Sunday, July 10, 2016

GURPS Calculator Future Plans

The GURPS Calculator is growing by leaps and bounds with the recent release of GCS importing and character sharing! We have more people than ever using gCalc, which is a great privilege for me!

Awhile back I realized that servers cost money, and although I love working on the GURPS Calculator, I cannot spend all of my time on it. Patreon became the goto solution for this problem, and I have since tied all major enhancements to Patreon goals, which allow you, and other users, to help fund the major features of gCalc! I spend dozens of hours on each of these features, and every cent contributed goes towards paying server costs, domain name costs, and coercing my programmer friends to help by offering them pizza and beer.

At the moment, after Patreon takes it's modest cut, I am at $63/month. With how much time I spend on gCalc, this means I "profit" about $1.20 per hour after paying server costs. That $1.20 is what goes towards pizza and beer and I thank you!

So why this big pitch on Patreon? Why explain how it effects me in so much detail? Well, like I said before, all major enhancements are tried to Patreon. I will continue to work on bugs and minor enhancements as normal (anywhere from 10-30 hours a month, depending on how broken everything is) as well as answer the weirdly numerous questions I get over email, but will no longer be working on the major enhancements that force me to ramp up those hours up to 50 or so a month until the Patreon goal is met. My personal goal is to not dip below working on gCalc for less than $1/hour for my own sanity. Help me stay sane!

So with all of that out of the way, what's coming up for gCalc?
As listed on Patreon, the goals, their descriptions, and their goal amount are as follows:

Current Monthly: $63

Previous Goals already met:

  • $5   - Server costs
  • $15 - Trait Sorter
  • $20 - Treasure Generator
  • $25 - Demolitions Calculator
  • $30 - GCS Importing and Character Screens
  • $60 - Character Sharing

Future Goals:

$70 - GCA Importing
When this goal is hit we will create a way to import your GURPS Character Assistant characters to gCalc! Because GCA is not open-source, this will not be as clean a solution as GCS, but it is doable. It will probably work by taking your gca save file and uploading it to our server, where we will convert it to a gCalc character. Once it's uploaded, all GCA characters will act as gCalc characters just like GCS characters do now.

$75 - Hiking Calculator
Be able to calculate long distance travel easily. Includes the optional romping rules from Hi Tech!

$80 - GM Control Board and Campaign/Character Associations
A nice interface where the GM will can track all relevant player stats! Once a GM creates a campaign and the players in the game associate their imported GCS characters with said campaign, the GM can visit the Control Board easily see and roll against all player skills and stats. Here, the GM will also be able to set up combat scenarios and track whose turn it is, current HP and FP, and much more.

$85 - Character and Monster Database
Once this goal is hit, users will be able to tag characters imported from GCS or GCA as PC/NPC/Monster. Once tagged, all characters can then made "public" (with their default being "private"). All characters that are tagged and made public will be available for other users to browse and use in their own campaigns. The goal here is to create a large, crowd-sourced monster database for everyone to use and enjoy!

$90 - GM Campaign and Session Planner
Once this goal is met, users will be able to create individual "sessions" within a campaign. These sessions will be a collections of "scenes" which the GM can insert associated PCs, NPCs, and Monsters as well as keep track of notes. For example, if you have a dungeon crawl with 3 encounters in it, you could make 3 scenes, and in each scene have the requisite monsters added along with notes on their combat strategies and pre-laid traps. Once that scene arrives in game, you simply open the scene in gCalc and will be able to quickly start combat utilizing the functionality already set down by the "GM Control Board" feature gained at the $80 pledge level.

Help make these goals a reality! Donate on Patreon now!
Are you a developer and want to help? Email me!