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Paizo announces Paizo Game Space

Sat, Jul 7, 2012 at 10:18 PM Pacific

Paizo reinvents the virtual tabletop to be played directly on Paizo.com!

Uses Paizo's high, max resolution maps, handouts and everything you need to run our APs. Makes everything easy to connect with people and get playing. As long as you can get to Paizo.com you can play!

Edit: We've posted details on the announcement, some screenshots (including features that weren't shown at the banquet), and more info about free play and paying for stuff.

Sara Marie
Customer Carebear

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I mentioned it earlier, but I'll say it again. I'd like to see some method of 'saving' the scenario mid fight or something. But also be able to continue playing, but with different players.

For instance, the GM sets up a game with (for example) pre-made characters. Anyone could join into the game (kind of like an open-lobby) and play. But once a 'party' is selected, that part continues playing until one of the characters is retired, killed or simply removed.

As an example:

Frank is the GM of say... Crypt of the Everflame. He's got 15 different pre-mades for players to choose from (plus the Iconics). He'll be running a 5 man group.

Joe selects Wizard
Sam selects Barbarian
Fred selects Bard
Sarah selects Cleric
Sherry selects Ranger

They play through the first session, everyone has fun and logs off. Next session, everyone can show up except for Sherry. So there is an empty slot. Because it's an open lobby, a different player picks up Sherry's sheet and plays instead.

This would of course require people to be made aware that open lobbys are not reserved for the those who started, and you won't necessarily be playing the same character from one session to the next. So in the first session, everyone could play the character they selected. But say the next session, someone else hops in and takes Joe's Wizard, so he selects Sherry's Ranger because Sherry can't show up.

I know it's a little complicated, but I think it'd be a cool feature to allow those people who have a hard time finding a game on a regular basis, still be able to play.


The other thing I'd like to see is the free modules (like We Be Goblins) developed as kind of 'trial runs' for those who are interested, but not sure if subscribing is worth it.

Also, I'm a little worried about how much GM customization will be available. Like, for instance, my group rules Quick Draw to apply to Wands, potions etc, and not just weapons only. Will we be able to implement house rules into Game Space?


That might be interesting, not sure if people would pay for that, but a good option to have down the road.
I would think though if they would put in a free adventure to get the most interest (and put the system through all of its paces) it almost has to be one of the better ones.

Perhaps a certain time limit on that specific one, say it will be an "open game" for 3-4 weeks, so everyone could try it, say 2-4 times a year maybe. Then people would know exactly what they are paying for, and missing out on if they don't get the subscribtion, order the CD, or whatever.

That might be another option, but I dread that yes you can get into Game Space for free, but to actually do anything meaningfull....

But first they have to get the base game out to us!! LOL

Almost forgot should the GM bear most of the cost for this in general?

Say I want to run Rise of the Runelords Sins of the Saviors, would I as the GM hve to pay the max to get "everything" while the players are in for free or at a minimum price?

Not sure how this would all work out, I would'nt think that all the players and the GM would have to pay for "everything", unless it is VERY inexpensive.

I guess we shall see, any other thoughts?

Tom


I've always been interested in VTTs personally. I live in the largest state in the US and I've got friends all over the place and friends in other states as well.

However, every time we've ever tried to look into VTTs, they've always come off as pretty complicated and intimidating. I'd hope Game Space will be easy to use for both experienced and new users. I know that I myself could probably learn how to run a VTT, but the other GMs we have don't have the time to learn how to do so, nor do they have the time to customize a bunch of rules either.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I encourage everyone who is interested, and has not tried out at least one VTT to try one out, to give you a good idea of the genre.


The pics they put up way back in the pages look simple and pretty good as far as I could tell, but once you start adding in the extras then that aspect might be more of a problem.

I wonder if your save idea would work for PBP, like you get your group together on the thread, do your char posting,then hit the tabletop when you have a battle, say it is a bigger battle and you can't finish it.

When you and the group come in the next day or two would the GM have to set it all up again, or just a click and you are back to where you stopped, could be a pay option perhaps.

Cheers

Tom

Qadira

Tels wrote:

The other thing I'd like to see is the free modules (like We Be Goblins) developed as kind of 'trial runs' for those who are interested, but not sure if subscribing is worth it.

Also, I'm a little worried about how much GM customization will be available. Like, for instance, my group rules Quick Draw to apply to Wands, potions etc, and not just weapons only. Will we be able to implement house rules into Game Space?

about the first point:

1) I searched the forum for references of a subscription to GameSpace, and didn't find it. Wasn't it supposed to be free for use except for not-yet-determined ceatures that could be purchased?

