RPTools.net

Discussion and Support

Skip to content

It is currently Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:51 pm 






Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Previous topic | Next topic 

  Print view

Author Message
 Offline
Cave Troll
 
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:57 am
Posts: 70
 Post subject: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:28 am 
Felt I should post here to commiserate...

So me and a friend were (trying) to use MapTool. We weren't failing, but he decided it was too difficult to use.

So for now we'll just be using E-Mail/Inkscape, hope someday to have gotten MapTool to the point where he feels like its useful.


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Offline
Deity
 
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:11 pm
Posts: 7884
Location: Bay Area
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:59 am 
Just curious to know what are you trying to use it for?

_________________
Downloads:


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Offline
Great Wyrm
 
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:27 am
Posts: 1177
Location: Bristol, UK
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:12 am 
Lots of people have a similar experience when they first try an use Maptool. Was this his/your first use?

Sometimes people try and jump into using too much of the functionality in one go and can't make it work without creating headaches. This is why I always recommend people start out using Maptool as little more than a shared drawing area. We've all played role Playing games like that, so it shouldn't be difficult. Then gradually add functionality as you go, start recording stats on the tokens, add the odd function or other. Then start playing with vision and lighting. Then once you have mastered all that, try playing with someone else's framework.

Of course, people still have trouble with the network connections, and if that is the source of the issues, I can understand why people get frustrated. My GM's home router seems to have been possessed by a dark spirit that exists only change all his network settings. If thats the problem, we might be able to offer advice?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Offline
Cave Troll
 
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:57 am
Posts: 70
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:35 am 
I think its a bit more than just a question of tooling - my friend unfortunately doesn't seem to have a lot of experience with complex systems.

That would be my approach to the tool as well, I.e. just use it as an ad hoc system for storing games, do things piecemeal. However I think he was trying to setup things long term and got frustrated by the breadth and depth of the tool. So I'm hoping by keeping things simple (images + text) he'll warm to a different approach than 'I can't figure out feature X so screw it'. At that time, maybe there will be a plugin to import svg maps into maptool. ;)


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Offline
Demigod
 
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:53 am
Posts: 3728
Location: MD
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:17 pm 
smaudet2 wrote:
So for now we'll just be using E-Mail/Inkscape, hope someday to have gotten MapTool to the point where he feels like its useful.

I get that trying to do too much with MT when you don't know what you are doing is a challenge...

But using MT in its most basic form (beyond getting the server up and started on some connections/computers) is going to be a far better solution than trying to use EMail and Inkscape for any game that I can think of... unless those things are the particulars of the game in question.

That is, a detailed description of that guy's idea of "useful" is probably warranted at this point. Is his core problem that he wants to draw everything with vector graphics? Or does he *want* a PBM type of game? If both of those are true... then, yeah, MT is not designed for that. Wrong tool for the wrong game.

Beyond that, there isn't anything you can't do in MT that you can't do on real a tabletop with little to now knowledge of its advanced features. Is the game you're trying to play not playable on a tabletop?

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


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Offline
Deity
 
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:11 pm
Posts: 7884
Location: Bay Area
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:19 pm 
I can't tell from your answer what you want to use MapTool for. You likely don't have to start from scratch if you have a certain gaming system in mind. I've been online with gms to give them a brief tutorial of one of the more complex frameworks to explain the basics. Personally, I started using MapTool by plugging it in to a tv in the living room just to show maps and token positions and did everything else via table top. I'm just trying to determine the level of use you're looking for and then offer any assistance to you or your friend. You seem very computer savvy and perhaps are even a programmer. If that is the case, then MapTool would seem to be right up your ally with it's rich macro system. I've told my friends that MapTool is like the linux of VTTs. It can do most anything, but you need to spend the time to compile the tools you want to use if the build you're looking for isn't already out there.

_________________
Downloads:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Offline
Cave Troll
 
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:57 am
Posts: 70
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:57 pm 
aliasmask wrote:
I can't tell from your answer what you want to use MapTool for. You likely don't have to start from scratch if you have a certain gaming system in mind. I've been online with gms to give them a brief tutorial of one of the more complex frameworks to explain the basics. Personally, I started using MapTool by plugging it in to a tv in the living room just to show maps and token positions and did everything else via table top. I'm just trying to determine the level of use you're looking for and then offer any assistance to you or your friend. You seem very computer savvy and perhaps are even a programmer. If that is the case, then MapTool would seem to be right up your ally with it's rich macro system. I've told my friends that MapTool is like the linux of VTTs. It can do most anything, but you need to spend the time to compile the tools you want to use if the build you're looking for isn't already out there.


I'd like to just use it. He has another tool in mind, which I'm not willing to use (I won't say which).

