Fantasy Grounds Unity Kickstarter Has Launched
  • Fantasy Grounds Unity Kickstarter Has Launched


    Fans of Fantasy Grounds, the virtual tabletop (VTT) software platform, will be interested to hear that a Kickstarter for a new version has been launched, featuring dynamic lighting, advanced fog of war, tole-based map building, and some technical computer things.





    Fantasy Grounds launched in 2004, and was one of the earliest VTTs, and was the first to get a Dungeons & Dragons license. It also has modules for other games, including Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, WOIN, Call of Cthulhu, Traveller, Mutants & Masterminds, and more. The new version uses something called a Unity, which sounds exciting.

    It launched yesterday, has made over $150K already, and has about a month to run. For $15-$30 you can upgrade from the old version (price dependent on how long ago you originally got it) and for $35 you get the new version during its Beta run.

    There's a bunch of video demos on the Kickstarter page which are worth checking out.
    Comments 50 Comments
    1. Myrdin Potter's Avatar
      Myrdin Potter -
      The current version is excellent but is getting aged in the graphics and networking part of the program. This new version brings all the automation and power of the current version and upgrades the graphics to add many of the tools you need for “on the fly” play plus makes connecting and playing much easier. And all at a decent discount.
    1. MNblockhead's Avatar
      MNblockhead -
      I generally avoid backing software projects on Kickstarter as they are the most likely to experience delays and failures but SmiteWorks is an established company. I'll definitely be following this project.
    1. Nylanfs's Avatar
      Nylanfs -
      Note that I think you are looking at UK prices, KS kindly does an auto conversion
    1. Rhineglade's Avatar
      Rhineglade -
      So, more like Roll20?
    1. BnaaUK's Avatar
      BnaaUK -
      More like Fantasy Grounds with greater improvements.
    1. unnatural 20's Avatar
      unnatural 20 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rhineglade View Post
      So, more like Roll20?
      Roll20 is more like Fantasy Grounds lite
    1. Mistwell's Avatar
      Mistwell -
      I thought they said dynamic lighting and fog of war was "in the works" years ago? Both are already a part of Roll20 and have been for years. Why can't they afford to develop this using their ordinary income source from Fantasy Grounds?

      In fact, if Tile Based Map Building is what I think it is, Roll20 has had that from day one and for free! [Edit - I just watched their video on Tile Based Map Building and yes, I was doing just that with Roll20 for free all the way back to the 5e beta]
    1. Zaukrie's Avatar
      Zaukrie -
      It's been so long now......I have my doubts. Also, I just want modern technology (if I go back to using a computer) that allows me to use two monitors, among other things......It all looks kind of cool, but will it be easier to learn and use? Will it ever actually come out? I gave up my license, but I think I still own the licenses to the books I got, which I think means I can use them with this new system?

      To answer mistwell, I think this is mostly a push for new users, think of it as marketing......
    1. Redbadge's Avatar
      Redbadge -
      While lightning/FOW, tile building, and integrated voice chat are currently the few differentiators for roll20 over Fantasy Grounds, as someone experienced with both, in my opinion FG greatly outpaces roll20 in every other aspect. If Unity is able to add these missing features, our VTT of choice will be a no brainer, especially once you account for the cost. It’ll be like comparing Notepad to Microsoft Word.
    1. lkj's Avatar
      lkj -
      Based on the pledge levels, I suspect it's also a push to get people to upgrade.

      AD
    1. Malovech's Avatar
      Malovech -
      They really need to update the actual UI. So sad that this is not a part of the KS.
    1. stadi's Avatar
      stadi -
      FG is still no alternative as it is not browser based. Some people might not care, but I need something that is browser based, does not need any admin rights, installations, any setup at all.
    1. EthanSental's Avatar
      EthanSental -
      I believe this is the Unity version...at least the FG forum announcement makes it seem that way....Doug might swing by and clarify as he’s active on the forum. Looking forward to it as I know Carl has been working on FGU for a bit and like the weather and fog of war. Thanks Doug!
    1. Mike Oliver's Avatar
      Mike Oliver -
      One of the biggest advantages of the Unity engine is it’s portability. This will finally bring Fantasy Grounds to the tablet which is what many of us have been wanting for years.
    1. epithet's Avatar
      epithet -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mistwell View Post
      I thought they said dynamic lighting and fog of war was "in the works" years ago? Both are already a part of Roll20 and have been for years. Why can't they afford to develop this using their ordinary income source from Fantasy Grounds?

      In fact, if Tile Based Map Building is what I think it is, Roll20 has had that from day one and for free! [Edit - I just watched their video on Tile Based Map Building and yes, I was doing just that with Roll20 for free all the way back to the 5e beta]
      The new features have been in the works for some time, but the thing that has delayed the development of the Unity version of Fantasy Grounds has been ensuring that it will be compatible with existing rule sets, assets, and campaigns. You will be able to take everything you have for the current program and plug it into the new one.

