More About Paizo Game Space

Thursday, October 18, 2012


The Swallowtail Festival from Rise of the Runelords in full swing! We still don't know who invited the dragon...

At the PaizoCon 2012 banquet, we announced we've been working on Paizo Game Space, a virtual tabletop that runs right in your web browser. We've shown some screenshots, and clarified why we're doing this (hint: it's not to crush our enemies). But now it's been a few months, and the VTT isn't available yet, so we'd like to give you an update on where we are and answer some big questions: "When can I use it?" and "How much will it cost?"

When can I use it?

We're going to be starting public beta testing in the next few weeks. This beta test will be open to anybody who bought a ticket online for PaizoCon 2012. This gives us a reasonably limited group of people to bang on it and break the obvious stuff so we can fix it before opening it up to everybody. Ideally, the beta test will last just a few weeks, but that will depend on what breaks.

How much will it cost?

As we've said before, it'll be free to play. But we'll have ways for you to give us money. Since we're talking about selling access to digital data, pretty much anything is possible, but initially, we're focusing on maps, tokens and adventures.

We've also settled on some basic principles:

  • If you buy it, you keep it. That means no limited number of uses, no monthly fees, no pay-per-play, no rentals. If you buy a token set for Paizo Game Space, you can use those tokens whenever you like. Period. There's no extra charge to use the same token in multiple games. You won't have to pay us again next year to keep using it. And if you buy a campaign and want to run multiple groups through it, you can do that, too.
  • If someone at the table has it, everybody can see it. Rather than make GMs have to purchase everything, we think it's important for players to be able to help out. So if Karzoug is running a campaign, and needs Flip-Mat: Country Inn, Merisiel can just let him use hers.*

So how much does that Flip-Mat cost Merisiel? We're still working out pricing for things like Adventure Paths and token packs, but we can tell you this: Flip-Mats and Map Packs will be just $1.99. And if you already bought the PDF for a Flip-Mat or Map Pack? You can use it in Paizo Game Space, free.

Gary Teter
Senior Software Developer

*Little-known fact: rogues love to share. And runelords make great GMs.

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The best thing about this discussion is the regularity of the updates.

Seriously, the fact that we are getting fairly regular updates with honest substantive information is very encouraging.

I would actually, love to see them go BACK to the previous Alpha testers once the polish has been [re]applied and make sure that they actually did what they had hopped to do.

I am more than willing to wait for another round of testing to get a product that works.


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I for one, welcome our new virtual game master overlords.

Game Space Beta Tester

Greatly looking forward to the beta! I really like your model of free play, with a pay system for maps and tokens. Cant wait to hear more.


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I have to admit, I'm a bit cynical when VTTs producers justify a lack of specific features. This doesn't really apply to GameSpace yet because it is still on the runway... but the Roll20 dev team does this often, saying "We're not MapTool and we don't need to be MapTool, so don't ask us for things that MapTool had". I wish they wouldn't. I only ask because I am a user and I would like that feature, because it worked.

Over time, the stance they've taken in justifying this has made me feel a little maligned as a user of both platforms. That's bad. They should try no to do that. Even if there is zero chance they will implement a request, they should listen and ideally learn from the request. Hopefully GameSpace can preemptively take a lesson from that.

If a genie gave me the power to declare the philosophy by which GameSpace adds features, I'd say it should be the most Pathfinder-specific VTT. If Pathfinder has a lumpy set of rules for vision and lighting, or stealth, or encumbrance (which it has all three) I think a VTT should endeavor to help with all of those things. Every time Roll20 says "we're not supporting that because we're 'system-agnostic'," that's an opportunity to differentiate GameSpace as the VTT for Pathfinder.

That doesn't seem like Paizo's current philosophy. I understand they've arrived at system agnosticism and limited (but polished) feature set. But I can say honestly: that's not what I'm looking for in GameSpace. I'm waiting to see how it differentiates itself from other highly-usable, website-based, free VTT apps. It would be ideal if they were decidedly NOT system agnostic and feature-light, because we have that already.

