PDA

View Full Version : Savage Worlds Ruleset, tokens and grid



VenomousFiligree
January 8th, 2010, 21:11
Tokens no longer appear to snap to the grid in the Savage Worlds ruleset. Is this something that got broke in the latest update?

Doswelk
January 9th, 2010, 01:34
Tokens no longer appear to snap to the grid in the Savage Worlds ruleset. Is this something that got broke in the latest update?

This broke a while back...

It was when the option to snap to grid was made selectable (in a ruleset that supported it!).

I do know that it is on the list of Bugs I have been reporting to ASilva who according to this thread (http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showpost.php?p=80392&postcount=2) is doing the updates:

Savage Worlds Ruleset v3.1 (in progress by ASilva) - From the

Invain63
February 9th, 2010, 19:23
Just in case the devs are reading...

I observed a few map/token/combat tracker issues last night related to the grouping option in the combat tracker. Regular non-grouped entries can have their tokens highlighted on the map when it is their turn, have an attacker's icon show up in the combat tracker entry when targeted, and benefit from the auto-numbering optional feature. Combat Tracker entries that are part of a group don't benefit from any of these features.

Imagine how frustrating that is when dealing with 30 zombies!

-Kevin McD

Doswelk
February 12th, 2010, 12:23
Yes you are right...

I dug out the old SWDev (V2.5) edition I was testing for over a year and this indeed did not have this issue, somewhere along the line to V3 this must have been broken.

I've sent a copy of this to the poor chap that keeps plugging away at the code to make it work (I keep finding him more bugs!)

phloog
March 19th, 2010, 04:43
So it's been broken for a while, and am I to assume it's going to STAY broken? If it was already broken for a long time as of January, and it hasn't been fixed...has this company (or the one who did that ruleset) decided to abandon this product?

I've been using Klooge instead of FG for a while, but when they came out with the TAG - Daring Tales for FG I decided to try going back to FG with the SW ruleset...I think that was probably a mistake.

Here's what I've got...

1) No snapping to grids, apparently

2) No measurement of distance when I move a token, while Klooge (and other products) give me a readout of distances as I move about

3) No maps - -granted, this is one of my pet peeves with the DToA already - they want to be abstract, but I want at least some way of showing where people are. So the adventures rarely have any maps...BUT...I'd hoped when I bought the 'ready to play' FG version they'd have added maps...nope. So it's built for a remote play product, but apparently we're supposed to just chat it out.

4) So I built my own images to use as maps, and I started adding links in the module - - no go...you can add them, but as soon as you close and return, the links are broken - so I link my map of the lair, then when I leave, come back, and click on the link, I get the image file of the character sheet for one of the PCs...which brings me to the next problem....

So I decide that maybe I'll just keep using Klooge for my maps since it actually allows snapping and measurement, and I'll just use FG for the characters...BUT then...

5) Am I missing something, or did they release a whole set of modules that are primarily designed for a pre-generated set of characters, and they only provided IMAGES of the character sheets, so you can't even assign them out as PCs/tokens and you can do nothing with the stats unless you type them in yourself?

What am I missing here?

So here are the ten or so personalities/NPCs involved, and you can use them and click on their stats, but if you use the pre-gens you get to manually type them all in....

underwhelming, but I would like to know if they've dropped support for this product so I can try to figure out which product to go with.

Griogre
March 19th, 2010, 09:37
1) The next release of the SW ruleset should fix the snapping to grid. The SW ruleset was originally made by DA which was bought out by Smiteworks USA so the Ruleset is still supported and in development.

2) If you turn on Lock tokens then when the players lay out a path the distance will be measured. This does not work for the GM. If you hold down both mouse buttons and drag a pointer it will show distance for either the player or GM if you have overlay-ed a grid on the map with FG. There are fundamental differences between Klooge and FG and one of them is in their mission goals. FG goal is to mimic the the table top in a face to face game. Klooges is to simulate a roleplaying game. Thus because you don't usually have a string behind you figure as you move it on the battle map FG does not place a high priority on automatic counting. Neither approach is wrong and you should use the VTT that fits your style best. FG does have a much lower learning curve though because it does mimic the game table so most new users pick up how to use it faster. Klooge on the other hand has much more automation and once you know how it works it can do almost anything for you.

3) That is not possible in a license product. License products must mirror the released product *exactly* unless the publisher agrees and like you said they are not likely to do that because they believe the lack of maps is a "feature." You don't have to "chat" it out - you are suppose to either make the maps of the fly as needed, or spend the time ahead of time making a map - just like you would in a face to face game.

4) This should not happen unless you are trying to make links into a library module which should not happen or you are making links into an adventure module and then re-exporting the module. Can you give a step by step walk though of this problem?

5) I don't have the module so I can't answer that.

phloog
March 19th, 2010, 12:01
1) Is there an expected date for the next release?

2) I guess I get the mission goals, but I don't get this piece of it. I'd rather not have such a complete replication of my gaming table that it periodically emits gas due to the soda and snack foods (as my friends might)...it seems to me that providing measurements as you move is - while admittedly not something you can do instantly at the table - sufficiently unobtrusive as to be a valuable feature.

When I use Klooge, I use none of the automation, just the (extremely powerful) mapping bits.

