Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

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aliasmask
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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by aliasmask »

Well, I haven't written off the MOTE team just yet and I'm still excited and expectant of a beta release in the near future. Being a part of the MT community has given me plenty of practice in patience. And my experience in programming has taught me delays are normal. It's difficult to give estimates when the whole picture isn't known. All you can do is give your best guess and then maybe double that. There is always the propensity to underestimate because of demand of the product which is often a mistake.

As Wolph42 pointed out, there was some communication in the last month, but it wasn't very informative other than stating the obvious. I don't think complaining will speed up anything, but if anyone gets any news I hope they share it in a timely manner.

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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by Craig »

Full Bleed wrote:
venger wrote:I, like Pobman was unaware of the Kickstarter project for this Mote variation of Maptool.

A consequence of the current MT gate keepers not really helping to get the word out through a banner on the forum, announcement post, or an email to MT users. That said, I can understand that they might want to see Mote "prove" itself first before backing it... and given the delays with Mote, and some questions of being able to deliver on full backwards compatibility, some caution may have been warranted (though, to be fair, the "success" level of the Mote kickstarter may be contributing to those short-comings.)

I got no email/PM to say that Mote kickstarter was about to start or request to put a link anywhere not sure if anyone else did but given I saw no discussion about it between the rest of the team so there his a high possibility that no request was made at all. Its possible a request was made to someone else and I missed that conversation some how, there are other reasons that such a request may not be honoured.

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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by aliasmask »

There was only a casual mention by MT users and no formal request to my knowledge. Also, I recall Lee saying they have their own forum. I think having this one thread is sufficient and MT team has no responsibility or incentive to promote other products outside of the normal External Links forum or General discussion.

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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by Full Bleed »

aliasmask wrote:And my experience in programming has taught me delays are normal. It's difficult to give estimates when the whole picture isn't known. All you can do is give your best guess and then maybe double that. There is always the propensity to underestimate because of demand of the product which is often a mistake.

For the record, the issue (for me at least) isn't about delays. I've actually paid almost not attention to any announced deadlines because I *expected* them not to be met. What I did not expect is the extremely poor communication overall. In particular, the distinct lack of communication with *this* community (hands down the most important social vector to Maptool and future Mote users.)

Craig wrote:I got no email/PM to say that Mote kickstarter was about to start or request to put a link anywhere not sure if anyone else did but given I saw no discussion about it between the rest of the team so there his a high possibility that no request was made at all. Its possible a request was made to someone else and I missed that conversation some how, there are other reasons that such a request may not be honoured.

Well, no one can speak for Lee on the issue, but I think it's pretty fair to say that he probably hoped to receive more support from the "powers that be" here at MT Central. Whether or not it was a self-fulfilling prophecy because he failed to ask for it properly, I don't know. Trevor made a nice appearance to throw moral support after the launch (which was a big surprise!), but it was pretty clear that more current movers and shakers were, at best, ambivalent to the project--either choosing not to acknowledge it during the run up or they were, somehow, completely in the dark about it (which would only illustrate how out of touch they were with what had been going on in the community).

In Lee's defense, he tried to open discussions with the community and creators for about a year (with varying degrees of success) on the idea of launching an ambitious, crowd-funded fork built on 1.3's end point. The current core group of MT developers (all of which appeared to have at least one foot out the door) were less than receptive to the idea. I suspect that left Lee feeling like he was going to have to go it alone, with only the support of the community and what he could muster from other outlets (which also appeared to fall short of expectations).

In the end I actually thought the 8k starting point was about the right mark for the project, giving the Mote developers an opportunity to earn their wings moving forward. But, unfortunately, thus far I'm afraid that they've failed to capitalize on the momentum that they were building.
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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by Craig »

Full Bleed wrote:
Craig wrote:I got no email/PM to say that Mote kickstarter was about to start or request to put a link anywhere not sure if anyone else did but given I saw no discussion about it between the rest of the team so there his a high possibility that no request was made at all. Its possible a request was made to someone else and I missed that conversation some how, there are other reasons that such a request may not be honoured.

