Other VTTs?

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neofax
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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by neofax »

FW probably would not be a problem as rolling a die and using an ability is already in the open and would be hard to take to court. Now, the little things that are inherent to a specific system and did not have any prior work, then it gets a little iffy. However, as previously stated before, WotC knows about MapTools and some in the camp use it, just see Hawke's post. The bigger issue would be the macros as I know on Veg's FW, it has the ability to put almost every bit of the text straight from the book and display it. If shared with someone that does not have the book or a compendium account at the time of subscription, the provider may be in trouble. Now, if there was a way to use the compendium/proof of purchase of the recipient, then it shouldn't be a problem.

BTW, I am not a lawyer, so take my words for what you will.

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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by Shpena »

I have no idea under what license the code has been released. If it is gpl or cc, I don't think WoTC can do much about forks in case they do try to buy out MT.

It would be a great financial benefit to the core coders, and I would be very happy for them since getting paid for doing what one loves is hard to beat. However, I don't necessarily trust WoTC to do anything but kill off MT to protect their own investments (ala microsoft, embrace and exterminate), Then again, I very well may be talking out of my bum.

If WoTC wants to write a framework and have it for sale, then I don't see why not. :D
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palmer
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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by palmer »

jfrazierjr wrote:most serious gamers


Bad assumption.

Do not assume that the people finding MapTool are "serious gamers"
Don't assume they're anything more than "curious"
This is a bad place to start, and you don't even have anything to base that assumption on.

And even if they are serious gamers, that doesn't mean they have the time or desire to invest in learning everything.

Other VTTs offer low learning curves, and out of the box functionality. That appeals to EVERYONE, including hard core serious gamer tech nerd programmers.
People are willing to pay for the convenience.

Certainly, every pay-for VTT out there works out to be a bargain when compared to the hours I've spent learning MapTool, in light of my wages.

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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by dorpond »

The nice thing about Maptool though is that it can be as easy or as advanced as you want it to be. Using it as a simple battle mat replacement where you are drawing lines for walls just can't get any easier. That is where I started and every release opened up a new feature that I learned as I went. Eventually I was grand master of Maptool. :)

Plus I have to say, I sat down behind the wheel of 2 other VT's before I stumbled into Maptool and to be honest, I was terribly confused - to the point where I couldn't justify their cost. That led me to Maptool and here I am! :)
How to use my bundled artwork (MT1.3B60+): http://forums.rptools.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11759

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Natha
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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by Natha »

palmer wrote:
Other VTTs offer low learning curves, and out of the box functionality. That appeals to EVERYONE, including hard core serious gamer tech nerd programmers.
People are willing to pay for the convenience.

Certainly, every pay-for VTT out there works out to be a bargain when compared to the hours I've spent learning MapTool, in light of my wages.


mmmh not sure it's true for every pay-for VTT and every user.

FGII (that I bought before discovering MT), that I'm sure is a very good product and has some really cool eye-candies, let me baffled : I never managed to "get it". BTW, I would like to try it as a player with a nice and patient DM ... I'm sure I missed a lot of things in it.

Back to topic : when I stumbled across MapTool, and saw the video tutorials : I got it right away and started to use it.
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jfrazierjr
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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by jfrazierjr »

palmer wrote:
jfrazierjr wrote:most serious gamers


Bad assumption.

Do not assume that the people finding MapTool are "serious gamers"
Don't assume they're anything more than "curious"
This is a bad place to start, and you don't even have anything to base that assumption on.


By my definition(ie, how I see it in my brain), anyone who would try to find a VTT in the first place is serious about gaming. Take for example a person who may have had to move to a remote area away from his former gaming buddies. If said person (who more than likely is a GM since players can't do squat with a VTT unless a GM uses it also...) starts searching for a VTT to be able to play with his friends, I would consider him a serious gamer. Casual people just don't spend time thinking about how they can continue to play when stuff like this happens. Also, due to the above and the time commitment and preparation involved, I would by default label the vast majority of GM's as serious gamers. Again, people who are just casual about playing won't take up that mantle and responsibility.

As for having nothing to base my assumptions on, as I said in my previous post, I base this on close to 20 years of serious gaming experience and meeting tens of DM's and hundreds of players and my perception of them based on how they played, talked OOC, and body language. Granted, thats a tiny subset gamers as a whole, but let's just say there are 1 million gamers in the world and out of the 200 or so I have meet over the years, 150(more likely closer to 175) of those I would classify as a serious gamer (I would consider 75% "most") based on my interactions with them. Is it possible that my 75% is a statistical anomaly? Of course, its possible. But organizations do polls almost daily sampling a few thousand people out of millions of people in the US to publish data on this question or another and politicians seem to rely on such information based on what a tiny subset of people are saying.

Yes, I agree with you about not having the time to learn aspect. Personally, I have far more time than money and I am a cheap bastard...heh. As with you, if I counted the time spend on Maptool(including a few code fixes and enhancements), I would be making nothing... but again, its something I love(both gaming and coding).
I save all my Campaign Files to DropBox. Not only can I access a campaign file from pretty much any OS that will run Maptool(Win,OSX, linux), but each file is versioned, so if something goes crazy wild, I can always roll back to a previous version of the same file.

Get your Dropbox 2GB via my referral link, and as a bonus, I get an extra 250 MB of space. Even if you don't don't use my link, I still enthusiastically recommend Dropbox..

