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jfrazierjr
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Posted: 02/26/2012 at 2:46pm | IP Logged Quote jfrazierjr

mercutio wrote:
jfrazierjr wrote:

I know this is going to sound snarky and perhaps even
rude to some people but in response to your entire post I
have to say "It
must be nice to live in a world where everything is
custom made to order "for you"(you being the "consumer",
not you personally by
name.), almost to the point where the provider read your
mind enough to give you what you wanted before you even
asked for it...
That is, indeed, the exact relationship of consumers and producers. IF the producer doesn't meet
the needs of the consumer, then the consumer doesn't use the producer's product. Nor should he. If I had to
use a text editing program that required me to program my own macro for checking the spelling in the
document, I'd instead search for a different program to use. Only as a last resort would I resort to trying
to teach myself that much coding.

Agreed.



mercutio wrote:

Quote:
Your approach and thoughts might work for a few VTT's and
a few Game systems, but the model is woefully inadequate
for a very large
segment of the RPG world who DON'T use VTT X or RPG game
Y and event more importantly, what about those people who
DO use game
system Y, but have their own house rules. A pre-built
solution still leaves them out in the cold. I
don't fault you for
your preference of VTT's, but do fault you on your narrow
mindedness in that there is a one size fits all or that
there ever could
be.
Now you're assuming that all VTTs should be marketed for all game systems for all people. That is
akin to insisting that any and all programs written today should be universally cross-platform and appealing
to all consumers. And that's just completely untrue.
No, that's not what I ws attempting to convey. If all you ever play and ever will play is game X, exactly by the rules,
then sure
one specific VTT(or perhaps a small number) will be "the best". My point was to that the OP I was replying to said:

"I don't think anyone using a VTT should have to even know
what Macros is. "

Which to me implied that every VTT in existence will support every game in existence in exactly the way the each group/player
wants to use
it. Thus my argument that I believe this to be a very false statement.   So, even IF the we I conceed the point that VTT X is
much better
and easier at game Y since it was made "for" it, it may work well as far as it goes but breaks down to some degree as soon as
people begin
using house rules. Perhaps my experience is not the norm, but I have rarely ever played in a game without house rules of some
sort or
another and of the few VTT's I have tried(a LONG time ago), non were able to handle since they were built with the "core" rules in
mind
and were to rigid.


mercutio wrote:

Quote:
And here I thought that the biggest reason people choose
VTT software was so that they could play games with
people who might
happen
to be located anywhere else in the world(be they friends
or even just anonymous people who want to play and can't
gather people
they
already know). Not quite sure where you are going with
this statement. If you are implying that you "have" to
be a computer
programmer to use MapTool, I would   vehemently
disagree
with anyone's assertion that MapTool is
for programmers only.
Yes, VTTs are for people to play RPGs across geographic bounds. But if I did
have to program all my own stuff all the time, I would look for another VTT.
   
Quote:
Personally, though I happen to BE a programmer AND have
contributed code to MapTool's code, at this point I play
only Face to Face
with people I know using a projector.   Though I have in
the past and will likely do so some in the future, my
past 8 games or
so(roughly once a month) have had ZERO automation and
MapTool has been used solely as a glorified BattleMat(and
Initiative
tracker)... zero programming by the "end user" at all.
That's nice. But implying that all people
should be content to use it like that is silly. I have taught myself some basic macros with MapTool, but
trying to explain to my brother, not as technically inclined as I am was like speaking a foreign language.
Which is why for many of the most popular game systems, people have indeed taken that step to create a framework which
makes it
fairly darn simple and no a single "programmery" thing required more than knowing XdY(and in some cases, not even having to know
that!!)
which I would have to assume that just about almost anyone who is already familiar with RPGs would already know...yes, you can
"get" me on
new people who have no idea what 2d10, 5d6, etc might mean as a "syntax" but would you at least agree that most of the other
players will
be able to explain the concept quickly enough that the new person would say "oh, that makes sense!" before just dropping out of
the game
play in disgust)

mercutio wrote:

Honestly, the only thing that Maptool really needs is a built-in dicebox. Rather than make me type in the /r
1d20+5 every time, if I had something that even looked just like a basic calculator, frankly Maptool
wouldn't need anything else for me, in particular.
Well.. while it's not built in, there is at least one very simple one
here

Yes, I can agree that perhaps the directions SHOULD be explained easier as to how to "incorporate" this into someone's game and
yes, there
should be something built in to do this type of thing...


mercutio wrote:

Quote:
I swing my sword to attack, rolling [d20+5] to hit
and [d8+5] damage on a hit.
That's great - but what about adding in situational bonuses? That then
requires having a macro programmed for every and any situation. That's why I just stopped bothering. My
character in my current game is typically mounted. I would LOVE if the game took that into account when I
clicked "attack" without me having to program literally 5 different attack macros for each weapon.

