Keeping up with modern techniques

We are always looking for new tools to create to help facilitate the table top gaming experience. Let us know if you have an idea for a new gaming tool you'd like to see. (Note: this is NOT for feature requests on existing tools!)

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captainsinith
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Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by captainsinith »

I am sure this has been said many times. But to keep current and modern -- there is a need for webcam and voice capabilities. Using 3rd party applications just doesn't have the credibility to compliment this awesome program. RPTools is definitely better than Fantasy Grounds, rolld20 and other VTT's. I have tested them all and really this program is the leader when it comes to simplicity and reliability. The only thing that makes it a dust-collector is that it is not keeping up with modern/contemporary needs. Everybody these days uses voice and video instead of text. Text is like 2000's , this is coming up to 2017, it would be a great roll-out for the new year to have integrated voice and webcam [even including the ability to play sync'd youtube videos to all players for pre-recorded in-game needs.] So this would be the best way to stay current.

I am positive that having webcam/video/voice options built into the program will bring a large amount of interest from those who are currently using fantasy grounds -- and will bring them over here.

Also I own a company that does web-design and web marketing/promotions. I do not work too much anymore, mostly just hang around at home and go on vacations -- but if you add these options I will put a team together to completely re-do the web-site and make it look FIERCE! [For free]

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Jagged
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by Jagged »

Personally I am not at all convinced.

I see voip as one of those cloud services you might be considered a fool to try and provide yourself. It would take a lot of effort to implement and more to support, then most people would end up using their own favourite anyway.

That's my opinion, anyway ;)

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Full Bleed
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by Full Bleed »

captainsinith wrote:I am positive that having webcam/video/voice options built into the program will bring a large amount of interest from those who are currently using fantasy grounds -- and will bring them over here.

Going to have to disagree.

Most people using FG use it because it has an attractive interface and closely supports one (or more) of the game systems they use (without needing to know any programming themselves.) Their own forums have threads like this where people ask for a VC option built in and they are always shot down and pointed in the direction of many other existing options (Skype, Google Hangouts, Oovoo, etc.)

This has been debated many times, and back before there were half a dozen great free options it held some weight. But now I see no reason to waste development time trying to do something that others already do better than MT could ever hope to.
Maptool is the Millennium Falcon of VTT's -- "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts."

Netsky
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by Netsky »

Full Bleed wrote:
captainsinith wrote:I am positive that having webcam/video/voice options built into the program will bring a large amount of interest from those who are currently using fantasy grounds -- and will bring them over here.

Going to have to disagree.

Going to have to agree with the disagreeing.

taustinoc
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by taustinoc »

I'm not a programmer, but I know enough about it to know that adding voice and video to an app, and I suspect especially a Java app, is not a fast or simple thing. And it's different from the other stuff that MapTool does, making it even more of an investment of resources, which are very limited in any open source volunteer project.

And this isn't something that can be half done, then improved upon later. If it doesn't do pretty much everything people want from first release - everything that Skype, or whatever other people are using (GoToMeeting, in my case), does - then nobody will use it at all. And even if it improves later, everybody will already "know" it's substandard.

So the question is, what's the return on that investment? It's tempting to define that as "will it bring in enough new users to be worth the trouble," and I, personally, doubt it will. Existing users already have solutions for voice and video, and few of them are going to change. This will only matter to people who would use MapTool if it had voice/video, but don't because it doesn't. There don't seem to be a lot of those.

But it's also an issue of "would this provide enough benefit to the people who would program it to be worth the trouble," and I think that's more clearly "no," since they, too, already have other solutions.

bobifle
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by bobifle »

Sounds like a bad idea.

Discord, to name one, will be a better voice app than maptool no matter what. People don't want yet another voice app to configure, they use their prefered app they know for all activities (calls, games, rpg...).

mivor
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by mivor »

I do agree that completely rewritting voip would be a silly idea. However, it might be useful to provide some level of integration with existing tools? I'm specifically thinking about the discord game sdk here, but others could also be useful.

Tbh, just simply allowing the GM to set a link to their preferred comms channel could be useful. For example, on connecting to a server, you automatically get a request to join a discord/hangouts/teamspeak chat.

