Within campaigns there are often times where the group will split up and players will be separated from each other until they re-unite. In this scenario it would be good to have a way for there to be multiple chat windows so that the players within "Timeline A" can only see messages meant for that timeline, so other messages would just go in the general chat window or another timeline.
It would be good to have the ability for the GM to create timelines at points in the campaign which would create a new tab in the chat window for users to be able to switch between timelines when needed.
There are some issues around how this should be managed from a campaign point of view, as currently we are assuming that a GM will *create* a timeline/tab and at some point in the future *close* a timeline/tab. So then how do you navigate back to the tab once its closed?
(Will use the term tab from here on to simplify)
Currently the simplest logic just seems to be that if a tab is still classed as *open* it will remain available for players to type in, when it is closed it will stay open until the last message in that tab is older than the last message in the main tab.
Then if you want to go back and view the contents of the tab, you merely just view previous entries like you would do in the current system and this will then show the tab again for you to go and view what was happening in there.
A lot of the issues around this stem from the fact that currently all chat entries are based around each player having a time vector (the active time you are viewing in a campaign). It was done this way to make time tracking in a campaign easier, so from whatever point in the campaign you were currently looking at (be it the most up to date or 500 messages in the past) you would see everything that happened around that point in time, be it in timelines, whispers etc. So if we were to decide to allow each tab to have its own time vector you would have to manually have some way to open old tabs as they would not be related to the *main* timeline vector, which would introduce other workflows.
So currently it still seems better for us to continue using a single vector time system as it simplifies a lot of rules and logic, however it means navigating historical tabs would need to be done via the bookmarking system (yet to be implemented) or via the current historical data viewing.
Basically its down to if we want tabs to become their own chat rooms, so are navigated independently or if they are just going to be seen as a thin display detail around the current chat room.
We can always implement one way and if it turns out to be a pain, we just revert it and look at another approach, but we can prototype the simpler implementation and then take it from there.
This is now in progress and should be completed by the next release.
This has been released to live.