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Zanth
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 11

Old November 2nd, 2015, 07:40 PM
I'm newish to the product (I purchased this summer) and have been rather slow in building up my campaign for various reasons. One of the main ones is my use of OS' other than Windows. That means running in a VM and there were hiccups for a while. That all said, I am OCD when it comes to maximizing productive workflows and minimizing time and effort (in all things, even if I never end up using the workflow).

For a while now, I have been using a cool "mind mapping" package called TheBrain (it used to be called Personal Brain). I won't get into all the features but it is a robust and expansive application that towers above all other options (such and Mindjet's Mind Manager) in terms of unique data elements, visualization and mimicking how humans think and store data.

I also use Evernote and devonThink Pro (for you Mac users out there) to organize and collect notes, clippings etc.

I have used these three programmes (and still do) for almost everything I have needed to do electronically, from storing code, to organizing multiple doctoral dissertations, keeping track of the bulk of my life.

When I set out to run my own game for my friends, I figured I would end up doing what I had always done: brainstorm, map and link all things with TheBrain, gather and organize data (resources, pdfs, pics, vids etc) with Evernote or devonThink and then write in Ulysses or Scriviner. Each of these apps are available for desktop and iOS devices and they sync across machines and are hosted online. There is quite a bit of overlap between some of them and in some cases, all of them. As such, I was trying desperately to avoid replicating content generation or collection, but most of all I was desperate to reduce the time and effort needed to get my ideas down and ready to be used during a session.

I began researching campaign management applications. RW came up early in my searches and from the reviews, it stood out as the top product despite some of the rumblings I encountered on forums. So I bought it almost sight unseen and even went against my better judgement and installed Windows in a VM in order to run it.

I have been slow to work RW entirely into my workflow as I said, because of the Windows bit, but over the last month I have really dug my heels in and mapped out my world. I run Numenera (a Monte Cook Games product) and although it takes place on Earth, it is 1 billion years in the future. This was never a problem for me and I went happily along c/p'ing content from my other apps and growing my world.

Tonight I set out to create my timeline and also reference the 8 prior worlds and the event that ended each (the game takes place during the 9th iteration of humanity). I have seen the timeline button but never clicked it, I never had a need. When I set out to enter a date that was outside the range of 20000 CE, I couldn't. When I set out to change the BCE/CE identifiers, I couldn't. How was I to properly document my created history if I couldn't edit the names and ranges of the calendar? Would I need to create my own elements in some other section to shoehorn it? Ugh... I didn't like that idea. So I came here to discover if I was missing some glaringly obvious option so I could get back to developing my own timeline.

Calendar.

Gosh, I had read so many negative things about the calendar feature and the forthcoming updates and some declaring the whole package as useless without it, etc. I never knew what that was about. Was it a calendar to invite players and track our games? I thought I saw that in a tab somewhere? "Oh well" I thought, I'll encounter it at some point, but I doubted it would be a big deal.

Calendar.

I get it now. Wow, this does suck! We can't document our own history in a *what is to me* reasonable way. Like others, I'm saddened, mainly because I don't want to go through a double workload. Like others, I think RW is the best content management system (that I know of) and it could replace a well oiled but really inefficient content generation workflow I have going AND I can synchronize AND I can share with my players AND I can hide stuff.

WOW! I want this to replace everything I have been using but I do understand now: Calendar.

This is very very very important for me. I'm keen on creating and making the game my own. Monte Cook purposely made the world very open and ambiguous in many ways in order to foster the type of work I get a kick out of. The inability to map this to a timeline won't break my campaign, but it throws a pretty large kink in my workflow and that means I'm less likely to go through the effort to load up RW.

This is a long post considering it is my first one that isn't about a bug fix, but I wanted to detail a bit of my background and how I came to purchase RW and why I did so and how I use it and why a calendar feature is important to me. I don't know enough about the promised features nor about other hopefuls, but if there is a camp one might place themselves in or a spot where one might cast a vote, please show me the way so that I might strengthen the argument that a working custom calendar is essential for creating and tracking a truly immersive campaign. Of course there are other applications I could create a timeline in, and then I could throw the data into RW once the feature comes alive, but if said feature has dropped in priority or has never been considered a truly important one, I hope it might rise up a few rungs on the feature list ladder. Heck, even something as simple as permitting one to edit the names of the calendar for those not using the Gregorian calendar and expanding the time range to essentially unlimited (or give us the option to take a long value or a string!). In my case, although there is no such thing as a Gregorian calendar (in the Ninth world), my players would understand if I used 10000000022 CE.

