7 Aug 2012

Table Top Tues - The War Room

Yesterday if you were any type of tablet or smart phone user who played Privateer Press games like Warmachine and Hordes you picked up War Room made by small time developer TinkerHouse. There have been a slew of issues with the Android version and the Kindle products are not yet fully on sale.

I use an iPad 2. I sip large from the Jobbs offered cup of Apple juice... another post for the future. The iDevices have had the fewest issues.

It's a neat product. I'll give it a 3.

It's not a failure or below standard. WarRoom meets the standard of what I was expecting but nothing with the tool so far wows me to give the application an above standard rating of a 4 or an excellent rating of 5.

The app is nice and pretty. For 60$ you get everything and as units are released you never have to pay a dime... well that's the plan.

I can make army lists, but I can't organize my list in any folders. Also I can't move them around once they are made. For example I put together a few lists for the first four weeks of the Journeyman League coming up at the end of Sept here in Ottawa. I then put together two lists that I normally play before getting some insightful epiphany from on high where I made another Journeyman list... which is now at the top of the queue. I can't move it to lie next to its kin. Nope I have lists everywhere and for a semi OCD guy like me, it bothers me.

This is something I expect in the future.

The fight utility allows you to synch up with their servers and create an instance where you and your opponent can record all the data of your battle in real time. Data will be transmitted to each device, such as damage or dead units. I was hoping that the plan would allow me to have a non networked mode where a player could host an offline instance and manage the damage of two armies but alas it was not in the cards.

This is something I expect in the future.

So far not bad a good start in the races.

I have one major issue.

My account was made one their networks and it's under the name 'dozer'. The next time I log in I typed in 'Dozer' and used my password. Now the password was accepted but the cards I purchased were not available unless I went back to the original lower case spelling. It seems the purchases are case sensitive but the accounts are not. Which means there is a break in there somewhere between the login and the accounts records.

This is not good and needs to get fixed. I've submitted my bug report but this is now dealing with my money. This issue is a big one and it feels to me that TinkerHouse was a bit over their head when they took on the job.

You see there is some history here. iBodger was a individual product that was free and allowed you to track your collection and build armies within the limits of the themed list (restrictive, story derived, themed army lists). It was free and it had bug in it at the start but it was really good by the end. It had more functionality then War Room did when it was asked to remove itself from the various apps markets.

Now TinkerHouse games seems like a fine set of fellows but as a group of programmers who are most likely  professional coders dropped the ball with much of the functionality. I'm hoping that they had spoken with the dude from iBodger and hired him to help out. I hope the guy gets a free copy of the 60$ bundle to say the least.

I think the amount of cash that Privateer Press has put into this product will result in TinkerHouse getting the work done or hiring another coding house to clean up the app, even if it means to rebuilt parts or the whole thing. Code as many of my mates tell me, since they all like tab and mountain dew, that code needs to be functional and elegant for smoothest operation.

So final statement. Yelling at the top of your internet lungs is not a solution. Vote with your wallet. Understand that this will be fixed and with all software there are issues... not this many maybe but you can't un-drop the ball. It is what it is, War Room is here. Do I think it will survive, will Privateer Press kill it? I think War Room is here to stay. Privateer Press is a better company, they support and value the customer. I don't think that this will go to waste the folks at Privateer Press are smart and they will have learned much from this endeavor...

You don't think so well since GW pulled out of Adapticon and every other event in North America Privateer Press came in to save the day. Most of these cons cannot live off the local stores, the size and turnout makes it impossible without company support. You know this if you were one of the first thousand registering players over the last two years since now you have a Warmachine Starter (from last year) or a Hordes Starter (from this year). That two thousand starters out the door to push the game. That's two thousand free products... GW take note this is how you show support. Privateer Press, g'luck. War Room is a great idea. TinkerHouse I hope it gets better.


I'm Out.