Instructions for the RPG HUD Chrome Extension pre-alpha preview

This software hasn’t been extensively tested — while I’m not aware of any major bugs there might be some. Let me know if you run into any problems! It also doesn’t have all the planned features yet (that’s why this isn’t an alpha release yet), and it probably needs some cosmetic improvements, but the core functionality of rolling dice should work.

Step 1: Install the extension

Go to this link in the Chrome web store to install the extension (it’s free). This software isn’t officially released yet, but I’ve configured it so that anyone who has the link can install it for testing purposes.

Step 2 (optional): Go to this Google Drive folder where I have an example template

If you follow this link your Google Drive interface will remember it as a place you’ve been which will make it easier for you to load the examples.

Step 3: Bring up the extension’s popup

When you click on the little icon for the extenion it brings up the user interface. The top part is where the dice get rolled, the bottom half lets you connect to the Google Drive files that let you collaboratively roll dice (the “files” part of the interface can be hidden so it doesn’t take up space while you’re actually playing).

Step 4: Decide if you’re hosting the “table” or just connecting to it.

If you’re hosting or facilitating the game (or just seeing how this tool works) keep following the steps. If you just want to connect to the table that somebody else is setting up skip to step 7.

Step 5: Select a spreadsheet template.

Enter a link (or just the ID) of a properly-formatted GoogleDocs spreadsheet into the appropriate box in the left panel of the files UI, or click the “browse” button to use a graphical UI to select the file. In this pre-alpha state the tool doesn’t have good error-handling so don’t try to load sheets that aren’t supposed to be RPG HUD templates. The “RPGHUD Example1” file in the “RPGHUD Examples” folder from step 2 is a good choice. You can give it a better name than “New RPG HUD game table” in the text box (you can also change the name later via the normal Google Drive UI).

Step 6: Press the “Create” button

This will parse the spreadsheet and create an “RPG HUD GameTable” and connect you to it. If you used the file browser to pick the file you want to use you still need to press the “Create” button, the “OK” in the file browser just selects the file. Once you’re connected, in the right pane of the file UI there’s a box with a link to the file you’re connected to, give that to the people who want to connect to your table. Since creating the table automatically connects you to it you can skip step 7.

Step 7: Connect to a game table

Enter the link to the game table drive file in the text box in the center pane of the files UI. Or use the “browse” button to connect to a game table file that you’ve been to before, either actively with this extension or just visiting it in your normal web browser. Once you have the link in the box press the “Open” button. (You still need to press the “Open” button even if you use the file browser, clicking “OK” in there just selects the file it doesn’t open it).

Step 8: Hide the files UI

Click on the little tab at the upper right corner of the files section of the UI to hide the files stuff and just leave the dice-related stuff. You can click it again to toggle the files interface back out if you need it.

Step 9: Roll some dice!

Use the up/down arrows to select how many of each type of die you want to roll, then press the “Roll” button. Rolling more adds to pool of dice you already have. You can also press the “Clear” button to clear all of the dice from your pool. The other players should see a representation of the dice you rolled in their interface, and vice versa if they roll dice. Seeing other people’s dice should happen at about the same speed as collaborating on a GoogleDoc, i.e. maybe not instantaneous but close enough.

Step 10: Close the gametable when you’re done using it

When you’re done, use the “Close” button at the bottom of the right pane of the files UI to log yourself out of the game table. Just dismissing the popup doesn’t disconnect you from the game table (it would suck to have to manually re-load if you got rid of the popup accidentally), so if you don’t explitly press the “close” button when you’re done it’s kind of like leaving an unnecessary tab open on your browser. When you leave the table by “closing” it any dice you have in your pools will be hidden from other players who connect to that table but they won’t be deleted (everyone will be able to see them again if you open the table again).

Step 11: If the template defines multiple packs of dice…

At the bottom of the right pane of the files UI there’s a select box which lets you choose which pack of dice you’re using. For example, the example template has a set of basic polyhedrals, some Fudge dice, a setup for My Life with Master and a setup for Dogs in the Vineyard. Some of them use some of the fancier features like “highlighting” that aren’t fully documented yet.

Step 12: We’re using Hangouts, where’s the icon to activate the app?

The default Hangouts interface tries to present a very stripped down window, but if you click on the app menu you can tell it to switch to a standard “tab” interface which shows the extension icons like the one you use to start this app.