Feedback on BRPG Sneak Preview (beta 1.0) [OLD]

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Feedback on BRPG Sneak Preview (beta 1.0) [OLD]

Post by heruca » Sat Dec 24, 2005 3:27 am

After you've played around with the software for a while, I'd like you all to share your thoughts about what you think works well, what doesn't, and what could be improved (and how).

Thanks!
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Post by Guest » Sat Dec 24, 2005 7:20 am

where is it?!? where is it ? Im still looking :)

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Post by Mind Flayer Monk » Sat Dec 24, 2005 7:21 am

*claps* I am looking forward to this
--I must feed

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Post by heruca » Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:07 pm

I expect to post the software in 6 or 7 hours. I'll try to post the manual sometime before then, so people can get a headstart on things.
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Post by Kepli » Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:36 pm

You use the 1-4 keys to move a figure ... why not use the Numpad keys for that? There 8=UP, 4=LEFT, 6=RIGHT and 2=DOWN ... you could even use 7, 9, 1 and 3 to make it possible to move diagonally ... :wink:
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Post by heruca » Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:50 pm

I plan to make that an option. Of course, that doesn't work too well with movement on a hexagonal grid, but many people won't care. I just didn't want people to have to learn two different sets of numbers for moving things.
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Post by Threx » Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:54 pm

heruca wrote:I plan to make that an option. Of course, that doesn't work too well with movement on a hexagonal grid, but many people won't care. I just didn't want people to have to learn two different sets of numbers for moving things.
On a hexgrid, depending on the layout, 123789, or 741963 would work fine. People are generally smart, and the stupid ones shouldnt be online anyways.
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Post by erian_7 » Sun Dec 25, 2005 12:39 am

Is it possible to make the hotkeys user-configurable? That would solve the whole issue--folks could make the keys whatever they wnt.
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Post by Mind Flayer Monk » Sun Dec 25, 2005 8:16 am

Looks excellent so far, I had fun setting up figures and moving them around in a mock battle! The mind flayers won.


just a few thoughts:

I think your going to need to put everything on a taskbar and give people the mouse click and hot key option Hot keys are good but I think BRPG needs to give the more intuitive option of the mouse click. And make the taskbar a hide/dont hide kind of thing. I jumped back and forth from the pdf and then was alt-esc aping to between the pdf and BRPG for the first 10 minutes.

Skin the message boxes-I know BRPG wants to create a RPG feel the grey of the windows boxes kind of kills it for me. Strangely, I dont get that feeling from the Mac message boxes.

Custom Dice!- I love the roller, and would like to see more than the blue dice-for example I add scans of my own dice into there and then can roll with my dice :) I guess dice could be set up in pozer somehow.


I would also like to see the ability to use 2 "chat" windows-one for PC interaction and lines of dialogue, and another with rules and metagame questions towards the bottom of the screen.

A "Finalize Move" Option- I like the ease of moving figures around the sreen and I also like using the numbers. But, I can forsee a problem in the future of A: "Thats 7 squares, you can only move 6"
B: "ok where did I start from?"
So maybe a little red square around the original square and then you can move anywhere. After you decide your final move then you push "f" or something to move the red square to the current square. So you always know from which square you began.

Those are just a couple of things I would like to see.
But great so far!
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Post by Mind Flayer Monk » Sun Dec 25, 2005 8:20 am

any chance of getting mp3 support for the sound effects? I was using wavs to start but would like to use mp3 because of its smaller size--i was thinking of recording all the box texts :P to give it a narration feel.
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Post by heruca » Sun Dec 25, 2005 12:25 pm

Mind Flayer Monk wrote:any chance of getting mp3 support for the sound effects? I was using wavs to start but would like to use mp3 because of its smaller size--i was thinking of recording all the box texts :P to give it a narration feel.
I thought I was already supporting MP3. Is it not listing MP3 format files in the audio browser panel?
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Post by heruca » Sun Dec 25, 2005 12:37 pm

Mind Flayer Monk wrote:I think your going to need to put everything on a taskbar and give people the mouse click and hot key option Hot keys are good but I think BRPG needs to give the more intuitive option of the mouse click. And make the taskbar a hide/dont hide kind of thing. I jumped back and forth from the pdf and then was alt-esc aping to between the pdf and BRPG for the first 10 minutes.
Are you aware that you can hit the [?] hotkey to see a list of all the hotkeys?

