Free sample adventure for BRPG released

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Free sample adventure for BRPG released

Post by heruca » Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:39 pm

"The Quick and the Dead" is the first official adventure module for Battlegrounds. It is intended for use with D&D 3.5 (or 3.0) rules, with a party of four 3rd level PCs. This is a BRPG conversion of a PDF adventure module that was written and produced by our very own Farland. The original PDF is included in the download.

It is for use with BRPG v1.0.8, and includes everything you need to play (maps, tokens, pre-generated PCs, stat blocks, etc.). A valid BRPG license is required for each participant (although a player can play using just the unlicensed free Demo if the GM has a Floating License available for them to use).

You can download the module here (60.6 MB):
http://www.battlegroundsgames.com/Sampl ... enture.zip

Installation instructions and other important information is in the ReadMe file which is included in the download.

The module is being released for free so that Battlegrounds users have a ready-to-play adventure that they can use to learn the Battlegrounds software and get a glimpse at what it is capable of. It will also serve as an example that GMs or third-party developers can use when crafting their own BRPG adventure modules. We hope this becomes a catalyst for more user-created modules.

Enjoy!

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Edit: This adventure is now also playable in BRPG v1.0.8a, v1.0.9, and v1.0.9a, using the updated Encounter files provided later in this thread.
Last edited by heruca on Mon May 19, 2008 10:12 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Post by heruca » Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:48 pm

Important Note for GMs:
When running this adventure, make sure that the checkbox in the second Preferences screen that says "Players can see NPC portraits" is unchecked. Otherwise, the players will be able to see all the monster stat blocks that are used in the adventure in lieu of actual portraits.
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Post by Kepli » Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:02 am

I am a bit confused here ... I unzipped the adventure and moved everything to their folders under BRPGv108Win. But when I want to Import Encounter Assets I see nothing that might be such an asset. And when I open an encounter, I get that the map is unavailable. There must be something I forgot ... but what? :?
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Post by greytale » Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:32 am

I believe the three assets are in the folder "Put contents in BRPG Root folder"

Kenby Area Map.cxt
Ghoul Warren Level One. cxt
Ghoul Warren Level Two.cxt

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Post by heruca » Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:33 am

Kepli, read this thread and see if it helps:
http://battlegroundsgames.com/forums/vi ... php?t=1210

Edit: Yeah, or what Greytale said. :)
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Post by Kepli » Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:17 am

LOL I'll try that when I get home again ... in 5 days :?
I knew it was something simple ;)
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Post by trevor » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:52 pm

I dl'd brpg 1.08 and the sample, here's some feedback. No punches pulled, which is what I hope you would want.

Overall it was a horrible experience:

- In order to load a preconfigured campaign you have to install files by hand into the brpg install ? When was the last time someone sent you a word document and you had to install 5 different files by hand into Word in order to read it ?

- You have to import the assets for each campaign manually ?

- Importing assets was really, really slow, and locks up the app while it works, which was very, very confusing. If I hadn't read the Readme, I would have killed it. And who actually reads Readmes ?

- Not only does the GM have to manually install it, each player also has to manually install it too. The process is not hard, but for any but the most comfortable with computers this is going to be too much.

- The sample does not work with the demo, it complains about too many assets and have to upgrade to GM client. If the sample is a way to entice people to use your software, it should definitely work for the demo version, or people will drop it right off

- I was able to get the Kenby map up, but had absolutely not idea what to do next. I didn't see any tokens to work with. The "You are here" arrow points to a location, but there aren't any tokens there. Also, it wasn't obvious where to get information about the labeled locations on the map. I read the Readme that told me to look at the character sheets via the L hotkey, which I did, but by default was pointing at a gun sheet. That didn't make any sense to me.

- Manual installations have a lot of problems, such as uninstallation. The sample campaign is 62 megs. That's very big for a sample file. What's taking all the space ? It looks to be the two dungeon context files, do they contain all the image content ? When someone wants to remove the campaign, how are they going to know which files to remove ? So basically you are setting up BRPG to bloat with every campaign loaded ?

Is there a technical reason you don't have campaigns as self contained files that can be loaded and run directly ? New users are going to be seriously turned off by the current process, and it has lots of problems with maintainability. For example, how long do you import content before brpg becomes overloaded with too much unused information ?

Again, I don't intend to offend, I know that I would want straight up feedback, and so that's what I give.

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Post by heruca » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:21 am

Sorry it was such a horrible experience, Trevor.

- The adventure format is brand new, and will surely evolve into something much more streamlined and straightforward. An installer app could be developed that automatically places everything into its proper folder, and deletes it when you're done playing the adventure.

“ Actually, only the large maps are slow to copy over. Everything else pretty much flies by, in my experience. Unfortunately, I made the map be the first element of each bundles, so you're stuck with no feedback for most of the installation. That can be changed in future releases.

