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Great Wyrm
 
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:30 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:11 am 
I have been actively working on getting my Pathfinder/D&D3.5 framework up and running in Mote (and they have been working compatibility from their end at the same time). As I get closer, there are so many nice enhancements in Mote I really am excited about it. Every time I play around I find another woo hoo moment (I just saw I can have statsheets turned off by default and only show them if control is pressed, this is awesome).

Some of the OH YEAH! features include:
  • Single file with bundled Java engine! - OMG every single time I run MapTool with a group at least one person has a Java instal issue, or launches incorrectly. Mote makes this all as simple as can be. This in and of itself is worth it.
  • Perspectives - About every other session at least one player will say, "Hold on, I can't do anything for a while, I moved a window and now I can't find anything and I can't figure out how to deal with these !#@!!@# windows!" While I don't have these issues, the Perspectives in Mote pretty much resolve this. You get your windows the way you want them and save to a Perspective. You can have several layouts, like mostly chat, or mostly map, and then a quick click of an icon changes your windows! woo hoo!
  • Editor - The script editor is really nice. Waaay easier than going in and out of Notepad++.

So far the major downside to Mote is no VBL manipulation functions. This is a show stopper for some things (like the random dungeon generator), but is a reasonable sacrifice for most users.

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 Post subject: Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:48 am 
lmarkus001 wrote:
I have been actively working on getting my Pathfinder/D&D3.5 framework up and running in Mote (and they have been working compatibility from their end at the same time). As I get closer, there are so many nice enhancements in Mote I really am excited about it. Every time I play around I find another woo hoo moment (I just saw I can have statsheets turned off by default and only show them if control is pressed, this is awesome).

Keep us up to date. When you have a working transition, please let us know how it all went... i.e. how much you had to change and/or how much compatibility they've backed into to make others transition more easily.

Quote:
[*]Single file with bundled Java engine! - OMG every single time I run MapTool with a group at least one person has a Java instal issue, or launches incorrectly. Mote makes this all as simple as can be. This in and of itself is worth it.

This has been a problem with some of the guys I play with, too.

Quote:
[*]Perspectives - About every other session at least one player will say, "Hold on, I can't do anything for a while, I moved a window and now I can't find anything and I can't figure out how to deal with these !#@!!@# windows!" While I don't have these issues, the Perspectives in Mote pretty much resolve this. You get your windows the way you want them and save to a Perspective. You can have several layouts, like mostly chat, or mostly map, and then a quick click of an icon changes your windows! woo hoo!

And this as well... But, frankly, last time I looked at Mote (which was a long time ago) it did seem to "waste" a lot of space. Has that changed much?

Quote:
[*]Editor - The script editor is really nice. Waaay easier than going in and out of Notepad++.[/list]

I like working on two monitors... does Mote allow for that easily?

In general, nice stuff... definitely addresses some basic useabilty issues in MT. It has gotten pretty old telling people to reinstall Java, or change their version (from 6 to 7 or 8 to 7), or switch to 64 bit, load MT properly to get a working memory config, etc.

Quote:
So far the major downside to Mote is no VBL manipulation functions. This is a show stopper for some things (like the random dungeon generator), but is a reasonable sacrifice for most users.

As someone who doesn't use those features, this is not big loss. But why don't they swipe the b91 code for this, it is opensource?

Speaking of which... do they have any firm dates about when Mote's source will be released? This was integral to my initial support.

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 Post subject: Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:11 am 
With regard to open source code, from June:
Mote Team Idle wrote:
The source code release has been delayed for our purposes. We've explained what we could over the months, but things will become clearer soon enough. If all goes well, the opening can happen sometime early next year. Till then, we're keeping things under wraps.

One of the good things coming out of this delay was that we spared people from going through the 200+ tickets that were spawned during the period of February to now, 1/2 to 2/3 of which were legitimate errors.


With regard to "wasted space":
All of the add-ons can be toggled on and off. So you can choose to use as much screen space as you desire.

Multiple Monitors:
They are using the same funky windows that MapTool uses, so they can be dragged to other monitors just like you can with MapTool. I run with a ultra-wide monitor (2560x1080) and an HD monitor (1920x1080) so fully understand your desires there. I have not tested how the Perspectives deal with multiple monitor setups...

