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Giant
 
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:41 pm
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 Post subject: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:33 pm 
It's been a long time since I've visited the boards here. Back when I was active I created an export sheet for PCGen that saved PCGen characters in InitTool group files (.rpgrp) for InitTool version 1.0.b23. This worked great and I was also able to create a custom game setting with additional properties PCGen could export to so that InitTool would display all the data found on the DMG II statblock. I ran a whole campaign with InitTool 1.0.b23 as an essential component and have really seen nothing better at doing what it does, I'd give up dice before InitTool.

Newer versions of InitTool required the latest java and as I am on a Mac there was a period where I could not run the latest InitTool and I lost touch with where development was at. Mac is now current with java (for the moment) and we have had some requests to update PCGen's support with RPTools so I started poking around. I can run all the tools now as Mac is current with Java 6 but I have noticed that there have not been many releases of InitTool and the forum does not have much traffic.

When I run InitTool (1.1.b9) it does not recognize the group files or the game setting files that worked with version 1.0.b23. I kind of expected this but there are additional problems that have me scratching my head as I try to figure out how to update PCGen's export file. When I try and set the Game to d20 3.5 I get 2 error messages, "Invalid property descriptor data", followed by "java.lang.IllegalStateException: The file could not be loaded." Beyond that there seems to be no way of editing the game settings or creating custom settings. I tried to open one of the default game settings but it does not appear to be a text editable file.

What are the new features in the latest version? Beyond the errors I'm encountering it looks the same as 1.0.b23 to me. PCGen is mainly d20/3.5 so if the newer versions features are just adding support for other games should we just recommend to PCGen users that they stick with 1.0.b23?

My ultimate goal is to make PCGen as useful to RPTool users as possible, I use them and love them myself so any advice is appreciated.

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~ Eddy Anthony (MoSaT)
~ PCGen Data, Docs & Tracker Chimp
~ Outputsheet Tamarin & Mac build guru


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Great Wyrm
 
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 7:51 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:12 pm 
Hallelujah! I posted on the PC-Gen site that I am going to work on this when Jay releases the newest version, which should be real soon as he is in the testing phase now. I would like to work with you on this, if you are OK with that. I also plan to incorporate the ability to pump the PC-Gen info into CharacterTool utilizing Lindsay's framework so PC-Gen would be a one-stop shop for me and hopefully others.


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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:21 pm 
Excellent! I welcome any help offered. I understand PCGen pretty well but as far as the tools go I'm just a user.

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~ Eddy Anthony (MoSaT)
~ PCGen Data, Docs & Tracker Chimp
~ Outputsheet Tamarin & Mac build guru


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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:53 am
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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:44 pm 
I know this isn't IT specific, but I'd love to see some way to export a PCGen character directly into a MT Token (.rptok) format. Wouldn't that have a cross-over benefit of then being able to import those rptok files into IT? Two birds with one stone.

I know that custom frameworks would complicate the issue (i.e. one framework might use StrengthMod and another might use StrengthBonus), but being able to edit a text file and setup PCGen equivalents to a framework's equivalents seems like it would be an good solution.

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Maptool is the Millennium Falcon of VTT's -- "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts."


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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:32 pm 
I would totally love to see that as well, but I don't think it's easily done with the current versions of the programs. PCGen can output a text file, so we can create an xml file or other text file but what it can't do is output a the kind of multi-file zip package that RPTools are using these days. What would be great is if there was an intermediate xml file standard that PCGen could output and MapTool/InitTool could then import.

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~ Eddy Anthony (MoSaT)
~ PCGen Data, Docs & Tracker Chimp
~ Outputsheet Tamarin & Mac build guru


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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:51 am 
And that's really where CharTool comes in. It has the capability of defining a list of "equivalencies" (for lack of a better word) in terms of which incoming data fields should become which outgoing data fields.

IIRC, it allows for javascript code to be executed as the data is passed through, meaning that custom manipulation of the content could even be handled. This would allow for a single incoming string field that contains a list of feat names to be broken up into separate XML fields if that's what the MapTool FW required.

(Big Caveat with this post: I'm also on a Mac and until recently didn't have Java 6 either. So the above is my understanding from reading the posts here, not from personal experience.)


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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:45 am 
Unfortunately I'm seeing some of the same issues with CharacterTool, neither it nor InitTool seems to work for d20 3.5.

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~ Eddy Anthony (MoSaT)
~ PCGen Data, Docs & Tracker Chimp
~ Outputsheet Tamarin & Mac build guru


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Deity
 
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:31 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:57 am 
Hey Eddy...

Tir asked me a similar question on importing PCGen stuff into maptool via email a few days ago, but I have not had time to reply yet. As others have said, it really depends on the token properties in use and since there is no standard enforced by the developers per game system/version, I don't know how much use it will be without you making tons of different outputsheets, one for each framework in use(or at least the requested ones).