3) I guess that I would dispute that - - wouldn't the license itself be the determining factor? Meaning: Couldn't/Shouldn't they have sought to make the license so that a map could be added for this product? And of course even if the license was 'just the things in there now', I'm not getting why none of the PCs were included as actual FG data instead of images, when all the NPCs were. To me failure to integrate the pre-gen PCs is a break with this exact replication idea. (which is point #5)

4) The process I used may be wrong, but then it seems like FG needs to work perhaps differently. What I did was open the module for the DToA adventure, then opened the STORY window, and selected one of the chapters. When I found that this chapter had no map, I added an image to the proper directory, then EDITed the chapter, created text that just said MAP, then highlighted/clicked that and added a LINK to the map image. I went out of edit mode, and clicked it and it worked...but closing and reopening resulted in any links bringing up a different image.

So...even if you can't do what I'm doing..shouldn't it have given me an error or warning, instead of letting me do it and then giving me the wrong image?

If it's impossible to add links to the story entries in a published module, then I'd call this a need in FG. This isn't a killer, since I guess I can just leave them unlinked and open them from the IMAGE pane directly, it just seems to be a flawed behavior to allow a link but then corrupt it.

ddavison
March 19th, 2010, 20:42
Hello phloog,

You bring up several really good points and questions. We currently have a freelance dev working on a Deadlands extension for Savage Worlds and I have asked him to address several of these known issues with the SWv3 ruleset as part of that release. Work began on this in December I believe but it has not been submitted for me to review it yet.

Regarding some of the modules which do not include maps, I agree this is less than ideal. Since our license is specific to the conversion of the printed product, we try to remain as faithful as possible to the original adventure. We would like to include the pre-generated PCs as selectable characters as well but the FG engine does not currently allow character sheets for PCs to be exported with the module and re-used. It kind of does but it was too buggy to include at this stage. We hope to have that feature in the future. For that reason, we have included the images that can be shared with the players as a reference when they fill out their own character sheets.

What you tried to do with the map was exactly what I had envisioned people would do and I am surprised to see that it wasn't working. We were expecting the same results as in the map modules available here from 0one Games, where you can open the linked story element and add your own detail. Those details are remembered when you open the campaign again later. You can drag NPCs and images over to the same tab as your module to keep them grouped together.

The problem is that the linking is currently getting broken. I didn't notice this previously but it sounds related to an issue JPG is currently tracking down for the next release of FG2. Essentially, the images, npcs or other database elements are getting assigned the next "id #" in the list. In this case, the id value of your image is conflicting with an id value already assigned within the module. When you click the link, it finds and returns the first matching record -- which happens to be the first pre-gen character sheet. I will check with John to see how close he is to resolving that issue, since it has a pretty big impact on the use and expandability of modules.

-Doug

Invain63
March 19th, 2010, 21:53
The biggest issue I have with the maps in the one Savage World adventure I have (Zombie Run) is that they have a grid already on the graphic. When I overlay my grid, it looks terrible, so I have to use a paint program to erase the existing grid from the map. This is the sort of thing that I would expect the publisher to be flexible about when porting from a static print format to a flexible electronic one.

Thanks for all the hard work of the FG staff!

-Kevin McD

ddavison
March 19th, 2010, 22:25
That is one thing we try to handle on newer conversions. If the images are resized so that they match a specific grid size, we then include that info so that the FG grids can easily be overlaid on the image. The new map packs include links to maps with 50 pixels per square grids and normally several other sizes as well.

Invain63
March 19th, 2010, 22:34
That is one thing we try to handle on newer conversions. If the images are resized so that they match a specific grid size, we then include that info so that the FG grids can easily be overlaid on the image. The new map packs include links to maps with 50 pixels per square grids and normally several other sizes as well.

Sounds great - thanks!

-Kevin McD

phloog
March 19th, 2010, 23:49
THanks for the info - just wish it was closer to done.

To give folks some input with respect to existing grids vs. FG grids, I can tell you that the grass is a BIT greener, but not green enough, elsewhere.

Klooge has the ability to offset/shift the grid in both horizontal and vertical, and also a 'fudge factor' that attempts to make up for the inconsistencies of the existing grid...I find it close, but not close enough...I just don't see any product doing this well until someone invents a logic that 'finds' the grid on the existing image, and uses/snaps to that.

OH! One more thing - -so I created a client session to test the 'lock tokens' and move to see the distance. This appears to be a horrible design - - am I right in noting that the label that says how many inches the move is appears at a distance from the end of the movement line, and that the distance from the end of the line is not constant (as it should be), but a FUNCTION OF THE LENGTH OF THE MOVE!?!

What I'm seeing is that if I move 1", the player sees the distance...2" we still see it, but it's farther away...depending on the map by 6" or more the distance label is gone - completely off the map!

Is there a setting to keep the label locked to the end of the line depicting the movement? What would the benefit be of this distance based on distance moved?

Doswelk
March 20th, 2010, 21:17
OH! One more thing - -so I created a client session to test the 'lock tokens' and move to see the distance. This appears to be a horrible design - - am I right in noting that the label that says how many inches the move is appears at a distance from the end of the movement line, and that the distance from the end of the line is not constant (as it should be), but a FUNCTION OF THE LENGTH OF THE MOVE!?!

What I'm seeing is that if I move 1", the player sees the distance...2" we still see it, but it's farther away...depending on the map by 6" or more the distance label is gone - completely off the map!

I keep forgetting to mention that bug to Doug!

Thanks for brining it up!

This as well as snap to grids all stem from when hex supported was added, for some reason the SW ruleset was severely hobbled by this change!

phloog
March 22nd, 2010, 03:28
Yeah, it's really an oddball bug, because I can think of no situation where this would be desired.

