Dungeonscape Cancelled


4th Edition


http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/news/digital_tools_announcement

http://www.trapdoortechnologies.com/dungeonscape/

Based on my experience with the web beta, I see two possible reasons for this:

1 - Trapdoor was waaaay over their head. The web beta is a long way from being ready for release. The interface was buggy, but that's not a huge deal. More troubling was that they hadn't integrated all the character creation rules into a common database, more than two months after the PHB had been released. They claimed that the iOS version was ready to go (I'm skeptical), and were only waiting on pricing approval from WotC, but that leads me to #2

2 - The promise was that Dungeonscape would be a buy-once-use-forever model, with content broken up into small chunks or bundled together, with both e-reader and in-game functionality. They were constantly going back and forth with WotC over pricing, however, which leads me to suspect that WotC had unrealistic expectations as to what the content should cost.

Bottom line, it's now almost November, and there's still no way to legally use the content, or even to read the books, in digital form. Hopefully, this latest fiasco will finally convince WotC to just release watermarked PDFs and be done with it.


Southeast Jerome wrote:

http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/news/digital_tools_announcement

http://www.trapdoortechnologies.com/dungeonscape/

Based on my experience with the web beta, I see two possible reasons for this:

1 - Trapdoor was waaaay over their head. The web beta is a long way from being ready for release. The interface was buggy, but that's not a huge deal. More troubling was that they hadn't integrated all the character creation rules into a common database, more than two months after the PHB had been released. They claimed that the iOS version was ready to go (I'm skeptical), and were only waiting on pricing approval from WotC, but that leads me to #2

2 - The promise was that Dungeonscape would be a buy-once-use-forever model, with content broken up into small chunks or bundled together, with both e-reader and in-game functionality. They were constantly going back and forth with WotC over pricing, however, which leads me to suspect that WotC had unrealistic expectations as to what the content should cost.

Bottom line, it's now almost November, and there's still no way to legally use the content, or even to read the books, in digital form. Hopefully, this latest fiasco will finally convince WotC to just release watermarked PDFs and be done with it.

I, for one, am shocked. Shocked!

Now is it OK to say the obvious: That WotC is dropping the ball on digital? Or to request PDFs without being accused of being entitled? Anyone? Anyone?
...Bueller?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, that escalated quickly.


bugleyman wrote:

I, for one, am shocked. Shocked!

Now is it OK to say the obvious: That WotC is dropping the ball on digital? Or to request PDFs without being accused of being entitled? Anyone? Anyone?
...Bueller?

Bugley, I immediately thought of you when I saw the news. :)

Seriously, all WotC needs to do is cut and paste the text from the PHB, leave out all the art a la the basic rules, and sell it as a watermarked PDF for $25. WotC gets to overcharge and double dip on the revenue, and the players get a text searchable copy of the full rules to use at the table so we don't have to haul around the hardcovers.


Gorbacz wrote:
Well, that escalated quickly.

It did, didn't it? Bulgey killed a guy! Did you throw a trident?


Frankly, I feel sorry for the designers of 5E. The produced a great product -- clearly a labor of love -- only to watch it be hamstrung by gross incompetence completely beyond their control. Wait...where have I heard that story before...?

You gotta love Corporate America.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Adjusted thread title to be less baiting and removed some posts that could lead to an edition war derail. Please keep in mind that we encourage respect towards other publishers on our messageboards.


Fair enough, Chris. My apologies.

Can I mention how great Paizo is at PDF distribution? :)


I think it's unfortunate. Sounds like the software's concept was good.


DaveMage wrote:
I think it's unfortunate. Sounds like the software's concept was good.

I got into the web beta toward the end, and it was very unfinished and buggy, and progress was very slow. Word was that the iOS version was much more complete, but can't confirm. Not surprised the plug got pulled, but hopeful that they get something out the door sooner rather than later.


The pessimist in me is not really shocked given the state of digital support we saw out of WotC in the 3E (especially) and 4E days.