Well, no one can speak for Lee on the issue, but I think it's pretty fair to say that he probably hoped to receive more support from the "powers that be" here at MT Central. Whether or not it was a self-fulfilling prophecy because he failed to ask for it properly, I don't know. Trevor made a nice appearance to throw moral support after the launch (which was a big surprise!), but it was pretty clear that more current movers and shakers were, at best, ambivalent to the project--either choosing not to acknowledge it during the run up or they were, somehow, completely in the dark about it (which would only illustrate how out of touch they were with what had been going on in the community).

In Lee's defense, he tried to open discussions with the community and creators for about a year (with varying degrees of success) on the idea of launching an ambitious, crowd-funded fork built on 1.3's end point. The current core group of MT developers (all of which appeared to have at least one foot out the door) were less than receptive to the idea. I suspect that left Lee feeling like he was going to have to go it alone, with only the support of the community and what he could muster from other outlets (which also appeared to fall short of expectations).


I wasn't going to say anything (and I haven't for a long time), but because this is heading in a direction that is a bit unfair to some people and its close to blaming them for something they are not responsible for I think I should. To be clear I want every one to know these are my thoughts and feelings on the matter I don't think its my place to say what anyone else thinks of it (thats assuming I know which I may or may not).

Honestly I admit that I have been busy and had not had the time I wished that I had, or when I have had the time I have found motivation really hard to come by (more on this a bit further down in this post). So yeah fair call on myself not being able to dedicate as much time as we all would like, but I don't think at the time of the floating of the kickstarter you could say that of Dorpond, Azhrei, and RPTroll.

I don't think that any of the above group or my self can be faulted for not working with Lee or supporting him, when he first announced his intentions we offered him the opportunity to join the RPTools team and be in charge of the current code base (including supporting his kickstarter) while we went on with the next phase. We only had 3 things we wanted to discuss first, 1) before the kickstarter we wanted to see what the promises were so we could make sure that no one would infer that other members of the team might be promising something, 2) Periodic code check ins somewhere (anywhere) so if the worst should happen at least someone could continue with the code, 3) no promises that everything he added would make it into a next version if it didn't fit. It was clear we wanted none of the money or any say in how it is spent or what features he added, he would be totally in charge and we were willing to work with him. We spent quite a bit of time going over this and approaching him.

You know what response we got? Not a hmm I would like to talk about some of those things I don't think I can agree there can we discuss it, or a maybe we can do it this way, not even a "You know I wan't to go it alone", you know what we got instead? Replies evading the offer completely, not even discussing it. So no there is no "in Lee's defence he tried an open discussion with the current contributors" because he did the exact opposite he rebuffed our attempts at discussion with him. As for my motivation for continuing coding?

As I said I can't/won't speak for anyone else and no discussion at all happened about any banners or links or emails or anything lie that, but if you want to know why I personally would not of put a banner on the site if it was my decision alone (and its not).
Why would I put up anything that looks like I might be recommended a project for someone that didn't have the courtesy to deal honestly with me? I


Why didn't we say anything? Well did say were talking to him and we were staying out of discussions and let the community discuss it, at that time he had been dealing fine with the community. If the community got a better tool from it then that was all for the good, if we really had wanted to be a road block or discourage it then a more detailed discussion of the above would of been much more effective than no banner or emails.

So blame me for not getting code out all you like, but don't blame me or any of the others for not trying to help/deal with Lee. The whole way this was done on his part has left a bitter taste in my mouth and I have been finding hard as not seeing any coding I am doing as features to be integrated in the next round of funding for mote, but that my issue to deal with an I sincerely apologise the community for not being able to spend the time I wanted to.

I apologise for the rant, but seeing other peoples contributions devalued by the possibility some may think of them as road blocks to the kickstarter or not doing enough to try support it rather than how much time and effort they have put in over the years they is making me a little angry (not at any one in particular, just angry at the thought and situation).

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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by wolph42 »

Hi Craig,

Nice to see you once more on these forums, albeith for a less nice reason. Anyway, thanks for the clarification. Although (Afaik) I never point fingers I did always wonder why there was so little support (communication wise) from the mt forum (e.g. a big mail about the kickstarter to all users would have been grand), but now i at least understand why that never happened.

Hope to see you around more often.