Things that are not killers for me like this distance/snap/grid stuff, but are a big deal are:

1) The ability to add maps to established modules...many agree that one limitation of the DToA is that they don't have maps, the FG conversion takes that stance of replicating only what's there, but then the bug in SW ruleset makes it so you can't make your OWN maps and link them properly.

2) I'm bothered that there aren't tokens provided. Again, I'm sure this is an 'only what's in the original' thing, but it seems like something that should have been worked out in the license.

I actually only run SW in a FACE TO FACE game, but I use a large monitor for mapping, and my laptop for all the NPC/story management.

Right now, believe it or not, here is where I'm at:

I own a license of Fantasy Grounds with the SW ruleset, but...

FG doesn't do anything powerful in terms of character creation/maintenance/advancement, so I ended up buying a license of Metacreator to handle all my PCs. Since it's a pain to type them in, I don't have ANY PC data in FG right now...MC stays open all session.

Fantasy Grounds for SW is broken to the point of useless in terms of the maps/grid/snap...so I have a full license of KLOOGE that I use to display maps to my players, track movement, look at blasts/effects, etc.

So FG stays open for the story/reading, and so that I can track and make rolls for the NPC that are provided in the modules. Klooge stays open and handles all mapping and movement, including chases.

MC stays open to manage the PCs.

Now MC is actually working on mapping functionality. At some point I think whichever company gets their bugs fixed and allows me to use ONE product will get a lot of my money.

EDIT: Now I've found a SW module for Klooge...it's a three way steel cage match. I'd really like a winner to emerge quickly, but it's like all three are wobbly and about to drop.

phantomwhale
April 3rd, 2010, 20:37
Have got a fix for snap to grid, I think.

Was hacking around with my savage worlds ruleset without taking any backups (yes, yes, I know) and now seem to have "snap to grid" working. Oddly, it lets people snap to the grid intersections as well (not sure if that is desired) but it's better than no snap at all.

The solution was to edit the scripts/imagewindow_image.lua file, modifying lines 42-28 as follows :



function onTokenSnap(token, x, y)
if hasGrid() then
return getClosestSnapPoint(x, y);
else
return x, y;
end
end

I think the original had most of this commented out, which meant it simply never tried to snap at all.

On a seperate note, if anyone knows how I can download a copy of the original lua files for my savage worlds ruleset, I'd be grateful, and I'll back them up this time (promise) !

Cheers,
Ben

umbralux
April 3rd, 2010, 22:30
Here's the original for you:
function onTokenSnap(token, x, y)
-- if hasGrid() then
-- return getClosestSnapPoint(x, y);
-- else
return x, y;
-- end
endLooks like the programmer had commented out all but 'return x,y' which makes me wonder, WTF were they thinking?!

In any case, thanks for posting the fix!

Doswelk
April 4th, 2010, 13:06
Have got a fix for snap to grid, I think.

I was trying to get this to work as well the same time, but failed!

I am always shocked at my inability to understand lua code!

Thanks

Changing mine now...

Doswelk
April 4th, 2010, 13:09
Here's the original for you:
function onTokenSnap(token, x, y)
-- if hasGrid() then
-- return getClosestSnapPoint(x, y);
-- else
return x, y;
-- end
endLooks like the programmer had commented out all but 'return x,y' which makes me wonder, WTF were they thinking?!

In any case, thanks for posting the fix!

I seem to recall that when the ruleset was written snap-to-grid had been was built-in/added to FGII, when it was subsequently made optional these lines would have needed to be edited!

phantomwhale
April 5th, 2010, 23:22
Ah cool - glad it's working for others too !

Thanks for posting the original code - I ended up finding an archived copy of the original script that I had on my local CrashPlan installation, so was quite smug with myself for having this backup thing running for months and finally having a use for it :)

And for my next trick, I'll fix grouped encounters in the combat tracker... erm... maybe...

phloog
April 6th, 2010, 00:12
Just curious, Mr. P. Whale....if you're doing all the fixes, do I send the money to YOU next time? ;)

phantomwhale
April 6th, 2010, 10:04
Hardly doing ALL the fixes ! Just the easy ones, or ones that annoy me too much (of which there are very few, I might add).

Most of the real money around modules and rulesets is going to the publishers anyway to pay for the rights to the intellectual property of the original game, the developer money is peanuts compared to any real coding work. So I think of the ongoing development more in the spirit of open source where developers can look to patch issues themselves and get them put into the next ruleset version.

That said, it's not entirely clear to me who is doing development on the Savage Worlds rules (I see the name ASilva, but can't find him on the FG Forums). Anyone know ? Would be good to know who to flag potential patches like this one up to.

Especially as he's also the guy doing the Deadlands:Reloaded extension, which I hope gets a few interruptions to it as possible, as it's my #1 game right now !

phloog
April 6th, 2010, 18:49
Well, to clarify: you're doing the only fixes that I can see/use right now.

I guess I dislike too much reliance on the open/volunteer model, as applied to software that is purchased. For Maptool it's fine.

I understand that the developers are not full time, and are sort of doing this as they get time, and if other things get in the way then we don't get fixes. But it's not how I'd like it to work.

More importantly, when I look at something like this snap issue, I think that one flaw in their approach seems to be the full release strategy...it seems like someone who is actually working for / paid by the company could have posted what you posted, or actually posted a patch file fixing those 'easy' things first.

Instead it sounds like we've got at least two problems that aggravate each other - - the developer only gets to work on this in their spare time, and the developer/company isn't going to release until they have a full new version.

