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  1. #1

    Prospective buyer has some reservations

    Prospective being me, that is.

    Looking at this program, I have a few questions whose answers will either pull me over to this side of Online gaming or not. here goes:

    1) I am used to GRIP. Does FG offer the same flexibility in customising your games like GRIP can - say in running a non D20 game - or do I need a degree in XML coding to accomplish such a feat if at all possible? I have played around with KloogeWerks, seen FG and KW compared a lot on the forum here and I am a tad fearfull that FG is a LOT like KW - I dislike KW for it's inflexibility. Are the two indeed in the same league?

    2) How automated can FG be? Can it (say) be used to code a piece of equipment (a longsword, for instance) then have the GM send the equipment as a file to the player who then loads the file "into" their character sheet where it can be "used" by the player - say double clicking the longsword outputs a sentence to the chat, rolls the dice associated including taking all modifiers from the character sheet into the roll?
    In short - can FG be automated enough that a newbie player who never has played a game before needs not worry about the rules - the coded character sheet takes care of the boring rolls and modifier. (For those familiar with it, what I want is something like the use of Griplets in GRIP)

    3) Then my main worry - how big a player base is there? Even if I buy the full programm, make everything as nifty as can be, without players logging on to my carefully crafted adventure, there is little point in actually crafting the adventure...

    Right - enough of this already - shutting up as we speak.

  2. #2

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    Re: Prospective buyer has some reservations

    Quote Originally Posted by Roghain
    Prospective being me, that is.

    Looking at this program, I have a few questions whose answers will either pull me over to this side of Online gaming or not. here goes:
    I'll give this a shot...

    Quote Originally Posted by Roghain
    1) I am used to GRIP. Does FG offer the same flexibility in customising your games like GRIP can - say in running a non D20 game - or do I need a degree in XML coding to accomplish such a feat if at all possible? I have played around with KloogeWerks, seen FG and KW compared a lot on the forum here and I am a tad fearfull that FG is a LOT like KW - I dislike KW for it's inflexibility. Are the two indeed in the same league?
    Sorry, I've never used/heard of Grip (till now). You CAN run games using rulesets other then d20 but you do have to set them up by changing the xml. Or... waiting for someone else to change it and use their rule set! There is already a 1st ed dnd rule set out there and I've seen posts from people working on Star Wars and Gurps.

    Also Code Monkeys are getting in on the act and I had the impression (maybe wrongly) that one of the things coming will be better ways to change the rules sets. Or they were going to get the rule sets they already have in CM into FG. Something like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roghain
    2) How automated can FG be? Can it (say) be used to code a piece of equipment (a longsword, for instance) then have the GM send the equipment as a file to the player who then loads the file "into" their character sheet where it can be "used" by the player - say double clicking the longsword outputs a sentence to the chat, rolls the dice associated including taking all modifiers from the character sheet into the roll?
    In short - can FG be automated enough that a newbie player who never has played a game before needs not worry about the rules - the coded character sheet takes care of the boring rolls and modifier. (For those familiar with it, what I want is something like the use of Griplets in GRIP)?
    FG isn't really about being an automated program but about trying to create a 'tabletop' where you can play the game. This makes it easier for them in that they don't have to add so many bells and whistles and it makes the program easier to use.

    So yes a newbie player DOES need to know the rules. In fact, I think it has to be this way... FG can't replace the need to have the rulebook to play else they would suffer the wrath of WoTC/any other game company.

    That being said, I do think more should be done with the 'items' such as you describe above. Right now there is a section where you can make items but there does not seem to be much you can do with them. I'd like to be able to make an item and be able to drag and drop it into the inventory of a character at the very least. As you say above, I'd also like to be able to drop a weapon into the weapon section and have the numbers fill in. I was going to post something like this at some point but... I guess I just did!

    Quote Originally Posted by Roghain
    3) Then my main worry - how big a player base is there? Even if I buy the full programm, make everything as nifty as can be, without players logging on to my carefully crafted adventure, there is little point in actually crafting the adventure...

    Right - enough of this already - shutting up as we speak.
    The short answer is 'Small but growing'. I think there are quite a bit more people using FG then show up here as they are using it within their own groups and, as such, are not looking for open games or more FG players.

    There are both people here looking for players and players looking for games and I've noticed an increase in both over the last couple of weeks. The hardest part, of course, is finding a game that meets your schedule. FG does not remove that!

