Sunday, 31 July 2016

BattleScribe 2.0 is Coming

I wanted to give everyone a heads up and get some feedback. It’s a bit of a long post, so hold on to your hats! Please have a read through and let me know what you think - good or bad. You can leave your comments on Reddit.

BattleScribe 2.0 is an (almost) complete re-write of the app, and has been my main focus for the last year or so. The target for the first release is to have all the same features (Pro or otherwise) as before - so there won’t be any big new features right away. That said, the user interface on mobile has had a huge facelift and looks much nicer now.

The main changes are “under the hood”, along with a huge overhaul of the data file format and editing tools. This should make the lives of data authors much easier, leading to better data files for us all. The re-write of the app also leaves it in a much better state going forward, making it much easier for me to build upon with new features and updates in future.

Suffice to say, this has been a huge effort. BattleScribe’s core systems have been completely rebuilt to enable a brighter future for the app and it’s ecosystem for years to come. If you’d like to give it a go, you can find the Alpha version here:

Now the hard part. BattleScribe 2.0 is going to be a “new” app, separate from the old one, and will require you to pay again to unlock Pro features on all the various platforms. This update truly deserves the “2.0” name though. It really is a completely new beast. Of course this brings with it some issues.
  1. Existing Pro users who’ve already paid for the old version may well be upset, particularly if they only recently bought the previous Pro version. And justifiably so - I completely understand why you might feel this way. 
  2. Some time in the future, there will likely be BattleScribe 3.0 (followed by 4.0 and so on), which would again require a new purchase. And we will have to go through all of this again. Essentially there is some amount of uncertainty about how long your purchase will last (at least going forward). 
So the plan right now is to move to a “Pro Pass” model for BattleScribe, where you would pay to unlock the Pro features for a certain period of time. Your pass/time remaining would be associated with an account you create on the BattleScribe website.

Don’t panic! Let me clarify and lay out my thoughts on how this would work.
  1. The “Pro Pass” for one year would be priced a little lower than the cost of the Pro app right now. You would also have the option to purchase passes for different lengths of time (1 month? 10 years? etc). 
  2. I should be able to implement a system where existing Pro users who have bought the old version of the app will get their first year pass for free or at a heavy discount ($1 for example). 
  3. It removes the uncertainty about when/if a new version is coming. The app will just continue to be updated and you will always have access to it. You can purchase a Pro Pass as and when you want to, and the app will just revert to the free version when your Pass runs out. 
  4. With an account, it would be possible to extend your Pass across platforms - Android, iOS and Desktop. This opens the option to have a “Bundle Pass” that unlocks Pro on all of your devices/systems. 
Essentially, BattleScribe’s development is an ongoing process that never really ends. Any veteran BattleScribe users will know how much has changed and improved over the years! And it will continue to do so as I work on introducing new features and improvements over time. I feel that a time-based system for purchasing BattleScribe Pro would better reflect this continuing work.

What about this “account” business? I guess some of you might be uncertain about this, and to be honest I was very uneasy about the idea at first too. So let me explain.

Firstly, BattleScribe would use a “login with Google” (or Facebook or other trusted third party) system that I’m sure you’ve seen before. BattleScribe would only have access to your email address and name (so you can be contacted in case of a problem - it would never be shared with anyone else, ever). This is just a way of confirming that you are who you say you are so that BattleScribe can securely look up the Passes you have purchased.

An account brings some big benefits.
  1. The passes would be stored in the BattleScribe database, outside of Google’s and Apple’s (restrictive) store systems. This gives a huge amount of flexibility over how they can managed. For example it allows me to extend passes or gift them to people. 
  2. Passes could be shared between all the devices and computers you are logged in on. This means that you could buy a pass that unlocks pro on all your devices at once (for example). 
  3. It opens up a lot of options for future BattleScribe apps/sites that may come along. I don’t know what those are yet! But being able to bring your data with you between apps is very powerful. 
OK I’m done now! Here are some questions.
  1. What do you think about having an “account”? 
  2. Would you buy BattleScribe Pro on a yearly basis? Are you an existing Pro user? Or someone who was thinking about buying Pro? Does this change things? 
  3. Do you buy “consumable” in-app-purchases in other apps? For example currency in-game-currency?

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

BattleScribe 1.15.07 Updated on Desktop!

First off, I'll get this out of the way: This isn't the big update that many have been waiting for! This release is just a refresh of 1.15.07 to bring some improvements to the installer and auto-update functionality. In addition, BattleScribe on desktop now requires Java 7, and should solve some launch issues on Windows 10.

  • BattleScribe now requires Java 7 - go to to update if you think you need it (or if you're unsure).
  • Fixed issues launching BattleScribe on Windows 10 - you might need to manually re-install using the Windows setup.
  • Auto-update will now work on Mac OSX, using the Mac installer disk image.
  • Windows auto-update now uses the Windows setup for cleaner updates.
  • Fixed clicks not working on the "update available" and advert images on OSX.
  • Changed the style of the Mac version as the libraries required are no longer being maintained by the author. On the plus side, this reduces the size of the download significantly.