So there might be fifty little fixes that could get done and delivered quickly, but aren't getting implemented because of the hobbyist nature of the coding and the strategy of 'step function' releases.

I'd be happy if they DON'T release a new version of the ruleset, and just provide a load of patches for the one we have. Or have a page where you can download at your own risk the modules/bits that they think are fixed (recognizing that many may have interfaces/dependencies, of course)

ddavison
April 7th, 2010, 04:37
We very much depend upon the community to improve the rulesets, add extensions and tell us what is most important for them. One of the other two owners and I were once just members of the community as well before we purchased the company from the original developers. These original developers only did the core application and not the rulesets at all. We acquired the rulesets because Digital Adventures was looking to move on to other projects and offered to sell it to us. While I hope to grow the add-on content side of the business, it has traditionally amounted to only around 2% of revenue for the company. It has been growing substantially since the change in owners and since we have been actively pursuing relationships with new publishers, but it is still a small percentage.

We are nearing 18K users now, but once the product is purchased those customers don't continue to support the business unless they buy additional add-ons -- which is one key reason for constantly releasing new products. It is not like World of Warcraft or even DDI where everyone is paying a monthly subscription fee which pays to support full-time developers. The community is overwhelming against any sort of subscription fee, so we have to do the best we can with the resources we have. For me, that means I will try to continually bring in talented people from the community who realize that most of this is a labor of love. Thankfully we DO have an amazing community here and it helps tremendously. I felt that was as a user and I feel that way still as an owner.

The next release of Savage Worlds will be a free upgrade or patch for existing users. The Deadlands extension will be a purchasable product. If you want to support the work done by various community people, then buying add-ons they release under contract with us will show them your support and get them at least a little return on their investment of time and effort. For those many contributors on the forums who do so completely of their own free will, please be sure to let them know that their work is appreciated.

phantomwhale
April 7th, 2010, 12:01
Thanks for covering the commerce side from a SmiteWorks perspective Doug.

I really do see the commercial aspect as a small necessary evil, given it is essentially an extension / recreation of existing licensed products, and I am very happy so many publishers can consented to be part of Fantasy Grounds. And I am much happier with buying more products rather than paying a subscription fee - micro payments are the way forward. As I get older, virtual gaming becomes more attractive to my social situation, so I love having a quality product to do it with to make up for all that is lost when you move away from face-to-face gaming.

Anyway, slightly back on the focus of this thread, I was wondering what the "best" approach for community ruleset patches was ? For instance, with this simple fix, I would like it to be considered for the next "official" SW ruleset. This is currently owned by SmiteWorks, and equally has a 3rd party developer registered as the current steward for it's development.

So ideally, I guess these patches should be sent to the development steward for consideration - in this case, this is ASilva, who I cannot find any contact details for. So maybe some sort of mailbox could be setup by SmiteWorks to capture patch requests and forward them to the appropriate developer(s) ? Even with an auto-reply to say the suggestion has been forwarded and to remind users that support requests should still be posted in the forums.

Equally it would be good for the bleeding edge users to be able to co-ordinate on unofficial patches between releases. Right now, I see efforts done as potentially "lost" as there is no formal way of sharing them with the community. Maybe this needs to be a community driven affair, but not sure how best to proceed. A thread for code patches might be good, but dissolve into chatter most likely. A section on the FGWiki could work ? Or hosting the ruleset in an online VCS like google code ? (although not sure about security / legal implicaitons on this - guessing this might be an issue). Maybe the demand is low around this usage, but equally it might be low because co-ordinated collaboration is non-trivial at the moment ?

Maybe something has already been setup around these areas, and I was not aware (I've been absent from the FG community for a while). Or maybe people have some good ideas around this. In any case, I am asking in a larger context to see if any future bugfixes might find a home in more than 2-3 people's installations. If so, I think I as a developer would be more encouraged to look into them.

Ah, was just coming back for a simple contact detail, and ended up rambling again. Apologies :)

phloog
April 7th, 2010, 14:27
Well, while I don't have your sales data by user, I have to believe that I've supported FG and its partners as much or more than most, having bought the license, the SW ruleset, and now all those Daring Tales conversions. Based on your comments, I have to believe I'm one of the more profitable customers so far.

Until the issues with SW were noted, I was planning on getting the monster license, but was forced to look at other products to support the mapping side and now that purchase is in doubt as I'm making do with other things.

Maybe your business model doesn't support it, but I do think that one of the issues seems to be the full release versus small patch strategy. One of my issues was resolved essentially by opening a file and hitting my Delete key about ten times. Without the intervention of undead aquatic mammals, I would still be waiting for the full release to fix this.

And of course now a bit of what may be blasphemy on this site --

Maybe the 'labor of love' thing has to go.

Maybe you have to be either a business that can deliver a high-quality product for a market-determined price and survive, or you have to be a community effort similar to Maptools where everyone pitches in and everything is free.

Note: I am NOT saying Maptools is superior to FG.

The point is it seems like a lot of bad practice starts to happen when you mix the two, in the same way that you have countless failed restaurants started just because "I really love to cook."

Customers pay good money for a product, but then because some large percent of the effort is "love-based" or volunteer, there's this pressure to not complain, despite having paid money for a product that isn't delivering all that they need.

People involved in the effort get defensive, because they ARE working for peanuts but still have to hear these complaints.

We're expected to be grateful that someone is nice enough to make what we paid for work.

