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Fenyx

Arkham Companion - Android App

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I just released my an Android app for Arkham Horror. I'd love if some people tried it out. It manages the location and other world decks. And keeps a history of which encounters you've… encountered.

play.google.com/store/apps/details

And for those that can't or won't use the Google Play www.dropbox.com/sh/lnu1zne3s0vjhk8/G7wh6hiJgi
I'll keep this updated but you won't be notified of the updates like you will be by Play.

 

This is open source! I am not actively developing it anymore but if you would like to contribute it can be found on GitHub at https://github.com/Fenyx4/arkham-companion. Do a pull request and I'll review it!

 

Essentially I tried to make it a deck simulator. It supports drawing multiple cards (Gloria, Darrell, Hypnos, etc), selecting whatever OW colors are needed (Jim Culver), looking at the top card and replacing it face up, and even Curse of the Dark Pharoah's optional deck method of "remove the original encounter cards and only play with the expansion ones".

It does have a few problems;

1) It does not support King in Yellow's "expansion cards on top and don't shuffle" method.

2) Looks great on my phone! But I need to spend some more time to make it handle other resolutions (especially tablets). If it doesn't look good on your device let me know.

3) Doesn't handle "keep this card to remind you" except insofar as it will be in the history.

4) Other World is slow to load the first time or whenever it needs to shuffle. (Slowdown showed up last night. 'Fraid it is a result of making sure the Other World doesn't get shuffled if you close the app or if you just set the app down for a bit)

5) The UI may be confusing. 'Fraid I opted for ease and utility over clarity. Once you know what you are doing it is good though. It would be really useful to get some feedback from some seasoned Arkham players.

6) Oh, and I need a pretty graphic for the history (Hx) button.

I'd love to hear some feedback. Find out what people are interested in. For example I have no plans to support King in Yellow's "expansion cards on top and don't shuffle" but if people want it I can try to figure something out. I do hope to fix the Other World slowdown soon and will be in an ongoing battle to clarify the UI and support more resolutions.

I got a whole list of improvements and features to implement too!

 

*** SPOILERS: If you plan on giving me feedback on the clarity of the UI please try the app before reading the below ***

Here's some tips on using the app.

Expansion Selection screen
Menu->New Game will clear the history (Hx), shuffle all the decks and unselect all the expansions.
To "remove the original encounter cards and only play with the expansion ones" for Dark Pharaoh just select Dark Pharaoh and don't select Base
Train Icon goes to Locations and the gate icon goes to Other World

Other World Selection
Clicking on an other world (Abyss, Celeano, etc) autosets the colors and takes you to the Other World deck
Clicking on the colored pips selects and deselect different colors. Then click on the gate button bottom center to go to the Other World deck. Allows you to select abnormal combinations (useful for www.arkhamhorrorwiki.com/Darrell_Simmons)
Click the Hx button takes you to the hx deck

Location Selection
Click on the Neighborhood to go to the location deck you want.

Location Deck
Here is the most confusing part…
Swipe to "draw" more cards. This is needed for Gloria, Darrell and various encounters. It allows you to go through the entire deck if you want.
The little arrow next to the titles that isn't on actual cards? That is for selecting the encounter. Click on it to select which specific location encounter you did and it will shuffle the deck.
Hitting the back arrow replaces all the cards without shuffling. This is needed for "look at the top card and replace it face up" and is handy for "oops I clicked on a neighborhood by accident".
Menu->Shuffle to shuffle the deck without selecting an encounter

Other World Deck
Very similar to the Location Deck. It automatically skips colors you didn't select even when swiping.
Clicking the arrow doesn't shuffle (unless the card is Stars Are Right). It discards the card you select and all the cards skipped due to non-matching color or swiping. (Y'know to behave like the Other World deck. :) )
Clicking back replaces all the cards as they were without shuffling.

Hx View
This just shows you what you've encountered. Showing the most recent first. Swipe through to view the older stuff.
 

Edited by Fenyx

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Just  thought I'd let you know that I've just downloaded the apk from your dropbox as google Play wouldn't allow me to download it.

The reason is that I run my android apps on my laptop using 'Bluestacks' android emulator, (runs Omens) so now just to see if it'll run.

Looks good.

Gav.

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Thanks Spiog. I'm glad the Dropbox link worked for you. I wish I had some way of informing Dropbox users that there is a new version… Speaking of which I put out a new version on Monday this week! It fixes some of the resizing problems.



I'll have to take a look at Bluestacks sometime as people keep talking about it.



 



One thing I forgot to mention is that there are typos. I pulled most of the text from the Arkham Wiki. To avoid spoilers I specifically tried not to read all of these as I was getting them into the app. I've been cleaning it up as I use the app but I bet there are a lot left in there. Sorry. If people let me know I can fix 'em.


