What if I made a character generator?

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Kyle Hankins Kyle Hankins's picture
*Singularity Spoilers*

Perhaps I can jump in here and field some questions!

Namely, is it going to allow a player to actively change their morph and auto-calculate bonuses? The same with adding and removing implants and the like?

Absolutely! You'll be able to change morphs, gear, etc, and values will be immediately recalculated. In fact, once your character is ready to roll into its first session, you can set it to 'Character Advancement Mode' and begin adding/spending Rez points as your character suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Since Singularity is a desktop application, it aims to produce a character sheet, of course--you can view this sheet from within the application, print it, or save it as a PDF.

Follow me (and Singularity) at @SnowDogLabs !
www.snowdoglabs.com

lets adapt lets adapt's picture
Awww yeaaaaah

Just what I wanted to hear! I will pay infinite dollars.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Kyle Hankins wrote:Since

Kyle Hankins wrote:
Since Singularity is a desktop application, it aims to produce a character sheet, of course--you can view this sheet from within the application, print it, or save it as a PDF.

I like this, but personally if I'm going to use a high-end desktop application I want more than just a character sheet. Could Singularity make a character folio? How about table cards (sort of like 4th Edition D&D had, where it organizes things for your character in a card format; sleeve cards, AI cards, identity cards, software cards, sleight cards, et cetera)?

Now for other questions....

Will it be able to handle custom sleights, equipment, rules, or whatnot? Will it have these things in a format that could be easily transferred to, say, one of my players' computers with little effort? Will there be an option for interoperability between my copy and my players' copies? Any specifics on the platforms it'll be for (I'm already assuming the big three are covered: Win/Mac/Linux)? Is it open source? Will it be on Sourceforge, Github or some other codebase?

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Kyle Hankins Kyle Hankins's picture
Round 2!

Lightning round! As these questions are a little more involved, it's time to caveat my answers: Singularity is, as you might imagine, still in development--and thus subject to change prior to release. That said, I'll do my best to fill you in on the details:

Could Singularity make a character folio? Live at-table use hasn't been a focus of prior Singularity dev efforts (I personally think an iPad/tablet folio would be pretty fantastic...). That said, stats are recalculated pretty darn rapidly, most stats are displayed in the UI already, and if nothing else sheet generation is *fast*. The UI is still running through iterations though, so I wouldn't rule it out.

How about table cards (sort of like 4th Edition D&D had, where it organizes things for your character in a card format; sleeve cards, AI cards, identity cards, software cards, sleight cards, et cetera)? Will it be able to handle custom sleights, equipment, rules, or whatnot? In the current build, it does not *by default* have card-formatted output. It does, however, provide full descriptions/stats for most of the stuff belonging to your character on the standard output--so all the data you'd need is present. More importantly, details regarding custom input (homemade slights, gear, morphs, etc) and output (custom character sheets or other outputs) are still being worked, but the final release will likely expose both of these to the saavy user.

Will it have these things in a format that could be easily transferred to, say, one of my players' computers with little effort? Definitely--the character file can be saved off and transferred from system to system (and across platforms).

Will there be an option for interoperability between my copy and my players' copies? At release, there are no plans for realtime (network, etc) communication between copies of Singularity.

Any specifics on the platforms it'll be for (I'm already assuming the big three are covered: Win/Mac/Linux)? Got it in one--we're planning on supporting Windows, OSX, and Linux. Regarding the last, we've been up and running quite nicely on Ubuntu. I'm afraid Commodore 64 users may be out of luck.

Is it open source? Will it be on Sourceforge, Github or some other codebase? At release, Singularity will not be open-source. There are long-term considerations for a transition to open-source, but that'll be considered in more detail at a later date.

Thanks, by the way, for the interest! Keep them coming. Keep in mind, this isn't a closed feedback loop--suggestions and requests will drive development long after Singularity is released; I'm personally really looking forward to getting this out there for folks to see!

Kyle Hankins
Snow Dog Labs

Follow me (and Singularity) at @SnowDogLabs !
www.snowdoglabs.com

mds mds's picture
How open is the Singularity

How open is the Singularity file format going to be? Having a canonical format for character data would make creating an interoperable software ecosystem much more viable. Another developer could write a tablet/phone character sheet viewer based off of the output of Singularity, or somebody could make an automatic NPC generator that spits out Singularity character sheets.

Kyle Hankins Kyle Hankins's picture
Output

Details regarding output formats are still being hammered out, but we expect to eventually release a data description or export feature for character files.

Follow me (and Singularity) at @SnowDogLabs !
www.snowdoglabs.com

AdamJury AdamJury's picture
FYI -- Kickstarter backers

FYI -- Kickstarter backers can add $30 to any pledge level for a pre-order of Singularity and access to the beta version (summer 2013).