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I save all my Campaign Files to DropBox. Not only can I access a campaign file from pretty much any OS that will run Maptool(Win,OSX, linux), but each file is versioned, so if something goes crazy wild, I can always roll back to a previous version of the same file.

Get your Dropbox 2GB via my referral link, and as a bonus, I get an extra 250 MB of space. Even if you don't don't use my link, I still enthusiastically recommend Dropbox..


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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:15 am 
The easiest way to do it would be like Azhrei said and export it to a format CharacterTool understands. Then from within CharacterTool, it would manipulate the raw data and spit out a FW compliant version. As I stated, jay is almost finished with the new version of CharacterTool and my assumption InitTool as well, since they go hand in hand. Once this is done, I asked him to generate a Lindsay FW generator(lack of a better term) and I will build the data on top of that. Then, importing the PC_Gen info shouldn't be that hard.

If you want to ask jay to provide you with the updated 3.5E XML file, you could probably get a generic PC-Gen export spec out soon. Or, I think the version just before the most current works fine.


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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:07 am
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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:19 am 
mosat wrote:
Unfortunately I'm seeing some of the same issues with CharacterTool, neither it nor InitTool seems to work for d20 3.5.
This should be working again in the next build.


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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:30 am 
Azhrei wrote:
And that's really where CharTool comes in. It has the capability of defining a list of "equivalencies" (for lack of a better word) in terms of which incoming data fields should become which outgoing data fields.

IIRC, it allows for javascript code to be executed as the data is passed through, meaning that custom manipulation of the content could even be handled. This would allow for a single incoming string field that contains a list of feat names to be broken up into separate XML fields if that's what the MapTool FW required.
Azhrei has is right. There is a file that maps values or scripts to MT property names. I go through the file, run all of the scripts and generate the XML that goes in the .rptok for MT. I can also go from MT to CT, but that functionality is fairly limited right now; it only supports copying values directly from MT to CT w/o using scripts.


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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:09 pm 
Hi Jay, Great to know InitTool is still alive! :D
I downloaded the previous versions of InitTool and CharacterTool where the d20 3.5 setting is working which will bring me up to speed on what the newer versions can do.

One possible way to mitigate the lack of standard properties is for PCGen to distribute a Game settings file for use with it's export sheets. This is something that occurred to me when I realized that although I had built in enough custom properties so InitTool could be used as a statblock viewer I am the only person who is really seeing that capability because you would have to know the properties were there and then add them to your custom game setting.

I am currently in the process of updating the export sheets we currently have for InitTool 1.0.b23 to take advantages of improvements we've made in our data since the sheet was first created. Along with that I will add the custom Game settings file that takes advantage of all the data PCGen has the ability to export.

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~ Eddy Anthony (MoSaT)
~ PCGen Data, Docs & Tracker Chimp
~ Outputsheet Tamarin & Mac build guru


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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:43 pm 
Hey, mosat.

I remember talking with you years ago when I contributed some code to PCGen. I think that was back in the... oh, about 2.4 days? ;) 8)

The best shot for support would likely be to come up with a basic output sheet that includes everything that PCGen is tracking. CharTool would then import everything. And when CharTool goes to write the data to MapTool, it would only write certain fields as needed by a particular framework.

That way only a single export sheet is needed for PCGen and it's not tied directly to a FW, since some of the FWs are quite vibrant and tend to change swiftly -- trying to keep up would be a mess. Instead, the FW could supply the proper exchange file so that the CharTool output could be imported into MapTool. This allows the FW developer(s) to keep the token conversion file in sync at the same time.

Most of the FWs are not changing properties much at this point. There are a few new ones that are still developing, but the 3.5/PF and 4E frameworks are pretty stable. So I don't see the FW developer(s) really needing to do much with it. And if they do need to make changes, they can push a lot of that work to the folks who are currently using the FW in their games.

How does that sound?


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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:58 pm 
Hi Azhrei,
That sounds like a workable plan to me. Creating the sheets are easy enough, all I need is the proper xml properties to write to.

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~ Eddy Anthony (MoSaT)
~ PCGen Data, Docs & Tracker Chimp
~ Outputsheet Tamarin & Mac build guru


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 Post subject: Re: Is InitTool dead?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:00 pm 
It might be easier to just make a PCGen compatible game settings file for CT.

The big problem is always going to be the zip part. W/O some built in functionality it will always be a problem. I bet I could extend the scripting I use for printing to PDF's and to MT's .rptok to do imports from standard formats as well. It would just have to run it through backwards; i.e. execute the scripts to save as CT properties. Then all we would need is something that read the data and we could have a generic import utility. If I place a script hook in that then we should be able to import anything anybody wants to parse.


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