</VTT peanut gallery>


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:

I have to admit, I'm a bit cynical when VTTs producers justify a lack of specific features. This doesn't really apply to GameSpace yet because it is still on the runway... but the Roll20 dev team does this often, saying "We're not MapTool and we don't need to be MapTool, so don't ask us for things that MapTool had". I wish they wouldn't. I only ask because I am a user and I would like that feature, because it worked.

Over time, the stance they've taken in justifying this has made me feel a little maligned as a user of both platforms. That's bad. They should try no to do that. Even if there is zero chance they will implement a request, they should listen and ideally learn from the request. Hopefully GameSpace can preemptively take a lesson from that.

If a genie gave me the power to declare the philosophy by which GameSpace adds features, I'd say it should be the most Pathfinder-specific VTT. If Pathfinder has a lumpy set of rules for vision and lighting, or stealth, or encumbrance (which it has all three) I think a VTT should endeavor to help with all of those things. Every time Roll20 says "we're not supporting that because we're 'system-agnostic'," that's an opportunity to differentiate GameSpace as the VTT for Pathfinder.

That doesn't seem like Paizo's current philosophy. I understand they've arrived at system agnosticism and limited (but polished) feature set. But I can say honestly: that's not what I'm looking for in GameSpace. I'm waiting to see how it differentiates itself from other highly-usable, website-based, free VTT apps. It would be ideal if they were decidedly NOT system agnostic and feature-light, because we have that already.

</VTT peanut gallery>

I could not agree more.

Liberty's Edge

I'm gathering a group to play on GameSpace upon its eventual release. I have a couple that is interested in playing, but they only have one computer. Will GameSpace support multiple players playing from one computer in the same session?


Evil Lincoln wrote:

If a genie gave me the power to declare the philosophy by which GameSpace adds features, I'd say it should be the most Pathfinder-specific VTT. If Pathfinder has a lumpy set of rules for vision and lighting, or stealth, or encumbrance (which it has all three) I think a VTT should endeavor to help with all of those things. Every time Roll20 says "we're not supporting that because we're 'system-agnostic'," that's an opportunity to differentiate GameSpace as the VTT for Pathfinder.

That doesn't seem like Paizo's current philosophy. I understand they've arrived at system agnosticism and limited (but polished) feature set. But I can say honestly: that's not what I'm looking for in GameSpace. I'm waiting to see how it differentiates itself from other highly-usable, website-based, free VTT apps. It would be ideal if they were decidedly NOT system agnostic and feature-light, because we have that already.

For the most part I agree. It would be wonderful to have rule support built in. However, as a GM, I would still want the ability to turn off any or all of those rules and revert to a more agnostic system. If I want to house rule stealth (to use the in-progress rewrite post, for example), I wouldn't want to have to fight the software to do that. I would want to just turn it off and then narrate / roll based on my house rules. Or if I want to use a unusual / custom vision type like "treesight" (in this case, an ability to see from the perspective of any tree within 30'), I'd need a way to either support that or turn off vision/lighting alltogether.

And so on. Optional rule support is the way to go.


I appreciate the regular updates but take your time with the release. I still need to get this ready and working...

I'm really looking forward to this. I love the support for Adventure Path material!


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Bobson wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:

If a genie gave me the power to declare the philosophy by which GameSpace adds features, I'd say it should be the most Pathfinder-specific VTT. If Pathfinder has a lumpy set of rules for vision and lighting, or stealth, or encumbrance (which it has all three) I think a VTT should endeavor to help with all of those things. Every time Roll20 says "we're not supporting that because we're 'system-agnostic'," that's an opportunity to differentiate GameSpace as the VTT for Pathfinder.

That doesn't seem like Paizo's current philosophy. I understand they've arrived at system agnosticism and limited (but polished) feature set. But I can say honestly: that's not what I'm looking for in GameSpace. I'm waiting to see how it differentiates itself from other highly-usable, website-based, free VTT apps. It would be ideal if they were decidedly NOT system agnostic and feature-light, because we have that already.

For the most part I agree. It would be wonderful to have rule support built in. However, as a GM, I would still want the ability to turn off any or all of those rules and revert to a more agnostic system. If I want to house rule stealth (to use the in-progress rewrite post, for example), I wouldn't want to have to fight the software to do that. I would want to just turn it off and then narrate / roll based on my house rules. Or if I want to use a unusual / custom vision type like "treesight" (in this case, an ability to see from the perspective of any tree within 30'), I'd need a way to either support that or turn off vision/lighting alltogether.