Quote:
Perhaps it's just my programmer background and nature,
but I personally don't feel this is particularly onerous
for anyone to know
how to do, especially if it let's them use just about any
game system ever created and not limited to one of the
few small handfuls
the developer supports.
That is absolutely just your programmer background. I don't have that. I
fumbled enough to figure out how to do things myself, but it's far harder than you think it is for people
who aren't programmers. Seriously, since you are a programmer you just don't have the perspective to see it
from the POV who don't know a macro from a Big Mac.
So the step by step video tutorials don't explain it in enough detail? Or perhaps it's in TOO MUCH detail? I can see the
one
specific to macro's being too detailed with to many options to start with, but would hope that the one targeted at players would
be fairly
easy to follow.





mercutio wrote:

Quote:
However, also
note that a lot of very nice people have already done a
huge majority(if not all) of that work for you on many of
the most popular
game systems, in which case you download and open a file,
click a button(or perhaps several in series) to set up
your characters
stats, weapons, spells, etc and you the end user just
concentrates on building the map/encounter.
Only if everyone at the table is using the same structure
and their computers can handle it. My netbook simply cannot handle the framework for Pathfinder. It is
unplayably slow and forces crashes.

Quote:
you will
have to get your hands a bit dirty and in most cases can
achieve what you
want to do with some time, effort, and help from the
forums.
And you've totally shot your own argument in the foot here. First you say you don't need
programming knowledge, but then point out that if you want to use the full capabilities of the program, not
only do you need programming knowledge, but you need all the extra time and effort to do that programming. I
assure I don't have that time.
That's NOT what I said at all! What I said was that IF there is not a framework someone spent their time to built for
your game
system of choice OR if you have custom house rules that need to be added in, that THEN would you have to have to learn some
"programming"
or beg someone to do it for you. Those are two vastly different things!! And remember, for most VTT's out there, they don't even
give
you the OPTION if it's not what they built, you are just out of luck.   For me, that makes MT a big winner in that regard.    And
just for
the record, I don't consider MapTool scripting "programming" in anything but the loosest sense of the word since there are a lot
of things
in classical programming that are missing such as the compilation step or even more down and lower level things link linking,
setting up
dependency library references, etc.

To me in boils down to: are you smart enough to follow simple rules that hopefully most people already know(things like quotes go
in
pairs, ditto parenthesis, etc), simple logic(if this then do this, else do that), and do this thing X number of times). If your
iffy on
any of those concepts, then yea, programming is going to be really hard for you(and no I am not trying to snarky or anything like
that...
I know that that are a some people, such as my son who has autism where cause and effect just don't "click")



mercutio wrote:

MapTool is great for what it does, but you simply cannot ignore its faults or somehow try to convince me
that its faults aren't really faults. I've been trained in professional sales, and that's the kind of thing
salesmen are taught to do, but that doesn't make them correct. Frankly, as much as I like MapTool, if there
was an alternative that I thought would satisfy more of my needs (low price, everyone I game with can use
it, user friendly, dicebox, etc), I'd switch in a heartbeat. But MapTool is the VTT on the market that hits
the most wickets for me.

And that's fine, everyone has the right to their opinion, I just don't happen to agree with some of them. What I can say is that
there
are TONS of people(thought I can't prove it, I would would be willing to bet that there are FAR more than not) who use MapTool and
who
have never done a single macro line of "code" because of the great framework community that exists who make it easy for many of
the most
popular game systems.


Personally, I wish MapTool was further than it is, but there are only two people who somewhat active and have access to commit
code to our
source. One of them I have not heard from more than once in a great while over the past year and the other works for himself on
the road
as a traveling software trainer so his contributions are much more infrequent. This is unfortunately one of the downfalls of Open
Source
software in many ways, BUT at the same time it's also one of the huge benefits. Just look at Dundjinni for example. The software
is no
longer maintained by the original developers/owners but since it's not open source, no one else could take it over and begin
adding new
features to the existing code(as one could with MapTool's code if it's developers abandoned it, though they would have to use a
different
name of course). I know I have seen many people looking for comperable software(to Dunjinni) since it's even no longer able to be
purchased and
have asked at RPTools as well as CartographersGuild...














