Ok, maybe not for the iPod touch

5 Dec

How embarrassing.  I finally get a review of my new Hex Map app and it’s a one star review saying it crashes on the iPod touch.  That can’t be right; I’m sure I tested it on on the iPod touch as well as two models of iPhones and an iPad 2.  Didn’t I? Apparently not.  At least not after all the development was done.  I fired it up on my daughter’s iPod and*poof* as soon as I tapped the change-background button, the app disappeared and I was looking at the iPhone home screen.  Yep, that’s a crash all right.  Repeating this three or four times didn’t help any.

So, if you have an iPod touch please be patient while I debug this and get a new version up in the App Store ASAP.


8 Responses to “Ok, maybe not for the iPod touch”

  1. Stuart Adams December 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    I love it. Can’t wait for a pro version: I rarely pay for apps, but would buy this, particularly with a save function & creat own background

    • Stuart Adams December 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

      Oh, on iPad 2

  2. klawton December 11, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Thanks for the feedback. That has always been the intent: put out a free version that is functional and useful (to work out the kinks and test the market) and then follow it up with a version that people would be happy to pay for.

    And you pointed out the two key features of the pro version: maintain separate maps persistently and import your own background images. The third (and the hardest since I haven’t done any work in this area) is a way to “mark up” or edit the board.

    Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that these devices, especially the iPod touch have quite limited memory to work with. An app that has no “bugs” will crash instantly if you try to use more memory that is available. I found out the hard way that a large, complex background image easily consumes all available memory. This means I can’t just take the current app and allow the user to import any image they want. I’ll need to do my homework and rework part of the app to make this possible.

    We’ll get there, but it’ll take some time.

    • Robert December 15, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

      Fantastic App! After leaving comments on another app a few months ago only to have it discontinued, I wanted to praise you on a great job. HexMap is so very close to being exactly what’s been missing for a very essential DM’s or really any gamer’s resource to reproduce a table environment.

      As you are looking for feedback, I decided to pass on the same advice I gave the other developer as well as notes specific to your program.

      1. Keep it simple and to task, please. This has so many applications, from HeroClix and miniature wargames to traditional gaming as simply a portable tabletop. There are plenty of choices for dice rollers, etc.

      2. Please add an ability to define the size and scale of the grid in the virtual space, and then the ability to overlay that onto a custom image. I love the samples you’ve provided, and the free version is perfectly functional, but the ability to edit your own play space is essential. I think you could altogether skip any graphic editing tools like a paint brush by simply including the ability to import a custom background.

      3. Please make the tokens work the same way. I’d love to be able to pull images from a gallery for custom tokens, for monsters, PCs, or to represent real miniatures. I LOVE your token system as it is, allowing me to overlay a smaller token on a bigger one for status, action markers, etc. If there was an option to wrap text to the border, that would be the cherry on top.

      4. Snap to grid should allow the intersections as well as the spaces to accommodate certain sized tokens. As is, you can only snap to the center square, making 2×2 tokens cumbersome.

      5. Video out, please! I would love to set my ipod Touch up to an external display, either a projector or just whatever TV I have available for a truly portable gaming experience. This would save loads of time in packing up minis and tiles to run a session.

      I’ve seen your notes to add a save feature, and perhaps you’ve already considered some of these ideas. I fully intend to purchase the full version, especially if it continues its path of excellence. Again, wonderful job so far, and best wishes for the future of this much needed software. This is quickly becoming exactly what I’ve wanted in a DM utility.

      • klawton December 16, 2011 at 2:21 am #

        Thank you very much. There is some excellent feedback there. This is only my third app and the first with any graphical interactivity, so bear with me as my abilities catch up with my aspirations for this app. Encouragement like yours will help keep me on that path. Of the comments you made #4 is the easiest and will get added to the next minor release. (I started this with hexes in mind and added the square grid later, so that’s why it never occurred to me to snap to the intersections until you suggested it.) Tell me more about what you mean by “wrap text to the border.”

        By the way, are you using an iPad or iPhone (or both)? I’m interested in feedback about whether the iPhone version is anywhere near as compelling as the iPad version. It does take more time to tweak the interface to also work on the phone, and I sometimes wonder is that’s a waste of time. If the app is useful and immersive on the iPad but just a gimmick on the iPhone then I’d be better off strictly focusing on the iPad.

