Chat log improvements

2 improvements to the chat log this week:

[1] Game actions can display custom messages instead of the ugly system messages. E.g., if I take a mulligan the system might output the following text:

“jods moves xxx to his library. jods moves yyy to his library [copy about 7 times]. jods shuffles his library. jods moves zzz to his hand. [copy about 6 times]”.

Long, ugly and uninteresting. Now with the new features the log just displays: “jods takes a mulligan”. The message is part of the game logic, so each game is free to define as many actions as it needs.

[2] The second improvements is very useful. Ever wondered what were the rules of the card your opponent just took back in his hand ? Wonder no more. If you move your mouse over a card name in the chat box, the card picture is displayed. So you can always see what the card actually was.

In other news the .NET 3.5 framework should be available next week, which is excellent news. The final version of OCTGN 2.0 will run on those bits, and it was one requirement for me to publish the first beta… The number of missing pieces before the first beta is getting low… Who wants a beta for christmas ? 😉

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18 Comments on “Chat log improvements”

  1. Raven Says:

    me me me me :)))

  2. Aggersborg Says:

    MEEEEEEEEEEEEE – ho ho ho :”Merry OCTGN 2(two) you …..and a happy new year”

  3. Michael Says:


  4. viparas Says:

    YES. That would be awesome.

  5. Matthew Says:

    Me!! I want!

  6. ian Says:

    Yes, please! So need this while overseas.

  7. Koryu Says:

    Wow, a beta! How awesome!
    I would also like to betatest it!
    Will run some awesome OCTGN2 matches with my friends in germany! >.<

    Nice work, jods!

  8. Etienne Says:

    BETA!!! O_O !!!!!!!! ME WANT ME WANT!!!

  9. W Says:

    Would it be possible to get info on how to create sets for 2.0?
    I have several games (about 6) that I’d like to convert so that they’re ready for the beta.
    Or will 1.x sets work without any updates?

  10. Kendal Says:

    Thank you!!! You kick so much ass!!!

    It was just a month ago that you posted this…

    “Before the first alpha release I want:
    – a “random” feature. So that one is able to roll a die, flip coins, or randomly discard a card.
    – a “nicer” log. Currently the game logs all “fundamental” operations. A lot of the log is ugly and doesn’t always make sense to the game. E.g. I would rather see: “jods takes a mulligan”, rather than “jods moves ‘Card’ to his library. [repeat text 7 times] jods shuffle his library. jods moves ‘Card’ to his hand [repeat text 6 times]”.
    – handle turns. Currently there is no handling of turns. I don’t even speak about turn structure, just basic turns.
    – polish. Since this will go out to many people I have to make sure things are nice, stable and consistent.”

    Now with all this and .net 3.5 out as well, the only thing that remains seems to be turn handling, usability and polish.

    Usability is key imo. The program shouldn’t be a pain to get started like the first octgn was. If it just works, out of the box, like magic workstation.

    This program WILL supplant magic workstation and become the premiere way to play TCGs online.

    Everyone else on this site should make it their mission to promote this project everywhere (,,, as soon as the final build (not the beta) becomes released.

  11. Kendal Says:

    Just wanted to add. To go along with the usability thing. Whenever a product is available that you think is ready for mass distribution let us know.

    Such a distro should come prepacked with everything needed to play Magic online, right out of the box. I’m thinking a torrent with a built in package that includes everything needed to play the game perfectly, including all the high resolution pictures, all the way from Alpha to lorywn would be ideal.

    P.S. The speed that you’re coding this is absolutely mindblowing. I remember just a month ago, it sounded unlikely that there would even be an alpha ready by the end of this year, much less a beta!!

    What is truly inspiring is how much care and polish you are putting into this program. That is truly admirable. And that’s why I am so certain this program will blow everything currently available out of the water.

    Especially if the beta has build in support to let people readily play multiplayer magic. Playing emperor magic online would be sweet.

  12. PhreekUhXoid Says:

    I have been stopping by here and there to see the dev of this software. I have to admit that at first i thought it was another piece of software destine to end up in the graveyard. I thought this only because, when i have come across awesome software in the past that was dev’d by one or two people, it’s usually abandoned.