And so on. Optional rule support is the way to go.

I think this is an important nuance of this discussion that can get lost.

There is a huge gulf between "full" rules support and "practical" rules support. "Full" rules support we have never seen in a VTT, and nor do I think it is actually necessary. "Practical" rules support covers all of the most typical rolls you will deal with on a regular basis, so skills, combat, saves, etc, etc. A character sheet that takes care of the math. A way to add and save macros. "Practical" is a far cry from "Full" rules support. You do not need "Full" support.

An example of a feature rich "practical" approach is what LM's Pathfinder framework has done for Maptool. It covers all of the typical elements in most typical games, with ways to extend it for more customized campaigns.

I think when experienced users say that they desire rules support they are thinking along the lines of "practical" rules support, and others think they are saying "full" rules support. You do not need "full," and nor could you probably ever reach that. But there is a whole lot that you can integrate that a computer can do really well, and used every game session.


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Personally, I'd like to see full rule support. System agnostic VTTs are already pretty common, after all. If Paizo wants us to spend money on their support material for their VTT, its better if it offers some advantage of just going with another already established VTT.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Personally, I'd like to see full rule support. System agnostic VTTs are already pretty common, after all. If Paizo wants us to spend money on their support material for their VTT, its better if it offers some advantage of just going with another already established VTT.

I 100% agree. At the very least "practical" rules support.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Had a question I don't see any info about. For the maps that will be part of GS will they be in 5ft squares?

I ask as I am getting ready to run Shattered Stars Beyond the Doomsday doors and all the maps I just looked at in the AP are 10ft squares not 5. Means I can't easily use a VTT or my projector for these maps.

Thanks


I asked that last page, but no official answer so far. Although a fellow gamer found it likely.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
ShadowChemosh wrote:

Had a question I don't see any info about. For the maps that will be part of GS will they be in 5ft squares?

I ask as I am getting ready to run Shattered Stars Beyond the Doomsday doors and all the maps I just looked at in the AP are 10ft squares not 5. Means I can't easily use a VTT or my projector for these maps.

Thanks

I would imagine they will have a grid overlay that you can adjust to whatever you want, at least the should.


Elorebaen is right, there are other VTTs that you can adjust the size of the grid (or the size of the map) so there is no reason they wouldn't make Paizo Gamespace to do the same.

- Gauss


Are they still moving forward with this project, or is it dead? Anyone have proof? 'cause roll20.net is kidda kicking ass over there.

Scarab Sages

They just finished up Alpha and are getting ready to move into Beta Demonic. I imagine we'll all have full information at that time.

Paizo Employee PostMonster General

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I might have time for a bigger update later but I just wanted to answer some questions before I get back into head-down coding mode:

Yes, this project is still under development. We are currently polishing the user experience.

Maps from Paizo products will be gridded at whatever the map is in the print version—if it was printed for 10-foot squares, then it'll be 10-foot squares. Most of the maps I've seen so far are 5-foot squares.

Rules support: We will not be implementing the entire Pathfinder RPG rules set in Paizo Game Space. Mainly because every time I mention the possibility Jason, Sean and Stephen all just start laughing, and then they shake their heads. (It's really funny if you can get them all in the same room when you do this. I think we may need an animated GIF.)

That doesn't mean Paizo Game Space won't have support for things like initiative, combat, dice macros, etc. It just means that we're prioritizing usability and discoverability over implementing an entire rules engine.

I've talked to a LOT of people who are building VTTs or other Pathfinder RPG/tabletop RPG tools, and I've learned I can reliably discover how far along they are in their project: If they still think they can implement the entire Pathfinder RPG rules set, they have been working on it less than about six months. If they realize just how monstrous that task really is, then they have achieved enlightenment and are working with a more realistic set of goals to achieve.

That's not to say that it's impossible: have you seen how we rocket-landed that last rover onto Mars? It's clearly within the realm of human endeavor. It's also clearly really, really expensive and probably not doable within reasonable financial/profitability constraints, at least for Paizo, and not really a place where we are going to try to differentiate our VTT.

