It hasn’t been an easy task but finally a long conceived 2.0 version of Chronicle is here, bringing many important changes on the board. This time, it’s a bottom-up rewrite that changes some basic mechanics of the program so it should work now faster, better and be more extensible.
1. It’s all about performance.
Chronicle deals with quite large amounts of data, crunching both game files and savegame files of sizes up to 30-50 MB each. It is not trivial to make it fly fast and if bad design choices are made, the application may start hiccuping. Chronicle 1.x in a couple of places could use some better coding and this time the program should behave much smoother.
Also, as a side effect of better data management, all of data from game files can be squeezed into AAR files, so there’s smaller risk of incompatibilities.
2. UI is cleaner, hopefully
I was rather satisfied with Chronicle 1.x interface, with its implementation of Office-like Ribbon, but in couple of cases form prevailed over function and some tabs (Data and Stats especially) were heavy with not-so-clear patchwork of UI elements. This time, interface is more concise and there’s more modern look to it (which may not be the top priority for history oriented program but still IMO looks better).
Creating a data table should no longer be a puzzle to solve, two clicks are enough.
There’s also a lot more of options to set from the “File” menu which previously were accessible from various places in the program, or not at all.
3. Crusader Kings II support is here!
CK2 may not be a game that is best suited for Chronicle, with more emphasis on personalities than on countries and because of its difficult multi-tier political setup. But it’s also a game that begs for making AAR so an AAR writing helper which Chronicle is must have started to support it at one time. I managed to make CK2 world somehow work inside Chronicle and some other things that Clausewitz 2 brought, like compressed savegames and multi-mod environment, are taken into account too.
This will also make any future Clausewitz games, most notably Europa Universalis IV, easier to support.
4. Export to GIFs is possible and they are animated too
Each map mode of Chronicle now allows for export of saved data into GIF files, with an upper-left corner caption. What’s nice, it’s not only political map data than can be exported but every other map mode too (as in the second animation below, province religion map).
5. There’s still more to come
2.0 release changes a lot of things so there was also possibility of introducing new bugs. When those are fixed, there’s a couple of nice things that I want to introduce to Chronicle soon. CK2 would benefit from a couple of more map modes, built-in updater would be nice and of course, EU4 awaits inclusion too!