time next week it will be 95% functional, with the remaining 5% taking some time to finish up (bugs, forgotten features, tweaking and such).

The next step is the Map Editor. This will be integrated with OpenGL, so it will be a little more on the graphically heavy side. There are some things that need to be solved here that will be extremely useful for the BTTC game. One is getting OpenGL to work. The other is finding out where a user clicks when he clicks on the rendered scene. The final one is to figure out the best way to allow the user to rotate and move around the world. I am thinking something to do with either ctrl+LMB (rotation) or shift+LMB (translation).... read more

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-07-15


I noticed we had something like 47 downloads yesterday. That is good. I want people to see my stuff, I want them to download it and play with it and find all the problems. If you have any problems with anything, let me know immediately.

Also, be sure to subscribe to the mailing list This is the best way to voice your opinions.

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-07-14

Python, meet Qt

Now I am using PyQt, which is a Python library that allows you to interface with the Qt windowing system.

People using linux shouldn't have too much trouble using this, and if they do, they can work themselves out of it or they wouldn't be using linux. For reference, I am using Python 2.1, Qt 2.3.1, and PyQt/sip 2.4.

If you are on Windows, well, that is a different story. I haven't found a precompiled version of PyQt so you are out of luck in that regard. However, it doesn't seem that compiling it on Windows is too much trouble - if you have the Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0, that is. If you don't, don't worry yet, I am working on a solution.... read more

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-07-12

New News List

Because I have lost control of, I am going to no longer use that and use a new mailing list:

Subscribing instructions are found at the top of the project's home page under "Lists". You can still access the archives under, but please don't post there anymore.

I am going to cross-post for about a week between the old list and the new, and I want everyone who subscribes to the old to be and sure to subscribe to the new one as soon as possible. I understand it is already active.

Posted by Jonathan Gardner 2001-07-12