New Update to ALPHA v 0.8 - This is a big one!
This update is a giant leap forward and I am very excited to announce it!
We spent the holiday season to clean up our code, get rid of bugs and add minor improvements like drawing coordinates, wall size counter etc. But once everybody returned with new energy and motivation we managed to address some (at least from a programming point of view) major improvements.
So in terms of versioning vs. state of development - this update will bring us directly to v0.8. This also means that there will be only two major updates left, before we move to the closed BETA.
So what are those major improvements?
We have finally implemented a global undo/redo history. You can now go forward and backward in your change-history by pressing Undo / Redo in the upper navigation bar, or by using the following shortcut Undo: CMD-Z and Redo: SHIFT-CMD Z (or CMD-Y).
You can now resize maps on the fly - you can add and remove squares while you are drawing your map. This means, that while you create your map, you don’t need to know the final size of the map anymore. Your map can now grow as you create it.
Keep in mind, though, that your browser and/or your grafic card might start to groan a little once you venture into giant maps (There will be more optimization, once the ALPHA testers feedback kicks in).
We have improved our handling for multi-level dungeons and laid the groundwork for our advanced export options. You can now create multi-level dungeons and our interface visually aids you with showing a preview of the level(s) above and below.
We have also improved the handling of the panels and added some features that were requested from our testers (like delete the level directly from the levels-panel).
Export Top-Down Views
You can now export top-down views of your map, showing the selected slice of the actual level with all its surroundings from other levels.
Hex Grid and Grid per Level
You can now switch the grid style from hexagonal grids to square grids and back. You can also change the grid size directly in the editor. We have also changed the grid handling, so each level of your map can have a different grid.
When you select a room, you can now enter a room number and a room name in the properties panel, that will affect your map and your notes. Once you assign a room number it is represented as a visual icon on your map, that you can move around freely. You can now also decide if you want to show/hide the room number on your exported maps.
When you drag a room from the GM-notes sidebar onto your document, we now automatically build a complete room description segment for you. The headline, an image of the room and a basic description of its looks, its contained objects and its doors and windows are added automatically and can be edited afterwards.
If you have assigned a short description of the room in the notes-tab of the room properties, you will also get that description added to your notes automatically.
We have experimented with an improved wall snapping mechanic, that will now override snap-to-grid, once you try to place a new point directly onto a wall. This is still a little fuzzy to work with, but we wanted to leave it in there to get some feedback from our testers. To help you here, we have also added a new key shortcut: While drawing a room, ENTER will close the room (connect to the starting point) as long as there are no walls blocking the path. This also makes drawing stand-alone walls a lot easier.
And then we have tons of minor improvements as well - I only call out a few here:
- Coordinates system for placing objects
- Distance indicator for drawing walls
- Snap-to-grid option for doors and windows to help aligning them (only for square grids atm.)
- Added a few new props like loopholes as window option, floor-cracks and splintered wood
- GM-notes now have a navigation bar (bookmark icon) to quickly jump between your chapters.
- Loading-symbol for map images in the GM-Notes preview
- Improved handling of big maps for the GM-Notes
Roadmap for the next updates
Next up will be v0.9 with the following updates planned:
- New Servers - We are still working on the server structure, but we are optimistic to have it finished with the next update.
- Improved prop and texture libraries - loading the editor takes ages when you open it and we want to solve that once and for all with the next update.
- Sci-Fi Props - Once we have implemented the library we will finally add the Sci-Fi props and textures. It simply doesn’t make sense to do that beforehand, since we will be adding about 50 new textures and around 100 new props, which would make the loading time for the editor unbearable in its current state.
ALPHA v1.0 - Switch to private BETA
There are going to be two major tasks left, before can move on to our next big step - the private BETA:
- User Content - Working on upload mechanics and user content will be one of our next big goals for the new year, so you soon will be able to upload your own props and textures, as well as images for your GM-notes.
- Map-Viewer - Around February we will start working on the map-viewer, so you can use maps directly for your games.
More to come:
Those remaining updates will be part of the closed BETA and partially of the OPEN BETA.
- New Props & Flavor Packs for all included settings. Toni will start working on them in January and we will add them bit by bit once our new libraries are live.
- Soundscapes - Rei is already working on the soundscape mechanics, but since we need a working viewer first, this will be dependent on the release of the first viewer version.
- Stretchgoals - Once we have established the core mechanics for our four - cornerstones (editor, notes, player & platform) we will start adding the missing stretchgoals.
Wiki, Tutorials and Demo-Videos
Now that we are close to 1.000 users in the current ALPHA stage, we get the question for tutorials, demo videos and help pages a lot. We are already working on it, but since features are changing, the interface is still growing (and far from its final stage) and we are still adding more stuff as we go, it is not the time to bring those yet.
I would be filming a tutorial, just to revise it after the next update, which would be frankly a waste of time. So we kindly ask for your patience here - there will be tutorials, a help wiki and demo videos once we have reached the private BETA and the amount of changes to the system slowly subside.
Unfortunately, we missed the window to subscribe for the GenCon 2018. This hurts a lot, A LOT!
We would have loved to be there this year! Instead we will have to wait until 2019 to get there. We decided to make this an opportunity and gain some more convention experience in Europe first, starting with conventions in Germany.
We will be at:
- RPC in Colonge from May 12th to 13th,
- SPIEL18 in Essen in October 25th to 28th,
- Vienna ComicCon in November 17th to 18th.
There might be some more, but those are the ones, we can confirm as of today.
Sorry for another terribly long update.
Enjoy the new features and let the dice roll!