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goviwan
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Old October 2nd, 2014, 10:07 AM
+1 for variously-colored pins and possibly some different pin icon choices. Yay for options!
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rob
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Old October 5th, 2014, 02:35 PM
There are two big gotchas with letting users pick and choose their own colors. First of all, once content can be shared, colors will have different meanings across different content. So the only way this works is for us to have an official list of purposes for pins and then let users assign different colors to those purposes. That way, a pin of purpose X will always use the same color for UserA regardless of what colors was used by the publisher of the content. Of course, this means that we have figure and dictate the official set of purposes, and I don't expect we'll be able to satisfy everyone's different desires with anything we come up with.

This also introduces a new complication, though. Let's say you have a player in your game and that player is also in a game with another GM. You decide to use red pins to mean PurposeX and blue pins to mean PurposeY. However, the other GM chooses just the opposite mappings. Now the player is completely confused as he moves between one GM and the other. The only way to solve that is to now require players to also pick their own color-coding for each of the different purposes. This makes life more complicated for players and will ultimately result in some players not bothering and deciding they won't even bother with using Realm Works due to it being confusing for them.

Now we've shot ourselves in the foot in the pursuit of making things flexible. That's not good. Therefore, based on the above complications, this is something that we need to figure out a better solution for before we can implement anything. Lacking some brilliant idea that solves this problem, this is something that won't be on the upcoming survey. If any of you have ideas along these lines, please share them. Once we have a good solution, we can put that solution squarely on the todo list.
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Farling
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Old October 5th, 2014, 03:09 PM
One possible (short-term?) solution could be to allow a map to have its pins show the icon for the type of information that the pin is connected to (where a pin contains a link).

This would allow creature pins to be differentiated from location pins (assuming each has their own linked topic).

An alternative would be to allow labels to appear on the pins directly
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GThiel
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Old October 5th, 2014, 03:11 PM
Allow the GM to build a list in some topic of which color means which and he/she can reveal that list to the player and inform the player that that list is the "Official Color Pin Collection" for the realm. :-)

AS a GM I really need some way of differentiating pins as revealed in the player view.
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Bidmaron
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Old October 5th, 2014, 04:26 PM
Rob, I get your concern, but isn't this just another manifestation of your categories? You've already pointed out that if you import stuff and you have changed your categories, the import might be confused (i.e. if you changed the 'Communities' category to 'Taco Stands' despite the warning in the documentation). This seems like just another variation of that. Maybe I'm not seeing it right, but I don't think people would be too bothered by the colors meaning something different in different realms. After all, when I get a Rand MacNally atlas, there is no standard as to the colors they use versus some other company's atlas, and I don't lose any sleep over that.

As to the icon solution, if you believe colors having different meanings is a problem, icon standardization would be arguably worse.

Cartography has a solution to this, and it is called the 'legend'. If there is a legend with the meaning of the colors or icons, the problem is solved, and there doesn't need to be any standardization whatsoever.

Please at least let us vote on it. I doubt it will make the first (or even fifth) cut, but there really needs to be some method to distinguish between the pins on a map, and colors and/or icons seems a really great way to do it.
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AEIOU
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Old October 5th, 2014, 07:03 PM
I use different colors for the same information on different graphs and charts at work all the time. As @Bidmaron notes, the 'legend' is a necessity and it resolves all the confusion.

As for players in campaigns that use differing standards? It's all about me.... I cannot control what others do and I cannot fret that they made poor choices.
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Dark Lord Galen
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Old October 6th, 2014, 09:20 AM
As others suggest, a legend is the "index" that defines what is what within cartography. Seems a custom "category" that defines those elements that allows the author to choose colors/ symbology would be the approach.
If / when it becomes "shareable" via community or market place,the end user, can simply modify this category to make those global changes to suit their need or preference.
This would open the possibility for specialty token sets depicting anything from colors to styles to symbols from the community or market place that would subcategorize sets And "unlock if they choose" (like other structure already in place)
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Exmortis
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Old October 6th, 2014, 01:00 PM
Can you not make this Pin color index campaign or "Realm" dependant? So the GM dictates to the players via realm they are in?
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Viking2054
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Old October 7th, 2014, 01:55 AM
You could add a mouse over feature to each pin that could show more information or maybe a graphic associated with the pin.

Say I mouse over a location pin and I have a pop up show a town graphic and a little bit of information... or maybe a city graphic, capital city graphic. It could even be a camp site graphic or small village graphic...

At the same time, you could put in portraits to mouse over for pins relating to known locations of various NPC's.

There are lots of possibilities for customization by simply adding mouse over functionality that can be customized by the GM. Then you can minimize pin color madness.

Of course you could put the suggested index in the mouse over also.
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CorzatTheGray
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Old October 7th, 2014, 05:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob View Post
There are two big gotchas with letting users pick and choose their own colors. First of all, once content can be shared, colors will have different meanings across different content. So the only way this works is for us to have an official list of purposes for pins and then let users assign different colors to those purposes. That way, a pin of purpose X will always use the same color for UserA regardless of what colors was used by the publisher of the content. Of course, this means that we have figure and dictate the official set of purposes, and I don't expect we'll be able to satisfy everyone's different desires with anything we come up with.
I think a map Legend would cover this as others have stated already. Set your map legend in the Mechanics somehow and then when placing a pin, when you link to a topic the pin color would match that topic's color as defined in the Mechanics by the Legend. ie. Communities get Red, Geographical regions Blue, etc. If it isn't set in the Mechanics and tied to the legend, then the pin is just the generic red that is now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob View Post
This also introduces a new complication, though. Let's say you have a player in your game and that player is also in a game with another GM. You decide to use red pins to mean PurposeX and blue pins to mean PurposeY. However, the other GM chooses just the opposite mappings. Now the player is completely confused as he moves between one GM and the other. The only way to solve that is to now require players to also pick their own color-coding for each of the different purposes. This makes life more complicated for players and will ultimately result in some players not bothering and deciding they won't even bother with using Realm Works due to it being confusing for them.
I don't see that being much of an issue. I put that in the same boat as knowing what each GM's house rules are, and if the legend is in place there is also a reference for the player to use to alleviate the confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob View Post
Now we've shot ourselves in the foot in the pursuit of making things flexible. That's not good. Therefore, based on the above complications, this is something that we need to figure out a better solution for before we can implement anything. Lacking some brilliant idea that solves this problem, this is something that won't be on the upcoming survey. If any of you have ideas along these lines, please share them. Once we have a good solution, we can put that solution squarely on the todo list.
Are the smart images being used for anything other than maps? I'm sure they may be, but the majority of users will be using them for maps, which lends itself to having a legend.

While that is the simple answer for us as users, I won't even begin to speculate on the difficulty of how you would begin to implement that on your side of things Rob.

Not having dug too deeply into the customization of the tags and what not in my own realms, I am not speaking from personal experience, but from what I've seen in the tutorials and from lurking around the forums it seems that it would be ideal for the users to be able to set the colors of a pin with either a Mechanic entry or in the same manner in which they set up a new tag. That would then correlate to the legend on the map.

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