Tag Archives: obsidianportal
Many people have seen the new campaign calendar and extended it to the next logical step: Why not create a calendar for your in-game time? On the surface, it seems like a good idea, and it’s definitely something I have struggled with in the past. Unfortunately, it’s a very tough problem, and the final result would probably not be what you imagine.
We’re happy to finally announce the 1.0 production launch of our API! It’s been in the oven a long time, but we really wanted to work out any kinks before finally pushing it out. The time has finally come and we’re ready to launch!
What’s the point?
There are so many things we want to do on Obsidian Portal. We’d love to build an importer for .dnd4e files. We want to make an iPhone and Android mobile app. We want to make it easy to export your campaign data into desktop campaign management software like Masterplan. The list goes on and on. But, we simply don’t have the time or resources to do everything. With the API, other developers can step in and enhance Obsidian Portal to make the tools you want. You will be able to integrate Obsidian Portal with other websites, your mobile devices, and all kinds of other applications. Your campaign will follow you where you go, instead of being isolated on the main Obsidian Portal site.
Who’s it for?
While the API is here to serve everyone, in the beginning we will need some pretty savvy technical people to start making applications and integrations for it. We need mobile developers, web app developers, and anyone else who wants to integrate Obsidian Portal campaigns into their favorite websites and applications. If you know of a project or application that would benefit from integrating with Obsidian Portal, please contact the people involved and tell them to get in touch with us. Or, if you have an idea you’d like to explore, please reach out. We’re eager to help get people on board.
How can I get started?
If you’re a developer with an idea, check out our API Overview for information on getting started. I’ve also set up a subforum for API related discussions. Drop in and let us know what you’re planning and what we can do to help. I haven’t been as active on the forum as I’d like, but I’ll do my best to keep a closer eye on discussions in the API subforum and answer any technical questions I can.
We want to get people up and running on the API as soon as possible. To that end, follow us on Twitter and Facebook for announcements regarding the API. We’re hoping to run some contests in the near future with prizes awarded to the best and most novel apps that people can create. If you have ideas for apps, or ideas for rewards we can offer to app developers, leave a comment and let us know!
This API could be a huge paradigm shift in managing your campaign with Obsidian Portal. The possibilities are almost limitless and we can’t wait to see what people come up with!
Dan, our beloved Content Director for the past year, is moving on and we need someone to step in and carry the torch. If you have a knack for writing and a passion for RPGs, you’re a great fit.
I know it’s a pain to write a DST. The dev kit is probably horribly out of date by now, plus you never really know how your DST will work until you upload it live and play with a real character. I try to encourage people from the start to get their code live on the site as soon as possible, but it’s still no fun to write and edit HTML (or any code) in a textarea. But, all that could change thanks to a recent update.
The ideal app
Unfortunately, the ideal app doesn’t exist, at least not yet. But, I’ve taken the first step and added DSTs to the API. All the puzzle pieces are in place to make this a reality. They just need to be put together.
Can you do it?
I’ve got the API updated, but that’s about as far as I can take it. It’s been ages since I’ve done a desktop app, and I wouldn’t even know where to get started. Plus, I’ve got more features and bug fixes to work on than I want to think about. I need someone to step up, grab the reigns, and take it from here.
If you’re interested, or have a better idea, please come join the forum discussion. I’m really excited about the potentials of the API, and I think this app (or a better one!) would be a perfect fit.
Progress on the API is moving so much faster than I originally anticipated. I’ve been working on it night and day, trying to get to a point where clients can actually do something useful with it. But, I’m not the only one who’s been busy!
mage-hand, Rubygem for the API
Ruby hacker shammond42 (@shammond42 on Twitter) has already created a Rubygem wrapper for the API, making it much simpler to interface with from your Ruby or Rails application. For any other Ruby hackers out there, take a look at mage-hand and make sure to follow it on github. Or, if you’re not a Ruby hacker but prefer PHP, .NET, or something else, you might like the next part:
When I originally architected Obsidian Portal, I imagined that people would be storing and sharing characters, items, spells, locations, and all kinds of RPG-related data. I tried to create the ultimate generic data model that would hold all these things, and characters and items were the first implementations of that.
After using it for a while, I’ve come to realize that characters and items are fundamentally different in how they are used and even if they are used. For example, characters are a core component of every RPG. Items are a component of some, but not others. There are many systems that specifically try to avoid the “We loot the bodies” mentality that pervades D&D. Having played some of these games now, I can see why an Items list isn’t exactly necessary, like a characters tab is.
On the flip side, for games where looting is a central aspect, a raw list of items isn’t much help. Instead, you need something more like a spreadsheet, where you can easily track the items along with their quantity, perhaps the assessed value, plus a bag for currency. In many ways, it needs to resemble a computer RPG inventory screen much more than a raw list of items.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the time right now to give the Items tab the attention it needs, so we have to put it out as-is. We wanted to modify the top navigation to remove the Items and Characters links (which are pretty useless now that we have search), and that would have pretty much orphaned Items forever. So, that’s where we are today.
But! We’ve got plans for the Items tab to make it closer to what it needs to be. As I said, imagine an inventory screen or basic spreadsheet and you’ve got a pretty good idea. We’re not sure when we’ll get a chance to work on it, but it’s on our list.