Tutorials and Help

I saw this at GenCon so I downloaded the trial tonight to give it a try. There is no help file apparently as clicking on the button causes nothing to happen. I went to the video tutorials to try and watch them and with the exception of the flaming sword one they do not load.



I'd really like to try this out but things like this don't make me feel good in spending $60, especially when the program has crashed 3 times while trying it out. I created 2 characters, the 1st loads fine while trying to edit it the 2nd causes the program to crash.



From what little I've seen my first question is how do I simply drop in a token to represent monsters? I see how to make a character and drag it onto the tabletop but how do I get a monster in.



I also thought there were included tokens for monsters. I don't understand the difference between a tabletop and a map.



It looks really promising but without good tutorials or support I'm likely to pass.

Comments

  • Thanks for visiting us at Gen Con, and for checking it out. Let me see if I can address your concerns.

    Danimal66;2944 wrote: I saw this at GenCon so I downloaded the trial tonight to give it a try. There is no help file apparently as clicking on the button causes nothing to happen. I went to the video tutorials to try and watch them and with the exception of the flaming sword one they do not load.


    Regarding the help file, or lack thereof, fair enough. There should be help and doc. I've been spending my time on features rather than help, and I realize that's a liability. My intent is to make EpicTable so easy to use that it's not an issue, but admittedly, I've not succeeded in all cases.



    As far as the videos go, I'm a bit at a loss. I just went out and double-checked all of them, and they all load fine. I don't doubt that you had trouble, I just don't know how to account for it. I actually pay to host these on a high quality video provider, as opposed to just putting them on YouTube. These days, with YouTube supporting HD, that's probably not necessary. They are exposed via Flash, which has its downsides too. I plan to make them non-Flash-based, but their being Flash doesn't really explain why one would work and not the rest--they're all exposed via Flash. Would you mind trying them again? If you tell me what OS and browser you're on, I could take this up with the support organization of the company that hosts the videos.

    Danimal66;2944 wrote: I'd really like to try this out but things like this don't make me feel good in spending $60, especially when the program has crashed 3 times while trying it out. I created 2 characters, the 1st loads fine while trying to edit it the 2nd causes the program to crash.

    I totally get that you're reluctant to spend money on something you've had trouble with. I would be too. All I can offer is that I use EpicTable for my weekly game, and many others do to. I'm dedicated to making it work--for myself as well as for the rest of you, and when people have a problem, I do everything I can to address it.



    I'd like to know more about the crash. Did you send an error report when EpicTable offered to send one? I'm looking at a couple that were sent--3 distinct problems in total--but none were related to editing characters. If you can give me some info on what happened, I'd love to track this down. I was editing characters all day during demos, so apparently, I'm not doing what you're doing. It's a hole in my testing, I guess, and it needs a be addressed.



    Danimal66;2944 wrote: From what little I've seen my first question is how do I simply drop in a token to represent monsters? I see how to make a character and drag it onto the tabletop but how do I get a monster in.
    In EpicTable, monsters are characters. It avoids all the discussion about the threshold between monster and character. For instance, is Count Dracula a monster or a character? Is the dragon a monster? How about if he starts speaking? What if he's also a member of the city council? To avoid the grey areas in making a distinction, and because there's really no functional difference in EpicTable, all entities are characters. So, to get a monster on the tabletop, just create him like any other character and drag him on.

    Danimal66;2944 wrote: I also thought there were included tokens for monsters.
    That was a Gen Con promotion. It was actually one of the things we were offering as a reason to buy at the show. Sort of a bounty for taking a risk on EpicTable. Then there was the gold edition with many more tokens.

    Danimal66;2944 wrote: I don't understand the difference between a tabletop and a map.
    There's not much difference, actually. A map shows the grid, and later will have fog-of-war functionality, but they're pretty much the same thing. The reason that they're represented as different things in EpicTable is that, conceptually, they're different. A person wouldn't expect a grid on a tabletop or (later) fog-of-war on a tabletop. Or at least this is what my thought was when I separated them. I'd be interested in your thoughts on that.

    Danimal66;2944 wrote: It looks really promising but without good tutorials or support I'm likely to pass.
    Well, I'd like to think the support is better than the tutorials. ;)

    And the tutorials will improve. But I understand--if you don't feel like you can use a product, it doesn't make much sense to buy it.
  • Well the videos seem to be working now. I have no explanation, I tried them multiple times. It's late so I will check them out tomorrow.



    As for the crash I did try to send an error report each time but I got a server error message. In fact I just started the program and it says my participant status is a "lost connection" so maybe it is some kind of server issue.



    For whatever reason I thought this was hosted on my PC but it is talking to servers somewhere I can see. What does that mean if you should ever decided not to work on this anymore?



    I figured out the monster thing. It's too bad about the tokens I would of liked to see what they were but I get it was a Con exclusive.



    I really like what I've been able to do so far. I wish Herolab integrated with it in terms of character sheets but I get what you are going for.



    Is there a way to add images to the game pieces library? I assume this is where the custom tokens went. I realize I can just import my own.



    Finally am I missing it or is there a right way to exit the program? I've been closing it and going having to restart to go back to the main menu.



    Thanks for the reply btw.
  • Danimal66;2946 wrote: Well the videos seem to be working now. I have no explanation, I tried them multiple times. It's late so I will check them out tomorrow.
    Glad they're working for you now.

    Danimal66;2946 wrote: As for the crash I did try to send an error report each time but I got a server error message. In fact I just started the program and it says my participant status is a "lost connection" so maybe it is some kind of server issue.
    More likely a local network issue. I've been testing all night against the servers and all is well with them.

