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Computer Programming

Languages Skill Subgroups Skill Modifiers Software Development Hacking
Computer Programming allows a character to read and understand programmatic script, code, concepts, and general architecture. It also allows the modification of existing code, extension of existing programs with new code, design of new software, and the creation of new software from scratch.
It also allows general analysis of the purpose, interface, and quality of software written by others.
Computer Programming can be used as a Complementary Skill Roll to the PS: Computer Usage Skill.
Cost: Computer Programming costs 3 points, and each +1 with the skill costs 2 additional points. Additionally a character must purchase at least one Programming Language at further additional cost as described in the Languages document. It is also recommended that a character purchase one or more functional subgroups as described in the Subgroups document.
Computer Programming is a very important ability in the MetaCyber setting, and is thus given very detailed attention in the following documents. A person playing a Hacker and GM's should read each document carefully and (for greatest clarity) in the listed order.
  • LANGUAGES: There are a number of specific programming languages in use in the MetaCyber setting, which must be purchased separately within Computer Programming as 1 point adders, similar to Survival and Gambling.
  • SUBGROUPS: There are many different disciplines of Computer Programming in the MetaCyber setting, as detailed herein.
  • SKILL MODIFIERS: An in-depth listing of various modifiers to apply to Computer Programming Skill rolls.
  • SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT: A discussion on how long it takes to create a software programming, and what level of effort is involved.
  • HACKING: Detailed rules on how to hack Computers in the MetaCyber setting are given in this document.
When a Computer has the Skill Computer Programming, it represents software tools such as development environments, enterprise managers, object browsers, debuggers, compilers and decompilers, help files, and configured services that help a Computer Programmer do things. The most essential of these tools are development environments, debuggers, and compilers (which are often all integrated into a single framework).
Appropriate Computer Programming Skills on a Computer can be used as Complementary Skill Rolls by a programmer using that Computer. Also, attempting to program on a Computer lacking appropriate Computer Programming Skills imposes stiff penalties. The combination of potential bonuses if using a well set-up Computer vs. penalties for using a Computer lacking proper tools makes it very important for a programmer to acquire and maintain a Computer with everything they need installed on it.
A separate Computer Programming Skill must be purchased for each individual language, but each purchase can have as many subgroups as apply to that language. Thus a Computer would have to buy Computer Programming (Enoch / Enoch Plus; Game Software, Business Software, Databasing) separately from Computer Programming (VarDim 3.3; Business Software, Databasing) and Computer Programming (W12; Game Software, Business Software, Databasing). This can make well set up development Computers expensive.
In general a person can still write code on a Computer without development tools, a debugger, or a compiler, but they suffer stiff penalties as indicated on the Computer Programming Modifiers chart.