Suggestion List from a dual monitor, large display user

Non-bug comments, suggestions, and feature requests for BRPG and/or BGE
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BradN
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Suggestion List from a dual monitor, large display user

Post by BradN » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:23 pm

Hi. The following are suggestions I have after the first couple of sessions using Battlegrounds. All use was performed by the DM (me) on a laptop using a 42" LCD TV lying horizontal utilized as a dual screen monitor with miniatures played on top moved by players as I moved the tokens on the monitor. Battlegrounds version: 1.7d

Take these for what they are... just suggestions. :)

A couple things to note:
* So that players (sitting across from me) could read the text on the secondary monitor (TV), I configured the secondary monitor so that it was in portrait mode instead of normal landscape.
* I found it quite awkward to control the mouse on the 42" screen due to me sitting at a 90 degree angle, so it would be nice to be able to control everything on the secondary monitor from the primary monitor (Laptop). There are a couple suggestions below for allowing this control.

Portraits
* For dual screen, have an an option to display portraits on the secondary monitor when the object is selected or moused-over on the main monitor.
* Include an option to display a figure's label under its portrait

Labels
* When Multiple figures are placed, I see you assign a number x (x = 1,2,3...) after each figure's label to distiguish it from others. However, when you have more than 10 or so characters, the name and number are truncated. Although not impossible, this makes it difficult to keep track of which is which. A suggestion is to display the number somewhere on the monitor when the figure is selected.

Measure Range
* For dual screen, allow the range measurement line/value to be visible on the secondary monitor when using the GM program.

Command Window
* Could the Command Window be made dockable at the top of the window? Maybe if it had nested commands? (see next suggestion)
* Could the Command window be nested to save space? Example:
FILE:
..... Load Encounter
..... Save Encounter
..... Load Deployment
..... Save Deployment
VIEW:
..... Dice Roll History
..... Turn Sequencer
..... Unit Manager
..... View Manager
..... Fog of War
..... Card Table
..... Library
TOOLS:
..... Draw Tools
..... Notepad
..... Connection
..... Preferences
ACTION:
..... Roll Dice
..... Map Settings
..... Send Audio
..... Send Visual Aid
HELP

Turn Sequencer
* It took me a while to get the hang of entering data in the cells of the Turn Sequencer and getting it to update correctly. I eventually did. Even so, it took us about twice as long to play an encounter as normal due to me trying to update HP's. With no ability to subtract damage by entering the damage, i had to do the math each time (not too hard, but still adds to the time). I think the Turn Sequencer interface needs an overhaul to make it much more user friendly. You should really make this a high priority. Maybe a flash interface? Question: Was it intended to be used for keeping track of hitpoints, or just for displaying data? I would hate to have to keep flipping back and forth between Battlegrounds and my old spreadsheet i created for keeping track of character hitpoints. I know this has SO much potential. :)
* Allow the GM to lengthen the amount of time the message is displayed on the screen that shows whose turn it is. My players would often miss the message because it was so briefly displayed. Maybe 0 - 30 seconds where 0 would give the option to not display the message. Display the message until the number of seconds elapses or until the turn sequence is advanced.
* Allow the Shift-Enter hotkey to work when the Turn Sequencer is selected.
* Use less empty space between columns in the Turn Sequencer so more information is viewable and the GM doesn't have to scroll it as often.
* Create a new figure label that draws its contents from one of the columns in the Turn Sequencer. (useful for showing things such as current HP, AC, etc.
* Allow user to create messages that are displayed in a selectable number of rounds, either at the top of the round or on a specific figure's turn. Useful for timing things such as the number of rounds before an effect wears off a character, etc.
* I was unable to use the automatic initiative dice roller because as far as I could tell, you couldn't assign different dice macros for initiative to each character. This posed a problem because each character had a different modifier to be added to the random d20 roll for their initiative. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?
* Allow the change of status on a figure to be automatic based on a definable two column calculation from the turn sequencer. Example. Col 1: Total HP Col 2: Current HP. Calculate Col 2 / Col 1 * 100. If between 90 - 100, Status = GREEN. 80 -89, Status = YELLOW GREEN, etc. When playing using a dual monitor/projector, the DM has to control everything. Automating the status colors would greatly aid the process.

I'll probably have more suggestions as I go along, but for now I thought I'd post these while I had them fresh in my mind.

We had a great time using the software and we will continue to use it. :)

Brad N.

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heruca
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Re: Suggestion List from a dual monitor, large display user

Post by heruca » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:47 am

Thanks for the feedback, BradN.

I'll need a good chunk of spare time to respond to it all, but for now, I wanted to address just one of your comments.
BradN wrote:* Use less empty space between columns in the Turn Sequencer so more information is viewable and the GM doesn't have to scroll it as often.
You can use the Turn Sequencer Setup Wizard to adjust the columns widths (and even the display order of the variables that are being tracked), as shown in this video.
: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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Re: Suggestion List from a dual monitor, large display user

Post by heruca » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:05 pm

BradN wrote:Command Window
* Could the Command Window be made dockable at the top of the window? Maybe if it had nested commands? (see next suggestion)
* Could the Command window be nested to save space? Example:
FILE:
..... Load Encounter
..... Save Encounter
..... Load Deployment
..... Save Deployment
VIEW:
..... Dice Roll History
..... Turn Sequencer
..... Unit Manager
..... View Manager
..... Fog of War
..... Card Table
..... Library
TOOLS:
..... Draw Tools
..... Notepad
..... Connection
..... Preferences
ACTION:
..... Roll Dice
..... Map Settings
..... Send Audio
..... Send Visual Aid
HELP
This sounds like an ideal candidate for a Flash extension that Omnidon could make, probably in fairly short order. You would basically just disable BRPG's Command panel and instead place this Flash asset as a Free-Floating Object on your GM Client.

