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Gtactix opensource
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Crytiqal
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« on: May 25, 2013, 05:26:58 AM »

I was wondering if GTactix would maybe go opensource?
New programs are coming up like Advanced Tactical Center and Gameplan, but they both lack compared to GTactix imo. GTactix is the only program that doesnt require users to make an account to use and you can host a server yourself.

However, I think development on this program has stopped, while a lot of great ideas and features are still on the table. Releasing the source code would maybe beneficial for the marketshare of this program. I like that Gtactix keeps the user in control, but some features like the dedicated server are not fully developed yet and would make a great impact if completed.

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Crytiqal.Aero
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 05:29:26 AM by Crytiqal » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 10:12:17 AM »

Advanced Tactical Center is very old (approx. 10 years). Do you have a link for Gameplan?

I can't speak for VR6R, but continuing the development would be great. Depending on VR6R and the future of GTactix I might develop a program with many of the same features as GTactix but with a dedicated server and cross platform support out of the box.
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Crytiqal
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 03:43:50 AM »

I think Advanced Tactical Planner has gotten a reboot: http://www.playprepared.com/
Likes about the program:
- Good server management
- Looks professional
- Has most (if not all) features Gtactix offers, including chat (which imo is redundant but ok)

Dislikes about the program:
- You need to register and login every time you use the program
- Lots of adds, everytime you open a new map and in between


Gameplan targets the mobile devices: http://www.gameplanlive.com/
Likes about the program:
- Can use it on an android device

Dislikes about the program:
- Can't use it on a PC, so stratting makes it difficult on phone
- Free version can only join session
- Sessions are hosted offsite
- Need to login


What I like about GTactix and what I would like to see:
- No login required
- Host service yourself
- Easy to use
- I like the timelime feature, but I can't really figure out how to use it properly

- Better user management on dedicated server
- Draw strats in different layers which you can turn on and off
- Would be awesome if strats could be pushed to mobile device for viewing (Dynamic upload and download of picture files from a website?)

This program should focus on marketing Wink.
It is an awesome product and I would definatly be willing to pay for it if the dedicated server would be fully functional. You could make an add version, and the add free version for maybe 5 bucks.

I recommend this program to all my friends, and would love to see development being continued.

EDIT: I just checked out ATC license programs, and he sells add free version for 69,99.
Considering the fact that ATC is practically unusable with adds, it generally dislike the program xD.
But a paid version for GTactix for lifetime free adds for 15-20 euro (if that would be serverside so connecting clients also wouldn't receive adds) would go down well.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 03:51:34 AM by Crytiqal » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2013, 10:06:02 AM »

What I would offer is:

Client:
- Free to use (freeware), but not open source.
- No ads/there might be sponsor logos
- Timeline/Animations
- Map interaction (hover over to get details/click to play sequence...)
- Animated icons
- Version control
- Vector graphic
- Web version
- Mobile/tablet version
- Desktop version (Cross-platform - Win, Nix...)
- Map Pack Designer (might be a separate program)

Server:
- Free to use with a clan license (like TeamSpeak 3), but commercial license for hosting companies.
- Virtual servers
- Web management interface
- Different authentication schemes based on virtual server configuration.
- Authentication integration with CMS systems (clan websites), so people use the login they already have.
- Cross-platform (Win, Nix...)
- Run as a Service

Services:
- Vault for Map Packs and Strat Packs
- Maybe a public server for to use or a rent service (SaaS).
- SDK for game integration, both of the client and server.

Other possible features:
- VoIP (could be done with TS3 integration)
- Chat
- ...

It would be developed in C++ with Qt UI for desktop and native UI APIs for mobile platforms. Server would use a database as backend, with an adapter so it isn't locked to a specific database (MySQL, PostgreSQL, MS SQL...).
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 10:16:44 AM by TBK » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2013, 04:16:52 AM »

Would love to see this developed Wink
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 05:04:43 AM »

I would like to opt another suggestion:

How about you have the radarmap in the background, and you draw your tactics on it, and you can then at the bottom open another tab (much like in microsoft excel) which opens the radarmap again blank in a seperate tab and you can draw another tactic on it then.

Like plan A, plan B or Attack and Defence etc?

That way you dont have to clear the entire map to draw a second tactic and you can easily compare by switching tabs aswell.
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 09:28:21 AM »

I thought of implementing it a bit differently, instead of switching view you would turn layers on or off - just like in Photoshop/Premier Pro/Flash...

So ultimately you could create as many layers as you wish and see them all at once or compare some of them.
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2013, 03:05:48 AM »

Sounds awesome. Having sublayers which you can turn off and on as groups would be handy aswell then.

Any idea when you might start on this project? I myself have no knowledge of C++ but I am confident in php/javascript/html etc. If I can do anything to help you get started let me know Smiley

EDIT:

Another brainstorm. Having icons by game in the mappack is already known, but how about having custom team icons aswell.

Say you have a clan with many players which are subdivided in groups. Adding a player of a certain group to the strat would create a group layer in which all these players move, which you can turn on and off as a group. Hope it's understandable what I mean?

This clan iconpack would not be located in the mappacks then because they can be clan specific.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 03:21:03 AM by Crytiqal » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2013, 08:55:16 AM »

I hope to get started during the summer holiday, I can't promise anything since I have a ton of projects to work on.

Thanks for the offer Smiley


I haven't given the file format much thought, but a container for the maps, one for the strats and another for the icons.
The map and icon type would be "independent", where the strat container will have references to maps and icons, some mechanism needs to be build to acquire the needed packs automatically.

You will of course also be able to download packs manually from a vault, the link will first be created to the icon pack when you use a icon from it.

So icons won't be part of the map pack. The "standard" icon packs will be distributed as part of the client.

The problem is how to solve conflicts between the "public vault" and the "clan's vault". I guess when you share a pack it has to be "published" first which means that the client uploads the pack to a server and gets a unique id for the pack. If it was uploaded to the clan vault the id would contain the clan's id, to the public server it would contain the public server id, this way it can always be traced back to the original creator.


I like your idea, not sure if it should be bound with a icon pack or as a roster file format you can import for the strat you are in the process of making or if it should work with a pre-made strat.

If it is bound to a roster file format or a web roster system then the client could grab your and other info and display it in the strat when reviewing it.


Lets say you go through the strat creating process and create "5 objectives" (geee I have to define the terminology).
The objectives aren't all important at the same time (should be bound to the timeline animation so when playing the strat they won't all be shown at the beginning), then enter the number of people the strat is made for, set if the match is time limited or objective dependent (have to solve one to progress to the next), you will now have xx amount of people to assign to the objectives (people should of course be able to be assigned several times as long as it doesn't conflicts with an already assignment at the same time). The strat is published and the match leader/strat person is viewing it with the people for the match. So when connected to the server, the strat loaded then the roaster can be imported to automatically map people to their role/assignments.

I have to pencil out the design with some design documentation for the client(s), clan server and public server.
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 04:34:12 PM »

Really need an update or replacement for Gtactix.

It's annoying that everyone has writing access at the same time with a dedicated server, and it randomly crashes too, losing the entire strat <_<.
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2013, 12:11:48 AM »

I had a long thought about the layers vs tabs, and I would suggest having a combination if possible.

I believe it is more user friendly if you can have several layers per strat, but you can quickly switch between strats by using tabs. This will keep the layers distinct from each other and you dont have 30+ layers on 1 page which you have to turn on and off or that you are mistakingly making a layer for the wrong strat.

Greetings,
Crytiqal.Aero



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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2013, 04:27:53 PM »

What about the ability to have several strats loaded in at the same time. It could be the same map strat, the same map with a different strat or a completely different map/game.

Again if you look at Photoshop/Adobe programs for inspiration they have tabs (in the top) for different "projects".
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2013, 06:49:52 AM »

Sounds like what I meant, best of both worlds Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2013, 05:53:49 PM »

You bring up some very good points Crytiqal - and great ideas TBK as always.

The opensource route is something I have thought about before, but I had always planned to come back and give this more attention.  After reading your post I've looked around at the tactical planning landscape, and it appears that still not a lot has changed.  The other solutions out there still appear to be in the same state as they were a few years ago... some are even trying to charge substantial fees ($40 - $70/yr?! holy crap) which - in their current state of development - blows my mind.  So even in its admittedly neglected state I still feel GTactix offers the best experience to users in terms of flexibility, simplicity and ease of use.  However that being said, I also fully admit that GTactix is very much in need of some updates - both on the client side - as well as on the much requested and needed dedicated server front.

For me, the opensource issue is very much a question of: "How much time do I have to dedicate to GTactix?"
At this point, I feel that I would still like to continue the project myself - but that also means that I have to be willing to make the time to update and support it.  Which I think I am ready to come back and work towards again.

So, with this post, I suppose I am announcing my comeback to the project.  First order of business will be the dedicated server, followed by some client updates (for example layers - which I had started working on but never quite finished), and some other integration pieces.  Including the map vault & map pack creator.  I had always envisioned the map vault being community-driven - allowing users to upload their own packs for the rest of the community to use.  That functionality exists (that is how I upload the packs myself), but is at about 80% complete.  I still have some concerns about smoothing out that process as well as some security issues to resolve before it will be ready to release.

I will sincerely give it my best shot to get things moving again here - and if I am not successful - I will revisit the idea of going opensource to give GTactix the best shot of moving forward without my assistance.  But for now - it's back to work for me.... dedicated server - here we come!

-VR6R
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 06:01:26 PM by VR6R » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2013, 01:48:12 PM »

Welcome back  Wink

Looking forward to your updates. I'll put my own creation on the backburner Cheesy


Would be super if we could convince game developers to create official map packs with high quality maps and icons.

I still believe that the client and a "clan version" of the server should be free, but for companies that sell hosting as a service a license is required.

When talking about updating software it might be time to update the forum and do a "spring cleaning"  Tongue


Just got this idea - a "Github" for map packs with a wishlist/map pack request list (with voting and comments features), that way everybody can see the progress being made and what map packs are soon available and what people need. All Gtactix.com members should have access.


I like the idea of the Playbook it is somewhat what I would provide as a official service (SaaS)/integration with the web client, I think it should be part of the root domain instead of a subdomain. At the moment the site is spit into 3 pages - landing page, forum and playbook which makes it harder for people to find info and harder to expose people to all GTactix have to offer Smiley


Since crowd funding is very popular a possible stream of revenue to fund development could be to add a wanted features list (again with voting and comments features Tongue) where people can donate to "unlock a feature" when the funding has been achieved it will get higher development priority.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 08:20:17 AM by TBK » Logged

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