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Calabim696
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Old August 1st, 2012, 06:47 AM
I really enjoy this program and I have purchased all the add ons up to this last update. However am I the only one that thinks that they should be working to finish what they started with the core rulebook before adding on all this supplemental material. I understand the core 5 rule books but stuff like War and Attitude are not needed to run the game. What is needed is rigging, VR, and Grunt Mechanics. The latter especially in large combats. We have been told that, "These are all coming as soon as we can get them accomplished." but it seems the priority of things getting accomplished is supplemental material. While I do want War and Attitude I, personally, won't be buying anymore add-ons til I'm shown significant improvement in the core rulebook. If anyone thinks this is unreasonable please let me know why.
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Peter Smith
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Old August 1st, 2012, 07:22 AM
It's not unreasonable. It's a well-defined, well-articulated request that demonstrates your position without coming across as a digital tantrum.

It's just not something that I agree with.
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Calabim696
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Old August 1st, 2012, 08:30 AM
So just to be clear, your happy with the program "as is" for Shadowrun and believe the bulk of the company's resources should be spent on adding more supplemental material rather then finishing the core rule book? If so I'm confused as to why. It's like putting aftermarket accessories on a car before you've finished building the engine. I don't need a spoiler and spinning rims; I need a working air filter and fuel injection.
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Peter Smith
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Old August 1st, 2012, 09:54 AM
If I were happy with HeroLabs "as is" status then I would not have purchased the expansions released this week. That said, the mechanics you find missing are not ones that I use. For me to say: "Yeah! I want these too!" when I don't care about them is disengenous.

And given that HeroLabs is used for other games aside from Shadowrun, I don't think the bulk of the company resources should be tied up in working on the game line. The folks at Lone Wolf allocate their resources based on a system that they've developed, if you want them to take resources away from Pathfinder (for example) and give them to Shadowrun you need to come up with an arguement that the folks who use HeroLabs for Pathfinder find acceptable.
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Ryu
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Old August 1st, 2012, 02:44 PM
I use HeroLab as a character generator. Having stuff available for chargen is more important for that use than the ability to run the game on a computer. My personal best improvement ever is the ability to use karmagen.

Not that I find your opinion unreasonable. Im just used to GM SR on a sheet of paper, and dont own a laptop.
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rob
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Old August 1st, 2012, 03:05 PM
A lot of the material from the supplements can be readily out-sourced to contractors that we've engaged to help us get the material into place. The reason we can use contractors is because that content builds on all the existing functionality that's in place within the Shadowrun files.

There are also key game mechanics for which significant enhancements to the inner workings of the data files are needed, such as rigging, VR, and Grunt Mechanics. In some cases, enhancements to the Hero Lab engine itself are also required. None of those tasks can be done by contractors. They have to be done by our in-house staff, and those staff members are spread across a significant number of projects spanning multiple game systems, with clamoring for all of them to be completed yesterday. Our in-house staff are working hard to get those features into place as quickly as possible, but they are a very limited resource and adding things like Grunt Mechanics entails a large amount of work.

So...

The reason you're seeing lots of supplement material continuing to appear is because it's the easy stuff we can farm out. Meanwhile, we're working on all the hard stuff in parallel, which will be released as soon as we can get it all working and fully tested. But the hard stuff is just that - hard - and the resources that can do the hard stuff are in short supply and high demand.

