Syrinscape Fantasy app is good but needs updates; multiple tweaks suggested; and cookie at the bottom.
Recently I had posted an issue of mine on this forum as a support topic. In this I experienced difficulties, using the Syrinscape Fantasy app on an outdated tablet (even though it was newly bought). The support team reacted with fast and helpful replies and I got my issues somewhat fixed. During this whole process, I had to spare more than one thought on the topic of improving on the Syrinscape Fantasy Player App (SCF app). And even after I worked myself through all of it, I still feel that I have to get this feedback and criticism of my chest. (By the way. I am not a native english speaker, so please go easy on me. )
First of all I really appreciate the effort you are putting into making Syrinscape Online. It is the main thing you are working on right now and as I took a short look at the software and it seems to be a great thing to have. As far as I can tell, the online player is working on my device and at least for me it functions properly.
The SCF app however is visibly in need of updates. The last update displayed on Google Play was the 14.08.2018 and I can’t imagine that the methods of app design and general performance tweaks haven’t improved by then.
Concerning this I must admit that the app feels somewhat clunky. I do really like the ability to change every single sound in a mood by volume using the slider. But pretty much every time I use the sidebar to scroll down, I miss it, which causes me to randomly toggle a sound I don’t want to. Even worse it sometimes interrupts a customized mood I carefully patched together during the calmer parts of the adventuring session. Maybe this could be solved by minor tweaks to the “hitboxes” (I am missing the right term, sry)
A general issue I have with the SCF app is the perceived lack of customisation options. In that regard it feels a little bare-boned. For example an option to prevent the SCF from loading the beautiful but unecessary background pictures or the option to enlarge the scroll-down bar would be easy to add (i guess).
Another thing is the visuals you chose to go by. Oftentimes the writing is very small and difficult to read. Especially people with bad eyesight are affected by this. Maybe you can find a workaround. The ability to zoom in or maybe a general setting for the scale of writing, who knows…
A quite simple thing to improve the app significantly would be to highlight the soundsets of which parts of them are currently in use. Because I have “only” the non-super subscription, I rely heavily on this feature to create appropriate ambience for the right moment. Just make the box of a “soundsets in use” change color to a light blue. This way it is much easier to find it again and turn off a single sound (i can’t count the amount of times, I had to drop a whole mood because I couldn’t find the particulary nasty sound of a giant moaning again and again)
The more complicated but even more responsive way would be to move the box of a “soundsets in use” to the very top of the bar or even into a seperate tab.
One thing that would also be quite easy to make (hopefully), would be the ability to add and edit customized campaigns in-app. It always puzzled me, why I had to open the web page to put the moods into a campaign, when I had all the pieces already available in the app itself. Maybe you could do something about it.
Another simple thing to improve the performance slightly would be to change the window the app opens up directly after the login. After putting in the name and password, the first thing to be displayed is the mood that is currently at the very top of the list. This forces the device to munch up ressources just to display a soundsets most will not use. Maybe you replace this with a blank page with a nice logo of yours instead (or adds for the latest soundset [as long as this picture updates while the app isn’t in use otherwise]). This would allow the user to search for the soundset they want while the device can brace itself for the bunch of data that will be hitting it as soon as a mood is opened.
Now for a more general suggestion:
The sounds in use are always displayed intermingled with the sounds of all the moods of the soundset that aren’t in use. This is a problem for very large soundsets, where you have to scroll down very far to reach the sound you need (linking in on the issue with sidebar that is too small). Maybe you could make a used sound jump to the top of the list or into a seperate display alongside the one containing all the sounds of the current (custom) mood. This will use a lot of the devices resources i guess, but that would be easy to solve by having an option to toggle it so that the users with stronger devices are able to use this feature.
So far so good.
However in the end I do have to say that all the things mentioned are feedback meant to improve the great tool you have made. I can’t imagine the tediousness of some aspects of programming that are only visible to the developers and I do know that working with sounds and permanent networks is always a little nasty. Because of this I have a lot of appreciation for your work despite the disgruntledness of some other users (3.1/5 ;540 reviews Google Play).
Keep up your great work! Just please give your app a little more of the love it deserves.
Thanks to all the readers that made it down there. Heres a cookie
edit: fixed mixups concernig moods and soundsets