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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, send me a PM on the site, leave a comment, whatever. I’m all ears.