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Demigod
 
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:53 am
Posts: 3773
Location: MD
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:30 am 
smaudet2 wrote:
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.

Going to disagree with you here.

In fact, *this* is exactly how MT should function (and does function for most users who stick with it):
weepingminotaur wrote:
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.

And today, it functions the same way. You don't have to know how to build (or use) the "Bag of Tricks" to use MT. It's just an option.

The problem isn't that it has too many features, it's that all of those features aren't necessarily *simple* to use. And anyone coming into the program needs to know that they need to learn how to walk before they make the jump to light speed (I mean, they could end up flying into a star or something).

Take something as basic as "targeting". In MT you have to build macros for it. In Fantasy Grounds you can target by "Ctrl-LeftClick". So in MT it isn't as "easy", but boy can you do way more with it--you can pull up range based, sight based, token type base, or name based targets... just to name a few qualifiers.

So, as far as I'm concerned, while it might be nice to have a simple "Ctrl-LeftClick" targeting option in MT for users that don't want to learn MT's MacroScript, there would be mass revolt if you tried to "prune" the program to that level of simplicity.

I do believe that too much of MT's power is gated behind the macro language... but that's where the expertise and momentum seems to lay with the current crop of developers. My guess is that they'd argue that it wasn't worth their development time coming up with a non-macrocentric method of targeting since macros can do it... so they turn to other features more interesting to them. And, thus, MT remains more of a souped-up muscle car than a slick looking, under-powered, sports car.

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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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Cave Troll
 
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:57 am
Posts: 70
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:51 am 
Full Bleed wrote:
So, as far as I'm concerned, while it might be nice to have a simple "Ctrl-LeftClick" targeting option in MT for users that don't want to learn MT's MacroScript, there would be mass revolt if you tried to "prune" the program to that level of simplicity.


Why do people seem to assume that both aren't possible? (I have my theories but I won't share).

Prune =/= Gut

Nobody wants to kill the tree. They just want to cut off the vines that are choking the trunk. Not that we don't like vines either - both are great. But, if my vines kill my tree my vines will also die...that's why I create a vineyard lattice and transplant my vines there.

To stop speaking metaphorically...I would not change MT from its current form. I might make it a bit more accessible...but I wouldn't try to gut it. That doesn't mean it doesn't have issues.That also doesn't mean its not a great program.

These are not contradictory statements.


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Kobold
 
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:31 am
Posts: 16
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:32 pm 
Full Bleed wrote:
And today, it functions the same way. You don't have to know how to build (or use) the "Bag of Tricks" to use MT. It's just an option.


Exactly. There's as much or as little as you want to use. But newcomers are usually better off sticking with the basics until they're ready to start poking around.

Quote:
The problem isn't that it has too many features, it's that all of those features aren't necessarily *simple* to use. And anyone coming into the program needs to know that they need to learn how to walk before they make the jump to light speed (I mean, they could end up flying into a star or something).


Running maptool isn't like dusting crops, boy! You could wipe out your macros or disable network access or VBL your whole map and that'd end your session real quick, wouldn't it? ;)

Quote:
I do believe that too much of MT's power is gated behind the macro language...


Agreed. I think the documentation for macro usage needs a complete overhaul for clarity and to make it very clear why you would use a particular macro (in a real-world context).


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Great Wyrm
 
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:59 am
Posts: 1704
Location: Chicagoland
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:11 pm 
Personally, I think the best thing would be to redo how we save campaigns (we've discussed this before) and create an environment that lets people share each individual macro/campaign setting (like states, lights etc) and such so you don't have to commit to a whole framework.

A GitHub environment for sharing frameworks/macros would be great. Most macro work is done for you already in SOME capacity but Wolph, Alias, or LM but they can be buried.


Second best thing would be more developers helping and create/add such things people feel are missing. Less talk, more doing! ;)

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-Jamz
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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


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Cave Troll
 
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:57 am
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 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:06 pm 
JamzTheMan wrote:
Personally, I think the best thing would be to redo how we save campaigns (we've discussed this before) and create an environment that lets people share each individual macro/campaign setting (like states, lights etc) and such so you don't have to commit to a whole framework.


Sounds like a task.

JamzTheMan wrote:
A GitHub environment for sharing frameworks/macros would be great. Most macro work is done for you already in SOME capacity but Wolph, Alias, or LM but they can be buried.


Eh, as much as I'd love it git were the backend for users, there ain't gonna be no github environment - not without a bunch of work I don't think is worth doing. Git, not github, is decentralized - assuming your network impl in MapTool isn't half-baked, you can run git actions Peer 2 Peer. None of this half-assed github stuff. This sounds like a big project, either way.

JamzTheMan wrote:
Second best thing would be more developers helping and create/add such things people feel are missing. Less talk, more doing! ;)


Hear hear! (I'm busy porting things to JavaFX). As I continue to build out ParserTool, I'll think about macro content, and ways to share it.


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Great Wyrm
 
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:59 am
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Location: Chicagoland
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:56 pm 
Well, to be more specific, MT doesn't need git support built in. Move the campaign save format to a folder/file format so macros are individual files. This lets people develop/code in an IDE of their choice and exposes those files for easy sharing. So a user could create a GitHub account, post said framework of files, people could contribute and merge macro changes easier. Of course, it could be a dropbox share of files or any other online source...

Although, if you, say, added a git macro command or such, you could possibly start MT, load "Awesome Pathfinder Campaign", press a button to do a git pull, boom framework updated. Today, updating your framework mid campaign can be a PITA.

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-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


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Dragon
 
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:22 pm
Posts: 600
 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:27 am 
I remember my first time or trying to use Maptool, it was overwhelming.

My first usage was basically, "here's a map, looks better than a hand drawn one". No VBL or nothing, we literally had figures on the plexiglass over the screen.

Now? My god, Maptool is like my assistant DM; it handles so many things, from math to rules to lookups, I would be lost without it. Makes my games run so much faster and smoother.

And then you start really stretching it, you can do stuff that you simply can't with pen and pencil. I had rooms that moved and rotated in my last game, used cone auras and rotating tokens to simulate beams moving through the rooms that the players had to avoid, stuff like that. It was a lot of fun.

So...thanks Maptools! :)


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Kobold
 
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:33 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:14 am 
I'm coming into this party somewhat late, but I have to say that looking at the VTT options out there, I really like what Maptools has to offer. Of course, my friends and I grew up when building computers from Heathkits was all the rage, so roll-your-own is very attractive.

We're in the discovery phase with our campaign framework slowly evolving (still very rudimentary compared to what you all have done). And... we're having a blast!

For us, hacking code is part of the fun, but I understand that some folks just want to have a pre-made tool and not have to worry about tinkering. *shrugs* That's why there are choices. :)


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Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:57 am
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 Post subject: Re: Sad Day...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:44 am 
Elyre_Elan wrote:
For us, hacking code is part of the fun, but I understand that some folks just want to have a pre-made tool and not have to worry about tinkering. *shrugs* That's why there are choices. :)


I'm all about hacking and roll-your-own - the rig I'm typing this on is custom built. I'd eventually like to run my own custom cpu and mobo and firmware. That's not where I'm coming from.

Knowing how to tinker also means you understand, better than most people who want it to 'just work', how systems that do 'just work' should operate. And, most people do want something OOTB to tinker with... but anyways that's neither here nor there to where this discussion went.


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