The next Project…

With the Dice Calculator published to many platforms, good analytics coming in, almost 1000 users, and decent feedback so far, I thought it would be a good time to being thinking about my next project.

I would like the next project to be larger in scope, and to help me explore new concepts and development on the different platforms, possibly including things like advertising or in-app purchases, or something interesting.

When I first started showing the Dice Calculator to some friends, almost immediately, the requests came in for other features that would help make their gaming experience easier.  Things like an initiative tracker, health tracker, character sheet, etc…  Also, other game master aids such as random dungeon generation, encounter generation, random tables from the books, etc…

This lead me to an interesting question. Could I design a companion application where you could show up to a game with nothing other than your device and be able to play the entire game.

I like it.  Clear, simple vision.  With a model like that, I could imagine in-app purchases where you could add additional rules sets, or support networking with friends, etc…

Quick side note: I’m not in this to make money, and my history with role-playing games has ingrained in me the notion that the vast majority of role-players don’t have a lot of money.  Well, at least they didn’t when I was originally playing a lot.  Today, when I look at the price of books, starter sets, dice, DnDInsider subscription, etc… I’m left with the feeling that a lot of the players are just older versions of those who played a lot when I was younger, and they must somehow have more disposable income.  This may require some actual market research.  If most people don’t have extra income, then I definitely don’t want to make my application less accessible to folks just for me to experiment.

So, with that vision, I’ve started designing my next project… the

RPG Table Companion

As I do development on this project and design items, I hope to keep the blog updated and solicit feedback.  I hope you come along for the journey.

 

Dice Calculator – v1.5

I’ve just posted an update to the Dice Calculator to include many updates and features requested by my early adopters.

Dice Calculator Main Page

 

New Features to v1.5:

  • Stored Formulas now allow for a description and a type for better organization
  • Better panel support for portrait and landscape modes
  • Resizable window for the Windows Desktop version
  • When rolling from a stored formula, the name of the formula is presented in the results
  • Added a detailed roll history, along with calculations and name of formula rolled
  • Added an about dialog that gives a quick overview and a link to the website for full documentation and privacy statements
  • Added a lightweight virtual table so you can share your rolls with friends

Features added to v1.2:

  • Settings dialog to control the volume of the keyboard clicks
  • Support for (H)ighest and (L)owest dice (e.g. 2d20H will roll two twenty sided dice and keep the highest one, 4d6H3 will roll four, six-sided dice and keep the highest 3
  • Splash screen was update to match the theme of the application better.
  • Added Fudge Dice support (e.g. 4dF)

Here are some example formulas to try out.  The best example is to just enter these on the calculator and you will see the breakdown of results in the roll history window.

Example Formulas (Basic):

  • d20 – roll a twenty-sided die.  Result will be between 1 and 20.
  • d8 – roll an eight-sided die.  Result will be between 1 and 8
  • 2d6 – roll two, six-sided dice and add them together.  The result will be between 2 and 12.
  • d20+11 – roll a twenty-sided die and add 11 to the results.

Example Formulas (Advanced):

  • 2d20H – roll two, twenty-sided dice and keep the highest.  If the rolls were 10 and 13, the result would be 13.
  • 2d20L – roll two, twenty-sided dice and keep the lowest.  If the rolls were 10 and 13, the result would be 10.
  • 4d6k3 – roll four, six-sided dice and keep the highest 3. If the rolls were 1, 3, 4, 4, the result would be 11.
  • 4d6H3 – same as 4d6k3.
  • (6d6+3)/2 – roll six, six-sided dice, add three, then divide the final result by 2.
  • d6d10 – roll a six sided die, and then, based on the result, roll that many 10 sided dice.

Rolling at the table with friends (requires network connectivity)

One of the new features is the virtual dice table.  You can connect from the bottom of the Roll History panel by pressing the ‘Connect’ button.

Dice Calculator Table Connection

This area is still under development, so the workflow is a little awkward, so please bear with me.

When the button is first pressed, it will attempt to join a lobby.  If successful, you should see the status message at the bottom change to ‘JoinedLobby’ and inside the roll history it should state that you are in the lobby.  The Connect button will change to ‘Join Table’.

In the Lobby

 

From here, pressing ‘Join Table’ will display the connection settings dialog to allow you to enter a table name and a player name.  The defaults are ‘General’ for the table name and ‘Unknown’ for the player name.

Connection Settings Dialog

You can leave the defaults, or specify your own values.  The important thing to note is the following:

  • The Table Name needs to be the same name used by the people / devices you plan on connecting.
  • The User Name is up to you, and multiple people can share the same name.
  • There is no password or other privacy options. If you use a common table name, others may just happen to pick the same name and drop in.

Once connected, your rolls will be shared with the table.  If you used stored formulas, then the names of the formulas and the dice rolls will also be broadcast to the players at the table.  I plan on expanding this concept greatly with a new application in the future, but wanted the Dice Calculator to be capable of participating at a virtual table.

Sharing Profiles

One of the new features is the ability to share a profile.  This is done by connecting two or more people / devices to the same virtual table and then bringing up the Profile Selection dialog and pressing the ‘Share’ icon on the left.

Choose Profile screen

This will transfer the profile to everyone at the table and add it to their list of profiles.  I personally use this all the time to move my stored formulas between my desktop and my phone or tablet to save time!

WARNING: There is no confirmation when you receive the profile.  Also, it will overwrite the profile if one already exists with the same name.  Use with caution.

Releasing to the Market

I’ve release this to the Google Play, Windows Phone and Windows Store.  The latter two are pending approval for publishing.  I’ve also added a link to the desktop version on my site http://dungeonz.com

Let me know what you think!