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

For my first application to publish across platforms, I wanted to write a dice calculator.  Basically, it is an algebraic calculator that supports dice notation.  I wanted the application to be complete free.  This includes no in-app purchases, no ads and no up-front costs.  Initially, I wanted to target Windows Phone and Android Phones.  I have the desire to target iPhones, but I don’t own one, so I wouldn’t have a means of testing it.

Links to download:

Here’s a screenshot of the first release

Starting screen for the dice calculator

Starting screen for the dice calculator

Pretty basic, huh.  Here’s a quick rundown with some examples on how it works.

0-9, ( ), / x + and – and = work pretty much how you would expect

the ‘d’ key is used to indicate ‘dice’.  For example: D6 equals a six-sided die.  D20 equals a twenty-sided die.

You can put a number before the ‘D’ to indicate how many dice to roll.  So, 3D6 means to roll three, six-sided dice and to add their results.  If you type that into the calculator and hit the ‘=’ button, you will see the formula in the top window, the total in the window just under it, and a breakdown of your rolls in window at the bottom of the application.

This screenshot shows a sample roll

A sample roll

The ‘K’ key means to ‘Keep’ the highest rolled specified number of dice.

The above example show us rolling four, six-sided dice and keeping the highest three dice.  The window at the bottom shows the breakdown.

On the left-hand side, some quick keys are provided for common types of dice, usually used in role-playing games such as Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons.

Once a ‘roll’ has occurred by pressing the ‘=’ button, it will change to the ‘Roll Again’ button so you can quickly re-roll the same formula without having to type it in again and again.

The M+ / MR buttons mean to ‘Add to memory’ and to ‘Read from Memory’.

Adding a formula to memory

Adding a formula to memory

The above screenshot shows adding a formula to memory.  You can give it a name so it can be recalled easily.

For many role-playing games, one might have different characters with different skills, bonuses, etc…  I added the ability to remember formulas into different profiles.

Memorized formulas under a specific profile

Memorized formulas under a specific profile

Profile selection screen

Profile selection screen

 

That’s about it for the functionality.  Small, clean and with a singular focus.  If you have suggestions or comments, please let me know.