Everything needed to make this happen is in BRPG v1.8a. Just need a Flash/ActionScript developer with a free hour or two.
: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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heruca
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Re: Suggestion List from a dual monitor, large display user

Post by heruca » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:20 pm

BradN wrote:Turn Sequencer
* It took me a while to get the hang of entering data in the cells of the Turn Sequencer and getting it to update correctly. I eventually did. Even so, it took us about twice as long to play an encounter as normal due to me trying to update HP's. With no ability to subtract damage by entering the damage, i had to do the math each time (not too hard, but still adds to the time). I think the Turn Sequencer interface needs an overhaul to make it much more user friendly. You should really make this a high priority. Maybe a flash interface? Question: Was it intended to be used for keeping track of hitpoints, or just for displaying data? I would hate to have to keep flipping back and forth between Battlegrounds and my old spreadsheet i created for keeping track of character hitpoints. I know this has SO much potential.
The Turn Sequencer has already had a major overhaul.

Below is a pic of the original Turn Sequencer, for reference.

Using a Flash widget to adjust the HP of anyone listed in the Turn Sequencer would be pretty sweet to have. It could perform basic math like addition and subtraction for you. Omnidon, is this something you could do?

In the meantime, feel free to use the Turn Sequencer just to track relatively static information that doesn't need to change every couple of minutes, and instead use the GM Notepad feature ([N] hotkey) to track the frequently-changing variables.
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: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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heruca
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Re: Suggestion List from a dual monitor, large display user

Post by heruca » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:29 pm

BradN wrote:I was unable to use the automatic initiative dice roller because as far as I could tell, you couldn't assign different dice macros for initiative to each character. This posed a problem because each character had a different modifier to be added to the random d20 roll for their initiative. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?
You can definitely do this, but not with a global dice macro. You have to instead attach a customized dice macro to each combatant's token.

See pages 99, 104, and 111 of the BRPG User Manual for help on setting this up.

Also note this change made in BRPG v1.7e:
ReadMe wrote:Change: A dice macro attached to a unit had to be called exactly "Initiative" in order to be triggered by the autoroll initiative feature. Now, it only needs to contain the word "Initiative".
: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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Re: Suggestion List from a dual monitor, large display user

Post by Omnidon » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:42 am

heruca wrote:This sounds like an ideal candidate for a Flash extension that Omnidon could make, probably in fairly short order. You would basically just disable BRPG's Command panel and instead place this Flash asset as a Free-Floating Object on your GM Client.
Yes, that would be pretty easy to make.
heruca wrote:Using a Flash widget to adjust the HP of anyone listed in the Turn Sequencer would be pretty sweet to have. It could perform basic math like addition and subtraction for you. Omnidon, is this something you could do?
Certainly it's doable. I was planning on incorporating a way to quickly modify HP (and other meters) into the dynamic portrait object that I was intending to create. Some of the other extensions I have in mind may help facilitate this as well.

If someone desires more sophisticated ruleset-specific math functions, they'll have to make a request for it in the extensions request forum that I will create once the feature is stable.

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Re: Suggestion List from a dual monitor, large display user

Post by markuwp » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:31 pm

There are a couple of ideas in this post that I think would be extremely helpful to nearly all RPG users. The ability to quickly deduct hit points without going all the way into the Turn Sequencer would be fantastic. The Turn Sequencer works well and does whatever I need it to do, but it is clunky to get in and make chances, especially when multiple people are accessing it at the same time. The ability to right click on a figure and deduct a number from one designated TS field would be a great time-saver. This very small feature is the only thing I still miss from the virtual tabletop we used before switching to BRPG (which is MUCH better overall).

The other thing would be to be able to define status effects or labels based on the TS. As he suggested, being able to have the outline change from green to yellow to red as the percentage of total HP decreased would be fantastic.

I'm not a programmer, so don't have an idea about what is easy and what is difficult, but these would make a small but immediate difference in game speed if they could be implemented.
Omnidon wrote:
heruca wrote:This sounds like an ideal candidate for a Flash extension that Omnidon could make, probably in fairly short order. You would basically just disable BRPG's Command panel and instead place this Flash asset as a Free-Floating Object on your GM Client.
Yes, that would be pretty easy to make.
heruca wrote:Using a Flash widget to adjust the HP of anyone listed in the Turn Sequencer would be pretty sweet to have. It could perform basic math like addition and subtraction for you. Omnidon, is this something you could do?
Certainly it's doable. I was planning on incorporating a way to quickly modify HP (and other meters) into the dynamic portrait object that I was intending to create. Some of the other extensions I have in mind may help facilitate this as well.

If someone desires more sophisticated ruleset-specific math functions, they'll have to make a request for it in the extensions request forum that I will create once the feature is stable.

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Re: Suggestion List from a dual monitor, large display user

Post by heruca » Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:45 pm

BradN wrote:* Allow the Shift-Enter hotkey to work when the Turn Sequencer is selected.
I've added this for the next release.
: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.

BradN
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Post by BradN » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:38 pm

I'm not surprised that a few of the things I listed can be summed up as a lack of experience using the software on my part. I will be using the software this weekend again and I will try to make use of the suggestions you gave me.

I'm afraid to try to upgrade to the newest version of the software at the moment as I have already set up quite a few encounters and didn't want to accidentally mess something up. I'll try to upgrade between this and the next gaming session. I'm very excited to see what all can be created with Flash. It sounds like the possibilities are only limited by imagination!

BradN

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