Hopefully, this explanation provides some insight into why you're seeing things play out the way they are...
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Calabim696
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Old August 1st, 2012, 04:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Smith View Post
And given that HeroLabs is used for other games aside from Shadowrun, I don't think the bulk of the company resources should be tied up in working on the game line. The folks at Lone Wolf allocate their resources based on a system that they've developed, if you want them to take resources away from Pathfinder (for example) and give them to Shadowrun you need to come up with an arguement that the folks who use HeroLabs for Pathfinder find acceptable.
Well as I posted this in the Shadowrun Forum and have mentioned Shadowrun a number of times I didn't think that it had to be said but, the bulk of the company's Shadowrun resources. I'm saying I would like to see those assigned to the Shadowrun license focusing on the SR4A rather then supplements. Nobody is talking about Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, or any other. (In fact I use those too) I'm not sure if this was a deliberate mischaracterization of what I was saying or a simple misunderstanding either way I decided to clarify.
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rob
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Old August 1st, 2012, 05:06 PM
I definitely understood your intent - can't speak for others - and I hope the explanation above helps you to understand why you're seeing faster progress on the supplements than the few outstanding mechanics from the core book.
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Calabim696
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Old August 1st, 2012, 05:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob View Post
A lot of the material from the supplements can be readily out-sourced to contractors that we've engaged to help us get the material into place. The reason we can use contractors is because that content builds on all the existing functionality that's in place within the Shadowrun files.

There are also key game mechanics for which significant enhancements to the inner workings of the data files are needed, such as rigging, VR, and Grunt Mechanics. In some cases, enhancements to the Hero Lab engine itself are also required. None of those tasks can be done by contractors. They have to be done by our in-house staff, and those staff members are spread across a significant number of projects spanning multiple game systems, with clamoring for all of them to be completed yesterday. Our in-house staff are working hard to get those features into place as quickly as possible, but they are a very limited resource and adding things like Grunt Mechanics entails a large amount of work.

So...

The reason you're seeing lots of supplement material continuing to appear is because it's the easy stuff we can farm out. Meanwhile, we're working on all the hard stuff in parallel, which will be released as soon as we can get it all working and fully tested. But the hard stuff is just that - hard - and the resources that can do the hard stuff are in short supply and high demand.

Hopefully, this explanation provides some insight into why you're seeing things play out the way they are...
Thanks Rob. This does provide some insight. While I seem to be in the minority, using Hero Lab to run my game and not just for character creation, it is frustrating not having this functionality.

I could easily be satiated by transparency. Why not more status updates on where you guys are at on these functions? I'd just be happy knowing that somebody has been assigned to work on these things; as well as a realistic expectation on what will be added and what's just a pipe dream. Thanks again for letting me have some understanding though.

Last edited by Calabim696; August 1st, 2012 at 05:22 PM.
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rob
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Old August 1st, 2012, 05:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calabim696 View Post
I could easily be satiated by transparency. Why not more status updates on where you guys are at on these functions?
We've been getting requests for greater visibility for Pathfinder as well recently. At the moment, we're in a major crunch leading up to GenCon in two weeks. However, we already promised to take some steps in this direction after GenCon.

It's going to be a balancing act, though, since the time we spend outlining our plans is time we're not actually writing code of some sort, and we need to maximize the time we spend on code.

Another factor is that, the moment we announce our plans, less reasonable people than yourself seem to always surface with arguments or complaints about why the feature they want is more important than what we've slated, which simply means more time spent on the forums dealing with those people.

And let's not forget that surprises seem to crop up with regularity that force us to change our plans. If we uncover a detail that turns Task A from a two-day effort into a two-week effort, we'll often defer Task A and instead tackle Tasks B, C, D, and E in that same period, which makes more users happy. Of course, if we've announced that Task A will be next, then people waiting on Task A don't care about the fact that we're trying to make more users happy by switching our plans around. So then we have to deal with those now unhappy users.

What we'll *probably* do is identify the features in a few tiers of priority and leave it at that. We'll also try to give a basic idea of whether features are easy, moderate, or hard. That way, we have some wiggle room and it minimizes the overhead of dealing with the unreasonable few users out there. Now, this is just my personal *guess* at what we'll end up doing. This is *not* a commitment at this point, since we need to discuss things on our end with the entire team and figure out how this can be handled optimally for everyone. But this post should at least give you further insight into the complications that arise and the additional overhead introduced by giving you what you're asking for.

Hope this helps...
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