Development Update

A "blog" of sorts to track development progress, discuss design theory, etc.
Post Reply
Full Bleed
General
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:45 am
Contact:

Post by Full Bleed » Wed Jul 25, 2007 3:53 pm

heruca wrote:Don't be surprised if a full month or two passes before v1.0.9 is released. There are a LOT of features going into this update.
As a concerned supporter of BRPG, I have to say that I'm not very excited by an uber die-roller at all... especially at the cost of two months of development.

Wouldn't 2 months of development on Flash integration open the door for all kinds of customized die rollers that would cater better (and more specifically) to all the different game mechanics out there? I mean, with probably 75%+ of your user base using d20 (which is probably a low-end figure), what's the purpose of making the die roller do all kinds of stuff they will never use? (BTW, I don't even play d20.)

Bottom line, you will never be able to build one central die roller that will actually cater to every game out there. But you *can* build a user friendly mechanism to allow gamers to create plug-ins and rule-sets for their particular games.

In addition, there are tons more posts on this forum about the promises and possibilities of true Flash integration in BRPG than the usefulness of a super die-roller. Just take a look at the very basic integration you have now... it created more interaction on the forums than we've seen in months.

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9382
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:11 pm

It's understandable that not everyone will be excited by enhancements to the die roller. Projector users probably all roll real dice, for example, so they could care less about v1.0.9.

Flash just got some development in v1.0.8a. Maybe in a month or two someone will have developed one or more Flash widgets that need to communicate with BRPG. That will be a good time for me to invest some more time into Flash support. Right now, I've got nothing to work with.

If the majority of current BRPG users are d20 players, perhaps that's indicative that I haven't done enough to capture the interest of non-d20 gamers. I think that by adding support for systems like Hero, Savage Worlds, MERP, Shadowrun, etc., BRPG could become the VT of choice for users of those RPG systems. IMO, the d20 crowd is severely diluted, since they have so many VT apps to chose from, so I think the key to growing BRPG's userbase is to appeal to non-d20 gamers, which most VT apps don't support very well (or perhaps do, but require XML scripting beyond most user's capabilities).
: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.

Full Bleed
General
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:45 am
Contact:

Post by Full Bleed » Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:00 pm

heruca wrote:If the majority of current BRPG users are d20 players, perhaps that's indicative that I haven't done enough to capture the interest of non-d20 gamers.
I'm reflecting on the market share that d20 owns. 2/3rds of the market is dominated by D&D play alone. I really have no data to support what percentage of BRPG users are actually d20 players though. It's merely an extrapolation.

From a 1999 WotC survey of 20k households to see what games were played every month:

Dungeons & Dragons (WotC/TSR) fantasy 66%
Vampire: The Masquerade (White Wolf) horror 25%
Star Wars (West End Games) sci-fi 21%
Palladium (Palladium Books) fantasy 16%
Werewolf: The Apocalypse (White Wolf) horror 15%
Shadowrun (FASA) fantasy / sci-fi (cyberpunk) 15%
Star Trek (Last Unicorn Games) sci-fi 12%
Call of Cthulhu (Chaosium) horror 8%
Legend of the Five Rings (Alderac) fantasy 8%
Deadlands (Pinnacle) horror / western 5%
Alternity (WotC/TSR) sci-fi 4%
GURPS (SJG) mixed 3%


I admit that 2007 is a new age, but I also have no doubt that d20 has only solidified its market position, not lost it. I could find out what the current retail/distribution numbers are, but it would just be a waste of time.

I'm also not advocating that BRPG be d20 specific (as I stated, I don't even play d20.) What I am pointing out is that you plan on spending the next two months developing for what I can almost guarantee is a minority of your current and future user base.

It just seems like there are dozens of other system independent features that people have been eagerly waiting for. Many of which we've been told could or would be more easily implemented when BRPG had true Flash integration. And now we're hearing this:
Flash just got some development in v1.0.8a. Maybe in a month or two someone will have developed one or more Flash widgets that need to communicate with BRPG. That will be a good time for me to invest some more time into Flash support. Right now, I've got nothing to work with.
So, you're saying that Flash integration is a chicken-or-egg situation? If so, then I suspect there will never be any significant flash support in BRPG by outside parties. I seriously doubt that people can or will write widgets to communicate with a program that isn't set up to be communicated with.

