New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

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JML
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New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by JML »

It seems strange not advertising when you're launching a new Kickstarter project, but it looks like it's what Idle Ideas did :lol:

And not so surprising, the project seems not to be doing this fine by now :cry:

So here's just a few words to let people be aware it's there… Sandstorm Virtual Tabletop Applications & Services

It's a two parts project, a web service and a new VTT software. I'm not really interested in the web part, as I'm playing face to face, but their Sift project looks interesting.

It's up to you…

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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by Jagged »

I contributed to their first kickstarter, but I won't to this one. Seems odd to develop one VTT, then start another one a year or so later?

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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by wolph42 »

Jagged wrote:I contributed to their first kickstarter, but I won't to this one. Seems odd to develop one VTT, then start another one a year or so later?

I think they explained this quite well. They used the first funding to redo the existing MT to their standards and (as it should) leave it open source and free.
Based on their redo they want to develop new functionalities etc. but this time for a small fee. That commercial VTT also needs to be developed and that what this KS is about. I can imagine that they do this more often if they want to take big(ger) steps. What I don't understand is their lack of marketing.
I've been monitoring some KS campaigns from our incubator and doing it right means a massive campaign BEFORE you start the KS, building community and interest and when that has some gravity, you kick it off. (followed by another massive campaign). It requires a tremendous amount of preparation which I guess they don't have the time for... but then the likelihood of making it a success is small.
Anyhoo, I contributed this one as well.

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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by Jagged »

wolph42 wrote:open source and free

Have they done that? Is there anything we'd want to feed back into 1.4?

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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by wolph42 »

Jagged wrote:
wolph42 wrote:open source and free

Have they done that? Is there anything we'd want to feed back into 1.4?


the 'free' part: yes
the 'open source' : not yet (also something they communicated).

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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by Jagged »

wolph42 wrote:the 'open source' : not yet (also something they communicated).

Did they give a reason?

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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by wolph42 »

yes they did and no I don't know it by heart. Probly something in the line of: when we're confident about it we will release it as open source... I guess its also tied to the launch of their commercial product. or should i say 'commercial' product as I don't really see it as something commercial at all... (no negative or positive intention with that line intended, just neutral observation).

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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by aliasmask »

I have a feeling when their ready to release Sift, their VTT and are done with developing MOTE any further they'll give the out the source for others less any proprietary connectivity to their sandstorm service.

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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by Full Bleed »

Jagged wrote:I contributed to their first kickstarter, but I won't to this one. Seems odd to develop one VTT, then start another one a year or so later?

Well, I guess that they don't see much "future" in further development of Mote. But, it will be supported by their web service ("Sandstorm")... as will their commercial VTT.

I actually don't think this is a terrible track to take. Mote, short of having 100% compatibility to MT like most of us would have hoped, does seem to be a significantly improved version of MT on the whole (minus the VBL function and, now, ISO ability which was added after Mote branched off). As such, it could very well be a gateway program to their VTT webservices and their paid VTT. Mote is a highly functional Free VTT. But, you can see how long-in-the-tooth it is when you just take a look at some of their proof-of-concept technology that will be in Sift (their commercial VTT).

Movement System.
Shadows and Lighting.
View System.
Virtual Dice and Coins.
Multi-monitor and Windowing support.


I, personally, don't want webservices or recurring fees. But I was considering Sift until I saw this:

Sift can work offline, and host local sessions on its own power but it needs Sandstorm to connect with remote players, offering both hassle-free connectivity, and the security needed to keep personal information, safe.

Unfortunately, that kills it for me.
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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by taustinoc »

Full Bleed wrote:Well, I guess that they don't see much "future" in further development of Mote. But, it will be supported by their web service ("Sandstorm")... as will their commercial VTT.


They have consistently said they intend to continue to develop both. There are technical reasons for Sift, namely, the MT code base relies on at least one library that has never been ported to Android (or iOS, for that matter), and therefore, simply cannot be made to work on mobile devices without more work than starting over from scratch. There are also things they want to do (graphic stuff, mostly - their "next gen" stuff) that are apparently extremely difficult, if not impossible, in the framework that MT is built with.

Mote also comes with whatever baggage their open source license carries, where Sift is entirely their own code, so they have a lot more control. It will also help their financial model, since they can legitimately not distribute Sift for free, no question.