Edit: might I be so blunt as to ask you to update the rptools site with the latest release of MT. Most newcommers get ahead with b89 as thats 'official', but b90 and its later beta which I called 91 are FAR better builds in nearly every respect... well at least 90 is, 91 I have not tested that thoroughly but it *does* solve the json.sort issue that is within b90 and afa lindsay is concerned it works like a charm.
So mayheb just add b91 as "MT b90-unofficial" to the download section, so people can at least find it. Then in the off chance that Azh ever returns he can replace it with "MT b90-official". If you want I can clean up the zip file linked in my sig, so you can use that.

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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by badsequel »

Thanx Craig!

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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by Full Bleed »

Craig wrote:So blame me for not getting code out all you like, but don't blame me or any of the others for not trying to help/deal with Lee. The whole way this was done on his part has left a bitter taste in my mouth and I have been finding hard as not seeing any coding I am doing as features to be integrated in the next round of funding for mote, but that my issue to deal with an I sincerely apologise the community for not being able to spend the time I wanted to.

I say this sincerely: There is no apology necessary with regard to not being able, interested, or motivated to work on MT. You and Az, in particular, really carried MT after Trevor faded. And it is a far better tool for it. Losing Trevor was a huge blow, but the work you guys did in keeping MT growing and the community strong was worthy consolation.

But the the vacuum you guys left as you, likewise, "faded" had a very predictable result... something else had to fill that vacuum (or MT would wither and die). There are a number of forks out there now, "unofficial b90 and b91" versions, and yes, Mote. Heck, the transition from Java 6 to 7 was a painful, confusing, and plodding one (and probably the #1 contributor to MT losing users to competing VTTs after making so many gains in previous years). And of all the possible paths forward for MT, it should't come as any surprise that Mote was the most promising. Lee was the most active MT developer at the time with an idea about how to move MT forward and, most importantly, appeared to have the motivation and interest to do it. Something our previous saviors seemed to have lost.

Of course, most of us were not privy to discussions the "core" guys had with Lee in private. And, frankly, I think it would have been somewhat immaterial. All we needed to know at the time was that MT had hit the end of the road as far as the core guy's interests and motivations indicated. It was dying and getting deader every month. I know I *wanted* the core guys to throw some support behind Mote (or not!) because it was really the only MT game in town. Talk of a no-new-features-1.4 or a years-from-now-2.0 had worn thin and become meaningless.

but seeing other peoples contributions devalued by the possibility some may think of them as road blocks to the kickstarter or not doing enough to try support it rather than how much time and effort they have put in over the years they is making me a little angry (not at any one in particular, just angry at the thought and situation).

Kudos aside, I think this is taking a pretty narrow view of exactly what people are feeling around here with regard to this issue. First, the primary criticism right now is with the Mote team's lack of communication with this community (acknowledging that any perceived lack of support they may have gotten from the previous developers should NOT have impacted their interaction with the community as a whole.) Second, the core MT developers and contributors have received no end of compliments and appreciation for the work they've done over the years. I think this is a pretty appreciative, patient, and helpful community. But the fact is that the core guys have been virtually absent for big chunks of the last few years... and when Mote finally did come to the fore, their silence was deafening. Not saying or doing anything is usually a sign of ambivalence or polite lack of support. That, inevitably, leaves the community to draw their own conclusions.
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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by femanon »

Over all, this is kind of damning information to me for a thing that was already sitting on melting ice.

but the main thing I want to point out is that mote is silent even in their own community page. they have virtually no support now for any community even their own. Patience works when people communicate, but with no communication, that community is getting riled up. if they are even a genuine company working honestly, I wouldn't expect any group so incapable of dealing with their own 150~ member communities to have anything in the way of skill dealing with intergrating other communities.

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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by wolph42 »

[spoiler=there back]
Hello everyone.

After a lengthy delay, build #11 is finally out. We know we've been reticent the past couple of months; trust that we were going through enough challenges that made everyone walk away from work for a while. As some/most of you are aware, the Mote project is not the primary focus of our development team, but rather, headed by our friend and colleague, Lee, whose health issues have made him indisposed for the remainder of the year. We miss not having him around to drive things forward and keep everything in line, especially in light that we're working on different project of larger scale.

Don't get us wrong, we love working on Mote, it was the demands of our other project, along with logistical issues, that drove us nuts enough to take some time out. There is no question that someone should have told you all to expect delays, but, in all honesty, at one point, even the concept of a team was non-existent. We're back now.

With all that said, work on Mote has been steady. The delays were primarily caused by some members leaving the group, and new blood coming in, along with the need to review code submissions that piled up over time.

