My current Perl Ironman Challenge status is: My Ironman Badge

Friday, December 18, 2009

Of more nerdhackery

I admit I am a dork. So I recently started playing Magic: The Gathering again with real-live cards. And it is rather a pain in the ass to figure what I need to build a bad ass deck with out shelling out for some stupid guide that lists all of the cards in a set.

Luckily, someone was awesome enough to type up all of the cards in various sets (including the activation text, if applicable). But you can tell the goofballs manage this data as a flatfile of text. It is very regular though. If only that were a database...

So step one is to build a schema using DBIx::Class that represents the various fields present in the file (with some of them broken down further so you could separate things like power and toughness instead of being a single field). Next, write the line-by-line parser using simple regex. Convert parsed data into created rows. And like magic, we have a database.

So what can we now do with this database beyond the boring crap like searching for cards by casting cost? Write a deck analyzer of course!

I haven't executed this part yet. But I will. And it will be most excellent. See, I figure I can take this data and throw rules engine at it. Provide a Cat app for building decks and running it through the rules engine to determine things like "Not enough land to support this deck."

Doing a quick search on CPAN returns a number of rules engines to use, but I think FSA::Rules shows the most promise. It is simple enough to not get in the way, and lets you define your own internal data.

The Cat app could obviously do more like build out dumb starter decks based some rules too. So far I haven't found any thing on the internets that does what I am wanting to build. This is good.

Hooray nerdhackery!

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