Edited by jfrazierjr on 02/26/2012 at 2:51pm
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mercutio
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Posted: 02/26/2012 at 3:11pm | IP Logged Quote mercutio

jfrazierjr wrote:
Which is why for many of the most popular game systems, people have indeed taken that step to create a framework which makes it fairly
darn simple and no a single "programmery" thing required more than knowing XdY
Like I said--great in theory, but they take up so much memory that
some systems (mine in particular) just can't handle a typical framework at all. I do like frameworks, but their installation is less than obvious.

Quote:
Well.. while it's not built in, there is at least one very simple one here
Yes. I haven't managed to get it to work while loading into another server as a player. Again, its implementation is less than obvious.

Quote:
So the step by step video tutorials don't explain it in enough detail? Or perhaps it's in TOO MUCH detail? I can see the one specific to macro's
being too detailed with to many options to start with, but would hope that the one targeted at players would be fairly easy to follow.
I'm not a fan
of video tutorials. Personal preference, I suppose. The documentation is halfway decent, but like DJ, it really shouldn't be so obscure as to require a
forum to resolve.


Quote:
And just for the record, I don't consider MapTool scripting "programming" in anything but the loosest sense of the word since there are a lot of
things in classical programming that are missing such as the compilation step or even more down and lower level things link linking, setting up
dependency library references, etc.

To me in boils down to: are you smart enough to follow simple rules that hopefully most people already know(things like quotes go in
pairs, ditto parenthesis, etc), simple logic(if this then do this, else do that), and do this thing X number of times). If your iffy on
any of those concepts, then yea, programming is going to be really hard for you(and no I am not trying to snarky or anything like that...
I know that that are a some people, such as my son who has autism where cause and effect just don't "click")
I think that is a distinction without a
difference for a lot of people. I have a fairly dim view of the abilities of many humans. Perhaps it's detrimental to society to think like that, but
following directions seems to be a problem for a lot of people. I say that as a professional educator.



Quote:
And that's fine, everyone has the right to their opinion, I just don't happen to agree with some of them. What I can say is that there
are TONS of people(thought I can't prove it, I would would be willing to bet that there are FAR more than not) who use MapTool and who
have never done a single macro line of "code" because of the great framework community that exists who make it easy for many of the most
popular game systems.
Again, I wish I could take advantage of it, but the Pathfinder framework just doesn't work for me even with 4 GB of RAM and a
dual core AMD processor. Loading MapTool with a framework just doesn't happen. It goes white and won't load, causing me to force-close the program. Having
used Battlegrounds and d20Pro (briefly), just having the dicebox as a core piece of the program did more to sell them to me than anything else, but the
price tags scared off the people I play with, so we went with MapTool.

All this said, it's better than OpenRPG and many other VTTs by a long mile. It's the best of what's out there, for my group, but that doesn't mean we have
stopped looking or don't want more.

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jfrazierjr
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Joined: 01/29/2012
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Posted: 02/26/2012 at 3:30pm | IP Logged Quote jfrazierjr

mercutio wrote:
I think that is a distinction without a
difference for a lot of people. I have a fairly dim view of the abilities of many humans. Perhaps it's detrimental to society
to think like that, but
following directions seems to be a problem for a lot of people. I say that as a professional educator.

Amen to that. As former resturant working(REALLY just how often does you bill come to an even dollar amount that you MUST
wait until someone says x dollars and 4 cent before you realize "hey, I might have some damn change in my pocket!"), phone
support specialist and now programmer I have learned that you can never underestimate the power of human stupidity...



mercutio wrote:
Again, I wish I could take advantage of it, but the Pathfinder framework just doesn't work for me even with
4 GB of RAM and a
dual core AMD processor. Loading MapTool with a framework just doesn't happen. It goes white and won't load, causing me to
force-close the program. Having
used Battlegrounds and d20Pro (briefly), just having the dicebox as a core piece of the program did more to sell them to me
than anything else, but the
price tags scared off the people I play with, so we went with MapTool.

All this said, it's better than OpenRPG and many other VTTs by a long mile. It's the best of what's out there, for my group,
but that doesn't mean we have
stopped looking or don't want more.


I find that very hard to believe. To me, it seems far more likely based on your description that a) you have video driver
issues(or java issues with your drivers), b) the framework author has dome something REALLY bad.

