Updated User Manual for BRPG

Battlegrounds Games product release announcements

Updated User Manual for BRPG

Postby heruca » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:07 pm

Click here to download a draft of the new User Manual for BRPG, which has been updated to cover all the changes and new features added since BRPG v1.0 was released. This new User Manual is 136 pages long and covers up through BRPG v1.4i. The download is a 36 MB Zip file of a 36.5 MB PDF.

This is not the final version of the User Manual, because I first want to give the BRPG user community the opportunity to submit feedback or even submit new copy for inclusion in the final User Manual. Please email me any errata, amendments, suggestions for improvements, or other submissions.

Thanks, and I hope the improved documentation helps everyone take full advantage of their software.

Edit: I've removed the deadline for user submissions and feedback.
Last edited by heruca on Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
: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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Postby Lordippon » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:15 am

I think it would be a good idea to include some direct links in the text for your tutorial videos. fx. a link to the turn sequencer video in the turn sequencer chapter. Just a suggestion.
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Perfect timing!

Postby markuwp » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:07 am

We have been running an online D&D campaign for about 3 years now using another system. We've discussed moving to a better virtual tabletop program, but are so used to the one we have that it is difficult to switch even though Battlegrounds is better in most ways than what we've been using.

A player and I just did a test demo session yesterday that went pretty well. I pulled up the forums to ask some questions and was greeted with an updated manual. Perfect timing! Before wasting anyone else's time with questions that might be answered in the manual. I'll look through the new documentation. Thank you for updating the manual!
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Postby heruca » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:29 am

Welcome, markuwp.

Good timing, indeed. :)

One nice thing about having updated the user manual is that a lot of commonly-asked questions will now be answerable with a simple "See pg. x of the User Manual", rather than having to write up a long reply each time. Hopefully this will let me spend more time on development and bug fixes.
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Postby Kepli » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:33 pm

That's a big document ... :lol:

I just scrolled through it and even found something I can really use ... Private Unit names (page 127). Since I use a loooot of figures on my current map, I decided to depict all Orcs using a single token. But I want the group to see "Orc" and not "Orc 4". So using "Orc [5]" I get that option ... really nice work Heruca :D
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Postby Sholari » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:20 am

This is great, Thanks Heruca :D

Where would you like us to submit feed back for the Updated User Manual? I have a couple of suggestions that I think will help.

On Page 11 "Using BRPG in a Face-to-Face Game Session" second paragraph if you add an example for the renaming of the second instance of the program so you could show the exact executables that need to be renamed. This would help gm's doing the prep work for their game to see what the players would see, and what the players can and cann't do. I know this would be helpfull for me. :)
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Postby heruca » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:31 am

Sholari wrote:Where would you like us to submit feed back for the Updated User Manual?

By email is fine (my address is under every post), but if you all prefer, we could always start a "User Manual Feedback" thread.
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Postby Spyke » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:21 am

I've had a good look through the manual now, too. Great work.

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Areas where I'm still confused after reading the manual

Postby markuwp » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:58 pm

Overall I think the manual is great. I read it through twice and as a new user it (and a little practice) answered almost all of my questions.

There are two areas where I still had trouble after reading the manual and went to look at the forums. It might be just me, but I'm writing here in case you want to include some more detail.

I didn't understand how to use server maps the first time through. When I went back again I saw the reference to chat commands and I think got it figured out. I would suggest putting the server map command under the server map section in addition to under chat commands-- I think it is a much more intuitive place to look. I still don't understand how server maps work with saved encounters. Does the saved encounter file save the location of the map or a local copy that is later pushed P2P if a new player joins?

This might be a feature request instead of a manual suggestion, but is there any way to test server-based maps or set up ahead of time using them? It appears that the only way to load a map from a server is using chat, which I believe is only accessible in multiplayer mode. It might be helpful to have chat available any time so you can test macros and server maps without a player connected.

The only section in the manual that I still don't quite get is the part about media asset bundles/external media bundles and exporting encounter assets. The manual talks about creating auto-importing bundles using the export encounter assets command. Is there any other way for an end-user to create a media bundle, or are they all auto-importing? I'm not sure when you need to import and when you don't. It also doesn't specify what to do with the files. I assume you send the bundle file and the end user just places it in their media asset bundles folder. Is that correct? I don't think it specifies what happens after you use the encounter assets command.

It may be that this stuff is clear to others and I'm just missing something or doing it wrong, but thought it might be helpful to know where at least one new user was still having trouble even after reading the manual.
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Re: Areas where I'm still confused after reading the manual

Postby heruca » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:17 pm

markuwp wrote:I still don't understand how server maps work with saved encounters. Does the saved encounter file save the location of the map or a local copy that is later pushed P2P if a new player joins?

The URL of a server-based map is saved in the Encounter file, so that when the players log in, their software is automatically instructed to download the map from the URL, rather than request the map via peer-to-peer transfer.

markuwp wrote:This might be a feature request instead of a manual suggestion, but is there any way to test server-based maps or set up ahead of time using them? It appears that the only way to load a map from a server is using chat, which I believe is only accessible in multiplayer mode. It might be helpful to have chat available any time so you can test macros and server maps without a player connected.

You can host a game without anyone else logging in. This gives you access to both the Chat window AND the Text Macro feature (which is an alternate way of loading a server-based map).

markuwp wrote:I assume you send the bundle file and the end user just places it in their media asset bundles folder. Is that correct?

Correct. I forgot to explicitly mention that the GM needs to send the external media bundles to the players. This can be done by IM Client file transfer, or by uploading it to a server and emailing the players the URL to download it. Media bundles are generally too large to email, unless both you and the players have something like Gmail. Other good alternatives are DropBox or YouSendIt (or equivalent software/services).

markuwp wrote:It may be that this stuff is clear to others and I'm just missing something or doing it wrong, but thought it might be helpful to know where at least one new user was still having trouble even after reading the manual.

Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.
: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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hosting without others logged in

Postby markuwp » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:14 pm

Thanks for the tip re: hosting without players. I should have thought of trying that. That will be a big help as I can test urls, server maps, and macros without having to have a player around.
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Postby heruca » Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:01 am

Anyone want to take a crack at submitting material for the section on using Hamachi or other VPN software? Or the section on Firewall configuration?
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