User avatar
Omnidon
Site Admin
Posts: 2186
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:46 pm
Location: NY State, USA
Contact:

Post by Omnidon » Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:15 pm

Full Bleed wrote:
Flash just got some development in v1.0.8a. Maybe in a month or two someone will have developed one or more Flash widgets that need to communicate with BRPG. That will be a good time for me to invest some more time into Flash support. Right now, I've got nothing to work with.
So, you're saying that Flash integration is a chicken-or-egg situation? If so, then I suspect there will never be any significant flash support in BRPG by outside parties. I seriously doubt that people can or will write widgets to communicate with a program that isn't set up to be communicated with.

Full Bleed is right. No one will want to spend a lot of time making something if they don't get guarantees that the software will support it.

While theoretically, people could design flash applications with a generic backend in mind and just tweak the functions later, it is unfair to them if it takes then takes you months to add a key feature in the API that they need.

I have been very busy this last week, but I intend to post my proposed API for flash integration soon. Hopefully that will give you some ideas of where to start.

I also intend to create some simple client-side flash objects soon, though almost everything that I'd be interested in creating would require the API.

By the way, will you be upgrading to Director 11 when it comes out? I'd like to start developing in Flash 9 soon.

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9382
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:08 am

I can give any Flash developer the BRPG commands that need to be called to perform particular tasks. All they need to do is ask, at any time, including during development of v1.0.9.
: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
tdwyer11b
Captain
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:21 pm

Post by tdwyer11b » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:00 am

I must be one of the weird ones, I'm for the die roller development. I've taken an interest in BG after spending time developing in Fantasy Grounds and now that FG2 has changed with the new scripting and xml changes, I really lost interest in doing this further just to play a game. It's alot of work and your not guaranteed your going to find players or be able to maintain a game for any length of time.

I understand you guys want to be able to program specific items for BG, however I don't. Which is why I enjoy BG so much. Heruca has made it easy by only having to edit certain text files with no related code (ex. the token labels). I view the dice roller the same, make it easy to use.

While having an uber-dice roller isn't necessary, I can still figure out things like you would at the tabletop, I think it just adds another option for how ppl want to play their game.

Like a lot of you I don't play d20, the closest I come to it is Castles & Crusades. Most of the games I play use dice pools and a (wild, drama) die type.

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9382
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:10 am

Omnidon wrote:By the way, will you be upgrading to Director 11 when it comes out? I'd like to start developing in Flash 9 soon.
Hard to say. I'd want to, of course, but at the moment I couldn't afford to. Of course that could change by the time Director 11 comes 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.

User avatar
Omnidon
Site Admin
Posts: 2186
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:46 pm
Location: NY State, USA
Contact:

Post by Omnidon » Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:41 am

heruca wrote:I can give any Flash developer the BRPG commands that need to be called to perform particular tasks. All they need to do is ask, at any time, including during development of v1.0.9.
Alright, I'll take you up on that after I post the API summary ;-)

You should also look into adding SWF grid & map support.

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9382
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Wed Aug 01, 2007 2:26 pm

New in v1.0.9: the mouse wheel is now supported on Macs (it's used for zooming in and out). This feature has long been available under Windows, but now Mac users don't need to feel left out. I believe that with this addition, there is now full feature parity between the Mac and Windows versions of BRPG.

BTW, I realize that the majority of Mac users probably still don't have a mouse with a scroll wheel, but for those who do, this should be a welcome addition. I've tested this feature with a Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer (a wireless mouse), and it works fine. I suspect it will work with any third-party mouse.
: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.

Farland
High Commander
Posts: 530
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 4:38 pm
Contact:

Post by Farland » Wed Aug 01, 2007 4:29 pm

Is there any possibility of an auto-encounter updater for the new version?
The World of Farland: www.farlandworld.com

The best PbP site on the net: www.myth-weavers.com

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9382
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:03 pm

Sure. I'll see if I can build in an automatic Encounter-updating mechanism for future releases. It will handle v1.0.8 format or greater.
: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
mcrush
Cannon Fodder
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:28 pm

If we're talking about desired features...