Fork Point:
They forked at B87 I think and have been very busy with their own enhancements. Check out this list, it is impressive:
http://idle-ideas.weebly.com/blog/what- ... l-tabletop

Framework Conversion:
It started out so far from trivial I was defeated for the longest time. In recent updates they got the compatibility close enough for me to start working the issues (plus I have some time available at the moment to work on it). They have been VERY responsive to issues. While I have had to make some code changes, these are mostly because MapTool scripting allows us to be REALLY SLOPPY coders and Mote is a bit more structured. So most of the changes have been cleanups to sloppy coding. Currently, I am maintaining a single campaign file and Mote is importing it quite well. I am not done with all the quirks, but it is getting close!

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 Post subject: Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:17 am 
I had the same discouragement a few Mote betas ago, when my "legacy" frameworks quit working and would have required massive editing (and losing Maptool compatibility) to work again. Then a couple betas later the Mote dev. team corrected some of the API changes to make it more backward compatible with legacy code. My "old" French CoC framework works again, and I "just" have to fix a few quirks in a few macros, hopfully keeping it compatible with Maptool and Mote. The Unicode support (which I bugged Lee to add as he was prepping for the Kickstarter) is working wonderfully. Globally I'm very impressed by Mote.

A couple features that are not mentioned in the link you've provided (or I missed them) :

-- The dynamic VBL (experimental for now) works very well in standalone tests, and allows to have tokens or stamps include their own vision-blocking. When the stamp is moved, the VBL is automatically recalculated.
-- Recalculating the FoW and Vision-blocking is now working when moving tokens without snap-to-grid.
-- Recalculating the FoW and Vision-blocking is now working when changing the facing of tokens: great for cone-shaped visions and lights !
-- the chat is now handled by IRC, allowing to create tabs between a couple players only (a GM and a player for example), rather than sending whisper. That's great for text-only games.
-- the token properties view allows easier editing token properties, drilling into JSON level by level.

I'm probably forgetting a few things, there are a lot of improvements.


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 Post subject: Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:11 pm 
I think getting MapTool to run out of the box is one of the biggest turn offs for most new users. Making it a single file will go a long way toward MapTool appreciation. It's one of the biggest things that keeps me from recommending it to non-computer savvy people.

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 Post subject: Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:33 pm 
aliasmask wrote:
I think getting MapTool to run out of the box is one of the biggest turn offs for most new users. Making it a single file will go a long way toward MapTool appreciation. It's one of the biggest things that keeps me from recommending it to non-computer savvy people.


I just installed ESO the other night and noted while it was installing that it asked for some kind of java permission. I accepted, not paying a lot of attention to why it needed it. Then, today when I tried to fire up MT (b89) I got some obscure launch error and MT would not start. I'm not sure what ESO did, but this sort of "dynamic failure" really messes with less technical users who have probably already had their share of issues getting MT to work. I was using Java 7u71 (64 bit).

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 Post subject: Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:45 am 
Elder Scrolls Online? Why does that need java permissions? I assume this is actually some ActiveX thing that's bundled together in the security grouping.

PS: Including a JRE is on the build path for 1.4. Not sure that would necessarily solve problems caused by obscure permission hacks from other software :/


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 Post subject: Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:19 pm 
Jagged wrote:
Elder Scrolls Online? Why does that need java permissions? I assume this is actually some ActiveX thing that's bundled together in the security grouping.

No idea what the deal was, but it's got something to do with ESO's installer. Here is someone having a problem with their install location talking about the java permissions on install: http://steamcommunity.com/app/306130/di ... 453686655/

I actually wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't something related to Zenimax's use of Akamai.

At any rate, I nuked my J7 install and installed 8 to get MT working again. Nothing in my framework fails with 8.

It sounds pretty unlikley this would have been a problem with Mote given that it is self contained.

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 Post subject: Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:05 pm 
aliasmask wrote:
I think getting MapTool to run out of the box is one of the biggest turn offs for most new users. Making it a single file will go a long way toward MapTool appreciation. It's one of the biggest things that keeps me from recommending it to non-computer savvy people.