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G'day.

I was looking at some of the cards last night and noticed that the text on the cards (maybe just on Bluestacks) is a little to far over to the left so that the first letter of each line is ever so slightly obscured by the graphic around the edge of the card. really trivial I know but just something I noticed.

Spiog

 

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Hi.

Really nice work. Is it possible of having a french version ? I mean let's say i have every texts for each cards, would it be possible to get those french texts ? Thanks.

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Hugues said:

Hi.

Really nice work. Is it possible of having a french version ? I mean let's say i have every texts for each cards, would it be possible to get those french texts ? Thanks.

 

Ooog, that is a toughy. I see two major hurdles. 1) Getting the text into the database in my app. 2) Keeping the size of my app down

If you already have the french text with the metadata needed (i.e. location, nieghborhood, expansion, etc) and formatted in a way that would be easy to massage into my database this won't be too hard.

Right now the db with the text is a full megabyte. And the way it works right now (which I'd like to fix) that gets duplicated after the app installs. Adding laguages will increase that FAST. So I'm going to have to figure out a better way to handle my database.

 

So, yeah, definitely possible. Just needs some time. Maybe I should get around to releasing it the source so others can help on it. :)

P.S. Oh and I'd need someone to translate the about page and all the menus too.

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Well; i have a DB where all the text are stocked. So I should be able to produce the good format.

Still, I don't have Miskatonic yet. But if you have the opportunity to tell me the format, i could try. Not really urgent, just want to know if possible.

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I just pushed a new version. You can find it at the dropbox link and it should be showing up on Google Play soon.

This one is important! In previous versions (due to bad data entry on my part) don't have the multi-colored other world cards in the Revised CotDP. 

(When I think of the time I put into getting those cards working I could kick myself…)

I hope that error hasn't effected many games. :(

 

Hugues: I've got someone willing to help me add in multilingual support. I just need to figure out how to get the code up onto github but svn2git is giving me difficulties.

If you want to get a headstart drop me an e-mail (fenyx4 -at- gmail -dot- com) and I'll send you of the csv format that would be easiest for me to use.

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Here is a UI and usability quicky review (did not read spoilers at all):

 

Looks pretty good so far.  Things to add:

 

Expansion Selection screen - a button to "select all" and "select none."

 

Expansion Selection Screen - The ability to add either the Location events OR the Other World events from a specific expansion.  For example, I may want to have the Location events from Dunwich, but not the Other World events.  Accomplished by having 2 toggles per entry on the Expansion screen.

 

Expansion Selection Screen - Increase the size of the selection text. 

 

All screens: Icons for switching areas of the app need to remain in their positions.  For example, the "Locations" button (that takes you to the Locations screen) should always be in the lower left.  Grey it out if you are currently on the locations screen.

 

History button needs an icon.  I'm pretty sure you knew this one already.

 

Expansion neighbourhoods need their appropriate colours.

 

The Exhibit Event deck is missing!

 

All screens: There's some noticable screen flipping as controls adjust themselves to fit the screens.  Some shifting up/down, and left/right.   I'm currently using a Galaxy S3 - don't know if this is device specific or not.

 

The Men/uSettings button should do *something* on every screen, even if it's just to display the About box.

 

It says in the About Box that I am free to redistribute and/or modify it - where can I access the sourcecode for it? 

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Fantastic thank you!

TyrionXavier said:

 

Expansion Selection screen - a button to "select all" and "select none."

Expansion Selection Screen - The ability to add either the Location events OR the Other World events from a specific expansion.  For example, I may want to have the Location events from Dunwich, but not the Other World events.  Accomplished by having 2 toggles per entry on the Expansion screen.

Expansion Selection Screen - Increase the size of the selection text. 

 

 

I feel a bit silly but select all/none hadn't occured to me.

Either Location or Other World had though! I remember reading someone mentioning that they do that in a forum post somewhere… I'd like to add a whole bunch of customizable options like that.

Text size is confusing on the Android. It is set up via the Android guidelines which allows you to change your font settings on your phone and then the sizes get changed across all your apps. But I've heard the font size issue on every newer phone. So something is definitely messed up.

 

TyrionXavier said:

 

History button needs an icon.  I'm pretty sure you knew this one already.

 

Expansion neighbourhoods need their appropriate colours.

 

 

 

Both of those fell apart due to time crunch. I'm pretty embarassed about it but I had the option of getting the app out then or waiting a few months… And wanting to get it into people's hands won out. :)

 

TyrionXavier said:

 

 

The Exhibit Event deck is missing!