If we somehow don't hit the $90K level to unlock Singularity, we'll evaluate interest in it and either move ahead while honoring the add-ons, or issue $30 in credit to those who pledged extra towards it.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Kyle Hankins wrote:Will it

Kyle Hankins wrote:
Will it have these things in a format that could be easily transferred to, say, one of my players' computers with little effort?
Definitely--the character file can be saved off and transferred from system to system (and across platforms).

I'm more worried about the optional rules and add-in materials. Will they be stored in a portable format as well, so that I can give my players any houseruled material with relative ease?

Kyle Hankins wrote:
Any specifics on the platforms it'll be for (I'm already assuming the big three are covered: Win/Mac/Linux)?
Got it in one--we're planning on supporting Windows, OSX, and Linux. Regarding the last, we've been up and running quite nicely on Ubuntu. I'm afraid Commodore 64 users may be out of luck.

What about Android tablets and iPad?

I'm absolutely excited about this, by the way. Especially since you have it running fine on Ubuntu.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Kyle Hankins Kyle Hankins's picture
It Will!

Will they be stored in a portable format as well, so that I can give my players any houseruled material with relative ease?

Definitely. You should be able to pass around any homemade data smoothly from player to player.

What about Android tablets and iPad?

Singularity is, for the moment, a desktop application. This doesn't necessarily mean iPad and Android applications aren't in the cards, however...

I'm absolutely excited about this, by the way. Especially since you have it running fine on Ubuntu.

Thanks! We're excited too. :-)

Follow me (and Singularity) at @SnowDogLabs !
www.snowdoglabs.com

thelabmonkey thelabmonkey's picture
mds wrote:How open is the

mds wrote:
How open is the Singularity file format going to be? Having a canonical format for character data would make creating an interoperable software ecosystem much more viable...

roll20.net just rolled out their API and writing a parser to import a character from a open format would be... well... not trivial, but very possible!
Clunker Clunker's picture
RE: Singularity Generator's

RE: Singularity Generator's ability to use 'homegrown' traits, gear, morphs.

Fantastic!
My GM is about to start a EP game where it's 30 years since the fall, and the characters are "Veteran", highly-placed Firefall agents.

He's added a ton of 'Veteran' Traits for Rez Point Purchase, and I was wondering if this program could accommodate these additions. Good to know it will!!

Also, Mac/PC interoperability, plus a iPad version would be worth a LOT of $$ to my group.

AdamJury AdamJury's picture
We definitely have Mac/PC

We definitely have Mac/PC interoperability, Clunker! :)

nick012000 nick012000's picture
twcrone wrote:I've said it

twcrone wrote:
I've said it elsewhere...we need content. A character generator is fluff after you have tons of content in my opinion. We need more fully fleshed adventures/missions etc. Lazy players STILL won't play a genre that has no adventures.

Check out Anders Sandberg's EP page. He's got about a dozen adventures, and a bucketload of other stuff that GMs can use to spin adventures off of as well, like the Automated Transcendance Machine.

Kyle: Will the Singularity character generator show the proper COG/INT bonuses from having Drive/Klar Drug Glands (for biomorphs) or Narcoalgorithms (for synthmorphs)?

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

Kyle Hankins Kyle Hankins's picture
Better Living Through Chemistry

nick012000 wrote:
Kyle: Will the Singularity character generator show the proper COG/INT bonuses from having Drive/Klar Drug Glands (for biomorphs) or Narcoalgorithms (for synthmorphs)?

This is a good question--and the answer falls a little outside the "yes/no" category. ;-) When handling gear in EP, there are a lot of 'grey' areas regarding what should or shouldn't be incorporated into general use-stats; temporary or situational bonuses, for example, are generally left off the sheet's stats (though they would be perfect for a character manager).

In my current version of the data, I've taken some liberties--for example, I generally assume Adrenal Boost is always on when it matters, so the boost has been calculated in.

By contrast, I've handled consumables as temporary--their bonuses are NOT built in to the stat blocks (though they are listed in the descriptions on the final character sheet). Drug glands are obviously a somewhat special case in that they are implants of a sort--but since they still represent taking a drug, I arbitrarily chose not to build that in.

That said, there's nothing in the software preventing a user (or me, if sufficient feedback demands it) from creating a drug gland entry in the data file that DOES add bonuses and penalties in. Singularity supports it!

Follow me (and Singularity) at @SnowDogLabs !
www.snowdoglabs.com

zombiak zombiak's picture
Language versions

Will it be possible to implement various language versions as well? Since you've said that it'll be easy to incorporate fan-made/houseruled material, I guess it would be equally easy to provide support for other language versions. Obviously, most players around here use the English edition (well, I assume they do), but there's a French edition, and there's a Polish one coming our way pretty soon. It'd be pretty cool if one could import a French/Polish language skin/plug-in and enjoy Singularity in their native language.

