The Civ Card Buyer

A Program for buying Civ Advancement Cards


Introduction

    This program will be used to assist players of the Avalon Hill game Advanced Civilation. Advanced Civilization is a board game for 4-8 players, that takes an average of 12 hours to play.

    A major part of the game is the acquisition of civilization advance cards. These cards determine a majority of the points you will need to win the game. They also provide the player with an added capabilities appropriate to the card title.
    There are 24 different civilization advances that are divided into 5 catagories. The catagories and associated advances are:

    Crafts (Orange Colored Cards)
  • Pottery
  • ClothMaking
  • Metalworking
  • Agriculture
  • Roadmaking
  • Mining
  • Engineering
    Sciences (Green Colored Cards)
  • Engineering
  • Astronomy
  • Coinage
  • Medicine
  • Mathematics
    Arts (Blue Colored Cards)
  • Mathemetics
  • Drama and Poetry
  • Music
  • Architecture
  • Literacy
  • Mysticism
    Civic (Red Colored Card)
  • Literacy
  • Law
  • Democracy
  • Military
  • Philosophy
    Religion (Yellow Colored Cards)
  • Mysticism
  • Deism
  • Enlightenment
  • Monotheism
  • Theology
Note that Engineering belongs to both the Crafts and Sciences catagories. Mathematics belongs to both Arts and Sciences. Literacy belongs to both the Art and Civic catagories. Mysticism belongs to both the Art and Religion catagories.
    The game consists of a minimum of 17 turns. A part of each turn is a trade round, where players will trade for commodity cards that can be sold to buy civilization advances. After the trade phase of a round, the player must determine how to spend his commodity cards (money).
    It is the buying phase of the round that this program is intended to assist the player with. The player has to select which cards to buy based on:
  • Available Resources (how much money they have to spend)
  • Certain catagories are required to progress to the next turn of the game.
  • Specific numbers of cards are required to progress to the next turn of the game.
  • Specific advances are considered prerequisites for other advances.
  • Certain advances give players benefits that make game play easier.
  • Other criteria based on the individuals play style, or strategy.

Main Application and Descriptions of Applications Operations


View of the CivCards Application at Start-up

The features of the main application are:
The Available Funds Edit box
This is the box where the user enters the total value of the commodity cards that they have to buy with that round.
The Start Search Button
After the user selects a search type from the search menu. Clicking on this button will start the search.
The Turn Finished Button
Once the user has completed all his purchases for that turn, clicking on the Turn Finished button will set the cards as 'bought'. After that any selected advance cards cannot be unselected.
The Civilization Advance Check Boxes
The 24 civilization advance boxes are check boxes that are configured to look like buttons. Clicking on a button will, if the user has enough money, and has bought the proper prerequisites, mark the advance as bought. It will also decrement the Available Funds value according to the value of the advance. It will also increment the Number of Cards Window, and the Total Card Value Window.
Search Type
This box will display the search type that the user selects with the Search Menu.
Total Number Cards
This box will display the total number of advance cards that the user has selected.
Total Card Value
This box will keep a running total of the total value of cards that the user has bought.
The Search Results Box
The large edit box in the bottom right corner is where the results of the search/sort routines will be displayed.


Menu Descriptions


View of the File Menu Selections


The features of the File menu are:
Open
Opens a saved file.
Save
Saves an application.
Save as
Allows the user to select a file name to save under.
Exit
Exits the application


View of the Search Menu Selections


The features of the Search menu are:
Most Cards
This selcetion will list the possible combinations of cards that will allow the player to buy the most number cards with his available funds.
Largest Price
This selection will list the possibilities that will allow the player to buy the largest price cards available.
Specific Catagory
This selection will list the possibilities that will allow the player to buy the a card from a player selected catagory, plus all the other options available.
Specific Card
This selection will list the possibilities that will allow the player to buy the a card that the player selects plus all the other options.
All Options
This selection will list the all the possible combinations that can be bought with the users available funds.


View of the Advance Menu Selections


The features of the Advance Menu are:
The 24 Civilization Advance names
Selecting one of these advance names will have the same effect as clicking on the advance button in the main dialog box. Once advances are selected in the main application they will appear checked in this menu.


View of the Help Menu Selections


The features of the Help Menu are:
About CivCards
Shows the about CivCards dialog box.
Civ Advances
These selections will display a custom dialog box that will display information about the advantages or potential disadvantages of buying this advance. This information is not needed or an essential part of this program. But is a feature requested by the potential users.
Help
Will display the help files for this program. I haven't implemented this feature yet. But I'm starting to think that most of the information contained in this file will form a good basis for the contents of these help files.


Mid-Game Descriptions


View of the Main program during a mid-game turn.


Highlights of the Main program, mid-game turn display:
    Note:
  • The Money Amount
  • The Selected Advances
  • The Search/Sort displays
  • The Results Display
  • The Tallys of the Total Cards, and Total Value.


Pop-Up Window Descriptions


View of the Insufficient Funds Alert Window.


This window will be display if the user attempts to purchase a civ advance that they do not have sufficient funds to purchase. Clicking on the OK button, removes the alert window, and cancels the last button clicked.


View of the Prerequisite Required Alert Window.


This window will be display if the user attempts to purchase a civ advance that they have not purchased a required advance in a previous turn. Clicking on the OK button, removes the alert window, and cancels the last button clicked.


View of the About CivCards Window.


This window will be display if the user selects the About CivCards menu selection from the Help Menu.


View of the Civ Advances Help Window.


This window will be display if the user selects a Civ Advance Title from the Help Menu. This is extra information that has really no purpose for the program. This feature was added in response to a request from the anticipated users.


Problems and Conclusions


The only real problem I had with this program was finalizing the visual design of the interface. Due to time constraints I was not able to finish all the features of the application.

The parts of the application yet incomplete are:

  • The actual search/sort routines
  • The advance selection menu. The menu selections work, they just don't show as checked.
  • The Help File from the Help Menu.
  • The Open, Save, and Save as commands from the File menu. These commands will be simple to implement. I just haven't seen the need yet, as the application is yet unworkable.
  • All the Help Advance Information except the agriculture advance. I implemented the agriculture card information to test the design. The rest of the advances will just require inputing all the relevent data.

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