Test Session Complete

Non-bug comments, suggestions, and feature requests for BRPG and/or BGE
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WyvernSting
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Test Session Complete

Post by WyvernSting » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:21 am

Well, I have wrapped up a 4-hour test session with the tool and one member of my gaming group. Fortunately he lives near me so we were able to test it both via a LAN connection and ultimately across the web. I hope you don't mind that I'd like to add a few of our findings (and perhaps concerns as we dove into the application). I should mention that he is by a trade a software tester and may ultimately end up posting his own findings on the forums.

First, information regarding our configuration. I run a Windows Vista 64-bit machine with 8gig of ram, he was running a dated intel-based laptop running 512mb of ram. As you can imagine, the platform functions significantly better for me than it did for him.

We started off under a LAN configuration and installed v1.2 based on my recent acquisition. It took us far too long (~15 minutes) to finally get the two clients talking to each other since we misunderstood the "username" field and assumed it was the name of the host server. Since we were both putting in the same name into the field, we kept getting timeouts. It would be good for the client to recognize if a duplicate username is trying to be used and notify the client accordingly. In the end that's a user concern and not a problem with the software.

We used v1.2 for approximately 1 hour until the script errors finally led me to look for updates. I noticed that v1.3 is in beta and available for download so we grabbed it (effectively taking care of 90% of the script errors). v1.3 is significantly more stable and we had 3 hours of fun after that first hour and a half of pain.

I will say that FoW must still be in development because we NEVER got it to work after a whole lot of configuration testing and forum trolling. The player client (my friends laptop) would show nothing but a black screen the entire time -- regardless of the settings we toggled. Only after we disabled FoW completely was he able to view the screen.

We noticed that the Attack/Target options are no longer part of the application in v1.3 -- since it doesn't play a big part in the sequence of combat using the tool I'm not too concerned that it's gone. However, I did already mention the measure range omission when using hex grids in another thread.

I found that I had to tunnel through my router firewall in order to open up port 1626 (but that was expected based on my forum reading) to test the solution across the internet.

We still (after installing v1.3) had a number of graphical refresh issues when leveraging 6-12 objects on the map. Should they persist once the final product is released, we'll provide more specific feedback.

It would have been nice for the application to display the object/layer which I had in focus with my mouse. There were quite a number of times when I wanted to zoom in/out and instead found myself rotating a character or visa versa.

All in all, it will provide a solid platform for our virtual gaming group. This is our first foray into VTT applications and we're excited to help move your product forward. Thank you for your listening ear and I hope that you receive our feedback in the spirit in which it's given. As a consumer of your application we only want to see it get better! :)

WS

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heruca
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Post by heruca » Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:03 am

Thanks for the feedback, WyvernSting.

What exact version where you using at first? v1.2f?

I'll make sure to explain what's expected in the Username field the next time I update the User Manual. A tooltip note (like Omnidon suggested) is probably a good idea, too. As for users trying to log in with a username that's already being used by someone else, there is normally an alert that informs you when this has happened, but all alerts are disabled in v1.3 due to a goof on my part when compiling the app.

Fog of War is working well in v1.2g and v1.3, but it sounds like you had Blackout mode enabled, which causes your players to see nothing but a black screen until you disable Blackout using the FoW panel. I will add an on-screen indicator of some sort to let everyone know when Blackout is enabled. You can also disable Automatic Blackout mode from the Preferences panel (from the 2nd screen, I believe).

Thanks for pointing out that the "Attack/Target" commands are missing in v1.3. Thanks to you, I've already fixed that for v1.3a.
: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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Post by WyvernSting » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:23 pm

heruca wrote:What exact version where you using at first? v1.2f?
Yes -- it was v1.2f, downloaded directly from your downloads page. The most annoying script error came when you attempted to alt-tab to another application. Similarly we received innumerable script errors on both the client and the host machines when we attempted to load up new encounters (namely the dungeon sample which comes with the core product).

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Post by WyvernSting » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:35 pm

One suggestion I forgot to mention... Deep in the session we were creating a multi-layered church using graphics from around the web. It had a main floor with multiple objects, a secondary floor with a handful of objects, and finally a roof. Using the Unit Manager I was able to toggle hide/show on each object successfully; however it would be VERY helpful to be able to "lock" an object and STILL have the hide/show functionality available for the object in question. Also, this may exists I just didn't see it, is there a way to increase the translucency of the "hidden" object even further so that it effectively goes away on the GM screen too? Since we were testing this component while still connected via a LAN I was able to see what the client machine saw, otherwise it was difficult to recognize what was hidden/shown. Perhaps adding a "hide/show" toggle in the Unit Manager would be a good option.

Thanks again for listening.

