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Dragon
 
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 Post subject: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:38 am 
Other than the forum here, are there any other good sites to find D&D/Pathfinder games using Maptool? All I seem to find are games for Roll20 which does not look good for Maptool. :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:41 am 
As there always seems to be from 10 to 20 servers running at any given moment there are obviously games being run with MapTool but it's up to the individual GMs to advertise somewhere that they are looking for players. Obviously the various LFG/LFP areas of gaming sites would be obviously places to look and I assume you have done so.

To be blunt, if you are looking to find an online group to join, use the VTT that the GM or group has chosen to use. Roll20 is free for players. Sure, Roll20 is a pale shadow of a VTT when compared to MT, but isn't the goal to get in some gaming? If someone wanted players for a DragonQuest game but insisted on Roll20, I'd use Roll20.

MapTool is never going to have the online presence of Roll20 or other VTTs unless a wealthy benefactor comes along to pay to make it happen. As of yet, I haven't hit the lotto.


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Dragon
 
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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:20 pm 
Phergus wrote:
As there always seems to be from 10 to 20 servers running at any given moment there are obviously games being run with MapTool but it's up to the individual GMs to advertise somewhere that they are looking for players. Obviously the various LFG/LFP areas of gaming sites would be obviously places to look and I assume you have done so.

To be blunt, if you are looking to find an online group to join, use the VTT that the GM or group has chosen to use. Roll20 is free for players. Sure, Roll20 is a pale shadow of a VTT when compared to MT, but isn't the goal to get in some gaming? If someone wanted players for a DragonQuest game but insisted on Roll20, I'd use Roll20.

MapTool is never going to have the online presence of Roll20 or other VTTs unless a wealthy benefactor comes along to pay to make it happen. As of yet, I haven't hit the lotto.

Well, thanks for the response I guess.

So let me get this straight. This is what you're telling me?

1. I should look for [online] games at my [local] gaming shops? Seems like a stretch and a complete waste of time, but ok.

2. I should go ahead and join a Roll20 game when I'm looking for a Maptool game? As if that would never cross my mind when I just said that all I find are Roll20 games?

3. Finally you're telling me that Maptool is basically doomed for failure unless you win the lotto?

I'm interested in a MT game because I like using it and I was hoping it is still flourishing online. I use MT solely for my face-2-face game, so I was hoping that my lack of finding online games was due to my oversight rather than MT dropping in popularity. Of course I can find plenty of Roll20 games and I will join one if I can't find a MT game.

I sure hope the entire MT team isn't burned out and disgruntled. Roll20 is only 5 years old and is not nearly as good as MT despite being funded early on. Ever thought about why there are so many more games available to join on Roll20? Even with a paid subscriber base, they are not doing anything that can't be done here.

Maybe we need to step up our game and brainstorm ways to get more people using Maptool? Money is just an excuse. Even if development stopped today, we still already have a fully functional and fantastic bit of software available to use (100% free). Roll20 can't even say that.

Is it advertising? Would paying for advertising be beneficial if money was collected for such a thing? Or are the developers here not really interested in the success of MT any longer? It's a shame seeing all of this hard work not being put to good use and I've always been willing to help support MT any way I could. I never realized it was possibly this "dead".


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Giant
 
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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:53 pm 
MapTool is far from dead, but there isn't a consolidated place for people advertising games. (There is a "Looking for Group" subforum here, but it doesn't get much traffic.)

MapTool doesn't have as large a following as Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds, in part because there's no company behind it with an incentive to spread the word, and in part because it requires more technical knowledge to make work.

But nobody's going to complain if you get the word out more, and draw in new players.


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Dragon
 
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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:11 pm 
taustinoc wrote:
MapTool is far from dead, but there isn't a consolidated place for people advertising games. (There is a "Looking for Group" subforum here, but it doesn't get much traffic.)

MapTool doesn't have as large a following as Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds, in part because there's no company behind it with an incentive to spread the word, and in part because it requires more technical knowledge to make work.

But nobody's going to complain if you get the word out more, and draw in new players.

I'm not familiar much with the online presence of MT, so excuse my ignorance here, but I imagine that even with the lack of a marketing team, the devs here are somewhat familiar with what is needed in order to get more games listed in the same manner as Roll20 does. Are there not enough visitors to this website which would possibly result in less open game ads being posted? If there is an idea for what is needed, can anyone explain these details to me please?

I mean, I really don't see why MT should be any harder to find available games than Roll20. Even lack of technical knowledge to get it to work should not be an excuse because the help you receive from this community is amazing and most problems people have seem to come from using the more technical & customized tools. Default version of Maptool pretty much does most of what Roll20 does, right?