That said, in a world where tablets and smart phones are very common and people want a game product they can carry around in electronic format, to not have the basics like a character generator ready to go a the launch of the new game is pretty sad.


Hmmm...so I canceled my DMG pre-order over on Amazon today, mentioned it on [redacted], and was promptly called a liar.

I think I need a new hobby. :-/


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You cancelled your DMG pre-order because of this?

It is sad that Dungeonscape got cancelled, but I wasn't really surprised. I still remember all the mentions of etools back in the early 2000s in Dragon Magazines, but I don't think I had ever actually seen the thing. WotC needs to get their heads out of their butts and stop trying to shoehorn so much crap into something like this.

Make a character creator (though needing one for 5th edition reeks of laziness) similar to Herolab, and digital versions of the books. That is all you need, and that is all that is required. No dice roller, virtual tabletop (which Paizo has been working on since July 2012 and still no news on a release date for that), or anything else. They could create those later on.

Sovereign Court

Guess the wait for digital options just got a bit longer. That's fine I am still neck deep in PF APs anyhow. Hope they right the ship at some point be nice to pick up the PDFs.


Adjule wrote:
You cancelled your DMG pre-order because of this?

Because of no PDFs and this. Lack of a digital option is a deal-killer for me.

It's also painful to watch them make all the same mistakes with 5E that they did with 4E...but that's another thread (and probably one that would get locked).


Good. Maybe we'll get some PDFs now. The one thing I miss the most when switching from Pathfinder to 5e is the digital offerings (that and awesome adventures :) ). WotC is severely lacking in this regard...

Shadow Lodge

Legendarius wrote:
That said, in a world where tablets and smart phones are very common and people want a game product they can carry around in electronic format, to not have the basics like a character generator ready to go a the launch of the new game is pretty sad.

So, do you apply that standard to Paizo as well? Because they don't have a character generator. Hero Lab is NOT Paizo, it's Lone Wolf.

As for Dungeonscape....meh...I really don't care. 5e isn't an overly-complicated system like Pathfinder where there's a real need for these kinds of digital tools.


I'm not giving Paizo points just saying the flagship RPG from the biggest company should have some kind of electronic tools, even if just a character generator on the web site to start.


Yea I'm not that wild about Paizo's (lack of) digital support, and I think the organization and features of their srd are poor...
but at least they have PDFs. That's what really matters to me the most, everything else could just as easily be done by a 3rd party.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Kthulhu wrote:
Legendarius wrote:
That said, in a world where tablets and smart phones are very common and people want a game product they can carry around in electronic format, to not have the basics like a character generator ready to go a the launch of the new game is pretty sad.
So, do you apply that standard to Paizo as well? Because they don't have a character generator. Hero Lab is NOT Paizo, it's Lone Wolf.

True, but Paizo had PDF support from day one, about the same time that Wizards pulled all legal copies of PDFs of their materials, fearing that if someone had a PDF nobody would buy game rules. And yet, Paizo has maintained its position in the RPG market while giving away most of their rules for free on the web via the PRD. I actually have to work hard to find an RPG I can't buy or simply have a PDF of on DriveThruRPG.com. Wizards is still holding on to the rights to do that with their new material (they've slowly leaked select older edition material back onto DTRPG).

Kthulhu wrote:
As for Dungeonscape....meh...I really don't care. 5e isn't an overly-complicated system like Pathfinder where there's a real need for these kinds of digital tools.

I'm cautiously optimistic that this is not the end of digital tools for and digital access to D&D, just a setback and a change of direction. If they've decided how they're going to handle it, they'll make their announcement soon enough.


Kthulhu wrote:

So, do you apply that standard to Paizo as well? Because they don't have a character generator. Hero Lab is NOT Paizo, it's Lone Wolf.

As for Dungeonscape....meh...I really don't care. 5e isn't an overly-complicated system like Pathfinder where there's a real need for these kinds of digital tools.