2) As far as I gather, the Pathfinder rules are not built in to the system, so that evrey rule you can think about it equally possible, since no rule is mendatory.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, if there's a discussion:

I think playing should be free. I think that modules, with good interactive maps and integration with whatever tools are there, would be worth paying for.

My reasoning: I was (and shall be again) a Pathfinder Modules subscriber. I can use that PDF and roll20.net to play a VTT game with a fraction of the effort that it used to take to set up MapTool*. I actually set up a roll20.net campaign accidentally at work the other way. That is a world of difference, as far as VTTs are concerned.

*MapTool is still vastly more feature-rich, though. It is worth noting, if Vision and Light was the only feature of gamespace, that would currently win me away from roll20.net, and possibly from maptool also. It would be priority #1 for me.

I think the niche for Paizo's VTT needs to be adventure content, because that is what Paizo does best. But not just the adventure content like they sell me in my modules sub — they're moving in the right direction with interactive PDFs. Gamespace should be like an even more feature rich module PDF — designed to "flow" through adventures. Things like tokens moving from map to map when they pass through doors or down stairs. Interactive objects, breakable furniture (with break DCs and all those rules... I think they could be as killer a feature as vision and light.) Oh right, vision and light, all dungeons need it.

But it is also a feature that works well in salable adventure content — setup is a pain for end users. Jon Roberts' Dragon's Lair map is a great example of how great this can be: the lava provides ambient lighting in the dungeon... brilliant.

I would pay for access to a module if the setup was done — vision and lighting, encounter placement, maybe some automation. More important and easier to deploy than automation would be convenient access to online assets: maybe a frame in gamespace that displays the PRD stats for that monster.

Much of this doesn't require anything in the way of system automation. You're not rolling the dice for the players or GM, but you are putting the adventure content in an accessible place for when they need to roll dice. They can still use their house rules, but the effort is the same as if they were running an AP. Hyperlinks and contextual data could do for RPG adventure content what wikipedia did for encyclopedias.

Been thinking about this for a long time.

EDIT: Another important feature germane to the emphasis on adventure content is this: integrating the encounter data into the map and game flow. I call this "Box Text" usually, because having those box texts map-accessible and player-reviewable is important in my VTT games. But it is more than that.

When a GM runs a module out of a book, they have to flip back and forth, cross referencing the minis on the table map with the key in the book map and the actual key description. I need to think in all three places if the players walk through a trap trigger. In a VTT, the potential exists for a mere trap icon to be visible on the play space itself — only seen by the GM until triggered. Then, even without "animation" per se, something as simple as a fire graphic visible to the players can vastly enhance the experience.

But flashy bits aside, having the trap data accessible to the GM in the play space means no cross referencing. The GM is always right there on top of what's going on. Extend this from box text and traps into encounters in general — data like vision and light, monster perceptions, auras... all the sundry data a GM must manage.

That's a TON of stuff. It's a ton of prep work. I know because I do it every week. If Paizo Gamespace offers to take that workload off my hands and release the Gamespace for an adventure at the same time as the adventure, I am going to buy it. That does for a VTT GM what APs, pawns, and map packs do for a tabletop GM.

Selling VTT adventure content isn't about charging for access to a .png of a monster token, or a map, it's about the placement and interactivity of that monster token and that map.

It's also something that's more or less impossible to steal. Now, I don't believe piracy should be a prime motivator, but protection against it is certainly icing on the cake when designing a new product.

*phew* Sorry. Coffee happened.


Lord Snow wrote:


1) I searched the forum for references of a subscription to GameSpace, and didn't find it. Wasn't it supposed to be free for use except for not-yet-determined ceatures that could be purchased?

There's nothing yet. So far, it has been announced to exist, and a few screenshots from the internal testing of the work-in-progress have been shown in a seminar.

Otherwise, the initial release is still yet to happen, so there's nothing to find yet. Beyond "there will be some parts that are free", nothing has been announced or (as of the last time anything was said) even decided as to what will be free or what will be charged for.


Good post EL, What we could get afte the basic Game Space is out and they can gauge the reaction, user base and how much potential $$ they could make ven at a low, med and high end price point might give them the best picture.

I see you are almost talking about a live video game, almost, you know what I mean.

What if they have Game Space specific only modules and Pathfinder Adventures, tourneys and things like that, might be something to catch more peoples notice.

They did mention that they will probably have giveaways or winners for some of their paid items for Game Space. Your heightened module could draw ina lot of people.

I wonder about the expense thoug, how much money are thye going to sink into this, base game no prob it seems to me, not e the reaction and the number of gamers using it, and new members could be a key factor as well, once they see Piazo's line up of what they have now, and in the future.

I do like to have my products in hand though, rather have the books, flip maps and the Adventure path on paper, as well as suport my local hobby store. Kind of why I was hoping for a disk/CD with this product on it in some way shape or form.

