What is RTools?

If you’ve been to a major tournament in the upper midwest, you’ve probably seen a projector used for event information. You may have received your pairings from the projector, or had your round clock on it. RTools provides that functionality, but also much more.

In the abstract, RTools is a set of tools designed to make the running of a tournament easier and with less paper. It has features useful to local stores, all the way to running world-level events. It has time-saving functions that are useful for 8-man tournaments, as well as 800-man events.

For events at the store level, you have many useful features to save paper, save time, and make the tournaments you run be able to run more smoothly.
– RTools comes with a purpose-built round timer with audio notification on reaching the end of time, so you can be notified as to the end of the round even if you are doing other things at the time.
– Instead of printing out match result slips, print out a condensed sheet of match results, allowing you to have 32 matches printed on one sheet, rather than eight. If you don’t normally use slips and just take results verbally, RTools will give you a very low-cost way to have paper-based results, which are most useful in clearing up result disputes and maintaining records.
– If you have a second monitor (or a TV that can act as a second monitor, or a projector), you can use it as a route for displaying your event pairings every round, without the need to either verbally announce pairings or post paper pairings every round, saving both time and paper. You can also use this to have a constant location displaying a round timer, as well as event announcements. Just place the secondary display near the computer you are using, and you have your source for displaying all the information RTools can provide.
– Run tournaments through both DCI Reporter v3, and Wizards Event Reporter.

For events run at the level of a Premier Tournament Organizer, there are additional features within the program which make these events much simpler. Many of these features assume that you have some sort of secondary monitor available, and is especially useful in situations where you would have a projector as that monitor.
– RTools’ timer has the ability to continue counting after reaching the end of time in the round, while still acting as if the time has expired in the round. This is especially useful when you need to keep track of time extensions, as the timer will show precisely the amount of time since the round had ended, ending the need for keeping track individually between judges.
– Beyond the ability to scroll pairings, the program also has the ability to do an alphabetical “Seat All Players”, scroll pod seatings, and also display/print standings, including by-pod.
– As a round ends, you may want to pass on to your judges the tables that have not given a result slip to the scorekeeper. Both the scrolling pairings and ticker have the ability to display their info in a specialized way to pass this information on. When enabled, pairings will only show the pairings of players that have not turned in their match result, and the ticker screen will default to a listing of tables that have no result entered.
– When running several tournaments at the same time, events can be customized to use different colors for different events. The colors can be setup such that a tournament’s timer and pairings-based windows default to tournament-unique colors, linking tournaments to colors for the players. This can also be further linked by using functionality in the timer to display it’s window title in a larger form in the window itself, displaying the tournament name and round.

If there’s some idea that you have to make the program even better, or some functionality that would make your life easier when running a tournament, or if you’re a judge and you have some way to speed up your tournament life, let me know! It may be trivial to add such functionality into this program, and get you going to a faster, easier tournament scene.