I am definitely interested in changing that if I know how I can help besides being one guy spamming other websites about MT. What is Roll20 doing to draw customers in to post open games that we are not doing for MT? Is the lack of "News" and update news for MT a factor? Do we need more volunteers to take control of more social areas of RPTools presence? I know we have RPTroll for these sort of things, but I rarely ever see anything from him. Does he need some side kicks?

Seriously, not being able to find 1 current existing open game invitation for MT is a disgrace and a terrible sign for the state of this software. MT should be much more than an inclusive RPG tool only used by those in the know.

I run a small RPG gaming miniatures website. I don't mind at all using it in some way to promote MT. I'm thinking something bigger than just sticking up a banner ad. Maybe we need a good blogging page or something to show off what people are doing with MT? Any ideas?


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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:41 pm 
I'd advertise for games on the following sites:

EnWorld's "Gamers Seeking Gamers" Forum.
Pen & Paper Games
Reddit

And, of course, maybe the BEST place to find gamers is on the official forums of the game you want to play.

Layout the game you want to play, the platform you want to play it on, hours of availability, etc.

Between all of those sources you should be able to be very selective about who you game with (which is, btw, a very good idea.)

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Maptool is the Millennium Falcon of VTT's -- "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts."


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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:15 pm 
Oryan77 wrote:
Well, thanks for the response I guess.

So let me get this straight. This is what you're telling me?

1. I should look for [online] games at my [local] gaming shops? Seems like a stretch and a complete waste of time, but ok.

2. I should go ahead and join a Roll20 game when I'm looking for a Maptool game? As if that would never cross my mind when I just said that all I find are Roll20 games?

3. Finally you're telling me that Maptool is basically doomed for failure unless you win the lotto?


Going 0 for 3 is pretty impressive.

Didn't say anything about gaming shops. Given that you reach this forum via the internet I mistakenly assumed that you might be aware of other gaming focused websites and forums. FB listed several. Looking For Group boards are not uncommon.

MT isn't a game. It isn't a set of rules. Saying you want to join a "MapTool game" is like saying you want to join games where they use red dice. It's nonsensical.

MT isn't dead but it also isn't as actively used today as it was 5 years ago. It was nearly impossible to keep up with the traffic on this forum then. Now days you're lucky to see a handful of messages.

I would guess that the arrival of Roll20 as well as improvements to Fantasy Grounds has something to do with it. Those VTTs have a huge advantage over MT in that they have paid programmers working on them. They have the ability to integrate content from game publishers that, critically, includes protection for those companies intellectual property. Roll20's marketplace was a brilliant move and that may be what ultimately lets them continue to grow.

A lobby/gateway system was something talked about many times here on the MapTool forum and between the developers. This would be a website specifically for connecting players and GMs using MapTool. Something like this would probably bring in more users. The problem is, essentially, one of money. Those developers still working on MT are doing so in their spare time. No one is getting paid and, indeed, they are spending money out of their own pockets to keep this website going. Coding and maintaining such a site takes both time and money. MapTool was created as a labor of love by Trevor and he never intended or desired for it to be a commercial product. It lives or dies based on how much effort the community of users are willing to put in to it.

If users want MapTool to grow then users need to run games online using it and tell other potential users about it in places where those users are more likely to be found.

Oryan77 wrote:
I've always been willing to help support MT any way I could.


Fantastic. Go promote it on Reddit, Facebook, ENWorld, RPG.net, G+, and any other place that gamers can be found online. Put together videos showing how cool your game sessions are because you use MapTool and then share them online. PM RPTroll and volunteer to help him out with the online social presence.


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Dragon
 
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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:33 am 
Phergus wrote:
MT isn't a game. It isn't a set of rules. Saying you want to join a "MapTool game" is like saying you want to join games where they use red dice. It's nonsensical.
MT is a platform that you can use to run a game from. It's no different than asking people which platform they prefer playing CoD on (PC, Xbox, PS, etc). I was hoping to find a game being run on MT because its my VTT of choice just like I prefer playing certain games on an Xbox. Of course, feel free to continue speaking down to me if that floats your boat.

Quote:
No one is getting paid and, indeed, they are spending money out of their own pockets to keep this website going. MapTool was created as a labor of love by Trevor and he never intended or desired for it to be a commercial product. It lives or dies based on how much effort the community of users are willing to put in to it.
Yes, I've been an active member here long enough to know this. I've contributed many things to the MT community. I've provided graphics, assets, feature ideas that were implemented, and I've done a ton of testing for Wolph42's BoT. It's a lot of work that's done for free. I get it. Which all of this is just another reason to be upset over the lack of popularity MT is receiving these days. Even you are saying, "may as well go use Roll20." All of the love and hard work going to waste is such a shame.