However, I think there are some really interesting possibilities for third-party and end-user customization, and whenever possible we've kept that as a underlying design goal for Paizo Game Space's architecture. I don't know when or if we'll ever open up an API for adding capabilities, but it's definitely something we've been thinking about.


Less talking, more working Gary! *Cracks imaginary whip* Onward slave! Yah! Mush!

Thanks for the update. ^_^


API is possible, eh? That right there is the "differentiator" I mentioned. I knew you'd have something in mind...

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Seems to me the big differentiator is plug and play Paizo content. Every other VTT I've used requires bucket-loads of setup on top of the normal GM prep you have to do which has been my big turn-off.


Hmm, Gary, if you say "if it was printed for 10-foot squares, then it'll be 10-foot squares.", it doesn't mean that we can't get proper 5 foot squares into the maps, right?

Because just because some APs have gigantic maps, it should not mean that we cannot properly place medium sized creatures ( i.e. player characters ) on the map. At least that's what I hope.


Dennis Baker wrote:
Seems to me the big differentiator is plug and play Paizo content. Every other VTT I've used requires bucket-loads of setup on top of the normal GM prep you have to do which has been my big turn-off.

Right, but plug and play doesn't mean much to me without some rules support. I have a very clear picture of how one prepares for VTT play, and a more "consumer" -like role would have both benefits and drawbacks for me.

On the other hand, an API and community support would mean that adventures /could/ get targeted rules support... something like NWN had with its scripting language, which is a very unique, flexible thing. Often the community is the best judge of what needs rules support most (cloaks and horses in NWN) and content creators could write adventures with specific subsystems (think about how the AP line features new rules).

Properly nurtured, such a thing would allow enterprising content creators to do a LOT of heavy lifting, without the traps that MapTool fell into.

I'm not saying I know how this will play out, but I will say that some community programming support will definitely make things interesting. Especially if it forces Roll20 to roll out something similar. It's all very interesting, folks!


I'm curious what these 'specific pathfinder rules' are that people are asking support for? I mean, as long as it provides a map, with squares, that tokens can be placed on and moved, and a dice roller that supports all the dice needed to play pathfinder, what else do you really need rules wise?

Maybe I'm just dense because I mostly use a VTT as a replacement table and play mat.

Also, I have similar concerns to magnuskn regarding the 10' squares. Will four medium sized tokens still be possible to place inside such a square easily?

My main interest in the game space is the preloaded maps and tokens and what not. Not having to cut and paste and edit and place maps, tokens and such is a huge time saving to me.

Game Space Beta Tester

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Things I would really like to see (sooner or later) in the Paizo Game Space:

1. Stability, stability, stability.
2. Ease of use.
3. Light, vision, and line of sight on a per client basis.
4. Area of effect templates.
5. Initiative tracker (w/ support for Ready and Delay)
6. Duration tracker (tied to #5).
7. Die roller

Things I don't care about:
1. Automatic calculation of hit, dmg, etc.
2. Building characters.
3. Other mechanics.


bugleyman wrote:

Things I would really like to see (sooner or later) in the Paizo Game Space:

1. Stability, stability, stability.
2. Ease of use.
3. Light, vision, and line of sight on a per client basis.
4. Area of effect templates.
5. Initiative tracker (w/ support for Ready and Delay)
6. Duration tracker (tied to #5).
7. Die roller

All of these things would have to be present in a VTT before I would try it out.

Given that Paizo is behind the development of this VTT, I would be very disappointed if they did not include these with their VTT.

Liberty's Edge

Gary, for my two players who live in the same house, can they play from the same computer or do they have to have their own computers?


HangarFlying wrote:
Gary, for my two players who live in the same house, can they play from the same computer or do they have to have their own computers?

I can't answer for Gary, but it strikes me that the system would need to be set up in such a way that player clients can be set to control multiple tokens, regardless of how many people were playing on that computer, if only so that players can control their familiars/animal companions/summons/mounts/etc.

Paizo Employee PostMonster General

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Currently it's one player per browser window. You can open two separate windows into the same scene and sign in as different players, we do that for testing. I don't know how well that would work in an actual game, sharing keyboard etc.

