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  1. #21
    Hello everyone I just live-tested a beta-version of squareware with the new APC function in a three-hour game I ran for for a complete newbie to Fantasy Grounds (Salamander) and a dab hand at FG (Jtron) in a one-shot I put together using only Squareware, my maps and my imagination and no prep. This enables me to see how best to set-out Squareware, how it can be improved to make it better, where there might be trouble spots and also what is working well.

    This session attempted to use 'Tagalong' (my new APC) without any prior practice to test whether the way I have it now is going to work - and also how the players might react to him. It also gives you a chance to watch me DM and teach a new player a crash course in FG which you might also find useful if you want to start using it. I was taught everything I know from Fantasy Grounds College (check link below) which is where we hosted this game. This short quest showcases a lot of the amazing features FG has to offer as well as some of the reasons I am working closely with it. Feel free to add your own comments if you watch the video - or maybe even let me know if you want to join one of my games.

    So keeping in mind I did no prep beyond clicking the Squareware buttons - I get access to a range of information that as a DM I need to 'sew' together into a seamless story. I have not edited this video beyond taking out some sections where I had to go AFK and checking to make sure there was nothing in it that would be beyond PG 13+ (nope) but I have listed a few time marks in case you want to skip me teaching Salamander some of the ropes.

    Also I did try to embed this file as a vid into Kickstarter, (3g) but after patiently waiting 2 hours for it to do so it eventually told me 'this video cannot be uploaded'. awesome lol. So I've added it to my Gdrive and it can be downloaded from there...

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sY...rT5_BLGkkVVyGe

    0.00 I intro Squareware and my intended playtest goals to my players.

    6.46 - I guide Salamander through how to use FG as a player inc. a brief combat session.

    45.00 - The proper quest begins.

    2:42 game ends.

    2.52: video ends


    Squareware makes things simple enough to pull the right info - though combining it with the APC process was a bit of a juggling act at times partly because its so completely new and I've had no practice with it yet. The playtest was fun - but it did also give me a better idea of how to approach numerous angles of Squareware to make it easier to use - including how to better tune the APC functions. It's early days yet and I will make changes accordingly and then re-test. As you will notice, I don't let Squareware hem me in or decide exactly how I use the information written - rather I take what I need and even twist various info to suit what I need it for but it enables me to more quickly give a fluid response by taking some of the thinking out of the process. --------

    Thanks go to Jtron and Salamander for the playtest and permission to record it.

    Fantasy Grounds College website with FG info and class sign-up = Fantasygroundscollege.net

    Fantasy Grounds College on Discord: https://discord.gg/Ew6nYyw.

  2. #22
    And FUNDED. Thanks everyone! And to everyone that has been sharing the campaign inc you Michael, Aaron and Doug and helping this get noticed extra thanks - taking this step opens a whole new world of possibilities to explore, which I can now do more extensively. I've just added 99 new 'Acquaintance' entries which indicate how the party knows an NPC and a huge list of traps to the FG e-squareware version and am now adding a variety of attack descriptions for core weapons types, i.e bludgeoning, slashing etc.

  3. #23
    I just finished a live demonstration here on 'All Things Fantasy Grounds' that you can check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcIJLfRoZ84

    Kind Regards,

    Kris

  4. #24
    Here are some of the new additions I will be adding to Squareware. Keeping in mind that simply having a huge amount of information can sometimes be less useful than having the right information I've carefully considered the utility of these new functions.

    -Book Titles
    -Shields
    -Flags
    -Paintings/Tapestries
    -Ambient Descriptions : Inside/Outside + Day/Night
    -Clothing
    -Street Bustle Descriptions
    -Facial Expressions
    -Stacks - i.e. Crates, Barrels, etc and their contents.
    -Furnishings
    -Trash
    -Containers - chests, strongboxes to jars, pots, ingredients etc.
    -Necklaces / Rings / Amulets.
    -General Figures.

    Some of these represent new categories in their own right, others help refine certain details, others compliment what already exists or add features to areas of gameplay not yet covered. These represent further commonly required details for adventures.

    funded with just 6 days left to go

  5. #25
    Just met a LUA extension designer who may be able to help create an extension to allow a full simulation of the dice set, inside FG - allowing users to roll on digital mats with custom squareware dice. very early talks, and something I very much want, but definitely opening a door to the direction I will be seeking to take it.

