Development Update

A "blog" of sorts to track development progress, discuss design theory, etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9323
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Development Update

Post by heruca » Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:44 pm

Tomorrow I'll be testing out what I call the "Connection beta" (still shy of being beta 1.0.4). Many of the existing issues with the earlier betas have been addressed already, and multiuser internet/network connections are now possible. I just need to test for issues with firewalls, routers, etc.

It's really shaping up quite well. If tomorrow's testing goes OK, I plan on finishing the multiuser code next, release beta 1.0.4, then start in on Encounter Saving and Fog of War (at which point I'll stop developing betas to focus on the full Demo).

Lastly, it looks like I may be getting some coding help next week, to speed things along even more.

I'm afraid it's not looking too hopeful for CyberCon, however. There just aren't enough days left to get a working client ready. :(
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

User avatar
Halebop
Moderator
Posts: 632
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:16 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Post by Halebop » Sun Jan 29, 2006 9:50 pm

Bummer about Cybercon Heruca but the rest all sounds good!

User avatar
Steel Rat
General
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 4:54 pm
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Contact:

Post by Steel Rat » Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:47 pm

Is there a topic, maybe a sticky, where the latest beta release can be found?
Steel Rat
Infinite Ordnance: Military RPG supplements
RPGMapShare.com - Free map and mapping object repository.

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9323
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:59 pm

The lastest version currently available is beta 1.0.3, which can be found on the Downloads page (that's where the latest version will always be posted):
http://www.battlegroundsgames.com/downloads.html

Beta 1.0.4 is not too far off.

New features will include (partial list only):

Turn Sequencer panel
Unit Manager panel
New figure base options, including large bases
Now runs in windowed mode
Many bugs from earlier betas have been fixed
Many interface tweaks and refinements based on user feedback
Screenshots in the User Manual
New Preferences options
Map scrolling boundaries
Figure movement boundaries
Asks for confirmation before quitting
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9323
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:01 pm

By the way, welcome back, Steel Rat. Missed ya!
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

User avatar
Steel Rat
General
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 4:54 pm
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Contact:

Post by Steel Rat » Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:19 pm

lol, sorry, too many forums to keep track of.

Question, can I install one beta on top of the previoius? I've only installed 1.01 so far.
Steel Rat
Infinite Ordnance: Military RPG supplements
RPGMapShare.com - Free map and mapping object repository.

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9323
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:28 pm

See the post at the bottom of this page:

http://www.battlegroundsgames.com/phpBB ... c&start=45
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9323
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:37 pm

Once you've installed 1.0.3, I suggest you make a backup copy (duplicate) of the "User Cast.cxt" file, because there is an issue with unit settings not currently being editable after a particular piece of art has already been used before, and there's currently no way to purge artwork you no longer want, so your "User Cast" file will just keep getting bigger and bigger (especially when importing a lot of maps). If this starts causing you problems, you can trash your bloated User Cast file and use the backup file (after renaming it to match).
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

User avatar
Steel Rat
General
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 4:54 pm
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Contact:

Post by Steel Rat » Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:39 pm

I'm guessing that's a bug being fixed? ;)
Steel Rat
Infinite Ordnance: Military RPG supplements
RPGMapShare.com - Free map and mapping object repository.

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9323
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:15 pm

Not a bug, really. I just haven't gotten around to adding the capability to purge media, yet, so you can potentially get file bloat after a while.

The ability to change default unit settings (rotation, scale, etc.) has already been added (for the upcoming beta 1.0.4).
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9323
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Fri Feb 03, 2006 7:55 pm

I finally tested the Connection Beta last night with the help of Mind Flayer Monk, Erian, and Halebop. All four of us were able to successfully connect and chat via BRPG, despite a number of intervening routers and firewalls (both hardware and software-based). The only disconnect was when my ISP cut out entirely. I didn't notice any lag to speak of, despite the fact that we were all using Skype voice chat at the same time. In short, this is a very promising first step.