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Rumble
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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by Rumble »

dorpond wrote:Plus I have to say, I sat down behind the wheel of 2 other VT's before I stumbled into Maptool and to be honest, I was terribly confused - to the point where I couldn't justify their cost. That led me to Maptool and here I am! :)



That's my experience - I figured out how to use MapTool sufficiently to move tokens and share maps just by installing it and messing with it (say, an hour's time).

FG and BG - the others I tried - required me to read tutorials to even understand how they approached the idea of a shared map, and had the strangest interfaces. So, far as I'm concerned, MapTool was by far the easiest to get rolling with. I won't pay for the others - they're far to steep of a learning curve to be worth the money.

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biodude
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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by biodude »

I agree with Natha & Rumble: MapTool was easier to start using immediately, with deeper layers of features I could 'discover' along the way. To me, this is a great feature of a software: I don't have to know a lot about the software to use the basic features.

The ability to add custom tools & behaviour to MapTool (via macros and eventually javascript) is a huge plus to me. I never play using the rules exactly as written, and I absolutely need a way to modify the rules. Most VTTs have no automation, or so much that I can't play the way I want. MapTool doesn't include support for a specific game system, but you can build your own into it (or download somebody else's). Yeah, it's a bit more work, but it means being able to play the way I want, plus the satisfaction of learning & building something myself.

I tried Fantasy Grounds, Battlegrounds, and d20Pro, and settled on MapTool. It just has the most value for what I get out of it. My favourite part of Fantasy Grounds was the circular contextual menu, but I could never figure out what the icons were and was perpetually confused. MapTool may not look as shiny, but it gives you enough basic tools and as much control over your gaming experience as you want (or can handle).
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trevor
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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by trevor »

Thanks for the kind words all!

With all the above in mind, here are my top priorities going forward:

Prettier
Easier to use (complexity is added as you grown into it)
more ruleset/framework centric
Dreaming of a 1.3 release

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jfrazierjr
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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by jfrazierjr »

trevor wrote:Thanks for the kind words all!

With all the above in mind, here are my top priorities going forward:

Prettier
Easier to use (complexity is added as you grown into it)
more ruleset/framework centric


should'nt faster be at the top? :P
I save all my Campaign Files to DropBox. Not only can I access a campaign file from pretty much any OS that will run Maptool(Win,OSX, linux), but each file is versioned, so if something goes crazy wild, I can always roll back to a previous version of the same file.

Get your Dropbox 2GB via my referral link, and as a bonus, I get an extra 250 MB of space. Even if you don't don't use my link, I still enthusiastically recommend Dropbox..

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RPTroll
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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by RPTroll »

jfrazierjr wrote:
trevor wrote:Thanks for the kind words all!

With all the above in mind, here are my top priorities going forward:

Prettier
Easier to use (complexity is added as you grown into it)
more ruleset/framework centric


should'nt faster be at the top? :P


A product has to keep up with the current computer speeds so it can remain as slow as it ever was. :-)
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palmer
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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by palmer »

jfrazierjr wrote:By my definition(ie, how I see it in my brain), anyone who would try to find a VTT in the first place is serious about gaming.


"I once heard someone say that this thing plays D&D online and I want to try it out."

That's hardly a serious player. That's someone who heard about it, or was curious and ended up here.
There's also a not-insignificant number of people who end up here thinking this is a stand-alone single player "D&D computer game". You don't need to be serious to find a VTT, and I would hesitate to call even half the users of MapTool "serious".
Out of the 7 players I have, for instance? ZERO of them are "serious gamers". So for my personal demographics, 1 person out of 8 is serious - 12.5% is hardly "most".

As for having nothing to base my assumptions on, as I said in my previous post, I base this on close to 20 years of serious gaming experience


Two points here:
A: The "nothing to base your assumption on" was in regards to assuming that a majority of MapTool users are both "serious" and "technical". We know NOTHING of the demographics of MapTool users EXCEPT for those who post on the forums. And those of us who post are a significant minority of overall users. Again, out of my 7 players, I'm the only person who is on the forums. And even then, I was using MT for several months before I registered an account on here.

B: The fact it IS 20 years of experience is actually a strike against your anecdata. In those past 20 years, the demographics of "gamers" has changed radically.

20 years ago? It was the technical nerd-types who were gamers. Gaming was part of the subculture, and it was not mainstream in the slightest. Most people had never heard of RPGs, and many of those who had, had a negative view of them.

Nowadays RPGs are now mainstream, and all kinds of cross-sections of people are gamers. The vast majority of people have heard of D&D, and very few have negative misconceptions. Most people are neutral on the topic. There's a higher percentage of the population involved in gaming than ever before, and it's crossing various demographic boundaries. What was true about gamers 20, or even 10 years ago, is no longer true.

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Full Bleed
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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by Full Bleed »

Say it ain't so.

As far as I'm concerned, Maptool is for devil worshipers.
Maptool is the Millennium Falcon of VTT's -- "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts."

dorpond
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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by dorpond »

palmer wrote: We know NOTHING of the demographics of MapTool users EXCEPT for those who post on the forums.


Actually, I think that data is available. I think we can track where the person downloading MT is from geographically. I could be wrong. I will sort through the data tomorrow and see what it is, more out of curiosity than anything. :)
How to use my bundled artwork (MT1.3B60+): http://forums.rptools.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11759

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Natha
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Re: Other VTTs?

Post by Natha »

trevor wrote:With all the above in mind, here are my top priorities going forward:

Prettier
Easier to use (complexity is added as you grown into it)
more ruleset/framework centric


I agree on all the points though I won't sort them in that order but that's me ;)
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