      Having used both Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds, there is really no comparison. Even the current version of FG is much more of a full-featured virtual tabletop and is much much easier to use for preparing and running a game. Hell, the combat tracker alone is enough to make me lament the occasions when I have to use Roll20 because someone has to have a browser-based connection. Roll20 has had an advantage in terms of pretty looking doo-dads and a better set of map tools, but FG is set to leapfrog past it in that category, too. Roll20 has dynamic lighting while FGU, when it launches, will only have dynamic line-of-sight, but lighting and darkvision are supposedly early priorities for next year.

      SmiteWorks has, in point of fact, been developing this with their existing income. The Unity program is in its last stage of development, with the beta release planned a couple months after the Kickstarter and the live program available before the end of the year.

      There are a number of free tile-based mapping solutions available, but if you were doing everything in that video in Roll20, you weren't using the free version unless you were using one of the scripts that unlocks the premium tools and adds extra features to Roll20, and you were certainly not enjoying the level of responsiveness shown in the video with map tools in any browser-based solution.
    1. epithet's Avatar
      epithet -
      Quote Originally Posted by EthanSental View Post
      I believe this is the Unity version...at least the FG forum announcement makes it seem that way....Doug might swing by and clarify as he’s active on the forum. Looking forward to it as I know Carl has been working on FGU for a bit and like the weather and fog of war. Thanks Doug!
      This is absolutely the Unity version.

      The current program will continue on, by the way, as "Fantasy Grounds Classic."
    1. epithet's Avatar
      epithet -
      Quote Originally Posted by Malovech View Post
      They really need to update the actual UI. So sad that this is not a part of the KS.
      The UI is heavily moddable and extensible, and there are a fair number of user-created extensions that add or change elements of the UI ranging from aesthetic themes to some pretty chunky mechanical alterations. I don't use any myself other than an occasional map layer add-on, but some of them are apparently quite popular.
    1. Myrdin Potter's Avatar
      Myrdin Potter -
      Fantasy Grounds has fog of war already and has for years. It does not update it dynamically (manual process by the GM), but it is there. I actually am not that fond of the way that Roll20 does it, but that is a personal opinion.

      Based on an email I received today, Roll20 just lowered the cost of WoTC DLC to the prices that Fantasy Grounds and D&D Beyond have been charging for a while. Fantasy Grounds is still cheaper either via bundle pricing or their regular sales, but they are closer now.
    1. smiteworks's Avatar
      smiteworks -
      This Kickstarter is to introduce the new version that we've built to the world. Kickstarter is a great avenue to do that. In our case it was not needed for funding. We've been funding development of it with current revenue for the last several years. We showed prototyping of dynamic LOS many years back as well. It's one of the new features, along with tile based map building, painting with images and more. The big time-sink for us has been in simply rebuilding everything to run in Unity in a way that will let people simply port over their campaigns, modules or rulesets from Fantasy Grounds Classic.

      This first phase addresses some of the biggest weaknesses in our platform. It doesn't address all of them, but it does hit some of the biggest items. We think we have a lot of other strengths in the current version and this should add to that. The way we deliver features that other VTTs may already have will also be a distinguishing factor for people in the market for VTTs. We will continue to build from this new point and we should be able to pick up speed now that we have reached this point.

      We believe that the VTT space will continue to grow for all parties.
    1. Mistwell's Avatar
      Mistwell -
      Quote Originally Posted by epithet View Post
      The new features have been in the works for some time, but the thing that has delayed the development of the Unity version of Fantasy Grounds has been ensuring that it will be compatible with existing rule sets, assets, and campaigns. You will be able to take everything you have for the current program and plug it into the new one.

      Having used both Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds, there is really no comparison. Even the current version of FG is much more of a full-featured virtual tabletop and is much much easier to use for preparing and running a game. Hell, the combat tracker alone is enough to make me lament the occasions when I have to use Roll20 because someone has to have a browser-based connection. Roll20 has had an advantage in terms of pretty looking doo-dads and a better set of map tools, but FG is set to leapfrog past it in that category, too. Roll20 has dynamic lighting while FGU, when it launches, will only have dynamic line-of-sight, but lighting and darkvision are supposedly early priorities for next year.

      SmiteWorks has, in point of fact, been developing this with their existing income. The Unity program is in its last stage of development, with the beta release planned a couple months after the Kickstarter and the live program available before the end of the year.

      There are a number of free tile-based mapping solutions available, but if you were doing everything in that video in Roll20, you weren't using the free version unless you were using one of the scripts that unlocks the premium tools and adds extra features to Roll20, and you were certainly not enjoying the level of responsiveness shown in the video with map tools in any browser-based solution.
      I was doing everything with tiles from day 1 with Roll 20. I can even show you maps I made that look just like that. And it was free and not using any scripts or premium tools.

      For example, I threw this together, using entirely free assets, for my players 5 years ago during the beta test. It's not as pretty as it once was because I moved some assets around, but you can see that I was making very similar stuff in Roll20 for free 5 years ago.

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