It's sort of the worst of both worlds. I pay money and it doesn't work properly - to me it seems like my money was (partially) wasted and I complain. Developers in the community work for little or no compensation, and yet have to listen to us gripe, which isn't nice for them.

I don't gripe or get angry about Maptools, despite its many shortcomings, because I didn't pay for it. Once I pay ANYTHING for a product, I expect quality, and so while I think the community is great, I don't like relying on the charity and good will of others to make a product I bought work.

It's probably my fault LONG ago for not doing my research, because if I'd known that updates were going to be largely dependent on the kindness of strangers, I might not have bought in.

kalmarjan
April 7th, 2010, 14:52
Well, while I don't have your sales data by user, I have to believe that I've supported FG and its partners as much or more than most, having bought the license, the SW ruleset, and now all those Daring Tales conversions. Based on your comments, I have to believe I'm one of the more profitable customers so far.


I believe Doug said that there was 18K users, labeling yourself as "most profitable" is probably a misstatement.


Until the issues with SW were noted, I was planning on getting the monster license, but was forced to look at other products to support the mapping side and now that purchase is in doubt as I'm making do with other things.

Maybe your business model doesn't support it, but I do think that one of the issues seems to be the full release versus small patch strategy. One of my issues was resolved essentially by opening a file and hitting my Delete key about ten times. Without the intervention of undead aquatic mammals, I would still be waiting for the full release to fix this.

And of course now a bit of what may be blasphemy on this site --

Maybe the 'labor of love' thing has to go.

Honestly, if you want to talk about business, if there was not a labor of love, you would not have a ruleset. I am qualified to say this, because it was my labor of love that provided you with the SW, Iron Heroes, Castles and Crusades, Modern, Arcana Evolved rulesets for FG.

I say it is a labor of love, because when you factor in the hours that I put into the rulesets, you would get about 1$ an hour for what I spent. Try telling me that I should not do it out of love.



Maybe you have to be either a business that can deliver a high-quality product for a market-determined price and survive, or you have to be a community effort similar to Maptools where everyone pitches in and everything is free.

Note: I am NOT saying Maptools is superior to FG.

The point is it seems like a lot of bad practice starts to happen when you mix the two, in the same way that you have countless failed restaurants started just because "I really love to cook."

You are really comparing apples and oranges here:
1) Map Tools is a open source project. That means the code is OPEN and licensed for change by the community.

You also do not have "official" rulesets for Maptools, so that community is walking a fine line with the IP of the game companies products used to play.

An example of this is the Maptool framework for Savage Worlds. What is the legalality of that framework?

With FG, at least the system is licensed.

2) As for your restaurant analogy, as a Chef, I can tell you that your reasoning is flawed. Restaurants fail all the time because people don't understand that it is a business. Countless chefs fail because their egos don't lend well to the business side of conversion of their offering.

You have to love to cook, or you would be STUPID to be in my business at all. Trust me on that. 18-20 hour days makes one loopy, and I don't do it because I am phsyco, I do it because i LOVE THE BUSINESS!


Customers pay good money for a product, but then because some large percent of the effort is "love-based" or volunteer, there's this pressure to not complain, despite having paid money for a product that isn't delivering all that they need.

People involved in the effort get defensive, because they ARE working for peanuts but still have to hear these complaints.

We're expected to be grateful that someone is nice enough to make what we paid for work.

It's sort of the worst of both worlds. I pay money and it doesn't work properly - to me it seems like my money was (partially) wasted and I complain. Developers in the community work for little or no compensation, and yet have to listen to us gripe, which isn't nice for them.

Complaints are okay. I believe that they drive the product in a better direction. With that though, you NEED to understand that nothing will change overnight.

HOW you complain is another thing altogether. I have read various posts of yours that contribute nothing but critisim to the conversation. Saying things like, "such and such is broken" or "It's a waste of money", or "Klooge is better" do nothing to add to the development of a product.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. Today SW is a company that listens to thier client base. Yes, none of the rulesets are perfect. Yes, we are working towards a solution.

That is miles better than what used to happen around here. (Crickets chirping.)


I don't gripe or get angry about Maptools, despite its many shortcomings, because I didn't pay for it. Once I pay ANYTHING for a product, I expect quality, and so while I think the community is great, I don't like relying on the charity and good will of others to make a product I bought work.

It's probably my fault LONG ago for not doing my research, because if I'd known that updates were going to be largely dependent on the kindness of strangers, I might not have bought in.

I am sorry you came to this oppinion. It seems like you weighed it out a lot before making it.

To be true, there are a lot of products out there that don't work at first iteration. Games, software, 3D drawing programs, heck, even Photoshop and 3DS Max don't work properly the first time they came out. They are worth 10 times what you would pay for an ultimate license.

The thing is, they have communities just like this one. People who are passionate about the product, who want to see it improve. People who actually put the effort into making it better instead of bitching about how it is "broken".

You get what you put into Fantasy Grounds. Yes, it is not Map Tool, Klooge, iTabletop, Battlegrounds - it is better. (Okay, biased opinion there, but I have used them all. The dice just do something for me I guess.)

If you really want change, then CONTRIBUTE something to the conversation. You never know, you might be surpised at what comes out of it.

To the developers, and this community - hats off to all of you. I have been here since the beginning, and it is YOU all that make me stay.