Each player can control multiple tokens, and there can be multiple GMs active simultaneously, though that gets a bit weird during combat.

Liberty's Edge

Awesome, thanks!

Game Space Beta Tester

I am so ready to try this. The public beta can't come soon enough. I am certainly willing to pay to have tokens and maps etc from APs easily accessible. Online campaigns simply work better now for my group of friends and I want to run Carrion Crown and the Wrath of the Righteous (when it comes out) via VTT.


I'm looking forward to this.

Contributor

I know that maps will be grided with whatever they had originally- 10 ft. grids, etc. Is there a possibility of a resizable grid overlay for whatever image is being used as a map? This would allow for any image to be used as a proper battle map with some adjustment work by the GM. This would even allow for some of the larger sized maps to be used with a bit of effort lining things up with the existing grid.


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donato wrote:
I know that maps will be grided with whatever they had originally- 10 ft. grids, etc. Is there a possibility of a resizable grid overlay for whatever image is being used as a map? This would allow for any image to be used as a proper battle map with some adjustment work by the GM. This would even allow for some of the larger sized maps to be used with a bit of effort lining things up with the existing grid.

You'd be astonished at how many maps are drawn with imperfect grids (some rows/columns wider or narrower than others). Laying a new grid over the top isn't pretty, and if the map is large enough it can actually become confusing. That said, VTTs like Roll20 do have this feature, and it's at least nominally useful.


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As does Fantasy Grounds. It always amazes me how difficult it is to overlay a grid and match the map's original grid, actually.

The grid I refer to is for character placement and reach determination, etc. Since we always use it, I almost wish the original maps were sans grid. For us, in FG, the original map's grid is at best ignored and more often a bit confusing.

Now that I say that, I've never checked to see if I can get those images from my PDF copies without the grid layer. Anyone know, off-hand?

And despite our current reliance on FG, I'm very interested in the team's work here. I have a lot of remote friends that do not have FG, not to mention the other benefits if working from something Paizo produces and supports.


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Paizo's maps are wonderfully consistent in grid size, probably because they have some of the most experienced cartographers. Roll20's 9 square system is the best I've seen, and they made it even better in the last few weeks.

The Exchange

is there anyway for us to 'buy our way in' yet?

apparently there is 'something' and at least 'some people' are testing it...

any chance that an 'as is' offering will be made where we can 'buy something' to get access to what ever stage that the tool is at now?

I just figured I'd ask - this seems to be something that is offered fairly regularly these days, and I figured it couldn't hurt to see if it's something that you'd considered doing.

thanks for humoring me.

Dark Archive Game Space Beta Tester

zWolf wrote:

is there anyway for us to 'buy our way in' yet?

apparently there is 'something' and at least 'some people' are testing it...

any chance that an 'as is' offering will be made where we can 'buy something' to get access to what ever stage that the tool is at now?

I just figured I'd ask - this seems to be something that is offered fairly regularly these days, and I figured it couldn't hurt to see if it's something that you'd considered doing.

thanks for humoring me.

The only way to pay to get in is to invent a time machine and get yourself to be an attendee of Paizocon 2012, which is the group that they're using for high volume testing.


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Gary Teter wrote:

Currently it's one player per browser window. You can open two separate windows into the same scene and sign in as different players, we do that for testing. I don't know how well that would work in an actual game, sharing keyboard etc.

Each player can control multiple tokens, and there can be multiple GMs active simultaneously, though that gets a bit weird during combat.

That really made me sad. I would like to use it with one computer and display it on a projector.

With this system this is not possible and looks more like D20 which i dissed because it wouldnt allow me to use it as i wanted. Which led me to have to use maptool.

I was very happy when Paizo announed Game Space, with every maps needed available life as a GM would be easier. But now it is like Paizo dont want the games sit around the same table?!?!?
We want to gather together and still use Game Space. I really hope that Paizo reconsider this move.

regards

Liberty's Edge

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Gary Teter wrote:

Currently it's one player per browser window. You can open two separate windows into the same scene and sign in as different players, we do that for testing. I don't know how well that would work in an actual game, sharing keyboard etc.