 

 

 

And Cult Encounters! I seriously considered adding those for a bit. However I decided it probably wasn't worth the time. They doesn't take much, if any, time to seperate out the expansions you want and they don't take up much board space. I'll add it to the big list o' features though.

 

TyrionXavier said:

 

 

All screens: There's some noticable screen flipping as controls adjust themselves to fit the screens.  Some shifting up/down, and left/right.   I'm currently using a Galaxy S3 - don't know if this is device specific or not.

 

 

This is right as the screen is loading up, right? I'll see if I can reproduce it. There should be a way to freeze the layout while it loads…

TyrionXavier said:

 

It says in the About Box that I am free to redistribute and/or modify it - where can I access the sourcecode for it? 

 

 

I wrote "On github as soon as I can find the time to figure out how to get my code up there. I'm intimately familiar with subversion but have never used git to speak of and I'm having problems with the svn2git conversion." on BGG a short time ago and immediately got inundated by other suggestions. So I may look around a bit. But getting the source code out there is definitely the next thing Arkham Companion related I plan on doing… Unless a crash bug or other serious problem crops up before then… And after that I'm going to set up a survey to find out which feature I should do next.

 
Thanks again for all the feedback!

 

 

 

 

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Fenyx said:

TyrionXavier said:

 

 

All screens: There's some noticable screen flipping as controls adjust themselves to fit the screens.  Some shifting up/down, and left/right.   I'm currently using a Galaxy S3 - don't know if this is device specific or not.

 

 

This is right as the screen is loading up, right? I'll see if I can reproduce it. There should be a way to freeze the layout while it loads…

 

Thanks again for all the feedback!
 
NP, I know what it's like to QA things and have things slip through the cracks.
 
What I'm talking about (object flipping?  I dunno how to explain it really) happens every time I change screens to a new one.  For example, switching from the Locations screen to the Other Worlds screen.   Like I said, I am currently using a Galaxy S3.  I can show you what I mean sometime, either through a remote viewer app, or failing that, a webcam.  

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I've downloaded the app and played around with it on my phone, and here's my review:


=== Issues ===

This has the potential to be a good app, but they way it works right now there is a major issue with selecting expansions. My phone only displays 7 list elements at a time in the main menu, so I have to scroll down to see the last 3 elements (LatT + CotDP [Revised] + MH). If I scroll down to see the last 3 elements, the first 3 elements (Base + CotDP + DH) disappear from view. But when I scroll back up again, my selections for the top 3 elements are completely randomized. And then, if I scroll down again, my selections for the bottom 3 elements are completely randomized as well. Here's just one of the many examples, to make it clearer:

I want to play base + IH + LatT. From the top 7 elements, I select base + IH. I scroll down to the bottom and select LatT. I scroll back up again, only to see that base has now been deselected. I reselect base. I scroll down and discover that LatT has been deselected. I reselect LatT. I scroll back up again and see that base has again been deselected. I reselect base again. I scroll down and see that LatT has been deselected. I reselect LatT again, and I select MH (just to test what happens). I scroll back up again. Now base + CotDP + DH are all selected. I deselect CotDP + DH. I scroll down and see that LatT + CotDP [Revised] + MH are all selected. I deselect CotDP [Revised] + MH. I scroll back up and see that CotDP + DH have been reselected. I give up and quit. My selections for KiY, KH, BGotW and IH don't change at all, presumably because they're always in view.

There are also some other issues you might want to look into. I made sure I didn't read the UI spoiler before trying the app, but the general use of the app is fairly intuitive. After testing how to draw Arkham encounters and Other World encounters, I tested whether it was possible to draw several cards and compare them, just like you do when playing Darrell or Gloria. The sensible way to do this, I thought, was to swipe the screen to the left (i.e. move the interface to the right), but when I did, nothing happened. Then I tried swiping in all the other directions, but still nothing happened. So I thought the option of drawing more cards wasn't implemented in the app. After reading the UI spoiler, however, I discovered that it was indeed implemented, so I tried my initial approach again, and this time it worked. The problem, it seems, is that the swipe sensitivity is a bit too low. Quite often, when I swipe to draw a second card, the app doesn't register that I swiped. I know that this is very device dependent, but I've compared with the other apps I have installed, and the other apps don't have this issue.

Also, the option to draw several cards and compare them doesn't work very well for all situations when drawing Other World encounters. Imagine the situation where you're playing Gloria, draw two Other World encounters and compare them. Whether you choose the first or the second card you drew, both are to be discarded. In your app, this only happens if you choose the second card. If you choose the first of the two cards, the first card is discarded and the second one goes back onto the top of the deck, which it shouldn't.