This is from lonewolf-Rob back in 2010:

"We'll be outlining our overall digital tools vision to Paizo. That includes our existing Hero Lab product and our evolution plans for it. It also includes our upcoming Realm Works product and how it fits into our vision. Plus it includes a variety of other elements that I'm not at liberty to discuss publicly right now. Basically, it's where we are, where we're going, and the synergies we envision with Paizo and the Pathfinder line.

Paizo is undoubtedly talking to multiple tool developers about their respective visions. Based on those discussions, I'm guessing that Paizo will identify the companies whose vision best matches Paizo's own vision and/or best resonates with Paizo's goals. Strategic partnerships can then be established with those companies to bring the most value to Paizo's customer base."

Paizo also has a Pathfinder tie-in with Syrinscape.

So, how is this really different from what WotC had with Trapdoor?

As a gamer, do the differences really matter?

I'm as tired of edition wars as the next person but regardless of your feelings towards WotC's games, staff, etc. their ability to support digital tools in any reasonable fashion is incredibly lacking.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'm not seeing any reason for discounting Hero Lab as a chargen tool for Pathfinder simply because Paizo licensed this out. If anything, it made the tool more useful since it also incorporated third-party support (Midgard, Rappan Athuk, Rite Publishing, TPK, etc.) into the one product.

I don't believe DDI for 4e supported material from 3PP, and we don't know now what 5e will support if such products are made available.


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The best thing WotC could do right now is follow Paizo's lead:

1. Release water-marked PDFs of the 5E core books on dndclassics.com.
2. Make a licensing deal with Lone Wolf for Hero Lab support.

However, because this course of action would be both effective and extremely fast, it is almost guaranteed not to happen. :P


davrion wrote:
I don't believe DDI for 4e supported material from 3PP, and we don't know now what 5e will support if such products are made available.

DDI didn't support 3rd party material and that's often pointed to as a reason 3PP never took off for 4e.

As of last I heard, we still don't know if there will be official 3PP products for 5e. Obviously they're contracting some stuff out (like their first adventures), but there's been no word on any sort of OGL or GSL.

Cheers!
Landon


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
bugleyman wrote:

Hmmm...so I canceled my DMG pre-order over on Amazon today, mentioned it on [redacted], and was promptly called a liar.

I think I need a new hobby. :-/

That's kind of what you get from some users who spend a fair amount of time on [redacted]'s sister site - the less moderated messageboard. And this user also swore up and down that the sister site wasn't toxic (psst ... it pretty much is).


makes me curious what the actual [redacted] website is, as I don't frequent many messageboards other than this one and one devoted to video games.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

man, I've been googling "[redacted] game site" for hours and just can't find anything like what you guys are talking about.

Am I spelling redacted correctly?


<Conan>What [redacted] is this?!?</Conan>


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think probably we should can the talk about the other site. It was a brief spat that only two people were involved in, and the offender was quickly put in his place by the site's moderation. There's nothing to discuss. People are sometimes jerks. No, that doesn't mean you need to rethink your hobby.


bugleyman wrote:

The best thing WotC could do right now is follow Paizo's lead:

1. Release water-marked PDFs of the 5E core books on dndclassics.com.
2. Make a licensing deal with Lone Wolf for Hero Lab support.

However, because this course of action would be both effective and extremely fast, it is almost guaranteed not to happen. :P

Makes a LOT of sense strategically.


What, you guys can't even figure out what sight bugleyman is talking about? Obviously, it is [redacted]!:)


after overall seeing some great design decisions and really enjoying flipping through the hardcovers, this is the first really bad misstep. Hopefully they at least consider releasing PDFs if trapdoor is a no go.

In all fairness, digital tools seem to be hard for RPG companies to put together. I don't know if it's a profit to cost thing which prohibits hiring the personal needed, or just overestimating by non-programers the difficulty of the tasks involved. It's not like Paizo hasn't had issues with this as well (still waiting for their virtual tabletop :( )


Yeah, doing digital tools seems to be a terrible idea. Only thing slightly needed is a character builder (which to me isn't needed at all, since there are auto-filled character sheets), and pdfs of the books. Going for all this other bells and whistle crap seems to be an exercise in futility.

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