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Playtesters Wanted: Hero Combat Manager


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Howdy Herophiles! Hero Games is looking for playtesters for a new piece of fan-developed software we're working on. It's called Hero Combat Manager and is designed to help GMs who use computers at the gaming table manage their HERO System combats more quickly and easily. Naturally we want HCM to work as smoothly and efficiently as possible, and that's where you come in.

 

We'd like to recruit some playtesters (probably a couple dozen or so) to help us put the current iteration of HCM through its paces. Here's what you need to be involved:

 

--a PC or Mac you use at the gaming table

 

--you have to actually use HCM to run games. We don't want anyone who just plays around with it on his own and makes comments; we want reports based on actual use during games so we can "stress test" HCM in the actual conditions in which it's intended to be used

 

--you meet the technical qualifications set forth below (including that you have and use Hero Designer)

 

--a positive attitude and willingness to be constructively critical. You have to be willing to post descriptions (possibly detailed ones) of how HCM works for you during games, not only what you don't like/think needs to be improved, but what's functioning well.

 

Once we get a list of playtesters, we'll set up a special message forum here that only they can access, so they can discuss HCM easily. The creator, and of course Hero Games folx, will also be involved. (I'll probably take point on this, since Jason's more than a little bit swamped with GenCon prep and related matters.)

 

If you're interested in being involved, please send me a Private Message here on the boards with the title "HCM Playtesting." Please include the following in the message:

 

--your name

--the e-mail address you'd like us to use to send you the program and whatnot

--basic specs on your computer (e.g., what type of Windows or Mac OS you use, anything else you think it's important for us to know)

 

Thanx!

 

 

Technical qualifications: Hero Combat Manager requires Java 1.6.x or greater installed on the computer that will be running Hero Combat Manager. Hero Combat Manager has been tested extensively using Java 1.6.0_37 and Java 1.7.1 on Windows 7 computers. It has been tested on Macintosh running the current operating system and Java 1.7.1.

A current version of Hero Designer is required to use Hero Combat Manager. Hero Combat Manager uses Combat Record files which are exported by Hero Designer.

 

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Sweet! I'm glad this is almost ready to be released! I'd love to playtest it, but my current tabletop campaign is on hold for the rest of summer as too many players in my group are busy with holidays and the like, and I'd imagine playtesting will be over (or well under way) by mid-September when we plan on starting up again.

 

I hope it works well and gets released fairly soon!

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Wanted to "bump" this and let everyone know we're looking for a few more playtesters. HCM has already been through some early beta testing, so it's in fairly polished shape relatively speaking; we're not asking anyone to tinker around with brand-new software. If you'd like to take part in the playtesting we'd love to have you on board. :)

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Hi,

 

As the developer of Hero Combat Manager, I can say with some high confidence that if you can get Hero Designer to run on your computer then Hero Combat Manager should run on that same machine. I also know we do not have anyone beta testing on Linux so I would be interested in finding out how that works out. Please sign up for the beta.

 

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I run a one-one-one campaign that right now is play by e-mail (it was a once a month gaming session over G+ for two to three hours but the birth of my son a few months ago made that impossible). Would I qualify to play-test this product given that the game will be played on a sporadic, whenever my player has a moment basis?

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Just an idea:

Ask on Herocentral.

By definition people who play there have access to .hdc Sheets and Computers.

 

It propably would need a save function and ideally some easy exporting of the "state" (to post it in HC) to be fully usefull, but right there is simply the biggest group of testers imaginable.

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Christopher - The program allows the user to save the current state so the combat can be picked up at a later time. It does not export the state in a manner what would be particularly useful to post. Maybe a later feature. Although the input/output file is a XML file.

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Christopher - The program allows the user to save the current state so the combat can be picked up at a later time. It does not export the state in a manner what would be particularly useful to post. Maybe a later feature. Although the input/output file is a XML file.
The online playing Community is the most likely user for this tool. No other group has a requirement to use a computer during play like they do.

 

All other groups have already established ways of tracking combat - otherwise they would have had to give up using Combat or playing Hero altogether. And people are reluctant to leave an established way for a unknown programm.

