Sneak Preview of new Turn Sequencer in BRPG v1.3

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Expand view Topic review: Sneak Preview of new Turn Sequencer in BRPG v1.3

by heruca » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:52 pm

Welcome, webdancer.

Have you seen this forum thread?

by webdancer » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:35 pm

This is pretty cool. I like the idea of being able to play Car Wars over a network setup.

by heruca » Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:29 pm

Work on the new Turn Sequencer is now about 90% complete. It's now working with real unit info (before it was just using mock units) and is being dynamically updated whenever necessary. The Turn Sequencer can also be moved and resized, and it remembers these settings between game sessions. It's starting to all finally come together.

Now to tackle the dreaded "last 10 percent".

by heruca » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:55 am

Some new info to share:

The Turn Sequencer Setup Wizard is 5 screens long for games without turn phases, and 7 screens long for games that need to support turn phases.

You can step forward through the various screens, of course, but I've also just added the ability to step backwards through the various screens, in case you changed your mind about something and want to go back and change it. No sense making you start all over from scratch.

Saving and loading of Turn Sequencer settings is now working, so it's a snap to switch over from, say, a D&D game to a Champions game.

I'd estimate that work on the new Turn Sequencer is now about 80% complete.

by ursus » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:35 pm

Thanks, for the little preview video, Heruca.

I'm really looking forward to this new turn sequencer. Even if my group goes backwards to a real tabletop, I can easily see using this to just stay organized as a GM.

by heruca » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:25 pm

oleingva wrote:though, calling it turn sequencer almost seems wrong, since it can do so much more . . .
True. You could say it's also a Combat Manager now, but the [C] hotkey was taken. :)

I think the old Turn Sequencer was only useful in combat situations, but the new one is potentially useful all the time.

by oleingva » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:02 pm

Heh, I gave up, and then I won! :lol:

This looks really promising - though, calling it turn sequencer almost seems wrong, since it can do so much more . . . Still really looking forward to seeing the finished product.

by heruca » Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:25 am

OK, oleingva, you win. :)

Below are links to a short preview video of the Turn Sequencer Setup Wizard that I've been working on for the last couple of weeks. This Wizard is where you decide all sorts of things about how the Turn Sequencer should work, what data it should show, and how it should show it. The video below shows only Step 3, but it will have to do, for now.

Although the video has no audio, you'll basically see me setting up to run a GURPS game, and what I'm doing is pretty self-explanatory.

See the video in QuickTime format or see the video in MP4 format

by oleingva » Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:47 am

Alright, sounds great to me! :mrgreen:

by heruca » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:55 pm

Hopefully it won't be long now until you can try it out for yourself.

On the one hand, I don't want to give away too much by posting screencapture movies; I'd rather you see it all at once and say "Cool! Look at all the stuff this can do!", than to show you pieces here and there and when you finally get it, it's like "Meh, I've seen this all before".

I'm sure I'll get some useful feedback from you all once it's released and you've had a chance to get "hands-on" experience with the new features. BRPG v1.3 can be just a base to build on in future updates.

by oleingva » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:10 am

I'd be really interested in seeing what you've got thus far, heruca - it is easier to give feedback that way, too. I'm really excited about this release, since I hope it will give me several things that I've been missing ever since I started using BRPG. Maybe I can finally throw out that pad of notepaper during game . . . :D

by Omnidon » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:51 pm

heruca wrote:
Omnidon wrote:Well, I don't see why there's any reason using that method that you can't have unlimited values.
Since the phase charts won't be defined by an external text file created by the GM, I wanted to provide and easy on-screen interface listing all the phases with a checkbox for each, and you just click on the phases where you get to act/move. My concern was that if I have to support, say, 60 or 100 phases, the checkboxes would get too small, or force a scrolling mode that becomes a bit unwieldy.
If it's merely an interface issue, then you should have the interface update dynamically. Have like 12 phase boxes orso by default, then add a little + button that can be used to add more phases to the list. (Or add a new empty phase box automatically once the others have been used up.)

Resort to "unwieldy" scrollbars only if the list gets too long. Personally I find scrollbars to be much more practical than, for instance, the paging used by the preferences panels.

Hard-coded limitations should be avoided whenever possible, since you'll just kick yourself later when you realize you have to do a major rewrite to add new functionality.