    Danimal66;2946 wrote: For whatever reason I thought this was hosted on my PC but it is talking to servers somewhere I can see. What does that mean if you should ever decided not to work on this anymore?
    I get this question a lot, and it's a fair one. I should probably add it to the FAQ. The messaging is centralized to avoid any issues with routers or firewalls, and that's a huge win. It does, however, raise two issues:

    1. What if the messaging service company goes out of business?

    2. What if I go out of business?



    When I chose my message hosting, I chose it with those questions in mind, and that's why I made sure I have the ability to run the messaging server on my own (or more likely some other hosting service's) machines, and that I have the rights to redistribute the messaging service so that others could do so. If the company that currently hosts the messaging goes out of business, I'll host it with someone else. If I go out of business, I'll make the messaging service available to EpicTable licensees. As I told someone else recently who asked this question, I do need to put a dead man's switch in place, so that if I'm hit by a meteorite, this all happens.

    Danimal66;2946 wrote: I really like what I've been able to do so far. I wish Herolab integrated with it in terms of character sheets but I get what you are going for.
    Funny you should say that. I had lots of interesting conversations with the HeroLab folks at Gen Con...

    Danimal66;2946 wrote: Is there a way to add images to the game pieces library? I assume this is where the custom tokens went. I realize I can just import my own.
    There's not currently a way to add your own images to the game pieces gallery. You can accomplish the same thing via the "Image" button under "Odd and Ends" on the "Tabletops" tab of the ribbon. I know that having the ability to make your own images more readily available would be nice, but the gallery concept doesn't scale very well. I'm working on a better way to manage custom resources.

    Danimal66;2946 wrote: Finally am I missing it or is there a right way to exit the program? I've been closing it and going having to restart to go back to the main menu.
    No, you're doing it right. The start page is just a step on the way to your game. It's not meant to be something you come back to. My theory was that you weren't normally going to enter multiple games in any one session.

    Danimal66;2946 wrote: Thanks for the reply btw.
    No problem. Thanks for the feedback. I'd much rather hear what you have to say than have you just go away unhappy, regardless of what you ultimately decide about EpicTable.
  • Is there anything you can share about those Hero Lab conversations? :D



    I'm hoping to try a test session this weekend to see how the system works. There are some features in what we are using now that might be missed by the players.



    3D animated dice rolls, seems silly but adds to immersion

    Ability to hide a map and then draw shapes on it to unhide parts of it.



    Those would be the 2 biggest ones. However the ease of use of Epic Table is really nice.
  • Danimal66;2949 wrote: Is there anything you can share about those Hero Lab conversations? :D

    Not yet. Lets just say we're aware that we have complementary feature sets. Awhile back, I was in a Pathfinder game on EpicTable, and we were using HeroLab in one window and EpicTable in the other. I like that model--EpicTable's not a character sheet product. But there are things that would be nice... How do you use HeroLab? Have you tried RealmWorks?

    Danimal66;2949 wrote: I'm hoping to try a test session this weekend to see how the system works. There are some features in what we are using now that might be missed by the players.



    3D animated dice rolls, seems silly but adds to immersion

    Ability to hide a map and then draw shapes on it to unhide parts of it.



    Those would be the 2 biggest ones. However the ease of use of Epic Table is really nice.

    I get the allure of animated dice rolls, at least for the first few rolls. I do wonder if it's going a step too far--transporting inefficiency (if nostalgiac inefficiency) into a medium where it needn't be. At any rate, it's not some moral high ground on my part that keeps me from animated dice rolls, it's that there are always other priorities, and I've not coded that sort of thing before, so I'd probably be messing with it for some time while other, more functional, things lagged.



    As for hiding the map...stay tuned. People at Gen Con may have gotten a sneak peek at something in the works.
  • I use Hero Lab much like you. I have it open on one monitor and my VTT on the other. My players do not have hero lab so I must send them new pdf files each time they level up. My players are lazy.



    Last night I tested outputting a stat block and pasting into the character notes. This works nice, I create a tab for Main info, offense, defense, feats and skills. I then copy and pasted those to the spots.



    Honestly the hero lab character sheets are overwhelming when printed and if I had this info at my player fingertips it would save time. Of course that means updating it each time they level.



    I was looking for a clean way to just export something from HL and paste it into ET which is what got me thinking it would be great if HL has a custom Epic Table output script that when imported in created a character with some of these default tabs of basic info.



    Keep in mind I know I have just customized my own ET, but you asked my thoughts :)



    As for the animated dice, I personally think they are a resource hog on Roll20 which is what we use. Players constantly get ds-synched when using them.
  • I do a similar thing with abbreviated stats, but instead of pasting them into character notes, I create a private tabletop and put the stats on notecards. I like seeing them all at once, rather than opening each one.



    My players requested that their ET dice rolls update when they level up in HeroLab, which strikes me as pretty reasonable.
  • Just to throw in my 2cents. 2 of my 7 players use Hero lab and much like you Danimal we end up leveling everyone who doesn't have it, in it. Plus i run a highly customized game and Hero Lab helps alot with the Race builder in the Editor. That being said, we found that having everyone using a Google doc to keep their stats and stuff in helped alot, we can integrate it into our main Google doc about the game and everyone can access it and change it easily and at the same time. This will make do until The realm works tabletop manager comes out in a few weeks. Then we will prob move our game info into that since it will support Hero lab and many other cool features for GM's.
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