How expensive is it do you think to make and run this ap, and all the extras we are talking about here. Having great code people are key and don't they ahve a few now working onit, or if they do a huge expansion (all the bells and whistles) it would need a lot more people and cash, or not to bad, considering?

Cheers

Tom


TRDG wrote:
I see you are almost talking about a live video game, almost, you know what I mean.

Maybe, sort of, although I think that is very misleading. Video Game development is many orders of magnitude more complex than what I suggested.

What I'm talking about is most of the things I make happen in MapTool already, but at the cost of my personal time and effort. I build it all, I am the only one to every deploy it, and the effort is wasted.

If a Paizo VTT-developer existed, they could do that work once, sell it, and many people could play it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:

Well, if there's a discussion:

I think playing should be free. I think that modules, with good interactive maps and integration with whatever tools are there, would be worth paying for.

My reasoning: I was (and shall be again) a Pathfinder Modules subscriber. I can use that PDF and roll20.net to play a VTT game with a fraction of the effort that it used to take to set up MapTool*. I actually set up a roll20.net campaign accidentally at work the other way. That is a world of difference, as far as VTTs are concerned.

*MapTool is still vastly more feature-rich, though. It is worth noting, if Vision and Light was the only feature of gamespace, that would currently win me away from roll20.net, and possibly from maptool also. It would be priority #1 for me.

I think the niche for Paizo's VTT needs to be adventure content, because that is what Paizo does best. But not just the adventure content like they sell me in my modules sub — they're moving in the right direction with interactive PDFs. Gamespace should be like an even more feature rich module PDF — designed to "flow" through adventures. Things like tokens moving from map to map when they pass through doors or down stairs. Interactive objects, breakable furniture (with break DCs and all those rules... I think they could be as killer a feature as vision and light.) Oh right, vision and light, all dungeons need it.

But it is also a feature that works well in salable adventure content — setup is a pain for end users. Jon Roberts' Dragon's Lair map is a great example of how great this can be: the lava provides ambient lighting in the dungeon... brilliant.

I would pay for access to a module if the setup was done — vision and lighting, encounter placement, maybe some automation. More important and easier to deploy than automation would be convenient access to online assets: maybe a frame in gamespace that displays the PRD stats for that monster.

Much of this doesn't require anything in the way of...

I am in near 100% agreement with EL. I would pay much money if the majority of VTT prep work was done for me. I think this is an area that could make Gamespace really shine.

Now, if eventually they could offer macro frameworks like what you could get with Maptool, I would be through the roof :)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:
TRDG wrote:
I see you are almost talking about a live video game, almost, you know what I mean.

Maybe, sort of, although I think that is very misleading. Video Game development is many orders of magnitude more complex than what I suggested.

What I'm talking about is most of the things I make happen in MapTool already, but at the cost of my personal time and effort. I build it all, I am the only one to every deploy it, and the effort is wasted.

If a Paizo VTT-developer existed, they could do that work once, sell it, and many people could play it.

I do not think it is helpful to think of a video game. Think more of the prep one does for a VTT session. Maps, tokens, token placement, relevant rules/info, etc - put that all in a slick package and you have pure gold.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Elorebaen wrote:
I am in near 100% agreement with EL. I would pay much money if the majority of VTT prep work was done for me. I think this is an area that could make Gamespace really shine.

Well shucks!

What excites me is that not only would an adventure-content-based VTT would work for Paizo, but also there is no other company but Paizo I would elect to make a adventure-content-based VTT.

They have adventure content mastered. The Interactive PDFs prove that it can be done.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
TRDG wrote:
A bit bummed it did not come out this summer (yes when you hit September summer is over, school starts!!)...

In the Northern Hemisphere, the astronomical summer ends Friday, September 21, 2012.

We did unfortunately suffer a few weeks of delays, so I'm not promising anything by that date... but we're not officially late *yet*.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As a MapTool user myself, I also agree with Evil Lincoln. A barebones (free) VTT program, with free framework and low-to-moderately priced expansions (such as the types of packages Lone Wolf offers for HeroLab) and moderate-to-high-priced Adventure Path releases for the VTT (perhaps another Subscription offer?) would be fantastic. Some of the 3rd Party developers (Rite Publishing, I think?) already include MapTools-compatible maps in their map packages, this could also provide additional options for other 3PPs as well.

You could really look at any of the current Subscription lines as potential sources of paid content for GameSpace - Adventure Paths, Modules, VTT-Pawns packages, VTT-Map Packs, VTT-Pathfinder releases adding new core book options (such as Ultimate Combat/Magic/Equipment, Advanced Player's Guide/Adv Race Guide, etc) and more.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Elorebaen wrote:
I am in near 100% agreement with EL. I would pay much money if the majority of VTT prep work was done for me. I think this is an area that could make Gamespace really shine.

