RPTools.net

Discussion and Support

Skip to content

It is currently Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:33 am 






Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Previous topic | Next topic 

  Print view

Author Message
 Offline
Cave Troll
 
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:43 am
Posts: 68
 Post subject: Business
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:11 pm 
How come this has never been turned into a business like a full blown business, similar to Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds?


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Offline
Deity
 
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:11 pm
Posts: 7965
Location: Bay Area
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:36 pm 
The creators do this on the side with the help of volunteers. The is another start up called MOTE who used the based code to create their own thing but have mostly rewritten it and added other features but it more or less the same.

_________________
Downloads:


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Offline
Great Wyrm
 
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:27 am
Posts: 1183
Location: Bristol, UK
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:07 am 
Probably because the heyday for pen & paper RPGs is sadly in the past. So its extremely difficult to make any money in this field.

If Maptool had been a business it would probably have crashed a few years ago, but as it is you get occasional updates on the best (but slightly temperamental) Virtual Tabletop system for absolutely nothing :mrgreen:


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Online
Demigod
 
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:53 am
Posts: 3782
Location: MD
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:18 pm 
Jagged wrote:
Probably because the heyday for pen & paper RPGs is sadly in the past. So its extremely difficult to make any money in this field.

If Maptool had been a business it would probably have crashed a few years ago...

I haven't seen their books, but Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 seem to be doing quite well (and growing). In the long run, the money was never going to be in the client though. It's in the licensed products they sell to use on their platforms. With licensed 5e and Paizo products, their user base is hopping.

If Maptool had a way to protect and distribute commercially licensed products, you might have seen some cash flow to licensed frameworks, modules, and graphics assets.

Quote:
but as it is you get occasional updates on the best (but slightly temperamental) Virtual Tabletop system for absolutely nothing

The others are catching up quickly to the feature set... and still lead in usability. However, I've got so much time in my custom framework on MT that moving to another platform to play that game would be tough to do given the functionality I'd lose. But I've been playing 5e games in FG and must admit it replaces my desire to build something on MT. And when Starfinder comes out... if I like it I might be looking there as well. In fact, I have a hard time imagining ever putting in the development time I have for my MT Pathfinder framework ever again if FG's next version (FGU) lives up to the hype.

Don't get me wrong, I love MT and the power of its macroscript is still king of the hill... and it was waaaaaaaaay ahead of everyone else in every way that mattered for a very long time. But times are changing...

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Offline
Kobold
 
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:33 pm
Posts: 14
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:35 am 
Wow. I would hate to see folks just give up on MT. Granted, I've just recently discovered it, but I am having a blast creating my framework and working through all of the features. The open source and helpful community of MT is pretty powerful. And- my work will always be here- it is not beholden to the whims of some corporate executive somewhere. I get enough of that in my other life...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Offline
Dragon
 
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:48 pm
Posts: 326
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:13 pm 
Full Bleed wrote:
Jagged wrote:
Probably because the heyday for pen & paper RPGs is sadly in the past. So its extremely difficult to make any money in this field.

If Maptool had been a business it would probably have crashed a few years ago...

I haven't seen their books, but Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 seem to be doing quite well (and growing). In the long run, the money was never going to be in the client though. It's in the licensed products they sell to use on their platforms. With licensed 5e and Paizo products, their user base is hopping.

If Maptool had a way to protect and distribute commercially licensed products, you might have seen some cash flow to licensed frameworks, modules, and graphics assets.

Quote:
but as it is you get occasional updates on the best (but slightly temperamental) Virtual Tabletop system for absolutely nothing

The others are catching up quickly to the feature set... and still lead in usability. However, I've got so much time in my custom framework on MT that moving to another platform to play that game would be tough to do given the functionality I'd lose. But I've been playing 5e games in FG and must admit it replaces my desire to build something on MT. And when Starfinder comes out... if I like it I might be looking there as well. In fact, I have a hard time imagining ever putting in the development time I have for my MT Pathfinder framework ever again if FG's next version (FGU) lives up to the hype.

