Phergus wrote:I think you are overstating the issue a bit. Neither ScreenMonkey or Fantasy Grounds have zoomable maps and they seem to do okay. I can certainly see why a zoomable map would be a must for something like TSS or other megamap wargames but BRPG's primary audience is FRPGs and most of the action there takes place in smaller, very localized areas.
I don't feel that way. I have not looked at SM or FG so I can't comment on them. The three I did mention do have zooming, and I must say MapTool zooming and grid scaling is very very good.
I have been playing RPG's with mini's since 1976 back when Gen Con was still in Lake Geneva at the Playboy club. (waitress, my drink needs filling. . .) I constantly run out of room on my table with my Chessex map. I refuse to run battles in rooms that are 15'x15' and tend to make maps that actually have some space. A typical outdoor battle has composite long bow range of 110' before the first distance penalty kicks in. If you run battles in small areas, then you don't need to zoom out.
As I look at MapTool it is so very easy to zoom in and out and scroll as needed that it makes me wonder why this in not a higher priority.
I ran a battle last week on a beach with a cliff and a boat anchored 55' off shore. The distance for the ranged fighters was 300'+ total distance, cliff to boat. Guys fired from the cliff to mid beach, and from boat to mid beach. In the middle were the melee folks, fighting 3 Scrags (Aqutic Trolls).
Phergus wrote:You seem to be fairly dismissive of FoW while I don't see the point in using a virutal table-top app that doesn't have it.
I made one comment on this. It will be a great feature for sure. I simply said I thought that the majority of battles will not need it, but perhaps the designers were assuming that we would use it, hense unable to see total map area, hense, why add the zoom to top of list. I see plenty of reasons to use BG and NOT use FOW. Digital notes on characters for one beats the heck out of a paper map full of Post-its. Many times I use maps printed out of CC2 to 1" scale. For a big battle you need to use the floor sometimes as the table is too small.
heruca wrote:Drswoboda, you got a very good deal on your Chessex battlemat. They normally go for $27-$30, at that size.
I have had it since Chessex was just a wee lad, lots cheaper back then
heruca wrote:The keyboard-centric UI is IMO one of the things that sets BRPG apart from the other VTs, and I'm hoping I can keep it that way. For folks that want a tree view and toolbars permanently taking up 1/4 to 1/3 of their screen, there are plenty of other apps to choose from. Such programs MUST have a zoom feature from the get-go, because they don't leave much room for the map view.
That may be your opinion, but I would disagree that they need a zoom because they have UI elements covering 1/3 to 1/4 of the screen.
Your competing with MapTool for my dollars right now. These are the two programs I have been focusing my attension on.
MapTool does not cover any where near 1/3 of the screen and besides, you can turn off the side panels when not needed. SO then it is no different in that aspect as BG displaying a dialog over the map to choose its options. Where it kicks BG to the turf is in the ease of zooming via mouse wheel and draging map (scrolling) via the right mouse button. Try it, you may like it (I hope).
Being able to zoom out has little or nothing to do with the fact the UI is covering the map. Read my example battle from above. There is nearly 300' of real estate to play on. If a player wants to know the distance from his character to the guy on the boat and both are not visible on screen then you have to scroll around to find the distance and it takes more effort than what it takes in MapTool. It is so fast and easy to do it in MT, you zoom out a bit with wheel, you click on unit with mouse and you drag to the target and you get your distance (use either measure or move tool). I can still move my units in the zoom out view if I want or roll the wheel and zoom back in (centered around mouse pointer (nice)). And I never have to use my second hand to go to the keyboard to do it either. BG makes me use both hands to do it. One hand to use mouse to click object (first scrolling to find it) and then the other to use the keyboard to scroll back (counting as I go to find the distance). In MT I can even just double-click on the counter name in panel and hop the map to center around the target unit.
heruca wrote:I intend to provide a minimap (for a full map view and quick map navigation) long before I add a zoom feature to BRPG.
You can save the time needed to code that by just adding the zoom feature first
A fast and easy mouse and/or keyboard zoom covers most anything you can do or need a minimap for, in my book.
Omnidon wrote:The comment by heruca that you quoted had nothing to do with whether or not the zoom feature is important.
He was just pointing out that even if you viewed the whole map, it would only be 200 *feet* by 200 *feet" using the scale set by the RPG system he was referring to.
( 1 square/hex = X amount of feet )
This has nothing to do with zooming in itself.
You can still use whatever scale you choose for the grid, or you can simply turn off Snap-To-Grid like I'm planning to do once heruca adds that ability.
Again my point is being missed here. I know that there is still only 200'x200', thats not the issue. The issue is being able to have a "Gods eye view" of the battle and still move the units. To see the battle in total and not have to scroll to find the guy at the opposite side of the map. To see distances and measure or count them easily.
It is essentially the same idea of being able to see the entire Avalon Hill board game on your table and not looking at a piece of it through a telescope. And being able to do it quickly back and forth if need be. Right now BG only shows me that small piece of the whole.
Omnidon brings up an interesting point. Once you can turn off snap to grid, doesn't that make it possible to use maps at any scale you want? Like have a 1000' x 1000' dungeon all on one map? Of course, you'd want to use a custom grid for that (which you can already do, btw), or have a distance measuring tool.
OT: I haven't played D&D in probably decades, but didn't it use a 10'/square scale, before? When did they change it to 5'?
Only if I want to make diferrent maps at different scales. One scale for every battlemap makes more sense to me. If your using 1" minis you usually don't start using different sized minis in the next battle. Your emulating a battlemap with digital minis. One scale make more sense to me. Then if I want to print out the map for paper from CC2 and paste it together and lay it on my floor I can.
Also, by changing the scale of map in BG you give up resolution and clarity.
Its all a moot point if BG zooms out on the map.
What games are you playing if your not playing D&D type stuff?
25mm miniatures are pretty standard and that measures out to 5' or 2M (Star Wars). 5 foot or 2 meter squares is what I use.
huruca wrote:And no, BRPG is not a mapping program, although it can easily be used to modify or alter existing maps.
I don't recall saying it was a mapping program like CC2 or Dungenni.
It does make maps (grid and hexes) and emulates a paper or miniature battlemap, and in that aspect it has many aspects of a CAD program. You layout areas with pieces and objects and backgrounds and then place your figure on top and move things around.
Yippe! By the way, it would suck if it didn't.
Blakey wrote:Zooming is vital is you are using a projector at a table.
Is that the Cavalry I hear? I was beginning to think I was the only person who thinks zooming is a high priority feature
heruca wrote:Hmm, sounds like zooming and scaling will need to be two different functions.
Yes. Check out MT. It zooms and it is capable of adjusting the gird scale and they are independant.
thelevitator wrote:I'm just an area hog, so the more you give me, the more I'll use!
The sweat sounds of more horses riding into battle. (And I can see the whole battle now because heruca just added zooming to BG. And there was much rejoycing. . .