Opus in progressu (2)

I’ve been working to make the Cthulhu Invictus PDF character sheet fully form-fillable and interactive.

The first page is pretty much complete, all the characteristics and skills are updatable and automatically calculate the half and fifth values. The derived statistics: hit points, magic points, san points, damage bonus, and build are all calculated automatically as well.

There’s still the 2nd page to work on, which should be a whole lot easier than working with all those invisible buttons.

Version 001 (page 1) of the full auto-calc Cthulhu Invictus PDF character sheet.

I’ve also normalised all the form field names so that it will be compatible with the ‘download character sheet’ function in the Character Control Panel.

Without too much fiddling with the features in Adobe Acrobat I have manages to shrink the file size down to 3.2MB down from 8.6MB – though that will increase as I add further functionality and scripts. That will make a huge difference to ‘bandwidth’ when people download their Cthulhu Invictus Character Sheets from the site.

Opus in progressu

Here’s the first post in the ‘teaser’ category. I’ve decided to post about current work in progress from time to time.

So, without further ado I give to you Quintis Septimius Capiton, an Advocate by trade who is resident in Rome.

A small peek into the ongoing development of adding support for creating Investigators for the Call of Cthulhu supplement Cthulhu Invictus.

Quintis Septimius Capiton
Advocate Occupation template for Cthulhu Invictus.

That’s the first occupation template done, there’s another seventy to go!

opus in progressu 2

Looking back to look forward (part 2)

Part one of this retrospective looking at The Dhole’s House dealt with the origins and early history of the sites development and eventual launch. Here I want to focus on how quickly people started to use the site and how popular it was

Didn’t we do well?

Following the release of the site things started to take off, there were just over 400 registrations by the end of November and another hundred by the end of 2016. I can’t say how many Call of Cthulhu Investigators were created at this time because until August 2017 the date wasn’t recorded.

The only time you should ever look back, is to see how far you've come.

I could see the that the total band-width or data transferred each month was increasing and tried to keep tabs on what was happening.

Here are the statistics that I can calculate for 2017.

  • Accounts created – 2,144
  • 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu Investigators created – 4,643*
  • Character sheet downloads from the ‘Library’ – 11,477**
  • Character sheets downloaded by site members – 4,874**

*This figure includes any Investigators made in October to December 2016. **From February 2017 onwards.

By the end of 2018 things had grown, a LOT! Of course there were a lot more options as to what type of Call of Cthulhu Investigator you could create. There was support for the classic 1920’s era, Gaslight and ‘Modern’ as well as Pulp Cthulhu! Pulp Cthulhu had made a great impact on the Call of Cthulhu gaming scene in 2017.

Here’s the headline statistics for 2018.

  • Accounts created – 4,870
  • 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu Investigators created – 10,265
  • Character sheet downloads from the ‘Library’ – 25,899
  • Character sheets downloaded by site members – 13,905

Here’s the headline statistics for 2019.

  • Accounts created – 9,073
  • 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu Investigators created – 20,663
  • Character sheet downloads from the ‘Library’ – 41,853
  • Character sheets downloaded by site members – 28,105

It must be said that quite a bit of the upturn in site usage last year was influenced by the streaming of Shadow of the Crystal Palace by Critical Role in July.

Almost 70,000 Call of Cthulhu character sheets that have been downloaded from the site last year, that’s 190 per day, and over 125,000 times in a little over three years, that’s amazing. It’s also a little scary when you take into account how much data that actually is and the fact that so many people have made the choice to create their Investigators on the site. That’s mind-boggling.

Part 3 unpacks these figures.

Looking back to look forward (part 1)

OHH NO, NOT A RETROSPECTIVE…

I wanted to kick things off with a look back at what has happened at The Dhole’s House in 2019 (compared to 2018), part 1. Then move on and take a peek at what I’m hoping to develop and introduce in the year to come. It’s fair to say that when I first started on creating The Dhole’s House I had no idea of how popular it would become.

Origins

Back in the 90’s I, like many Call of Cthulhu players, was using the excellent Windows program Byakhee by David Harvey to create Investigators and print out their character sheets. You could even create and update rulepacks for the program to introduce new skills and keep things up to date.

Byakhee Character Generator

That was the inspiration for The Dhole’s House but making it accessible to anyone (as long as they had access to the internet). One of the first things that I cobbled together was a version of the calling card creator, a simple way to create an in game prop. Then followed a module that allowed for the creation of an Investigator conforming to the 6th edition rules which culminated in producing a PDF character sheet that could be used in play, this was back in late 2015.

I then got talking to Mike Mason at Chaosium about obtaining their agreement to releasing this to the unsuspecting, but fully deserving, public. Mike was great, extremely supportive and offering advice. There was only one sticking point, Call of Cthulhu 7th edition was really gaining traction and Chaosium would rather the site focussed on those, the latest edition, rules. So I then went about creating the Investigator creator following the 7th edition (best edition of Call of Cthulhu, in my opinion) this took some time and the site was finally released in October/November 2016.

After that it seemed a constant blur of development work, fixing bugs and adding support for different eras of the game.

That’s enough history, on to part 2.