Stay Savage!

mac40k
April 7th, 2010, 16:34
I'm a big fan of FG2. When I was researching tabletop emulators for online play, I was actually leaning towards Battlegrounds initially, but it was the community here that made me decide to go with FG2. While I appreciate all that the community does, I have to side with phloog when it comes to paid-for product. The SWEX ruleset isn't a fan-made or community ruleset like nWoD, Dark Heresy, or some others that are out there. I paid money for the product and I don't think it unreasonable to expect it to work. Even if someone smarter than I has figured out how to hack the ruleset to fix some of the problems, I shouldn't be expected to scour the forums to discover these fixes and then have to manually screw around with the ruleset myself to get it to work. For a fan or community created ruleset, that is fine. For a commercial product, it is not. Even if it is an easy fix. Especially if it is an easy fix, since the hard work of debugging and coding the solution has been done, it's just a matter of packaging up that fix in a distributable form that needs to be done.

Now I realise that FG2 and SWEX rulesets used to be two different companies and the old FG developers made some core changes that "broke" functionality in SWEX. That being said, both FG2 and SWEX have been under one roof for some time now. I would have thought if you wanted to continue to sell the ruleset and additional add-on product for it, that fixing the glitches in the ruleset would have been a priority. I know that I have personally been holding off on additional purchases. While I think it is great that additional product for SWEX is being made, if you want my money, fix what I've already bought first. I'm happy to hear that SmiteWorks has a patch in the works and hopefully it will be released soon.

kalmarjan
April 7th, 2010, 17:10
I'm a big fan of FG2. When I was researching tabletop emulators for online play, I was actually leaning towards Battlegrounds initially, but it was the community here that made me decide to go with FG2. While I appreciate all that the community does, I have to side with phloog when it comes to paid-for product. The SWEX ruleset isn't a fan-made or community ruleset like nWoD, Dark Heresy, or some others that are out there. I paid money for the product and I don't think it unreasonable to expect it to work. Even if someone smarter than I has figured out how to hack the ruleset to fix some of the problems, I shouldn't be expected to scour the forums to discover these fixes and then have to manually screw around with the ruleset myself to get it to work. For a fan or community created ruleset, that is fine. For a commercial product, it is not. Even if it is an easy fix. Especially if it is an easy fix, since the hard work of debugging and coding the solution has been done, it's just a matter of packaging up that fix in a distributable form that needs to be done.

Now I realise that FG2 and SWEX rulesets used to be two different companies and the old FG developers made some core changes that "broke" functionality in SWEX. That being said, both FG2 and SWEX have been under one roof for some time now. I would have thought if you wanted to continue to sell the ruleset and additional add-on product for it, that fixing the glitches in the ruleset would have been a priority. I know that I have personally been holding off on additional purchases. While I think it is great that additional product for SWEX is being made, if you want my money, fix what I've already bought first. I'm happy to hear that SmiteWorks has a patch in the works and hopefully it will be released soon.

Well said, sir.

I am not disagreeing with the viewpoint of "the ruleset needs to be fixed."

I also agree that you need not scour the forums for a fix.

Understand that these things are in the works. It will take a bit of time to make sure that the "fix" does not do something that will break the existing code. That is why it is an "unoffical" fix.

Imagine if we just inserted fix A into the code as an update, then the ruleset broke further. That would not look very professional.

As a former developer for Digital Adventures, I can tell you about the frustration of having all the work we did go out the window as there was a "new functionality" introduced in FG. We actually found out AFTER the "feature" was added.

Today, both companies are under the same roof. Communication happens.

I cannot speak for Doug, but I have a feeling that he treads cautiously with these "fixes" to make sure the system does not break.

I just urge that we follow a few steps to make this product even better:

1) Report the bug
2) Report system specs
3) Report version used
4) Report steps to recreate the problem.

With those steps, we can ensure that FG will continue to grow.

I think that a post that just complains that the ruleset sucks, or is a waste of money does not help anyone. We, the community, are here to help.

Like I pointed out in my last response, this idea is not new with any software. If we waited until software was perfect before release, we would not have any software.

Cheers, Stay Savage!

kalmarjan
April 7th, 2010, 17:23
Oops, double post.

Sorry

phloog
April 7th, 2010, 21:37
Just a couple quick ones




I believe Doug said that there was 18K users, labeling yourself as "most profitable" is probably a misstatement.

(snip)

HOW you complain is another thing altogether. I have read various posts of yours that contribute nothing but critisim to the conversation. Saying things like, "such and such is broken" or "It's a waste of money", or "Klooge is better" do nothing to add to the development of a product.

(snip)

To be true, there are a lot of products out there that don't work at first iteration. Games, software, 3D drawing programs, heck, even Photoshop and 3DS Max don't work properly the first time they came out. They are worth 10 times what you would pay for an ultimate license.

The thing is, they have communities just like this one. People who are passionate about the product, who want to see it improve. People who actually put the effort into making it better instead of bitching about how it is "broken".


The 'most profitable' bit - - I didn't say 'most profitable', I said 'ONE of the MORE profitable' (new emphasis mine). When Doug himself said most people don't buy the add-ons and other products, and I myself have the license, the SW ruleset, and all the DToA, I think that it's reasonable to believe I am more profitable than most, based on his own statement implying most people just buy the base FG.

The bit about complaints - - true, I started out with labeling it broken (it is), but then when I met resistance and defensiveness, I posted the biggest problems I had with it - one of which was fixed by the community.

I think your "quotes" that you're attributing to me declaring "Klooge is better" or similar are incorrect...probably best when you use the word "like" to not use the quotation marks, lest someone think those are actual quotes..the "like" seems insufficient.