Well shucks!

What excites me is that not only would an adventure-content-based VTT would work for Paizo, but also there is no other company but Paizo I would elect to make a adventure-content-based VTT.

They have adventure content mastered. The Interactive PDFs prove that it can be done.

100% agreement there. Exactly what I am thinking/hoping as well.


Vic Wertz wrote:
TRDG wrote:
A bit bummed it did not come out this summer (yes when you hit September summer is over, school starts!!)...

In the Northern Hemisphere, the astronomical summer ends Friday, September 21, 2012.

We did unfortunately suffer a few weeks of delays, so I'm not promising anything by that date... but we're not officially late *yet*.

Wait, what? From an astronomy viewpoint, September 22nd is the Autumnal Equinox, the *middle of Autumn*. The Summer Solstice was on June 20th, so midway between the two would be early August. If you go based on the definition used by meterologists accounting for seasonal lag, summer is defined as June, July, and August. Some countries have also defined it as May, June, and July.

But in no case is September considered "Summer" in anything larger than a local scope. I seriously doubt that Seattle uses a definition of summer that lasts all the way to September 21st.

(Note, all this is assuming Northern Hemisphere.)

Sorry, Vic - you guys are officially late on September 1st.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Google "last day of summer 2012".


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Vic Wertz wrote:
Google "last day of summer 2012".

That is bizarre... I have NEVER seen the equinoxes and solstices used to mark the beginning of the seasons until today, and the World Meteorological Organization's seasons more closely fit the model that those are middle of the season events.

Edit: After further research on Wikipedia, it turns out there is technically no "official" seasonal reckoning. The solstices and equinoxes are held to be the start by custom, but many cultures did see them as the middle, which is where we get pagan holidays like Samhain and Beltane.

I stand corrected.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

On September 22nd, my desk calendar simply says, "Fall begins."


Vic Wertz wrote:
TRDG wrote:
A bit bummed it did not come out this summer (yes when you hit September summer is over, school starts!!)...

In the Northern Hemisphere, the astronomical summer ends Friday, September 21, 2012.

We did unfortunately suffer a few weeks of delays, so I'm not promising anything by that date... but we're not officially late *yet*.

Thanks for the honest reply Vic, I was looking for a reasonable assessment on the time frame, whats going on and to show that more than a few of us are really waiting for this product (and updated news), and gets others interested in this again, LOL

I'm not worried about splitting hairs on Summer, end of Summer or what have you, but in general...

If you ask most people when does school start, they would say in the fall, compare that to "summer school" (WINK). That would I think be (in the US anyways) the way people view an out by summer statement.

That is just my take on it, but no big deal, take your time and get it right and we will all be happy me thinks, and PLEASE keep us updated, even if it is just a word or two, that helps a lot!!

Cheers

Tom

Game Space Beta Tester

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If you go by Australian time Paizo have got until March before they could be accused of running late. We're far more laid back down here.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And your weird Aussie toilets spin backwards when flushed!


Just chiming in for the following features:

1) Vision and light. One of the best features of Maptool.

2) PC tokens that follow the player from map to map (or that the player can put down themselves). Maptool's insistence on the GM placing and manually assigning control of PC tokens on every new map is a pain.

3) A good set of premade tokens for common monsters and/or AP-specific ones. Because you never know what creature the players might summon/polymorph into.


Steve Geddes wrote:
If you go by Australian time Paizo have got until March before they could be accused of running late. We're far more laid back down here.

I don't think most of us here are accusing anyone Steve, just an honest update on when we may see (or not see/play/whats going on)something of Game Space as they said in a certain time frame.

Summer can be a very broad definition as we have seen here, but as time ticks away. For those of us planning to perhaps use this in upcoming games and campaigns, and just to check it out and give our honest feedback to it.

I don't think good, honest discussion (and questions) is a big concern here. It even highlights the upcoming product instead of putting it on the back burner for those who were first pretty excited about this. And shows Piazo that people are here waiting for it and are fired up, LOL!!

Then we have the Gamers here giving further suggestions and thier feedback on what they would want, like, dislike and all that.

It was announced,thngs were going good, then that "little" game convention happened, then they hit a snag or two, and right now it is closer to their original deadline of ...... "Summer".

Would most people, looking forward to this have questions and want the latest updates they can have, be it, "OOPS, ran into some coding" or what have you issues, Fall, before X-Mas is the new release date we are shooting for guys", you bet.

And if they honestly don't know then thats the way it is. I'm sure it can be pretty tricky trying to get their own hard deadline (when it is still bing out together). For the basic Game Space to be up and running, but being kept in the loop is a GOOD thing, be it just a blurb or two.