Post by mcrush » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:22 am

I'm probably one of the few D&D gamers who didn't have any desire to convert to the 3rd Ed/d20 system, so anything specifically aimed at that audience is of little use to me, and I have no intention of getting into building Flash widgets. I have been following the development of BRPG since before v1.0 and I think it has excellent potential as a VT platform for many different gaming systems and uses, and the outstanding FoW feature you have developed is better than anything else I have ever seen in a VT product. Recent improvements in FoW masking have got me thinking it might be time to invest the time and energy to start a VT campaign (and of course buy the product). However, my gaming tends to be combat intensive (comes from using a lot of classic 1st Ed AD&D materials with expanded 2nd Ed rules) and I would prefer to see some features to support that - like the player move indicator with GM approval feature of KloogeWerks, or even a simple player to GM drawing tool that would do some of that. The main thing that has put me off those other products is the time and effort to convert or develop the scripts and XML to make it do what I want, and the fact that I can't really get a feel for using the tool without buying it (their demo version are pretty well useless) - in the case of BPRG, I have been able to get a very thorough idea of what the product can do, though I still need to develop a tool to automate combat and recordkeeping, but BPRG looks better and the FoW feature can't be beat. Well, there you have my vote for what it's worth. Keep pluggin' heruca - keep up the good work.

Devious Mahem

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9382
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:10 am

Thanks for the encouragement, mcrush. Nice to see you posting again.

I think dice macros are going to go a long way towards speeding up combats, in any RPG system.

Have you considered using one of the many combat trackers available, in conjunction with BRPG? I agree that it would be nice to be able to manage everything from a single program, but until BRPG gets to where it can do that sort of thing, I think that might be a good alternative solution.

Regarding the approved movement system, I may have a stopgap solution for that that I can implement fairly easily, until I get around to doing it the way I'd planned. Basically, I'm thinking of making player-generated moves not trigger FoW refreshes automatically. The GM would "approve" the move by using a FoW refresh hotkey, or deny all or part of the move by dragging the figure back to some point along his path.
: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: 9382
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:44 am

Snap-to-grid on a hexgrid will be available again in v1.0.9. :D

Edit: Finished implementing.
: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: 9382
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:34 pm

v1.0.9 will have a screenshot feature that exports the current contents of the map window (minus the BG button) to a JPG file on your hard drive.

The Export Screenshot command is accessed from the BG button's popup menu. It is available to both players and GMs, and is primarily intended for posting map updates to a website in play-by-post (i.e., forum-based) games.

Or you can use it to immortalize your PC's heroic deeds. Whichever you prefer. :lol:
: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: 9382
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:26 pm

Woohoo! I got a new computer! It's a 2.16GHz MacBook, so I'll be able to run both Mac OS X and Windows (XP, for now).

This new computer replaces my "ancient" 500MHz G4 Mac, and I have to say, what a difference it makes running BRPG on a fast, modern computer! Particularly using the Fog of War feature. I was pleasantly surprised by my own software, LOL!

I should now be able to troubleshoot (and hopefully fix) the problem of GMs on Intel-based Macs not being able to host games over wireless connections. I'm also ready for whenever Director 11 is released, since it might not run well (or at all) on my old computer.

Happy day for me. I'll finally be able to play the latest computer games, which I've been missing out on for several years now. :D
Last edited by heruca on Sat Aug 04, 2007 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
: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
Omnidon
Site Admin
Posts: 2186
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:46 pm
Location: NY State, USA
Contact:

Post by Omnidon » Sat Aug 04, 2007 1:44 pm

Gratz ;-)

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

Post by Kepli » Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:14 pm

Cool :D
Image

mahhand
Captain
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:05 pm

Post by mahhand » Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:54 pm

did you say games and mac in the same post? lol

hehehehe

gratz on the updated computer bro, i am very happy for you. I have been loving how well BG runs on my amd 64x2 since you started it. There is nothing like having a fast processor, 2 gigs or more of ram, and the latest and greatest 500.00+ video card to make sure BG runs well. That, and the rest of the apps i run, ie games, hehehe

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9382
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:58 pm

I've finally finished the design phase of the new Dice Macro Creation window, and now have a nice graphical mock-up of the screen that includes all the new die rolling capabilities I wanted to add. I'll be starting in on actually programing it today.

