Spellbook – D&D v1.9.1


A small update to the Spellbook – D&D app was published to the market on Monday. I’m preparing for a large update, which will be coming soon, and made a few preparatory steps in this update. Primarily I’ve implemented Google Analytics to track page use. There’s already been a small backlash from this, which is unfortunate. Google Analytics requires the use of the INTERNET and NETWORK STATE permissions, so of course some people are freaking out. However, all data is completely anonymous and handled by Google, not me. Anyway, I hope to use the data to improve the app. For example, during the first day I noticed that Sorcerer seems to be the most popular class among users of the app. That tells me that I should really spend some time to implement filtering or sorting by schools of magic.
Here’s another fun fact: The most popular spell (so far) is Magic Missile, followed very closely by Detect Magic.

In addition to implementing Google Analytics, I also made a few minor tweaks to layouts, making them a bit tidier in landscape mode, and I implemented a new About page.

I used a lot of new (to me) techniques in this, which was also a nice way to prepare for some future user experience improvements in the app. You’ll notice use of images (A cleric bugdroid) as well as small animations when clicking on items. I hope to add more details like this throughout the app to make it more fun to use and more polished overall. I hope you like it.



Spellbook – Pathfinder v2


I FINALLY managed to get a new version of the Pathfinder spellbook app out. I’ve been working on this update for months now, and it’s been a bit frustrating, simply not having enough time to get out a good update. It’s still not exactly what I want it to be, but there are LOTS of great changes in this version.

First and foremost, Advanced Player’s Guide spells and casting classes are now in the app! I’ve added full support for Oracle Mysteries and Patron spells, and I’m quite proud of how easy it is to use them. Mysteries, Patron Spells and Cleric Domains will now properly show in the My Spellbook section along with other marked spells when sorting by class.
Another big change is how spell descriptions are displayed. You might find that they are now easier to read, and that tables display properly.  Additionally, spells now link to each other in their descriptions. Simply click a link to go directly to that spells description.
There have been interface tweaks throughout. In the all spells list, you’ll now see a little mark next to spells marked as favorite. I think this little change makes a huge difference, and I want to get it into spell lists soon. You’ll also now get a helpful popup when scrolling through the list of All Spells, indicating the first letter of the spells you’re browsing through.
Search now works everywhere in the app. Apparently before it would only work in certain views. Just click the search button on your phone anywhere within the app, and search will be activated. I realize that some phones do not have search buttons, and I’m working on a solution for that issue.
Finally, the app no longer installs to the SD card by default. It can still be moved there, but every now and then it seems to cause an issue on someone’s phone, so I decided that I shouldn’t choose the location for them, and instead leave it up to Android to figure out.

I’m very excited to have this update done, and I’m already thinking about the next update, which hopefully won’t take this long to complete. There are a lot of things to look forward to, including many UX improvements and full tablet support.

As always,
Happy Gaming!



Spellbook – D&D 3.5 v1.8, & 10,000+ downloads


So, I had to push out a quick update this morning. It seems that users who had not updated the app in a while were getting a database error. Thanks to Android’s error reporting I was able to find the issue quickly. Hopefully this only affected a few people who were on a much older version.
I’m also continuing to add small screen support, and am tweaking the layouts to work better on those screens. Doing this makes me realize how much I like Android’s theme support. It’s making these changes a breeze.

Oh, and did I mention that I passed 10,000 downloads? It seems like only the other day I was bragging about 5 thousand. I expect it’ll take a lot longer to get out of the 10,000 – 50,000 downloads category, but it’s a nice place to be!

Finally, I added a promo graphic, as a new version of the Android Market is rolling out, which makes use of this. It seems I did it just in time, as the market just updated on my phone!

Alright… back to work.

Happy Gaming!



Spellbook v1.7


A new version of Spellbook – D&D 3.5 has just hit the Android Market. With it comes a much requested feature: the ability to sort spells in My Spellbook by class. Simply click the menu button and select Sort By Class Level.
I also added support for small screen devices, such as the HTC Wildfire or Xperia X10 mini. The layouts on those phones may not look perfect yet, but at least you can get in on some spell casing action.
Finally, I’ve made a few tweaks to the layouts, and clicking on spells in a list should be easier now, as you can click on any part of the line instead of the word directly (thanks Dave!).

Along with working on small screens, next on my list is a tablet friendly version. I’m really liking the Galaxy Tab, and I think there are some ways I can take advantage of all that extra screen space.

As always,
Happy Gaming!



Spellbook, 200 ratings!



The Spellbook – D&D 3.5 app received it’s 200th rating this morning. I thought I’d take the opportunity to review some of the rating data and comments.

Above is an image capture from the Android Market Developer Console. It shows the distribution of ratings, and if we do the math, it comes out to an average rating of 4.61. I’m pretty happy, nay, ecstatic about that! It’s a simple app, but I try to put out a quality product, and this kind of feedback is great.

Now let’s look at some of the comments:

Favorite comment:
(5 stars)
by Bret (October 27, 2010)
Im a level 9 wizard!

Yay Bret!

Least favorite comment:
(1 star)
by Jacob (October 11, 2010)
Horrible dont get it

Hmn… Do you not get what the app is for, or are you telling people not to download it?

Feel good comments:
by Zackariah (October 25, 2010)
Super helpful, when needing to look up spells on the fly.

by Brian (October 20, 2010)
This app keeps getting better! It seriously saves tons of time during a game

by Paul (August 26, 2010)
Fantastic app! Simple and easy to use. Much easier than paging through a book.

Comments like these let me know I’m on the right track. The app was written to make your (and my) life easier during game play.

Understandable yet frustrating comments:

by Larry (October 30, 2010)
This is a fantastic app! All I’d ask for is more expanded and non-core spells, such as those from the Complete Arcane and Divine books. Thanks much!

by Sjach (August 31, 2010)
Would be better if it had.all the spells..power word maladroit for example, or cloud of knives. Is not a complete list by a long-shot.

by Allan (August 24, 2010)
Very good application. Would love to see all 3.5 spells from all the various wotc sources and a more complete sorting system.

To be fair, most of these comments went away after the last update, in which I added a pop-up, letting people know that I’m simply not allowed to add those spells, as they are not available under the Open Gaming License. I’ve tried contacting Wizards of the Coast several times now to get permission to add those spells, but they’ve so far ignored me. More recently, those comments have been replaced by comments like this:

by Paul (October 10, 2010)
Very useful. If you can’t add spells because of legal mumbo-jumbo, can you give the ability to enter our own spells?

Yep, that’s the plan, though the more I look into it, the harder it seems to be. The way I wrote the app uses an interesting way to store the spell descriptions, which reduces the size of it on your phone, and allows most of it to be stored on the sd card (for those who have that option). It also makes the spell linking a little easier (where spells link to other spells). However, it makes it very hard to add spells from within the app, so I think I’ll have to completely re-write that part.

Foreign language comments:
by Eníale Nömcerth (October 26, 2010)
Genial aplicacion,de gran ayuda en las partidas,se agradecerian mas idiomas,por lo demas perfecta app :)

by Jann (October 8, 2010)
Super fedt for rollespillere :-) mangler bare de kan vises efter class

Hurray for Google Translate! I actually have no idea which countries D&D is published in… one person asked for a translation to polish, but I couldn’t find a polish language srd.

Happy Gaming!



Tales of the Forgotten Mark (of Doom)


Well, I was trying to embed a wave of our game here, but it looks like there are a few issues with embedding waves. Oh well...