And we at least got that from Vic (sort of you sly dog you!!) when he posted here yesterday on my I'm bummed, summer comment.:)

That works for me and I am still very hopefull that it will be here sooner, rather than later!

Tom

Game Space Beta Tester

Yeah, I was kidding (not terribly successfully, as it turns out). :)


I'm fairly new here, and I don't mean to jump all over anyone, but wanted to explain a bit more on what, I feel, more than a few of us are thinking Steve.

And "thus" (god I hate that word beleave it or not) the posts and questions about this product, not trying to "pester" anyone every day with,
is it out?, WHEN WHEN WHEN, just want to let them know to keep us in the loop as best they can.

Just a good discussion with gamers (and Paizo once in a while) who are mighty interested in Game Space.

Its all good bud

Tom


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Tinalles wrote:

Just chiming in for the following features:

1) Vision and light. One of the best features of Maptool.

2) PC tokens that follow the player from map to map (or that the player can put down themselves). Maptool's insistence on the GM placing and manually assigning control of PC tokens on every new map is a pain.

3) A good set of premade tokens for common monsters and/or AP-specific ones. Because you never know what creature the players might summon/polymorph into.

Re. #2 and Maptool

PCs can already do this. I imagine you have a setting that is giving ownsership to the GM for all tokens placed on the map.

Andoran

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

EL hit it on the head for me. I want a BASIC VTT, in fact if Paizo simply announced they had partnered with Roll20 I would be happy!!

We played our first PFS game via Roll20 last night and it went fantastic. So here is my 2 cents.

I will pay $3.99 all day long for modules, we are starting now with the 3 intros.

If they can simply hook my Paizo id / downloads to my VTT where I buy those modules already set up and ready to play, that is gold!!!

I DON'T want the VTT to be complicated, I owned Fantasy Grounds and never played a single game on it. Too much setup time for the GM and players.

So, to reiterate, Paizo + Roll20 partnership... where they could upload my PURCHASED (and free) modules into a campaign for me I would pay for.

Paizo Game Space VTT (free) + ability to buy PFS modules and use, I would also pay for. Give the VTT away for free, the money is in the modules. Think Kindle / ebooks.

I define MODULE as the written content where I don't have to flip back and forth to my PDF. Player Handouts, Maps (without the "secret" stuff on them, just blank) and tokens/icons of the monsters.

Just as an aside, would it really be that hard to start snagging the bestiary content and dropping it in the modules? Maybe that is a marketing deal to make sure we own both but sure would be nice to have it all in one bundle.


Elorebaen wrote:
Tinalles wrote:
2) PC tokens that follow the player from map to map (or that the player can put down themselves). Maptool's insistence on the GM placing and manually assigning control of PC tokens on every new map is a pain.
PCs can already do this. I imagine you have a setting that is giving ownsership to the GM for all tokens placed on the map.

I see what he's saying. In MapTool, character and token are one and the same, your character data doesn't exist outside of the token data. This is the equivalent of having your character sheet written on the bottom of your miniature for that character. When the cat eats your miniature, the character is gone. Accidental deletion of a character is a risk you must hedge against by saving tokens... that's not really how things should work.

It's never been a huge complaint of mine about MapTool, but a better system for character management should exist in GameSpace, especially if it is going to work with Society play.

But... character management isn't on offer quite yet. In fact, almost no character management is required for a focus on adventure content. Those nice things should maybe come later, but I'd say things like access to (static) statblocks like the ones in the PRD and simple counters for HP and the like are high priorities.

If you give GameSpace content all the things that an AP offers to GMs, and improve the experience by putting them all in the right place at the right time, people will buy that.

Jun10r wrote:
I define MODULE as the written content where I don't have to flip back and forth to my PDF. Player Handouts, Maps (without the "secret" stuff on them, just blank) and tokens/icons of the monsters.

Tokens, but also statblocks. Not character management, yet, but statblock access inside the VTT — some way for GMs to see the data they need onscreen when they need it.

The "secret stuff" needs to be on the map, for the GM. The Trap statblock needs to be there for the GM when she needs it.

The token whose turn it is needs to be on screen when the GM needs it. (maptools initiative does not do this by default, you must code it. But you can!)

Well, you can see my philosophy emerging.

With adventure content that exploits the VTT medium well, I'd pay $7.99, $11.99, or $15.99 depending on content length. Whatever the price point, it should be something that 4 players can split (and the GM gets a free ride).


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

My general vision for the VTT side of Gamespace ...

- Start with "barebones" (ex. roll20.net) with VTT prep_content packages offered (ex as EL described) at a variety of price ranges.

- HeroLab integration

- Provide modular "automation" packages/frameworks. These could be offered at a fee. I envision something like light/medium/heavy, where "heavy" would be something like L.Markus' Pathfinder framework for Maptool.

