Map transfer

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RooK
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Map transfer

Post by RooK » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:37 pm

After connecting, maps do not completly transfer to players. It will stop about 1/4 through, or it will leave gaps in the map. Any suggestions?

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Post by fb66 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:10 pm

The GM should make and predistribute media asset bundles for each encounter. The players then import the media ahead of a game. This will mean no lengthy P2P transfers.

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Post by heruca » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:26 pm

Welcome, RooK.

If there are rows missing from a map on the player's end (probably due to packet loss over the network), the GM can select the "Resend Missing Map Pieces" command. See pg. 112 of the updated User Manual for more details. For a particularly lousy connection, this might command may need to be selected more than once.

A better method of handling maps is to use server-based maps, which load much quicker and more reliably for the players, since the GM's upload speed is not a bottleneck and because any JPG compression on the map is retained.

What fb66 suggested, of pre-distributing your maps and other media using an external media asset bundle, is good for those times when you've had time to prep beforehand, but it's not viable for cases where you're just making stuff up on the fly. DropBox is a great tool for distributing media bundles to your players.
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Post by fb66 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:33 am

Been using dropbox for a while now and it is a god send for transfering media bundles.

Ken_Snellings
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Post by Ken_Snellings » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:24 am

Are these map transfer problems being addressed other than the serverside workaround?

It seems a huge problem to me that severely impacts the core functionality of this software.

Thanks.

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Post by heruca » Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:41 am

Peer-to-peer map transfer problems have somewhat been addressed already in two ways: the "Resend Missing Map Pieces" command (a stop-gap measure, admittedly), and the ability to pre-distribute your maps to your players in media bundles.

The third and most important way that I plan to address the problem (which I don't deny exists) is a complete re-write of the map parsing and transfer code, but this is something that I couldn't even begin to work on until I got a new official release out to replace BRPG v1.4i. This finally happened last month, when v1.6m became the new official release.

So rest assured that P2P map transfers will eventually work more reliably than they currently do, and hopefully faster, too. Fixing this issue, and an issue with "ghost players" (where disconnected players can't log back in because BRPG thinks that they are still in the game), are going to be the primary focus of BRPG v1.7.
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Post by Ken_Snellings » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:28 pm

that second issue affects me as well.. Severely

The fix can't come soon enough.

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map transfer issue

Post by misteradam » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:12 pm

This is one of the issues I am having as well.

Can anyone please tell me where this "re-send missing map pieces" command is located? I checked page 112 of the manual, but it does not actually describe where this command is located in the user interface.

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Post by heruca » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:29 pm

Double-click on the map to bring up a popup menu. Look near the bottom of the menu for that command. Note that the command is only available to the GM/host.
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map transfers

Post by markuwp » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:36 pm

heruca wrote:The third and most important way that I plan to address the problem (which I don't deny exists) is a complete re-write of the map parsing and transfer code, but this is something that I couldn't even begin to work on until I got a new official release out to replace BRPG v1.4i. This finally happened last month, when v1.6m became the new official release.

So rest assured that P2P map transfers will eventually work more reliably than they currently do, and hopefully faster, too. Fixing this issue, and an issue with "ghost players" (where disconnected players can't log back in because BRPG thinks that they are still in the game), are going to be the primary focus of BRPG v1.7.
I'm glad to hear that map transfers are on your radar. We switched to server maps a while back and that works much better, but even with server maps we sometimes have trouble getting them to transfer completely and properly. Also, sometimes just as a map starts loading it will reveal the top of the map to players even if FOW and blackout mode are both on. Once it is fully loaded the FOW will black out the area of the map that was originally not concealed. Occasionally it will say "blackout mode" on the players maps without blacking out or hiding anything, but I think that is only when loading an encounter without FOW, so that part is not a big deal.

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Re: map transfers

Post by heruca » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:07 pm

markuwp wrote:even with server maps we sometimes have trouble getting them to transfer completely and properly.
That's news to me. The only causes I can think of for something like that happening are low RAM, or perhaps the map being displayed is actually the remains of an incomplete peer-to-peer map transfer (perhaps from an earlier session), in which case I would advise purging the old map media using the Purge Media command/panel.
markuwp wrote:Also, sometimes just as a map starts loading it will reveal the top of the map to players even if FOW and blackout mode are both on. Once it is fully loaded the FOW will black out the area of the map that was originally not concealed. Occasionally it will say "blackout mode" on the players maps without blacking out or hiding anything, but I think that is only when loading an encounter without FOW, so that part is not a big deal.
Methinks I need to take another look at the code for handling Blackout Mode. Sounds like it could use some polishing and fine-tuning.
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Post by pyroknight » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:17 am

I also have the same issue with blackout mode / FOW. Parts of the map appear sporadically before it finally blacks out.

From my own experience, BRPG has some trouble with large files (> 5mb) even when using server based maps. I try not to use any file larger than 2MB, and that has made the client very happy. Worst case is I have to resend the map once.

Even large or detailed maps retain decent quality when i reduce them to 2MB.

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Post by heruca » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:51 pm

Woot! I think I just managed to fix a long-standing bug that was responsible for incomplete peer-to-peer map transfers on connected player's screens.

I always thought that this was due to lost data packets over the network, but it turns out that in some cases, the players were actually receiving map data from other connected players, rather than from the GM. :shock: :oops:

A little background is in order to help explain:
When the GM calls up a map which the players do not already possess locally, the player client puts out a call requesting the map, then initializes an all-black "blank map canvas" in anticipation of the impending map data. The GM Client gets the request for the map and (in order to overcome the 2MB per message transfer limit) it breaks up the map into many rows of map data. The GM client then sends out the rows of map data to the player clients, sequentially. As each row of map data is received by the player clients, it is painted into the aforementioned black "canvas" (so that the player gets visual feedback that the map transfer is working).