Just as a test, I opened MapTool using the default settings in the linux script (768 gb max ram, 32 gb min ram, 2 gb stack
size) and downloaded the pathfinder framework here(http://forums.rptools.net/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=19839) and it opened
without an issue. Of course, mine is a desk top, but with an older processor. Ram is not an issue since Java only can take
as much as you allow it to have. I did not have a problem at all opening it.
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mercutio
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Posted: 02/26/2012 at 3:40pm | IP Logged Quote mercutio

Yeah, that's the one I used. I'll try it again this week if
I get a chance, but it won't work if my DM isn't using it
also, correct? If that's the case, it's moot anyway.

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jfrazierjr
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Posted: 02/26/2012 at 5:21pm | IP Logged Quote jfrazierjr

mercutio wrote:
Yeah, that's the one I used. I'll try
it again this week if
I get a chance, but it won't work if my DM isn't using it
also, correct? If that's the case, it's moot anyway.
In general, yes, the GM needs to be using
most(but not all!!!) frameworks. Basically, any any
framework that does any type of lookup/set of data on a
token you don't own must have some bits running as the
GM(which of course you can't do as player).   I am not
sure with the PathFinder framework if that is the case or
not, so it would be a case of asking in the forum.   If
you want to give it a try, feel free to pop in over
there...
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TheSim
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Posted: 02/26/2012 at 11:35pm | IP Logged Quote TheSim

cyderak wrote:
So...SIM.....any updates?


Working on the website; we hope to have it on-line some time by the end of the week. And btw, for Skirmish! you don't need any programming skills to use any of its functions. We provide all the plug-ins to suit most gamer's needs. Though, if you are a programmer lvl 25 and subclassed to c+ you may go forth and create your own plug-ins entirely. xD

Edited by TheSim on 02/26/2012 at 11:35pm


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jfrazierjr
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Posted: 02/27/2012 at 2:07pm | IP Logged Quote jfrazierjr

TheSim wrote:
cyderak wrote:
So...SIM.....any updates?


Working on the website; we hope to have it on-line some
time by the end of the week. And btw, for Skirmish! you
don't need any programming skills to use any of its
functions. We provide all the plug-ins to suit most
gamer's needs. Though, if you are a programmer lvl 25 and
subclassed to c+ you may go forth and create your own
plug-ins entirely. xD



My guess from that last statement is that you either you
will be open sourcing the "core" code or only supporting
certain OS's for the base?   

Please let us know when you have some new information s I
look forward to hearing more!

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cyderak
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Posted: 02/27/2012 at 5:32pm | IP Logged Quote cyderak

TheSim wrote:
cyderak wrote:
So...SIM.....any updates?


Working on the website; we hope to have it on-line some time by the end of the week. And btw, for Skirmish! you don't need any programming skills to use any of its functions. We provide all the plug-ins to suit most gamer's needs. Though, if you are a programmer lvl 25 and subclassed to c+ you may go forth and create your own plug-ins entirely. xD


Fraggin awesome.......Lookin forward to it.



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cyderak
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Posted: 02/27/2012 at 5:42pm | IP Logged Quote cyderak

jfrazierjr


I was just saying that any consumer should not have to know what MACROS is for basically all the reasons listed by mercutio. Thanks, by the way Mercutio.


The nature of the software producer and consumer relationship should be, in my opinion, as follows:
--The software producer should provide a product that does everything that is promised.
--the consumer should never have to "edit" lines of code or go into any kind of directory to replace certain files with others to get it to work correctly.
-- The consumer is just that......the buyer of the product. And at any time the consumer can just move on. Producers don't like to see consumers walking away obviously because thats their bread and butter. So its up to the producer of the VTT software to keep it fresh with new updates and new features and add-ons if they want the consumers to fork over more money.






Edited by cyderak on 02/27/2012 at 5:43pm


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TheSim
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Posted: 02/28/2012 at 9:57pm | IP Logged Quote TheSim

jfrazierjr wrote:
TheSim wrote:
cyderak wrote:
So...SIM.....any updates?


Working on the website; we hope to have it on-line some
time by the end of the week. And btw, for Skirmish! you
don't need any programming skills to use any of its
functions. We provide all the plug-ins to suit most
gamer's needs. Though, if you are a programmer lvl 25 and
subclassed to c+ you may go forth and create your own
plug-ins entirely. xD



My guess from that last statement is that you either you
will be open sourcing the "core" code or only supporting
certain OS's for the base?   

Please let us know when you have some new information s I
look forward to hearing more!



It is Windows only for now and the plug-ins will be open source.

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