Don't get me wrong, I love MT and the power of its macroscript is still king of the hill... and it was waaaaaaaaay ahead of everyone else in every way that mattered for a very long time. But times are changing...


I'm too addicted to dynamic lighting/vision to ever switch to FG. I subscribed for a couple months to try it out and my conclusion was "I'm spending money for something that is demonstrably worse than maptool." Also I paid for a module and then discovered that they had locked the art inside it so that it couldn't be extracted. Even though I *paid* for it (multiple times because I also have a hard copy and a pdf of the same material). There was no warning before purchasing that the compressed file would be encrypted. That's not just greedy; it is in my view completely unethical.

My players and I have put so much into our 5e mt framework and programmed 100s of tokens to ever seriously consider giving it up.


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Online
Demigod
 
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:53 am
Posts: 3782
Location: MD
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:05 pm 
paulstrait wrote:
I'm too addicted to dynamic lighting/vision to ever switch to FG.

FGU will have lighting and vision. And will allow you to make a mask in photoshop and drop it into the client to create the VBL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVppbivpWS0

And here is a cool video showing their FGU layers and effects system, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJBXbxfTwB4

Quote:
I subscribed for a couple months to try it out and my conclusion was "I'm spending money for something that is demonstrably worse than maptool." Also I paid for a module and then discovered that they had locked the art inside it so that it couldn't be extracted. Even though I *paid* for it (multiple times because I also have a hard copy and a pdf of the same material). There was no warning before purchasing that the compressed file would be encrypted. That's not just greedy; it is in my view completely unethical.

Byproduct of licensing agreements. Their Pathfinder model is pretty nice though. If you buy their conversion, they are linked to Paizo and you get the official PDF for free. If you've purchased the PDF from Paizo you get a credit against the FG conversion. Seems pretty fair to me. No crossover with dead-tree... but that's a whole other can of worms that the industry doesn't have a good solution for right now.

Quote:
My players and I have put so much into our 5e mt framework and programmed 100s of tokens to ever seriously consider giving it up.

This, as I noted above, is the problem I have with using their Pathfinder implementation. It's taken me *years* to get my PF framework where it's at... and there are too many things I'd be giving up if I switched... But if I was starting from scratch, I'd probably take the path of least resistance and get in more gaming and less "programming".

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Offline
Dragon
 
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:48 pm
Posts: 326
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:22 pm 
Full Bleed wrote:
paulstrait wrote:
I'm too addicted to dynamic lighting/vision to ever switch to FG.

FGU will have lighting and vision. And will allow you to make a mask in photoshop and drop it into the client to create the VBL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVppbivpWS0


Well, that's cool. I had a conversation with some people on their forums several years ago and they were openly mocking the idea that such features would be useful, so it is good to see that they've come around to modernizing their VTT.

Full Bleed wrote:
And here is a cool video showing their FGU layers and effects system, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJBXbxfTwB4


As I was watching this, I thought it was nothing special until the end when they turned on rain and snow. That's pretty cool, I must say.

Full Bleed wrote:
Quote:
I subscribed for a couple months to try it out and my conclusion was "I'm spending money for something that is demonstrably worse than maptool." Also I paid for a module and then discovered that they had locked the art inside it so that it couldn't be extracted. Even though I *paid* for it (multiple times because I also have a hard copy and a pdf of the same material). There was no warning before purchasing that the compressed file would be encrypted. That's not just greedy; it is in my view completely unethical.

Byproduct of licensing agreements. Their Pathfinder model is pretty nice though. If you buy their conversion, they are linked to Paizo and you get the official PDF for free. If you've purchased the PDF from Paizo you get a credit against the FG conversion. Seems pretty fair to me. No crossover with dead-tree... but that's a whole other can of worms that the industry doesn't have a good solution for right now.