Patrikboras
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by Patrikboras »

Sorry if I on the wrong forum!
I wish maptool had more tools/menus and less programing for example:
Create traps, teleport token to other maps and so on. In the same way using Vision block, Fog of war and so on

Don't get me wrong, maptool is great, but i wish to spend less time programing and more time Game-playing.

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Full Bleed
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by Full Bleed »

mivor wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:51 am
Tbh, just simply allowing the GM to set a link to their preferred comms channel could be useful. For example, on connecting to a server, you automatically get a request to join a discord/hangouts/teamspeak chat.
This is fairly trivial to do now using onCampaignLoad.

Place something like this in the onCampaignLoad macro:

Code: Select all

<a href="http://hangoutlink.com">Click to Join Hangout.</a>
Then when someone connects to your campaign they are sent the link in the chat window to click on.
Maptool is the Millennium Falcon of VTT's -- "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts."

Phergus
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by Phergus »

Patrikboras wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:34 pm
Sorry if I on the wrong forum!
The whole thread is in the wrong location so...
Patrikboras wrote:I wish maptool had more tools/menus and less programing for example:
Create traps, teleport token to other maps and so on.
And what would a tool/menu option that Created Traps specifically do? For which of a million RPG rule systems?

Same for teleport token. What would that mean? Would it display a list of maps and then ask the GM what the coordinates were to send the token to? What if there were more than multiple tokens selected? Do they get dropped in a big stack or what?

Not saying that your basic idea of easier functionality with less program isn't valid but you need to be more specific about what that would mean to you.
Patrikboras wrote:In the same way using Vision block, Fog of war and so on
Again, same questions. What do you mean?

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Full Bleed
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by Full Bleed »

Phergus wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:13 pm
And what would a tool/menu option that Created Traps specifically do? For which of a million RPG rule systems?
I think you might be over complicating the jist... Being able to have simple "event" triggers that could be dropped into squares on a map would serve just about any game.

For example, if people could place a "Trap/Event" in square so that it "triggered" (i.e. sends a message to the chat window or triggers a macro) when a token steps on it then I think that would be a significant improvement over the difficulty in adding the same functionality with macroscript.

Arguments could be made what the exact full-functionality could be (like, should it be able to send a different notification/information to the GM)... but the "jist" of the notion is to have more basic functionality that doesn't require a better than average mastery of MT's macroscript to pull off.

Truth is, once macroscript really started taking off, built in functionality virtually disappeared. Having so much power locked behind the MT code wall is, and always has been, a turn off for a significant number of users.
Same for teleport token. What would that mean? Would it display a list of maps and then ask the GM what the coordinates were to send the token to?
Sure. Again, that would be better than nothing for people that don't want to learn macroscript or figure out how to use something like the bag of tricks to get basic token "teleportation." It would probably even use the same basic "trigger" mechanic of the trap/event code above.
What if there were more than multiple tokens selected? Do they get dropped in a big stack or what?
Probably. Not like solving that problem is easy (or fun) with macroscript either.
Patrikboras wrote:In the same way using Vision block, Fog of war and so on
Again, same questions. What do you mean?
I take it to mean that it's a good thing the "simple" interface to use those features preceded the ability to apply/remove VBL and FoW with macroscript... else we might not have the interface/functionality built into MT at all. ;)
Maptool is the Millennium Falcon of VTT's -- "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts."

Patrikboras
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by Patrikboras »

Hm! Maybe the real problem, for me, is that "you can do so much, that i want to do it all".
I have just used maptool for a couple of months and it has enable me to play with my friends living far away, or being busy watching their kids.

Phergus
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by Phergus »

Full Bleed wrote:I think you might be over complicating the jist... Being able to have simple "event" triggers that could be dropped into squares on a map would serve just about any game.
No, I just want the "jist" of it to be articulated versus broad generalizations.
I want to be able to do X.
I see it working something like this:
  1. I drop a trap token on map.
  2. I select Create Trap from menu.
  3. I am prompted to
    choose a text message to All/GM/Players
    choose a macro to execute
Which is what you did. Not complicated.
Full Bleed wrote:...but the "jist" of the notion is to have more basic functionality that doesn't require a better than average mastery of MT's macroscript to pull off.
Okay. Give more examples. There is no definition of basic functionality beyond display a virtual version of a tabletop that I can draw maps on and move miniatures.
Full Bleed wrote:Truth is, once macroscript really started taking off, built in functionality virtually disappeared.
Bit of an exaggeration as the same functionality that was there is still there and more has been added. It's only "basic" functionality if it is something the majority of users would make use of. Functionality that target specific game systems don't need to be cluttering up the menus or UI.
I take it to mean that it's a good thing the "simple" interface to use those features preceded the ability to apply/remove VBL and FoW with macroscript... else we might not have the interface/functionality built into MT at all. ;)
Good point. We could really simplify the interface if we stripped out all the drawing and VBL functions and just used macros to handle all of that. :P