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When I asked before, I was told that support for Adjustment powers would not be available when the tool is released. However, when I looked at the example, it looked like Adjustment powers were supported. Has this changed?
Adjustment powers are now available in this release. The implementation is not sophisticated. Simply put you select Aid or Drain (and the effective defense for a drain), enter the active points of the effect (for NPCs the GM can use the program to roll the damage), and then the GM can apply the Aid or Drain to a specific characteristic. The program does not calculate how much change the Aid or Drain has on the particular characteristic. The GM will have to handle that (I do provide the information concerning the costs for each characteristic).

 

Also the GM has to handle recoveries from Aid/Drains.

 

At a later release I may add a way to 'record' when and how recovery occurs but for now that is a GM function.

 

BTW: Steve warned me that Adjustment powers are some of the most complex rules in Hero. That is why I went with a simple 'tracking' solution that impacts the combat most directly.

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Christopher: All other groups have already established ways of tracking combat - otherwise they would have had to give up using Combat or playing Hero altogether. And people are reluctant to leave an established way for a unknown program

 

You do make a fair point. People who have developed other techniques for tracking combat may not find this program useful at all. I would guess the same could be said of Hero Designer. People had spreadsheets or just did it by hand. I know when I first started playing Champions - when the game first came out - we just used the character sheets and calculators to build our characters. I also used mini-sheets with 10 NPC fodder characters per sheet in page protectors when there was some kind of combat that needed lots of numbers.

 

When I restarted RPG two years ago, I also started out using a spreadsheet to track combat. After a while I got frustrated and started down the path, where we are at today.

 

Finally a quote from one of my beta-testers. He has been using the program since Jan. This is something he sent me in May when I was about to say 'screw this': Anyway, on the whole, I think the program is a useful tool that speeds up my games. Yes, it could be flashier or more user-friendly, but even as it stands I would not prefer to play without it! With the help of the beta-testers I have already recruited I know that the UI is more useful.

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Christopher: All other groups have already established ways of tracking combat - otherwise they would have had to give up using Combat or playing Hero altogether. And people are reluctant to leave an established way for a unknown program

 

You do make a fair point. People who have developed other techniques for tracking combat may not find this program useful at all. I would guess the same could be said of Hero Designer. People had spreadsheets or just did it by hand. I know when I first started playing Champions - when the game first came out - we just used the character sheets and calculators to build our characters. I also used mini-sheets with 10 NPC fodder characters per sheet in page protectors when there was some kind of combat that needed lots of numbers.

 

When I restarted RPG two years ago, I also started out using a spreadsheet to track combat. After a while I got frustrated and started down the path, where we are at today.

 

Finally a quote from one of my beta-testers. He has been using the program since Jan. This is something he sent me in May when I was about to say 'screw this': Anyway, on the whole, I think the program is a useful tool that speeds up my games. Yes, it could be flashier or more user-friendly, but even as it stands I would not prefer to play without it! With the help of the beta-testers I have already recruited I know that the UI is more useful.

Well, I watched the video and you can certainly count on me as a customer, assuming the product is reasonably priced. It looks like a very useful tool.
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Christopher: All other groups have already established ways of tracking combat - otherwise they would have had to give up using Combat or playing Hero altogether. And people are reluctant to leave an established way for a unknown program

 

You do make a fair point. People who have developed other techniques for tracking combat may not find this program useful at all. I would guess the same could be said of Hero Designer. People had spreadsheets or just did it by hand. I know when I first started playing Champions - when the game first came out - we just used the character sheets and calculators to build our characters. I also used mini-sheets with 10 NPC fodder characters per sheet in page protectors when there was some kind of combat that needed lots of numbers.

 

When I restarted RPG two years ago, I also started out using a spreadsheet to track combat. After a while I got frustrated and started down the path, where we are at today.

 

Finally a quote from one of my beta-testers. He has been using the program since Jan. This is something he sent me in May when I was about to say 'screw this': Anyway, on the whole, I think the program is a useful tool that speeds up my games. Yes, it could be flashier or more user-friendly, but even as it stands I would not prefer to play without it! With the help of the beta-testers I have already recruited I know that the UI is more useful.

Zephrosyne: It will be reasonably priced. :-)
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