RoleplayingAid: Mocking the app pages

As I have written before I have a passion for programming. This is also my work, and one of the things I have learned during my 15 years is that if you do not specify what you are going to do, you will end up with something else than what you intended.

So for the sake of myself, and to document the journey, I will use this blog to document my work with my app for aiding in roleplaying: RoleplayingAid.

Mocking the app

One thing that is important it to realize how the application should look, this is very important as it is what the users will see. They don’t care how well written or fast an application is, if it looks like something the cat dragged in.

So, before I even begin to code, I will visualize the various pages I need in the app. I am using a tool called Balsamiq Mockups for this.

This tool allows me to quickly sketch how I want the pages to look, how the pages should relate, and so on.

I it is great tool for visualizing an app, and no I am not employed by the company that makes it Smiley

Site map

First I have a site map, this is usually something that is used with website, but the way WinRT apps are organized is very reminiscent of website, so it actually makes sense to use with these kind of apps.


Now, from this we can see that we need at least three pages: Home, Campaign Setup and Campaign management.

We may need separate pages for Characters, NPCs and Order of Battle as well.

Now let us mock the pages.

The Pages

First, the start page, or Home, as it is called in the site map. The thing about WinRT apps, is that the interface should be fairly simple. The reason for this is that WinRT apps may also be used on tablets, and arguable, this is the primary target for WinRT apps.

So, we will not clutter the page with a lot of options and controls, but we will keep it simple, so it is easy to use, even on a relatively small screen, as that on a tablet.


The front page, or Home, will contain two buttons and a list. The list will contains all the campaigns currently available.


Create Campaign page just contains a little information about the campaign, like a name, a description and the system used.


The Manage Campaign page contains a list of characters, and buttons or links to the functions/tools available.


This is it for now, I have something to work from, and I will continue my updated on the RoleplayingAid app.

Starting a new tool

I have been trying for some time to get the ball rolling on Windows RT apps. As a professional software developer, and as I am using all the rights tools in my daily work, this should be a fairly small step.

However, the Windows RT programming paradigm is somewhat different from what I am used to, so this has proven to be a lot more work that I anticipated.

Matters have, of course, been complicated by a lack of time and mental energy for starting something new up. And finally, finding the right project is a problem all of itself.


I have been playing tabletop, or pen and paper, roleplaying games since high school. Life, however, has been preventing me for several years in enjoying this pass time, but I have decided that this should change now.

So, I have my project, now to determine what I want it to do.


I want to make a tool to help me when I am heading a game, it should help with the more mundane and common tasks, like initiative, order of battle and so on.

Some more tools, like a name generator, an encounter generator, a treasure generator etc. could all be considered down the line.

First first, something simple, so I will go with a tool for managing initiative.

The Specification

  1. Goal: It must be possible to manage several campaigns, so it won’t be necessary to enter all information every session.
  2. Goal: It must be possible to enter PCs and NPCs and rolling, or entering initiative.
  3. Goal: Order of battle, manage the initiative order, round by round. Monitor health.
  4. Architecture: It must be support multiple systems, like Storyteller / Storytelling, D&D.
  5. Architecture: If possible to WinRT apps, it must support a plugin model, so I can add new functionality and systems without having to recompile the whole thing.
  6. Goal: If not, then organize the app internally as if it supports plugins.
  7. Stretch goal: Tentativ support for Windows Phone as well.

When these goals have been met, It should be ready for initial deployment to the store.