Merudo
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by Merudo »

Full Bleed wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:38 am
Phergus wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:13 pm
And what would a tool/menu option that Created Traps specifically do? For which of a million RPG rule systems?
I think you might be over complicating the jist... Being able to have simple "event" triggers that could be dropped into squares on a map would serve just about any game.

For example, if people could place a "Trap/Event" in square so that it "triggered" (i.e. sends a message to the chat window or triggers a macro) when a token steps on it then I think that would be a significant improvement over the difficulty in adding the same functionality with macroscript.

Arguments could be made what the exact full-functionality could be (like, should it be able to send a different notification/information to the GM)... but the "jist" of the notion is to have more basic functionality that doesn't require a better than average mastery of MT's macroscript to pull off.

Truth is, once macroscript really started taking off, built in functionality virtually disappeared. Having so much power locked behind the MT code wall is, and always has been, a turn off for a significant number of users.
Same for teleport token. What would that mean? Would it display a list of maps and then ask the GM what the coordinates were to send the token to?
Sure. Again, that would be better than nothing for people that don't want to learn macroscript or figure out how to use something like the bag of tricks to get basic token "teleportation." It would probably even use the same basic "trigger" mechanic of the trap/event code above.
What if there were more than multiple tokens selected? Do they get dropped in a big stack or what?
Probably. Not like solving that problem is easy (or fun) with macroscript either.
Patrikboras wrote:In the same way using Vision block, Fog of war and so on
Again, same questions. What do you mean?
I take it to mean that it's a good thing the "simple" interface to use those features preceded the ability to apply/remove VBL and FoW with macroscript... else we might not have the interface/functionality built into MT at all. ;)
I agree.

There is a lot of system-agnostic basic functionality that in an ideal world, should be available a few clicks away to new users. Instead, a relatively deep knowledge of the maptool macro language is required.

Examples: teleporting tokens, making and showing of handouts, blocking movement over VBL, doors that can be opened/closed, functions to find the maximum/minimum of a roll (such as 1d4+2), roofs, "shadowPads", traps, etc.

A lot of this stuff is available through Wolph42's Bag of Tricks. I highly suggest you check it out Phergus - the BoT demonstrates how functionality for teleporters, traps and the likes can readily be created and implemented in a way that is not dependent on any gaming system.

Frankly, I believe a good portion of the BoT could be integrated into the Maptool interface. Doing so would negate the need to go through the somewhat complicated procedure to install the BoT, and would allow for more elegant methods (example: drawing event areas directly instead of using tokens to draw them).

I think the main hurdle here is that there is very few people who have the tools, time, and motivation to work on the source code. To those who contributed - I tip my hat to you. There are too few of you.

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jfrazierjr
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Re: Keeping up with modern techniques

Post by jfrazierjr »

Heres the thing Merudo. The developers, the're not getting paid for this. The overwhelming number of people who put features in, myself included did so because we wanted something for ourselves OR wanted to practice doing a specific thing in programming. For example, I was fixing a bug one day i the renderer and made individual token views and was like "oh wow this is super cool, lets see if others might want this and if so I will flesh it out". But it came from me doing other stuff.

Same thing with adding sight(or light, I don't remember) I was talking to Trevor asking what might be quick and easy to add, so I added that. The same with onTokenMove, I added that because it was cool and I was very sure I would use it.

I know Jamz started his fork of NERPS to add a few things he wanted such as integration with audio and some other things. And so on and so forth.

I know from talking in the past with a lot of the devs, there i also the "we don't want to layer on more bolted on features instead of scraping the base code and re-writting from scratch" and thats how it's been for a long long time.
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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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