Quote:
Go promote it on Reddit, Facebook, ENWorld, RPG.net, G+, and any other place that gamers can be found online. Put together videos showing how cool your game sessions are because you use MapTool and then share them online. PM RPTroll and volunteer to help him out with the online social presence.
I would love to contact RPTroll and help him out. I was actually approached years ago to possibly be the MT spokesperson but he got the job. I don't want to waste my time though if what I bring to the table isn't going to be utilized by the dev team here. I run an online RPG store and being active in lots of online RPG communities gives me a lot of opportunity to find us some help. Cheap, or possibly free help. I could maybe help raise money to hire a professional G.U.I. artist to update the frontend. But then, will the dev team ever allow the work to be implemented? Or will it be outdated by the time it is implemented?

I could possibly network with a few gamers and supporters of MT and get some sort of pro Maptool blog, vlog, podcast, etc, etc thing going to show off MT. I've been toying around with the idea of making a blog on my storefront about the minis I use in my games and I would love to show off the minis on my LCD TV VTT setup along with all the features that I use with Maptool. I could maybe get a dedicated user to do video demonstrations each time new features are released. I have other ideas, but it seems like nobody really cares what happens to MT these days. I don't want my time and effort to go to waste.

I know Mote is a thing and I don't fully understand its relationship to MT. It seems completely unrelated now and I'd guess it's existence is another reason not to do much with MT. Still, it's hard to find anything out about Mote because of broken links, a website that is difficult to navigate (once you find it), and it's simply confusing to understand any news there when you have not been in the loop from the beginning. I couldn't even easily find a download link and when I found one on their Sandstorm Kickstarter page, it goes to a "we've moved" page which then takes you to a broken link. Thing's with MT/Mote are a mess and it goes beyond just an excuse over lack of funding. I don't say that in an attempt to simply be a dick. It's an honest observation from a huge supporter and fan of an incredible program.


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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:24 am 
Oryan77 wrote:
Thing's with MT/Mote are a mess and it goes beyond just an excuse over lack of funding. I don't say that in an attempt to simply be a dick. It's an honest observation from a huge supporter and fan of an incredible program.


No one here is responsible for Mote. Maptool is an open source project so of someone want to go and try and build a product base off of it, there is very little we can do about it.
The only mistake this group made was to allow links to be maintained between this site and theirs. Something we should not do if someone attempts a similar thing in the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:28 pm 
Jagged wrote:
No one here is responsible for Mote. Maptool is an open source project so of someone want to go and try and build a product base off of it, there is very little we can do about it.
The only mistake this group made was to allow links to be maintained between this site and theirs. Something we should not do if someone attempts a similar thing in the future.

I have a very different take on the how the Mote thing went down.

When Mote became a "thing" it was during a time of great MT malaise. The so-called "core" MT developers weren't doing much (like now). And the original Mote Primary (Lee), who was producing most of the fixes and updates for MT at the time, was motivated to do even more. However, he was clearly facing resistance with regard to his efforts and the speed with which things were moving... so he decided to fork off of what was a "dormant" MT and try to more fully realize MT's potential.

It was *not* a sinister action. However, I think it failed for several reasons:

1) The core "MT" developers, who were doing almost nothing at the time, would not back it. Not even passively. It's not clear if it was because they had some particular issue with Lee or because their intentions (which have, honestly, never materialized in the many years since) conflicted with the direction Lee was going.
2) The Mote Kickstarter under performed, and then Lee fell off the face of the planet soon after (due to some some mysterious accident or issue)... leaving Mote in the hands of people the MT community knew nothing about.
3) And then, after being backed into their own little corner/island--and because they just weren't a part of the MT community--the Mote people lost all incentive to embrace the MT legacy. In fact, as far as I know, they never even delivered on opening the source for Mote... which undercut what they were supposed to be about in the first place.

So instead of being an alternative method of advancing development of MT into the next gen, it became its own thing... and will likely wither away with a fraction of the use that MT gets despite having some impressive improvements over the fork it came from. Its greatest effect on MT was to, eventually, drive the release of the long-awaited (mythical) 1.4... which, ultimately, ended up being a shadow of what the core MT developers hyped it up to be.


Frankly, I think MT finds itself in much the same set of circumstances now. Jamz is about the only developer doing anything of note lately, and the vast majority of his work is isolated within his own fork... despite, were told, how he submits his improvements to be rolled out into MT proper. To his credit, he's gone out of his way to avoid adversarial build-up between Nerps and MT... but I do not think it is a sustainable dynamic. Nerps is precariously close to breaking away from being viewed as a mere "developmental preview/beta" platform for MT proper...