I mean, do their licensing agreements prohibit clearly marking their products as encrypted and unusable outside of their black box? I mean, I get that they just assume that everyone who purchases stuff in their store is intending to use it in FG, but the way the thing is locked, it would be impossible to edit the map in photoshop or gimp (and thus make a nifty mask like in the first video, or do any kind of modifications with the map in the program, which currently can't do anything anyway) which I would want to do for a FG game anyway. It only cost me like $5 so it was hardly the heist of a lifetime, but I draw inferences about ethics and character from stuff like that. OTOH I realize I'm not really their target audience. The Pathfinder model you describe sounds like a pretty good way to do business though. It is just a shame that people feel like it is okay to sell something and then restrict the way you privately use that thing -- of course it's obviously not a unique problem with FG.

Full Bleed wrote:
Quote:
My players and I have put so much into our 5e mt framework and programmed 100s of tokens to ever seriously consider giving it up.

This, as I noted above, is the problem I have with using their Pathfinder implementation. It's taken me *years* to get my PF framework where it's at... and there are too many things I'd be giving up if I switched... But if I was starting from scratch, I'd probably take the path of least resistance and get in more gaming and less "programming".


I'm sure I would too, although it would be a shame. I can do things with maptool that I never would have known I'd otherwise miss. What started as a way to play games with friends scattered across the world -- that is, an inferior approximation of an actual tabletop -- actually turned out to be something that opened up a totally new vista of possibilities that I would not do without today even if playing face to face with a physical table. It added another hobby-dimension to my hobby. And that's something where I feel like many of the commercial VTTs miss the point. Like, it is cool to have realistic dice animations, but dice are random number generators, means to an end, not ends in themselves. Similarly, character sheets are means of keeping records, and are useful insofar as there aren't better ways to keep the same records. etc. I'm obviously preaching to the choir here, I know. But in a way I think hacking together a framework (shared with other gamers/hobbyists) to run your games is actually more faithful to the real spirit of the hobby's origins than integrated video chat or dice animations or whatever else.


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Online
Demigod
 
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:53 am
Posts: 3782
Location: MD
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:19 pm 
paulstrait wrote:
I had a conversation with some people on their forums several years ago and they were openly mocking the idea that such features would be useful, so it is good to see that they've come around to modernizing their VTT.

I've seen that before, too. People who haven't used vision and light-blocking just don't know what they're missing... and everyone else has been so far behind MT in this regard it's ridiculous.

Quote:
I mean, do their licensing agreements prohibit clearly marking their products as encrypted and unusable outside of their black box?

Going to assume that's a facetious question. But, honestly, I don't think they should need to do so. I think it should be assumed that when you buy DLC for a program that it's going to be keyed and protected within that sandbox. They need to be able to sell more than 1 copy and have it relentlessly pirated.

Quote:
I mean, I get that they just assume that everyone who purchases stuff in their store is intending to use it in FG, but the way the thing is locked, it would be impossible to edit the map in photoshop or gimp (and thus make a nifty mask like in the first video, or do any kind of modifications with the map in the program, which currently can't do anything anyway)

Well, in the case of their Pathfinder products you do get access to the official Paizo PDFs as well. And you can export pages from the PDF pretty easily if you wish. The 5e products do not have a PDF companion though, so I suspect if you wanted the kind of granular editing capability that you're asking for you'd have to screen cap, edit, and then import the new maps. Of course, most users are generally paying for the prepared content to avoid having to do such a thing.

I agree that in a perfect world that there would be a simpler way to export some assets, but you'd run into a situation with trying to determine which assets should be exportable... and most copyright holders would just as soon none of it was. So, yes, in order to secure those licenses... I believe that they do need to lock down the product as much as possible.

Quote:
OTOH I realize I'm not really their target audience. The Pathfinder model you describe sounds like a pretty good way to do business though. It is just a shame that people feel like it is okay to sell something and then restrict the way you privately use that thing -- of course it's obviously not a unique problem with FG.

It's an evolving industry... and finding that line between protecting the products so that they can be released onto so many different platforms without undercutting the profit potential and being convenient and "fair" to the consumer is still be worked on. As you noted, the fully prepared VTT product doesn't appear to be targeting you... but there is an even larger user base that it does appeal to. And where the OP of this thread was wondering why MT never grew the business wings that FG and Roll20 has, it's these very issues that have assured it didn't. No professional RPG company was ever going to fully embrace MT when it was a platform that offered no protections or control over the use of their products on the platform. Along comes FG and Roll20 offering those assurances... and, boom, the commercial online VTT market takes off.

