I designed this fun little "civ light" game to build in Ruby on Rails. I even got ImageMagick working for synthesizing the map. Only now that everything's working, I find I've hit a fatal flaw in my otherwise clever plan:
Ruby is really, really, really, really slow.
You don't notice when you're doing something simple, like listing grocery receipts or whatever. But when you tell Rails to create a few thousand entries (tiles on a map), it chokes and essentially dies. I'm sure it would finish eventually, probably. Maybe. But no time this year.
This is something that can be done pretty fast in most situations. I've done something similar in Flash, it takes less than a second. But the combination of Ruby's poor performance and Rail's need to write to a database record by record gums the works up fatally. In order to get around the problem, I would have to generate the map a tiny piece at a time, which would be feasible if what I wanted was a completely crap map... but it's very hard to actually create a realistic-feeling map when you work on it in 5x5 tile chunks!
Maybe an answer will pop into my head (or into my comments), but this is a really irritating flaw. I've heard there's a new version of Ruby out, but trying to get Rails to run properly on a beta language... is not something I care to try.
It's not a flaw I expected to run into.