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Archasimos
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Join Date: Aug 2016
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Old August 28th, 2016, 12:31 PM
I am definitely interested in a feature that would allow me to dole out limited or specific content for my players to manage. Being that Realms Works is designed to help manage a campaign, allowing players to enter in data from their end, without having to sit down at the GM's computer, would be a MAJOR time saver. Even if they could only edit their own characters this would be a big time saver, though I'd like it if they could edit and or add NPCs that are closely tied to their character. As GM this would save time that I could then use to work on more important game content.

Regarding the concurrent updates issues, I recommend the developers check out Microsoft OneNote. I'm using Realm Works for my game, but for the last 6 years I've used OneNote to enter and house all the information for an entire RPG setting that myself and a partner have been writing for the last 15 years. With OneNote we can both be editing even the same parts of the file at the same time. There are rare syncing issues, when we are both trying to edit the exact same content at the exact same time, but it has a feature that lets you sort that out and decide which changes to keep.

Note that I'm not trying to sell the idea of OneNote over Realm Works. OneNote is great for creating an RPG setting, but not for managing a campaign like Realm Works, especially if you want to be able to reveal only specific information to players.

I am using OneNote 2013 in case it's something any of the developers would like to research.
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wurzel
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Old September 1st, 2016, 07:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silveras View Post
The issue Ladyofdragons is referring to is called "concurrent updates".

If two persons are changing the same data "object" in the database at the same time, ONE of them is going to lose his/her work.

All of the means of allowing this kind of thing would require constant on-line access to the shared data.. in order to coordinate who is making changes at any given time, only one user can have "write" access, and all others must wait for that user to finish, commit his/her changes, and release "write" access to others.

The alternatives are things like lost updates. The Player makes a note on the Topic, and syncs to the server. Then the GM makes a change to the same Topic using the version the player started with (before the player's changes), then syncs. The GM's changes replace those of the player, and the change the player made is lost. The player, and anyone else who sync'd after the player but before the GM, would see the player's changed version.. until they sync after the GM's changes are sync'd, and then everyone sees the GM's data.

Otherwise, if the GM's data doesn't "rule the roost", the varying saves of the data by various players could each replace the GM's and each others... especially bad if multiple players made changes building on each other while the GM was preparing changes ... then a series, almost a conversation, of changes, get wiped out.

So the way to prevent that kind of crazy confusion is to allow NO ONE other than the GM to make changes to Realm Content.

...

I am speaking as someone who has designed, built, and operated a database application managing multiple users making changes concurrently. As soon as you start allowing more than one person to edit a piece of data, you guarantee that some of them will be getting a message "your changes could not be saved because another change has already been made", or that some changes get wiped out in favor of others. Since neither of those is good for the product , LoneWolf has (has far) chosen the safer course of allowing ONLY the GM to make changes.
There are more than just a few source code management systems in the market who handle that kind of problems perfectly. I don't know how the data in RW is stored (and I don't want to reverse engineer it) but probably none of these tools is currently fit to manage that. But since some are open source it shouldn't be too difficult to create a checkout-checkin mechanism for RW.

But still it would take some of the precious time of the developers that is better used elsewhere. So probably a PC changing topics won't come before "soon" (Lone Wolf definition).


DM: Tol'Uluk - game system independent homebrew world (so far AD&D 2, D&D3.5, Fate, Pathfinder, D&D5)
Tools: RW, CC3+, CD3, DD3, HL
RL: Retired senior IT manager. Now just housewife, grandma and fantasy author.
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Acenoid
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Old September 1st, 2016, 12:57 PM
Maybe RW was not designed to do that. I doubt it's "easy" to implement such a feature afterwards. Also Checkin-Checkout mechanismns still require you as user to select which changes to keep and resolve "conflicts", that is all a huge amount of work that is not quickly done. And regarding open source - for sure there are some open source tools but LWD is not going to be on open source company. They offer a lot of features that a code management system is not offering.

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Silveras
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Old September 1st, 2016, 02:23 PM
Yes, a code-management system is a very different type of things than what RealmWorks is. Also, the mechanism for check-in/check-out applies to all users, not just players, otherwise there is still the risk of corruption. And, as Acenoid has mentioned, RealmWorks was not designed with that in mind... so adding it after the fact is not simple. That they also tend to have their own databases, and are not something you usually add to an existing database product, is another factor against this.

Aside from the technical aspect, there is also the information management issue. If both Players and GMs can edit content, how does someone remember later which snippets were the GM's and which were the Players? Since Players cannot see all snippets on a topic, they would then be able to add conflicting, incorrect, or duplicate snippets. Without some indication of which are which, the GM would have to return to looking at printed source materials. That may be "ok" initially, but since that's part of what RealmWorks is intended to replace, there may not even *be* any such printed materials to refer to in some cases.

RealmWorks' approach to this now is to keep ownership of content limited to one user. Currently, the GM is the only one with access to most topics. Players have Journals in which to keep notes.

Perhaps an extension of Per-Character reveal may someday be Per-Character editing of snippets.. in which case giving the Player control over the HeroLab portfolio for a character may be feasible. Granting editing of a Topic, though, starts to blur the lines between GM and Player editions... which, if done, could lead to there being just one edition, which would need to be paid for fully in every case. That has not been the model so far, and is unlikely to change in the near future, I would expect.

Of course, there have been requests for "multiple-GM ownership" of Realms in the past. If that scores high enough on the survey expected to follow the Content Market, we may see some movement in that direction.
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daplunk
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 2,256

Old September 1st, 2016, 04:28 PM
I wouldn't want my players to have access to modify my content.

What I would like is a forum board style system that used all the links to allow the players to move around between content easily.

Like a split screen view, where the players can make posts on the message board on the right and the DM and players could reply. Clicking a link displays the content on the right.

This would encourage the players to use the information and enable them to ask questions. This helps the DM grow the world with the player's interaction.
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pyremius
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Old September 3rd, 2016, 07:11 PM
I'm not interested in allowing the players to edit my content - but am willing to let them edit their content in my topic. If they can add snippets to topics, the key features I would expect are: reveal/hide (so other players can't see secret suggestions), creator-identification so everyone knows who the snippet came from, and "Change ownership", so that once I decide to incorporate that information the player loses the ability to modify it.
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MNBlockHead
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Old September 9th, 2016, 09:34 AM
This is one of those requests that will be very important for some users and not at all important for others. Personally, I would would find the ability for concurrent editing to be most useful for having multiple DMs work together on content. But if you could simply specify editing rights on the topic or even snippet level, then you would support both.

I use a Project Management product call Wrike for work. It allows you to set sharing setting for both the item (tasks) and container (folders, projects) levels. A task will have some sections that only one use can change at a time (status for example), but the task description area allows multiple people to edit, similar to a Google Document.

It would be awesome if RW would work that way, but that would, I assume, require rebuilding the product from the ground up for functionality that probably would not bring in sufficient additional revenue to justify the cost.

If the player journal allows players to comment on the snippet level or even just the topic level, that will likely be sufficient for the vast majority of users. For those who want highly collaborative editing, they will likely need to settle for sequential editing. For example, two DMs could share credentials and take turns making edits, but they would have to coordinate carefully and it is likely not worth the risk and effort.

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