Swimming Race Start

Day One: Project Definition

So I have decided to try my hand at the ubiquitous 100 day challenges which seem to be so prolific on the Internet, or at least the places I look. Although I suspect that this may have something to do with my relatively limited search criteria when browsing around, primarily typing in things like ‘100 day challenges’. Still best not dwell on trifles at this point, and let’s look at this 2020, stuck at home due to Covid-19, focused challenge.

I have been contemplating and dabbling, albeit with very little focus, the idea of combining a number of my interests, old and new. This is what I thought to direct my attention to this April. Follow me back to a distant era, say the 1980s.

As a younger man, a dreamer some may say, I abandoned any hope of obtaining a reasonable education. I decided instead to take life far more casually, and just concentrate on those things that provided me with a sense of happiness. Don’t get me wrong though, this was not a conscious decision as such, it was more based on the fact that I was never really the brightest bulb in the pack, and well my single parent family was not an environment of driven focus and motivational learning. I was just drifting through my school life, and hating most of it. I fell into a small group of individuals that shared something in common, I’m still not entirely sure what it was, but we sat together at the back of the class, and that cemented our destiny, at least in part.

My schoolfriends and I would distract ourselves during our classes with a book and game that was in relative infancy back then called role playing games, or RPGs. These have received quite a bit more exposure since the early to mid eighties, but it was just the excuse we needed to not pay any attention to our teachers best efforts to instruct us in the important things that we would need to be productive members of society. The group went on to have less than sterling academic records, and we have all since drifted apart somewhat.

So I finally got married, and my wife who is a keen digital gamer, started to get into tabletop board games, a passion that I do not much share. I like cooperative gaming, and board games offer a limited set titles that cater for folks such as I. I also typically hate people, a feeling that seems quite reciprocated most of the time. Anyhow, cutting a long story a little shorter, I rehydrated the dry husk of gaming remembrance that we could both enjoy by introducing her to my age old and long forgotten passion for tabletop roleplaying games.

So, we have played a few systems since this introduction, namely Dungeons and Dragons, Savage Worlds, and Call of Cthulhu, to name some. So as a fun wee project, I thought it would be interesting to create a character generator for such roleplaying game systems. However each system has quite a significant difference in the way in which characters are created.

For my challenge, I have decided that I will see how far I can get in creating a digital character generator, given the numerous mechanisms specific to a system. I will start with Call of Cthulhu, as I have some familiarity with the rules, and as it is quite well contained in a primary rulebook, with a very limited set of expansion books.

I am thinking that as part of this challenge I will try and learn a number of new technologies in the process, things that I have only a very limited understanding and exposure of. I will use Laravel for PHP server side, Vue for JavaScript client side, GraphQL for database API access, and MySQL for the database. These may need to change as I go through, but I think that this seems a good place to start, and I’ll see how I get on.

Image provided by: unsplash-logoArisa Chattasa