=== Design / Layout ===

When I first entered the Other World encounter menu, I understood the function of the history button (because you explained it in the original post) and the Train Station icon, but I didn't understand the Other World graphic at first. After tapping it, though, it became obvious what it did. But it would be clearer what it did if it was replaced with a simple button saying "Draw encounter". And I don't really see why you would need a fancy graphic for the history button. Trimming the height of the button and changing the name to "Encounter history", will be all you need. Simple buttons with short labels can often be more intuitive than graphics.

I also think there's too little contrast when you toggle the colors on and off in the Other World menu. It's easy to see the change when you toggle them, but it's not always that easy to see which ones are selected and which ones are not if you don't toggle them. If you increase the contrast and maybe add a halo effect around the circles when they are toggled, (like you have done with the expansion symbols in the main menu) I think it will become clearer which ones are selected and which ones are not. Just a suggestion. =)

Also, I noticed that expansion board neighborhoods are added at the bottom in the Arkham encounters menu, but it's common to add the expansion boards to the top of the base game board. Also, the neighborhoods don't match the layout on the boards. I think finding the correct neighborhood in the menu would be a little bit quicker if the layout matched that of the boards. Here's my suggestion for an alternative layout:
 

 [ Factory District ] [ Church Green ]
  [ Innsmouth Shore ]
---------------------------------- -------------------------------------
 [ Harborside ] [ Kingsport Head ]
 [ Central Hill ] [ South Shore ]
---------------------------------- -------------------------------------
 [ Backwoods Country ] [ Blasted Heath ]
 [ Village Commons ]  
---------------------------------- -------------------------------------
 [ Northside ] [ Downtown ]
  [ Easttown ]
 [ Merchant District ] [ Rivertown ]
 [ Miskatonic University ] [ French Hill ]
 [ Uptown ] [ Southside ]


I guess the Innsmouth board is common to have on top, because it has the Deep Ones Rising track instead of any Other World locations. Also, it would be nice to have a small vertical space between the boards, so that it's easier to distinguish between the boards in the menu. Plus, it would be nice to have the different colors of the neighborhoods on the expansion boards as well. Again, these are just suggestions. =)


=== Conclusion ===

Apart from the major issue which makes it impossible to select your expansions in a reliable way, this is already a very good app, and you've done a great job with it. With a little polishing, I think it can become a superb one. Keep up the good work! =)

You would probably want to know that I've tested the app using my LG P500 phone. Unfortunately, there's a lot of trouble with upgrading the OS on my phone, so I'm still running FroYo, which is a rather old Android version. Nevertheless, I hope my testing has been of help to you. And again, great job! =)

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@eliterom Thanks for all the input. Sorry for taking so long to respond. I know exactly what is going on with the expansion list had the same problem with a different app. I shoulda remembered that it would act like that. Hope to get it fixed soon.
 
Hrm, the swiping problem is annoying. Here I am worried people won't get it. You get it. Then it doesn't work. Not sure if there is a swipe sensitivy but I'll keep digging.
 
Good point about the other world and drawing two. I always figured you could just swipe past it the next time. But I can see how it would cause you to use the wrong card due to the color filtering.
I'll work on a better solution.
 
Also I've finally put it onto sourceforge!
 
Gave up on trying to get my revision history transferred.
 
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Fenyx said:

Hrm, the swiping problem is annoying. Here I am worried people won't get it. You get it. Then it doesn't work. Not sure if there is a swipe sensitivy but I'll keep digging.

 
On a second thought it might actually be my phone that is the problem. My phone model has slightly weak specs, so the more demanding apps don't run very smoothly. So, for instance, if the activity which draws and displays the encounter cards is a little heavy, or if the resolution of the encounter cards is high, my phone might not have registered the swipe.
 
I'll check out your Sourceforge project! =)

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Voted! For me, It'd be much more useful to have a mythos deck and special decks included, rather than the ability to share my games on facebook. =P

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Fenyx said:

Hehe. I was thinking it would appeal to people that like to record their games. ;)

It's most certainly not a bad feature, don't get me wrong. =) I was just giving my own priorities. I do like all the features. Ok, I really wouldn't need support for other languages. Board games are never translated to Norwegian, and even if they were, I'd most likely choose an English version over a Norwegian one. But, of course, other people might have use for this. (albeit there are probably not too many of them on this board, where all discussions are in English) I look forward to seeing updates to this app. =)

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eiterorm said:

(albeit there are probably not too many of them on this board, where all discussions are in English) I look forward to seeing updates to this app. =)

Eiterorm, we should start a thread called "The Babel Tower", where all the guys on this forum can write their thoughts on Arkham in their native language. Should be fun :-)

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Old topic, I know, but since Android no longer natively supports the menu button do you plan on updating the app for this?

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You should contact directly FFG for this question; even tho some of the people working for them read the fora, they almost never answer directly to users

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