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Subject: Play by Forum Modding Thread rss

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Seiya V
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Hey fellow mods,

I wanted to create this thread for the mods in order to share methods with each other. Is there anything you guys have done in order to make modding easier?

One of the things I did in Excel was create a custom list for sorting purposes.

I'm using Excel for the Mac, so I'm not sure if it is different for you Windows users, but if you go to Preferences and Custom Lists you can add this:

1 - Consolidate Power
2 - Consolidate Power
3 - Investigative Committee
4 - Investigative Committee
5 - Investigative Committee
1 - Executive Order
2 - Executive Order
3 - Declare Emergency
4 - Declare Emergency
5 - Declare Emergency
1 - Launch Scout
2 - Launch Scout
3 - Strategic Planning
4 - Strategic Planning
5 - Strategic Planning
1 - Evasive Maneuver
2 - Evasive Maneuver
3 - Maximum Firepower
4 - Maximum Firepower
5 - Maximum Firepower
1 - Repair
2 - Repair
3 - Scientific Research
4 - Scientific Research
5 - Scientific Research

Then, you can sort your players hands and have them all by color and type (in increasing order)

Thought it was useful for me and for my players, so I wanted to share.
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Gerry Smit
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What pierre did in game four was just to sort them, colour tags included. So they're out of order in terms of Pol L T Pil E, but you get used to that quick, and it's a one-column sort. I like your suggestion, but a one-coloumn sort is nice and easy too.

My photos are being built by Brian, so I've added a two column Board Summary of what's where to Destination-Game State as follows:



Board Summary
Locations What's There
Sector 1 Civie H
Sector 2 Heavy Raider, Civie I
Sector 3 Basestar, Raiderx5, Viper1
Sector 4 Civie A, Heavy Raider x3
Sector 5 Basestar
Sector 6 Civie B, C,D, E , F & G; Viper2/Apollo, Vipers 3,4,5 & 6; Raiders x 8
Col1 Press Room
Col1 Prez's Office Baltar
Col1 Administration
Galactica FTL Ctrl
Galactica Wpns Ctrl
Galactica Command
Galactica Comms Helo
Galactica Adm's Qtrs
Galactica Lab
Galactica Hangar Deck
Galactica Armory
Galactica Sick Bay
Galactica Brig Boomer, Chief
Caprica Adama One
Cylon Fleet
Human Fleet
Resurrection Ship
OFF BOARD

It's the only place I see that allows me to detail where the cylon ships are located.

I've even repeated the chart on the Game State Summary page in order to make it easier for him to produce our boards.

So on the Game State Summary:

Board Summary
Locations What's There
Sector 1 Civie H
Sector 2 Heavy Raider, Civie I
Sector 3 Basestar, Raiderx5, Viper1
etc

is really:

='Destination - Game State'!R34
='Destination - Game State'!R35 ='Destination - Game State'!S35
='Destination - Game State'!R36 ='Destination - Game State'!S36
='Destination - Game State'!R37 ='Destination - Game State'!S37
='Destination - Game State'!R38 ='Destination - Game State'!S38

etc


I've dropped this list on a number of the pages, for quick cut-n-paste for any posts I'm doing (except I leave out the blanks so it really works!)

[ COLOR=#CC9900 ] Yellow
[ COLOR=#009900 ] Green
[ COLOR=#6600CC ] Purple
[ COLOR=#CC0000 ] Red
[ COLOR=#0000CC ] Blue

On the Skills page, I hold CTRL down, and scroll mouse to make the fonts a little smaller, that way I can see everyone, albeit small, at a glance. If I need easy reading, I just reverse it.

On the quorum page, I've added a couple of columns:


Distributed To Who, How?
Adama
Food Rationing Played, success, removed

to let me track things like Assign Arbitrator ... Adama.


I found the loyalty page was character specific and am still tweaking that one.

Gerry


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Seiya V
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I tried sorting by color, but I think the new Excel for Mac doesn't allow that anymore. (At least that is what I read online)

I like my way in that it gives it to them in increasing str and color, but I like the way you do it too.

