VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

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heruca
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VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by heruca »

After the Four Ugly Monsters website died, I "inherited" this VT Feature Comparison Chart, which is now being hosted on my website. It's an excellent companion to my existing Comprehensive List of Virtual Tabletop Programs for RPGs and my Guide to Choosing a Virtual Tabletop. Unfortunately, some of the information in the Feature Comparison Chart is now obsolete/incorrect (it was compiled a couple of years ago, I think), given that many VTs are still evolving and adding more features and capabilities.

I would like someone to provide updated information for the MapTool entry on this chart. To ensure that the information is 100% accurate, I would like someone on the dev team to be the one to provide the updated information (rather than a random user/fan). I understand that Trevor himself may not be available to do this, so perhaps Azhrei or Dorpond might be able and willing to do so?

Please send the updated information to me via email (heruca at mac dot com), and I will see to it that the chart is updated ASAP.

Thanks!

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Azhrei
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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by Azhrei »

Thanks, heruca.

That chart, and your list of VTT links, have been a great help to users for the last several years. I am constantly seeing references to them in various threads around the 'net (lots of them from ENworld, but I haven't been frequenting there as often lately).

I'll take a look at the chart and try to give you a good rundown on them. Dorpond might actually be better for some of this since I bet he uses some of the features more than I do (such as on the fly map drawing). Give me a couple days and I'll post back here again. In the mean time I've subscribed to this thread so I'll be notified on any new posts.

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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by aliasmask »

I'm not a developer, but I'll give my .02 anyway.

Help feature: Under help you have NO, but there is no other category for support. I think one of the strongest assets of MT is the community support. Also, there is a tooltip for most (all?) features. It's small and appears at the bottom, but it's there. Also, there are the video tutorials and the wiki that gives tips for the macro language.

Character Sheets: Since the system is agnostic, there is no built in character sheet, but there is the option to display token properties on mouseover along with the portrait image. There is also the handout image which can be an image of a character sheet built in to each token. There is also the character sheet tool where you can build your own characters sheet (but I haven't used it before). Most of the systems have volunteers who have contributed "frameworks" for the various systems along with a method to display character information.

Supports multiple characters per player: "Yes, arbitrary ownerships" - I'm not sure what is meant by arbitrary. Each token can have multiple owners or no owners which is determined by the GM. GMs are considered to own all tokens.

Character Sheet Autocalc: As above the onmouseover shows properties, which if a formula will recalculate stats or whatever.

Character pre-saved rolls: I'm not sure what this is. But there is a macro system where you can do whatever with rolls and there are several game specific rolling options. See Dice Function.

Rolls can extract character info: Yes, macro system has access to all character/token info.

Character HP tracking: Although system agnostic, there is a default bar for hp. It's called health. Although, most of the frameworks get fancy with their health bars. My most recent creation is this: [spoiler=||| Health Bar |||]
token example.png
token example.png (216.31 KiB) Viewed 1637 times
[/spoiler]

Automated combat: Not built in, but capable with macros.

Initiative Manager: built in and interfaces with init manager.

Programmable encounters: Looking at the other answers for the other VTs, the answer is yes for all the same methods.

Extendable (plugins): Settings, tables, maps and tokens are all importable/exportable separately, but none are included with the install. Frameworks can be found in the forums under user creations.

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Azhrei
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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by Azhrei »

aliasmask wrote:I'm not a developer, but I'll give my .02 anyway.

Heh.

Thanks for your comments. I've typed up an email for heruca, but a couple of your notes made me go back and review what I'd written him.

Help feature: Under help you have NO, but there is no other category for support. I think one of the strongest assets of MT is the community support. Also, there is a tooltip for most (all?) features. It's small and appears at the bottom, but it's there. Also, there are the video tutorials and the wiki that gives tips for the macro language.

I agree. Here's what I put in that field:

Tooltips in-program; extensive screencast tutorials available from the main web site; fantastic community support via RPTools forum; community maintained wiki for macro scripting with extensive tutorials

But a separate set of fields for various support types would be a good idea. I mean, where else can you talk directly to the developers and see your ideas incorporated into your gaming application! 8)

There's also nothing in the comparison list about setting up a server. While MapTool isn't perfect in this regard (yet ;)) we do have UPnP support which some of the other VTs don't have.