And while that will offend some, they're trying to build a 24/7 server package like Roll20 has, so that everyone, including the GM, is using an outgoing connection. This is a lot simpler for the end user with limited technical skill - the most common pleas for help I see here related to either not starting MT with the right memory settings, or port forwarding setup on the router. That is one of the biggest reasons, I think, that Roll20, which is technically inferior to MT is pretty much every way, has a user base so much larger. It's a worthwhile goal, but it's one that needs a consistent income to support the server infrastructure required.

Mote's not for me (I tried it, and didn't like the changes to the UI, plus I kept getting the dreaded Black Screen Of Annoyance, even on local connections. Since I have the technical expertise to deal with MT's eccentricities, and have never had a problem that wasn't user error, I couldn't be troubled). But there's certainly a place for what they're trying to do, and it may very well be a rather larger place than MapTool occupies.

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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by aliasmask »

Full Bleed wrote:
Sift can work offline, and host local sessions on its own power but it needs Sandstorm to connect with remote players, offering both hassle-free connectivity, and the security needed to keep personal information, safe.

Unfortunately, that kills it for me.

I'm not sure that's completely true, but maybe. Like MapTool, you may be able to set up your own direct connect with remote players, but they may be down playing that aspect. I know updates will only be through the sandstorm services and will require a fee to update if you don't already have the service.

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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by Full Bleed »

aliasmask wrote:I'm not sure that's completely true, but maybe.

If it's not true they might want to take that line off of their own kickstarter.

I didn't say that. They did. So I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's true. ;)

Bottom line: I'm not interested in paying for recurring webservice fees that I don't need or want to use with a VTT. With Sift falling into that category, it's a non-starter for me.

I'd seriously consider buying the program (via kickstarter support). I'd even, on occasion, consider purchasing assets or officially supported rulesets/modules or other IP for game systems I was interested in (I'm actually looking very hard at Fantasy Grounds these days because they have really taken the lead here, imo). But I'm not going to purchase a VTT that requires webservice connectivity (and their accompanying fees) to use. I don't know if Idle Ideas is going to be in business 2 years from now, let alone the 10 I've gotten out of MT.

So while Sift plans to have an amazing scripting engine with "next gen" graphics support, if the company could go out of business next week and zero out my ability to use the program... that's a flaw I'm just not willing to overlook. MT can stop being developed yesterday and I'll still be able to use it tomorrow. If Sift can't promise that then caveat emptor.
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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by aliasmask »

If Sift is good enough, I wouldn't mind paying a one time fee for VTT and $24 a year. People pay alot more for Roll20 and other programs like Obsidian Portal and HeroLab. I think they're just going for a piece of the pie.

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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by Full Bleed »

taustinoc wrote:They have consistently said they intend to continue to develop both.

Which means absolutely nothing (with regard to what they will actually do for mote). Mote is free. You can rest assured that they will develop it exactly as long as it "makes sense" to alongside their commercial ventures (and by "makes sense" I mean "makes money" via Sandstorm or transition up-sells to Sift). They aren't a group of gaming enthusiasts that just love the MT community and develop Mote for fun and in support of their hobby. In fact, the original plans for mote were to include additional Kickstarters to fund further development to get to stretch goals they didn't meet with the first KS. Seeing that off the table is a message written in English, not Sandskrit: They're not tethering themselves to an aging donationware platform without a sustainable development cycle.

As I said, I think that there is a reasonable track behind developing Sandstorm and Sift while "beneficently" offering Mote for free. But Idle Ideas isn't a charity or a hobbyist enterprise and I don't expect them to act like one.
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Re: New kickstarter from the "Mote team"

Post by Full Bleed »

aliasmask wrote:If Sift is good enough, I wouldn't mind paying a one time fee for VTT and $24 a year. People pay alot more for Roll20 and other programs like Obsidian Portal and HeroLab. I think they're just going for a piece of the pie.

You ok with them flipping the switch next year and flushing hundreds (thousands?) of your development hours down the tube because you can't use it without their defunct webservice?

I'm not.

At some point I will flip the switch and flush all the time and energy I put into MT down the tube and move onto something else. But I'm making that call. Not someone else. And I'm certainly not going to pay someone to make that call for me.
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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