Request: A New Shadowrun Dynamic Sheet

LonePaladin
LonePaladin
edited February 2011 in Feature Requests
I'd like to see if anyone here would be willing to make a new dynamic character sheet for Shadowrun, 4th Edition. I'd do it myself, but I've never done anything with CSS, so I'd have to learn as I go.

The sheet that Banaticus made is _somewhat_ usable, but there are several areas where it falls short. Especially when it's help up beside graphic-heavy sheets like ChainsawXIV's Exalted form. I like the idea of using pips to note attribute and skill numbers, but there may be space limitations (for instance, it's possible with some races in SR4 to have an augmented Strength as high as 15).

So, if someone's willing and able to put together something a little more functional, I'd like to make some suggestions.

* Attributes have two values, natural and augmented. Numerically, it tends to be listed with the second number in parenthesis, i.e. "5 (8)". If this were depicted graphically (with pips or blocks in a bar), the augmented value would have to be visually different, and there'd have to be an easy way to specify -- say, by shift-clicking for an augmented value.
* Banaticus's sheet handles the "Magic/Resonance" part incorrectly. It's impossible for a character to have both attributes; they have one or the other (or, in most cases, neither).
* The list of skills would be better served by being more dynamic, allowing the user to add/remove rows (similar to the Exalted sheet). While Banaticus's version is okay for starting characters, it's very easy to wind up out of room as characters develop (especially in the Knowledge Skill category). Similarly, the section for listing Qualities just doesn't have enough room.
* The Condition Monitor section is another area that could use improvement. The number of boxes in the Physical column can go as high as 20 (but is usually in the 10-12 range), while the Stun column can go as high as 13. Currently, that section has 18 and 9 boxes. If there is a way to have the number of boxes mimic the entries (i.e., if you enter "11" in the Physical column, it shows 11 boxes), that'd be helpful too.
* It'd be nice to have discrete sections for noting various types of gear: Melee weapons, ranged weapons, armor/clothing, commlinks and software, spells, adept powers, vehicles/drones, fake IDs and licenses, and a catch-all for everything else. A section for contacts would also be handy.
* With the 20th Anniversary revision, they changed the visual layout -- specifically, they changed the forms from green to a light blue. "This":http://www.shadowrun4.com/wp-content/uploads/Downloads/CAT2600A_SR4Anniversary_TwoPageCharacterSheet.pdf is their official character sheet.

Also, I don't know if having any of this information auto-populate would be feasible or break the "edit whatever you want" philosophy. I'm thinking of ideas like having the attribute limits show up as a set of pips (probably square, something like a progress-bar), where the size of the boxes is based on the race you select. (Example: If you pick "human", all the attributes would have 9 boxes, the maximum for them; if you instead selected "troll", the bars would change to reflect the different racial maximums: Body 15, Agility 7, Strength 15, Intuition 7, Logic 7, the rest 9.) By using boxes instead of circles, you could have the width of these adjusted, so that the total length of the block is the same regardless of the actual maximum. (Then again, if a decent layout could be made that has room for this sort of thing, then pips are okay too.)

Might just be simpler to not bother with pips (despite the fact that it would probably look cool).

I realize this is asking for a lot, and if I had any knowledge of CSS or layout design in HTML, I'd start work on it myself. I've taken a look at some CSS tutorials, but I'm not sure if I could put together something that is both functional and easy on the eyes in anything resembling a reasonable time-frame. (I'll probably try anyway, in case no one else is willing to take a stab at it.)

Comments

  • ChainsawXIV
    ChainsawXIV
    Posts: 530
    Take a stab at it! That's the best way to learn this stuff anyway, and if you run into any snags drop me a PM or post in here and I'll be happy to help you solve it. Even if it's just a layout thing you want to do and don't know how. Virtually anything is possible. :)
  • LonePaladin
    LonePaladin
    Posts: 15
    Okay, I'm using a WYSIWYG CSS editor that seems to work pretty well (though it's only viable for a couple weeks). There's some behavior I'm trying to get, and I'm not sure if it's possible (or, if it is, what I'm missing).

    I've laid out some basic HTML placeholders for a lot of information, and I'm gradually putting things in and playing with the layout as I go. What I'd like to do is take the main section and lay it out in two large columns; each section will have its own collection of columns, depending on what's in it.

    I'm not getting the CSS editor to make this work, though. I'm not sure if it's some tag within the overall class, or something I'm supposed to do with the individual sections.

    Once I've got that hurdle done, I'll be wanting to crib your code on making dynamic lists, so that the sheet isn't limited to a specific number of items in certain categories.

    If you need to see what I've done so far, let me know.
  • ChainsawXIV
    ChainsawXIV
    Posts: 530 edited February 2011
    Both of these will require some HTML work to accomplish, but nothing too complex.

    There are several ways of making columns. Probably the simplest and cleanest is to create nested _div_ tags with fixed width, and the _inline-block_ display style (which will cause them to line up next to each other naturally). The sheet space is 730px wide, so simply divide that up into your columns, and set the widths of the _divs_ accordingly, allowing whatever space you like for margins between them.

    For a practical example, look at lines 85 through 124 of my Exalted sheet's HTML code, and the corresponding CSS classes on lines 211 through 214, and 229 through 231 of the CSS data. The best way to view this data is to copy and paste the files from the fields in the "DST page":http://www.obsidianportal.com/dynamic_sheet_templates/2 into a good text editor like "Notepad++":http://notepad-plus-plus.org/, and save them with the appropriate file extensions (.html, .css, and .js) which will make the color code automatically, for easy reading.

    Once you've got that sorted, we can move on to the dynamic lists. For that, you'll need to set up them HTML in a particular way, and you'll need some of the JavaScript to run it. Lines 177 through 189 of the Exalted sheet HTML provide a nice simple example of what the HTML should look like, and to make this work code-wise you'll need to dig into the JavaScript section. To start off, you can probably just copy the whole thing, and replace my sheet's slug with yours in both the HTML and the JS. I can help you trim out the parts you don't want later in the process.
    Post edited by ChainsawXIV on
  • Talonious
    Talonious
    Posts: 6
    Is there any documentation on how to store or interact with Obsidian Portal for storing the character sheet information?
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