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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:34 pm 
Oryan77 wrote:
Which all of this is just another reason to be upset over the lack of popularity MT is receiving these days.

It is unfortunate and somewhat depressing that MapTool doesn't have the same level of activity and excitement it had a few years back. Active participation by the users will help change things but, yes, more active participation by the developers would also help.

Oryan77 wrote:
Even you are saying, "may as well go use Roll20."

And you can twist my words and misquote me if it makes you happy but all I said was if you want to play D&D/Pathfinder online and the online games you find are being run with Roll20 then use Roll20. If you want to see more games run with MapTool, make it happen.

Oryan77 wrote:
I would love to contact RPTroll and help him out. I was actually approached years ago to possibly be the MT spokesperson but he got the job. I don't want to waste my time though if what I bring to the table isn't going to be utilized by the dev team here.

Maybe the devs are thinking why should I waste my time adding new features or fixing bugs when the users don't care and can't be bothered to help promote the tool.

Oryan77 wrote:
I run an online RPG store and being active in lots of online RPG communities gives me a lot of opportunity to find us some help. Cheap, or possibly free help.

So you are in a good position to help out and you have ideas on ways to leverage the resources you have.

Oryan77 wrote:
I could maybe help raise money to hire a professional G.U.I. artist to update the frontend. But then, will the dev team ever allow the work to be implemented? Or will it be outdated by the time it is implemented?

This would not be good use of resources. The majority of the work would be code and that code would still need to be written by the existing devs in the time they have to devote to the project. I think you'll agree that Roll20's UI isn't anything to write home about. I don't really think the UI of MapTool is what is holding it back from being the dominant VTT.

You have a lot of potentially great ideas. Pick one and do it. Your time and effort will only be wasted if it fails to reach any new users or inspire existing users. Reach out to RPTroll and see if there are ways to work together. Develop a plan, figure out the tasks to be done and then recruit other users to help you.


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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:37 pm 
Full Bleed wrote:
MT" developers, who were doing almost nothing at the time, would not back it. Not even passively. It's not clear if it was because they had some particular issue with Lee or because their intentions (which have, honestly, never materialized in the many years since) conflicted with the direction Lee was going.

It think you will find that most (if not all) the Devs backed the Kicker starter, myself included.
Which is why I feel particularly aggrieved they have reneged on their promise to release the source code.


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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:11 pm 
Jagged wrote:
It think you will find that most (if not all) the Devs backed the Kicker starter, myself included.
Which is why I feel particularly aggrieved they have reneged on their promise to release the source code.

That's a real shame. I played with Mote just a little and the one thing I did notice was that the grid handling / token movement was much improved over the current MapTool. Would be nice to get those improvements back into MT.


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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:33 pm 
That was a lot of great feedback and insight. Thanks for the responses guys.

It's really interesting to hear about your own frustrations and what the situation actually was with Mote. It makes so much more sense to me now. I'm glad it's not just some skewed observation that I've had as a semi-regular poster here. Apparently the resistance to move MT forward is a real thing. :(

So who exactly are the developers in charge of the official MT build these days? Several of you guys obviously know your technical stuff, which makes it that much more confusing to figure out which one of you are official devs and who are just extremely helpful users that tend to answer questions to forum posters.

Honestly, the amazing help people get here is one of the major reasons I use MT. I was floored by that simple fact when I first started using MT and needed some help. The community here really helped me grasp the potential of MT and gave me the ability to fully understand it and amaze my players with its features during games.


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 Post subject: Re: Finding Maptool games?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:58 pm 
Jagged wrote:
It think you will find that most (if not all) the Devs backed the Kicker starter, myself included.

That would surprise me... given that none of them let anyone know they were doing it at the time. Which, in and of itself, speaks to the degree of "official" support that was thrown at it. Kickstarter support is contagious... and the vast majority of MT users never even knew Mote was happening because the powers that be wouldn't even provide a mention of it in the Announcement section of the forums.

Heck, when it came right down to it I know that I only offered minor support via the Kickstarter, hoping that the first outing would be a proving ground for more aggressive follow-up Kickstarters. But then, as seems to happen with many Kickstarters, it didn't take long for "set-backs" to start rolling in.

Quote:
Which is why I feel particularly aggrieved they have reneged on their promise to release the source code.

Lee's vanishing act and the failure to deliver the source certainly kept me from embracing it. Without those two things I just didn't see that it had much of a future.

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Maptool is the Millennium Falcon of VTT's -- "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts."


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