FrontierNav Weekly: 18th May 2020

Progress Report


Support the project

This week, FrontierNav has 1 new patron: Aloftheabove!

If you would like to support FrontierNav, please consider donating on Patreon. Doing so helps fund development and keeps the project going. Thank you.

Lists and Boards

FrontierNav has two ways to mark entities: "Save" and "Complete". Both of these were implemented when FrontierNav was first released so they're a bit rough on the inside.

Complete is at it says. It marks the entity as complete such that anywhere in the interface where it's listed, a checkmark will show next to it. Nothing too complicated.

The "Save" option is a bit more raw. Clicking it will add the current URL to the your "Saved Items" list in the user drawer. This is a problem as things move around and it's difficult to process what's being linked to. To add to this, the list is global rather than game-specific. All of these limitations were intentional, with a plan to move to something else in the future.

Both "Complete" and "Save" are essentially lists of entities. But they can be so much more if you were allowed to create as many of your own lists as you want. An achievement checklist, character equipment for specific boss battles, etc. Then combine those lists into "Boards" to see them side-by-side and move things around when needed. Maybe add some notes along the way.

This is something I wanted available while playing Dragon's Dogma. Dragon's Dogma has a lot of classes with different skills which you can share across classes once you're learnt them. Keeping track of what I wanted and when was difficult as my plans kept changing based on new information. Keeping it on paper was a pain and manually maintaining data on Trello was tedious. FrontierNav is primed to solve this problem.

Reluctance to Release

I've got basic Lists working. But I'm not happy with it yet to release publicly. The main issue is deciding on a data model. I can see a much bigger pattern of use cases between Data Tables, Community Posts and the future Wiki and Guides. They are all kind of the same thing presented in different ways. Like how on a lot of Wikis a "Page" can be used for a variety of features. Deciding on a scope for that is difficult so I'll likely release what I've got in the coming days and see where it goes. My only reluctance is having to migrate those new Lists to some other data model in the near future. I guess that's a nice problem to have.

Xenoblade Chronicles

I started adding data for Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii. It looks like the Definitive Edition (DE) is more or less the same in terms of content so it should be useful. Lists and Boards may be especailly useful for keeping tracking of all the stuff in the game.

One of the problems is that there are no sources for map coordinates of things in the game. Every existing guide and wiki I've found is very vague on locations of things. I could play it and track those specific locations, but DE is coming out soon so it seems like a waste of effort.

No doubt DE will be datamined soon, hopefully including map coordinates, but I want to avoid spoilers until I'm done playing it. So FrontierNav will not be updated for a week or so after release.

Patreon Donations

I'll be trying to push the Patreon more in the coming months. I don't really enjoy asking for people to donate -- it reminds me of those Jimmy Wales banners on Wikipedia -- but it's true that if regular users gave a few dollars I'd have a lot more to work with and we'd all benefit from a better application.

As a start, I'll be doing shoutouts for new patrons in my weeklies and for the record will list all current patrons every month. Like those YouTube videos do at the end of a video. I won't disclose specifics, just names, after getting permission to do so.

Next Up

I'll continue implementing Lists & Boards while also polishing the editing process while I add more data to Xenoblade Chronicles.

Thanks for reading.