I'm definitely going to use the color advice... Having it on every page is pretty useful.

Thanks for the tips. If I think of anything else, I'll post it here.
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brian
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seiyaaa wrote:
I tried sorting by color, but I think the new Excel for Mac doesn't allow that anymore. (At least that is what I read online)

I like my way in that it gives it to them in increasing str and color, but I like the way you do it too.

I'm definitely going to use the color advice... Having it on every page is pretty useful.

Thanks for the tips. If I think of anything else, I'll post it here.

You may have an older spreadsheet, but the current ones have the BGG code in for the color at each card. Like this:

[ COLOR=#990099]1 - Launch Scout[ /COLOR]
[ COLOR=#009900]2 - Executive Order[ /COLOR]
[ COLOR=#990099]2 - Launch Scout[ /COLOR]

So what Gerry means is that it sorts by "color" but it really is sorting first by the HTML code (which groups them by color) and then sorts them numerically. So it gets the same effect as what you were doing with the custom list. Except it doesn't follow the Politics, Leadership, Tactics, Piloting, Engineering, it goes by numerical order of the color code.
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Seiya V
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agh! I guess you might be right. I had no idea that the current ones have it in forum code.

I guess I will be alone in using the way I thought of because my players wish to receive their cards via email.
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Useful stuff. I have the following as a text file on computers where I participate in this PBF game. Quick reference speed things up dramatically. Click QuickQuote to copy and paste all the tags.

GerryRailBaron wrote:

I've dropped this list on a number of the pages, for quick cut-n-paste for any posts I'm doing (except I leave out the blanks so it really works!)

[ COLOR=#CC9900 ] Yellow
[ COLOR=#009900 ] Green
[ COLOR=#6600CC ] Purple
[ COLOR=#CC0000 ] Red
[ COLOR=#0000CC ] Blue




YELLOW 1 - Consolidate Power
YELLOW 3 - Investigative Comittee
GREEN 1 - Executive Order
GREEN 3 - Declare Emergency
PURPLE 1 - Launch Scout
PURPLE 3 - Strategic Planning
RED 1 - Evasive Maneuver
RED 3 - Maximum Firepower
BLUE 1 - Repair
BLUE 3 - Scientific Research






.
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Pierre Pinguet
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I did a few macros for the skill checks, since I was afraid to mess anything up when doing it manually (and I was bored), that meant reworking Brian's excel sheet so it's "non canon"

For each card pile I have a "shuffle discard" button, that rebuild the deck and randomize the cards

I have one "Build Destiny" button that takes 2 cards from each pile and shuffle them.

Same thing for Player's card draw and Player hands and dealing destiny cards.

I also have a few "monitoring" tools that summarize Players cards count (for them) and total value by Color (For me, cause I like to see if they could pass the check or not)

I also keep a separate file excel for every turn, in order to do a monster session report in the end (and talk about the "what if" and turning points of the game)


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Gerry Smit
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Which one of you cylons dropped the Network Computers Crisis, knocking out bgg?

devil

Gerry
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Francisco Colmenares
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I have some humble suggestions from someone lurking the games (awesome awesome games!). People should not change avatars and instead post with images.

Why? If you haven't read a game session before and it hasn't finished, having the Cylons use avatars ruins it for the lurkers who start reading it from the beginning.

Additionally there shouldn't be comments on OTHER session games...like..."Woah, in BSG X Adama just revealed..." That also ruins it for the lurkers who haven't read that session yet.

My 2 Cents.
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brian
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Due to the overwhelming popularity of the games, we choked the search feature in the BSG forums. Therefore, the Admins moved ALL game threas, past and present to the PBEM forum, where it should have gone to begin with.

What this means is that we are no longer in game forums and therefore our updates won't show up on most main page layouts. So we will have to promote the games in other ways.

So if you start up a new game, be sure to POST an announcement in the original waiting list thread to help that cycle back to the front page.

I was also told that if these games are still going strong in a few months, there is a possibility of getting our own sub-forum in the PBEM forum, much like Werewolf has now. Not a guarantee, but if the game is still popular, we can make a case for it.

