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huzzah!
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mahatmamanic
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 38
Location: Santa Cruz, CA.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:27 pm    Post subject: huzzah! Reply with quote

I have played a couple of short/partial games on the SFBOL client, and have been massively frustrated with it, to the point where I was not sure whether I was interested in the service. Mostly, my consternation stemmed from not knowing how to view the map and the main panel at the same time. Well, futzing around in PBEM mode today I figured it out Smile

I know some of the people I have played against have had the same problem, so I wanted to post the solution here for others who haven't been able to float the control window.

If you go to Board->Floating Windows->Main you will get your window. I haven't yet found a way to save those settings, so it looks like you have to float the main window and then resize the board and the window each time you enter a room, but it seems like two minutes very well spent for the convenience of not flipping back and forth to mutually exclusive screens constantly.

Anyhow, see you all online Smile (and if someone knows a way to save those settings, let me know!)
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Andromedan
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two things:

1) To save this as the default go to "Board\Options\Save Current Settings" and your current setup will be saved as the default.

2) I think I should change this to be the default in the future. (i.e. when somebody does a new install)

Paul Franz
P.S. I am the developer of SFB Online and FC Online. If you have suggestions , question, comments please feel free to post.
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ckessel
Ensign


Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andromedan wrote:

Paul Franz
P.S. I am the developer of SFB Online and FC Online. If you have suggestions , question, comments please feel free to post.


Is there a User's Manual? If so, some of my comments/criticisms maybe invalid.

Being an engineeer myself, Java particularly, I don't want to be too harsh, but it's I think it really needs a tutorial/demo of some sort to walk through how to start a game and run a turn. For example, it took a while just for me to figure out how to place my ship on the map. Then it was facing the wrong direction and so I tried the context menu to change facing and it warns it's already moved and do I want to move it again...but I haven't even started playing yet. Maybe a "setup" mode before advancing to game mode?

It could also use more rule enforcement or more documentation. Just in general, I wasn't sure what housekeeping I was expected to do by hand and what the system took care of.

Some "use case" walk throughs, such as:

Firing a weapon:
1) Click (can't remember the sequence of tabs) to bring up the weapons tab.
2) Select your enemy. You'll note there are no weapons to select to fire yet.
3) Open the ship display and click on a weapon, now it will show up in the weapon tab as something you can fire.
4) Click "Fire". This just indicates you've fired, but doesn't roll any dice.
5) Roll the dice and tell your opponent the damage done.
6) Your opponent now assigns damage (see Assign Damage use case).

Assign Damage:
1) Select the ship display tab.
2) Select "Start Edit Ship" (I think that's what it's called).
3) Left click (right click?, can't recall) on ship components to damage them.
4) etc, etc.

A series of use case descriptions for all the common things would be great.
Setting up for a game (lots of sub-use cases: picking ships, placing them, overlays, joining a game, setting someone to operator status, etc).
Move forward (trivial)
High energy turn (couldn't figure this out, if i used "change facing" it'd comlain when I then tried to move my ship)
Regular turn
Side slip
Allocate Damage
Fire Weapon
Allocate Energy
Accellerate/Decellerate for an impulse
Reposition shield points
Repair
Reinforce shields
Drone attack (if it hits in sub-pulse1, it seemed like it didn't know to "stick" and I had to move it along with the ship until sub-pulse 4 was over).
And other use cases, basically going down the turn sequence.

Some of those are trivial (move/sideslip = grab ship and move it). Some definitely aren't. Some handle energy use for you, some things don't (like repairing shields). Each use case description would make clear what the user needs to do and what the system does for you.

I suspect I can do everything I need to do, but it wasn't clear what I was supposed to do.
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Andromedan
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are correct. I have been planning to do some online tutorials since November but have never found the time. I will do a few up and see if I can get some feedback.

BTW, you Assign Damage you use the "Allocation Damage" function and it will damage the shields and roll the internals on the ship.
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ckessel
Ensign


Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andromedan wrote:
You are correct. I have been planning to do some online tutorials since November but have never found the time. I will do a few up and see if I can get some feedback.

BTW, you Assign Damage you use the "Allocation Damage" function and it will damage the shields and roll the internals on the ship.