I honestly think its also publicity. almost no one even considers it an option and people don't generally acknowledge its excistance. mote is basically heading down fantasy grounds route of requiring people to pay, which makes little sense from a platform perspective, though they might learn their lesson before they set a toll booth down at the door before players.

I think a cleaned up site from MT that serves the function of roll20 wouldn't be a bad idea, but the staff required is a little beyond rptools obviously. you guys barely have enough to keep pushing this boulder forward. adding web staffing problems would be an unworkable nightmare. still its not hard to imagine a maptools compliant website that allows people to gather up info about their campaign, and a lock and keyed browser launch button with all the connection information necessary to join for members of the game. similar to the way magnet torrent links work. particularly when MT becomes developed enough to have its launch and configuration bugs curtailed a bit more.


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 Post subject: Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:23 pm 
Switching over to Windows 10's Mail app unearthed that there have been some posts made after our last one here. Sorry if we didn't weigh in on those, most of it is beyond us anyway. But by coincidence, and an unhappy one at that, the last post got our attention, and we just had to step in and clarify.

femanon wrote:
mote is basically heading down fantasy grounds route of requiring people to pay, which makes little sense from a platform perspective, though they might learn their lesson before they set a toll booth down at the door before players.


With all due respect, anyone who has truly followed our development would know that this is not true. While we are building an online service that helps GMs and players connect with each other, it is not in any way something people are required to use, nor is there a charge of any sort meted to keep Mote running. Please get the facts straight.

If one is savvy enough, like most long-time users of MapTool are, then one can just opt to use the direct connection methods + UPnP to get a session started. Last time we used Mote, there wasn't popup screen in the process asking for a credit card, nor does it make any sense for us to put one in there. Mote is meant to be free, since it did come from a free project, that's what makes sense to us as a "platform".

If we stopped writing for Mote today, users would have access to a free VTT that does more than MapTool, in its current iteration. By the evaluations of our users, it is already about 95% to 100% compatible to what they've built with MapTool. We've promised to eliminate the inconveniences, and we're already 2/3 the way there. All that's left is to provide a means to conveniently connect with others, which is what we're doing with Sandstorm, our optional service. We'd appreciate it if people stick to this simple, and uncomplicated, truth.

Speaking in general (and not at the author of the previous post), there are those who can't get over the idea that we might charge something in relation to Mote, and I think that's an unfair stance to take, given all the factors involved. How different is charging a small fee ($2 monthly? $1?) for connection assistance, and other services, compared with an artist who has drawn maps and token sets for VTT use, or an author who has written a digital adventure module for tabletop gaming?

These are all complementary products and services that benefit from the existence of a VTT, and which, benefits the VTT in return. If a user doesn't like a product, much less, want to use it, then they could just ignore it, correct? Especially if it doesn't in any way hamper the functionality of the application. I don't know about everyone else's opinion, but to me, that seems like a choice, not a requirement.

Sandstorm is not for users who've been using MapTool/Mote for a long time. They're for people who've dropped MapTool because they couldn't get it to work, much less get it to connect with their groups, and jumped onto the Roll20 bandwagon. They're for people who haven't even heard of MapTool. The last time we've checked, Roll20's users outnumber MapTool users at least a thousand to one, a lot of which happily pay for a lot less than what MapTool can do, all in the name of convenience. That's what we consider "not right", so we're doing something about it, like everything we've done so far to this date.

These people who never considered (or dropped) MapTool as an option, are our target audience for conversion, though MapTool users will certainly find a lot of things to be happy about with Mote, if they give it an open-minded try, without fearing we'll attach a price tag to it somewhere down the line, or for whatever unfounded reasons that prevail.

The people who are in opposition to Mote, are probably not aware of other more commercially-bent forks of MapTool that exist out there, ones who've baked new features into their app, features that won't function, much less thrive, outside their service. Google it, there are at least a couple out there, trying their best to grow and make a buck. By comparison, Mote is truer to MapTool's "spiritual" purpose, even with Sandstorm taken into consideration.

