Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Data Management

One of my biggest issues when trying to create large systems and campaigns is data management. I have reached the point where I have to start consolidating data into one convenient storage location or begin losing it. My first attempt should work allow me the time to get around to it, will be with Excel. However, I have a feeling I am going to be sorely disappointed. I've tried a few methods before...

Binders with folders and dividers. Usually these get hopelessly disorganized after a short time when I need spare paper, forget what a pocket was for or have to classify what goes where. They suffer the same editing and copying problems I have with sheets of paper and notebooks, but have the benefit of quick flipping through documents. I can even widthdraw sheets and replace them for faster management.

Paper on the wall. A gimmicky approach, but scratched on writing on the wall was attempted. This helped me stay conscious of my project almost all the time and had the benefit of rearranging and replacing documents. (I had previously used a rather large corkboard to some success with map filling in so thought this might have merit) However it had severely limited room and the setup time was bothersome.

Text Documents on the compy. This was horrid. While copying and editing was simple, opening new documents, sorting through them, flipping through windows and scanning through documents all made it difficult for me to find things quickly. I also missed being able to put things in odd places on the document... notations and graphs and sketches being difficult.

I see some of those problems coming with Excel, but I'm hoping that my ability to ingrain formula into cells as a kind of sub-dimension will allow me to make the system easier to reference quickly.


  1. Somehow, I just keep it all in my head.

    There's nothing like the search engine on a cmoputer. Whatever scratched out note I have, if I remember just one large word from that note I can find that document again.

    Use excel and word; use every program your computer offers. Access, Publisher, Quark ... learn how to use them and manage your mind. Getting it all down on something, even if it is hopelessly confused, is important. What will your children sift through when you're dead?

  2. I've done a reasonable amount of digital character sheets using excel with some handy calculations so I'm hoping to start out with a theoretical character sheet.

    My main concern is all the statistic and rule interaction. I want to see how they look set up together in one spot, and possibly drop some placeholder numbers and scenarios. I'm hoping to spot areas of trouble. For instance what statistics armor should alter naturally and gear and spell effect to natural skill ratios when performing checks.

    As for my children, at this moment I bet they would enjoy my collection of fine art and cinema acquired from the shadier parts of the internet more than 'armor should buff casting ability or no?'.