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Building a deck from a limited card pool


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Reply to topic    Magic-League.com Forum Index -> Magic Workstation (MWS)
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QuinRiva



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 1:21 am    Post subject: Building a deck from a limited card pool Reply with quote

Introduction
Ok so a brief introduction. I play a lot of limited (Sealed minis and Netdraft, etc) and I hate the way that deckbuilding works in NetDraft and MWS – having two listboxes and you build a deck by transferring the card names from one box to the other. I wanted a way to build a deck the same way that you would build a deck in real life – with all the cards sorted into piles by colour or casting cost. So I wrote my own programme to do just that:



How to use it
Ok, so opening a file – this file should basically just be a full list of all the cards in the limited card pool. So, if you have just finished drafting with NetDraft then instead of building a deck in NetDraft – just transfer all of the cards into the deck and click save. Then open the deck with UnLimited:


Presently, the programme only works with .dec files, but I’ll fix it up so that it works with .mwDeck files in the future (don’t worry, it does export the files in .mwDeck format). Also the clipboard icon doesn’t do anything yet.

As you can see from the first picture, all the cards are sorted into piles based on the colour, in descending order of size. The programme uses the colour system proposed by Gabe Carleton-Barnes, so you’ll not that gold hybrid cards centre on their base colour (like the Marisi’s Twinclaws being green).

The programme is resolution independent and the cards and sidebar can be scaled to the desired size.


Reducing the size of the cards:

This image and the original one were both taken at 1900x1200 resolution; you can clearly see how many more cards you can fit on the screen by shrinking them.

When the window is adjusted the cards will rearrange to fit in the new window size.


Clicking on the colour icons in the left sidebar allows for a full view of the cards: Green:


White/blue:


Colourless etc.


The cards can be manipulated easily. The cards can be dragged are the screen by left clicking and dragging, or add/removed from the deck by right clicking on them.

The programme effectively sorts all cards into one of two categories, the radio buttons (add and remove) swap between the categories. Initially all cards are in the add category, right clicking on the card swaps its category. You can either build a deck by removing cards from the decklist (the add pile), or adding cards to the decklist (the remove pile).

Cards can also be sorted by casting cost, and by whether or not they are a creature:


Here you can see that 61 cards have been removed and only 25 remain. These cards are sorted by casting cost, with creatures on top and spells/artifacts/land on the bottom.

Clicking the removed button shows all the cards in the other pile:


When you are ready to finalise the deck, clicking the disk icon bring up a window showing all of the cards in you deck (except basic land).


Clicking export exports the file to MWS format, it also adds 17/18 basic land to the deck in roughly the correct ratio.

The rest of the land is added to the sideboard.

Loading up the file in MWS shows that the programme added 6 Forests, 7 Plains, 4 Islands and 1 Swamp (there appears to be a few bugs still in the programme, because the swamp shouldn’t be there). Obviously you’ll have to adjust this a little bit, but it provides a good starting point.


The programme is functional at the moment, but there are probably a few bugs. Also it doesn’t handle errors well and if it can’t find a card it will just crash (but it will let you know which card is missing). It needs the pictures to work, if you don’t have the card pics, it won’t work. It will search for different editions, so do only need one copy (if you have pacifism in you deck, it will find the card pic from whatever version you have, not just a specific 10th edition etc).

Also, there is a bug with the way NetDraft and MLServer work with basic land. MWS labels land Plains1.full.jpg, but NetDraft outputs basic land as just Plains – so consequently the programme looks for Plains.full.jpg, which of course doesn’t exist. I have include basic land of each type (correctly named) to fix this problem.

Let me know what you think.

Installation:
Just extract the contents into the MWS root directory (e.g. ‘C:\Program Files\Magic Workstation’). It’s that simple.

Download
http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=06e30b3b6db5b6075bf1f12f1ff3f30ae04e75f6e8ebb871


Last edited by QuinRiva on Sun May 17, 2009 1:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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QuinRiva



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, quick note. For the settings page to work, you must have the shadowmoor card, Advice From the Fey. I just needed to choose a random card, but I chose this one because it has lots of writing in small print, so the idea is that if you can read this card than you should be able to read any other card.

Also, at very low resolutions some of the cards become difficult to read. I am presently using the Delphi procedure "SmoothResize" to resize the images, but if anyone knows of a better one let me know.
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FiReBLT



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that is really really impressive man, I like it a lot.
Dunno if you can post that sort of thing on here though, it might be a violation of copyright, as the mana symbols are definitely copyrighted.