  3. Robert December 16, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    I was glad to see a response so soon! I was actually playing around with the app on my lunch break at work last night and thinking about some specifics and other suggestions for you if I received an amiable response, and here it is, so here are some more ideas for you, since my previous feedback hasn’t caused you to rage quit the project.

    As for myself, I’m using a 4th Gen iPod Touch. It’s like the little memo pad version of the iPad for me. I prefer my tech small, and having all my D&D books in the palm of my hand at a moment’s notice on essentially a PDA is a dream come true. As far as your app, I have only had it crash once on bootup, and otherwise it runs fine. My only pet peeve is when the map reaches the border, it goes into vacant space like it sometimes does with other software instead of ending at the edge of the map like I would prefer. As far as your concern that it’s not as engaging on the smaller device, don’t kid yourself. I wouldn’t have written or offered feedback if I didn’t believe your program was perfectly capable of exceeding my expectations. My fiddling last night only confirmed this. Now it’s purely my selfish endeavor to help, if only to get the program I’ve been craving in the format where I need it, lol.

    As far as my “wrapping text to border” comment, I had some thoughts on this last night. Currently, you only have one line of text in a token, which auto-sizes perfectly, but the addition of another line would make a world of difference for visibility and “at-a-glance” information. Two lines could mean listing a character’s class and level, or a monster’s name and number.
    #1 Archer


    As far as wrapping, making the text run along the inside of the shape instead of the center, conforming to the curve of the circle, for example, would mean more opportunities for labels. On that note, border colors would be a nice option also. Consider a color pallet as well instead of having to scroll through the colors, and a toggle to edit the size of each token back and forth.

    I was having a great deal of fun putting one token on top of another, using the lower one at a size larger to indicate targeting or as an action marker. The ability to “lock” one token on top of another and move both together would facilitate this use nicely.

    I felt a bit foolish noting your concerns about the use of custom graphics after I had posted something you had already addressed, and had some ideas regarding that as well. I had the idea of a set of “drawers” where you could save sets of tokens, or in the case of map building, map tiles… So, on opening or creating a new map, a user could define the space as I mentioned before, and then set patches of grass, stone, etc which could then be “locked” to the map as a layer, and then the tokens could be placed and navigated on top of that. You could even make tile and token “sets” for games as additional downloads for revenue generation, in lieu of custom graphics.

    Another idea would be to set graphic limits on what can be imported for tiles, maps, or token art. Say, 200x200px for a token, which would then be cropped in its creation, leaving the burden on the user to edit their own assets before importing them. I would have ZERO issue editing my own art to flavor the game the way I wanted. I think if only for tokens, that might be a reasonable fix, and the map tiles would eliminate the need for graphic editing tools altogether.

    Thanks so much for your interest in my feedback. Feel free to delete this post or contact me directly through e-mail if you would like. Best wishes, and thanks again for an excellent program.

    • klawton December 17, 2011 at 8:59 am #

      You must have good eyes if you can read two lines of text inside a token on an iPod touch 🙂

      I think there are two reasons why people want to be able to edit/draw the background. One, they want to set up a board in advance to play on. Two, they want to be able to create a board on the fly while playing. It sounds like you’re primarily looking for the former. I expect people who want to wing it (analogous to drawing on the BattleMat with dry erase markers) want the latter. I’ll explore both and see what combination to include. I expect ultimately I’ll be able to offer both, but right now I don’t know which will come first.

      • Robert December 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

        Haha, actually yes, I don’t mind smaller text, but my idea of the extra line is actually a functional one. It would allow more readable information on each token. As you enter data on the single line, the text gets small enough that it gets harder to read with words over eight letters.

        From what I imagine, the map tiles would serve both functions. A person could lay out a larger map ahead of time, or simply insert terrain or arrange rooms as desired in a few minutes. Again, this speaks to the elegance of what you’ve already presented. I imagine locking tiles to the map would work the same as the way tokens already interact.

        Continue to enjoy the program as is, and I’m excited to see how things unfold. Best wishes.

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