And in fact if you have looked at my posts, those that you are interpreting as Klooge being better are generally speaking of functions, like the fact that Klooge displays all move distances....correct me if I'm wrong, but pointing out a function or power that the competition has IS giving FG information on what specifically I'd like to see improved, is it not?

The bit about other software - - oddly coincidental choice of examples, or do you know me personally?

I am a licensed owner of Photoshop from early days, and have been a user of 3dsMax since the early 90's - - in truth, when I started it was still 3dStudio Release 3 for DOS. I have paid THOUSANDS over the years for upgrades (and later subscriptions)to that product.

And when there are bugs, they hear about it from me....

(requoting you) "People who actually put the effort into making it better instead of bitching about how it is "broken"." -

- I'm not clear...are you suggesting that I should be actually programming and fixing bugs, or is my posting of the bugs sufficient?

Again, I apologize for any posts that were vague initially, but I'm not really up for relisting the problems I've had at each and every post, and I'd probably get flak if it did THAT for being repetitive.

...but back to your choice of Autodesk (formerly Discreet, Kinetix, etc.etc.) and Adobe - you're right, they have great communities. And many versions in they STILL have bugs.

But Autodesk isn't expecting members of the community to fix the bug that makes the file menu lockup, or to create a better scanline renderer.

If Autodesk announced that the new IK system was going to be a labor of love built by members of the community because they couldn't afford to pay full-time programmers, I'd be looking for another product.

kalmarjan
April 7th, 2010, 22:36
I find when you are speaking to someone in an effort to contribute to a community, it is best not to admonish them for the usage of language. That path only leads to irritation, misunderstanding, and your dismissal as a troll.

You have quite a history there with the other software that I mentioned. That was not by my design; I gave the example from my own personal background.

Fantasy Grounds has evolved quite a bit from its infancy. I remember back when even having pins in your campaigns would crash the program and corrupt the database.

We (the community) solved the problem in the best way that we could. I am going to repeat the point to drive it home for you:


1) Report the bug
2) Report system specs
3) Report version used
4) Report steps to recreate the problem.

There are those out there that are willing to contribute to the community as a whole, jump in and fix the problems that you post. That is their way of contributing.

I am not sure why you think that I am asking you to program your way out of your problems; I am not.

I just ask that you try and follow the guidelines to report the bug. That way, Fantasy Grounds can improve. You can continue to post that it is broken or unacceptable, I just don't see where that will get you.

I am sure that Doug has a large list of problems to fix. He inherited them. These problems would be given a rank, and he would go in there and fix them. I am not sure about his list, but I extrapolate that it is there.

Finally, getting back to the Autodesk/Adobe example. There have been many a plugin, renderer, and utility made from the creative people working around the flaws in the program. An example is V-Ray, Renderman, Brasil as renderers because the scanline renderer was just not up to par for most applications. Surface tools were originally a workaround for nurbing.

Kudos to you for being with 3DS since its DOS days. You probably remember what a nightmare the bugs were back then. (There were a LOT of them!)

I think though, that through consistent reporting of bugs in those programs by their communities, and the constructive feedback they gave is what made those programs what they are today.

For example, a crash on the AutoGrid function in 3DS M10 - One could post and say that it is stupid, the thing won't work, why after paying a stupid amount of money, won't it work?

The community asks to see the file, tweaks a few settings for the guy, and tries to solve the problem. There is no resolution yet, but the guy followed what I outlined up above.

Now people can try and re-create the problem, and perhaps a solution can be found.

Understand that all I am asking is for you to approach your bugs in the same way.

I hope that makes sense.

phloog
April 8th, 2010, 00:24
The admonishment was actually not intended to be about language, and not intended to troll, but I would say that calling someone a troll, or insinuating the same, is not productive, either.

Point taken, though, I should have just said that I NEVER said Klooge was better in general, only that it did some things better.

I get it...I see your four steps, but for the bugs I'm reporting I don't see a need to do 2) through 4), since everyone - Doug included, has already said that they see the problem with things like snap, incorrect links, etc. It's not an issue of versioning or system specs. The issue is now only speed to correct.

Here's the deal I'll make with you all - I won't post here again for a month (May 7th) at the absolute EARLIEST.

I won't post anything more on the issues I've already posted about ever, and frankly now you're absolutely free to take as much time as you need to fix things. I recognize that I have no real impact on the speed of operations, because it is in large part a volunteer organization.

And as angry as I might sound, I do appreciate the fact that I now understand a lot more about how the company gets things done, and I'm now at least informed rather than ignorant.

ddavison
April 8th, 2010, 06:23
We will do our best to continually improve FG. I think we have done a good job of releasing quality products since I have been the President of the company. In addition, the new developer commission model was designed in part to give the original developer an incentive to keep rulesets up to date and to patch and enhance them in order to garner more sales. This was something lacking in the model pushed by DA I think. It may take time for this tree to bear fruit but it is a step in the right direction.

We have a lot of areas that we want to improve upon and while I would like them to all occur at once I have to be realistic and tackle the most visible, serious or profitable ones first. Savage Worlds is an important core ruleset for us going forward, so your requests will definitely get into the queue. Requests will be weighed based on the severity, number of users requesting or reporting it and the profitability.

ddavison
April 8th, 2010, 06:27
Anyway, slightly back on the focus of this thread, I was wondering what the "best" approach for community ruleset patches was ? For instance, with this simple fix, I would like it to be considered for the next "official" SW ruleset. This is currently owned by SmiteWorks, and equally has a 3rd party developer registered as the current steward for it's development.