If you were wondering how we were going to be using it, just over the net. I don't have the specifics of what exactly he thought was wrong with it, but I'm not in a position to ask. Inkscape was my idea as a middle ground we can both agree on. He thinks it simpler anyways.

I more or less agree with what's been said, but I'm not DMing (which is unfortunate given I'd probably have no problem with it), and its not worth it to me to get into an argument at this point.

As I said, its not all about the tooling.


Last edited by smaudet2 on Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Offline
Deity
 
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:11 pm
Posts: 7884
Location: Bay Area
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:50 pm 
It's okay. You can mention other VTTs around here. I play a game using roll20. I have to say, it's definitely prettier out-the-box than MapTool and has other advantages like a headless server which is great for PbP type games. Their codebase is growing so they're getting more sophisticated with what you can do and may even rival MapTool in functionality at some point. But as it stands now, MapTool has the best customization and the best price, free.

I understand if you don't want to press the issue with the GM especially since he made up his mind. But if you end up running a game I hope you consider using MapTool. I've converted many players over the years. I'm even using MapTool with my table top game using 2 monitors. One for my GM screen and the other for the players to view. They're a bunch of newbees to Pathfinder and I use it to track active modifiers and hp. I also use it too hold my notes for an encounter.

_________________
Downloads:


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Offline
Great Wyrm
 
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:59 am
Posts: 1680
Location: Chicagoland
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:56 pm 
It is a sad day indeed. But we'll be around. If you happen to pry any specifics, please report back?

As AM said, it's fine to talk about other VTT's around here. And just tell him we'd like to know, not so we can say, "ZOMG! All you had to do was...", but rather, "ok, would it make it easier to do it this way if we...". If we don't know what's intimidating for new users, we can't improve anything. And we as developers, will never be "new" users again...

I'm thinking at this point we need a little tutorial/wizard that plays the first time you use MT. Something that steps through just a few main things like drawing, dropping a map, moving around. And maybe a "Did you Know..." pop-up on start-up with more advance tid-bits.

We really need a nice UI person to jump in here and spiff it up for us. Maybe when we start to convert to JavaFX it'll open a lot of things up, Swing does have it's limitations and MT can look very bland and overwhelming. Heck, I feel that way opening up Mote even though I know all the "functionality", but I'm not use to the icons yet and there are so many...

_________________
-Jamz
____________________
Custom MapTool 1.4.x.x Fork: maptool.nerps.net
More information here: MapTool Nerps! Fork | TokenTool Nerps! Fork
Custom TokenTool (version 1.0b33): TokenTool.exe


Top
 Profile  
 
 Offline
Cave Troll
 
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:57 am
Posts: 70
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:47 pm 
JamzTheMan wrote:
If you happen to pry any specifics


I think a lot of it was temperament. FYI that game never got off of the ground... (it wasn't anything to to do with the VTT in the end). Keep in mind this particular individual would get into physical fits of anger if the computer slowed down for a couple seconds.

Not that I can't relate - I switched from Windows because I got tired of its inevitable slow decline into crap-hood (among other reasons), and I have memories of wanting to smash in developer's teeth/heads as well - its the small things that get to you. RPTools has an excellent core 'under the covers' so to speak but it looks and feels exactly like what it is - a hobbyist project. Roll20.net has that finish and veneer that only monied projects usually take the time to achieve. $$$cha-ching$$$


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Offline
Demigod
 
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:53 am
Posts: 3728
Location: MD
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:47 pm 
smaudet2 wrote:
RPTools has an excellent core 'under the covers' so to speak but it looks and feels exactly like what it is - a hobbyist project. Roll20.net has that finish and veneer that only monied projects usually take the time to achieve. $$$cha-ching$$$

Sure Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds *look* better. But feature-wise... they're still significantly behind what MapTools *can* do (getting it to do it is, of course, the hurdle).

These days, it really comes down to this--

Commercial VTT's:

1) Out-of-the-box fit and finish.
2) Pre-made and deployable commercial products and assets.
3) Significant out-of-pocket expenses to exploit their strengths.

Maptool:

1) Ridiculous customization options.
2) Best light, sight, and vision blocking available.
3) Free.

Maptool is *still* the Millennium Falcon of VTT's.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Offline
Cave Troll
 
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:57 am
Posts: 70
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:53 pm 
Full Bleed wrote:
smaudet2 wrote:
RPTools has an excellent core 'under the covers' so to speak but it looks and feels exactly like what it is - a hobbyist project. Roll20.net has that finish and veneer that only monied projects usually take the time to achieve. $$$cha-ching$$$

Sure Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds *look* better. But feature-wise... they're still significantly behind what MapTools *can* do (getting it to do it is, of course, the hurdle).