If any of the people that were involved would like to comment, this is a good place to do it.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

User avatar
Halebop
Moderator
Posts: 632
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:16 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Post by Halebop » Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:52 am

We got to see and use a number of cool new features in version 1.04 (and identify a number of bugs to squash too). With a prototype FoW now in it's embryonic stages, a complete product is getting tantalizingly close!

At the moment there is a basic chat function allowing party chat and private chat. We discussed other potential functions like dice rolling "chat" i.e. typing 2d6+2 could generate the same random dice roll and emotes. I think Heruca also planned to allow resizing of text although I suspect one or two of us were suggesting resizing of the chat window as well. Chat's not a biggie for me and I prefer a "Keep It Simple Stupid" approach to this and then wait for user feedback. As noted, Skype and BG worked well in conjunction with each other.

Along with a few new bugs we got to see a number of new features and extensions of old ones including...

Larger base sizes (up to 20x20 bases are now supported)

Initiative Queue, a simple list that allows you to adjust the order of names. I'll post some feedback on this one later on in the feedback forum.

A cool unit manager which lists all placed objects and figures on the map and allows the GM to make them invisible or set them aside on the "sideboard" for later use. It was quite cool in it's "genericness" and I think GMs could apply it's functions for a number of purposes.

Sound was now partially supported and we could play sound files, adjust volumes (those bees were loud!) and loop sound continuously.

Most of all it was gratifying to see us linking on a variety of machines, using a combination of hard and soft firewalls. So overall a sucessful 1st test of linking up.

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9323
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:51 am

Nice recap.

I´d just like to add that another purpose of the Unit Manager is to rearrange the stacking order of units, for determining whether one unit is on top of or beneath another unit (although that isn´t fully implemented yet).

By the way, sound support has been in there since 1.0.0, if I´m not mistaken.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9323
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:47 am

Tested beta 1.0.4 tonight, and found a few bugs. If I can fix them tonight and tomorrow, you should be able to download 1.0.4 by tomorrow evening.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9323
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Update

Post by heruca » Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:58 pm

Many of you will be happy to know that I've just gone through and resized, renamed, and properly oriented all the sample artwork that comes with BRPG. That means less fiddling with the imaging controls in the program. Of course, some images I kept large, as you might want to use them in a variety of sizes.

It's looking like it's going to be a late-night release of 1.0.4, however.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

User avatar
masterlurker
Captain
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:20 pm
Location: Michigan, US
Contact:

Re: Update

Post by masterlurker » Sat Feb 11, 2006 1:12 am

heruca wrote:Many of you will be happy to know that I've just gone through and resized, renamed, and properly oriented all the sample artwork that comes with BRPG. That means less fiddling with the imaging controls in the program. Of course, some images I kept large, as you might want to use them in a variety of sizes.
Yay!
~lurker~
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. -- Mark Twain

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9323
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Update

Post by heruca » Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:50 am

I've been making great progress lately on the multiuser connectivity features. Now when you deploy units in BRPG, they show up on a connected client's screen. You can then remotely move it around, rotate it, and change a number of the unit's settings. The best part is how lag-free and responsive it is. It's all coming together quite nicely.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

User avatar
Kepli
High Commander
Posts: 660
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:53 am
Contact:

Post by Kepli » Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:38 am

Excellent Heruca ... :D
Image

User avatar
Halebop
Moderator
Posts: 632
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:16 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Post by Halebop » Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:45 am

Good stuff! Looking forward to trying it out. Still hanging out for FoW too! :pants like a dog:

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9323
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:13 am

Tested my latest build last night with Halebop. It went pretty well, but there are some bugs that will need to be fixed before I can release beta 1.0.5. I figure a couple more days.

The good news is that the connection-crashing bug is gone, and that once a connection is established, it seems to be quite stable.

The bad news is that getting a good connection isn't as easy as it needs to be. There's some voodoo, luck, and trial and error involved. Gonna work on that.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

User avatar
Halebop
Moderator
Posts: 632
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:16 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Post by Halebop » Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:11 am

Some minor idiosyncrasies but on balance definately a successful test...