So ideally, I guess these patches should be sent to the development steward for consideration - in this case, this is ASilva, who I cannot find any contact details for. So maybe some sort of mailbox could be setup by SmiteWorks to capture patch requests and forward them to the appropriate developer(s) ? Even with an auto-reply to say the suggestion has been forwarded and to remind users that support requests should still be posted in the forums.

Equally it would be good for the bleeding edge users to be able to co-ordinate on unofficial patches between releases. Right now, I see efforts done as potentially "lost" as there is no formal way of sharing them with the community. Maybe this needs to be a community driven affair, but not sure how best to proceed. A thread for code patches might be good, but dissolve into chatter most likely. A section on the FGWiki could work ? Or hosting the ruleset in an online VCS like google code ? (although not sure about security / legal implicaitons on this - guessing this might be an issue). Maybe the demand is low around this usage, but equally it might be low because co-ordinated collaboration is non-trivial at the moment ?

Maybe something has already been setup around these areas, and I was not aware (I've been absent from the FG community for a while). Or maybe people have some good ideas around this. In any case, I am asking in a larger context to see if any future bugfixes might find a home in more than 2-3 people's installations. If so, I think I as a developer would be more encouraged to look into them.

Ah, was just coming back for a simple contact detail, and ended up rambling again. Apologies :)

That is a good idea. We will talk about it internally, but I think creating a forum for each ruleset might be a good approach. Sub-forums underneath could further help direct users to hot-fixes, release notes, how-tos, etc.

We also have a little work to do on our end on the best way to deploy the patches for ruleset and adventure modules out to users who bought them. It would be nice to tie it into the built-in update system but it might end up being a simple email approach at first.

umbralux
April 9th, 2010, 03:20
I hesitated before posting here. Mostly because it seems as if the issue has become personal for more than one. I also understand the need to make a profit. Better yet, I'm a die-hard capitalist and don't see it as a "necessary evil". :) I even realize the current issues with the SWEX rule set probably weren't caused by the current owners.

Even so, those issues almost certainly hurt profitability.

They've certainly made me more cautious about purchasing rule sets. Not because the rule set has issues, few can afford NASA's code shop. And even NASA has made some big mistakes. To me, the issue is the lost functionality. Things which work in SWv2 don't work in SWv3...even when using the same FG2 installation. "Nerfs" will almost always cause more pain than bugs or even lack of functionality.

I'm all for FG being profitable! Hopefully very profitable. It'll keep you around longer for me to use and enjoy! :) Out of curiosity, have you considered a ransom model for creating / upgrading rule sets? Stolze seems to have done well with that for RPGs.

One comment on the new forum format, have you considered making the rule specific forums a subforum of the Workshop? That would put the technical info in forums dedicated to the rule set while leaving the game and community areas as a community.

Doswelk
April 9th, 2010, 14:00
They've certainly made me more cautious about purchasing rule sets. Not because the rule set has issues, few can afford NASA's code shop. And even NASA has made some big mistakes. To me, the issue is the lost functionality. Things which work in SWv2 don't work in SWv3...even when using the same FG2 installation. "Nerfs" will almost always cause more pain than bugs or even lack of functionality.

I understand you concern, and my reply is my opinion (yes I do create SW modules for Smiteworks, but I am at the mercy of SWEX FGII bugs just like you!).

The Savage Worlds rule set is fairly unique in it's history compared to all other rulesets.

The Savage Worlds ruleset was the first non d20-based ruleset released for FG1. The D20 Modern for example (there were 2 different versions for FG1!) were both I suspect (I only did one of them) modified versions of the D20 ruleset Smiteworks provided with Fantasy Grounds. (this is not relevant really but a little history sometimes helps!)

The release of Fantasy Grounds II meant all the existing rulesets no longer worked, the change to using lua whilst making customization away from d20 easier it also increased the complexity of making a ruleset.

So people (myself included started re-making rulesets for FGII), and as Fantasy Grounds was updated people sometimes had to fix their rule sets to keep things working.

This is where the complications set in:

1) There have been three different versions of the Savage Worlds ruleset for FGII (there was a Dev version that was the concept version for the current version that to my knowledge myself and my group used for 10+ months exclusively; we were the unofficial play-testers)
2) to my knowledge the Fantasy Grounds Savage Worlds Ruleset has had 4 different people work on it over the years (and two companies!). The current chap trying to resolve the problems with it did not write any of it, so he has had to go through almost line by line to work out how it works (like we do when we try to find issues).
3) Smiteworks USA has only had ownership of FGII and the SW ruleset for a short period of time compared to the length of time the problems have existed.

I completely understand your concerns but other rulesets/products are usually the work of one person and are all designed to work (or have been fixed to do so) with the current version of FGII.

I would like to stress again the above post is my own opinion and any inaccuracies are mine, this is just my take on the only ruleset I use on Fantasy Grounds these days...

umbralux
April 10th, 2010, 01:39
One thing I'll add, all the community support has gone a long way towards mitigating my irritations. The community, as a whole, has been great! Thanks!

phantomwhale
April 11th, 2010, 22:38
Snap to grid fix, along with another bug fix, now both available as an unofficial extension : http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12159

Blue Haven
April 12th, 2010, 10:10
We can use this two extensions together or must be used alone...? i know this might be a stupid question but i remember that sometimes when you use more than one the program crash...so i asked ;)