Quote:
But in a way I think hacking together a framework (shared with other gamers/hobbyists) to run your games is actually more faithful to the real spirit of the hobby's origins...

In a way, yes. But, as you noted, online VTT games aren't the same as table top games. It is its own thing that in many ways surpasses the table top experience... and allows unprecedented distribution of copyrighted property to a vast audience. And in order for it to flourish beyond the scope of an open platform like MT I think it's fairly obvious that there needed to be protections (that simply don't exists here) to incentivize the growth and industry acceptance. I don't think that makes FG and Roll20 evil. I think it makes them realists and opportunists. Now, that said, it's our job as consumers (should we deem the products they're selling worth it) to push back and help mold the industry as it grows. But, ultimately, the $ does a great deal of the talking and the models that work will be the models that gain the most support.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Offline
Giant
 
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:30 pm
Posts: 227
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:38 pm 
Full Bleed wrote:
Quote:
I mean, do their licensing agreements prohibit clearly marking their products as encrypted and unusable outside of their black box?

Going to assume that's a facetious question. But, honestly, I don't think they should need to do so.


I agree. They shouldn't need to. But I can't see a single downside to doing so. If I were buying something through their web site, I might assume it was proprietary, but they also sell through DriveThruRPG, and it is not at all clear that you cannot extract assets for use in other VTTs. (And I know they've been asked about that, because I asked. They clarified in their response, but they haven't really updated their catalog.)

Full Bleed wrote:
I think it should be assumed that when you buy DLC for a program that it's going to be keyed and protected within that sandbox. They need to be able to sell more than 1 copy and have it relentlessly pirated.


It's not that simple, though. When Baen started their free library (which has never had any form of encryption or DRM, and some forms have explicit permission to redistribute), one of the first books they put in (On Basilisk Station), which had been out a number of years, went back to being their #1 bestseller - for the third time - in paperback. While available for free, in an unencrypted form.

Full Bleed wrote:
Well, in the case of their Pathfinder products you do get access to the official Paizo PDFs as well. And you can export pages from the PDF pretty easily if you wish.


Can you? Acrobat is certainly capable of security settings that keep you from doing so. I have no idea if they use them, but if they're contractually obligated to lock down the VTT stuff that tightly, in the absence of a statement otherwise, I'd assume they are on the PDFs, too.

Full Bleed wrote:
I agree that in a perfect world that there would be a simpler way to export some assets, but you'd run into a situation with trying to determine which assets should be exportable... and most copyright holders would just as soon none of it was. So, yes, in order to secure those licenses... I believe that they do need to lock down the product as much as possible.


I accept that they believe that, and so do the companies they get the licenses from. But there are a number of companies doing just fine publishing everything under an OGL license. DWD Studios, with their OGL license on Bare Bones Fantasy, has actively encouraged the development and commercial publication of a Wuxia version of the rules, for which I do not believe they will receive a single penny.

Plus, of course, Piazo themselves started off in 2002 publishing D&D accessories under Wizard's OGL license.

Full Bleed wrote:
No professional RPG company was ever going to fully embrace MT when it was a platform that offered no protections or control over the use of their products on the platform.


I'm not so sure. There is a fair amount of stuff available in generic formats, JPGs and PNGs, some of it from some pretty professional artists. That's not quite the same thing, but it's evolving in that direction. Mike Schley (who certainly qualifies as a profesional) has a Kickstarter going right now for a generic adventure, and at the $20 level, it includes a (so far not specified in number) set of tokens and textures. And he has said explicitly that the PDFs (which have the 300 dpi images) will not be locked down. And now that I think about it, the Traveller 5 PDF (and Marc Miller is certainly a professional, with a $300k Kickstarter) has no security turned on at all.

Unquestionably, the big name publishers, WotC, Paizo, SJG, etc., are pretty protective of their intellectual property (and that of anyone they license from), and believe they have to be. And they are certainly within their rights to be, and in fact, have a legal obligation to their investors to act in good faith based on that belief.