What went wrong:
Apparently, the other connected player clients were trying to be a bit too helpful, and were sending map row data to the other player clients. Of course, this data consisted of nothing but a black map row, since the player client hadn't itself yet received the actual map row data. This would result in some players in multi-player game sessions ending up with some map rows "missing" (all-black), even after the GM had finished sending out all the map data. The map rows weren't actually lost/missing, they merely contained the wrong information.

I've corrected this in BRPG v1.7a so that only the GM Client ever sends out map data to players, and the tests I've just finished running were very promising. I transferred three separate maps, and all the transfers were flawless on the 2 receiving player clients. Each map transfer took around 30-45 seconds to complete (depending on the size of the map, of course).

Hopefully when BRPG v1.7a is released and you all get a chance to test out map transfers for yourself, you will all have similarly ideal results.
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Post by Kazander » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:04 pm

Wow. Congrats on finally nailing that nasty little bug.

<*pokes it with a fork to make sure it doesn't twitch*>

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Post by heruca » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:42 pm

Now that I think of it, this also explains why I rarely encountered this issue myself, while other users report map transfer problems in practically every game session. I do most of my testing hosting on my Mac latop, and logging in as a player using my Windows XP PC. Sometimes I reverse the order to check for cross-platform specific issues. But I rarely log in with more than one player client at a time, so the bug didn't manifest for me (because there were no other player clients feeding me bogus map row data).
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Great news!

Post by markuwp » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:53 am

I'm glad you figured this out. I also appreciate you posting the explanation, just for curiosity's sake.

I wonder if this was occurring with server maps, too? We often get black bars even when using server maps. I use the "resend missing map pieces" command often, but not sure how helpful that is.

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Re: Great news!

Post by heruca » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:59 am

markuwp wrote:I wonder if this was occurring with server maps, too? We often get black bars even when using server maps.
No, that should never happen with server-based maps. They are downloaded in a completely different (non-segmented) manner.

The only way I can imagine that happening is if the map was initially sent in a peer-to-peer transfer, then uploaded to a server for use as a server-based map. If the receiving client never purged the original bad map transfer, it would load the (bad) local map instead of trying to get the map from the server.
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Post by Shayd3000 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:18 pm

Glad to hear this!!!

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Post by jforest1 » Mon May 23, 2011 11:30 am

We tried 1.7a last night and our map transfers that previously failed 90% of the time were successful. We had 2 maps and they transferred in roughly 30 seconds each. So far so good.

Another note: we had also tried the server file method and it was unsuccessful.

JF

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Post by heruca » Mon May 23, 2011 12:48 pm

jforest1 wrote:We tried 1.7a last night and our map transfers that previously failed 90% of the time were successful. We had 2 maps and they transferred in roughly 30 seconds each. So far so good.
That's great to hear! I've been dying for some confirmation that peer-to-peer map transfers were indeed fixed.
jforest1 wrote:we had also tried the server file method and it was unsuccessful.
In what version of BRPG was this attempted?

The only time I have ever heard of server-based maps not loading is if you use a URL that starts with "https". Those simply won't load. Could this be what happened in your session?

The only other explanation would be if the map server was temporarily down for some reason.

If the command you used to set the server map ever appeared in the chat output, this would be an indication that the command was not formatted properly (e.g., adding a space between "map" and "=").
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Post by jforest1 » Mon May 23, 2011 11:41 pm

heruca wrote:In what version of BRPG was this attempted?

The only time I have ever heard of server-based maps not loading is if you use a URL that starts with "https". Those simply won't load. Could this be what happened in your session?

The only other explanation would be if the map server was temporarily down for some reason.

If the command you used to set the server map ever appeared in the chat output, this would be an indication that the command was not formatted properly (e.g., adding a space between "map" and "=").
1.6m was the last time we attempted it. Server was http and is a CDN so no way it was down. Not sure on the command formatting, though. Possibly that was the problem?

JF

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Post by heruca » Mon May 23, 2011 11:59 pm

Here's an example with the correct format:

Code: Select all

map=http://rpgmapshare.com/modules/g2/d/21097-6/General+Store+Ground+Floor.jpg
Try pasting that into the chat window and pressing RETURN/ENTER.
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Goodbye server maps, hello 1.7a

Post by markuwp » Tue May 24, 2011 2:53 am

Server maps has always worked OK for me, but even with server maps we routinely would have players with black bars and incomplete maps. Since we switched to 1.7a I've gone back to the old peer-to-peer method that I hadn't used in over a year. It worked just fine! I've resent missing map pieces a couple of times, but don't know if that actually helped or just made me feel better that I was doing something. Server maps are still faster when they work (which is most of the time), but then there are the added steps of posting maps to the internet. Unless I have a REALLY big map, I'm going back to the peer-to-peer system. Congratulations on finally squashing that bug!

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spoke too soon

Post by markuwp » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:43 am

Map transfers are better, but not quite fixed. Using 1.7 we'd been having pretty good luck. However, we do still get the dreaded black bars across the maps when they don't completely load. The "resent missing map pieces" usually works, but last night we had a lot of trouble with map loading. The maps still loaded faster than before the new version, but we had to resend map pieces over and over, and had to purge player maps and start over again four or five times.

Another map-loading issue is that the fog of war reveals part of the map during loading (usually the top and left sides).

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Post by heruca » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:50 am

It's not clear from your post if you are using v1.7a yet. Are you? Because that's where the map transfers were supposedly fixed, not in v1.7.
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