This has been a slight detour from the main project at hand: a big rebuild of several core components of the "engine". This coming update is intended to bring BattleScribe to a state that can better support future updates and improvements. The main people this will effect will be the data authors out there - I hope this should solve some long-running requests, or at least provide a platform to solve these issues in future.

It's a big job and has been in the works for several months now, but things are starting to come together. I'm currently "rewiring" the desktop interface to work with the new engine, so I should have a beta ready Soon™. The desktop version will remain in beta until the mobile versions can be completed, with a view to releasing all three versions (desktop, Android, iOS) at once.

I won't give you any predictions on time to release, but do know that Progress is being made!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

BattleScribe 1.15.07 Released on Android and Desktop!

Today sees the release of BattleScribe 1.15.07, with some nice bug fixes and a nice new feature.

First up, a new way to share your list: You can now save the View Roster output as an image, which is really nice for sharing on Twitter and other social networks. No idea why I didn't think of this before, but thanks to @iosefward on Twitter for that suggestion!

Second, a nasty bug that's been dogging the desktop version for some time has finally been resolved. When adding or removing certain items, the app would sometimes crash/freeze, blanking parts of the user interface or leaving it unresponsive. Of course let me know if you still see similar problems in this version.

On Android, an annoying little issue has now been fixed: when going back a page, the scroll position of the list is now remembered. No more endless scrolling in those long lists.

Now we get to see how well the auto-update feature works on desktop!

All Platforms
  • Share/save the roster output as an image for easy sharing on Twitter or other social networks
  • Fixed occasional crash when adding or removing items
  • Fixed issue where some modified profiles would not show up in the roster output

  • Fixed occasional crash when adding or removing items that would leave parts of the UI blank or unresponsive
  • Toolbar in Roster Editor will now scroll when the window is too small
  • Forces and categories can now have negative minimum points values in Game System Editor

  • List scroll position remembered when going back to the last screen
  • Fixed issue where the wrong points value would sometimes be displayed on list items
  • Fixed occasional crash when returning to the app after some time

As usual, the next job is to bring these changes and fixes to iOS, so that should be coming soon.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

BattleScribe 1.15.06 Released on Android and Desktop!

Another new release today!

1.15.06 brings the usual bug fixes and improvements, along with a new feature for Pro users and auto-updates on desktop.

The Pro version adds a statistical breakdown of your roster when viewing it, for the stats nerds among you (like me). This shows the number of units, models and upgrades you've selected, the points spent and the percentage of your total points spent on them, broken down by force and category. This is heavily dependant on the data files being configured for this though, so it might take some time to become accurate.

On desktop, BattleScribe can now auto-update itself when new versions become available. Since new versions are fairly regular, this should make life much easier! All you'll need to do for future updates is click a button and let BattleScribe download and install the new version for you. This is not available for the Mac installer version (at least for now) since it's somewhat different to the Windows installer and Any Computer zip versions.

I've also moved the ad on desktop to just below the roster tree (in the middle). This is to try to save on the wasted space either side of the ad where it was before.

As usual, the next job is to get 1.15.06 ready for iOS, so it will be available on iPhone soon.

All Platforms

  • Pro: See a breakdown of unit/model/upgrade counts, points spent and percentages when viewing your roster.
  • Fixed crash when creating/loading rosters using old/broken data files.


  • Free: Moved ad to just below the selection tree panel to save wasted space.
  • BattleScribe can auto-update itself when new versions become available (Windows installer and Any Computer zip versions only).
  • Fixed show/hide modifiers on profiles/profile links giving errors in Catalogue Editor.
  • Fixed new links not generating a unique ID in Catalogue Editor.
  • Fixed bug pasting IDs into modifier child textbox in Catalogue Editor.
  • More tweaks and bug fixes.


  • Pro: Fixed crash when editing a selection's custom name/description.
  • "Low memory mode" can be turned on/off from the menu.
  • Fixed several crashes caused by rotating the device with a dialog box showing.
  • More tweaks and bug fixes.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

BattleScribe 1.15.05 Released on Android and Desktop!

Not a lot has changed on the surface in this release - it's nearly all under the hood. There have been a large number of small bugs and issues fixed, plus a big focus on performance and memory use.

I've gone through the code to identify and eliminate many areas where memory (RAM) was not being efficiently used. This leads to improved performance, shorter loading times and reduced memory requirements. Some Android devices were struggling when using large or complex data files, and would "randomly" crash when they ran out of memory. Hopefully, this situation should be much improved. In addition, Android devices with particularly small amounts of available memory will not load rule and profile data to minimise memory needs, so at least you can build lists.

On desktop, as requested, the preview popups have been adjusted so they take a bit longer to show up, and are positioned to not hide the thing they pop up from. There's also now an option to turn off the preview popups entirely.

As usual, these changes will be coming to iOS soon - I'll be submitting a new version to Apple in the next day or so.

