An Embarrassment of Quirks

I use iToysoldiers, whilst not as much as I probably should, an awful lot to chronicle the glories of my very own miniature war gaming armies.  My Dark Eldar Kabal is on there.  My blood soaked World Eaters army is on there. Some of the other random things I work on are on there.  But most of the time I do it in front of my computer and it works pretty well all things considered. However, whilst preparing for and attending Astronomi-con Toronto 2016 I made a couple of horrifying discoveries.

The first of these is that the Army Profiles do NOT help in crafting a compilation of fluff and pictures to assist in making a really slick looking army list with named characters, fiction, and pictures.  Not even a little bit.  Now I knew this, academically, but as I was trying to put my list together I realized just how much I’d love to have something to help me out with that – some sort of repository that holds all sorts of tidbits about my army in one convenient place.  Alas, I don’t have one.  But I will!

So, on my priority list is to revamp the army profiles in such a way as to make them useful for that sort of thing. I’ve always envisioned that the profiles would kind of be like those old White Dwarf Index Astartes articles and that’s what I’m going to work on.  Now if you don’t know what Index Astartes articles are (‘cause you’re a 40K whippersnapper or you don’t play Warhammer 40K) the short version is that they were a summary of the history, origins, major battles, and doctrines of a particular flavour of Space Marine.  Now the good news is that the concept is equally appropriate to any game and since I aim to be game agnostic I’ll be making sure that it’s not too sci-fi oriented.

The second big issue is reporting battles when you’re on a mobile device.  Gods it sucks.  Too many drop downs, the image widget isn’t terribly friendly and since it’s asking for so much stuff there is a lot of scrolling to go through. I wasn’t happy with it at all.

ugly battle report form
This drove me crazy and I’m probably more tolerant of issues than most on the site.

To that end, I’m going to be revamping the “Quick Battle” form that you’ll find on the home page (if you’re logged into the site) which will allow you to submit battle report results for your favorite miniature war game in a much more streamlined fashion.  I’m going to use auto lookup for the armies (rather than the kind of kludgy multi-dropdown thing) and add a few more fields to capture the most common fields.  I’ll also send you an email with the link to the battle so when you get home (or you’re using a larger device, or you have more time to fight with the larger form) you can go in and add more meta.

Lastly. For those of you who’ve chatted with me in person you know I struggle with explaining how cool iToysoldiers is (or more accurately, how cool I think it is). I’m not a sales guy.  I’m not a marketing guy. I’m not terribly charismatic or gifted with patter. I also spend an awful lot of time all by myself so I’m kind of out of practice when it comes to conversing with people.  Whilst I was trying to pimp iToysoldiers at Astronomi-con I found it hard to really explain iToysoldiers.  Alas, I didn’t have anything to really “show” what it does ‘cause it’s a bit sprawly.

With that in mind, in addition to making the army profiles more better – which I think will help a lot (i.e. “Hey! Here’s my army,” says I. “Damn. That’s cool!” says them. “I can help you do that,” says I. “Yes, please,” says them) but I’m going to prioritize something that’s been on my mind for a while and that is revamping the player profile pages.  They’re old.  I haven’t touched them in a long time and I’ve learned a lot. So they’re going to a) get a face lift and b) get the stats treatment that Armies did not too long ago.

So that, from an iToysoldiers perspective, is what I took away from the tourney I went to last weekend. Because I need better tools for me I will make better tools for you. Now, this is just my list of things I want done.  Suggestions? Comments? I aim to please.  Let me know.  Send an email to rob@itoysoldiers.com, send me a PM on the site, leave a comment, whatever.  I’m all ears.

Carpe Acies!
Rob

League Manager Improvements

Greetings, commander!

Based upon some feedback I’ve received over the course of the current GWTW Warhammer 40K league I’ve made some minor improvements to how battle results are reported.  It’s still done using the “Operations” page of the league but now there’s a handy list of your open matches and four buttons: Win, Loss, Draw, Forfeit. I think this’ll be easier to use from two perspectives: First is that it’s more mobile friendly.  Second, I think it’s a tad more intuitive.  It’ll also be cleaner when I get around to putting the round robin league format into play.

Oh yeah! Speaking of the forfeit button.  There is one now. I kind of overlooked that last release (it was there but it wasn’t visible) and now it is. So if you run into a situation where you can’t play your opponent (and it’s your fault) you can easily click the forfeit button and it’ll process the score cards for you and your opponent.  Neat, eh?

For you Event manager folks, I corrected the missing management page on various types of events. Gotta tell you, this was driving me batty.  I also corrected some of the formatting of bullet lists so that they don’t scootch over to the left quite so far anymore.  Huge win for authoring as well as some other spots where there’s lists (like the panel on club pages where you create new content).

So.  With all that there’s one other major thing on the League Manager that I need to address and that’s what happens when a player submits a battle and they’re recorded as player 2.  Unfortunately, I was using some legacy code from the old league manager and it only required a single player to report their battle and then it would generate everything.  I thought it might be a good idea to have both players report their results.  I was wrong.  What I’m going to do is remove the stupidhead form for reporting battles (because the button is way better) and change the code so that only one player needs to report their battle results and then the battle will be generated and acknowledged.

I’m also going to do some improvements to the messaging system so that when players forfeit or report their battle it’ll message their opponent.

Whew.  Anything else I’m missing in the league manager? Improvements? Suggestions? You can post them in the comments, send me a PM or an email at rob@itoysoldiers.com.  I aim to please.

Carpe Acies!
Rob