Beta 19: Persona Fixes

Posted in Announcements, EpicTable Development on May 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Beta 19 is ready. I call this one “Persona Fixes” because many of the changes involve character personas in one way or another.

Below are some of the highlights of this release.  For a full list of the fixes and enhancements in this release, check out the what’s new page

Just give me the beta! If you just want the beta download, without all the discussion of what’s in it, go ahead and jump down to "How do I get the beta?"

Features and Fixes

Give another player control over a character

Prior to beta-19, you could only speak as and only edit characters you introduced. Now, the GM can reassign control of a character. This enables scenarios like:

  • The GM creates a set of pre-generated characters to pass out to players.
  • A player is absent and one of the other players will run his character.
  • A player’s going to run an NPC (because his paladin just charged bravely into the jaws of a purple worm)

Give control to...

Giving another player control over a character

To give another player control of a character, you right-click on the character portrait in the gallery (on the Characters tab) or in the portrait bar (which by default, sits just below the ribbon, on top of the main tabbed area for maps and tabletops), and select “Give control to…”.

You’ll see a list of players, including yourself. The player list is pretty bare bones right now, but it does the job. Select one and hit okay. EpicTable will transfer control of the character to that player. This means that the character will appear in his character gallery and will be added to the list of available characters in the persona selector of the chat window. Likewise, if control is taken from a player, by assigning it back to yourself or by assigning it to another player, the character is removed from his gallery and his chat persona selector.

A few rules about how this all works:

  • Only the GM or game organizer (which are, for now, the same person) may reassign characters.
  • The GM always can speak as any character and control any character, so he won’t notice any change to his gallery or chat persona selector.
  • Characters can currently only be controlled by the GM and one player. This was done, not so much out of a desire to constrain players as to avoid overwhelming them with characters to choose from. There’s an open feature request to allow any player to speak as or control any character. I plan to implement that feature, but only after 1.0 and when I can make it configurable.

Response to Auto-Reported Errors

There were a number of errors reported via the automated reporting tool (thanks) that I’ve fixed. These had to do with:

  • Character portrait handling in the chat window
  • Character portrait handling and in the character editor
  • Allowing the user to remove all the chat windows

What Didn’t Make Beta 19?

Map Issues Under Zoom

I’ve worked with some of you on map issues–especially snap-to-grid and map (mis)behavior when zoomed. Something’s clearly gone wrong with zoomed maps. They’re very sluggish. What’s more, positioning a token while zoomed has issues that are more than just sluggishness (though that certainly doesn’t help). I’m somewhere between embarrassed and reassured to be able to say that I know maps didn’t always behave this way. My group used maps under zoom a fair bit and didn’t see this problem until recently. Regressions are really embarrassing, but the glass half-full perspective is that this worked before and there’s probably some small, stupid, easy to fix thing behind this. Getting maps working properly under zoom again is my top priority. I almost held beta 19 up for it, but the other fixes were all in the final stages of testing before I became aware of the map issue, and it’s worthwhile getting the resource handling fixes, in particular, out to people.

Edit: I found the source of the sluggishness. It has to do with a change to how I draw the background. It was introduced when I added scrolling of texture-backed maps and tabletops. Looking into a fix now. In the meantime, you’ll find that image-backed maps and tabletops perform far better than texture backed maps. That also helps explain why my group missed it at first–we were using maps from a Paizo adventure path a lot, so we normally had image-backed, not texture backed maps.

Map Drawing Weirdnesses

I’ve observed some of the oddest things with a couple of the beta test groups…. There are some map drawing issues that are spectacularly bizarre. I actually have some theories about these. They’re next in line behind the zoom issues.

How do I get the beta?

Download the full EpicTable installer and run it. (No need to uninstall first.)

To those of you who have already installed the beta:  My apologies–the auto-updater won’t work for this release.  My goal is to distribute updates automatically, so you don’t have to visit this site to know that there are updates.  Sadly, the approach I’d been using for that has turned out to be less reliable and less flexible than I’d hoped.   I plan to replace it before the 1.0 release.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to distribute updates in installer form.

Thanks for your participation in the beta!

– John

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