  6. #26
    As I've been working and building this beast I've been steadily working out what else I need for this to be a supertool for RPG - there are already 64+ tables in Squareware, and I am going to be adding a gigantic 45 more tables to the FG squareware. Some of them subcategories for added refinement and delimitation to prevent messy match-ups, but most of them new categories - these will help add extra descriptive depth to existing tables, to the point where virtually everything has been covered - and I will start adding, organizing and refining the data and making squareware spit me out a hypercube. Even with over 100 tables, this does not include the huge amount of stuff for the APC side of squareware which has more than a dozen tables of its own, and may need more as I work with the APC concept to make it work. And this is just its first incarnation...

    I'm also adding a d4-based tumbler lock and safe combination mini game that DM's can use with players to determine their ability/accuracy to open a timed lock/safe/trapped door - a kind of uber-puzzle that can be applied to lots of things.

    So, that's the latest

  7. #27
    Hello Everyone The Relaunch was successful, things have progressed very quickly and I have the Printed Kits assembled inside TGC's Print-on-Demand system ready to send - I am just awaiting funds to clear.

    The version of the physical set being offered for the relaunch has the following changes:

    It will be printed POD from GameCrafter.
    The new version will have an 11 x 9" Box.
    The dice will not be flush or silk-screened, they will be inset and use stickers for the faces. The dice are 19mmx19mm hard-wearing dense plastic with the inset protecting the sticker.
    The mat will not be Neoprene it will be thick dry/wet erasable board.
    There will be a bag but it will not feature a logo.
    Physical versions will only ship within the US.
    I cannot make custom pieces or changes and must work with what TGC offer.
    However:

    270 stickers (3 of each of the 90 faces) will be supplied in case of damage to the faces or peeling.
    Shipping is included in the price and should be fairly rapid given that TGC is in the states - lowering wait time to less than 60 days rather than a year or more (speaking from experience as someone that shipped TGC frequently). I've used TGC products extensively in the past and am happy with the quality they produce. I've made dozens of orders from there and supplied them too.
    A wet/dry erasable coating on the boards means you can mark what you roll for your records.
    This is your last chance to place an order at the $75 AUD Kickstarter price (shipping is included) - or to order a copy of the $32 AUD super-powerful Fantasy Grounds version which doubled in size and now has a graphic interface to enable rapid visual selection for group and individual rolls - before both of these items are raised in price following a public release.

    You can contact me here if interested before Jan 10.

    Thanks, and kind regards,

    Kris

  8. #28
    What is Squareware?

    Squareware is a random generator on steroids with a facelift and a body tuck.
    2019 jan 5 wm.jpg

    It's important to point out that Squareware is a supplement and quick-save for DM's with an already considerable imagination and deft talent for telling a story - it provides convenient detail for content that helps to keep the pace of the story going, and provide filler for mostly non-essential, non-volitional parts of the RPG journey.

    What can become or be made essential from that generated content is up to the DM - but Squareware exists to quickly fill the gaps between the content of the story: to allow you to let your players go anywhere and do anything because whatever they do, you can instantly provide detail for.

    The majority of games and their core fundamental principles have not changed since I began using a Commodore 64 in the early 80's, even 30 years on with the latest RPG PC and Console Games the physics of our world bind us to perform specific actions. These actions can be reduced to the most simplest of repetitive actions. We store smaller things inside of larger things.
    Some things things are worth more than others. We describe things generally - and then get more specific as more detail is requested or required. If someone interacts with something they learn more about it the more they study it.

    With this in mind - there is in fact a very limited amount of actions that players perform in any RPG no matter how complex its rules - and squareware takes advantage of this fact to produce content that covers virtually every necessity for a DM: with deepening layers of detail.


    From rolling a full quest with every key element done for you for an instant one-shot:
    To providing detail for a random tavern buildings appearance, then the interior atmosphere and features, its patrons, right down to the menu with food and drink, and pricing - and for taverns of different status from poor to rich. And then applied again for Markets and Dungeons.

