News

Help us beta test Hero Lab!

Hero Lab

Ahoy, fellow Hero Lab users! Two new features will soon be sailing into Port Hero Lab, and we’d like your help swabbing their decks– er, that is, testing them – before their official release later this month!

Without further ado, and with no more nautical language, the new features are:

Smaller saved portfolios

We spent some time this month looking over the Hero Lab saved file format, and trimmed out a lot of unnecessary content. As a result, portfolios saved in the new version of Hero Lab will be anything from 10-20% smaller than before, depending on the portfolio and game system.

A 10-20% saving may not sound like a lot, but a sizeable chunk of your data file download is made up of portfolios – anywhere up to 2/3 of them for some games. That means data file downloads should occur 10-20% faster, and if you need to transfer saved portfolios between computers or devices, they’ll go more speedily.

Any portfolios you save with this beta version of Hero Lab should still be loadable by the previous version of the product, so even if you have the beta and your friend doesn’t, you’ll still be able to exchange saved portfolios. The custom output XML format will also be unchanged by this, and importing Hero Lab content to a virtual tabletop or other tool should continue to work as it did before.

(I tried to find a screenshot for this feature, but it turns out that “a number becoming smaller” is very boring, so I’m afraid you’ll just have to imagine this in action.)

Grouped Tabs in the Editor

Our second feature will hopefully hopefully make data file authors happy, as we’re making our first of some planned editor improvements by adding grouped tabs to the editor. Instead of always seeing all 64 tabs when you’re editing data files, some games will now split them up into groups, which only show tabs relevant to that group.

This is going to come in useful for games like Pathfinder, which currently has a staggering 64 tabs – that’s as many tabs as Hero Lab can currently support. With these tabs now split into their own groups, we’ll now be able to add long-awaited editor support for armies, legendary items, kingdoms, and more!

Grouped tabs in the editor

As with the previous feature, any data files created with this special beta version should still work for anyone using the previous version of Hero Lab, so you can send any data files you create to your friends – even if they’re not part of the beta.

Before You Sign Up

Please note that participating in the beta will involve installing and using a pre-release version of Hero Lab, which may include undiscovered bugs, and may result in saved files not loading properly. Before using this beta, we recommend that you back up your saved portfolios, so you can revert to the old versions if anything goes wrong.

If you’re not comfortable with this, or just if you’re worried about something going wrong when you’re using Hero Lab during a game, you may be better off not participating in the beta.

How to Sign Up

Sign up for our beta mailing list here. We’re planning to send out the beta some time around December 18th, so look for an email around then!

 

We have many more changes and improvements planned for Hero Lab in the coming months, including one big feature we’re hoping to announce before the end of the year, but I think this is a good start.

Thanks for your help, everyone! We’re looking forward to getting these features into the hands of our users, and with your help we can make sure that goes more smoothly.

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