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FifthWanderer
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Old January 5th, 2008, 06:19 AM
How are the authoring tools coming along? I'm really keen to get started with the Spirit of the Century dataset.

(And yes, I know you're really busy. I'm just checking.)
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Colen
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Old January 8th, 2008, 03:56 PM
Authoring tools are still in the pipeline. Our current focus is the campaign support - once that's complete, one of the major things on our to-do list is the authoring kit.
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thorfin
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Old July 8th, 2008, 04:31 PM
So, maybe soon? The reason I ask is that we play Star Wars Saga, when we're not playing M&M, and this should help. Thanks.
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rob
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Old August 11th, 2008, 01:53 PM
At 04:31 PM 7/8/2008, you wrote:
Quote:
So, maybe soon? The reason I ask is that we play Star Wars Saga, when we're not playing M&M, and this should help. Thanks.
Just a quick update. I've been spending the majority of my time working on the Authoring Kit over the past few months. We will be providing a skeleton set of data files that can be used as a starting point for any game system and then adapted. I've been writing up a very detailed walk-through of converting those skeleton data files over to Savage Worlds. So you'll not only have a solid starting point, but you'll also have a concrete example that demostrates how to make a vast array of changes for a real game system.

The goal is to make using the Authoring Kit as painless as possible. But accomplishing that requires lots of time to do well. I have a few more weeks of documentation to write up, as well as wrapping up the detailed walk-through. So there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. It's just takes a ridiculous amount of time to come up good examples and then write up clearly. For example, one hour of changes to the data files for an expert like Colen or myself will typically require 3-4 hours of documentation to explain why and how those changes were made. So it's a very time-intensive process, and I hope you find the results extremely useful when you set out to write your own files for Star Wars Saga. :-)

-Rob
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Noctivagus
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Old August 11th, 2008, 02:48 PM
Thanks for the great update! I'm really looking forward to the authoring tools (like a kid waiting for Santa Clause :P ).
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FifthWanderer
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Old August 14th, 2008, 09:50 AM
Thanks for taking the extra time. Good, clear documentation makes a lot of difference with software of this sort. If the documentation for Card Vault is any indication, the docs for the authoring kit should rock!
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Illvatar
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Old August 15th, 2008, 01:26 PM
I know how you feel Noctivagus. When I read the update I was so excited that I thought I heard reindeer hooves on the roof. Unfortunately, when I when to check it out it was another bill collector. Still waiting though. Keep up the great work guys!

Illvatar
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vv_gm
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Old August 30th, 2008, 11:23 AM
Hi all! First post.

I actually purchased Hero Lab solely because the authoring kit was announced. I design my own Fudge games, and I want a character management system to help me keep track of builds as well as change control as the systems evolve through play testing. Given the reputation of Hero Lab and what I have read about the quality of the product, I figured buying now couldn't hurt in the long run.

I have some questions about the kit:

1) What is the ETA for the authoring kit to be released?
2) Will there be a beta we can try out (if so, I'm interested in being a beta tester)?
3) What should a person be familiar with (a certain programming language or standard etc) to take full advantage of the kit?
4) Will the authoring kit be made available for free or will it need to be purchased?
5) What do the developers suspect that customers will like best about the kit?

Just curious. I anxiously await using the kit. Thanks for your time!
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rob
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Old September 1st, 2008, 03:47 PM
At 11:23 AM 8/30/2008, you wrote:
Quote:
1) What is the ETA for the authoring kit to be released?
End of October.

Quote:
2) Will there be a beta we can try out (if so, I'm interested in being a beta tester)?
The thing that is taking the longest right now is all the documentation. Consequently, there won't be a normal Beta period for the Kit. We're using the Savage Worlds data files and some other stuff we're doing internally as our testing grounds for the Kit. I'm assuming that we'll find a few issues after release that we missed and will need to be fixed, but the code is very solid right now and we'd rather get people using it widely instead of making most people wait an extra two months for a Beta period that will likely uncover just a few minor code issues and a bunch of documentation shortcomings. We're expecting to release documentation updates to the Kit after the initial release that cover more obscure mechanisms in greater depth than the initial docs will provide.

Quote:
3) What should a person be familiar with (a certain programming language or standard etc) to take full advantage of the kit?
Be comfortable with XML (or HTML). Know the *basics* of programming in *some* language. All you'll need to know about is variables, arithmetic expressions, string expressions, if/then/else statements, and for/next loops. The internal scripts will be very short and sweet, except in race circumstances. They will be longer, but still very simple, for visual positioning, such as when you've got a panel with lots of stuff in it that all needs to be placed properly on the screen.

Quote:
4) Will the authoring kit be made available for free or will it need to be purchased?
Yes and no. The Kit will be treated as a separate game system that will encompass all the data files released through it, including Savage Worlds. As such, you'll be able to play with the Kit to your heart's content in demo mode, with the same limitations as any normal game system in demo mode. You won't be able to save or print your *characters*. But you'll be able to save all your data file changes, allowing you to experiment with the Kit fully before plunking down your money.

Quote:
5) What do the developers suspect that customers will like best about the kit?
We're going to great lengths to make the whole authoring process as easy as possible, and the engine has been designed to be very consistent in how everything works. So we've got our fingers crossed that authors will find the process to be much less daunting and more straightforward than they expect it to be - although it obviously will still require a fair amount of work. Beyond that, I think the biggest benefit will be that they can pretty readily adapt HL to whatever game system that they want to play, *without* having to get out a crowbar and spend lots of effort making a tool designed for one game system kinda work for a very different system. HL is a truly generic framework, so it can be easily tailored for any game. Prior to HL, there has never been a truly generic framework like this, and I believe that's going to be a real boon for everyone.
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vv_gm
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Old September 1st, 2008, 07:54 PM
Very cool, and thank you for answering each of my questions so thoroughly. Come October I am definitely checking the kit out, and if it is everything that I believe it will be I am sure that I will purchase it. Got an MSRP in mind for it?
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