As others have expressed, RW is awesome and its utility will increase greatly with this one feature alone.
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MNBlockHead
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Old November 2nd, 2015, 09:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
For a while now, I have been using a cool "mind mapping" package called TheBrain (it used to be called Personal Brain). I also use Evernote and devonThink Pro (for you Mac users out there) to organize and collect notes, clippings etc.
Hadn't heard of TheBrain, looks interesting. I used XMind for mind mapping and Evernote for organizing and collecting notes, clippings, articles, etc.

Quote:
As such, I was trying desperately to avoid replicating content generation or collection, but most of all I was desperate to reduce the time and effort needed to get my ideas down and ready to be used during a session.
Same here. Originally I was thinking of setting up my own wiki or document-management system (like Drupal or Joomla). Then I found RW.

Quote:
I have seen the timeline button but never clicked it, I never had a need. When I set out to enter a date that was outside the range of 20000 CE, I couldn't. When I set out to change the BCE/CE identifiers, I couldn't. How was I to properly document my created history if I couldn't edit the names and ranges of the calendar?
In my campaign, I've not had to worry about the date-range limitation. I wonder if this limitation could be removed without a complete overhaul of the calendar. Keep the Gregorian for now, but allow dates to go at least billions of years into the past and future.

Customizing month names may also be something that could be allowed, but it really wouldn't mean much to me. I don't need to just give different names to existing calendar elements, I need calendars with differing numbers of days per months, months per year, etc.

Quote:
The inability to map this to a timeline won't break my campaign, but it throws a pretty large kink in my workflow and that means I'm less likely to go through the effort to load up RW.
Something that occurs to me as I read your post is that one driver to get the calendar feature released sooner is that content owners who might want to sell popular material through RW's content market (I would be cool if Monte Cook games would make Numenera content available in the CM), but because of the limitations of the current calendar won't because there would not be a useful way for them to enter dates.

Quote:
...but if said feature has dropped in priority or has never been considered a truly important one, I hope it might rise up a few rungs on the feature list ladder. Heck, even something as simple as permitting one to
edit the names of the calendar for those not using the Gregorian calendar and expanding the time range to essentially unlimited (or give us the option to take a long value or a string!). In my case, although there is no such thing as a Gregorian calendar (in the Ninth world), my players would understand if I used 10000000022 CE.
It is still a priority and has always been considered an important feature. It is just that the survey of users and potential buyers, as well as business considerations, has prioritized the Content Market and player journals. Most of the calendar code has been completed and in earlier versions (perhaps only for the beta team, don't know, it was before I bought the software) the custom calendar feature was available. You can still find videos in You Tube showing it. But apparently is was too wonky and users found it difficult to use and they wanted to make sure that they did it right rather than release something that was half-baked.

There are a number of large camps of users calling for what is the most important features for them: calendars, exports, printing, and apparently journals. All are very vocal but developer time is a limited resource, especially in a company the size of LWD. It will all be there eventually, but none of it will be available until after the huge task of getting the CM and Web version are released. The recent upgrades were a big step in this direction.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote

Last edited by MNBlockHead; November 2nd, 2015 at 09:36 PM. Reason: corrected BB Code error
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Zanth
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Old November 4th, 2015, 03:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBlockHead View Post
Hadn't heard of TheBrain, looks interesting. I used XMind for mind mapping and Evernote for organizing and collecting notes, clippings, articles, etc.
TheBrain can replace the two with ease. If one so chose, TheBrain can either index or import full folders of any type of data. This can be synchronized if one signs up for their online service. I do a lot of work outside my home, so I either need to do this on a laptop or a tablet. The sync simplifies things. The free version can still replace much of the two but the clippings would be absent. Everything else listed works and is part of the free version (which does sync too, but not the documents.)

