Need Feedback from GMs


Technology


Hi fellow GMs,

We are working on a product that will enhance the tabletop RPG experience. I'd like to get your feedback on it.

QuestKick.com


So far, not impressed... IMO it needs more launching. :)

Okay, being serious: I don't like computers at my table, not even one for me. So this is not really a product for me. And the website needs more specific information, right now it's a little "This will be awesome, with features, on computers and mobile devices. And it's designed."

(That doesn't sound to nice when I read it with an accent...) I don't mean it harshly.

That being said, the area has great potential. Just make sure it's actually easier than a pen and a piece of paper.

So the questions so far include:
- HOW will it enhance the tabletop RPG experience?
- What is a streamlined campaign? it's probably not railroading.
- What does it do?

EDIT to add:
I'm not trying to be a jerk, it's a character trait/flaw of mine that
I hate teasers - I want information. :o)


As DonDuckie says, its a little hard to say a whole lot since the site has at most, the bare bones of information.

That being said, the idea looks as though it has a ton of potential. With cell phones being ubiquitous and tablets on their way to being so, a lot of these nuggets of information sound promising. The idea of using the map in a way that reveals it to the players as they go is great, but the utility will obviously vary from system to system. Many systems will still require a bit of drawing on the mat in order to set up combat.

It will be good though for when the party sneak decides to go out scouting and gets into trouble. As it stands now, it really doesn't matter how many twists and turns you put on the map, the moment the scout runs into trouble, the rest of the party will immediately make a bee line for him (at least in my experience). Here at least, you can let the scout go ahead, revealing the map to him as he goes, then when he finds trouble, start drawing his portion of the map. Now the party will probably still immediately run to help, but at least they won't automatically know whether to turn left or right, go up or down, etc.

The calendar and weather tracker will be nice, but not all that revolutionary. Same with the dice roller. I assume by streamlining, you mean that there will be some sort of a wiki feature that lets you organize places, npcs, past events, etc.

I guess the main question I have is, will this feature a full fleshed out virtual table top (thereby negating the need to use a mat to map battles)? If it does, you could really have a great product here when you combine the utility of the VTT with the wiki features, etc. all in one place. I imagine though making a VTT for all systems will be nigh on impossible though.

My main comment I guess would be that I am not overly impressed by the private message feature. Not that private messages are not important or useful, they are. Its just that with cell phones being ubiquitous now, there's no real need to bring in an outside messenger service. Just text the player in question.

Bottom line, I'd be interested to see what comes of this, but with so little information, it could be anything from Awesome! to meh. As always though, each user's mileage will vary.


Thanks for the feedback.

We didn't really spell everything out on the site. I guess we figured the people that would want those tools would already know how they would enhance their games. But to lay it out for you...

- HOW will it enhance the tabletop RPG experience?

1. An interactive soundtrack can make battles feel more intense, and exploration more open and wondrous.

2. Automating tasks or making them easier means you can spend more time on story and role-playing.

3. Weather is generated for you, so you're more likely to remember to use it in your game. You also spend less time looking up weather tables and rolling for it.

4. Private notes can reduce meta-gaming by keeping secret information secret. Plus the players get the fun of delivering the info to the group in character.

- What is a streamlined campaign? it's probably not railroading.

A streamlined campaign is one where all your NPCs, maps, and other notes are organized and easily referenced. All of your tools are quick and integrated with each other and easy to access, instead of being spread across multiple unrelated apps.

- What does it do?

There is a feature list on the home page.

- Will this feature a full fleshed out virtual table top?

That's one possible feature. We're trying to get feedback from gamers on what features would be useful.

- There's no real need to bring in an outside messenger service

The reason we would add this is so that all your game tools are in 1 place and you don't have to switch between multiple apps, which would be harder to manage and slow down the game.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Needs a lot more information on the site, and not blurbs but screenshots, examples, etc.

I do a lot of work in the IT field and the site looks like something that promises everything but does not back any of it up. (Seen a lot of Vendor sites like that). My first reaction was to skim and ignore.

Now that being said I have a feeling from your previous post you guys are actually putting some guts on it, and that is cool but the site does not convey that information. At least it does not convey it to me.


LukeM wrote:

Needs a lot more information on the site, and not blurbs but screenshots, examples, etc.

I do a lot of work in the IT field and the site looks like something that promises everything but does not back any of it up. (Seen a lot of Vendor sites like that). My first reaction was to skim and ignore.

Now that being said I have a feeling from your previous post you guys are actually putting some guts on it, and that is cool but the site does not convey that information. At least it does not convey it to me.

Thanks for the constructive feedback Luke. We'll consider how to add more information, while still keeping the signup flow simple.


Dotting for looking at a bit later.


(Disclaimer: I'm not being a jerk just to be a jerk, I study computer science, and I like my software to really offer me something.)

*Just noticed the stuff in the bottom wasn't random clutter.

And the menu in the bottom of the page: Don't, it's not "edgy", it's annoying. overview comes first, your page looks like an elaborate "under construction" sign and I took it as that. Partially my bad.

But when you said there was a feature list, I figured I should find it. Good rule for designing information packages:
1st: Overview/menu
2nd: New stuff
3rd: Old stuff
So I concede you have more information than I initially found.

And thank you for answering my questions.

Interactive is an overused word when selling software; a toaster is interactive, so is every music player ever made(even the 'Shuffle' sling bullet). Where is the music coming from? local? yours? both? must it be uploaded/shared? because the latter could be troublesome with copyright laws.

Not that gamers must be concerned about intellectual property rights, but software developers usually are :)

The weather thing sounds nice, but I use my own to generate weather prior to gaming(I really don't like computers at the table). But it's good to use weather(if you like that kind of play).

