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sunbeam60
February 28th, 2005, 20:44
Had our first real session last night, i.e. the first session where it wasn’t about getting to know the interface or testing our connection settings. We used Skype between the five of us, which worked beautifully, so I can’t comment on the chat box as a tool for running full adventures.

Fantasy Grounds works, plain and simple. The shared maps, especially, are utterly seamless and after 30 minutes or so I think few of us gave much thought to the fact that there was 6000 km between us. Here are some of the “bad” things I ran into. Most of them are idiosyncrasies more than actual issues … some of them I can just get around by adopting a certain working procedure:

1) No map zoom.
While I initially thought this wasn’t going to be an issue, there were quite a few places where I had an overview map, and no detail map, and the players ended up in a fight. It would be perfect if one could zoom in and out using the mouse wheel on a map. Since my dungeons tend to be rather large, I cannot create a 40-50px per 5 feet map for a complete dungeon system, so I found myself having an “exploration” map which I gradually revealed to the players and then did a quick Wacom sketch whenever something happened. Since the program is already utilizing 3D hardware, it doesn't seem like a major CPU hog to allow zooming on the maps.
2) Map temporarily disclosed to players.
When I opened a map, hid it using the mask layer, and then shared it to the players, my players actually saw the full map for a brief second before it was hidden. Not a biggie, since we’re talking 1 second here, but still annoying since it does give the players some sense of proportion.
3) Nasty server crash.
About 2 hours into the session, I was right clicking 3 out of 4 players to ring their bells (they had all put down their headphones because the last player decided to go for a little solo adventure at night) and my server crashed. Being on Skype, this wasn’t a big problem as such, but to my horror, once I restarted the server, all text and images not in the first “category” had disappeared. In fact, all categories but the very first one was gone. 5 minutes later, after a bout of panic, I realized that if I created the category tabs again, the data was actually still there, so I guess it was the categories themselves that disappeared.

I retained a copy of the “corrupt” XML file in case any of the developers want to take a peek.
4) Players can’t rename their ID names
When my players created a character on my server initially, some chose their character name, others their real name. On their character sheets, they naturally chose a character name, but some are still identified as their real name because this is what they chose initially. Would be cool if there was a way to lift the character name off the sheet, and always use that.
5) No way to reorder tokens by “push-to-back” or “move-to-front”. As evident further down, I occasionally needed to place tokens on top of each other, and unless I added them in the correct order, one token would always cover another.
6) While not directly related to last night’s session, I have an ongoing concern about campaigns always being placed in Program Files\FantasyGrounds folder. Again, not a big issue, but since I run extensive backup procedures on My Documents, it would be nice if one could run campaigns from other locations.

Some cool, positive “Ah hah!” experiences were:
• I had one token for Gnolls, but several Gnolls to keep track of. I placed little coloured markers in the right corner of the Gnoll token (as suggested by others on this forum), and then dragged the same colour tokens next to the Gnoll’s entry on the initiative list. I extended this working method, even, by using the stock blue marker on the initiative list to indicate whose turn it was.
• Fiery Dragon’s Counter Collection Gold is absolutely awesome together with the maps of Fantasy Grounds.

NeoDante
March 1st, 2005, 22:47
Could you go into a little more detail about what happened after the crash? How were you able to get the missing data back?
Thanks

sunbeam60
March 2nd, 2005, 12:42
You know those little coloured dividers you see on the story book document? If you look at...
http://www.fantasygrounds.com/images/screenshots/screenshot0002.jpg

... you will see one immediately to the left of the colour map, below the magnifying glass. I had divided my story into different tabs, or dividers, or whatever you want to call them, one page containing "developing story", another containing "locations", another containing "quests" etc.

The "developing story" tab was the first one, my other content relegated to other tabs.

After the crash, all these tabs had gone, except the default red one, thereby swiping nine tenths of my content. Bummer. Naturally I kinda panicked for a little while.

After 5 minutes, I decided to add the a new tab again. Can't remember the exact reasoning behind my chain of thoughts, but it turned out to be a good idea, because all the pages that were on the second tab magically reappeared on the second tab, as if their status marked them as belonging to the "second tab", but since no tab was available, they weren't displayed.

In other words, I hadn't lost any content, only the tabs that contained the content. By recreating the tabs, the content that used to be on the tabs reappeared on the same tab they used to be on.

Hope that clarifies my situation somewhat.

Hayt
March 2nd, 2005, 15:42
I've had exactly the same problem when creating story sheets in sections using the tabs.

I didn't bother to post anything about it because like Sunbeam 60, I found that recreating the tabs also brings back the missing pages (but a bit scary until you realise everything is still there!).

NeoDante
March 2nd, 2005, 20:36
I see. Ok, well I think you should post this over under 'House of Healing' so the Devs look into it (they probably have seen it here, but who knows). That's something they really need to fix in a patch.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Ged
March 2nd, 2005, 21:14
It's noted. Thanks!