Fog of War Problems

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Torq
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Fog of War Problems

Post by Torq » Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:30 am

I ran my first session using V1.1 last night. Ftf game with master and client instances both running on my PC and two monitors. Everything went well for the first 20 minutes or so. I had blacked out most of the map and was manually lifting portions of the FoW as the players explored. Then for some reason the client FoW stopped responding (only the FoW, everything else still worked fine). I could reveal areas on the master version but they would't translate to the client. This was problematic because the characters were in tight spaces with many twists and turns so I needed to constantly update the FoW. The only way I could find to get around it was to disconnect the client and reconnect. After doing this a few times I gave up and removed the FoW, which obviously meant the players could see everything on the map including which doors were locked, what unexplored rooms looked like etc.

The only thing that I did differently was to draw some simple shapes using the drawing tool, shortly before the problem started appearing. I'm not sure if this is significant.

This is the first time that a game session I have run has been significantly affected by a problem with BG. I think I saw someone else on the boards mention a problem with the FoW.

Any other info that you need Heruca, just let me know. Keep up the great work :) .

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Post by heruca » Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:39 am

:(

Sorry to hear your game session got borked because of a problem with BRPG. At the same time, I appreciate you taking a chance at running a real game session with one of the newer beta releases. This sounds like one of those issues that doesn't reveal itself in testing, but rears its ugly head only in real-world use.

Did you happen to keep a copy of the Encounter with the FoW reveals in place? If so, please email it to me.

Can you take a guess at how many individual reveals you had done? Was it dozens, or hundreds?

Did you ever try relaunching the GM Client and/ or the Player Client? With the Player Client, did you only disconnect and reconnect?

The use of the drawing tool prior to the onset of the problems may indeed be significant. I'll be testing that combination out today to see if I can replicate your problem.

Yes, someone else mentioned a problem with the FoW recently, but it was only affecting things in hexgrid-mode, and was a very different issue.
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Post by heruca » Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:17 pm

Maybe a stupid question, but were you clicking on the "Update FoW on Clients" button (on the FoW panel) after each reveal/conceal? Because until that button gets pressed, nothing will update on the connected client/s.
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Post by Torq » Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:54 pm

Thanks for the quick response as always Heruca.
Did you happen to keep a copy of the Encounter with the FoW reveals in place? If so, please email it to me.
I will e-mail it tomorrow as soon as I canget to the pc that has the encounters loaded on it.
Can you take a guess at how many individual reveals you had done? Was it dozens, or hundreds?
I had only done about 5 when the problem occurred.
Did you ever try relaunching the GM Client and/ or the Player Client? With the Player Client, did you only disconnect and reconnect?
No, I only tried disconnecting and reconnecting the client.

Yes, someone else mentioned a problem with the FoW recently, but it was only affecting things in hexgrid-mode, and was a very different issue.
No, I'm referring to the person who posted the photos of his session using the projector (I forget his name), who said he experienced problems with the FoW but put it down to user error on his part.

Maybe a stupid question, but were you clicking on the "Update FoW on Clients" button (on the FoW panel) after each reveal/conceal? Because until that button gets pressed, nothing will update on the connected client/s.
Now I'm feeling stupid. :o I didn't press the button. But I've never had to press it before. I might be losing it but I'm sure the FoW previously updated on the client as soon as I revealed or concealed on the master. Have I been an idiot?

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Post by heruca » Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:28 pm

Torq wrote:Now I'm feeling stupid. I didn't press the button. But I've never had to press it before. I might be losing it but I'm sure the FoW previously updated on the client as soon as I revealed or concealed on the master. Have I been an idiot?
Don't feel bad. I believe it used to auto-update the FoW on connected clients on all versions prior to v1.0.8a.

When I changed it in v1.0.8a, I completely forgot to mention the changed functionality in the ReadMe notes. :oops:

Sorry for the confusion.

I'll assume then that this is not a FoW bug, but rather user error caused by improper documentation.
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Post by heruca » Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:34 pm

By the way, I should explain the reason for the functionality change:

If the GM goofs while revealing the map (perhaps he reveals more than he intended), it doesn't matter, since the last action can always be undone and the players never got the update with the goof.
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Post by oleingva » Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:16 pm

Okay, our session has ended, and (un)fortunately we had no need for BRPG. However, I am playing around with the FoW, and it just doesn't work. I have it set like shown below.

I tried to hit update for the players, but the player instance is just a red screen. What do I do wrong?
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Post by heruca » Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:29 pm

That's odd. With those settings, the Player Client should see just a black (not red) screen, until you cut some holes away from the mask using the FoW drawing tools.

Since you've selected "Manual FoW Only", dynamic light sources (like torches) won't have any effect.

