Development Update

A "blog" of sorts to track development progress, discuss design theory, etc.
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Case
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Post by Case » Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:33 am

Some people are known just to get a rise out of people.

And we should all take a little advice from a very wise man:
"Party on Dude"
Bill S. Preston, Esquire

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heruca
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Post by heruca » Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:06 pm

I've been working on Fog of War the last couple of days. The basics are working now, although it doesn't yet take into account different light sources or vision types.

The problem is, it's currently too slow, because I'm trying to do gradual, animated reveals. So I'm going to work on speeding it up, and also offer non-animated reveals as an option for those with slower computers.
: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.

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Update

Post by heruca » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:02 am

I did away with the animated FoW reveals, to get the rendering speed to be more acceptable. Works fine now with up to 6 or 7 torch-sized light sources. Beyond that it starts to get noticeably sluggish. This, of course, varies based on your computer's speed; I'm testing on a 2GHz Dell.

Also, FoW is now working in online games. So all that remains is enhancements, refinements, and speed optimizations.
: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.

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Post by heruca » Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:27 am

Dark Vision and Low Night Vision are now taken into account by the dynamic Fog of War reveals. The FoW feature should be complete by Saturday night.
: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.

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Post by Halebop » Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:04 am

Good stuff!

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Fog of war reveals?

Post by mahhand » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:04 pm

Would it be possable to allow the program to have the option to turn on the animated version of the fog of war?? sounds like it might be cooler, and me and my gaming group all use coustom built powerhouse machines....?

Also, am i allowed to post here??? don't want to (censored) anyone off :)

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Post by heruca » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:33 pm

For the moment, I've had to do away with the animated reveals, due to speed problems. Perhaps in the future, with some radical optimization of the FoW rendering, I can add it back in, as an option.

And of course you can post here (and anywhere you see a Post button). Otherwise I feel like I'm just talking to myself. :D

PS: Glad to see you've registered in the forums. Welcome!
: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.

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Post by heruca » Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:13 pm

I've almost finished updating the User Manual to include all the changes and additions since beta 1.0.5. Sorry that I let the documentation lag a few versions behind, but know that it's being brought up to date.

I plan to post the updated User Manual in the Downloads section tomorrow.

Beta 1.0.8, which will be the last public beta before BRPG ships, should be available a day or two later. Yes, it will include Fog of War. :D
: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.

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Post by Omnidon » Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:29 pm

Sounds great :D

When's the 2 MB thing getting fixed btw? That's the main thing keeping me from using the application now. It's a pain to only use small maps.

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Post by heruca » Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:45 pm

In an update, presumably v1.1.

In the meantime, is there no way you can get your maps to be under 2MBs by applying more JPG compression? If not, how close are you getting?

A less optimal workaround is to chop your encounter area in half, and run it as two Encounters. But of course not all encounters will work well with this approach.

Of course, there's nothing stopping you from e-mailing the larger maps to your players before the game, and having the players import the maps prior to connecting.
: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.

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Post by Weezoh » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:59 am

is the physical size of the maps still the same? (meaning grid size) that's the problem i'm having - when I import a full size dundjinni map I only get part of it.
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Post by Halebop » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:11 am

I've been playing around with that just today and discovered the same thing. If I export from Dundjinni at 61 pixels no problem. Edit / Crop in the Gimp, save as JPG, compress the file, displays correctly.

Get one of my older files exported from Dundjinni at 200 pixels, edit and crop in The Gimp, resize to 61 pixels per grid (i.e full 6,400x8000 map down to 1952x2440), save as JPGm compress the file. Pretty sure it displays at 200 pixels per inch, effectively cutting 2/3rd of the map off.

Not sure if this is a gimp / JPG issue or BRPG bug. Whichever it is, unless my native file is 61 pixels I have problems displaying the map properly. The good news at least is that 61 pixel Dundjinni bitmap exports don't take very long. The bad news (for me) is that many maps have received post production work at 200 pixels.

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Post by Weezoh » Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:43 pm

Halebop wrote:I've been playing around with that just today and discovered the same thing. If I export from Dundjinni at 61 pixels no problem. Edit / Crop in the Gimp, save as JPG, compress the file, displays correctly..
so you're cropping your fullsize map down then? I was hoping to avoid splitting the full map up. (since i'm planning to use brpg on a lan rather than over the internet, having smaller maps doesn't matter as much.)
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Post by heruca » Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:07 pm

Weezoh wrote:is the physical size of the maps still the same? (meaning grid size) that's the problem i'm having - when I import a full size dundjinni map I only get part of it.
BRPG still supports 32 x 40 cells. I've never heard of maps getting cropped before, if they've been resized to 1952 x 2440 pixels, regardless of dpi settings. Definitely looking into this today.

