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This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Russell Phillips 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #116007
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    So if you were looking for a computer program in order to track your gaming paraphernalia (figures, scenics, rules, etc.), what, precisely, would you want the software to do? If you currently use a spreadsheet (as I currently do) to track this stuff, what columns have you created?

    A number of years ago I wrote a web application to track my books. I’ve been quite happy with it and have been thinking about cloning it and modifying for my gaming goodies. If I do this, though, I’d like to make it available for other people to use, too (running on their own devices, of course) so I’d like some outside-of-my-head perspectives.

    [And for fellow techies: It’s written in Ruby, using Ruby’s internal Webrick web server and SQLite to store the data. I’m thinking about dropping SQLite and using YAML for data storage simply to make the whole thing easier for non-techies to install on local machines. Granted, Ruby itself is not all that easy to install either these days but it’s my language of choice.]

    Here’s a picture of the book app:

     

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #116032

    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    I use calibre for my books, including wargames rules.

    For my wargames models, including terrain, I wrote a very simple web app (PHP & SQLite). It records scale, nationality, period, and state (not started, in progress, unpainted, complete).

    #116037
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Guess I should mention what fields I’ll be using for figures:

    CONTAINER (where stored)
    QUANTITY
    SCALE
    DESCRIPTION/NAME
    TYPE (infantry, cavalry, etc)
    PERIOD

    MAKE (manufacturer)
    FINISHED (status, cleaned, painted, based, etc.)
    BASING
    NOTES (Campaign history?)
    NATIONALITY

    Might add a Unit designation and What army, too.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #116041
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    I’ve begun keeping a giant spreadsheet along these general lines, but it’s not so much an inventory of what I already own as a list of all my projects (ongoing or planned) and everything I intend to own for them once they’re in a finished state. So it has the things I own, but also the things I “know” I’m eventually going to buy or make (which is a lot).

    I’ve set the spreadsheet up in a way that may seem eccentric to some: One of its main functions is to let me “cross-reference” items with projects. This is because very many of the items I own or intend to own will be multi-usable for several projects, sometimes even several scales. Most of these projects are for the various fantastical genres, so it’s a viable hobby philosophy (a dragon, for instance, can be at home in multiple flavours of fantasy in multiple scales, and a group of generic sci-fi human soldiers could be part of a Hammer’s Slammers-style setting one week, an Aliens-style one the next week, and a post-apoc one the week after that). Keeping track of multi-usability is very important for me as I have literally dozens of projects but intend for each project to be relatively small in terms of miniatures and terrain/scenery items that are exclusive to it.

    This all probably falls outside of what you have in mind for your software, but you did ask

    The fields I use for projects are:

    • PROJECT “NAME” (simply something to identify the project in as few words as possible)
    • PROJECT DESCRIPTION (a longer, more detailed identifier of the project, in case I forget some of my overarching plans for it)
    • FOREMOST CONCERNS (my immediate priorities for the next time I focus on the project, like which miniatures to paint next)

    The fields I use for items are:

    • ITEM NAME
    • STATUS (whether it’s not yet owned, owned but not painted, or owned and painted)
    • MANUFACTURER/SOURCE (this is also where I state if something is or will be scratchbuilt instead of bought)
    • QUANTITY AND/OR SIZE (the “size” is only for certain terrain items)
    • NOTES (mainly descriptions and reminders about what I want the finished thing to look like if it isn’t finished already, like what kind of colour scheme to use)

    Come to think of it, I should add a field for items where I flag immediate priorities, like if I suspect some miniatures I haven’t bought yet are in danger of going OOP soon, or if I’ve found a source for miniatures that are already OOP and I shouldn’t forget to pounce on it before the opportunity vanishes.

    The “cross-referencing” for multi-usability is simply done with checkboxes where the projects (vertical) and the items (horizontal) intersect in the spreadsheet.

    BTW… you own $25000 worth of military history books?

    #116044
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    BTW… you own $25000 worth of military history books?

