Wednesday 24 October 2018

Equipment Engineer GUI finished!

I have started work on Equipment Engineer, and over the course of this week I have nailed down the GUI. This was always the biggest challenge of EE for me, as I couldn't quite see an easy way to do it. A tab for each type of item might have worked, but it would have been annoying. Cramming everything onto one page would be better, but confusing as not all items require all fields.

I settled on disabling all fields that don't pertain to the selected item type. This seems to work well, and early feedback seems to approve. I also moved descriptive text, No-ID text and item image to a second tab, freeing up plenty of space to work with.

A couple of decent discussions on Discord and the FG Forums helped distill my ideas, and threw up a couple of items that I knew nothing about. You'll now be able to set the crit range and the reroll trigger for a weapon. I also found out you can add more than one damage roll per weapon, and have multiple damage types. All of these new ideas show the benefit a 'hive mind' brings to a project, and it makes me grateful that there's a community building around Engineer Suite.

There are a couple of features I inend to build in that have got me excited. Firstly, weapons. NPC Engineer has a weapons table (for use by NPCs) and it makes sense to allow linking of these two areas. It'll take a bit of tweaking but I'll get there.

The other one is the ability to build a pack with items in it that can be dragged to a character's inventory. This isn't something you can do from within FG, so I am keen to get this enabled. As it will require a lot of data input to allow for a list to select from, this will be put off until the base load/save/parse functions are enabled.

So it seems I have some sort of creativity back, and I am enjoying my programming again. I have a roadmap. I feel all set to work EE through to completion in as short a time as possible.

Don't forget to check out the Patreon site for 'work in progress' videos that are freely available to everyone (and also the series of tutorial videos for Engineer Suite that are available to Patrons).

Let me know if anything is missing here, on Discord, on FG forums, on the Patreon site or on the Github issue tracker. :)



Thursday 18 October 2018

1d6A Compendium gets a massive update!

After a summer/autumn of avoidance, of programming and of video making, I finally forced myself to get back to adding monsters from the 1d6 Adventurers guys. Well, I found out that they don't slack off! I added just over 80 monsters over the last couple of days, and that really focuses your NPC building technique. So just in case you are new to Engineer Suite, here's what I think to be the best way of working. Note that preparation is half the battle!

  • I downloaded the pdf for each NPC from the id6A Reddit site, loaded them all into PDFmate and left it for a minute or so to extract all the images from all the files.
  • Next I named each image. This is tedious, but saves a tonne of time in the long run. Copy folder name, paste onto image name. Repeat nearly 100 times.
  • Move all the images into a dedicated folder.
  • Use TokenStamp2 to create a token for each NPC. Move all of these to the same dedicated folder.
  • Load each image into an image editor, resize it, apply a background, apply a border, save.

That was day 1.

  • Use 'Import' in NPC Engineer and copy the text from the PDF or webpage for each NPC. I find the web page easier.
  • Add the token.
  • Add the image. Copy-paste the attribution information (artist name and website). This is tedious but necessary if anyone else other than you is going to see it!
  • Add the description last of all.
  • Check that spells imported correctly.
  • Save and Add to Project.

Done :)



Saturday 13 October 2018

Patreon site launch

I have launched a Patreon site.

I don't expect to get rich from it - that isn't the goal of launching it. I am using it to keep myself motivated for an aspect of Engineer Suite that doesn't excite me - making video tutorials. There have been a few requests for these, though, and as Engineer Suite gets more complex they will become necessary.

So far I have just uploaded a single video (about the various program wide settings), and this was more to test out the video recording software, the video editing software, the animated intro, and my own ability to speak without stumbling over every second word! All of that (except the last) went well, so I'll give it a go. I reckon I have thrown between 10 and 15 hours at this so far, so I only need about 100 subscribers to reach minimum wage!

There are a lot of areas to work through, and I intend keeping the videos small and manageable. I don't have the Youtuber 'talent' to pad out 90 seconds useful content to a 30 minute video, so that'll help! If you can see any way to improve this offering, please let me know.

I am uncomfortably aware that some people have already been very generous with their donations, and I can't find a way to make Patreon let these people in for nothing. I am keen that no-one should be paying me via both avenues, so if you have 'bought me a coffee' already you can send me a note of your name and email address (PM on Fantasy Grounds forum, email, Discord PM, any other way you wish) and I will email links to private versions of the videos as and when they become available.

The Patreon site is - I hope to see a few of you there!


Wednesday 10 October 2018

More tidying up, and still nothing on Equipment Engineer.

Hi folks.

I have uploaded a small update. Mainly it adds things to Spell Engineer to advance it towards perfection(!), but a global option to change how long the tooltips stay visible was added. It was good to work on these items, as I am drying up again.

I have been trying to add a filter to NPC Engineer for Roll20, and I have been stymied at all angles. The frustration of this is eating at me; I might have another go yet, if I can find another avenue. Browser extensions might be my last option.

I also have 'white page syndrome' for Equipment Engineer. I think I need to talk it out with someone on Discord just to get my head in order. Once I have a clear picture of how I want the GUI to look, I'll knuckle down and right the bloody thing. Feel free to harass me on Discord about it, particularly if you have ideas!

I don't even have much to say here just now either.... I have writer's block!