I can certainly add a toolbar that can be toggled, if a lot of people want that.
Skin the message boxes-I know BRPG wants to create a RPG feel the grey of the windows boxes kind of kills it for me. Strangely, I dont get that feeling from the Mac message boxes.
I admit that I haven't given too much thought about how it looks on a Windows PC yet, since I've been developing mostly on a Mac. Have you tried setting different desktop themes on the PC before launching BRPG?
Custom Dice!- I love the roller, and would like to see more than the blue dice-for example I add scans of my own dice into there and then can roll with my dice :) I guess dice could be set up in pozer somehow.
Eventually people will be able to use custom dice sets. What you see is just a starting point. Dice will eventually come in many different colors, in plain, clear, and speckled formats. You'll even be able to use odd custom dice, like ones with skulls or plus/minus signs on them.
I would also like to see the ability to use 2 "chat" windows-one for PC interaction and lines of dialogue, and another with rules and metagame questions towards the bottom of the screen.
That sounds like it could get awkward. How about the ability to chat "in-character" or "out-of-character", instead?
A "Finalize Move" Option- I like the ease of moving figures around the sreen and I also like using the numbers. But, I can forsee a problem in the future of A: "Thats 7 squares, you can only move 6"
B: "ok where did I start from?"
So maybe a little red square around the original square and then you can move anywhere. After you decide your final move then you push "f" or something to move the red square to the current square. So you always know from which square you began.
Definitely planned for a future version. This will also prevent accidentally unmasking the Fog of War for a move that is eventually denied by the GM.
Those are just a couple of things I would like to see.
But great so far!
Thanks! :)
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Post by Dormouse » Sun Dec 25, 2005 7:36 pm

heruca wrote:I admit that I haven't given too much thought about how it looks on a Windows PC yet, since I've been developing mostly on a Mac.
It's worth really looking at this as most of your customers will be using Windows.
Last edited by Dormouse on Sun Dec 25, 2005 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Dormouse » Sun Dec 25, 2005 7:42 pm

Threx wrote:
Kepli wrote:You use the 1-4 keys to move a figure ... why not use the Numpad keys for that? There 8=UP, 4=LEFT, 6=RIGHT and 2=DOWN ... you could even use 7, 9, 1 and 3 to make it possible to move diagonally ... :wink:
heruca wrote:I plan to make that an option. Of course, that doesn't work too well with movement on a hexagonal grid, but many people won't care. I just didn't want people to have to learn two different sets of numbers for moving things.
On a hexgrid, depending on the layout, 123789, or 741963 would work fine. People are generally smart, and the stupid ones shouldnt be online anyways.
I'd agree with Kepli & Threx. It's worth getting the most out of the grid system being used.

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Post by heruca » Sun Dec 25, 2005 8:22 pm

erian_7 wrote:Is it possible to make the hotkeys user-configurable? That would solve the whole issue--folks could make the keys whatever they wnt.
Sure, but I'd have to disable the movement guide graphic.
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Post by heruca » Mon Dec 26, 2005 4:01 am

Dormouse wrote:
heruca wrote:I admit that I haven't given too much thought about how it looks on a Windows PC yet, since I've been developing mostly on a Mac.
It's worth really looking at this as most of your customers will be using Windows.
Oh, absolutely. My comment shouldn't be taken as "I don't care about how it looks on Windows PCs". I just think it's better to concentrate on getting the core functionality working first, and worry about the aesthetics later.
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Post by Steel Rat » Mon Dec 26, 2005 7:50 pm

You definitely need a menu bar, even if it's a floating one. Frankly the ? popup doesn't look terribly professional, no offense.

And technically you're not hitting ?, you're hitting /, since ? would be shift-/, I was doing the latter for a few minutes and nothing was happening.

I think you need a floating always on top character/NPC list so you can quickly and easily go to a character/NPC instead of having to remember on a large map where you put them. This could also have some generic quick infor, like Hits left, Armor, Init, etc, or make them user-customizable fields.

I right-clicked on a spot on a map, chose Place Figure, chose a character token. The token was placed about 5 squares left and down one from where I had originally right-clicked.

The 1234 token movement is definitely counter-intutive to me. Is there a reason you can't just use the default number keypad movement with 8 atht e top, 2 at the bottom etc, and allow movement in all directions, whether it's square or hex?

Need some other way to scroll the map, or some other way to change token facing. I keep wanting to scroll the map while a token is selected and instead just turn the token around in circles. I have to click off the token to scroll.

You already, know this, but screen size preferences don't work in Windows. I think you just need to make it like a regular windows program with a border and everything. Windows people will like you mich better.

I personally dislike floating windows that don't remain part of the common interface, like Gimp. I don't want to have to ALT-TAB through all my windows apps to get to another part of BPRG. I would prefer any floating windows to be more like DJ, where they remain within the main document window.