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Post by kato42 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:23 pm

WyvernSting wrote:Yes -- it was v1.2f, downloaded directly from your downloads page. The most annoying script error came when you attempted to alt-tab to another application. Similarly we received innumerable script errors on both the client and the host machines when we attempted to load up new encounters (namely the dungeon sample which comes with the core product).
We've experienced odd script errors too. Sometimes seemingly out of the blue. Some of the oddest appear when someone uses the Dice Roller and some players - but not all - get random script errors.

I found that dynamically transmitting picture data was very unrelaible, at best slow as hell, at worst it would result in script errors. What I've done - after reading suggestions here - is that I export all the media assets for an encounter and email those to my players to drop in their media assets bundle folder. I haven't even had to have them load the bundles, they load up on demand quite nicely.

For maps - so far I've only used scanned maps - I have been putting them on a web site and use the chat window to order them to load. This has worked very well.

However, even so we find script errors popping up the first time we try to run new encounters. Once we get the encounter running though, I've found that stability improves dramatically - other than the previously mentioned completely random script errors that only effect some of the clients.



An idea that I just had is that because the asset export tends to send one copy of each token used (whether its a copy of another one or not) is that I should send exports to my players of tokens, tiles, and objects I know upcoming encounters will use. The problem doesn't seem to be in arrangement of the tokens and tiles, its just in moving the data across to the client machines in the first place. Once its in the client BRPG dbase, everything works much smoother.
Running 4 player D&D 4th ed. campaign over the net using BRPG 1.6b.

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Post by Omnidon » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:14 pm

WyvernSting wrote:Using the Unit Manager I was able to toggle hide/show on each object successfully; however it would be VERY helpful to be able to "lock" an object and STILL have the hide/show functionality available for the object in question.
You can hide/show locked objects from the unit manager. There's a little eye button that shows their current status and can toggle it. You can also use the [H] hotkey after selecting the unit from the unit manager.
WyvernSting wrote:Also, this may exists I just didn't see it, is there a way to increase the translucency of the "hidden" object even further so that it effectively goes away on the GM screen too?
This is the purpose of the "sideboard" feature.

Sideboarded units will disappear from the GM's screen, but once you use the unit manager to bring them back (with the S button) they will reappear exactly where they were before.
kato42 wrote:We've experienced odd script errors too.
Sounds like you might want to switch to v1.3, since Wyvern had much more success with it it ;-)

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Post by WyvernSting » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:47 pm

Omnidon wrote:This is the purpose of the "sideboard" feature.
Excellent! Thanks for the clarification.

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Post by kato42 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:30 pm

Omnidon wrote:
kato42 wrote:We've experienced odd script errors too.
Sounds like you might want to switch to v1.3, since Wyvern had much more success with it it ;-)
I've considered it, although with the problems we had early on I've been reluctant to change now that things seem to be stable for the moment.

Also my impression of 1.3 is that while some problems have been fixed, other problems have been created. This is based merely on skimming the forums, so I may be out to lunch on that.

Plus of course it didn't become an official release.

What is the general recommendation? Stay with 1.2f, or go to 1.3?
Running 4 player D&D 4th ed. campaign over the net using BRPG 1.6b.

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Post by heruca » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:33 pm

At least update to v1.2g, which AFAIK only fixes bugs without introducing any new ones.
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Post by nortonweb » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:20 am

I'd say v1.2g as AFAIK the turn sequencer in v1.3 isn't working.

v1.2g is still getting script errors but they are far and few between

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Post by WyvernSting » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:40 am

nortonweb wrote:I'd say v1.2g as AFAIK the turn sequencer in v1.3 isn't working.

v1.2g is still getting script errors but they are far and few between
I have used the turn sequencer successfully in v1.3 for 2 4-hour sessions. Seems to be working over here :D

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Post by kato42 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 2:41 pm

I will go with the recommendation of the Developer and update to 1.2g.

Thanks.
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Post by BTS1967 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:00 pm

nortonweb wrote:I'd say v1.2g as AFAIK the turn sequencer in v1.3 isn't working.
We have also used the TS in v1.3 with great success... two sessions... one 4 hours and the other 6.

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Post by BTS1967 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:01 pm

nortonweb wrote:I'd say v1.2g as AFAIK the turn sequencer in v1.3 isn't working.
We have also used the TS in v1.3 with great success... two sessions... one 4 hours and the other 6.

Now we did have some quirky things happen... such as values disappearing unless I tabbed out (which I cannot seem to duplicate now) and an instance of a weird resort order when I changed initiative to a preceding value after the creature went but beyond that it is working great for us.

BTS

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Post by heruca » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:03 pm

It's possible that when NortonWeb configured the TS with the TS Wizard, he may have used a setting that causes problems, and anyone not using that particular setting may not be experiencing the problems he's had.
: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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