Edit: What often helps when FoW doesn't appear to be working properly is to hit the Blackout button a couple of times. Player Clients get Blackout mode enabled whenever an Encounter with FoW is loaded, unless the GM has disabled Automatic Blackout in his Preferences panel.
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Post by Omnidon » Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:03 am

heruca wrote:
Torq wrote:Now I'm feeling stupid. I didn't press the button. But I've never had to press it before. I might be losing it but I'm sure the FoW previously updated on the client as soon as I revealed or concealed on the master. Have I been an idiot?
Don't feel bad. I believe it used to auto-update the FoW on connected clients on all versions prior to v1.0.8a.
You should add an option to enable auto-updating. I would personally find clicking the Update button all the time to be rather annoying.

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Post by Torq » Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:16 am

Thanks for clearing it up everyone. I'd better send an e-mail to my players telling them that operator error was the cause (I think they held that view all along though).

I actually like the idea of having to press the button, because sometimes you want to do some complicated reveals, (My players are currently exploring a round tower with odd shaped rooms) and mistakes are common. I like the idea of being able to assess and check the reveal before "going live" with it to the players. Otherwise you might get the:

"hey what was that?"
"it was a red square part of a base, but its gone now"
"Looked like a leg or a wing or something"
"I couldn't what it was but the first three letters of the label were D.R.A, we'd better be careful"

DM: "OK you open the door to the strangely shaped chamber, the furnishings are ruined and the place has been clearly ransacked. Otherwise it empty (embarrased grin spreading over his face).

Player: "I think someone else better do the spot check".

...scenario.


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Post by Balesir » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:11 am

oleingva wrote wrote:Okay, our session has ended, and (un)fortunately we had no need for BRPG. However, I am playing around with the FoW, and it just doesn't work. I have it set like shown below.

I tried to hit update for the players, but the player instance is just a red screen. What do I do wrong?
It looks a bit like the 'Blackout Client Screens' button might be pressed, there?
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Post by heruca » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:42 am

I think I'll do as Omnidon suggests, and add an option for automatic or manual FoW updates.
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Post by oleingva » Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:45 pm

Ahh . . . that did it. Thanks heruca! That FoW has many quirks and different functions, it takes some fooling around to get used to them all. I can't even claim that I understand all of the options.

Now, while fiddling around with it, trying to figure out what stuff is, I get more errors. I set it to persistent, opacity 60, and tried to use a different image for the FoW. When I now hit update clients, I get an "object expected" error message. Clicking yes doesn't seem to break anything, but the client isn't updated either. It seems to be the client that gets the error. My DM client displays the correct image for the FoW.

Also, I see no difference when using opacity and not.

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Post by heruca » Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:05 pm

Some clarifications:
FoW Opacity only affects things when "Moonlight (or equivalent)" is turned on. It's used by clients who control one or more figures with Low Light Vision. The reason it exists is because figures with LLV can theoretically see in moonlight as if it were daylight. You'd think in that case I just would disable the FoW layer altogether, but those players need to know when their fellow players (or their other characters) can't see something because they don't have LLV, so I use the partial opacity as set by the GM to indicate what is visible only to LLV.

As for the error messages you get, I'll look into that, but I suspect that the FoW Image hasn't been loaded onto the Player Client.
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Post by oleingva » Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:11 pm

I suspect that too, since I haven't updated my Cast file on the player instance (generally speaking, doing that is a huge waste of space!). Is there some way I can transfer the map along with the rest of the encounter? Really, if I use the FoW image, it is my players I want to see it, not myself, and I am certain that is how you have intended it, too.

I'll play around with the low-light vision and the opacity a bit. =)

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Post by heruca » Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:43 pm

oleingva wrote:I suspect that too, since I haven't updated my Cast file on the player instance (generally speaking, doing that is a huge waste of space!). Is there some way I can transfer the map along with the rest of the encounter?
Sure.

The GM can:
1. Load an Encounter in BRPG.
2. Use the "Export Encounter Assets" command to create a media bundle.
3. Send that media bundle to his players and have them place it in the "Media Asset Bundles" folder, which is in their BRPG folder.
4. Have the players launch BRPG and use the "Import Encounter Assets" command to import the contents of the media bundle.
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Post by oleingva » Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:34 am

Nice! I actually never considered that I'd have any need for the media bundles when running both instances from the same computer.

While I am at it - what does the 'persistent FoW' check box do? I can't tell any difference.

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Post by heruca » Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:17 am

Persistent FoW means that areas of the map that have been revealed by the dynamic lighting (torches, lamps, etc.) are not re-concealed after the party moves away.

If you've played games like Warcraft/Starcraft, you should be familiar with the concept.
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Post by Omnidon » Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:44 am

oleingva wrote:Nice! I actually never considered that I'd have any need for the media bundles when running both instances from the same computer.

Since you're running it from the same computer, you can also just copy the User_Cast.cxt file from your GM client folder to the player client folder, since that file contains all the media.

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