Thanks to all who have helped out so far! And thanks to those waiting to help out as well! This has been more successful than I could have ever imagined!

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/forum/18/region/1
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Andre Levesque
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colmenarez wrote:
I have some humble suggestions from someone lurking the games (awesome awesome games!). People should not change avatars and instead post with images.

Why? If you haven't read a game session before and it hasn't finished, having the Cylons use avatars ruins it for the lurkers who start reading it from the beginning.

Additionally there shouldn't be comments on OTHER session games...like..."Woah, in BSG X Adama just revealed..." That also ruins it for the lurkers who haven't read that session yet.

My 2 Cents.


While I can see why you wouldn't want anything ruined by an avatar, we discussed the same thing in BSG VII.

It was mine and a few others personal feelings that the pictures in the thread make it feel a bit cluttered for thse playing it. When I see a picture I would rather have it stand out then just be "noise" in the thread.

Also though there might be many lurkers out there we don't know how many of these will be read in the future when BSG 59: the last stand is going on.
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Tom Thingamagummy
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seiyaaa wrote:
I tried sorting by color, but I think the new Excel for Mac doesn't allow that anymore. (At least that is what I read online)

I like my way in that it gives it to them in increasing str and color, but I like the way you do it too.

I'm definitely going to use the color advice... Having it on every page is pretty useful.

Thanks for the tips. If I think of anything else, I'll post it here.


I've asked for Sort by Highlights a number of time. You'd be surprised how often this comes up in my job. (We're huge Excel users.)

I'm going to keep reading and see what people are doing. And I'm sorry you're on Mac Excel... I'm using both now (Mac and PC) for my job and it's insanely frustrating.
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Allan Cybulskie
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Anoir wrote:
colmenarez wrote:
I have some humble suggestions from someone lurking the games (awesome awesome games!). People should not change avatars and instead post with images.

Why? If you haven't read a game session before and it hasn't finished, having the Cylons use avatars ruins it for the lurkers who start reading it from the beginning.

Additionally there shouldn't be comments on OTHER session games...like..."Woah, in BSG X Adama just revealed..." That also ruins it for the lurkers who haven't read that session yet.

My 2 Cents.


While I can see why you wouldn't want anything ruined by an avatar, we discussed the same thing in BSG VII.

It was mine and a few others personal feelings that the pictures in the thread make it feel a bit cluttered for thse playing it. When I see a picture I would rather have it stand out then just be "noise" in the thread.

Also though there might be many lurkers out there we don't know how many of these will be read in the future when BSG 59: the last stand is going on.


One comment I'd make is that while I was still playing in BSG2, the fact that the consensus was generally to post pictures in the thread was a big help when I started doing the running commentary in VII, which insisted on using avatars; I was able to change my avatar to match the character in VII while keeping it clear when I was posting in BSG2.

Additionally, it's easier to swap pictures in and out at game critical times than an avatar.

Ultimately, this is up to the people in the specific game, but I far prefer the pictures to the avatar approach, for various reasons.
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Matt Clementson
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I agree - pictures in the thread are useful (especially at the start when you aren't as familiar with everyone's avatar as you later on). We've been doing this in BSG4 and it's worked well. It's also going to make the threads easier to read in 6 months time when everyone's changed their avatars.
 
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Matt Clementson
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One question I have (as I'm about to kick of BSG: X-treme (season 10)) - where are you guys storing the board images? Are they uploaded to the BSG gallery or to your personal galleries?
 
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Daimbert wrote:
Anoir wrote:
colmenarez wrote:
I have some humble suggestions from someone lurking the games (awesome awesome games!). People should not change avatars and instead post with images.

Why? If you haven't read a game session before and it hasn't finished, having the Cylons use avatars ruins it for the lurkers who start reading it from the beginning.

Additionally there shouldn't be comments on OTHER session games...like..."Woah, in BSG X Adama just revealed..." That also ruins it for the lurkers who haven't read that session yet.

My 2 Cents.


While I can see why you wouldn't want anything ruined by an avatar, we discussed the same thing in BSG VII.