    Titles and authors for every book your players pick up, contents of varying quality and quantity in any container, room decor and features for any room they enter: you get the idea: and while such supertables exist - Squareware packs them into a visual ****pit that hides all the messy underwiring and makes it dead easy to find what you want when you need it just by looking.

    Key elements such as generators for times of day, week and a sliderbar to keep track of Time, are a fairly expected addition: some of the unique additions this product offers to a DM includes:

    A random Passage of Time generator that can be read as players transition from one area to the next providing a descriptive bridge for colour or to buy you time while you swap maps or build encounters.

    Ambience Generators for Wilderness/Road Travel by Day or Night, and again in Towns/Villages/City Districts.

    Musical Score and Band descriptions that detail who is playing what with what instrument, what it sounds like, its tempo and even how it makes the players feel.

    Event Generators that are sub-divided into Close and Distant in space, and Immediate and Impending in time - so you can keep the action going here, or take it there, now, or later.
    Lures, Splits and Rallies are a further sub-division of Events that can be employed to entice the players to go in a specific direction, to come back together or to be split apart as the story requires it.

    Location Generators give you the Name and Terrain Type. NPC and Villains allow you to quickly make NPCs of varying moral compass.

    Trap, Treasure and Object Sliders are sub-categorized into Worth - so you can generate content for players without breaking the economic balance - or reward/punish them heavily at your whim on a scale of degree.

    Tables for the five senses enable you to conjure up a sound,a smell, a taste, an appearance, or how something feels.

    Pre-generated examples have been compiled into new tables where for instance you might have 100 of the randomly generated furnishings in a CARPENTER table. Or 100 detailed wines with bottle description, wine colour, smell, taste, name and label from the VINEYARD and dozens of others. Nicely separated from the red pin that signals a random generator by a green pin that signals a pregenerator.

    Then we have the APC AI or Artificial Player Character Artificial Intelligence system or Alpaca for short. This series of rolls tables pre-determines the actions of a DM-owned and operated PC that can stand in and make up the numbers of absent players but which removes the DM bias (real or imagined) from the process by rolling the actions, tactics, comments and behaviours of the APC from tables - leaving the DM's job to creatively carry out how these approaches are performed and described. With random speeech tailored for different situations, tactics for melee, ranged and magical combat, exploration and movement tables, its own mood, vote preference, the ability to complain or simply perform idle habits such as scratching their chin while watching a butterfly - the APC allows any DM to let the show go on by making up the numbers and simulating a PC with a mind of its own. Squareware provides a space to put the portrait to bring up their sheet and room to store various pins according to your design and need.

    Description generators for making attacks in the various types of damage are provided as well as descriptors of critical hits and failed misses.
    Using the template of an unshared map the DM can operate Squareware like a centralized control panel easily creating all the content they need for whatever situation they find themselves - including running a Biasless PC should the need arise so that the show can always go on.

    Squareware is not just a content generator - it is a story generator - it has been designed to give random flowing descriptions of things not just spit disjointed words at you. It has almost 200 individual tables with more than 5000+ variables that make up the complex wiring beneath - that is elegantly represented in a professional Graphic User Interface so you can get what you need with one click of a button and not have to scroll through five pages of tables looking for it.

    Squareware represents a true evolution of the 'Random Generator' concept - combining the powerful story templates and nested table functions of Fantasy Grounds with huge organized lists of data, nouns, adjectives and verbs bridging every conceivable RPG Narrative need from portal and magical effect descriptions to separating poor drinks from rich wines - strung together using my own written joinery - to narrative devices that pull or push your players where you want them to go - to combining supertables with the new concept of a Bialess 'Alpaca' - and all in one very powerful, virtually limitless, compact, elegant package. It is, one, of the ultimate tools a DM could have for running adventure - A friend when you are tired, a time-saver when you are under pressure, an inventor when you have no time, and a bag of holding when you need to pull a particular rabbit out of a particular hat.

    And it is very nearly ready for its beta-test...

  9. #29
    It's done. And will soon be submitted. Almost 90 individual features and 275,000 lines of code.

    Fig.0.jpg

    Check out the Operations Manual here.: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QT...cwjk3K3Wo-t229

  10. #30
    Looks awesome.
    Paul Grosse
    PCGen BoD
    PR Silverback

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