    Yep. Well, they’re not all military history but most are. Bear in mind that is the replacement value–my estimate of what it would cost to go out and re-acquire the collection without spending years trolling book stores like I originally did when acquiring everything. A number of years ago we were being moved by my wife’s employer. I had to value the collection for insurance purposes and they specifically asked for a replacement value. So I spent a lot of time reviewing prices on-line and then valuing mine usually at the lower range of found prices for the same condition (when determinable). I discovered I had some real collectible gems! These prices are also somewhat dated. I suspect printed books have dropped in value over the last decade due to the popularity of electronic books. If I were to die tomorrow I assume my wife would be lucky to get 25% of that valuation from a dealer–even less if sold at auction.

    This all probably falls outside of what you have in mind for your software, but you did ask

    Not at all. This is exactly the sort of detail I’m looking for. I didn’t even consider future project planning but it’s a viable addition. I was considering adding armies which would comprise of units/stands of figures. But in reality, those are really projects, aren’t they?

    As for cross referencing, it’s in there. Notice the Genre/Tag List on the right side of the screen shot. Each book must have one genre but can additionally have multiple tags. So books about ancient Egypt have their own genre but can also be tagged as ancient history. Clicking on the bold type genre/tag filters the list. The same applies to my locations (which indicated which room.bookcase.shelf). For more precise filtering the search function can be used. What you’re describing is not too far from this functionality.

    Here’s a screen shot of the data entry page showing a list of genres and tags. Since they are free-form, being consistent when entering is important. This way, I can simply copy and paste and not worry about consistency.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #116149
    MartinR
    MartinR
    Participant

    I have an inventory spreadsheet with the obvious stuff (scale, type, period, army etc) and each project has its own planning spreadsheet which helps manage what I buy and paint. I have transitioned my 15mm WW2 collection from project to product (in current management garble)  as it has a development pipeline now rather than separate projects.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #116173
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    I have a fag packet with a list on the back (you probably don’t understand the level of commitment this took – I don’t smoke).

    Seriously, I am in awe of the commitment and skill exhibited.

    On the other hand, if I followed your lead, I’d lose the joy of rummaging in the attic, opening a dusty cardboard box and going: ‘Gosh! Who are these fine fellows?’

    Then again I would probably not have ended up duplicating armies and periods in several different scales/figure sizes/whatever.

    So well done chaps!

    But I have no inventory software.

    #117945
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Still a work in progress. I’ve taken a few weeks off from painting figures and have been playing around with the database idea.

    This is an individual item page where data is added to the system.

    Item data is then aggregated to a main page like the following. All the terms on the right are clickable to filter the page. The list of terms is auto-generated according to what’s entered in the item pages–so it’s fairly dynamic and free form. Items can have multiple genres (at least 1 genre must be entered), tags,  and project/rule systems so cross indexing is easy. In addition, manufacturer, name and description are searchable. I’ll probably add a couple other fields to that, too.

    The image shows my ‘Tribal’ associated records including the electronic version of the Tribal rules. Most of these items would also show up if I filter by my Aztec rules ‘Obsidian Blade.’ If I add digital versions of the rules to the records then the rules themselves can be opened in the browser via the ‘open’ link. I’ve added the option for custom icons (which the Tribal rules are showing) though the default icon is the sword wielding lion.

    And for the techies: I’ve got a lot of data and code clean up to perform but I think it’s coming along nicely. I’m still using an SQL database–haven’t quite figured out how to query YAML data.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #117947

    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    I just remembered Collection Calculator. Might be worth taking a look for inspiration/ideas:
    https://collectioncalculator.com/

    #118095
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Thank you, Russell. I was not familiar with Collection Calculator. It does indeed give me food for thought.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #118107
    Cameronian
    Cameronian
    Participant

    Spreadsheet for each historical period with Scale, Faction and Figure numbers.

    'The time has come" The walrus said. "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."

    #118108

    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    Thank you, Russell. I was not familiar with Collection Calculator. It does indeed give me food for thought.

    Glad it was helpful. I’m pretty sure I first heard about it via TWW. I had a look but decided it wasn’t what I wanted, but it’s always useful to see how other people approach problems.

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