These days, it really comes down to this--

Commercial VTT's:

1) Out-of-the-box fit and finish.
2) Pre-made and deployable commercial products and assets.
3) Significant out-of-pocket expenses to exploit their strengths.

Maptool:

1) Ridiculous customization options.
2) Best light, sight, and vision blocking available.
3) Free.

Maptool is *still* the Millennium Falcon of VTT's.


Agreed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Offline
Kobold
 
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:31 am
Posts: 16
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:06 pm 
Jagged wrote:
Lots of people have a similar experience when they first try an use Maptool. Was this his/your first use?

Sometimes people try and jump into using too much of the functionality in one go and can't make it work without creating headaches. This is why I always recommend people start out using Maptool as little more than a shared drawing area. We've all played role Playing games like that, so it shouldn't be difficult. Then gradually add functionality as you go, start recording stats on the tokens, add the odd function or other. Then start playing with vision and lighting. Then once you have mastered all that, try playing with someone else's framework.


Agreed. My friends and I have been playing with MT almost a decade now. We started right about when I first moved out of the city we all grew up in so VTT became mandatory. At first, we just used the basics -- shared map, PC tokens, monster tokens as HP bags with no functionality tied to them, and minimal VBL. Then we started getting into macros and line of sight stuff, and more elaborate maps. Next came a friend in the group writing up a framework for porting 4E character files into MT. But all this took years to happen.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Offline
Cave Troll
 
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:57 am
Posts: 70
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:29 pm 
weepingminotaur wrote:
Jagged wrote:
Lots of people have a similar experience when they first try an use Maptool. Was this his/your first use?

Sometimes people try and jump into using too much of the functionality in one go and can't make it work without creating headaches. This is why I always recommend people start out using Maptool as little more than a shared drawing area. We've all played role Playing games like that, so it shouldn't be difficult. Then gradually add functionality as you go, start recording stats on the tokens, add the odd function or other. Then start playing with vision and lighting. Then once you have mastered all that, try playing with someone else's framework.


Agreed. My friends and I have been playing with MT almost a decade now. We started right about when I first moved out of the city we all grew up in so VTT became mandatory. At first, we just used the basics -- shared map, PC tokens, monster tokens as HP bags with no functionality tied to them, and minimal VBL. Then we started getting into macros and line of sight stuff, and more elaborate maps. Next came a friend in the group writing up a framework for porting 4E character files into MT. But all this took years to happen.


Yeah, MapTool suffers from feature 'rot' - every good software project starts out as something small that morphs into something that's too big. MapTool is too big - its great that its configurable but only if you know its configurable and where to configure it. It happens to every software project, unless you prune it from time to time.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Offline
Kobold
 
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:31 am
Posts: 16
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:48 am 
smaudet2 wrote:
weepingminotaur wrote:
Jagged wrote:
Lots of people have a similar experience when they first try an use Maptool. Was this his/your first use?

Sometimes people try and jump into using too much of the functionality in one go and can't make it work without creating headaches. This is why I always recommend people start out using Maptool as little more than a shared drawing area. We've all played role Playing games like that, so it shouldn't be difficult. Then gradually add functionality as you go, start recording stats on the tokens, add the odd function or other. Then start playing with vision and lighting. Then once you have mastered all that, try playing with someone else's framework.


Agreed. My friends and I have been playing with MT almost a decade now. We started right about when I first moved out of the city we all grew up in so VTT became mandatory. At first, we just used the basics -- shared map, PC tokens, monster tokens as HP bags with no functionality tied to them, and minimal VBL. Then we started getting into macros and line of sight stuff, and more elaborate maps. Next came a friend in the group writing up a framework for porting 4E character files into MT. But all this took years to happen.


Yeah, MapTool suffers from feature 'rot' - every good software project starts out as something small that morphs into something that's too big. MapTool is too big - its great that its configurable but only if you know its configurable and where to configure it. It happens to every software project, unless you prune it from time to time.


I'm not sure you understood me. I wasn't saying MT is too big. I was agreeing with the previous poster that MT is best used if you delve into it bit by bit, without trying to master everything at the start. Maptool has been my group's VTT software for a decade, and while it certainly has its drawbacks, it's free, customizable, and filled with options. But if we'd walked away at the beginning, we'd never have gotten to the point we are now, where we have fully functional frameworks for characters, a full set of DM tools for handling almost mechanical aspect of D&D, and so on.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:

Who is online

In total there is 1 user online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 243 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:14 am

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest





Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Style based on Andreas08 by Andreas Viklund

Style by Elizabeth Shulman