After over a year of redesign and development, we’ll be updating the public version of the Toolkit in approx. 24 hours. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of changes, so there’s a couple of things you’ll need to know going into it.
FIRST OF ALL
The experience is very different. It’s essentially a whole new software, and there may be a bit of a learning curve. A pdf manual, FAQ and a video will be available shortly, but even with those you veterans might want to give it some time to accustom to. If you are proficient and experienced with our old design and have a game coming up soon, please DO NOT UPDATE just yet. Make sure you have time to get to know the new system and its quirks before you take the leap, there is some warming up in order, but once you get used to it, we guarantee you will never want to look back.
Now, onto the new stuff:
UI: A completely new and lightweight interface has been implemented to make the toolkit easier to run, and more intuitive to use. Most of the new UI has been finalized and there should be minimal changes moving forward. We thank our users Tidal Waveforms and Zalkenai for their involvement in the new design. It is fresh, efficient and modern. We’ve tried to take on the mantra of ‘Clear and unambiguous’, so if you notice anything that breaks this, definitely let us know!
We have gone through a lot of different iterations of different modules but now all of them are under the same design and style.
The biggest change came to the Soundscapes module, as this has been completely redesigned.
Instead of hard coded presets, you can hot swap parts of a preset, and a completely modular design lets you be able to fine tune what your encounters and maps would truly sound like. Proximity-based audio is also available, letting you place soundscapes directly onto your maps, so a campfire would only crackle in your ears, if you are sitting next to it.
The Scenario module has been removed and will not return in its old form. We have heard and seen you using the toolkit over the years, we experienced using it too, and having two separate modules to create maps and run encounters no longer seems intuitive. Now instead of plugins, simply all functions are easily accessible and with the palette tool gone, we welcome the “hand”, the tool to let you build and edit anything on your maps.
Yes, we are sad to say that both the palette tool and the object wheel are no more. They served us well for three faithful years, but we no longer have palettes. As we expanded our features, we kept battling the object wheel to accommodate easy-to-access controls on it so we needed a change. They will spend the remainder of their days in the Arkenforge Valhalla, reminiscing about the good old days with the old Pack Creator.
A window system has been implemented, with 2+ monitor support (up to 8 maximum) for extra productivity, and various accessibility features have been implemented to make sure that the Toolkit is visible and understandable for everyone, regardless of hardware.
We have redesigned the way we store and read content. You won’t need to put on a kettle after launch anymore, as the toolkit now boots near instantly! The redesign means that we needed to rebuild all of our previous packs to the new format. All packs are being updated to only be useable with the new Toolkit, so if you’re staying with the current public version, make sure to not update any of your content packs either.
The entire Toolkit now runs on a pure file/folder system, so you’ll never need to worry about building palettes when importing your content ever again! We’ve made the new import process much more seamless, and given a few new options of content import types:
Encyclopedia is now not just for quests. Tokens are officially in! You will need to make a note with a token attached, vision configured and drop them onto your map. HP bar can be set to easily oversee your battles.
The purpose of your notes is now in your hands as well, as we have also applied our modular design to note elements, allowing you to create notes with the exact structure you want!. Embed media, interlink notes to maps, soundscapes to notes, maps to maps, go wild!
We’ve added two new features to greatly increase productivity – the Arkenbar, and fully customisable hotkeys!
The Arkenbar is always available at the right side of your screen. You can drag any content here for instant access, letting you have all your important material prepped and ready to go for your sessions.
Next up is our new hotkey system. Not only can almost every function in the Toolkit have a hotkey assigned to it, but ANY content in the Toolkit can also be assigned a custom hotkey that can be used at any time.
THE ROAD TO SUCCESS
We had to delay the release because we wanted to deliver a stable release. We have tested our new features vigoriously but we have to set expectations right. We are a very small team, with one back end developer and one front end designer. There will be bugs popping up we did not account for, and there will be issues that eluded us. Quite possible the next couple of weeks might be a bumpy ride, we don’t know yet but we will be up and listening, so if you experience anything unusual let us know please so we can fix them ASAP.
We WANT TO make this the best tabletop software on the market and we need to see how YOU use it and what YOU think about it now. As always we continue to listen to your suggestions, and implement your wishes as before.