Programming is a good way to be more effective with your
computer and potentially make a profit. Some people program exclusively for
themselves, hording away their precious code for their own advantage. Others
share the creative process in a group, allowing for easier progress and
maintenance. Others yet sell the finished program but keep the process to
themselves, securing an income.
To program requires time. That's it. If you have a computer,
all you need is to drink coffee and work long enough and, assuming you know what
you're doing, you'll eventually produce something. Compared to other research
tasks, programming is one of the less expensive. Of course, if you want your
program to be more than functional, you may end up paying other people to spice
it up. For example, games are not built in code alone, unless it's a text game,
and we all know how boring those are.
There are two main factors to figuring out how long and how
hard it will be to program something.
|The scope of a program is how much it encompasses. The more
specific the program, the less time it takes to get the same result.|
||Effect on time and difficulty
A program that defeats password protected ICE
||-1 difficulty and base time.
program that defeats ICE.
||+0 Difficulty, base time
|Broad: A program
that takes over a target computer, circumventing ICE along the way.
||+2 difficulty, double time.
|Suite: A complete
||+3 difficulty, quadruple time.
|How much effect does the program have? The more useful the
program, the more difficult and lengthy it is to program.|
||Effect on time and difficulty
|Small: +5 to a
roll OR a psuedo skill of 10.
||-1 difficulty and base time
|Mediocre: +10 to a roll OR a psuedo skill
||+0 difficulty and base time
|Large: +15 to a roll, +1 success to a roll,
OR a psuedo skill of 30
||+2 difficulty, double time
|Huge: +25 to a roll, +2 succs to a roll,
OR, a psuedo skill of 40
||+4 difficulty, quadruple time
|God Code: +35 to a roll, +3 succs to a
roll, OR, a psuedo skill of 50
||+6 difficulty, sextuple(6) time
|ICE runs on a different scale for programming than general
code. The difficulty modifier for ICE is +1 per rating of the ICE and the time
multiplier depends on the grade. Yellow is double, Brown is triple, and black
|On top of this, the judge overseeing the creation is free
to apply any modifier for intricate or complicated ICE or make extremely
simple ICE easier to code.|
|See the ICE page for many
examples of ICE and how they work.|
|It bares noting that ICE programs can NOT fight for you.
Their construction is designed against intrusion. If it works against things
outside your system, then it's not ICE.|
Once you have the scope and power of the program laid out,
it's time to roll! You get a roll once every OOC day times the time multiplier.
You want to get twenty successes. Once you reach 20, the program is ready to go.
If you botch a roll, you lose half your progress and get another +1 difficulty.
You can abandon a program at any time, but if you do so, you can't take it up
again for one full IC month.
The actual roll is an average Computer/Programming + The skill
that fits the purpose of the program. A hacking program would be
Computer/Intrusion. Photo editing programs would use Artistry/Image Editting or
something similiar. As can plainly be seen, knowing how to program is only half
the story. You need to know the subject.
In the event that the programmer wants to work with reference
texts instead of skill, they can double the time and expend 50 eGil to secure
the information needed to equal their programming skill. The residing judge is
free to raise this cost for obscure or weighty subjects.
|Programs can and many times are larger than the minimum
size, but no program will be smaller than this.|
|A program must be at least 0.1 times the difficulty
|Every step above extremely specific adds 0.1 to the minimum
|A program gains 0.1 size per roll made to code it past the
|A program loses 0.1 size per roll made after the program
that adds another 10 succs|
(You can keep working to build up succs to reduce and tighten the code, botch
rule applies to ALL the succs, not just weight reduction.)
|Staff discretion. Some programs need a lot of information
besides the code to function and will just be larger for it.|
|Joe, who works for Daravon, wants to make a program that'd
reside in the computer of a turret and auto-fire on anyone not wearing a
special identification badge. We'll assume all the hardware is taken care of,
and all it needs is the right software. This is a very specific program. It'll
only use one weapon in one position and always from the same user. Can't get
much more specific than that, eh? Now, a turret has no skill in using guns, so
Joe will have to give it skill, psuedo skill. He wants it to be a
passable shot and aims for a skill of 30.|
|Since this is a very specific program, -1 difficulty.|
|It'll produce a large effect at a 30 firing skill, +2
difficulty and double time.|
|The total difficulty is 8(7 - 1 + 2).|
|The large effect doubles the time, meaning Joe gets a
roll every two days.|
|Firing this particular gun is Ranged/Miniguns, so that's
the skill that will help him. Now, Joe is a geek, he's never fired a minigun.
He spends fifty bucks and accesses a database of firearms for useful
information on the topic. This unfortunately doubles the time again to four
|He has Computer/Programming of 30, and an effective
Ranged/Miniguns of 30(thanks to the 50 bucks he spent for reference
|Joe, now prepared, sits down and starts to code. After
four days, he does a +check Intelligence:30 vs 8. 6 succs. He's made
progress! These succs are written down and Joe waits. After four more days,
6 more succs. Now he's up to 12 succs. Next time he does well, 8! The
program is ready to go. Since his boss is yelling at him to get it in, he
doesn't worry about shrinking the program down any.|
|The minimum size of the program is 0.2 due to the large
effect. He took three rolls to complete the program, which adds 0.2. In
total, the program's size is 0.4, which is still nice and small.|
|And there you have it, a program that will let the turret
fire at 30 +check with a size of 0.4. Even if it's a primitive computer it'll
have room for more. Nice job Joe!|
|Joe gets his new assignment. He's to design a skillsoft. A
skillsoft is a program that runs in a brain-com and helps the user perform a
particular task. In this case, it's a racing program. Now Joe's given a lot of
time to work with, so he has some choices. He could make the program specific
to one car. He could make it specific to a sort of car(racing cars!), or he
could make it good for racing anything on wheels. Joe decides he'll go for the
latter, his program will have racing information for all stripes of ground
vehicles. For the power, he wants it to add to the user's inherent ability,
and aims for +1 success.|
|This is a broad program, since it covers racing in all
ground vehicles of all kinds. +2 diff and double time.|
|This is a large program, since it gves +1 succ. Another
+2 diff and double the time again.|
|As it turns out, Joe has some driving ability. The skill
this program will use is just plain Drive, and he has that at 40, what luck!
The average of his 30 programming and 40 drive is 35, huzzah!|
|The total difficulty will be 11(7 + 2 + 2), and 20 succs
are needed, as usual.|
|Joe buckles in, orders several cartons of coffee and gets
to work. He rolls Intelligence:35 vs 11 and gets 3 successes. This is going to
take a while.. Every four days he rolls. 2, 4, 1, -1. Oh no! He had built up
10 succs before disaster struck. He loses half(5) and is now back to five.
What a set back. Not about to give up, Joe gets back to work and finishes
the program with a day to spare and no further botching.|
|The size of this program is 0.4 for its difficulty plus
0.8 for all the rolls he had to make plus 0.2 for its broadness. This makes
it 1.2 sized. Three times larger than that last program. You can't run this
on a low end computer.|
|And there you go, a 1.2 sized program that'll give the user
+1 success to all racing related rolls in ground vehicles.|