We had the GM moving objects and figures around, being hidden etc and displaying through to the client screen

GM assigning control of figures to the client...

...and the client moving the figure around and doing stuff with it.

No stability issues with the connection, although it took two or three goes to get it going.

There were numerous minor display issues where specific functions didn't properly translate from "single player" (that the Beta's have been so far) to "network ready".

I feel a bit like a homeoner watching their new home be built. At first all you see are the "bits" and then suddenly it starts to look like a home. Despite some frustrations tonight we began to see what the "home" looked like. And overall it's looking great! Still hanging out for FoW but Heruca has a few wrinkles to iron out over the next couple of days first. He's been working really long hours to get this thing running right. So I hope he gets some useful support when presales go on offer...

Partly because of how we were using it during the Beta, which admittedly wasn't very natural, I did have some minor issues with the Chat window and usability with other functions but they weren't biggies. I'll post a thread on that in the feedback forum.

Old One
Cannon Fodder
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:09 am

Post by Old One » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:23 am

I know locking in an actual release date in software is "death", but is the published date of 2/28 realistic or will it really just be an advanced Beta? I ask because potential users (like myself) are a demanding lot and I would much rather see a delay in release than see a typical Microsoft "get it to market and worry about the bugs later" approach.

I really like what I see on the features/usability side, but haven't downloaded the Beta yet. Maybe over the weekend.

~ OO
Ancient Evil Guy

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9323
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:25 am

You asked a direct question, and I'll try to give you a direct answer.

2/28 certainly sounded realistic when I announced it. Now, I'm not 100% sure. :oops:

While I will try to have every bug worked out by the release date (whether that's Feb 28 or early March), it's inevitable that new ones will surface when large numbers of people start using the program at length, on a variety of computers, and in different configurations. This is true of any 1.0 release, even those made by large companies with huge development budgets. However, I will issue free updates to squash those bugs in a timely manner, and I will also be adding many new features that won't make it into the initial release.

BRPG 1.0 will have everything you need to run a complete game session (and then some), but future updates will add some nice extras, like:
¢ Dice roll results shown right on the map window
¢ User-definable dice macros
¢ Die-rolling via the chat window
¢ Typing and AFK indicators in the chat window, for each user.
¢ A new unit movement method that doesn't use hotkeys and allows the GM to approve all or part of a proposed player move

It makes me shudder to be compared to Microsoft, but here's the reality: BRPG has already been delayed a couple of months. if I don't get this to market soon, I will have to go get a real job and development will slow to a crawl. So I need to ship very soon. The advantage of this is that early adopters will get to start playing right away and not have to wait until April or however long it would take me to get all those extra features programmed.

So my suggestion to you and to everyone else is to wait until BRPG's features are worth the purchase price to you. The free Demo will be updated regularly, so that you can make your evaluation with all the latest features and bug-fixes in place.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

User avatar
masterlurker
Captain
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:20 pm
Location: Michigan, US
Contact:

Post by masterlurker » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:03 pm

Maybe you should've stolen ID Software's favorite release date, "when it's done".

As long as it connects to the internet, it can't be that big a flop =P And as for the list of future features, only the last two interest me. The dice features are just icing on the cake, as long as it ships with a working dice roller it serves its purpose.

Keep coding! :P
~lurker~
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. -- Mark Twain

User avatar
mako
Sergeant
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:08 pm
Location: Ft.Lauderdale
Contact:

Ready!

Post by mako » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:10 pm

I purchased e-tools on day one of availibilty, it was loaded with bugs. However, becuase I had to learn to navigate around and deal with them I became much more adapt with the software. I am an accountant with very expensive accounting software, because it has so many issues with the code, i have become the companys (goto guy) when someone has a problem.
Bugs are a pain, but they do make you learn the software faster...if you are like me, and try to work around the issue. If you find a bug, and throw you arms up and stop kind of guy.....then I would wait.

Not me..."I want a goose that lays golden eggs, now daddy......now!" Veruca Salt, Willey Wonka's flick


M :twisted: Mako

Post Reply