Saturday, 24 November 2012

BattleScribe 1.13.03b Released!

Here we are with another update - with some nice new features. It's currently available for desktop and Android devices, but will soon be available for iPhone too, once it's approved. I'll post here again when it becomes available.

The main additions are around sharing and importing data files. This has always been the biggest barrier to entry with BattleScribe - it's a pain to dig around the internet for data files, and can be confusing for new users to get set up. The idea is to make things a bit more "viral" or "peer to peer", where users who are already set up can send all their files and repository URLs to others in one go. A new user can import the file sent to them and voila! Everything is configured and they're good to go.

What this means is that if you want to help a friend get set up with BattleScribe, you can hit the Share BattleScribe button and send them an email that includes a link to download the app and a file that they just have to click to get the whole thing set up - much easier!

To this end, I've basically added a new file format which is an entire repository of data files all bundled together into a single file (with the ".bsr" extension, for the techies among you) which can be sent around by email for example.

The other major improvement is for those who create and maintain data repositories - finally Data Indexer has had a major overhaul and is much better than it was.

  • When clicking Share BattleScribe, you are given the option to include your data files. Your files and repository URLs are bundled into a "repository file" and attached to your email (or uploaded to DropBox or wherever else you decide to send it).
  • Clicking a repository file on an email (or in another app, such as clicking a link to one in the browser or in DropBox) will fire up BattleScribe and automatically import all the data contained in it including any repository URLs.
  • Clicking any other data files from a browser, file manager or other app will send it to be opened in BattleScribe, which will import it for you. 
  • Some apps (such as your browser) will try to open the file themselves and just show you it's contents. In this case, you can hit Share and send it to BattleScribe from there. This also works for an online repository's "index.xml" file.
  • You can now (finally) install BattleScribe on an SD card.
  • Improvements to the speed and reliability of saving - it should no longer lag when switching between screens.
  • Fixed a bug where if you had a corrupted/broken roster file, you wouldn't be able to open any other rosters. Broken rosters are now ignored.

  • You can import BattleScribe data from a repository (.bsr) file from the Manage Data dialog.
  • Much (much!) improved Data Indexer, which you can now access from the Manage Data dialog (see separate change list below) via the Share Data button.
  • Manage Data can now be accessed from the menu in Game System Editor and Catalogue Editor.
  • Editors will now prompt you to update your repository if you have changed your files. This is really important! If you don't re-create your repository when you change files, none of your users will get your lovely new files!
  • Editors now flag many more data file errors for you to fix - making sure you don't end up with broken files...
  • Links to shared entries can now have a category, so a single shared entry representing a unit can be used in multiple categories.

Data Indexer
  • More options so you can specify where the data for the index comes from. You can choose to use all your current data, or specify a specific folder manually.
  • More options to specify where the repository gets created. You can create it "in place" (ie the same location it's getting the data files from), specify a specific folder manually, or choose to output to a single .bsr repository file (for emailing or whatever).
  • Data Indexer now remembers all your chosen settings - repository name, input/output options and paths to data file source and destination folders/files.
  • All data files get updated to the latest format and individually zipped correctly when creating a repository.
  • Command line usage added. You can run "java -jar DataIndexer.jar [repository name] [input directory] [output directory]" to create a repository from the command line.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Interview On The Overlords Podcast

Listen ma! I'm on the radio!

Inquisitor Steve from The Overlords podcast was kind enough to drop me a line a little while ago and arrange an interview to chat about BattleScribe. I had a lot of fun talking a bit about my history with 40k, before moving on to discuss how BattleScribe came about and how it's developed since then.

If you're interested in listening to me babble incoherently about some of the reasons behind BattleScribe, where it's at now and a where it's going in the future, I recommend giving it a listen! In fact, if you're not already following The Overlords, what's wrong with you? These guys are great fun to listen to - they make my drive home from work something to look forward to :)

Thanks for having me on guys!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

BattleScribe 1.13.02b Available For iOS

Apple have finally approved version 1.13.02b and it's now available in the App Store! Sorry it's taken so long - once I've submitted to iTunes, it's out of my hands until they get around to reviewing it (usually a week or so...).

This version contains a major bug fix where in some cases nothing would show up for you to select for your list (notably a large selection of Warhammer Fantasy catalogues). This was because for some catalogue files the process of upgrading them to the 1.13.xx file format would eat the contents of the file and break it. Very nasty.

If you have experienced this bug, and you were unable to see anything to choose for your army you will need to delete your data files and re-download them from your repository. Go to "Manage Data", click the menu and choose "Delete all data". Once this is done, click "Update Data" again to get your files back. Your new files will be properly updated to the 1.13.xx format and all should be well.

Sorry I let this one get through. File format updates are one of the biggest changes BattleScribe can go through, and it can be a bit of a rocky road. I'd tested many data files to make sure the process worked, but evidently I missed this particular case. My apologies if it's caused you any issues.

Full Change List:
  • Fixed bug where some old data files were not being properly upgraded
  • Prevented categories showing up if they contain nothing to select
  • Fixed crash when using multiple catalogues (ie allies) in some cases
  • Fixed crash when using catalogues with deeply nested shared items
  • Fixed bug where data files with accented characters (ó, ñ etc) would break

If you find anything else that's amiss, please don't hesitate to let me know. You can leave a comment on this post or in the forums, or catch me on Google+, Twitter or Facebook. I'm also available via email: feedback [at] battlescribe [dot] net.

If this has resolved your problem, or you're just a fan of BattleScribe on iOS, please do leave a review on iTunes!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

BattleScribe 1.13.02 Released

Update: One more bug fixed today:
  • Fixed crash when using catalogues with deeply nested shared items

This is available for Android and desktops, and has been resubmitted to Apple (I've requested an expedited review so hopefully it won't take as long as usual to become available).


Just a small update today with a couple of bug fixes:
  • Fixed a problem where some older data files weren't being properly upgraded to the 1.13.00 format. This is causing a problem particularly on iOS where in some cases you can't see anything to select when creating Warhammer Fantasy lists (nasty...)
  • Prevented categories that don't contain any entries from being displayed (mobile versions only)
  • Fixed bug where data files with accented characters (ó, ñ etc) would break
  • Fixed a crash when using multiple catalogues (e.g. when making a list with allies)

Note: If you are having problems with your data files, I recommend deleting them and re-downloading from your repository. This will mean any files get re-updated to the the 1.13.00 format, fixing the problem mentioned in the second bullet point above.

This is now available on Android and desktops and is currently going through approval for iOS. I'll let you know when it becomes available in iTunes.