SMACK! for Shadowfist

Home | Site Map | Card Lists and Database | Decks | Strategy Articles | Basics for Newbies | Player's Help | Tournament Stuff
FAQ | Sets and Collector's Info | Design Notes | Story | Fun Stuff | Online Play | Shadowfist Links | Artist Links

Home > Card Lists > SMACK!
[posted 24 Nov 2002; updated 15 Jan 2011]

SMACK!: the Semi-Manual Automatic Card Kreator for Shadowfist

Minimum requirements
Terms of Use
Instructions and Help
Known bugs and future features
Version History

History of SMACK!

This Excel list started life way back during Standard edition, before I had net access. I typed it all myself (typos included :) through Flashpoint. I emailed it to a few people who asked for Excel lists in the newsgroup, so the older version might still be floating around somewhere. Along comes Z-Man, and so I add Year of the Dragon and Throne War. Since then, I use the spoilers that Julian posts, and run a visual basic routine to translate the spoilers into the list format. Then I double-check everything when I finally get around to finishing a set (I usually run about 4 months behind :)

The concept behind SMACK! (using a database in Excel to produce card proxies and spoilers) first saw the light during the Year of the Dragon / Throne War playtest. The arrangement was entirely manual at that point - a way to feed data from Excel, and use a mail merge file in Word to produce proxies or spoilers. There wasn't much code associated with it, but it did the job. The database itself was never released to the playtesters, they just saw the results.

SMACK! was first released to the public for use on the Firestorm CCG by Third World Games. [, 19 Oct 2003] It went through two iterations there, both of which used Excel to create an output file, and then Word to read that file and produce proxies or spoilers. The name came from the fact that there were a lot of user intervention steps required in creating the output. I briefly toyed with a version that used Excel to drive Word directly and cut out the middle steps, but that was waaaay too slow. The third version contains a lot more code and allows Excel to write its own text and RTF files, which eliminates the need for Word (and technically eliminates the SM part of the name too, but ACK! didn't sound as fun). v3, beta 2 is the current version for Firestorm playtesting, but hasn't been released to the public yet.

For Shadowfist, I started with the v3b2 Firestorm code, and significantly streamlined it. I pulled off the beta designation with the 3.2 release in Nov 2003. There's a lot of work and testing to do, but it's good enough for people to mess around with.

back to top

Minimum Requirements

SMACK! was written using Microsoft Excel 97 on a PC running Windows 98. In theory, it should work on Windows or Mac, in any version of Excel since 97, but I don't have the opportunity to test that rigorously. Please let me know where you find hiccups.

Tested configurations for v3.3:
Win 98 and 98SE / Excel 97
Win NT4 / Excel 97
Win XP SP3 / Excel 2007

Note: in Excel 2007 and 2010, the SMACK! menu appears in the "Add-in" tab in the ribbon. I haven't had time to learn how to modify the ribbon directly yet.

back to top

Terms of Use

All the code in SMACK! is distributed under the GNU General Public License. [, 30 Nov 2002] In short, that means it's copyrighted code, but you are free to copy it and modify it if you wish. You may also redistribute it, provided you do so under the GPL as well. If you do make improvements, please consider notifying me, so that I can incorporate applicable sections into the master code.

The VBA source code is open and unprotected in the Excel file. Just use the VBA editor to take a look; I tend to overcomment so you shouldn't have any problems figuring out what's going on. I divided the code into modules that made sense to me at the time :)

Note to self: I need to update the file to include the appropriate GPL disclaimers. I'll get to that eventually.

back to top

Instructions & Help

SMACK! includes a help file -- from the SMACK! menu, choose About SMACK!, then click the Help button. That's all I've got at the moment, I'll write more up when I have a chance.

In theory, the code is written so that you can rearrange the database columns, and sort the rows, to your liking. Just keep the header row in row 1, and don't change the names in row 1, and you should be ok. If you find a problem, please submit a bug report.

There are a bunch of not-as-well-tested routines in the file that don't appear on the menu. Feel free to try them out; access them using Tools-->Macros-->Run. The routines work either on the entire list (with no option), or they will work on whatever subset you have selected at the time you run. I'm not sure any of these routines are of use to you, but I won't stop you from playing with them.

back to top

Known bugs & future features

For bug reports and feature requests, email me.


Planned features, in no particular order:

back to top

Version History

3.3 posted 6 Feb 2004 (file date 3 Jan 2004. Sorry, it took me a while to get around to posting :) Adds deck import/export to/from plain text and Cardtable files. Also significant improvement to the designator parser and a few other routines that aren't on the menu so you probably haven't messed with them.

3.2 posted 21 Nov 2003. Adds option for Excel-format spoilers on the menu. Corrected a bug in the plain text spoiler routine that skipped the last card if you spoiled anything less than the whole database (doh). Many more under-the-hood improvements that you probably won't care about.

3.1 beta 3 posted 29 Jul 2003.

3.1 beta 2 posted 24 Nov 2002.

back to top


Legal Stuff | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | About Me | Contact Me