D&D Licensed Tools: Morningstar!




  • D&D Licensed Tools: Morningstar!

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    Click for more about D&D[THIS ARTICLE IS UPDATED WITH CODE ANALYSIS - SCROLL DOWN!] We now know something about WotC's plans for D&D 5th Edition digital tools! This has appeared on WotC's website:

    We are excited to announce our newest licensee, Trapdoor Technologies. Trapdoor is working on an integrated toolset and rules knowledge base to support the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Combining rules, character sheets, and adventures together into a clean interface, Trapdoor's goal is to create tools for Dungeon Masters and players that will allow for fast and easy management of their game. Known for now as Codename: Morningstar, the tools will have a limited playtest at Origins Game Fair.

    To learn more about Codename: Morningstar, Trapdoor Technologies and how to participate in the upcoming beta, visit
    codenamemorningstar.com.

    There's nothing at the site quite yet, but Origins Game Fair is this week, June 11-15, so hopefully we'll hear more soon! Trapdoor do (briefly) say "Be sure to check out the site tomorrow - even if you're not here, you may still be able to join the fun " [383 comments]

    There's a test login box here. You won't be able to do anything with it, but it shows something's happening! Screenshot below. If you go to trapdoortechnologies.com that's what you get. Trapdoor technologies describes itself thusly "Trapdoor Technologies is a Boulder, CO-based pioneer in enhanced digital publishing software. Our flagship product, The Story Machine™, is a scalable, automated, cloud-based publishing engine offering integrated interactive features for digital books, documents, and periodicals. Published for tablets and smart phones running iOS and Android, our interactive digital applications are focused on simplicity and leveraging how people actually learn, explore and play."





    Who is Trapdoor Technologies?

    Trapdoor Technologies and its The Story Machine product seem to be absent from the web. It was founded in 2009 by Christopher Mackey, and has under 10 employees. Mackey has a personal website called Dragonsford which indicates that he's clearly a gamer, though the site looks very old. Their website (above) has changed very recently - just a few weeks ago it looked like this:



    Their last news article before the site changed was entitled "Advertising in eBooks? Really? Really?"

    They have an imprint, Trapdoor Books with a number of titles available, and an Android app. Their Facebook page talks a lot about e-books as apps (they sell this one on iTunes and a bunch more) and says "At Trapdoor, our goal is to build a publishing platform specifically designed for 21st century needs. We have reinvented the book to be a living companion in the quest for knowledge and inspiration. It’s our belief that stories are not linear, but instead a multipath composition of insight and creativity. To us, how your story is told is just as important as the story itself. New paradigms require an open mind, and it is only through an open mind, that the imagination can become truly unlocked."

    Their Google+ page says "Trapdoor Publishing Technologies, Inc. develops software to enable book publishers to efficiently and economically create Enhanced eBooks that can be distributed to any readers’ iPhone®, iPad® and Android™ mobile device, including the Kindle Fire and the NOOK™ to better connect authors with readers.

    Our team has decades of software industry experience serving vertical industries, like book publishing, and in solving complex technical challenges regardless of industry. Team members’ software credentials span enterprise, SaaS, iPhone, iPad and Android mobile apps, middleware and database solutions, among others. We know how to collaboratively build, deploy, and support software applications for customers.

    We also understand book publishing. Through our wholly-owned imprint, Trapdoor Books, we’ve managed the key workflows and business processes confronting every book publisher—particularly for digital publishing. Trapdoor Books serves as our R&D laboratory, helping us to improve our publishing software and workflows. We benefit by close interactions with authors, and their loyal readers, to better understand how best to design, develop and deliver Enhanced eBooks."


    Thanks to Vicente Cartas for helping dig up this info!



    What can we glean from the current website?

    Brainclouds of Darklight Interactive has looked hard at the existing website code and made the following report:

    • The website is waiting for a countdown timer and a percentage progress bar.
    • At its core it's a Wordpress website.
    • Looking at the Morningstar javascript code it's interesting... Like references to a "com.trapdoor.gwt.dnd.shared.Creature" class.
    • The Morningstar test site sure is enlightening... References to adventure session data, die rolls, encounter creatures, animations, death saves, adventure and library "presenters", etc...
    • What's really got me curious is the references to "animation" namespaces and classes.
    • References to an "adventure-map", "adventure-encounter", a full on "wiki" and more.
    • "Enter new adjustment to Initiative" ... Guessing a full initiative/encounter tracker.
    • And here's alignment in a nutshell and the six ability scores defined.
    • Another thing I can say: if the Javascript is any indication, this has been in development for a while now.

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