Does it handle the choice of skipping vs taking frame damage? Actually, don't bother answering because I could have a dozen more (like I listed above). How to handle Targeted damage comes to mind Smile

I'd think ADB would have somebody to review the doc given it is a pay-to-play service. If not, I could probably be persuaded to read it. Be forewarned, I'm thorough and merciless on document reviews though Smile (techpubs at my work loves to have me review things. I think I'm one of the only people that actually does more than look at the index and go "yea, sure, good enough").
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Andromedan
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Q: "Does it handle the choice of skipping vs taking frame damage?"
A: Yes

Q: "How to handle Targeted damage comes to mind"
A: It doesn't currently. Of course, I have yet to hear anybody complain. So I assume that it is not that important to people.

"I'd think ADB would have somebody to review the doc given it is a pay-to-play service"

What doc? There is a no documentation at the moment. I suck at writing and I do not have time to write up proper documentation that will need to change every week or so as I add features and support for things in the client. If you are offering. I will be happy to let you create some documentation and I would be happy to help you with any questions. And if you are a good tech writer I would be happy to compensate you for your time.
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ckessel
Ensign


Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andromedan wrote:
"I'd think ADB would have somebody to review the doc given it is a pay-to-play service"

What doc? There is a no documentation at the moment.


I meant reviewing the online tutorials you talked about creating.

Quote:

I suck at writing and I do not have time to write up proper documentation that will need to change every week or so as I add features and support for things in the client. If you are offering. I will be happy to let you create some documentation and I would be happy to help you with any questions. And if you are a good tech writer I would be happy to compensate you for your time.


First, I've been writing software professionally for 15 years now. I understand where you're coming from. Constant demand for more features, but never given time to clean up and polish what's there.

My concerns probably aren't aimed at you, but probably more at ADB. If they expect people to pay $$ to play an online SFB/FC service then ADB should take an active role in reviewing the software for usability, helping create docs, etc.

I'd also be concerned if the documentation was truly going to "change every week". Things might get added for new features or minor revisions to existing areas, but if the software is in such a state of flux that it's not possible to document behavior, then that's a concern for the user.

I'm speaking from a "customer point of view" here. FC online is cool, and if it were open source or shareware then any lack of polish is understandable. However, this is a "for sale" software service. People will expect documentation, tool tips, tutorials, etc.

I'm curious what ADB thinks the market really is for the online service. Whenever I've logged in there's no more than 10 people present and zero people playing FC. Hopefully you're getting paid on a contract basis and not percentage of sales Smile
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jpat
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 203
Location: Iowa City, IA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ckessel wrote:
I'm curious what ADB thinks the market really is for the online service. Whenever I've logged in there's no more than 10 people present and zero people playing FC.


Without in any way meaning to sound disrespectful, FCOL is pretty much a niche within a niche at the moment, at least from my perspective. One reason that I think it's a good idea to have the list of people seeking opponents is that I don't think you can too often just drop by and expect to find an FC game going. That's understandable: the system's been around for SFB a good deal longer, and more people (I think) play SFB than FC still.

I think better documentation would help some, and if there's something to read or edit, I could probably help with that. I'm not coming from a software standpoint, but I am a writer/editor by profession and have edited some d20 books (just as a semirelated example), and I'm pretty good, I *think*, in anticipating user issues.
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Andromedan
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok. I have created my first "tutorial" . Can you give me your opinion?

The URL is:

http://www.sfbonline.com/tutorials/StartFedComGame.mov
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TJolley
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andromedan wrote:
Ok. I have created my first "tutorial" . Can you give me your opinion?

The URL is:

http://www.sfbonline.com/tutorials/StartFedComGame.mov


Are you planning on doing a series of small demos? Need to mention choosing facing, and choosing Fleet/Squadron scale ships. Also how to start the game with photons pre-loaded, but no batteries
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Andromedan
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is the idea. But before I spend alot of time on tutorials where the format is all wrong I was hoping to have a little input on the first one.
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damiconj
Ensign


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that the tutorial video you put together was fantastic and extremely helpful. I still haven't had a chance to play Fed commander online and part of the problem is the intimidating interface. I hope you keep them coming.
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Andromedan
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am working on a "Moving FC Pieces" Tutorial. I have gotten the video portion. I am now concentrating on the audio.

I also having "Target Practice" tutorial that I need to review, which covers firing, launching and damage allocation.
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Andromedan
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, two new tutorials are up on the site. They are approximate.y 40 Megs a piece. I am going to look into shrinking them.

The URL is:

http://www.sfbonline.com/tutorials.jsp
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2929
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want any help with the audio (mastering, voiceover, whatever) just let me know.
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