But that doesn't mean they are corret, and it's worth pointing out counterexamples, and even lamenting that the big, mainstream publishers do not sell things in a form that is useful to me.


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Online
Demigod
 
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:53 am
Posts: 3782
Location: MD
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:18 pm 
taustinoc wrote:
Full Bleed wrote:
Well, in the case of their Pathfinder products you do get access to the official Paizo PDFs as well. And you can export pages from the PDF pretty easily if you wish.


Can you? Acrobat is certainly capable of security settings that keep you from doing so. I have no idea if they use them, but if they're contractually obligated to lock down the VTT stuff that tightly, in the absence of a statement otherwise, I'd assume they are on the PDFs, too.

Well, that depends on the level of access you're asking for. The PDF's are "secured" but that doesn't stop you from exporting pages (that is, I can "export" a map from a PDF into a tiff or jpg file if I want using Acrobat Pro). That's sufficient to edit a map, etc. Can you easily strip out and edit *everything*? I guess I'd have to say, "No. At, least not without a little knowledge."

But, lets be honest, the entire Paizo catalog is available online in less savory corners of the internet. Cracking a PDF is ridiculously easy. The security that it affords is really just a speed bump to slow down the inevitable pirated distribution. WotC still doesn't even release their product in native PDF form because of the insecurity... which just ends up being an extra speed bump. But it all makes it into the pirated domain soon enough. Is WotC right about not releasing products in PDF form? About not having a comprehensive online Reference Document like Paizo? Was Paizo right to go ahead and embrace the PDF distribution method, but in a "secured" form? Both companies, together, dominate the market... so both approaches (so far) seem to work well enough for their respective audiences... but I'd love to see what would happen if they switched models for a year. If one or the other method would assure a spike in profitability, don't you think they'd embrace the options?

At the other end of the spectrum, it's all well and good to talk about the companies that don't bother protecting their products (like bands that will give away their music while the most popular still charge for theirs)... but there are reasons for that that go beyond the scope of this discussion. But within it, nothing would have stopped said companies from commissioning frameworks on MT and releasing their product here. But, they didn't. Whereas many have embraced FG and Roll20--both of which are more user friendly than MT, but in many ways technically inferior. What they do have, however, are marketplaces and methods of IP control... both of which, consequently, have led to explosive user growth (which, of course, feeds more 3rd party interest.) There has never been clear MT user metrics, let alone a method of official distribution or control over a product.

In this regard, MT's strength is also its weakness.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Offline
Great Wyrm
 
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:59 am
Posts: 1722
Location: Chicagoland
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:35 pm 
Just a FYI: Paizo PDF's are secured in the effect that they are "signed" with your account name/email. But they are pretty open.

In fact, in my Nerps Build, I'm able to read and extract ALL the images out of a Paizo secured PDF for use like any other Asset. Feel free to try it out...

I'd rather buy my module in Realm Works format and add/create the maps in my VTT of choice. But agreed. buying Paizo books/pdf/hero lab/FG/realm works/etc multiple times is going to get quite expensive...

_________________
-Jamz
____________________
Custom MapTool 1.4.x.x Fork: maptool.nerps.net
Custom TokenTool 2.0 Fork: tokentool.nerps.net
More information here: MapTool Nerps! Fork


Top
 Profile  
 
 Offline
Giant
 
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:30 pm
Posts: 227
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:33 pm 
Full Bleed wrote:
taustinoc wrote:
Full Bleed wrote:
Well, in the case of their Pathfinder products you do get access to the official Paizo PDFs as well. And you can export pages from the PDF pretty easily if you wish.


Can you? Acrobat is certainly capable of security settings that keep you from doing so. I have no idea if they use them, but if they're contractually obligated to lock down the VTT stuff that tightly, in the absence of a statement otherwise, I'd assume they are on the PDFs, too.

Well, that depends on the level of access you're asking for. The PDF's are "secured" but that doesn't stop you from exporting pages (that is, I can "export" a map from a PDF into a tiff or jpg file if I want using Acrobat Pro).