Each player can control multiple tokens, and there can be multiple GMs active simultaneously, though that gets a bit weird during combat.

An observer mode for a public game would be good. Observer = gets to watch, otherwise locked out of input.

In terms of longterm API, hooks for someone to ultimately get basic combat values from, ultimately, a Herolab sheet would appear to be optimal.

Liberty's Edge

Exarx wrote:
Gary Teter wrote:

Currently it's one player per browser window. You can open two separate windows into the same scene and sign in as different players, we do that for testing. I don't know how well that would work in an actual game, sharing keyboard etc.

Each player can control multiple tokens, and there can be multiple GMs active simultaneously, though that gets a bit weird during combat.

That really made me sad. I would like to use it with one computer and display it on a projector.

With this system this is not possible and looks more like D20 which i dissed because it wouldnt allow me to use it as i wanted. Which led me to have to use maptool.

I was very happy when Paizo announed Game Space, with every maps needed available life as a GM would be easier. But now it is like Paizo dont want the games sit around the same table?!?!?
We want to gather together and still use Game Space. I really hope that Paizo reconsider this move.

regards

Well, he did say "currently", which means that this is the case at this point in time but is not an impossibility for the future.

Game Space Beta Tester

If testing is going on now, perhaps I missed an invite? I was at paizocon 2012. Also, our plan was to use it with a projector as we all sit around the same table. Hopefully this will work.

Paizo Employee PostMonster General

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Unless I'm misunderstanding what people want from projector support, I don't see any reason why using Paizo Game Space with a projector wouldn't work. That's how we demonstrated it at PaizoCon. The GM would be signed in and control the mouse and keyboard. If you don't want GM-specific information to be displayed on the main projected screen, you'd need dual monitor support and put one window on the projected screen and one on the GM-specific screen.


Thanks, Gary. :)

The Exchange

Enlight_Bystand wrote:
zWolf wrote:

is there anyway for us to 'buy our way in' yet?

apparently there is 'something' and at least 'some people' are testing it...

any chance that an 'as is' offering will be made where we can 'buy something' to get access to what ever stage that the tool is at now?

I just figured I'd ask - this seems to be something that is offered fairly regularly these days, and I figured it couldn't hurt to see if it's something that you'd considered doing.

thanks for humoring me.

The only way to pay to get in is to invent a time machine and get yourself to be an attendee of Paizocon 2012, which is the group that they're using for high volume testing.

Heh, I tried the 'Next' best thing and purchased Paizocon Tickets for THIS year, with the hope that I'd be on the list for testing... but that was a long time ago, and so far, nothing.

Sorry for my inpatients, I have to admit, though it is 'unfair' a bit of my 'rage' from the way Wizards handled their VTT gets shuffled over to this product - (remember how they used it to sell books, even listing it on page 11 as a tool to use, then never coming out with anything?)

So, ya, my Brain knows that Paizo had nothing to do with that Wotc failed VTT endeavor. But there's some 'weird' emotion that I have to deal with that I know is 'residual' backlash from feeling disenfranchised by Wotc.

I mostly just check in every few months to see if there's any progress towards opening a beta... and every few months it seems that the news is, 'coming soon'. :-P

see ya again in a few months.

The Exchange

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Gary Teter wrote:

Currently it's one player per browser window. You can open two separate windows into the same scene and sign in as different players, we do that for testing. I don't know how well that would work in an actual game, sharing keyboard etc.

Each player can control multiple tokens, and there can be multiple GMs active simultaneously, though that gets a bit weird during combat.

I use a similar set up at my home game, (other VTT of course, seeing as how you won't let me use your's... yet. :-P )

How I got around the 'keyboard / mouse' thing was 3 Wireless Mice and a wireless Keyboard that can get passed about. The players all use those input devices on one 'account' to move their tokens, on the map etc.

I am logged into my 'GM' account and run the game, the 'player account' is the client that displays up on the big TV.

It works pretty good. and would allow for a remote player to participate in the game as well.

Wireless fixes everything... (I exaggerate, but it certainly works for our needs.)


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zWolf wrote:

Sorry for my inpatients, I have to admit, though it is 'unfair' a bit of my 'rage' from the way Wizards handled their VTT gets shuffled over to this product - (remember how they used it to sell books, even listing it on page 11 as a tool to use, then never coming out with anything?)