    Hope that helps.

    rv

  3. #3

    Re: Prospective buyer has some reservations

    Quote Originally Posted by richvalle
    I'll give this a shot...
    Cheers!

    Quote Originally Posted by richvalle
    Sorry, I've never used/heard of Grip (till now). You CAN run games using rulesets other then d20 but you do have to set them up by changing the xml. Or... waiting for someone else to change it and use their rule set! There is already a 1st ed dnd rule set out there and I've seen posts from people working on Star Wars and Gurps.

    Also Code Monkeys are getting in on the act and I had the impression (maybe wrongly) that one of the things coming will be better ways to change the rules sets. Or they were going to get the rule sets they already have in CM into FG. Something like that.
    Ah - GRIP is a like tool as you have here but it isn't geared towards any specific system - and is uses an artificial language called CSML that players can use to code their own character sheets, and this CSML language is why one can almost completely automate a character sheet - I for instance coded it that all equipment items are little files that can be loadd into a character sheet where the code in the sheet calculates encumbrance, modifies attack mods if a sword is magical and all that. Basically, you can take it as far as you want, or you can simply use a sheet that is just a clothespeg to keep your stats and abilities.
    Now, if I were to be able to do this in XML I could change the ruleset (I am looking for a system that can accomodate Powers & Perils FRGP) but it could never have these fully automated sheets... okay.

    Quote Originally Posted by richvalle
    FG isn't really about being an automated program but about trying to create a 'tabletop' where you can play the game. This makes it easier for them in that they don't have to add so many bells and whistles and it makes the program easier to use.

    So yes a newbie player DOES need to know the rules. In fact, I think it has to be this way... FG can't replace the need to have the rulebook to play else they would suffer the wrath of WoTC/any other game company.
    I wasn't looking to take money away from Hasbro here The person coding these automated equipment thing-a-ma-jigs into a sheet would need to own the books or he couldn't do the code. Yet I do think that computers are here to take away to boring number-crunching so we can get on with what is really important (and forget the tedious numbers): The roleplaying. If I can automate a sheet to the point where I need't look up the range increment of a custard-projector (D20 Ren & Stimpy in the making here), that speeds up play. For instance, in GRIP I have coded ALL the spells, which means that a player can "memorise" his spells by loading them in his sheet, then when he casts them the sheet checks for available material components, outputs pertinent info in a whisper to the GM while the players only see a sentence describing, in a role-playing story-telling manner, the spell being cast.
    No more interuptions of the story when players ask "How much does this dwarven rune-chisel weigh?", then recalculate their encumbrance and all modifiers that might come from entering a new load-class. Nope, they just drag-n-drop the equipment into their sheet and the sheet does the rest up to and including adding the +3 on the Dwarven Runescribing skill. Easy, neat and fast - on with the story!

    Quote Originally Posted by richvalle
    The short answer is 'Small but growing'. I think there are quite a bit more people using FG then show up here as they are using it within their own groups and, as such, are not looking for open games or more FG players.

    There are both people here looking for players and players looking for games and I've noticed an increase in both over the last couple of weeks. The hardest part, of course, is finding a game that meets your schedule. FG does not remove that!
    Of course - and being European timezone based, I have more trouble finding players than those on the US side of the Big Pond. But,are we talking tens or hundreds?

    Quote Originally Posted by richvalle
    Hope that helps.
    It does. Thanks already.

  4. #4

    Re: Prospective buyer has some reservations

    Quote Originally Posted by Roghain
    I have more trouble finding players than those on the US side of the Big Pond. But,are we talking tens or hundreds?
    I am not sure of the specific numbers but, anecdotally, I can tell you that there appears to be a *huge* number of European players and that anyone running a game around the GMT timeframe would likely have a large number of signups.

    Again, purely anecdotal...

  5. #5

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    Re: Prospective buyer has some reservations

    Wow! If grip can do all that I'm not sure you need FG!

    Someone has already made a different character sheet with more functionality added. I think the only limit on what you can do is what you can make the xml do.

    I'm hoping being able to drag and drop items from the equipment lists to a character or from the items section to a character is something that can be added by the devs...? It would be nice if the weight/damage/range information came with the item as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roghain
    Of course - and being European timezone based, I have more trouble finding players than those on the US side of the Big Pond. But,are we talking tens or hundreds?
    10's I think right now that are being vocal about looking for games. You can find some of them here:
    http://www.adventuresomedreams.com/f...post569&conly=

    rv

  6. #6
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    Happy St. Pats.