That depends on the permissions set for that particular PDF. It is possible to restrict that. It wounds like they don't. Which is good.

Full Bleed wrote:
But, lets be honest, the entire Paizo catalog is available online in less savory corners of the internet. Cracking a PDF is ridiculously easy.


One of the many reasons why many believe it's a bad idea to try to lock stuff down that much. But that's not the point, and most people either lack the knowledge or just don't want to do so.

Full Bleed wrote:
The security that it affords is really just a speed bump to slow down the inevitable pirated distribution. WotC still doesn't even release their product in native PDF form


Not sure what you mean there. They have a ton of stuff in PDF on RPGNow. Now idea how locked down that is, either, but it's certainly there.

Full Bleed wrote:
because of the insecurity... which just ends up being an extra speed bump. But it all makes it into the pirated domain soon enough. Is WotC right about not releasing products in PDF form? About not having a comprehensive online Reference Document like Paizo? Was Paizo right to go ahead and embrace the PDF distribution method, but in a "secured" form? Both companies, together, dominate the market... so both approaches (so far) seem to work well enough for their respective audiences...


They aren't at the top of the market because they lock down their products. Quite the reverse, in fact. They lock stuff down because they dominate the market.

Full Bleed wrote:
but I'd love to see what would happen if they switched models for a year.


If Tor is any indication, their sales would be largely unaffected, and their expenses would go down (because the software for DRM is not free).

Full Bleed wrote:
If one or the other method would assure a spike in profitability, don't you think they'd embrace the options?


Companies do stupid, clueless things all the time, including some very large companies. Sometimes, they succeed despite themselves.

Full Bleed wrote:
At the other end of the spectrum, it's all well and good to talk about the companies that don't bother protecting their products (like bands that will give away their music while the most popular still charge for theirs)... but there are reasons for that that go beyond the scope of this discussion. But within it, nothing would have stopped said companies from commissioning frameworks on MT and releasing their product here. But, they didn't.


The first obstacle in doing so would be finding someone to offer the commission to. There really isn't an obvious entity who "owns" MT.

Full Bleed wrote:
Whereas many have embraced FG and Roll20--


I suspect that has more to do with those companies actively pursuing licensed material than it does the commercial nature of the companies. There's nobody contacting them saying "I'd like to produce a MapTool framework for your game, including licensed material, to sell." There's no reason that one couldn't, that I know of, but nobody has.

Full Bleed wrote:
both of which are more user friendly than MT, but in many ways technically inferior. What they do have, however, are marketplaces and methods of IP control...


What they have is simply marketing. They're a business. They seek out opportunities, and pursue them as a business venture. That is the biggest single factor.

Full Bleed wrote:
both of which, consequently, have led to explosive user growth (which, of course, feeds more 3rd party interest.) There has never been clear MT user metrics, let alone a method of official distribution or control over a product.


And that's the real difference. Who would Wizards or Paizo give the license to? Why would they go looking for someone that's hard to find? Especially when other companies - real companies - come to them asking for licenses?

Full Bleed wrote:

In this regard, MT's strength is also its weakness.


Which is to say, while MT, Roll20 and FG are the same sort of thing in a technical sense, they are made for entirely different purposes and uses, with very little crossover between their audiences.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Offline
Giant
 
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:30 pm
Posts: 227
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:40 pm 
JamzTheMan wrote:
Just a FYI: Paizo PDF's are secured in the effect that they are "signed" with your account name/email. But they are pretty open.

In fact, in my Nerps Build, I'm able to read and extract ALL the images out of a Paizo secured PDF for use like any other Asset. Feel free to try it out...


That's good to hear. Though tat does suggest that their contractual obligations to implement strong DRM aren't all that comprehensive.


Top
 Profile  
 
User avatar  Online
Demigod
 
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:53 am
Posts: 3782
Location: MD
 Post subject: Re: Business
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:36 pm 
taustinoc wrote:
Not sure what you mean there. They have a ton of stuff in PDF on RPGNow. Now idea how locked down that is, either, but it's certainly there.

