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Makechar is a character creation assistance program for the GURPS role-playing game. The intent was to allow players to easily play around with characters while they were creating them, keep track of all the bookwork automatically, and provide relatively nice printouts. It is *NOT* intended to replace the GURPS printed books and I have been adamant about leaving out big blocks of text from the books despite numerous requests for such things (usually dealing with descriptions of spells and powers).
Makechar creates characters for the 3rd edition of GURPS.
MakeChar started as a rewrite of a simple little program my friend Bob Meyer wrote called Cre8Char. It handled GURPS Man-To-Man characters well but wasn't expandable at all. I got the idea of putting the data into files external to the program itself to make it expandable.
Over time it grew tremendously and it now handles almost all aspects of GURPS characters: attributes, spells, skills, advantages, disadvantages, quirks, and equipment.
I have Steve Jackson Games official blessing to distribute it; see the copyright statements in the .DTA files.
I only work on the program now when I find something wrong or to tweak one of the data files. I am using it as a test bed for some stuff for the forthcoming Java MakeChar application, though. Thus the recent updates to generate XHTML as output.
Your best bet is to look at some of the existing files, get confused, read MAKECHAR.DOC, get more confused, go back to the existing files, and repeat a few more times. Some time in there it will sink in and you'll smack yourself on the forehead for not understanding the first time.
Ok, so it's not too easy. That's why I am working on GDL (see below). You are best off finding a data file that is close to what you want and modifying it.
MakeChar runs fine on DOS, every version of Windows that I have tried, and under OS/2 (Warp and 2.1).
Others have reported it works fine under various Windows/DOS emulators on other platforms.
Use the print option from inside the program. This will generate an HTML file named "fist8charsofyourcharactersname.HTM" in the same directory as the character. Use your favorite browser that supports XHTML (Firefox, Mozilla, NetScape 7.x, and Internet Explorer 6.X all work fine) to view the file and you can print it from there.
I gave up long ago keeping track of all the data files. I don't maintain any but the basic ones and the TL3/TL4 ones for the campaigns I run myself. Check out think.com and io.com for lots and lots more. Please contact the author of any file if there are problems with it. I do updates of the ones I maintain when someone reports something or I notice something but the others are up to their authors to correct.
Some locations that have (or at one time had) data files:
No, you can't have it. The IPL agreement I have with IBM actually gives them the rights to the program but the IPL guys said that distributing it for free is no problem. SJG of course has the rights to all the GURPS stuff. Between the two of them handing out the source would be a Bad Idea.
MakeChar is written in Modula-2, specifically in TopSpeed Modula-2 3.1. Unfortunately, I used the TopSpeed library heavily so the code is tied quite closely to the PC hardware. I know that was a mistake now but at the time it was easiest. This will make porting MakeChar to another OS virtually impossible as it now stands.
The initial program design was very slick and it was easy to do. However, the design was not extendable very easily and the parts added on have stretched the design to the point of breaking.
You bet you do! Go see your psychiatrist quick! :-) It took a long, long time to get parts of MakeChar right and it won't be any easier now! This is not something that you're going to whip out in a couple of weeks of fiddling around. GURPS is a complicated game system and was not designed for ease of writing programs to support it. The toughest stuff is defaults and prerequisites.
There used to be but I got rid of it.
Too many. Some of the problems are really just unfinished expansions, though.
Note! See also the Java Makechar FAQ.
Java MakeChar is what formerly was known as MakeChar II. I decided to switch from C++ to Java to increase the protability of the final product and to help me in learning Java. This should greatly speed up my development as well thanks to the class library provided with Java.
This will undoubtedly raise a whole host of new questions some of which I will try to anticipate here:
Got any comments about all this? Then email me, but be sure to put an @ in the right place.