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
I second the motion!

My game crews are on various level of English impairment ^^ We play in French, using BBE's translation -the official one-
Singularity would be really helpful, especially in a French version!

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

Kyle Hankins Kyle Hankins's picture
Multiple Languages

SO there are two sides to the multi-lingual issue: data translations, and application translations.

The initial data offering for Singularity will be English--I can stammer out some (pathetic) attempts at Russian and Japanese, but my French is effectively nonexistent. This does not mean internationalization is out of reach, however.

Much of Singularity is handled via data files--these encompass most traits, skills, background, factions, gear, etc. While the main data file may or may not be user-editable, we will have support for user created data files--so at the very minimum, users should be able to create native-language versions of their data, selectable alongside the english equivalent. (If a fan were to provide a French translation of the data, I expect that could be incorporated into a french-focused build, in fact!).

That said, there are a number of things that have been built into the UI--both simple things like window titles, and some traits (etc) that have been handled specially (some morph traits, for instance). Internationalizing strings in the UI actually requires changes to the build, so it's unlikely this will be available immediately upon release; however, I'll be flagging these strings for translation in the code, so we may well be able handle that going forward!

Follow me (and Singularity) at @SnowDogLabs !
www.snowdoglabs.com

Decivre Decivre's picture
Kyle Hankins wrote:SO there

Kyle Hankins wrote:
SO there are two sides to the multi-lingual issue: data translations, and application translations.

The initial data offering for Singularity will be English--I can stammer out some (pathetic) attempts at Russian and Japanese, but my French is effectively nonexistent. This does not mean internationalization is out of reach, however.

Much of Singularity is handled via data files--these encompass most traits, skills, background, factions, gear, etc. While the main data file may or may not be user-editable, we will have support for user created data files--so at the very minimum, users should be able to create native-language versions of their data, selectable alongside the english equivalent. (If a fan were to provide a French translation of the data, I expect that could be incorporated into a french-focused build, in fact!).

That said, there are a number of things that have been built into the UI--both simple things like window titles, and some traits (etc) that have been handled specially (some morph traits, for instance). Internationalizing strings in the UI actually requires changes to the build, so it's unlikely this will be available immediately upon release; however, I'll be flagging these strings for translation in the code, so we may well be able handle that going forward!

Not necessarily a priority, per se, but I might recommend using XML data to retain menu text and the like. This would actually allow the fanbase to do the GUI translations for you, easing a lot of your burden when it comes to localization.

Just a thought.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Kyle Hankins Kyle Hankins's picture
Cost-benefit ;-)

I actually explored this possibility early on--but there is a lot of text that would then have to be managed and handled.

Fortunately, the framework I'm using supports isolating the GUI language, so that an external translator could then make localization files I could use. For the time being, it looks like the time/effort investment will be a lot lower if I add support for that API than if I spend dev cycles retooling every UI element to be dynamically populated.

For the moment, however, the Package system is my real focus. ;-)

Follow me (and Singularity) at @SnowDogLabs !
www.snowdoglabs.com

Songtress Songtress's picture
Do we have a timeline

Do we have a timeline currently for the Singularity program?

How are Muses, AGI, and AI handled? Under Transhuman you can build them as actual characters and there are some expanded options.. are those going into Singularity? (with all the other source books?)

Actually how are Muses representedi n Singularity? If someone wanted a AGI or Uplifted Muse, is there a set up for building one?

Kyle Hankins Kyle Hankins's picture
Muses, AIs, AGIs

At the moment, Muses and other AIs are handled as Gear--custom gear lines can be added to data files to handle unusual circumstances, but they aren't treated with more expansive controls (at the moment).

AGIs can be created under standard rules (including the Infolife background that adjust skill costs)--the first real character I built in Singularity was an AGI hacker, in fact.

Follow me (and Singularity) at @SnowDogLabs !
www.snowdoglabs.com

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
Missing Chummer

My group is likely going to start an EP game sometime this year, so a character sheet management program to match Chummer is something I'm very interested in. Are there any updates on this project?

Kyle Hankins Kyle Hankins's picture
Coming soon!

The beta for Singularity, the character generator for Eclipse Phase, is currently ongoing--folks that pre-ordered it through the Kickstarter received access to the beta. It handles character creation (Standard, Packs, and Lifepaths), and has a Character Advancement Mode to allow you to update your character as you earn Rez points! I'm rather fond of it. :)

As of yet, it's proceeding pretty smoothly--you can watch this space (or follow @eclipsephase or @snowdoglabs) for updates as the beta winds down and we prepare for release!

Follow me (and Singularity) at @SnowDogLabs !
www.snowdoglabs.com

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