Personally, I'd rather you move on to Flash support or BRPG v2, but if you're going to go to the trouble of making a good turn sequencer, you mayaswell go the extra mile and make it a great turn sequencer. ;-)

by nortonweb » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:21 pm

Yeap D&D and most RPG systems I've ever played work in an everyone gets to act once in some kind of order. Some systems have it slowest say what they are doing first, fastest last then all actions are executed but starting with fastest (I remembering playing this but for the life of me can't remember what system it was but then in my 25 odd years of role-playing I've played a lot of systems).
But most are one action per round (a round being when everyone has acted. ie players A, B, C, and D get to act in round 1 play E is surprised. All players act in round 2.)

by oleingva » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:42 pm

Okay, then I'm not sure if I know a system which uses this mechanic. Deadlands generally uses a system not all that different from D&D, once you break it down. The only difference is the scale of the numbers, and the fact that one can have and usually have several actions.

by heruca » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:13 pm

D&D, AFAIK, doesn't use phases. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that everyone gets to go exactly once every turn (they call them "rounds"), in highest-to-lowest order of the initiative rolls. Each initiative count is not a phase, it's simply stepping though all the initiatives rolled for that turn.

by oleingva » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:45 pm

heruca wrote:Oleingva, could a Deadlands game be handled by assigning a numerical value to each drawn card and letting the Turn Sequencer auto-sort the PCs based on those values? Perhaps it could be set up to support up to 52 phases while omitting any phase that no one acts on.
I suppose that would work - though, I think it would be easier to just use the card table during combat.

The whole card thing, while being one of the really cool aspects of Deadlands, is the main reason why playing Deadlands online, well, sucks.

One solution is this - set number of phases in the preferences. That way you could choose if you wanted 6, 10, 15, 52 or 1000. Might be a hassle to script, though. I'm not sure if I really understand what you mean by phase, though . . . will D&D's mechanic of 1d20+X (X usually being a number between 0 and 10, but could be more or less) mean that each initiative count is a phase? I.e. about 30 phases? Or are you referring to something different? I'm unfortunately not familiar with any of the systems you name as examples.

by heruca » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:51 am

Omnidon wrote:Well, I don't see why there's any reason using that method that you can't have unlimited values.
Since the phase charts won't be defined by an external text file created by the GM, I wanted to provide and easy on-screen interface listing all the phases with a checkbox for each, and you just click on the phases where you get to act/move. My concern was that if I have to support, say, 60 or 100 phases, the checkboxes would get too small, or force a scrolling mode that becomes a bit unwieldy.

by heruca » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:45 am

Oleingva, could a Deadlands game be handled by assigning a numerical value to each drawn card and letting the Turn Sequencer auto-sort the PCs based on those values? Perhaps it could be set up to support up to 52 phases while omitting any phase that no one acts on.

by oleingva » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:32 am

This one is likely to cause you some headache, I think. For instance, Deadlands uses a deck of cards (actually two, one for the players and one for the GM) for initiative, where each card except the jokers could be considered a 'phase', and each player and NPC might have between zero and five cards - provided that no powers give them even more. Theoretically (though completely unlikely unless you have allowed something very unbalancing into the game), a single character might have 52 actions in a round.

by Balesir » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:51 am

One that springs to my mind is Bushido (and related games, like Aftermath, Daredevils, etc.). These have two separate stats for 'Base (i.e. first) Action Phase' (BAP) and 'Zanshin' or similar (i.e. number of actions per turn). A character with Zanshin 3 and BAP 22 would act on action phases 22, 14 and 7, for example. A character with Zanshin 2 and BAP 22, on the other hand, would act on action phases 22 and 11. BAP can go as high as 30 or so, IIRC.

by Omnidon » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:26 am

Well, I don't see why there's any reason using that method that you can't have unlimited values.


In some systems, a round is a set interval of time, and the faster the character is, the more times he can act within that interval.

Such systems would determine the number of phases per round based on the speed of the fastest character. (The fastest character would act in every phase).


Therefore, if you do not intend to support the ability to determine which phases a character can act based on a formula, then you should at least allow the user to add a vast number of possible values to the system speed chart.

by heruca » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:23 pm

See the sample phase charts attached below. These are the sort of thing I'm trying to support. A user-defined chart like this will be used to determine who gets to act on each phase automatically.

Take Car Wars as an example. If a car is moving at 35 mph, the Turn Sequencer will automatically prompt it to move on phases 1, 2, 3 and 4. If on the following turn that car slows down to 20 mph, it will be listed by the Turn Sequencer as moving only on phases 2 and 4. The player won't need to constantly toggle the settings that determine when his token gets to move; it'll happen automatically. There will still be an option to set the action phases manually, though.
Attachments
Sample Phase Charts.jpg
Sample Phase Charts.jpg (99.94 KiB) Viewed 113213 times

by Omnidon » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:35 pm

For my non-freestyle games, I'm developing a system where the number of actions a character can have per round is based on a statistic, so theoretically characters could have any number of actions per round. I know I've seen other game systems with this method before too, though I can't think of an example. Are you planning to support stat-based turns of this sort?

by heruca » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:19 pm

Yes, I'm trying to support systems where characters get to move or act more than once per turn.

by Omnidon » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:58 pm

Well, that depends on what you mean by phases. I would want a turn sequencer that supports the ability for each character to act multiple times per round.
If "phases" are the only way to support that feature then yes, I certainly might want more than 15 phases.

Is there some reason you are unable to easily support unlimited phases?

Mind you, I'll still probably be creating my own turn sequencer anyway :P

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