- Integrated storage space. Different price points, but the key would be making it so that art assets load extremely fast. Importing would be easy, and organized.

- (PFS) Official character sheet integration. I imagine this could work with HeroLab.
- (PFS) Official chronicle sheet integration

My general vision for the community gathering side of Gamespace ...

I don't have as much experience with this element, but I do remember the days of Mplayer and what I liked about it.

- General Chat gathering place, so players can chat and form groups. Pick-up groups and such.

- Event listing calendar. This should be feature rich and easily visible and organized. Should be able to say who the GM and players are, style of game, game system, sourcebook requirements, timeframe, Open or Closed, Sign-ups (e.g. Warhorn), group communication (e-mail, PMs, etc), etc. The easier it is to setup a table listing, and to find a group to play with the more folks will use it.

- GM AND Player rating system. Or perhaps a way for a GM/Player to show the type of player they are, and the type they would be interested in playing with. I believe it should be as easy as possible to make a decision about what group you want to be a part of, or what players you would like to recruit. I imagine this would open a can 'o worms, but I do think it could be useful if done in a simple and elegant way.

That's all I can think of now. =)


Hmm, methinks maybe an integration of the Combat Manager would be dandy.


Elorebaen wrote:
- GM AND Player rating system. Or perhaps a way for a GM/Player to show the type of player they are, and the type they would be interested in playing with. I believe it should be as easy as possible to make a decision about what group you want to be a part of, or what players you would like to recruit. I imagine this would open a can 'o worms, but I do think it could be useful if done in a simple and elegant way.

YES.

I also think this would make a pretty good general forum feature, if it didn't degenerate into tribalism.


PFS society scenarios will be supported?


Please take as much time as you need to produce a reasonable initial product. I have the impression that this is a side project for one or two staff members rather than the full time endeavor of a large team.

Good luck! Anything which may cut down on VTT prep work for a GM or provide access to high resolution VTT maps has my support.

For the future of this project, I'd also like to see vision/lighting support and eventual support for complex campaign frameworks. Higher level combat moves faster when you can quickly resolve iterative attacks, buffs, debuffs, and conditions.

Being able to upload and share detailed campaign files with other GMs would be a nice plus if there were a way to resolve the intellectual property issues involved. Perhaps limiting sharing to those others who've also purchased the module from Paizo would work, but there may be practical or legal obstacles of which I'm not aware. Having individual GMs spending time converting modules to VTTs, as occurs currently, feels like an unfortunate duplication of effort.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:

Selling VTT adventure content isn't about charging for access to a .png of a monster token, or a map, it's about the placement and interactivity of that monster token and that map.

It's also something that's more or less impossible to steal. Now, I don't believe piracy should be a prime motivator, but protection against it is certainly icing on the cake when designing a new product.

How would that work? Unless you do entirely proprietary coding of everything, including the artwork files, how would you be able to do this and at the same time have an open VTT where people could use their own maps and tokens? I mean security wise to have it piracy free.

You could, of course, code it in such a way that you might have access to a few basic maps available to everyone and some very basic tokens (including just numbered and lettered tokens) and everything else would have to be paid access. Plus you might have a simple gridded battlemat style surface, with a basic drawing option for doing your own simple maps.
Even then you'd be limited to the things offered by Paizo instead of using your own maps and tokens.


Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Google "last day of summer 2012".

That is bizarre... I have NEVER seen the equinoxes and solstices used to mark the beginning of the seasons until today, and the World Meteorological Organization's seasons more closely fit the model that those are middle of the season events.

Edit: After further research on Wikipedia, it turns out there is technically no "official" seasonal reckoning. The solstices and equinoxes are held to be the start by custom, but many cultures did see them as the middle, which is where we get pagan holidays like Samhain and Beltane.

I stand corrected.

I'm right there with you, wondering how the people around me can be celebrating the beginning of summer on the day after my Midsummer's Eve. Have they not noticed the weather? Do they just not care? I don't get it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
GentleGiant wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:

Selling VTT adventure content isn't about charging for access to a .png of a monster token, or a map, it's about the placement and interactivity of that monster token and that map.

It's also something that's more or less impossible to steal. Now, I don't believe piracy should be a prime motivator, but protection against it is certainly icing on the cake when designing a new product.

How would that work? Unless you do entirely proprietary coding of everything, including the artwork files, how would you be able to do this and at the same time have an open VTT where people could use their own maps and tokens? I mean security wise to have it piracy free.

You could, of course, code it in such a way that you might have access to a few basic maps available to everyone and some very basic tokens (including just numbered and lettered tokens) and everything else would have to be paid access. Plus you might have a simple gridded battlemat style surface, with a basic drawing option for doing your own simple maps.
Even then you'd be limited to the things offered by Paizo instead of using your own maps and tokens.