It was mine and a few others personal feelings that the pictures in the thread make it feel a bit cluttered for thse playing it. When I see a picture I would rather have it stand out then just be "noise" in the thread.

Also though there might be many lurkers out there we don't know how many of these will be read in the future when BSG 59: the last stand is going on.


One comment I'd make is that while I was still playing in BSG2, the fact that the consensus was generally to post pictures in the thread was a big help when I started doing the running commentary in VII, which insisted on using avatars; I was able to change my avatar to match the character in VII while keeping it clear when I was posting in BSG2.

Additionally, it's easier to swap pictures in and out at game critical times than an avatar.

Ultimately, this is up to the people in the specific game, but I far prefer the pictures to the avatar approach, for various reasons.


I agree with this approach, we started BSG01 with changed avatars and the pictures in the thread approach appeared in 02. It was a bit late to go back at that stage and change the practice in 01, but I thought that it would make sense to go with pictures in VII. I was outvoted of course, but this way still makes more sense to me. Maybe some of the pictures in some of the threads are a bit large and intrusive, but a small (avatar sized or a bit larger) picture, I don't see as a problem.
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If it were my next game.... I would vote to put pics in threads for reasons already expressed by the community...

1) When people go back to their regular avatars after a PBF game ends, others reading the thread will know exactly who's talking and who's taking their turn.

2) I never thought about the spoilers presented when many of the cylons (and even those who are true humans) change their avatars to reflect revealing or the post-sleeper phase of the game. Definitely another good point.

However, I did notice the meta-list of BSG games in geeklist form does give some of that away. E.g., if a game has a resource type down to 0.... then it's clear the cylons won that game. THAT part would NOT have been put in spoilers



As for concerns about cluttering up the thread, just use small images. You can tag them to the appropriate size. Again, check out this post and click on QuickQUote to see the tags.

I used small images for game discussion, while saving the bigger sized for when I took my actual turns. There's no rule that you have to adapt this convention, but if you keep the in thread image small, it won't be an issue. Again, it's a hassle to do stuff like put in images, color code skill cards, etc., but I did it b/c I felt it was worth it. Having a text file for all of this for coyping & Pasting cut down on alot of the hassle

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/3519927#3519927


baldrick wrote:
One question I have (as I'm about to kick of BSG: X-treme (season 10)) - where are you guys storing the board images? Are they uploaded to the BSG gallery or to your personal galleries?
I use my personal gallery. That way, they'll always be there even if some brand name image hosting site tanks, or is inaccessible b/c a specific computers and firewalls filter out these sites (such as PhotoBucket when at an office computer or restricted access computer)

So all of that up there are in my gallery with different sizing options used.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/3519927#3519927
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Aaron Walker
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Wow, I didn't even know this thread was here until today...where have I been?

Images >>>> avatars. 'nuff said.

I have been editing them in OpenOffice Calc if anyone else here doesn't use Excel. I've added a whole slew of macros and form controls on my spreadsheet, so that playing a card, dealing cards to players, shuffling any deck, sorting a hand, playing into a crisis, etc is all done by selecting from a list and/or clicking a button...no copy-and-pasting needed except for the turn control and tracking things like vipers and raptors (which I might automate next time I'm bored).

If anyone is interested, I can send you a copy, but the Calc macros don't convert back to Excel, so you'd have to use Calc to use it.

I've also added a sheet which I just call "Numbers Check" and it basically just consolidates in once place all the counts and values that appear on the board image, laid out in roughly the same pattern. I've found it immensely helpful in making sure all my hand counts and deck counts are correct when I update the board image.

Finally, I've got a GIMP-able version of the board image with all the layers, if anyone prefers that to Photoshop (which I don't own, which is why I GIMP it).

Thanks,
-Aaron (Model 8)


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Pierre Pinguet
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baldrick wrote:
One question I have (as I'm about to kick of BSG: X-treme (season 10)) - where are you guys storing the board images? Are they uploaded to the BSG gallery or to your personal galleries?


