Progress Report

7 Apr

Haven’t had much time to work on the apps over the past few weeks, but have made progress nonetheless.  I have the fundamentals worked out for allowing the user to import their own images to use as backgrounds for Hex Map Pro.    The hard part is working out a simple intuitive interface.  The problem is I have no idea what type of images you might try to import, so I don’t know the outer limit for various parameters: size of the image and scale.  Are you likely to need to zoom way in since you’re using teeny graph paper and need room for the tokens to fit in the square or zoom out?  For example we have maps of this scale (link near the top) and this scale  (link just above the image at the bottom).  The latter requires zooming down to 40% size to get the squares to line up the former requires zooming in.

Any advice (besides “just account for both and get it done already”)?

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6 Responses to “Progress Report”

  1. BMC April 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    As for image type — just go with jpgs and pngs, any other file type is going to be an outlier. You could attempt to flatten a PDF into a jpg before importing — but I know that would be beyond me to do. And for image size — you have a size set, if you could just allow people to “pinch and scale” the background image then you don’t have to account for much of anything, I like that all the work is user based.

    • Kirke April 12, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      It’s coming along. I finally bit the bullet at introduced additional screens. There’s a new welcome screen and from there you decide whether to go to your saved maps or import a new image. The import new image screen is a lot like the main screen you’re used to, but no tokens or drawing or anything. Pick an image from your library and then fiddle with the scale and placement and it’ll be ready to be used in your maps. The semi confusing part is that the user is alternative moving/zooming the board and moving/zooming the image that’s the background for the board. And it needs to be easy and intuitive enough that the average person can figure it out without reading instructions. If the background doesn’t have a printed hex or square grid it’s super simple (or if you want to turn off the grid overlay and turn off snap to grid). It’s only complicated when you want it to work “right” with the tokens snapping to the grid on the imported map. I’ve got it working so I can do it, but it needs to pass my kid-test. If my middle school kids can figure it out without any guidance from me, it’s ready to ship. Realistically, we’re probably looking at mid May to be in the App Store, maybe a little sooner.

      • BMC April 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

        Would providing a (+) or (-) button help — it bumps the map by .5% increments — help? I’ve long made my own maps — this would just mean I don’t have to grid the pic myself. My kids still in diapers — so he’s not really a good test subject yet…

        I also put a request on the app board. I honestly believe a simple initiative system on the map would help this blow away most other apps. I mean, I’m not sure how the ‘next’ button works now — but if it just went through the tokens by the initiative number entered, it would kill off having to maintain a battlement and an initiative list.

        Anyways, I posted a link to the App over on Epicwords.com and the Android users were drooling.

  2. Kirke April 17, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    As my mom says “great minds think alike.” I’ve got a slider for the primary zoom controller and then a +/- “stepper” at .1% increments to do the fine tuning. (Without it, the tiny motion of taking your finger off the screen can change the scale by over 1%–that’s annoying.) I tried it out with 6 random maps I downloaded from the Web and with one exception they all worked. The one was a large map of a cathedral with small hexes; the max zoom I had of 400% wasn’t enough. 500% is a better number anyway, right? It’s coming along nicely and this is going to be a killer feature–to take a picture or map from the internet and turn it into a playable board in literally 2 minutes or less? Good stuff.

    The bad news is that I’m still a few weeks away from nailing down the iPad version and the iPhone UI will have to be completely different and I haven’t started it yet. I’ll be tempted to post it without that feature enabled for iPhone and add it for iPhone a few weeks later. Unless that would really upset non-iPad people. I wish I knew what percentage of my users were iPad versus iPhone (or both).

    The prev/next button now is strictly based on the order the tokens are added to the board. It’s pretty useless as is. I’ll check out your suggestion. Thanks a lot.

  3. Chris Lites April 18, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    Cant erase a board. Can you helps?

    • Kirke April 19, 2012 at 5:07 am #

      I hope so. I’ll send you an email.

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