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SS13 Paperwork generation software

Guest Bokaza

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I've already mentioned in my profile info that I work for a IT firm. My job, in fact, is to make forms and paperwork software tamplates for book and record keeping, both financial and material. During one of those baldhead-infested peak time traitor round, when I took upon myself to actually do proper paperwork as a Warden, it came to me that doing paperwork with current game mechanics can be a very time consuming job and that a more time efficient method could be made.

So, I decided to 'mix pleasant with useful' (as my people say) and make a small program in javascript for generating BBcode paperwork, language that I'm less than staller in, but need for my work.

It would work this way:

  1. You open a link which will lead to a code lab, which in turn contains a saved javascript.
  2. You start it and are asked a series of prompt asking for information, with appropriate tips to let you know what you're doing.
  3. In the final version, you will be asked first to chose the department in question, then to chose the spacific form for the department.
  4. After chosing a form, the next series of prompts will be filling the appropriate fields (date, case number, form body, etc.). Alternatively, they can be left empty to change later.
  5. When the form is done, it will be printed into the console screen as a standardized mixture of text and BBCode based on the existing paperwork tamplates (http://aurorastation.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=59).
  6. From there it can be copypasta onto a blank paper in game or anywhere your heart desires.

Usage of this software would have upsides and downsides:

  • The downsides:
    • Depending on the person, it could leave them outside of the game for few minutes while they tamper with it in a seperate window.
    • It might effect RP, especially if you think that paperwork should be something that characters should complain about.

[*]The upsides:

  • Goes without saying it will be a much faster option for most people.
  • It will save you from having to click back and forth furiously, especially when you need to stop for a second to check someones name, security records, item names, etc. This way, you'll have empty hands and clear screen ingame.
  • The code can be edited and spellchecked faster through various browser addons and software, long before entering the clunky UI of SS13.
  • It can automatically implement Italic text code and proper font size on the spots where the handwriting is done.

All in all, I'm interested in your opinions. Is it worth the bother? Do you have any suggestions or preferences? What method would be best to destribute and use the program?

It might be smart to take this oportunity to finnally wrap up the how's and what's when it comes to doing paperwork, so things like the HoS ordering the detective to fill an 'Incident Report' instead of the arresting officer, don't happen.

Edited by Guest
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  • 1 month later...

Ohh... work on this has kind of stopped.

I've done all the codework, all that is left is implementing the 100something forms into printable code (each one takes no less than 10 minutes) and splitting them up by departments.

What I was thinking of doing, but am hesitant on asking the devs, is that I implement these forms to be printed directly from respective consoles ingame. However, considering I have no idea what language SS13 is written in, I'm kind of not even gonna suggest it.

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Could be easily done in my opinion. Take the crew comms console's fax ability. It loads a whola paper with all of it's contents and prints it out at the other side. That code could work as a base.

All you need are setting up the templates and their variables, and maybe a new machine for it. Even modify the paperbin to be able to give out these template pages.

So go ahead and make the suggestion.

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Sure, that was my original idea, to use the standard printer code and work around it. Can you give me some crashcourse documentation on SS13 modding and code, a tutorial if you will. I would also like to look at an example of the code the game is written in, then I could be able to do something.

Otherwise, unless you would like a complete amateur tampering with your code, there is nothing much I can do other than give you what I have currently.

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If you don't yet have our code, fork it. https://github.com/Aurorastation/Aurora

the paper printing stuff is in the request_console.dm . The language very much resembles C, but it's byond so it is bad. Also i am no expert so i might be saying somethings wrong.

Started to try implementing it myself as experiment for your information.

What i had in mind, there would be a new menu for request consoles from which you can choose the already available templates. Upon selecting it prints it out ( from the html hardcoded into the .dm file) and there you fill out the fields normally with a pen.

EDIT: After a chat with skull, the templates could be stored in the online database, like books. That way, easier to implement new forms/modify them.

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Well, looking at the code I think I can't pull of my original idea. I intended the forms to be filled on the console itself, to avoid all the clickity click with the pen (god forbid you actually have to open your PDA to check something) and then have it printed, but considering you're actually thinking of mixing SQL into this, I can't think of how it would be possible to set up input variables into the templates.

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