Character Creation Form

Character Creation Form

Macross Character Creation Form

The Project
Built as part of a class project while attending Seneca College, the object of which was to find a business or online community with a need and to build a program that would fill it. No agreement was made with the business or community and no contract was entered into. The main point was to have a real problem which needed solved and to build a program which could fill the need.

Macross; Symphony of the Stars is a community of online writers and fans of the Japanese Anime Macross, the first series of which was released in 1982 (adapted by Harmony Gold to be used as part of Robotech for American audiences in 1985). The Macross series continues today, with the most recent series Macross Frontier, proving to be a huge hit among fans while drawing a younger audience to the fan community. Members of the Macross; SOS community, come together in an online forum where they create characters based on their shared fandom and collaborate to create a shared story.

The Macross; SOS community uses for it's game Fuzion, a table top game system similar to the Dungeons & Dragons D20 system. While most players are familiar with one or the other table top gaming style, the community strives to be open to those who prefer the more creative writing aspect of the game as well as those who are unfamiliar with table top gaming. Since the Fuzion system requires a lengthily character creation process, one involving large amounts of calculations and confusing figures, the community has suffered some loss of membership due to the initial, bulky joining process.

The Macross Character Creation Form Project strives to alienate the strain on new and inexperienced members of the community by providing a simple form which not only provides the user with easy step by step instructions, but performs the necessary calculations for them with the click of a button. This not only makes the joining process much easier for new players, but it streamlines the creation of new characters for existing players and cuts down on the amount of time Game Managers (GMs) must spend on correcting errors for newly submitted characters.

Technical Details
Built using PHP and HTML. SQL is used on the back end for data storage of both in progress and completed characters.

Features
  • Designed to be simple and easy to use with all information about the character creation process readily available.
  • Calculations are performed for the user.
  • Error checking advises the user if the current stage has not been completed properly


This initial design of the Macross Character Creation form proved bulky and difficult to update or maintain. It was an experience in building a web program which taught me a lot of valuable lessons in considerations for implementation while building future programs. Half a year later i was given an opportunity to upgrade the program, rebuild the interface, and implement several changes which made the program much nicer to use and much easier to keep up to date. The program was re-written in Perl and has since gone into active use with the Macross; SOS community. The form can be found here. Further information can be found here. Since the program was re-written, this one remains somewhat incomplete. For example, there is no email function at the end of the form, the character is simply displayed on screen after it is stored in the database.

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