“ Normally only the players would have to install an adventure, if the GM is the one who created it. But yes, in the case of a third-party module, everyone should install it. It may well work if only the GM installs it and then the players connect to him/her, but since it's a "no-peek" bundle, IMO it's best if the players install it too so that changing from one Encounter to another during an actual game happens much faster (there's no longer aneed for any media to be transferred peer-to-peer).

- It was clearly stated that the adventure is for use with a licensed GM Client. The Kenby Encounter is the only one that will work for unlicensed users, since it uses less than 12 units on the map (that's one of the limitations of the unlicensed software).

- Yes, media bundles are currently very big. The bulk of it is the giant maps, which balloon in size when imported (losing their JPG compression). I have a plan to address that in the future.

- v1.0.8 has a bug that causes the "User Cast.cxt" file to bloat, even if you Purge unused assets. The bug has already been fixed for v1.0.8a, which is due out soon.

- I could, in theory, have placed all the media assets for the entire adventure into a single bundle for distribution, but that would have exacerbated the slowness issue you spoke of, and most people would probably grow impatient and force-quit the app before it could finish installing. So I chose to go with 3 smaller bundles rather than one huge one.

- I completely agree with you that the adventure distribution format and installation procedure can be greatly improved, and I'm sure it will get better in time. I though it best to get it out in the current "crude" format and get feedback.

As a software developer, you're probably familiar with this workflow:
1) Make it work
2) Make it work right.
3) Make it look good.

Well, I'm still on step 1, in regards to adventure modules. :lol:

Thanks for the feedback.
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Post by trevor » Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:57 am

I think you missed my point, or I didn't clarify it well enough.

In my opinion, Adventure Format should not have anything to install. At all. Installation implies more than one step. If you really want to make adventures accessible for users, it has to be a single step: Load Adventure. If you require adventures to install into the product directory structure you make it really hard to separate and uninstall anything that's installed. Which leads to bloat.

Players should not have to install anything, or make it optional so that you don't have to send all the media assets over the wire if not on a lan.

Making the adventure only for registered versions is really limiting the usefulness of the adventure. New users are going to want to see what your tool can do, making adventures the prime candidate to find out. If the adventures don't work with it, then you've lost that opportunity. And I read the forums and the readme and I didn't catch that it was supposed to be for licensed only. Which means that it isn't obvious enough, and people demoing brpg are going to have a similar experience as mine.

I fully understand the development process, which is why I'm providing feedback at the early stage so you can choose to make any adjustments early on instead of after you've already implemented it and would have to do a rewrite.

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Post by dorpond » Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:52 am

Hey Heruca!

I figured I would give some feedback on my testing.

On a Positive Note:
- I felt like the adventure content was well protected. I tried to figure out where the maps were to take a look at them but found that they were buried deep in some files away from view. If I were a publisher, that would make me feel a bit comfortable.
- Fantastic map of the town! Really impressive - I wish I could have seen the other maps but they were off limits due to the licensing, :(

On a Negative Note:
- I felt it very uneasy copying files here and there to load the adventure. It really made me worried copying over previous DS_Store files (yeah, one of them I had to overwrite). By loading an adventure in this method, I felt like I was cluttering up the program folders and would have no clue where to start for uninstalling the adventure. If I have 20 of them installed in this manner, I would wonder how on earth I could just bring BGRPG back to original install without all the adventures (brng back to default). I just felt very uneasy.

I completely understand though that this is your first adventure - my hat goes off to you for making that first step! In a user perspective though, they will just want to click Load -> Adventure and be done with it.

Now... Lets see if I can get into those files to see the rest of those maps.. Gwahahaha :twisted: :wink:

Hey, one last question: How does one build adventures for BGRPG? I was trying to figure out how to put maps together (with "stamps") last night and couldn't figure iout how. This might be better as another post - sorry

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Post by heruca » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:21 pm

Dorpond, is there anything stopping you from viewing the dungeon maps on an unlicensed client? AFAIK, it should load the map and the first twelve units, and you'll just see placeholder icons for the remaining units. But that shouldn't stop you from seeing the map. Or am I forgetting something?

I wasn't aware that there were any "DS_Store" files in there. I'll be sure to take those out the next time I update the Zip file.

As for how does one build adventures, you just lay out your Encounter, then Export the asset bundle. That will place your map and all your unit graphics, sound effects, portrait art, etc. into an external bundle that can be distributed. Unfortunately, the export feature is only enabled on a licensed GM Client.

If you want to make a map using "stamps", just lay out a bunch of objects the way you want them, then use the Unit Manager (or the contextual menu command) to set each Object to "Locked" or "Tile" (tiles are just locked objects that go under the grid). Which setting you use depends on the nature of the object. A map tile like those you can get at dreamweavedworlds.com would be best set to "Tile", while an archway that figures can walk under would be best set to "Locked" (you'd use the Unit Manager to ensure that it is on a layer higher than the PC tokens).