Quote:
Same here. Originally I was thinking of setting up my own wiki or document-management system (like Drupal or Joomla). Then I found RW.
I started to do exactly this. I have the wiki running and then I started to think about populating that thing. Ugh... again, so much replication in work. If RW can present what I need to, to my players AND it goes in once... jackpot on time saving!

Quote:
In my campaign, I've not had to worry about the date-range limitation. I wonder if this limitation could be removed without a complete overhaul of the calendar. Keep the Gregorian for now, but allow dates to go at least billions of years into the past and future.
I could live with this. Because my game takes place on earth, even if the months are a bit shorter and the days can be a bit longer, I wouldn't worry so long as I could map my sessions to a given range that at least takes place in the proper year. Later on I could swap the names of the months. So if anyone is reading, please expand the min and max year from 20000 to something in the 10-12 digits please.


Quote:
It is still a priority and has always been considered an important feature. It is just that the survey of users and potential buyers, as well as business considerations, has prioritized the Content Market and player journals.
Stupid democratic user surveys - Damn you people who hold interests and opinions that are not my own!

Quote:
<...>but developer time is a limited resource, especially in a company the size of LWD. It will all be there eventually, but none of it will be available until after the huge task of getting the CM and Web version are released. The recent upgrades were a big step in this direction.
I understand the limitations. Sucks that the developers aren't robots or 5 year old Chinese sweat shop slaves, but I agree with the recent upgrades, nice improvements just from the version I installed in August.
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Dark Lord Galen
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Old November 6th, 2015, 11:46 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNB
It is still a priority and has always been considered an important feature. It is just that the survey of users and potential buyers, as well as business considerations, has prioritized the Content Market and player journals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanith
Stupid democratic user surveys - Damn you people who hold interests and opinions that are not my own!
To further clarify, the first mistake was giving player votes equal credence to DM votes.
Since RW is supposed to be a campaign manager the needs of the one managing the campaign should have taken precedence or the value of the votes would be skewed. But in the interests of fair democracy LWD inadvertently failed to consider there would be more players than DMs (10 to 1 at my own table). Ironically the Players addition will not work without the DMs version to sync to, so some where they knew (but forgot?) who the target of their product was supposed to be. Calendars, and Exporting are only some of those support tools that the DMs NEED, yet the players consider fluff.

D&D> Pre 1e White Box Edition, 1e, 2e, 3.5 Currently, Set in the World of Greyhawk (The first, longest running and Best Campaign Setting)
Software>Extensive use of all forms of MS Products, Visual Studio 2012, DAZ 3d, AutoCAD, Adobe Products.
Gaming Specific>Campaign Cartographer, D20 Pro Alpha & BattleGrounds Beta Tester, World Builder, Dungeon Crafter, LWD Hero Lab, Realm Works, Inkwell Ideas Citybuilder & Dungeon Builder, Auto-Realm, Dundjinni
Contributing Writer for TSR, WOC, & Canonfire
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weogarth
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Old November 6th, 2015, 12:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Lord Galen View Post
To further clarify, the first mistake was giving player votes equal credence to DM votes.
Since RW is supposed to be a campaign manager the needs of the one managing the campaign should have taken precedence or the value of the votes would be skewed. But in the interests of fair democracy LWD inadvertently failed to consider there would be more players than DMs (10 to 1 at my own table). Ironically the Players addition will not work without the DMs version to sync to, so some where they knew (but forgot?) who the target of their product was supposed to be. Calendars, and Exporting are only some of those support tools that the DMs NEED, yet the players consider fluff.
Eh...it's easy to play Monday morning QB on things like this. It is honestly hard to think of everything ahead of time; you do the best you can and move on. I could see myself not realizing this nor would I have gone to the user base to ask how best do the survey.

Gary
Assistant Calendar Champion (retired)

GM: D&D 3.5 homegrown Local/Small Scale campaign
GMing blog: http://www.undiscoveredworlds.com
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ruhar
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Old November 6th, 2015, 02:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArgoForg View Post
I'm not sitting here bashing RW and saying I'm not using it because it's useless. Far from it; I'm still a huge supporter of it, and look forward to when I can jettison the other, less elegant solutions. I realize that it's gonna get some ire, especially around here, but for what I had planned to use RW for, it's going to actually going to be more of a pain for me to use it at the moment than for me not to use it.
Thank you for clarifying. I've seen some posts in the past of people throwing a hissy fit and not use RW simply because of one missing feature so I thought that was your case. I understand why you feel you can't use it yet.

