DevBlog #3

Hello everyone! Welcome to another iteration of the GameTactic developers blog. There has been substantial progress within the development of the application and i’ll be taking you through some of the big changes throughout this post.

Delay to GameTactic v0.1.0 to May 2020

Unfortunately I have to start with some bad news, with Covid-19 affecting everyone’s lives our developers have had to reduce their capacity substantially so we need to delay our closed-alpha release until at least the end of May. Our plans were to have this release date at the end of April, which was a hard and fast deadline because we couldn’t renew the hosting behind the wottactic.com web app. Therefore, in order to prevent the loss of traffic from those apps to GameTactic we would need to get a working version deployed and ready to roll by then. However, luck was on our side with the awakening of the developer behind the wottactic.com web app, who kindly transferred the server and domain to us, which means we now control its demise, whoopee.

Welcome to GameTactic

Welcome to the first appearance of the app! As you can tell we have taken a step away from the cluttered, non-responsive design to give you a open space ready for you to annotate and draw out your battle plans.

The GameTactic app.
The black numbers represent different sections of the app, and you can find more information about these further down.

Terminology

  • Room. The room is the name given to the container within GameTactic and will belong to only one game. This room will contain everything that you need including the Canvas, Tools, Tactics, Map, Entities, Users, Shapes and anything else.
  • Tactic. The Tactic is a child of the room and the room will have one or more Tactic(s). Each Tactic contains its own map (singular for now), Entities, Shapes and also anything else that is drawn onto the Canvas.
  • Canvas. The Canvas is the white body in the middle of the page which allows you to draw Shapes, Entities and anything else.
  • Entity. The Entity or Entities is the name given to an element within a game. World of Warships and ships and World of Tanks has tanks. See the section below on the Entity Panel for more information.

The app is split into several bits as shown by the numbers on the screenshot.

  1. The Canvas.
    • This is the centrepiece of the application, where you can add your ping animation, ships and tanks, shapes, annotations and anything else that could benefit you and your tactic.
    • From the control panel above it you can zoom in, zoom out, grab and drag it around and then place it in the centre of your screen again.
    • Note that it’s dimensions of the canvas are not final and will likely be much larger than shown
  2. The Tool Panel
    • This is one of the main areas of functionality within the app. From this panel you can select and deselect a variety of tools that can help you annotate the Canvas.
    • You have the following tools at the beginning (in vertical order)
      • Move shape, text, ship or tank
      • Ping
      • Free draw – with colour and size
      • Straight line – with colour, size, end and stroke style
      • Circle – with fill colour, size, outline colour and stroke style
      • Ruler – with it appearing as either a circle or line
      • Text – with colour and size
      • Rubber/Eraser
      • Undo
      • Redo
    • Simply click on the tool to use
    • Or customise your tools by opening the settings panels by clicking on the vertical blue buttons.
    • All tools are personal to you so any changes you make will be saved for next time!
  3. The Entity Panel
    • While the tool panel will be familiar to most users, the Entity Panel is a brand new concept and piece of functionality! Let’s go through the concept and power of the entities.
    • An entity is simply the generic name for the elements in your games. For example, in World of Warships we operate ships so the entity is the ship. World of Tanks has tanks so the entity is the tank. In every game there are characters, units and elements that you would want captured in a tactic, these would all fall under the roof of the Entity Panel. The best thing yet is this panel is 100% unique for each game, so we can truly capture the important elements from your games for your tactics.
    • From this panel you can
      • Select any entity and if possible, provide you with the basic data, statistics or parameters to start with. Then you can customise and save them so each entity is ready to be used at any time.
      • Drag and drop them to the canvas to place them and assign them to teams.
      • Within teams your entities are grouped together. Perhaps Team One is the southern force, and Team two is the northern force. From here you can customise what is displayed, which player or user is assigned to which entity, annotate what role that entity has in the tactic and much more.
      • On major advantage is how the entity is interacted on the Canvas.
        • Here you can move around, rotate, resize easily but as each entity is a unique element rather than just an icon we are able to provide you almost any functionality or option that you would need.
        • World of Warships ships have consumables such as hydro and radar. These are defined differently for each ship and they can have different duration and range. From the entity in World of Warships you can simply click on the entity and toggle its radar or hydro and you will be presented with a circle, with its radius centred on the entity, depicting the areas of the Canvas that this consumable will reach! When you are done you can simply toggle it off!
        • Off the bat we will be looking to provide some basic entity options like this to help you easily define your tactics!
  4. The Navigation bar
    • Here you can find some of the standard options in a web app such as the logo, login or logout, and save.
    • Also you can create new tactics and modify or delete existing tactics.
    • In addition you can adjust the room settings such as toggling spectator mode, the grid on the map and marking the tactic read-only.
    • In the future we will be adding far more customisation and settings to really help you set up the room and tactics in the best way for you!