That's mainly out-of-print stuff (and probably not prepared and released by WotC). It's not 5e material (outside their Adventure League products). The success of those other dated products may affect their willingness to release 5e and other first tier market-leading products in a more timely fashion in the future though.

Quote:
They aren't at the top of the market because they lock down their products. Quite the reverse, in fact. They lock stuff down because they dominate the market.

I think that's too simplistic an observation/opinion. Either it matters or it doesn't. They're pretty convinced that it matters, otherwise they'd pursue alternative methods.

Quote:
If Tor is any indication, their sales would be largely unaffected, and their expenses would go down (because the software for DRM is not free).

I'm not so sure. I suspect that if WotC adopted a Paizo-like approach, even with delayed PDF releases after their primary dead tree releases, that they'd see increased profits. And if Paizo removed what DRM they do have on their PDF's, I think their pirating would increased by a multiplier.

And I'm fairly certain that if FG licensed modules weren't locked down they see a HUGE uptick in pirating amoungst their users (which would probably drive core license sales, at the expense of 3rd party licensees... which is a risk 3rd party licensees don't want to see.)

Quote:
Companies do stupid, clueless things all the time, including some very large companies. Sometimes, they succeed despite themselves.

And sometimes, they're right, despite doing things we wish they didn't. I.e. complaining about things like "movies being too expensive" don't trump actual profits from expensive movies.

Quote:
The first obstacle in doing so would be finding someone to offer the commission to. There really isn't an obvious entity who "owns" MT.

I don't see that as relevant or an important factor. A official framework for MT could be released without knowing who the owner of MT was. They could even use RPGNow to distribute... yet, still no takers.

Quote:
I suspect that has more to do with those companies actively pursuing licensed material than it does the commercial nature of the companies.

Active pursuit isn't enough. FG tried to get Paizo licenses for a long time... they only, just this year, actually accomplished nailing down the license. The roadblock was most certainly the control of the digital distribution of their products. FG had to prove profitability and protection (leveraging their 5e licensing history for sure). I also think it's pretty obvious that while the 5e licenses were negotiated before Paizo's, if everything had been as easily exported as you wish it was, WotC would have certainly declined that initial licensing. If they weren't willing to release their flagship 5e material in PDF form simultaneously with the dead-tree releases, why would they let a licensee produce unprotected PDF alternatives? It would be non-sensical. All of this is in motion though... Paizo came around... WotC has been open to protected digital distribution (and I think will probably come around on top-tier PDF releases)... and the types of things that are locked down (or they way they are) will also continue to be examined... and loosened where proven to not affect their bottom lines.

Quote:
There's nobody contacting them saying "I'd like to produce a MapTool framework for your game, including licensed material, to sell." There's no reason that one couldn't, that I know of, but nobody has.

Which is a key part of the points I've been making.

Quote:
Full Bleed wrote:
both of which are more user friendly than MT, but in many ways technically inferior. What they do have, however, are marketplaces and methods of IP control...

What they have is simply marketing. They're a business. They seek out opportunities, and pursue them as a business venture. That is the biggest single factor.

I disagree. I still see usability and their marketplaces (and the consequent licenses) as being prime drivers. MT had the feature/technology advantage, was in the "market" earlier, and led on price... three normally dominate factors... and it has not been enough to secure a more significant user base in the face of the competition.

Quote:
Who would Wizards or Paizo give the license to? Why would they go looking for someone that's hard to find? Especially when other companies - real companies - come to them asking for licenses?

You can prove me wrong. ;) Go ahead and try to get a license for a 5e MT framework. After they've established whether you can produce what you say you can, they're going to quickly follow-up with:
1) How are you going to protect their IP?
2) How are you going to distribute it?

I guarantee that they aren't going to accept the honor system for protection and aren't going to accept a distribution method that they don't see safeguards for. Heck, you actually have RPGNow for a distribution method... but the MT cmpgn format *will* be a non-starter.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:

Who is online

In total there is 1 user online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 243 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:14 am

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest





cron

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Style based on Andreas08 by Andreas Viklund

Style by Elizabeth Shulman