Weezoh, are you doing your resizing and saving in GIMP, too?
: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.

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Post by heruca » Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:39 pm

I'm having trouble recreating this problem. Then again, I'm using Photoshop, not GIMP.

Halebop, can you point me to one of your full-size DJ maps?
: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.

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Post by Weezoh » Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:42 pm

ok I think I remember what's going on. the map i'm working with fits in 32 x 40 in dunjinni but at a 10' scale so I was I think exporting at 122 pixels per square since we need a 5' grid. so my map is 2 x the dundjinni size, not regular size.

i'll have to look at it when I get home in a few hours to make sure but I think that's it.

I haven't been resizing the exported map, just using the export. is there a gain to resizing after export? I'd probably use graphic converter to do it.
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Post by heruca » Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:50 pm

Ah. I'm afraid that such a map would have to be split in half for use in BRPG, if you wish to play using the 5'/cell scale. Or you could make it in thirds, such that the middle piece contains overlap from each of the other two pieces, and run it as three separate Encounters.
: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.

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Post by Omnidon » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:00 pm

heruca wrote:In an update, presumably v1.1.

In the meantime, is there no way you can get your maps to be under 2MBs by applying more JPG compression? If not, how close are you getting?

A less optimal workaround is to chop your encounter area in half, and run it as two Encounters. But of course not all encounters will work well with this approach.

Of course, there's nothing stopping you from e-mailing the larger maps to your players before the game, and having the players import the maps prior to connecting.
The whole reason I use Tabletop applications is so that I don't have to go to massive preparation sending players things before the game.

My games are pure improvisation. I might use a map I download during the session. I might pick a random map from the 1000s I've collected... I might even make a quick map myself for a specific area while BRPG is running.
With all that off-the-cuff material, it's hard to keep track of what is compatible. The less I have to resize, crop, edit, and split up a map, the better.

The only things I usually have prepared beforehand are notes from previous sessions and regional maps. After all, without giving the player the power to change the entire course of the adventure, how is it really roleplaying?

Eventually I think any JPG, GIF, or PNG of any size and resolution should be supported by BRPG.

Honestly, if I didn't trust you to make that patch, I certainly wouldn't buy a tabletop application with a 2 MB limit on maps. I would even recommend fixing that before final release.
As you know, many people don't pay attention to documentation. (Shame on them!) Many people will just think it's a buggy program when it doesn't load the map they want to use.

Don't get me wrong, you're making great progress. I'm just one of those people who always is expecting better and better. :P

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Post by Halebop » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:10 pm

Weezoh wrote:so you're cropping your fullsize map down then? I was hoping to avoid splitting the full map up. (since i'm planning to use brpg on a lan rather than over the internet, having smaller maps doesn't matter as much.)
No I'm not cropping it down unless it's not a full size map. But I do cut and paste areas of maps onto different backgrounds or feather the edges of walls or other forms of editing.

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Post by Halebop » Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:00 pm

Omnidon I think the reality is that a virtual tabletop with maps requires a bit more work than just slapping a pre-printed map on a table.

Standardizing grid sizes ensures that maps can be easily shared with other GMs and ensure we don't need to resize tokens up or down to "our" size with resulting pixelation problems. While this means if you are only using 3rd party maps you will probably always need to resize them, it also means you can use maps, art and tokens made specifically for BRPG without having to resize them. I prefer this concept than having all user contributions be totally random pixel counts.

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Post by Omnidon » Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:25 pm

Oh I do understand the need for a standard. I'm not terribly concerned if my grids don't always line up properly, since I'll mostly be playing with them off.

But that doesn't mean that the program shouldn't be flexible enough to *accomodate* any map. I'm not saying that BRPG should be *designed* for use with any size of map in mind. The best software always leaves room for unconventional uses though.

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Post by heruca » Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:41 pm

I hope to have beta 1.0.8 ready in the next couple of days. I tested it last night with Halebop, and the Fog of War features are working perfectly. But I want to at least fix the AoE bug, the Unit Manager highlight bug, and get the online percentile dice rolls working before I release the next version.
: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.

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Post by Weezoh » Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:57 pm

Huzzah! i'm starting my true20 game on monday including using brpg for the first time with my group so that will be great.
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Post by heruca » Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:04 pm

Beta 1.0.8 should be posted by tomorrow night. I just want to see if I can resolve the AoE-related bugs before getting it out.
: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.

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Post by heruca » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:48 am

I just tested the beta 1.0.8 candidate release with Halebop, and it has a couple of issues I'd like to fix before posting 1.0.8 publicly.
: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.

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