Your personnal gallery (there's no way all those pics would get past geekmod).
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Tom Thingamagummy
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I was wondering if we should create new Player names to help sort all the images out. That geeklist that was created certainly does help.
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Somewhat of a tangent, but I assume it would be a thought for you modders to decide:

Since online play effectively removes the "not a cylon" card limit restraining the game to 6 players, have any of you considered upping your games to 7 or more players?
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Thanks Pierre
And sterling job on running BSG4 - it's been a blast (I know it's not quite over yet )
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Pierre Pinguet
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pseudotheist wrote:
Somewhat of a tangent, but I assume it would be a thought for you modders to decide:

Since online play effectively removes the "not a cylon" card limit restraining the game to 6 players, have any of you considered upping your games to 7 or more players?


I suppose it's possible, if there is a playtested variant for that (impact on balance, on skill checks etc...).
But remember that the main limitation of PBF games is that they're sloooowww. And it get slower and slower as you add more player, as you have to wait for everyone to check in.

Interrupts are especially slow, since you have to wait for everyone to say PASS (even when you know they can't play one, to preserve secrecy), and then wait again for the actual check...
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Since this as good a place to bring it up as any, I'm curious what other people's thoughts are on the changes from F2F play to PBF play...

Brian has done an outstanding job trying to recreate the F2F experience. Here's a quick summary of changes:

1. Hard / unlikely that two players would try to play the same interrupt at the same time. Corollary: hard for someone to see someone else reaching for the interrupt and withdraw theirs.

Game impact: minimal, but present. Nominally, when this happens F2F, the current player chooses whose interrupt to use. In the PBF setting, someone is, by definition, first. Even a minute means someone has probably already read the thread and knows what you did, so you can't go back and retract it. Officially in the PBF games the latter player has to edit their post ASAP to cover it up, and this probably works OK, but it does remove this aspect of strategy from the game, which could work both ways.

Suggested fix: I don't really have one.

2. Near-perfect knowledge of the state of everyone's hands. By this I mean that it is possible through the extensive use of Investigative Committees (a popular strategy anyway), or reverse engineering closed checks, the exact or likely contents (by color & count, not number) of someone's hand. For example, when someone is a suspected toaster, another player might point out to others "InfoCynic has 1 green, 1 blue, and 2 purple cards left in his hand".

Corollary: near-prefect knowledge of the state of the destiny deck.

Game impact: Significant. Knowing what colors other players have and how many they do is a huge advantage. Favors the humans, as the Cylons rarely are in a position to do anything about it, and by sheer numbers and the Cylons-play-one-card rule, this favors the humans. Knowing that the Cylons have no cards to spike your check with is a big plus. It could turn around, where the Cylons see the humans can't possibly pass the check, but this is unlikely to come up except when the overall card COUNTS (which would be public anyway) are low.

Suggested fix: Not sure. You could rule that the secrecy FAQ prohibits sharing this information, but that doesn't stop anyone from keeping their own private notes. In a F2F game you would be kicked out of the table if you tried that one. You might be able to remember "InfoCynic drew 1 red and 1 yellow on his last turn, and hasn't played either of those to any open checks, and we haven't had any closed checks, so he at least still has those." I think an average player can handle that, and an above average player can maybe take it back 2 turns for up to 2 revealed cylons. Beyond that I think you're in note-taking or eiditc memories. I suggest the honor system be used. You could still go back and figure it out without private notes -- it's all there on the website, and you can't really ask everyone to edit their posts, and if someone is a little overeager to edit their post after the check is resolved, suddenly they start looking like a Cylon... so I would just suggest the honor system that you're not allowed to look back further than one full round. Much like you can't police whether players are sending PMs back and forth, I think you could ask players to abide by this and trust them.

Hm, I might have had more but sadly must do some work. Discuss.

P.S. I vote in favor of avatars because inserting an image into every post slows things way down as I have to go look up the correct image ID or use the same one every time... I could probably be bothered to prefix every post with something like APOLLO...
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Pierre Pinguet
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I don't think you can "fix" that last point.
It's just a different game than FTF, where everyone is gifted with perfect memory.
It also allows for statistical analysis of the next Crisis, odds of destiny being in favour, etc etc...
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