    You have a difficult question because so much of your answer deals with faith.

    We all think the user community will grow because FG has had a warm reception already. I bought it and the module so _I_ think the user community is infinite .

    As the community grows new rule sets will emerge. Either help them by writing one or wait and something might show up. Will it work for every game? Nobody knows. Will it work for games nobody wants to play? Almost certainly not.

    I don't think it is everything you want right now out of the box but neither does it cost everything you own. I think its exciting to support a young program when it needs it and watch the thing grow.

    Its the best cross internet chat program with dice that I know. It has huge potential. It is quite logically targetted at D20, a single hugely popular game system with unambiguous usage rights.

    If you need the dice you role online to be shared between players it is likely a good place to start for any game. The designers seem to be very open in approach and support. I'm certain it's miles ahead of where a personal program would be If I did it alone. Even if I eventually want to find my own solution for a particular game I'm really interested in testing their vision by trying out FG.

    I hope for you that it does enough that you will give it a try. If your other option is driving hours or not playing with someone who moved away then _I_ think this is the best game in town.

    S

  7. #7
    Wow! If grip can do all that I'm not sure you need FG!
    lol
    Well, I was expecting someone to make a cmment along the lines of "If GRIP is that great, why come and bother us here?"
    ee, the trouble with GRIP is that it started small, the programmers were almost glued t the forums and end-users were getting answers and bugs-squashed withing hours, sometime a day. But, QLI got bigger, gained the rights to a certain RPG and started pumping out books and gadgets for said RPG - with GRIP sorta dying a silent death, abandoned by the programmers who refuse to free the source to people who might continue that platform. So, even though GRIP in potential is a brilliant platform, it is still being buggy to the point of testing one's patience severely.

    Call me a whiner, but I prefer to NOT reboot every 15 minuten during a game... or have dying goblins respawn mysteriously in combat a zillion times... or all PC icons turn identical. Fun, at first, but a tad annoying after three times.

    So, I am looking for a replacement platform.

    I bought KloogeWerks - disliked it enough to not have used it in months.
    Tried OpenRPG but finding it cumbersome and unwieldy.
    WebRPG? Same thing.
    The Box? It started out so nice, I was the most fanatical proponent and most willing of Beta-testers - but they just one day disappeared completely of the net - maybe the Bermuda Triangle swallowed them, I dunno.

    And so I arrived here, hoping to find a new haven but a little reluctant to spend yet another $40 without knowing if it will accomodate at least 50% of my wishes.
    So, I am bugging you, with questions and unforfillable wishes.

    Say, now that I think of it - is there a way one could lurk in a game in session? I suppose not, huh...

    This weekend try and do'od the demo to try out the features.

  8. #8

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    My, you have been raked over the coals haven't you?

    Well, I can't say what the future holds. So far the Devs here have been pretty reponsive to getting changes users ask for into the program or asking for what users ideas are. Note though: They do NOT come put with versions on a days notice though and sometimes their responces are 'No, we don't support that'. Which is fine with me... at least you know were you stand.

    The program as it is right now is pretty stable and even if SW's were to vanish it could still be used if a community was able to form and keep it in use. The worse problem I've seen is that sometimes a user will be booted from the game and when they come back in they can't see what others are writing. Disconnecting and coming back usually fixes it.

    I hear you about the $40. The only reason I was able to buy it was I got it soon after Xmas and had some spare cash!

    It has been suggested that SW come up with a way to allow lurking in a game for the reasons you suggest. Nothing you can do right now. There are some chat logs from games posted here and there but you kinda lose something by not being able to see the maps the players were looking at. It does give you an idea of how the game went though. If you are interested I could probably find some and post links.

    No worries about the questions. Thats what fourms are for!

    Note that while the demo is nice some changes have gone into the full program that are not in the demo.

    As someone else pointed out in another thread, you can connect to yourself using the demo. Start up a dm session and then start up FG again and connec to ip 127.0.0.1 then you can move back and forth to see things from the dm/player perspective.

    rv

  9. #9
    That IP address has a permanent name attached to it called "localhost". So if you want to connect to yourself, just type that name in the IP box.

  10. #10
    Okay, thanks once more for the answers.

    I have one more thing that I noticed - does it really run only on W2K and XP?

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