Meta-gaming is part of the game(to me), and secret notes can be done easily with pen+paper, no need for distracting screens that tend to move attention away from RP and story. Does every player need this running to use these features? or are we passing around the screen? both seem like a major source of disruption of the verisimilitude, which you're trying to limit.

Does the program require a keyboard/laptop, because improvised information could be difficult to type on smart phones/tablets without a good interface(I own neither, so I'm just saying).

I'm liking the project a little more... but not the homepage. Sorry.

If this had a tactical board(virtual game table) and a tracker for invisible NPCs/monsters and "off camera" events, my interest would increase further.

Same with multiple screens support, as I'm working on using a projector for tactical board at my table... but this may be difficult with browser based software.


DonDuckie wrote:

(Disclaimer: I'm not being a jerk just to be a jerk, I study computer science, and I like my software to really offer me something.)

*Just noticed the stuff in the bottom wasn't random clutter.

And the menu in the bottom of the page: Don't, it's not "edgy", it's annoying. overview comes first, your page looks like an elaborate "under construction" sign and I took it as that. Partially my bad.

But when you said there was a feature list, I figured I should find it. Good rule for designing information packages:
1st: Overview/menu
2nd: New stuff
3rd: Old stuff
So I concede you have more information than I initially found.

And thank you for answering my questions.

Interactive is an overused word when selling software; a toaster is interactive, so is every music player ever made(even the 'Shuffle' sling bullet). Where is the music coming from? local? yours? both? must it be uploaded/shared? because the latter could be troublesome with copyright laws.

Not that gamers must be concerned about intellectual property rights, but software developers usually are :)

The weather thing sounds nice, but I use my own to generate weather prior to gaming(I really don't like computers at the table). But it's good to use weather(if you like that kind of play).

Meta-gaming is part of the game(to me), and secret notes can be done easily with pen+paper, no need for distracting screens that tend to move attention away from RP and story. Does every player need this running to use these features? or are we passing around the screen? both seem like a major source of disruption of the verisimilitude, which you're trying to limit.

Does the program require a keyboard/laptop, because improvised information could be difficult to type on smart phones/tablets without a good interface(I own neither, so I'm just saying).

I'm liking the project a little more... but not the homepage. Sorry.

If this had a tactical board(virtual game table) and a tracker for invisible NPCs/monsters and "off camera" events, my...

Thanks again for the feedback.

The menu at the bottom isn't supposed to be edgy. We had a higher conversion rate with it there. Who am I to argue with success?

The idea is that anyone in the group can use their own phones, laptops, or tablets. It's optional. I find most people bring them anyway, but if a player doesn't have one, he just can't use QK.

By interactive soundtrack, I mean you can adjust it while gaming to change the mood. There are 2 ways to do that. First, you can just click on what type of scene you want (e.g. dungeon, battle, day...), or second you can assign a theme song to an NPC, location, or anything else. Then you can play the theme whenever the NPC appears.

You can browse different genres of soundtracks from professional composers, all designed specifically for QK. So for example you could get a soundtrack with a desert fantasy theme that has music for all the scenes you need.

We've actually had a lot of requests for the virtual tabletop. Not sure if that's the direction we'll go with it, but it's a possibility.


I actually do use a laptop at the table, so this is something I could be interested in if it offers something good enough.

One of the most compelling points was the weather generator. I ran Kingmaker and ended up disappointing myself by not going the extra mile to add in weather as a hazard.

In that vein, there are three weather-related features I would be interested in such a product:

One, I would like to select different climates for the weather table. One options would be to have a generic list selectable. Another option would be to select a real-world area and use a table based on it. For example, in Kingmaker, canny GMs noted that Brevoy is similar to a particular place in Canada and based their weather on that area.

Two, I would like to be able to modify the weather table -- both to adjust percentages, and to add in new kinds of weather -- then save it as a custom setting.

Three, I might be interested in rolling and recording weather some days in advance rather than rolling each day to see that day's weather. Perhaps it's not completely necessary -- but if I as GM realize that a blizzard comes in a few days, perhaps I want to foreshadow that or otherwise rearrange some plot details.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Should probably be in the 3PP forum.


Troubleshooter wrote:

I actually do use a laptop at the table, so this is something I could be interested in if it offers something good enough.

One of the most compelling points was the weather generator. I ran Kingmaker and ended up disappointing myself by not going the extra mile to add in weather as a hazard.

In that vein, there are three weather-related features I would be interested in such a product:

One, I would like to select different climates for the weather table. One options would be to have a generic list selectable. Another option would be to select a real-world area and use a table based on it. For example, in Kingmaker, canny GMs noted that Brevoy is similar to a particular place in Canada and based their weather on that area.

Two, I would like to be able to modify the weather table -- both to adjust percentages, and to add in new kinds of weather -- then save it as a custom setting.

Three, I might be interested in rolling and recording weather some days in advance rather than rolling each day to see that day's weather. Perhaps it's not completely necessary -- but if I as GM realize that a blizzard comes in a few days, perhaps I want to foreshadow that or otherwise rearrange some plot details.

What you described is the exact reason I came up with the idea for Quest Kick. I'm running a Kick Maker campaign, and I keep forgetting to add in weather or keep track of the season, so I wanted to build a little tool for that. It obviously grew a bit beyond that scope.

But yes I hear you, selecting from pre-made weather, and customizing it are essential. Number 3 is a good suggestion we'll have to think about. Thanks.


Thanks to everyone who provided constructive feedback. Based on feedback I got that there wasn't enough info on the site, we added 4 new pages describing the features in more detail.

If you want to read about the features and see screenshots, they are at questkick.com/world-organizer

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