Changing the firgure base didn't seem to do anything.

When in Preferences, going to Additional preferences and clicking OK doesn't close the window, have to cancel.

Those are my initial thoughts. More later, to be sure.
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Post by Halebop » Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:12 pm

Thanks for the feedback SR. I can offer an answer to one of them in Heruca's absense and a couple of alternate viewpoints...
Steel Rat wrote:You definitely need a menu bar, even if it's a floating one. Frankly the ? popup doesn't look terribly professional, no offense.
Perhaps an optional menu bar? "Definately" needing one is far from certain. I prefer having as much visible real estate for the map.
Steel Rat wrote: I think you need a floating always on top character/NPC list so you can quickly and easily go to a character/NPC instead of having to remember on a large map where you put them. This could also have some generic quick infor, like Hits left, Armor, Init, etc, or make them user-customizable fields.
Perhaps an "optional always on top" rather than "always on top" for the same reason as above? I see one of the key strengths of BGRPG is that it is literally a tabletop... just gaming space and not game mechanics space. Most players know how their game works and could conceivably have a pen and paper character sheet in front of them and a DM making all the mechanical calls (BGRPG can after all still be used at a real tabletop game by someone with a big TV, projector or spare computer monitor).
Steel Rat wrote: The 1234 token movement is definitely counter-intutive to me. Is there a reason you can't just use the default number keypad movement with 8 atht e top, 2 at the bottom etc, and allow movement in all directions, whether it's square or hex?
The beta version was worked from the original Gurps rules which allows for straight North/South/East/West movement only. It's only a representation of how movement works. The final version will be different in detail but similar in principal.

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Post by Steel Rat » Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:23 pm

Perhaps an optional menu bar? "Definately" needing one is far from certain. I prefer having as much visible real estate for the map.
Being able to zoom the map would give you all the real estate you need, I would think. Optional works for me, as long as the default is "on". ;)
Perhaps an "optional always on top" rather than "always on top" for the same reason as above? I see one of the key strengths of BGRPG is that it is literally a tabletop... just gaming space and not game mechanics space. Most players know how their game works and could conceivably have a pen and paper character sheet in front of them and a DM making all the mechanical calls (BGRPG can after all still be used at a real tabletop game by someone with a big TV, projector or spare computer monitor).
It's probably just a pet peeve of mine, but I think a viewable area is a better idea that having to fish around for your other floating items. If you're projecting onto whatever and you have to alt-tab to find the sideboard, or Character list, or chat window, etc. You lose more time and real estate trying to find things, IMHO.
The beta version was worked from the original Gurps rules which allows for straight North/South/East/West movement only. It's only a representation of how movement works. The final version will be different in detail but similar in principal.
Perhaps making the keys user-definable would be best...
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Post by Dormouse » Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:17 pm

Here's my initial impressions (given as someone using the prog in Windows).

I think that my impression is similar to that of Steel Rat. The prog does not feel very intuitive in Windows. It doesn't work the way that I expect Windows progs to work & a lot of it is based on using the keyboard, rather than mouse + right or left click. I think menus would make it easier.

I do agree with the comments about movement and the keypad. It would be much more intuitive if the direction of movement followed the keypad layout. I don't play GURPS and compatability with its instructions is something that could possibly be an option rather than the default.

I do like being able to import my own images.

I'd really like grid control so that I could set it up to work with my maps, rather than having to set my maps up to work with the prog.

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Post by Ipstenu » Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:39 pm

I've been playing with this all day on a Mac (10.4, 1.3Ghz).

My first thought was 'All those 'shortcuts' should have a drop down menu option.'

My second was 'Damn it! I hate forced full screen!'

It's not easy, when you're trying to read the help and mess around with a product, if you can't click back and forth at will.

I think an HUD, or some sort of generic 'These are the common commands' on a side bar or what have you would be helpful. Turn it on or off by option, sire, but going in blind to a map is rather ... ugh. Fine for something you write for your friends, not so much a product for sale :)

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Post by heruca » Tue Jan 03, 2006 2:41 pm

Ipstenu wrote:My first thought was 'All those 'shortcuts' should have a drop down menu option.'
They will.
Ipstenu wrote:My second was 'Damn it! I hate forced full screen!'

It's not easy, when you're trying to read the help and mess around with a product, if you can't click back and forth at will.
You could use Command-TAB to switch back and forth between applications.
Ipstenu wrote:I think an HUD, or some sort of generic 'These are the common commands' on a side bar or what have you would be helpful. Turn it on or off by option, sire, but going in blind to a map is rather ... ugh.
Have you tried the [?] hotkey?
: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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