When we started on Owlbear Rodeo 2.0 we knew extensions would be a big part of our new design philosophy. Owlbear Rodeo has always been built around providing an easy to learn but minimal tabletop experience. With 2.0 we knew we still wanted this to be the case but we wanted the site to grow with the user. From the start we envisioned extensions as the way to accomplish this. Similar to playing a tabletop game in person. We could provide the flexible base experience and each group can then choose their favorite dice roller, initiative tracker or fancy fog to layer on top.
It's been a long road but we feel like we're in a spot where we can finally open the gates for third-parties to start providing their own extensions.
If you want to start making your own extension we have a new developer page in our documentation. There are a variety of tutorials to get you started, a reference manual for the software development kit (SDK) and three complete examples made by us.
These examples include our dice roller and initiative tracker which have also been released as open source.
For the last month we've been testing our new extensions support with a couple of third-party developers to make sure it was ready. One of them we'd like to highlight here is dddice.
To read more on the work they did we have a guest blog post by dddice co-founder Celeste Bloodreign.
To make extensions easier to find we've also launched a dedicated extensions store. This is a simple site that will showcase extensions that have been approved by us.
Updated Editing Flow
Up until this point Owlbear Rodeo 2.0 has had the concept of transform modes. With the basic and advanced modes giving you more or less control over an item.
We think this approach is quite flexible but we've seen users struggling to understand the system. This mostly occurs when users want to align a map once that it has already been imported.
We think that the confusion for this system stems from two factors: the icon used to represent the transform modes and the amount of modes.
Firstly the system has three modes: hidden, basic and advanced. The hidden mode hides the transform handles, the basic mode shows the basic controls and the advanced mode shows more advanced controls.
To simplify this we're removing the hidden mode. It is something that was requested a couple of times but for now we think removing it will help greatly reduce the complexity of the system.
Next we felt the icons for changing between basic and advanced mode were hard to understand. To fix this we're moving to a single icon and updating how the system works to accommodate this.
We've renamed the feature simply to Edit and the icon is the familiar pencil icon used in the rest of the UI for editing data.
When you click this menu item it will now enter a temporary editing mode similar to the text editor. In this mode you'll have access to all the controls of the advanced editor from before but in a more streamlined view.
We think this change will hopefully increase the discoverability of the advanced transform controls for those that need them.
In this patch we've added a new Replace Image menu item when an image is selected.
This should hopefully make for easier druid transformations or evolving maps.
- Drag events will now continue if the cursor hovers over a piece of UI or leaves the page.
- Drag events are now faster, this should be most noticeable with the pointer tool.
- Pasted items will now be centered in the current viewport if needed.
- New text items will now copy the font and layer from the previously selected text.
With the launch of third-party extensions we've ticked another tent pole feature off the list for 2.0. In the next coming weeks I suspect a lot of our time will be spent providing support for the new developer platform. After that we'll be focusing on polish and smaller features with the hope of moving out of beta in the coming months.