    I must say that i am impressed to see the progress and eagerly await the chance to use this software. It would be an honor to beta test if your list is not filled.

    Keep up the great work … i know it’ll be worth it.

  13. Kendal Says:

    Just curious, but would it be able to mod the software theme so that it looks identical to magic online? There’s a picture of it here…

    Also, is there any chance that we would be able to print out proxies of the cards in the correct dimensions to use in real life for casual play. That would be a very cool and useful feature.

  14. Kendal Robbins Says:

    Scratch my last post. From the pics I’ve seen so far, OCTGN looks better than Magic Online.

    I just want to contribute one last thought though.

    In my google search, here are the primary REASONS PEOPLE PREFER MWS TO THE ORIGINAL OCTGN…

    These are the things that we as a community must absolutely work together to fix before the final build of the program is released to the torrents…

    “MWS has direct connection to opponent, as well as the ability to search for players seeking an opponent. Being able to connect to a server to find a game is very important to me. It seems as though OCTGN does not have that functionality. If I can’t find somebody with whom to play, there’s no point in having the software.”

    “OCTGN is not that user friendly. I spent a whole week reading guides just to get it to start. And another week finding people to play with. In th end, I went back to MWS cause it’s much simpler and easier to understand.”

    “I also tried it, but couldn’t get anywhere at all. It was the first MtG software I ever tried, actually, based on a friend’s recommendation, but I gave it up in disgust. I then stumbled across MWS, which I had up and running – building decks and playing games online – very quickly.”

    “In MWS it’s MUCH easier to find opponents”

    The above reasons are cited again and again as to why people gave up on OCTGN 1.0

    These are the reasons why OCTGN is not the premiere program used to play Magic online.

    Just some food for though.

    If those above concerns were addressed, I have no doubt in my mind that OCTGN could completely dominate the online scene.

    “I could never get OCTGN to work.”

  15. Koryu Says:

    The OCTGN Chat was very usefull to me when I had problems… if there is such a function in OCTGN 2.0 it should be stated out clearer.

    Some of my friends even didn’t know what the OCTGN chat is, not to speak of the fact how to start it…

  16. Discord Says:

    Hell yeaaah!

    Nice work, Jods. 🙂 It’s been a long while in the making, but then so has that ccg I’m working on, so I forgive ya.

    Sign me up for a beta, and let me know if you want any copyright-licensed cards for your manual.


  17. Pascual Says:

    Congrats Jods!!!! ..this is good news.

    i’ll love to test the Beta

    Well done man

  18. jods Says:

    The GUI is skinnable indeed. But you can change the ‘look’ of it, not the actual disposition of controls and so on. So while you could turn the GUI black, white, shinny or plastic-like, I don’t think you would be able to match MTGO.

    Printing proxies is not going to be included any time soon. 1. Because the main purpose is to offer an online virtual table and I try to keep my energy in this direction. 2. Because printing proxies would make us even more a target for lawyers than we already are. Go check what happened to for one example.

    It seems you are making 2 points against OCTGN 1.x:
    1. Its GUI is not user-friendly. This was a well-recognized fact at the beginning of 2.0 conception and I hope it will be much more easier to handle for noobs than 1.x was. At least we tried.
    2. Hard to find players. At the moment I only work on the game client. When 2.0 is out the way to find opponents is still going to be hanging out in the chat room. Hopefully OCTGN 2.0 will be well received (I think it’s probably the best free virtual table out there) and more people will be in the chat room, reducing the problem. I have some ideas for future versions, but it’s so far away in the future I won’t even mention them.

    indeed this function is very valuable but hard to discover. Much like many other functions like playing a card face down, and so on… I am still looking for a good way to make all this more intuitive. Or maybe players should just read the manual?
    BTW I am not sure we were talking about the same thing. I was speaking about the chat box inside the game, not the seperate “OCTGN Chat” program, which I am NOT working on (for this one Torgo is your man).

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