So, ya, my Brain knows that Paizo had nothing to do with that Wotc failed VTT endeavor. But there's some 'weird' emotion that I have to deal with that I know is 'residual' backlash from feeling disenfranchised by Wotc.

For the record, WotC did eventually release a VTT product (that was actually pretty cool; it had a lot of features that no other VTT had implemented to-date). That VTT has now been moved out-of-house and is managed through the company that originally developed it. Furthermore, the team responsible for developing the VTT that was supposed to release with the rest of DDI found itself dealing with a truly horrific situation (one of the team members being involved in a murder-suicide) that almost certainly contributed substantially to the delay.

Quote:

I mostly just check in every few months to see if there's any progress towards opening a beta... and every few months it seems that the news is, 'coming soon'. :-P

see ya again in a few months.

And this is the rest of it - it's really, really hard to deliver complex software projects on a schedule. Only companies with really, really mature development pipelines and management with a long track record of handling software projects can feel reasonably assured of being able to advertise delivery dates that they can hit. It's not something to hold a grudge over, whether it's Paizo or WotC; it literally happens to almost everyone. Heck, Bioshock Infinite - a game released yesterday to staggeringly good reviews - was delayed twice, and it was developed by Irrational Games and 2K, both of which have plenty of development and management experience.

It's helpful (and probably healthier) to mentally replace any software release dates you come across with "Eventually".

The Exchange

Scott Betts wrote:
zWolf wrote:
...I know it is 'residual' backlash from feeling disenfranchised by Wotc.
For the record, WotC did eventually release a VTT product

Hmmm, I recall a 'beta' that lots and lot's of people were able to get into... I wasn't... but, by that time I really wasn't trying very hard either, and I'd let my sub go... I have no reason to doubt you, but.. I really was keeping my eye on that one, but never saw anything actually get released or announced... I just must have missed it.

Truth be told, by that time, the damage had already been done. I was quite frothy, (mostly cause I was so exited about the tool, and they seriously kept every one thinking they were releasing it with the books, even 10 to 14 days after the books were out, they kept silent and 'finally' started with the 'in a few months' line... T'was very frustrating. sigh.)

Scott Betts wrote:
(one of the team members being involved in a murder-suicide) that almost certainly contributed substantially to the delay.

Holy cow! that's horrifying! I never knew. terribly sad to hear. and you bet, that would mess up any team for ever after.

Scott Betts wrote:
It's helpful (and probably healthier) to mentally replace any software release dates you come across with "Eventually".

Boy you aint a kidding!

anyway, I'm just a guy that likes playing with VTT's and LOVES the Pathfinder world and rule set. I can't wait to try this out, I'm no stranger to Beta's - and 'broken' stuff, for me, it's refreshing to be a part of the testing team. I LOVE that aspect of my gaming.

soo, I'll just wait and 'eventually' I'm sure I'll get a chance. :-)

---- not to 'derail' even further.. but you mentioned a bunch of stuff about how hard it is, even for 'seasoned' teams to project release dates... sooo.. Pathfinder Online... 2020 maybe? (wink)-----

zWolf.


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Evil Lincoln wrote:
Elorebaen wrote:
If you want simple in Maptool, it is as easy as any other tool out there.

Except versioning, port-forwarding, and documentation. Compared to Roll20.net — or indeed probably the future GameSpace — those three hurdles are probably not worth the extra features for 90% of the potential VTT users. Indeed, the list of "missing features" on Roll20 is shrinking almost as fast as they were added to MapTool... and MapTool's stagnated for the past year or so.

Don't mistake me, I love MapTool. But for a multi-user application, installing clients on local machines is a stone age approach.

I couldn't agree more!


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There are pros and cons for each method of VTT deployment, not to mention each user has different preferences.

As it just so happens, the main reason why Roll20 has been so successful, is that it has a team of experienced programmers that get along and are being paid (via the donation and ads) to create, maintain, and update the program and its servers. Last time I checked, OpenRPG and MapTools are completely free, are being coded by few people, and have no ad support.

~Not everyone wants to be on a cloud~

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