I just have to say that I've been very pleased with RW, but I am disappointed that the journal was bumped ahead of calendars. It was never a Kickstarter feature so it should be below calendars. I believe the Market was a Kickstarter feature and I understand that it should be at the top, it will help generate revenue. IMNSHO the promised features should have first priority followed by newly suggested features despite what the survey indicated.

Also, the survey was done not only by Kickstarter supporters but players who wouldn't have full use of RW as a GM and I believe those considering buying it. So why should those who wouldn't have the full GM benefit of the program weigh more and those thinking of buying the program have more weight than those who it was actually designed for, the GMs? The survey result was skewed on numbers: there would be more players than GMs.

I'm sorry that this might add accelerate to a currently smoldering fire, but this has been on my mind since the survey results came out.

Flame on.
Ruhar
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MNBlockHead
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Old November 6th, 2015, 02:36 PM
I can be a little too quick to complain, but I do have sympathy for businesses using kickstarter to raise funds. Instead of small number of large funders to answer to you have maybe hundreds or even thousands of backers, many of him who get quite vocal when things don't go as "promised."

I wasn't a backer of RW, but I've backed other companies, like Lunatik. The delay over the release of Lunatik's new waterproof case has provided some wince-provoking drama on the backer discussion boards.

With kickstarters, I tend to give money to companies that seem to be trying to do cool things, fully expecting a number to be disappointments or failures and most to have delays of one sort or another. Most of the time I make my pledge and forget about it I get an e-mail that it was released or get the widget in the mail.

I am more curmudgeonly when it comes to release products and services that I've been using and rely on that have issues. I fully understand and have sympathy for the developers, but it is tough when something you love stops working.

Anyway, I know LWD is working hard to work out the current bugs, but right now the calendar, journal, etc. are all far from my mind. I want what's been released to work.

The one feature that does feel very relevant now, with the upgrade issues, is print/export. Losing content because of bugs introduced with an upgrade is a scary thing, especially knowing that its locked in.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote
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Viking2054
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Old November 6th, 2015, 03:28 PM
I believe the skew of the poll (players vs GM's) was brought up back when the poll was taken or shortly after. I know I brought it up as well as others, but I don't remember if it was while the poll was ongoing, shortly after the poll closed, or after the results came out.

I actually haven't been playing with RW very much. Not necessarily because it doesn't have a feature I want, although I purchased because of the (advertised at the time) Calendar system. I'm not sure if it is still being advertised. But being able to design custom calendars was a big thing in my purchasing decision. Sad to say I wish it was available.

I have been fielding questions for at least one other GM in my semi-regular gaming group and informed him of the issues and recommended he wait before purchasing. I will not recommend purchase for my players until the Kickstarter feature set is complete and I start using the program for my own creations.

As far as the content market goes: I am most interested in rules sets, NPC stat blocks, Monster/Animal stat blocks and maybe maps. But at least the Maps (especially battlemat type maps) should also be delivered in a printable format or be able to be delivered to us in a printed/laminated format through snail mail or some other service. I've never really cared that much for other peoples worlds if I'm running the game, although I do play in a few published worlds run by other GM's.

Last edited by Viking2054; November 6th, 2015 at 03:31 PM.
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MNBlockHead
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Old November 6th, 2015, 09:31 PM
Hmmm...I recommend everyone who asks to buy it, because I'm selfish and want the product to be supported and developed. I can see being upset if a promised feature from the kickstarter was never included, but that doesn't mean that is isn't a good fit for others.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote
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weogarth
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Old November 7th, 2015, 05:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBlockHead View Post
Hmmm...I recommend everyone who asks to buy it, because I'm selfish and want the product to be supported and developed. I can see being upset if a promised feature from the kickstarter was never included, but that doesn't mean that is isn't a good fit for others.
Yeah....me too. My soapbox comes out to sign the praises of RW whenever I can.

Gary
Assistant Calendar Champion (retired)

GM: D&D 3.5 homegrown Local/Small Scale campaign
GMing blog: http://www.undiscoveredworlds.com
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