All Platforms
  • Output now shows custom roster descriptions.
  • Improved performance and memory management.
  • Fixed bug where hidden items would sometimes not stay hidden.
  • Various other bug fixes.

  • Adjusted preview popup delay and positioning.
  • Added option to turn preview popups on/off.

  • Low memory devices will not load profile and rule data to avoid running out of memory.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

BattleScribe New Year's Half Price Sale!

To usher in 2015, BattleScribe Pro is on sale: half price for a week!

You have until 23:59:59 GMT on Wednesday January 7th to pick up a copy on the cheap. You can get a desktop key from the BattleScribe store, or the mobile versions from Google Play, iTunes or the Amazon app store.

Happy new year!

Friday, 19 December 2014

BattleScribe 1.15.04 Released on Android and Desktop!

Here we go with one final release before Christmas, and in contains a present for you...

Back by popular demand, preview popups have made a return on desktop! I hope you'll find them much improved over the previous implementation of them - they are scrollable (rather than sometimes taking over the entire screen...) and can be copy/pasted from.

Other than this, there's just the usual batch of bug fixes and tweaks. As always, this update will be on it's way to Apple for review, and will become available for iOS once it's approved.

Merry Christmas!

All Platforms
  • Rule summary can now be shown when viewing single selections.
  • HTML output now correctly shows newlines in rule descriptions.
  • Fixed crash when adding forces to a roster in some cases.
  • Fixed crash when creating a roster with a data file that has broken profiles.

  • Fixed restoring roster when returning to the app after some time.
  • Added workaround for crash bug in Samsung's version of Android 4.2.
  • Fixed occasional crash when dismissing a fullscreen ad while creating a new roster.

  • Preview popups are back! Better than ever, they're prettier and can be scrolled (rather than taking up the entire screen).
  • Fixed double clicks not adding selections on OSX.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

BattleScribe 1.15.02 Released on iOS!

Today brings 1.15.02 and it's bug fixes to iOS. Unfortunately, I haven't seen as big a performance boost when loading and creating rosters as was seen on Android devices. This may just be that my test device is slow though (a 5th generation iPod)! I'd be interested to hear if you see an improvement in this area on iPhone 5s and up. There's still work to do though, so hopefully a bit more speed can be squeezed out in future releases!

One thing to note: If you have had problems with your data (e.g. missing categories) since the last update, it might be worth deleting and re-downloading your data. This FAQ answer describes how do do that.

Without further ado, here's the release notes:

  • Fixed crash when adding certain selections to your roster. 
  • Fixed crash when opening certain categories or scrolling through the list. 
  • Fixed "Direct Parent" conditions not working in some cases. 
  • Fixed output showing needless decimal points for characteristic values.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

BattleScribe 1.15.02 Released on Android and Desktop!

Today's release is mostly just bug fixes and tweaks, resolving a couple of nasty crashes that came up after the last release. It's available on Android and desktop right now, and as usual is currently being reviewed by Apple for release on iOS devices. I'll post again when it becomes available in iTunes.

One other thing to note: If you have had problems with your data (e.g. missing categories) since the last update, it might be worth deleting and re-downloading your data. This FAQ answer describes how do do that.

Without further ado, here's the release notes:

  • Improved loading times when creating or loading a roster.
  • User interface tweaks.
  • Fixed occasional crash when moving between screens.
  • Fixed crash on startup on Sony Xperia Z devices.

All Platforms
  • Fixed crash when adding certain selections to your roster.
  • Fixed crash when opening certain categories or scrolling through the list.
  • Fixed "Direct Parent" conditions not working in some cases.
  • Fixed output showing needless decimal points for characteristic values.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

BattleScribe 1.15.00 Released!

Important: This release changes the roster file format. You should update BattleScribe to 1.15.00 on all your computers and devices to avoid problems! It may take a little while to start up the first time as BattleScribe converts your files to the new format.

Release day is here again, this time on all platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux.

Today's release brings a big overhaul of something that's needed work for a long time: The "view roster" output. This is probably the last bit of creaky old code that needed a serious update - and I must admit it's a big improvement!

The output now looks much nicer - whether as HTML, text, BBCode or Markdown - and there are several new options so you can customize the printout to your taste. Special mention goes to the new "minimal" output option - it reduces the length of the output by omitting selections that aren't relevant. This really cleans things up so that copying/pasting your list into forum posts and social networks works really nicely.

Here's some screenshots of the minimal text output on mobile and desktop:

All Platforms
  • "View Roster" output completely overhauled, with new customization options and cleaner layout.
  • Performance improvements.
  • Roster and data files from before version 1.13.00 are no longer supported.

  • Redesigned "View Roster" dialog.
  • Improvements to printing.
  • Removed preview popups/tooltips. Instead, you can right click items and view them via the menu.
  • Added a "What's New" dialog :)

  • Sort order of list items tweaked - all "single row" items are sorted together.
  • More options when sharing or copying your roster.

  • Sort order of list items tweaked - all "single row" items are sorted together.
  • Small user interfance fixes and adjustments.
  • Fixes and improvements to menus and sharing on iPad and iOS 8.