Thanks for the feedback.
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Post by heruca » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:32 pm

I'm thinking I should probably post the sample adventure in two formats: One for GMs and one for players.

The players don't need the Encounters, the text macros, the object graphics, or the wandering monster chart. And certainly not the PDF (LOL!). So for players, "installation" would be greatly simplified. They just need to import the three bundles and then connect to the GM to play. Perhaps I can make it so that they don't even need to do that, if I program BRPG to auto-import a media bundle when the GM loads the corresponding Encounter (although the slowness of map imports would be bothersome).

The Players' download would also be smaller in size.
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Post by dorpond » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:33 pm

I wasn't able to see any other maps but I wasn't sure if it was due to the import feature or what. When I went to import, I had a whole list of things in there -I guess I wasn't really sure which ones I was to import so I pick three of them (can't recall the names atm). Do I import them all? How many are there? I have to admit, I was very confused so it was probably me who screwed something up. I did see a bunch of units though - just no map.

Oh, OK. So I drop down all objects in the same manner so a tree, building, urn, bed, etc are all units. OK - gotcha! For performance reasons, do you currently suggest building maps with units or using pre-made maps? Just curious - also, are there any unit limits in this manner? Just curious if I would run into problems when making a map with 50 doors, beds, desks, etc (in total).

Thanks for the reply!

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Post by heruca » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:44 pm

You can have hundreds and hundreds of units (~800?) on a single map in the licensed GM client. Only 12 units max in the free demo.

How you make your maps depends on how interactive you want them to be. For example, I could easily have made the tables (in Dungeon Level 2) be part of the map, but I chose to make them "interactive" (independent units that can be moved separately) because that opens up the possibility of players moving the tables to make a barricade, or something like that.

At some point, though, you'll want to draw the line. Every single pebble or bone lying on the ground does not need to be a moveable unit.
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Post by heruca » Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:09 pm

I've updated the Encounter files for this adventure to be compatible with BRPG v1.0.8a.

You can download them here:
http://www.battlegroundsgames.com/The_Q ... _v108a.zip

Just place them in BRPG's Encounters folder, overwriting the ones that come with the adventure.
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Post by heruca » Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:28 am

I've updated the Encounter files for this adventure to be compatible with BRPG v1.0.9 and v1.0.9a.

You can download them below.

Just place them in BRPG's Encounters folder, overwriting the ones that come with the adventure.
Attachments
Q&D_v109_Encounters.zip
(5.09 KiB) Downloaded 1125 times
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Post by UberDM » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:16 pm

Is this recent update why I cannot see anything when I "Load Encounter" after successfully importing the assets? I can see the images when I look through the "purge media" list (and I did not purge them), but when I load the 'Kenby Area Map.bge' all I get is blank screen.

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Post by Omnidon » Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:08 am

UberDM wrote:Is this recent update why I cannot see anything when I "Load Encounter" after successfully importing the assets? I can see the images when I look through the "purge media" list (and I did not purge them), but when I load the 'Kenby Area Map.bge' all I get is blank screen.
I am experiencing a similar problem when testing it, though I couldn't even find the map in the Purge Assets panel.

After correctly importing the assets, I still get the "Map Unavailable" screen. All the objects and figures seem to load correctly.

It's likely to be a problem with the assets, not with the encounter, since I tried running the old encounter through my converter and it still didn't work.

Note that I never tested the sample encounters in previous versions of BRPG.

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Post by UberDM » Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:52 am

I tried on both 1.08a and 1.09a with no luck. I am woefully ignorant about all things "code" but could this problem have something to due with the temporary trial period?

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Post by Omnidon » Sat Oct 27, 2007 5:39 pm

I'm not sure if the promotion is related, but I had been testing using an unlicensed version.

When I switched to a licensed copy, I was able to import the kenby assets and load the encounter properly.

However, I was not able to duplicate the problem afterwards, even when I used a fresh User Cast.cxt and an unlicensed version again.

It might have merely been a glitch in the original import, though it would've had to happen twice since I tested using a fresh User Cast the first time too.

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Post by heruca » Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:43 pm

Welcome, UberDM.

I don't think this has anything to do with the current free promotion. But I'll be sure to look into it when I get back.

I will also be releasing updated Encounter files for Vry's free adventure, so that it will work with v1.0.9a.
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Post by heruca » Sun Nov 18, 2007 12:44 am

A note for anyone planning to run this adventure in BRPG v1.1:
The v1.0.9 Encounters will automatically be updated to the latest format when loaded. However, the default map scale applied during Encounter updating is 5 feet per square. For the "Kenby Area Map" Encounter, this is incorrect, so once the Encounter has loaded, open the Map Settings panel and set the scale to 150 feet per cell. Then save the Encounter.
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