Careful with that.
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QuinRiva



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback. The problem seems to be that I forgot to include the midas.dll file (most of the computers I use already have this file). It should be the only one that isn't part of a standard windows install. I'll upload a patched version tonight.

In the mean time you could try downloading the midas.dll http://www.distribucon.com/download/midasd2006.zip.

I imagine the other problems are related to the midas library problem. At this point the programme has basically no error handling - if something doesn't work nothing works. At this stage it's a very early beta.
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onecleanceli



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 398

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that is absolutely amazing... i actually quit playing limited online due to the fact that i'm a visual person and my brain doesnt work too well with just words when it comes to magic lol... that progam is sick, from what i can see... havent tested it out yet but definitely will be doing so very soon

edit: i think my favorite part about this is, i've always liked the playstyle of mws better than apprentice, but always loved the sealed deck generator of apprentice... now i can entertwine them with this program essentially
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QuinRiva



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys, thanks for the feedback. I didn't manage to update the programme last night (I had dance auditions until 10pm). I'm doing couple of hours work today trying to add some more feedback for error messages.

If you get an error message can you post a screen shot of the error, cheers. I've downloaded practically all of the card pics from every set, so its possible that it might be experienceing errors because of missing card pics (like telling you that it can't find the 10th ed Pacifism, but you have the 9th edition version, so it should just use that) - I'll look into that. Oh, I forgot to mention - the programme only looks for the fulls not the crops.

Ok so here's what I'm working on at the moment:
I'm trying to replicate the way MWS draws the cards and adds the text for cards that are missing pictures. This should fix the missing picture issue and add some functionality.
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QuinRiva



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have updated the programme including the Midas library and fixed how the programme reads in card names from the .dec files.

http://www.mediafire.com/?xnhc9xnmvlc
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QuinRiva



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I've made some massive improvements since the last version:
* The programme no longer crashes if it can't find a card. If a card is missing, it will simply drop the card from the list (and let you know which card is missing).
* You can now load .mwDeck files and it will try to find the correct edition of the card - if it can't find the correct edition, it'll just display the most recent edition that you have.
* The programme now handles different versions of cards (i.e. Plains (1), Plains (2), etc. - Also relevant for the older Alliance/Fallen Empires cards which had multiple versions).
* The colour sorting has been completely reworked - it is now liberally exclusive. If you click on green, it will display any card that can be cast with just green mana (so all green cards, and all hybrid green cards), similarly if you select W/U it will display all cards that can be cast with White and blue mana (All white cards, all blue cards, all white/blue (gold) cards, and all white and blue hybrid cards). It is pretty liberal in this affair, and allows for some cards that are splashable to creep in. So a white/blue/black card (Magister Sphinx) will display in W/U and Naya Hushblade will show up in Mono-Green.
* Fixed a bug that caused duplication errors if a second file was deck was opened after a deck had already been opened.
* The last card in the list wasn't showing up all the time - it does now.
* At beginning of table errors should now be fixed
* Split cards now work (eg. Supply/Demand)
* The programme now parses blank lines and '//' commented lines correctly.

With regards to the Æ character, cards like Æthermage are/should always be listed as AEthermage. As far as I'm aware, all MWS pictures use AE in place of Æ in their filenames, and MWS and Netdraft both use this standard aswell. So as long as you follow this rule it shouldn't be a problem.

If anyone with more artistic talent then myself wants to try making an icon to replace the generic delphi 7 icon feel free.

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=06e30b3b6db5b6075bf1f12f1ff3f30ae04e75f6e8ebb871
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QuinRiva



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Version 0.2a

Minor update - the last two cards in the deck weren't being displayed.
http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=06e30b3b6db5b6075bf1f12f1ff3f30ae04e75f6e8ebb871
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Lovecraft



Joined: 15 Mar 2006
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Works great now!
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QuinRiva



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the moment the clipboard doesn't do anything. In the future it will allow you to use a deck that's stored in the clipboard (say if you copy it from a website etc.). This means you don't have to save it to a file and then reopen it - just something to make the process easier.

Also, I've been trying to get it to read the card list directly from the Magic-League website (for sealed-minis), it's mostly working at the moment so I should be able to implement this feature in the near future.

I'm not sure if I can send information to the website though, so after you have built the deck you may still have to tell the ML deck builder which cards are in the deck etc.

Ixidor also had a great comment regarding building in a NetDraft-esq client - effectively allowing the programme to completely replace NetDraft (and in my opinion, a fully graphical interface is way better for drafting - particularly with all the new gold cards.

While I can build the client pretty easily - it's been a few years since I studied 'Computer Networks', so it may take a while before I can get communication between clients.
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