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or "The How, Why, and Huh? of Chummer"


When will Chummer SR5 be available?

Simply put, I have no idea. While a lot of work has already gone into the application based on the previews that Catalyst has released, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, both in the application code and simply in entering all of the data. My hope is not too long after the SR5 sourcebook is released, but I can't offer any sort of real estimates as it also depends on how much free time I have to work on this.

What are the system requirements for Chummer?

The only requirement for Chummer SR5 is that you have a Windows PC with Microsoft .NET Framework 4 installed. Mono is not supported, though it may work. It has been confirmed that Chummer does work with Wine on both Mac OS X and Linux. For more information on Wine, please see Does Chummer SR5 work with Wine? below.

I've found a bug! Where can I report it?

Once Chummer SR5 has been released, there will be a separate thread for it on the Dumpshock forums where bugs can be reported. Please do not email me directly about bugs or feature requests. These things should also not be reported on the Catalyst Game Labs or any other Shadowrun forum as I do not usually look at those forums! Having everything reported in one place makes addressing issues much more manageable. If they're not reported on the Dumpshock forums, they will not be seen! Creating an account on Dumpshock and posting there isn't that difficult.

I've reported a bug or requested a feature but it hasn't been addressed yet. What gives?

A lot of it comes down to a matter of priority. I generally put bug fixes first, then feature requests. Things that are common throughout all types of characters (such as Weapons or the underlying application classes) tend to have a much higher priority than something that is only used by one type of character (like Spirits). Things like how quick something should be to implement and what I feel like working on also factor into this. There's also the matter of how much time I have; this is a hobby project and is done in my spare time. So you can see it's a highly scientific way of doing things. :) Some times changes that seem like they should be trivial are actually much more complex than they appear to be.

An error was supposedly corrected in a data file, but I don't see the change on my character. What's happening?

When an item is added to a character, Chummer creates a copy of the item's data and attaches it to the character. This is easily fixed by removing the offending item, then adding it back to the character.

This copying of information to the character is done for a couple of reasons. One is to reduce the number of times any given data file needs to be read. It's much faster to read it from the character in memory than opening a file and looking for it each time something is clicked. The other is that Chummer allows you to create custom items using Custom Data Files. Let's say you have your custom data on a desktop computer and create your character there. Come game night, you copy your character over to your laptop but forget to copy your Custom Data Files as well. When you get to the game and open your character, it doesn't open because those Custom Data Files are missing and it can't find those items. Now you're stuck! By creating a copy of these items in your character, it doesn't matter if your forgot those Custom Data Files; the character already has all of the information it needs. You can't add anything new from those missing files, but at least your character still works.

Will you be including/can you include full item descriptions?

No. Period. Too many people could exploit this and use the information from books that they do not legally own. My intention is to supplement the existing game materials, not replace them. While the data files contain information on how they affect a character directly, they lack the detailed information on their use, circumstantial modifiers, and the like. I hope that by providing book reference information, it encourages people to go out and purchase books they might not have.

Why does the Weapon page number point to the Weapon's description instead of the table?

Since the information shown in Chummer already shows all of the information on the table, regardless of the type of item (Weapon, Cyberware, Gear, etc.), referring you back to the page that contains the table seems silly. It is more practical to point you to the description of the item, especially in the case of things like Cyberware, Bioware, and Gear. The page numbers should have the same meaning throughout the application, rather than some pointing to one type of information while other point to another type, so all page numbers refer you to the item's actual description.

My Cyberweapon appears in both the Cyberware and Weapon lists

This is by design. It appears in your Cyberware list because it is a piece of Cyberware that was added to the character, has an Essence cost, and so on. The Cyberware list, however, does not describe Weapons. The Cyberweapon also appears in your Weapons list so you can easily see it as a Weapon, along with its damage, reach, AP, etc. When you print out your character, the Cyberweapon will also appear in your Weapons list, meaning that all of your weapon information is in one place and easy to find.

Why can't I select a quantity for a Weapon?

There are two reasons for this. One is that sooner or later, players seem to decide to modify one of those Weapons in a different manner from the rest. This would mean having to reduce the Weapon quantity, then buying a new one to take its place so that the modifications can be made. The bigger reason, however, is that once a character enters Career Mode, the Weapon's ammunition count and type can be tracked. Having a quantity on a Weapon would not allow you to accurately track and fire similar Weapons independently.

Where are Grenades and/or Ammunition and/or Throwing Weapons? Shouldn't they be with Weapons?

These things behave differently than standard Weapons because you can have a quantity (see "Why can't I select a quantity for a Weapon" above). Grenades in particular since they can be both thrown items and Ammunition for Grenade Launchers. All of these items can be found in Gear in the Ammunition Category. To make things easier, you can search for an item name. When you add an item like a Grenade to your character, it will appear in your Gear list. This allows you to attach Accessories to it if needed (such as Combat Chemicals and Toxins) and also lets you select a quantity. This will also create an item in the Weapons list for the same item, letting you see the damage, reach, AP, etc. for it. When you print out your character, the Grenade will appear in both the Weapons list and Gear list. By having it in the Weapons list, you can easily see its information along with the rest of your Weapons, while having it in the Gear list keeps it together with the rest of your Ammunition and consumable items.

