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  1. #1

    FG has great functionality, expandability, and RPG support, but a clunky and dated UI

    I'm really new to Fantasy Grounds and I mostly love it. I'm not new to application design and this extension, as well as a few comments about it on the reddit post where I found it, made me realize how much Fantasy Ground's UI holds it back.

    Thanks to my profession, I understand the limitations of software development on a large, long-running project. I also totally get how the best way to switch to Unity is to reproduce what you've got first and return to making improvements afterwards.

    But I really hope that once that migration is done, there is more focus put on revamping the UX in general and the UI in particular. Fantasy Grounds is brilliant because it doesn't try to be so smart about what it automates that it gets in the way of you being in control, but still lets you automate where it can and in ways that REALLY help. The scripting for extensions is well thought out, open to everyone, and clearly expandable, and I love it for that. I also really value that ability to run it as a server myself, and not depend on external servers. The pricing models are delightfully flexible. I mean, there's so much to love here. Don't get me started on how grateful I am it runs on Linux or how there are so many RPG systems and modules being TRULY supported!

    But please, PLEASE realise the current interface isn't part of the app's charm, it's a painful hurdle that users have to overcome not just to learn, but every time you need to use it.

    I'm not hating on right-click context menus here, nor am I befuddled by radial menus (the glorious betamax of menus that too many interfaces left behind). But in an app that will put every scrap of screen real estate to use, there's SO much benefit to plain old menus over giant panels of buttons! In an app that is all about opening and managing your particular set of windowed resources, modern window management is SO valuable!

    I'm not here to try and debate anybody. If you love FG's interface, great! But I did want to make sure that the awkwardness of these forums, whose dated look and feel echo that of FG itself, didn't stop me from at least making sure this position was heard. For some of us, the clunky interactions are a real setback. And it's likely a deal-breaker for those with less experience with older software, or even just less time and resources to take on the task of learning something that feels like it's fighting against you instead of working with you.

    Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

  2. #2
    I'd agree. Unfortunately I fell in love with Foundry VTT just after my players and I invested pretty heavily in and set up FGU so I'm kind of stuck with this. But the difference is insane. In comparison Foundry is fluid, lightweight, smooth and just works, while FGU is clunky, terribly in need of optimization and requires us to expect at least 30 minutes a night wrestling with crashes, freezes and absurdly long load times. That is if the frustration levels don't cause players to decide it's just not worth the hassle on a giveen night which always stinks but is understandable.

    Well I guess my main gripe with FGU is the unwieldiness and poor optimization it seems, but a more intuitive UI and organization system would certainly help. Until then, eagerly awaiting patch notes that are more than a list of typo fixes =/

  3. #3
    @kithkiryn I think 95% of your frustration is with the fact that FGU is in Beta. Consider using FGC in the meantime, it has none of the issues that seem to bother you so much about FGU.

    @frobnic8 I think you'll find the existing community pretty split on the UI issue. While many people will argue that they like it because it's different and doesn't feel like part of an OS or word processor or what have you, I think reactions like yours as a new user are exactly why it needs to change. While I'm accustomed to it, I still agree with a lot of your criticisms. I strongly believe FG is the best VTT out there right now, but it won't be forever with the current UI.

  4. #4
    That's good news and I'm sure FGU will get there eventually. Is it possible to switch from FGU to FGC in any way or would that require repurchasing?

  5. #5
    I have to agree as well. FG is my VTT of choice and I'm more comfortable with it than any other.

    But I think I owned it for a couple years before I got to that point. I don't want to say its all cause of the UI, it just takes time to learn in general - but I'm sure it didn't help.

    I know there are those who'll defend the UI as charming and unique and that's great. For some, it's because they're used to - like I now am. (not the same as satisfied with it)

    But every time I introduce new people to FG and UI (both who have used other VTT and who are completely new to VTT with no prior influence/prejudice), I have some who struggle and I think part of it is the interface.

    For my players with small screens especially, I spend time out of game talking about window management and how to optimize screen real estate, but this should be something they can figure out intuitively or is a non-issue from the bat. I didn't realize how big an issue it was until I tried celestian's Better Menus extension today and it just felt *right* for what I would want to maximize screen real estate. I already know my ranger in my party is going to be happy when he logs onto my game this upcoming week.

    I levy this criticism with love, because I really do love this VTT. But I realize a whole new wave of VTTs are coming (Foundry, talespire, astral, etc) that is going to make the market more competitive. And I want me VTT of choice to continue to be competitive so that I can continue using it. Right now, I get mixed reactions when I try to get friends from other VTTs to play on FG and they often cite the issues you bring up because they had a negative experience in the past or word of mouth from others who are less enthusiastic about it.

    So I really hope when FGU is out and stable, it can be the next thing to look at. Because for a good deal of people, presentation and first visual impressions matter.
    Last edited by viviolay; May 23rd, 2020 at 04:51.

  6. #6
    If you bought FGU directly from SmiteWorks, they have a 30-day refund policy. If you bought via Steam, see Steam's refund policies.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Imagix View Post
    If you bought FGU directly from SmiteWorks, they have a 30-day refund policy. If you bought via Steam, see Steam's refund policies.
    I don’t think anyone was talking about a refund. Just expressing their opinion on one of the features of the software. (Which OP called brilliant).

    I assume you’re being helpful - but depending on intent can come off as dismissive to tell someone to get a refund when they voice/express desire to discuss a concern.

    Again, I don’t wanna assume intent. But just pointing that out.

  8. #8
    Refund in that if they decided they didn't want FGU, but did want FGC, they can refund FGU and buy FGC instead.

  9. #9
    Ahh I see. Thanks for the info but I think we *just* passed the 30 day mark. We'll just rough it out while it's developed

  10. #10
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Suffice it to say this has been discussed in detail many times before. As you noted, it is not a simple technical challenge. Nor is it a clear business decision either. I doubt you will see much response.

    My experience is that SmiteWorks appreciates all the input.

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