Feature Focus: iPlay4e
One upcoming feature we’d like to highlight is integration with iPlay4e, which will make its first appearance in Masterplan version 8.2.
This came about very simply: a short email from Andrew Reutter, the iPlay4e designer, mentioning that he’d received calls to integrate it with Masterplan, and would we be interested in some sort of collaboration?
Sadly his users hadn’t given any indication of what kind of integration they wanted to see, so we’re starting with the most obvious: since Masterplan already has the concept of PCs, this feature allows users to enter iPlay4e keys and have Masterplan link to that character, so that if you select that PC in combat you’ll see the iPlay4e character sheet, rather than the usual PC breakdown that Masterplan provides (although Masterplan will also download all the relevant character information as a backup). The iPlay4e character sheet works exactly as it does outside Masterplan, allowing you to use all its features as normal. This feature is on by default, but you can disable it – if, for example, you’re running your game when you don’t have internet access.
We’re particularly pleased with how this has turned out because there’s no impact on the user – when you’re running an encounter, the interface hasn’t changed, and you don’t need to learn any new ways to use it. It’s pure added value.
This is just a first step, but obviously we’re very excited about this feature, as simple as it may be, partly because it marks the start of a collaborative effort between two third-party D&D tools – and there aren’t many such collaborations. We’re hoping and assuming that we’ll be able to take this project further and provide more points of integration, but this is a good start.
Another reason we’re excited is that the two tools don’t really share the same user base – iPlay4e is obviously aimed at D&D players, while Masterplan limits itself to DMs – so the hope is that users of one tool now have a reason to investigate the other. This can only be a good thing; both projects should benefit from this kind of cross-pollination.
How else might we integrate Masterplan and iPlay4e? What other collaborations would you like to see?