While this wasn't brought up, we want to clear up some more misconceptions. Sift is our very own VTT, with nothing taken from the MapTool source. Of course, by design, Mote-specific features like IRC, SQL, etc. made their way into Sift.

The technical, even technological, difference between MapTool and Sift, is complete. From the UI, to the networking components, to the rendering canvas, down to the very models at its foundation, everything was written from scratch, to take advantage of what is available today, not what was available a decade ago. Case in point, try taking MapTool into mobile, and you'll quickly meet a brick wall. Not impossible, but would it be worthwhile?

The MapTool source holds very little that can actually make it into what can be considered as a "next-gen" VTT, though it can certainly hold its own for many more years to come. But if people have been paying attention to the niche lately, "next-gen" is definitely in the target sights of at least 2 of the top 3 players in the field. If you can't take my word for it, it's easy enough to lookup.

Sift is to be positioned against other, larger, commercial projects such as Fantasy Grounds, who've recently acquired Tabletop Connect, and d20Pro, who've recently burned their KS supporters with what's looking more like a bait and switch by the day. There are also a couple of other new VTT projects jumping in, one noteworthy, and another that's not so much. All in all, competing with these is our team's focus, and it does not negatively affect, in any way, users who love free stuff like Mote. In any case, when the dust settles, it will be plain to see who's done best by the end-user. Till that time comes, we'll just do our best to get to the finish line.

In fact, of all the players in the field, we're likely to be the strongest proponents of the cause to bring quality apps to both the free and premium user bases. If we thrive, Mote thrives, and the user base who doesn't care about Sift or Sandstorm, will have something that is actively improved. As a bonus, we get to write a VTT that's truly special. If a person can name one next-gen VTT in development, we can give at least 2 advantages Sift will have over it.

Personally, I don't see any other player in the niche going after the very same things, much less doing one better. For the cynical who'll be saying "If you're not paying for a product, then you are the product.", well we'll just have to see if our deal is fairest for all in the end, agree?

Since we are a company that wants to make a name for itself in the tabletop niche, it should be common sense that we build a business model to sustain us toward our goals, but somehow, some can't seem to understand this, and think we (should) sustain ourselves through vestigial fat, goodwill and/or photosynthesis. Fortunately, the artists, authors, and composers, not to mention the early adopters who've already signed up with us, agree with we're hoping to achieve, and see that there are benefits for everyone, to be had.

We hope things are a little clearer now. Beyond Sandstorm and Sift, we have several other projects that need the environment of an actual running company, in order to make it into production. As always, while the going has been slow, we're committed to see it through, so don't expect us to disappear anytime soon.

So, if our work were to be evaluated objectively and fairly, what we're trying to do is actually a good thing, and people should be told about it more, to be honest. The users who regularly visit our community have proven that one can support both Mote and MapTool, without conflict of interest, once they're aware of how things are, and have the capacity to give us a fair shake.

Anyway, my apologies for the lengthiness of this post, and for "disturbing" the people of these forums. We've tried explaining it many times before, and even repeatedly to some of the same people. We felt we had to correct some false assumptions here, else others will take these up, and make it their own.

If possible, we'd like to ask if moderators can lock this thread once and for all. You can even delete it, if that is what's preferred. Any productive discussion people would like to have about our work are free to take it to our own portals, or start a new thread here, if this is where you like to be, just don't expect our input right away, for obvious reasons.

The Mote Kickstarter has ended, and we're actively delivering on it, and will continue to deliver on it, for the foreseeable future. People unhappy with us should just accept this fact, and move on.

Thank you, and best regards to all. We hope to never bother you again.


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 Post subject: Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:50 pm 
I think the MOTE team has done great work and I have confidence that they'll be a name to be reckoned with in the near future in the VTT industry.

This kickstarter has ended awhile ago, but if you have any other comments about MOTE feel free to start a new thread to discuss.

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 Post subject: Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:23 pm 
aliasmask wrote:
I think the MOTE team has done great work and I have confidence that they'll be a name to be reckoned with in the near future in the VTT industry.

This kickstarter has ended awhile ago, but if you have any other comments about MOTE feel free to start a new thread to discuss.

+1

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