And there's nothing about an application-supported "lobby". That's one of the things that gives OpenRPG such high marks. For MT we have the server list that you can use when you connect, but no official "lobby". We could setup a forum just for that, but we already have "looking for group" forums. For folks who want a last-minute pickup game, MT just isn't good for that...

Character pre-saved rolls: I'm not sure what this is.

Yeah, neither am I. But I think it means the ability to save a roll that a PC/NPC might use a lot so that it doesn't have to be typed. Our macros fit this very well.

Character HP tracking: My most recent creation is this: [spoiler=||| Health Bar |||]
token example.png
[/spoiler]

Gee whiz!!!

That's quite a beauty... :)

Automated combat: Not built in, but capable with macros.

Yeah, tough to automate something like combat when MapTool supports just about every game system out there!

--

Reading through the comparison list I see a few spots that we could do better. Audio support is a good example.

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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by wolph42 »

@Alias: that health bar you showed there including the ammo tracker is AWESOME, can I be so frank as to blatantly ask you to permit me to copy it into my own framework?? And henceforth also ask you to provide me with the corresponding data? (pretty please with sugarlumps on top :mrgreen: )

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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by Rumble »

Aliasmask - unless something changed recently, MT does not interface with InitTool anymore.

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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by aliasmask »

wolph42 wrote:@Alias: that health bar you showed there including the ammo tracker is AWESOME, can I be so frank as to blatantly ask you to permit me to copy it into my own framework?? And henceforth also ask you to provide me with the corresponding data? (pretty please with sugarlumps on top :mrgreen: )

<thread jack>
Sure, no problem, but I have yet to finish the code to update the ammo bars. It's a work in progress and that's the next thing I'll be doing. But I'll include a copy of the mtprops so you can see. Basically, there are 3 bars. Blank ammo to indicate capacity, ammo to show what you have chambered and clips. I already worked out the formula to adjust the levels on the bar, but I don't have that handy just now.
</thread jack>

@Rumble, never used it myself, so I wasn't sure. But I did know it's integrated.
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heruca
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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by heruca »

Azhrei wrote:There's also nothing in the comparison list about setting up a server. While MapTool isn't perfect in this regard (yet ;)) we do have UPnP support which some of the other VTs don't have.

Features that a VT has that no other VT has are probably good candidates for the "Other" section.

Azhrei wrote:
Character pre-saved rolls: I'm not sure what this is.

To be honest, I'm not quite sure myself what several things on that chart mean. FUM's chart was originally derived from a pre-existing chart on the OpenRPG site, and some things have remained unchanged. I think a second step in updating the comparison chart will be to add new sections, delete obscure sections (or rename them for clarity), etc.

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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by Azhrei »

heruca wrote:Features that a VT has that no other VT has are probably good candidates for the "Other" section.
[...]
To be honest, I'm not quite sure myself what several things on that chart mean. [...] I think a second step in updating the comparison chart will be to add new sections, delete obscure sections (or rename them for clarity), etc.

I am almost ready to send you the file. I copy/pasted the HTML into OpenOffice to get a spreadsheet view and then I've been updating the MapTool column. That has some problems though (lots of text makes a cell so tall that scrolling down one row means missing some of the text in the cell). I may delete the other columns so that I can reformat the MapTool column, but I realize that may make it harder for you to reintegrate into the original chart. :|

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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by heruca »

Feel free to send me just the MapTool column with the category headers. No need to overcomplicate this.

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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by Azhrei »

Email sent. I included both OpenDocument and Excel formats.

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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by heruca »

The chart has now been updated with new info for MapTool, Fantasy Grounds 2, ViewingDale, and Battlegrounds. Info for the other VTs will be updated if the developers respond to the request for updated info.

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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by Azhrei »

Excellent. Thanks for your work! :)

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heruca
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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

Post by heruca »

Hi again.

The time has come for me to once again update the VTT Comparison Chart, which is now hosted here.

The info on the chart is badly in need of an update, and I figure while I'm at it, I can purge old VTTs and add new ones (for example, the now-defunct ViewingDale was removed, and EpicTable might be added soon).

I was wondering if whoever is currently in charge of MapTool development/maintenance could email me the info they would like to see posted in the MapTool column for each row on the chart. Or to give the word if the current info listed is still relevant and complete. Thanks!

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Re: VTT Feature Comparison Chart needs updating

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