The end result should be something that will support pretty much every conceivable RPG system's dice mechanics (with the exception of those that use card decks, but even that is planned for sometime after v1.1).

Some feature highlights:
You'll be able to mix and match die types and die colors, manage dice sets (e.g., omit d8 and d12 if your system doesn't use them), use Fudge dice, rolls lots of dice at once, apply mods to each die and/or to the total roll, discard dice (e.g., roll 4d6, drop lowest), have open-ended rolls (low and/or high), state the purpose of the roll (e.g., saving throw, to-hit, damage, spot check, etc.), evaluate each die for success or failure, evaluate the entire roll for success or failure, cross-reference the total roll on a table (e.g., generate a random wandering monster, or look up the exact result of a critical hit), sort the die results (in ascending or descending order), and much, much more.

And since you can save all these settings as Dice Macros, you only need to define any given roll once. This should greatly speed up game play.

Whenever a Dice Macro is invoked, you'll get a chance to edit the settings before sending the roll (e.g., if there's a new environmental or situational factor that requires you to tweak the To-Hit modifiers).

Best of all, you won't need to learn any complicated dice notation language (e.g. "r/3d6+1[DL, OL], +1d8, +3, [TN14, SortLH]"). It's all handled in a more intuitive, user-friendly, and visual manner.
: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.

mahhand
Captain
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:05 pm

Post by mahhand » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:21 am

sounds very exciting! keep up the good work bro!!!!!

User avatar
tdwyer11b
Captain
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:21 pm

Post by tdwyer11b » Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:58 am

heruca wrote:I've finally finished the design phase of the new Dice Macro Creation window, and now have a nice graphical mock-up of the screen that includes all the new die rolling capabilities I wanted to add. I'll be starting in on actually programing it today.
How bout a teaser screenie? :wink:

Balesir
General
Posts: 302
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 2:29 pm

Post by Balesir » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:44 am

Wooo! Sounds like a wonderful new toy! :wink:

Does it allow you to define a die, too? So, you take a number of sides and define a value for each face? I guess the 'lookup on a table' feature effectively covers that? Sounds very cool indeed.

Incidentally, we ran our bi-weekly game on 1.08a (yes, the latest version - >gasp<) last night and it ran smooth as silk, bar one map needing a 'kick' to load from a server! We may have gone quiet, but just to say this is still a very nice program to use for a regular game 8)

All we need now is LoS in dynamic FoW :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Balesir

User avatar
heruca
Developer
Posts: 9382
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Post by heruca » Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:14 am

Balesir wrote:Does it allow you to define a die, too? So, you take a number of sides and define a value for each face?
Eventually. I'm still not sure if that will be an option in v1.0.9. But until it is, I'd probably be willing to custom build a die set for any customer that needs it and can provide me with the necessary PNG graphics.

Edit: What it will do, however, is allow you to roll a dX (X-sided die), where you decide on the range of the roll (e.g., 3-3000).
: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: 9382
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:58 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact:

Update

Post by heruca » Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:33 am

I've finished programing the part of the Macro Creation screen that lets you choose the color of the die set/s that you want to use in your roll. I've also completed creating the "bundle files" (".cxt" files) that define the dice, and added a mechanism by which you can easily disable or re-enable particular dice from appearing on the screen (e.g., if your game system only uses d6 and d10, you can get rid of all the unneeded dice). You can change the availability of particular dice during a session, so there's no need to quit and re-launch the program.

The Macro screen also remembers the last dice set you used, so that you don't have to keep changing it to your preferred color each time you open the screen.

I figure I'm now about 35% done with v1.0.9.

The dice files (~684 individual graphics) came out to 113 individual bundles totaling 21.7 MB (unzipped). :shock:
So I'll just include two colors of dice with BRPG (blue and red), and the other 10 colors will be available in a separate download, so that you don't keep having to download the same dice over and over each time you upgrade to a new version of BRPG.
: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.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests