Nicolas Ronvel
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Geckos

http://www.github.com/gulix/geckos

Geckos is card editor, looking to mimic Magic Set Editor : from a template, cards can be created following the same pattern. And, of course, everyone can create his own template.

* The first tutorial appears ...

Geckos is a tool for gamers, looking for profiles, spells or skills cards, for roleplaying games, boardgames or miniatures games. You can even use it for something entirely different (why not greetings cards ?). Built with easy-to-use and open-source technologies, it's looking to be easy-to-use and open-source as well.

Having spent time creating cards with Magic Set Editor, I came to a point where some limits were irritating me. Geckos is kind of my response to those limits. Being 100% web, Geckos can be used on any computer able to use a modern browser, such as computer with Windows, Mac Os, Linux, Chrome OS, ... or even with a Tablet computer or a Smartphone !

Geckos works with templates. A template define the data that will fill a card, and the way a card image will be generated. After loading / pasting the template code on the UI, you just have to add cards and edit them. Then, each card image can be exported to an image format. More export formats are planned (zip archives, pdf, ...). Of course, you can save your work to get back on it later.

Geckos is very young : the first Alpha version is just out : https://github.com/Gulix/geckos/releases/tag/v0.0.1

What does that mean ? That the main functions, validating my concept, work. The tool is not fully workable, but the goal of this Alpha (and the next one) is to build the roots, and then expand. A much more complete beta will then follow, and finally the first 'true' version will be released. Geckos will still evolve, depending on the needs and the desires.

The big chunk of the templates will be one of the main tasks. I already planned to switch my Magic Set Editor templates to Geckos. And I want to see other templates, for other games, to help create them, even make some. Geckos will also have a "my game" mode, which will allow, for example, a game creator to host a specific version of Geckos, with a custom themes, and his own list of templates.

Well, many ideas.

In order for these ideas to come true, I need to know if this project is interesting enough. On github, Issues will list the needs, the bugs, and I will answer any questions. Don't bother to create issues to get your wanted evolutions done.

You're a developer and want to help : it's open-source, github allows Pull Requests to get your evolutions into the project.
You're a designer and want to create cards : ask your questions on the methods for creating a template, and help me buil the wiki.

Want to test the beast ? http://gulix.github.io/geckos/
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Anthony C
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I'm interested! Subscribed for now. I don't make cards very often but this seems like a great project.
 
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Andy Meneely
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Looks cool! A great idea.

Thanks for making it open source!!!
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John James
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There used to be an on line retailer that let you make your own MTG cards and they would print sheets of 4x stickers to send you. WotC made them shut it down. There were some great cards there.
 
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Daniel Piovezan
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Seems interesting, I'll sure give it a try next time I need to make cards.

What license do you have in mind? Just curious.
 
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Nicolas Ronvel
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Thanks !

Not playing (anymore) Magic the Gathering, I don't plan to make Magic templates. MSE does that very well.
I plan to first switch my own MSE templates to this project.

That will give : Blood Bowl, Frostgrave, SOBAH, One Page Kill Team, with templates that can easily be used for other things. As I started to play Pulp Alley, templates for it will come to.
And I will likely make one for expanding Warhammer Quest Silver Tower with new Heroes.

But this is an open project, and anyone can produce a template.

This weekend, I will put a tutorial on the project's wiki explaining, step by step, the creation of such a template.
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Derek H
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Sneaky use of JSON!

One possible enhancement would be to allow a Font to be defined at a 'higher' level; then just be able to cross-reference this in elements that use it.

I am plugging away at my own desktop-based card creation system (also FOSS); but accessing these JSON files could be a nice extra option!
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Nicolas Ronvel
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Geckos have been working this weekend, and a tutorial describing how to create a template card from scratch has been published : https://github.com/Gulix/geckos/wiki/Tutorial01

Quote:
One possible enhancement would be to allow a Font to be defined at a 'higher' level; then just be able to cross-reference this in elements that use it.

I am plugging away at my own desktop-based card creation system (also FOSS); but accessing these JSON files could be a nice extra option!


I have planned to make such a thing : see Issue #28.

And related to plugging it away : geckos are open to it whistle . What Json files do you think could be nice to be accessed ? You can create an Issue to request it, and if that's doable, well, I could do it !
 
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Nicolas Ronvel
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Some news about Geckos !

8 Issues have been closed and resolved. Progress towards Alpha 2 is still ongoing, some issues still need to be treated.

Wiki has also been updated. Some explanations about the advanced string variables have been added, and the page about Code Variables in the template is planned. A new tutorial about the use of Kitchensink is also coming.

About the project. It grows step by step, and the availables functions allow for interesting card templates. Here are some new functions :

* Adding some code in the template (Issue #10)
* Advanced String Variables (Issue #11)
* Custom Fonts (Issue #28)
* Multiline text (Issue #27)
* Rich text (bold & Italic) (Issue #12)

Three templates are under development right now : Characters for Pulp Alley, Star Players for Blood Bowl & Heroes for Warhammer Quest Silver Tower. Templates can be found on github.

Please note that some bugs interfere with advanced template creation. Correction in progress !
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Michael Boggs
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Ill have to come up with some templates to put together to test it out.
 
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Nicolas Ronvel
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Feel free to do so !

You can start with the templates I'm developing : https://github.com/Gulix/geckos/tree/master/templates

Also, if you can encounter any problem, post an issue about it. It helps me find out what is wrong / not well-documented / not done.

I plan to create a "User Guide" soon, to explain the UI. That will change when the road to the Beta version will open. Right now, I'm on the engine.
 
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Nicolas Ronvel
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The release is on Github

The Alpha road is coming to an end for the Geckos.

This current version is validating what I defined as the needed functionalities. Many Issues have been closed, and you can already create some stunning cards !

This release still comes with a demo template, for the Pulp Alley game. It's a fine miniatures game, and this template is a good base to create a template. You can also find a templates directory containing three templates : the demo one, one for Blood Bowl (featured in a Tutorial), and one for Warhammer Quest Silver Tower.

How to test ?

You can download the source code and run the index.html file in the src directory.

Or you can go on the up-to-date page on http://gulix.github.io/geckos.

What's next ?

We now begin the Beta phase of the software. Some functions will be made more robust, the UI will be revamped in a more modern version, the documentation will grow, and some new parts will of course be added. See the related Issues.

There will be some Beta releases, when big steps will be achieved :

* The new UI (see Issue #42 )
* The template editor (see Issue #14 )
* The multiple styles in one template (see Issue #57 )
* List of templates
* ...

I still need your help for making a geckos at least a good software : bug reporting, defining new functions, creating templates, enhancing wiki, ... Feel free to write Issues !

And again, if you want my help to create your template : ask me !
 
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Daniel Piovezan
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Forgive if I'm wrong, but isn't CC BY-SA a shitty license for software? If it's possible to distribute a compiled version (not sure if it's possible in this case), then people may make changes and distribute such compiled version without sharing the code.
 
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Leif Carlsen
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BozoDel wrote:
Forgive if I'm wrong, but isn't CC BY-SA a shitty license for software? If it's possible to distribute a compiled version (not sure if it's possible in this case), then people may make changes and distribute such compiled version without sharing the code.

There's a good answer on stackexchange for "Why is CC BY-SA discouraged for code?" It references the Creative Commons FAQ.

It might be better for this forum to ask a more-specific question.

Why was the CY-BY-SA license chosen for this software given that the Creative Commons organization recommends against applying this license to software?
 
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Nicolas Ronvel
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I'll read that. I put all my creative work under CC-By-SA because :
1) I want to be credited
2) I want anyone to be able to use it freely
3) I want that any modifications to be made accessible

I never really thought about that, in fact. But I will look into it.

But, did you look behind the license and test the software whistle

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Daniel Piovezan
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Gulix wrote:
I'll read that. I put all my creative work under CC-By-SA because :
1) I want to be credited
2) I want anyone to be able to use it freely
3) I want that any modifications to be made accessible

I'd say, use the GPL, it's the original copyleft license. I think it's safe to say that CC BY-SA tries to do with content what the GPL does to code. You can still make the graphics CC BY-SA and the code GPL, they're compatible. Though, if you want attribution with the GPL, you have demand it explicitly (I mean, the license doesn't automatically do that for you).

Gulix wrote:
But, did you look behind the license and test the software whistle

No cry sorryyyy! Will do that soon.
 
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Nicolas Ronvel
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A new license has been set : MIT. Some kind of attribution, and you can do whatever you like with the tool. That's what will work.

And the use of the software follows the Beerware Agreement, well, because .

A Color Picker has also been added ! (not on the demo yet) And I found some ideas for the template editor.
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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I'm working on a tool to layout the cards in different ways. The goal is to allow the player to choose his layout.

Is your tool able to upload the finished images to an online location ? If so we could implement a sort of link between our both tools....
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Nicolas Ronvel
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I don't know. I haven't really thought about it.
But it could be possible, I think. My tool is able to generate images (PNG) from Json files, via the FabricJS canvas.

If you have any kind of specifications or something like that, feel free to share it (here or via an Issue on github). I will look into it.

Right now, my mind is on the CSS / HTML part of the project, in order to get a better UI.
 
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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My tool uses CSS to lay out the cards correctly to be printed via the "print" function of the browser. It uses URLs to get images so the images have to be available online.

For example, you can lay them like that, with backs side by side with the front or like that, with duplex printing ... just hit the "Print" button and turn off the margins.

The tool then generates a JSON file containing all the information needed and the link can be shared just like I did above.
 
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Nicolas Ronvel
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That's something cool your tool !

I'll look into it later. I don't know if a classic Url can be generated "on the fly" with Geckos. But I think something like DataUrl should be easy to create.

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Nicolas Ronvel
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Here's a glimpse of what's to come :



That's new UI I'm working on, and you can try it if you want. Just download the sources at this address : https://github.com/Gulix/geckos/tree/skeletonsWithTabs
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Oscar Manrique
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I really like where this is going. Just today I decided to look for a card prototyping tool... and here it is, plus it works online so it's even better!

Will tinker with the templates to see how to mod them.

Thanks!
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Nicolas Ronvel
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Feel free to tinker and mod !

I'll be happy to help you. Any feedback will enhance the software and its documentation.
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Nicolas Ronvel
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A new release with the first Beta of Geckos.

New UI, new fields (List with images, Color Picker, ...), new functions (Shared options, description of template, ...)

Still more to come, of course ^^.

All the informations on the release page : https://github.com/Gulix/geckos/releases/tag/v0.1.0
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