Sinple - according to the description, everything is run 100% server-side. I suspect that the launch version of Gamespace will be limited to Paizo's maps, probably with a few of the flip-mats tossed out to the public for free/demo purposes and APs needing to be purchased. The ability to use your own is. . . kind of secondary to their business model.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I apologize in advance for being an opinionated know-it-all. Coffee + Personal interest = long posts.

Gentle Giant wrote:
How would that work? Unless you do entirely proprietary coding of everything, including the artwork files, how would you be able to do this and at the same time have an open VTT where people could use their own maps and tokens? I mean security wise to have it piracy free.

Assume that Paizo keeps track of who has purchased digital modules for Gamespace. Since the module can only be run on the Paizo site, using Paizo's servers, the only way to "steal" it would be if you're Kevin Mitnick and you... well. Let's not delve.

The ideal level of utility for GMs for gamespace ought to include things like uploading your own images and drawing on the map. You can't really run a game without those things. Custom images are very important for player characters, although if anyone has a library of proprietary character art that might meet the need, it's Paizo. That would still be limiting, though.

In (evil lincoln's ideal) GameSpace, I can still upload my own maps, and do the not-insignificant prep work of adding vision blocking, light sources, traps, uniquely named tokens*, secret doors, room descriptions, destructible objects and (very) basic automation, plus a few "special effects" to help this adventure stand out. It takes about 8-10 hours to really dress a short adventure to the 9s in MapTool, if you know what you're doing and you have the right tools.

Yes, I think free players should be able to do all that painstaking work.

*:
* If digital modules become a thing, I must declare, unique monster names (instead of "goblin 5" he's "Hurtwurst" or "Booger") are possibly the single greatest development in my VTT experience.

But Paizo then says: Hey, don't. Just pay us $10 (or whatever), and you can run the whole first volume of Rise of the Runelords. The goblins are placed already, with unique goblinny names*, and you don't even really need to read up the adventure because the data is all integrated into the game flow (although an executive summary would be wise to include). Not only do you not have to spend your whole weekend setting up, the end result is vastly more professional than what you would have made with that time. (note, I am still not talking about automation here)

The psychotic free users who volunteer to build homebrew maps and the like, or convert other modules, possibly run non-paizo modules, they will work hard. And Paizo will learn from their community, how better to create their premium digital modules. Those people are crazy and I proudly number among them.

--

You can "steal" images. You can screenshot a paizo goblin token. You could crop it in photoshop and use it in MapTool. I don't think Paizo should try to sell images.

I think they should make the goblin token available to everyone, free users, everyone. But then they also create a VTT that is the best vehicle for their adventure content, and charge for the adventure content. Not the goblin, or the map, but the goblin on the map who attacks under whatever conditions... Everyone will want to use that, because it is the optimal experience in GameSpace. You're not selling images, or the VTT, you're selling prep work. And there's not a GM in the world I know of who wouldn't buy prep work in a can if they sold it. That's what APs are, and there's currently nobody selling absolution from prep for VTTs**.

**:
With the notable exception of Rite Publishing's Breaking of Forstor Nagar, but that runs across VTTs which are not server driven. There is much relevant about that module, but the difference here is... dare I say it... running in the cloud? It changes the financial aspects quite a bit.

If you look at the state of VTTs right now, you see a lot of common threads. "System agnostic" is one, and there is a very strong case to be made for that; house rules would break a "system specific" VTT. People like to play different games. These are good reasons.

But the thing nobody acknowledges is that "system agnostic" isn't being done for idealogical reasons, it's because it is easier to just implement a chat dice roller and leave 100% of the content to the end users.

I think Paizo shouldn't worry about "system agnostic" as a selling point, they should hold up their integrated adventure content and say "that's what this VTT does. You play our awesome content with minimal effort." Stay flexible, but serve Paizo products and Paizo customers first. If a simple feature would make Pathfinder players lives easier (the goblin token provides easy access to the PRD stats) don't hold back just because somebody might be running the module in GURPs.

There is presently no virtual table-top that is focused on adventure content, and adventure content is what Paizo does best.

It actually reminds me of the situation in D&D before Dungeon's Adventure Paths. You could get modules easily enough, but a "campaign" was something end users were responsible for putting together themselves, precisely because it was easier to let them worry about it. Because entire campaigns are hard. Then APs came about and said "pay us and we'll take the prep out of the entire campaign" and I am personally very glad they did.

Osirion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I hope that people who bought the PDFs won't have to pay twice to use those maps in the VTT. Nothing annoys me more than having to pay someone twice to use something I already own.
Even though you aren't implementing pathfinder rules, I hope you'll have the equations in the VTT so that we can easily access them. With a function to call numbers directly from sheets.Basically an option to overlay pathfinder rules if we want to use them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stratagemini wrote:
I hope that people who bought the PDFs won't have to pay twice to use those maps in the VTT.