A Weapon in the book shows RC as being one value but Chummer shows a different one. Why?

The books show a Weapon's RC as its base value and total possible value if all of the Accessories and Mods that come with it are installed, such as 1(3). Since Chummer knows the RC values for the Accessories and Mods attached to the Weapon and whether or not they're currently installed, Chummer instead shows you what the Weapon's current RC value is based on all of the installed items. As items are added or removed from the Weapon, the Weapon's RC is updated to reflect these changes so you don't have to do the math each time a change is made or if you happen to forget what its current value is.

Why do the data files have a negative version number?

I originally started the version numbers at -999 for development purposes and intended on moving them to a positive number once Chummer SR4 was released. However, since I released a "preview" development copy for people to look at and just kept pushing out updates from there, the "official" release never happened, and I have just kept rolling with the numbers. Chummer SR5 is continuing with that tradition.

Does Chummer work with Wine?

Yes! Yatokya has managed to get Chummer SR4 working on a Mac with Wine. He has been kind enough to post a guide on Geting Chummer to work on OSX (and possibly Linux) over on the Dumpshock forums so be sure to check that out! We have both confirmed that it does run on Linux as well! While Chummer SR4 and Chummer SR5 are not officially developed for non-Windows platforms, I do what I can to fix any bugs that are reported while using Wine. Since they're written using the same version of the .NET Framework, the steps he outlines for getting Chummer SR4 to work are the exact same for getting Chummer SR5 to work.

What tools are you using to develop Chummer SR5?

Chummer SR5 is developed using Visual Studio 2012 and written in C#. While Chummer SR4 was developed using Visual Studio 2010, Chummer SR5 is using Visual Studio 2012 because the new edition now allows unit tests to be created using the Express edition. All data files are standard XML and written using Notepad++. Bug tracking/feature requests are tracked through BugNET. Version control is handled with TortoiseSVN and VisualSVN Server. All of these are free tools.

Is Chummer SR5 open source? Can I help you develop it?

No. I have had too many bad experiences working with open source projects - people making undocumented changes, making unapproved changes without discussion, checking in half-implemented changes that don't work, never checking things in, being a general pain in the butt, and people fighting to become the project lead even when one has already been established and is the most active person. While I do appreciate the offers for development help, I'm just not willing to make this open source and deal with those problems right now. You're certainly welcome to create custom data or character sheets though and share with in the Custom Data for Chummer Character Generator thread on Dumpshock though and is one of the main reasons I decided to use XML for everything I could. There may be a point in the future where I finally do decide to make this an open source project. In the mean time, the source code for Chummer SR4 can be found on Google Code. I've put the code here so that others can look at what has gone into making the application and perhaps continue to work on it.

How many lines of code is Chummer SR5 and its data files?

Since the first release is not done and no data exists for it yet, that remains to be seen. Similar to the numbers for Chummer SR4, this will not include any of the code that is written to create Chummer's UI which is done by Visual Studio.

Is Chummer SR5 available in different languages? Can I translate it to my preferred language?

Yes, Chummer SR5 does have translation support! At the moment, French, German, and Japanese translations exist for Chummer SR4 which will not work with Chummer SR5, but I would love to see them ported over! Translating all of the content is no small task so if you can get someone to help you out, it will make things much easier. Check out the Language Support page for information on translating Chummer SR5 into other languages.

Can I create my own custom content? Does it require some programming knowledge or some weird, proprietary code? What about character sheets?

Yes, you can create your own content and character sheets! Like Chummer SR5, Chummer SR5 uses XML for everything to help encourage this and to make creating your own content easier. All you need is a text editor and a bit of time. The Custom Data Files page will also point you in the right direction. XSLT is used for character sheets. See the Custom Character Sheets page for more information.

What's up with the weird ID values in the data files?

Chummer SR5 now uses GUIDs (Globally Unique Identifiers) to apply a unique ID to everything. This has been done for a few reasons. In Chummer SR4, everything was instead identified by its name. Gear was becoming problematic as there were occurrences where you would have two very different pieces of Gear that had the same name. Trying to pick out which one to read from the data file involved also needing to know the category. As things like Vehicles and Gear became more complicated where they can come with other pieces of Gear pre-equipped, representing these in the XML was becoming increasing difficult. Doing this also reduces the dependency on language. Identifying an item based on its name has become a problem when dealing with the translation files as they look only at names and not categories when trying to match a translated string. If you're working on Custom Data Files then you'll need to generate your own GUIDs for the items you are creating. While there are a number of website that can generate GUIDs for you, I have created also created a small GUID Generator application to make this easier.

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