Release delays aside, we are actually ahead of schedule, and close to finishing the goals marked to implemented during the Kickstarter period. By December, Mote will be ready for public release.

Focusing on this release, for those new to the testing process, included in the shared folder is the .jar file (for Windows and Mac), an .app file (OS X users), and batch (for Windows) and shell scripts (OS X and Linux) to perform an application reset. Place these scripts in the same location as where you'll put the Mote application, for it to work. An application reset will sometimes be called for on a build's release notes due to the addition of new features, and will be the top most notice on any release.

Mote is a single-file solution. We try to make things as simple as possible, but we have to state that there are several potential issues you might encounter:
If it is your first time to use Mote, the initial process might take somewhere from a minute, or even longer. Much of the delay is due to the transfer of preferences and assets from old MapTool locations, if any. The way the MapTool asset manager was coded also contributes to the delay, as it employs a blocking scheme that waits for an asset before proceeding to the next step.
Mote might not launch for some OS X users. This is a long-standing issue stemming from the chimeric nature of the Mote GUI (Swing+JavaFX) that will be addressed as soon as we get our delayed OS X machines (one of the aforementioned logistical #$%#$). Second week of October, at the latest.
No splash or pre-loader screen (yet), until bullet #2 gets resolved. We've stripped almost every non-essential floating component to simplify finding the root cause of UI issue. These will be added back one by one as we fix the problem at hand. This includes context help on hot keys and the like.
Mote runs only on Java 7. Java 8 support will commence as soon as it is determined that all required libraries for Mote to run have also made the move to 8 or prove unaffected by the changes to the environment.
Important note: This is the IRC build. You will be prompted to enter values to register a valid nick or identify one with the DarkMyst server. We tried to make it as seamless as possible, but with something as voluminous as the IRC protocol, YMMV. If you should encounter any problems with a persistent IRC dialog, disconnect from the Internet, and use the IRC toggle placed at the top toolbar (the plug and socket icon), to turn automatic connection off.

Release notes for this and prior builds can be found here. With the volume of the changes between build 10 and 11, and the absence of our previous code reviewer and docs maker, it is likely we might have missed some items to document. We suggest reviewing it as much as you can to head off any questions that it might be able to answer.

For issue reporting and tracking, we use Snowy Evening.

With the majority of early release backers now involved in the beta testing process, we've put up a temporary forum on Weebly for people to use. It's format is simple, so please forgive the lack of PHPBB-like features. It should do, for now.

Lastly, we are very sorry to have to say that we'll be away again until October 1st week. Tickets reported, threads opened and posts to social made during the interim, will be addressed as soon as we're back.

Without further ado, here's the link to your copy of Mote beta build 11. Remember, you can share the application freely to anyone you wish, but we can only provide support for KS backers. If an issue needs to be addressed, it must course through a legitimate backer, else it will not get the same priority.

Thank you for all your patience in this matter.
[/spoiler]

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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by badsequel »

yay! :D

Sad to hear Lee is out for the remainder of this year.

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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by aliasmask »

I wonder about the details of Lees condition. Did he suffer brain trauma or is it just more physical and pain related. Will he be returning in the foreseeable future? If I was just laid up, I think I'd go nuts without some mental stimulation.

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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by dakuth »

So you can share mote with whoever you like? Would you recommend it?

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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by wolph42 »

aliasmask wrote:I wonder about the details of Lees condition. Did he suffer brain trauma or is it just more physical and pain related. Will he be returning in the foreseeable future? If I was just laid up, I think I'd go nuts without some mental stimulation.


he did me pm me shortly after the accident and im not going into details but 'tired' was one of the symptoms. However at that time it was expected to be a matter of 1 or 2 months and it has been much longer than that which doesn't sound good.

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Re: Mote Kickstarter: We are going LIVE!

Post by wolph42 »

dakuth wrote:So you can share mote with whoever you like? Would you recommend it?


bit lazy in the quotes, so double post.

yes we can share it with anyone we like (which was also the case with the closed beta). If your into testing I would certainly recommend it, however your test results would get a low priority if your not a backer. If you are planning to run a game on it I would certainly advise against that, its in beta and although MUCH better than the initial release(s), its still buggy.

If you're (or anyone else is) interested, send me a pm and I'll share the link.

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