Demonstration

Please enjoy this GIF depicting some of the current features in GameTactic.

Gif of GameTactic

and how it looks on mobile…

Mobile view of GameTactic

FAQ

  1. What is this release at the end of May?
    1. This will be our alpha release of GameTactic and will involve opening up the application to a closed group of users within our community.
    2. These users would need to be active in both their use of the app and their communication with us. This will be one of the first times where we can give the app a stress test and get feedback, bug reports on the current features
    3. Information on how to get involved in this release will be provided as we get closer to the date.
    4. This release will contain support for World of Warships and World of Tanks only.
  2. Will GameTactic have support for game X, Y or Z?
    1. As mentioned before, the first release (or two) will have support for World of Warships and World of Tanks only. This is because these are the old app’s most popular games.
    2. As the development team gains capacity we will look to the community for the next game(s) to introduce.
      You can start supporting your game now by creating a [NFR] ticket on our GameTactic/issues page. If your game is already there you can show your support by adding a +1 “thumbs up” emoji to the ticket! as shown below.
  1. How can I support GameTactic?
    1. Financial support can be shown via PayPal or Patreon. If you use PayPal, more money will go into our project than into fees.
    2. Other support includes Discord and adding Stars on out Github repositories. One of the biggest way of helping us is by spreading the word about our project as far and as wide as possible.
    3. Technical support. If you have (or you want to learn) experience or skills with PHP – Symfony, Vue or any generic infrastructure cloud solution, feel free to contact us if you want contribute to our project. All of our repos are always open for PRs.
  2. When will the wottactics.com web application and its supported games stop working?
    1. Just to clarify something first. Our officially supported domain is wottactic.com. So any game with a url of wottactic.com/*GAME* is covered by this answer, if you are using a url that is different from this domain then it is not maintained by GameTactic and this answer will not apply.
    2. wottactic.com and its games will not disappear without warning and remain up as long as we can afford it, and as long the community needs it.
    3. When GameTactic supports multiple of the popular games we will revisit this and look to close down wottactic.com. The community will be informed our situation every step of the way

Feedback or further questions

If after reading this you want to provide us feedback on the direction of GameTactic, or you have any further questions about the application please contact one of the developers on our Discord.

You are more than welcome to pop us private messages or pop into the Voice Channel and say hello. On Discord you will find our developers frequently working and streaming the code together so come along see what we are working on! We will also be asking the community for their thoughts and suggestions about certain features or a direction that we want to take. This is very much a 2 way conversation because remember that this application is being built for you, so don’t shy away, come in and let us know what you want in GameTactic!

Want to work with us?

Our development team are currently looking for new members to work with us on developing the app. This is a great opportunity to get a major project on your CV while also learning or improving your skills! We drive a learning first mentality so come and be brave! Get in touch with us on Discord.

  • Front End Engineer – Vue.js, Typescript, Javascript
  • Back End Engineer – Php and Symphony
  • QA Tester

Aside from our development team we are also looking for assistance for World of Tanks as we are missing knowledge of how Wottactics.com was utilised by its gaming community. If you are interested in helping shape the World of Tanks half of GameTactic please get in touch with us on Discord.

Thank you !

BeardedGaming

Sam, also known BeardedGaming, is acting as Product Owner and Lead Frontend developer in this project.

One thought on “DevBlog #3

  • April 28, 2020 at 12:51 pm
    Permalink

    ok thats well

    Reply

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