Fairly likely this will be the case - probably with a discount for subscribers, but that's all. Paizo's a business here. I seriously wouldn't go in with the expectation of them putting time and money into the development of the VTT with zero return on people who just happen to have purchased a PDF some time in the distant past.

Or, looking at it this way, you're not paying twice for the same thing. You're paying for the PDF, and then paying for someone to implement that PDF's maps as a VTT. If you want to implement it yourself, there are free VTTs out there what will let you do that.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:

I apologize in advance for being an opinionated know-it-all. Coffee + Personal interest = long posts.

Gentle Giant wrote:
How would that work? Unless you do entirely proprietary coding of everything, including the artwork files, how would you be able to do this and at the same time have an open VTT where people could use their own maps and tokens? I mean security wise to have it piracy free.

Assume that Paizo keeps track of who has purchased digital modules for Gamespace. Since the module can only be run on the Paizo site, using Paizo's servers, the only way to "steal" it would be if you're Kevin Mitnick and you... well. Let's not delve.

The ideal level of utility for GMs for gamespace ought to include things like uploading your own images and drawing on the map. You can't really run a game without those things. Custom images are very important for player characters, although if anyone has a library of proprietary character art that might meet the need, it's Paizo. That would still be limiting, though.

In (evil lincoln's ideal) GameSpace, I can still upload my own maps, and do the not-insignificant prep work of adding vision blocking, light sources, traps, uniquely named tokens*, secret doors, room descriptions, destructible objects and (very) basic automation, plus a few "special effects" to help this adventure stand out. It takes about 8-10 hours to really dress a short adventure to the 9s in MapTool, if you know what you're doing and you have the right tools.

Yes, I think free players should be able to do all that painstaking work.

** spoiler omitted **

But Paizo then says: Hey, don't. Just pay us $10 (or whatever), and you can run the whole first volume of Rise of the Runelords. The goblins are placed already, with unique goblinny names*, and you don't even really...

This. Everything EL just said.

The way I see it is that their storage space would have two main areas, user-generate content and Paizo official content.


Chris Kenney wrote:
Stratagemini wrote:
I hope that people who bought the PDFs won't have to pay twice to use those maps in the VTT.

Fairly likely this will be the case - probably with a discount for subscribers, but that's all. Paizo's a business here. I seriously wouldn't go in with the expectation of them putting time and money into the development of the VTT with zero return on people who just happen to have purchased a PDF some time in the distant past.

Or, looking at it this way, you're not paying twice for the same thing. You're paying for the PDF, and then paying for someone to implement that PDF's maps as a VTT. If you want to implement it yourself, there are free VTTs out there what will let you do that.

Or at least, if you do have to pay separately for the PDF and the Digital Module, the latter should contain enough added value to justify the expense. That's definitely covered in my proposition.

Game Space Beta Tester

Derek Vande Brake wrote:
I seriously doubt that Seattle uses a definition of summer that lasts all the way to September 21st.

Actually, here in the Pacific Northwest, "summer" (characterized by warm, sunny, dry weather) versus the perpetual rain of winter and spring) usually starts after the summer solstice (typically July 4th) and lasts about up to the autumnul equinox. Fall is short, between mid-September and through October, sometimes reaching into November. Then, the rains come and it's winter again.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd like to see a type of subscription where you could subscribe for the AP (as normal), but for just a little bit more get access to the VTT stuff

so like an AP+ subscription

Qadira

MMCJawa wrote:

I'd like to see a type of subscription where you could subscribe for the AP (as normal), but for just a little bit more get access to the VTT stuff

so like an AP+ subscription

since nothing of the sort was done with Pawn products (after all, who dosen't want pawns to go with their adventure?), or with map folios or item cards ot accesories or whatever other else AP sideproducts Paizo produced over the years, I'd be surprised to see something like this done here.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would guess the difference is that AP's are Paizo's bread and butter, whereas Pawns are not. They can probably make a lot more money in the long run (given how much a 6 adventure AP path costs) with my idea than if sold either one separately. I would also argue that you don't need pawns at all to play an AP (I've never felt the need or urge to use them).


I don't know the logistics, and I think it is fruitless for us to speculate.

Our job is to say what we would like to buy. (Even then, I suspect we're wrong half the time.)


One thing to consider is that if they're unbundled, people will only buy the VTT modules for the AP's their running. A lot of folks, on the other hand, buy all the APs as they come out (via subscription). I spent 2 years running Savage Tide online and only got about halfway through it; during that time I paid for six APs via subscription.

Ken

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