4E WotC's D&D Virtual Table Cancelled - Page 9
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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark CMG View Post
    I don't think the VTT team ever recovered from the tragic events of 2008 and I find it hard to fault WotC for trying to keep things going but not ever quite measuring up.

    http://www.enworld.org/forum/general...r-suicide.html

    Well, yes and no. I don't mean to sound callous. That was, sincerely, a terrible thing, and must have been a huge blow to those working with him.

    However, as I said in this thread,
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/news/31...e-history.html

    here:
    Quote Originally Posted by Aberzanzorax View Post
    First, I want to be very clear...the murder/suicide was a horrible thing. I don't wish to diminish the importance of this impact on the D&DI team (I'm sure it was devastating to them emotionally, as well as a major hit the project to lose the leader of their team).

    However, I believe the quoted paragraph is a bit misleading (still true, but misleading), and I'd like to point out some facts.


    The VTT wasn't ready when 4e launched (which was June 6th). The tradgedy occurred on July 28th. That's nearly 2 months after 4e was released.

    D&DI was being developed by another company (a software company), they failed to produce it, and the tools were brought back in house. I've looked for the company's name and a timeline for when this occurred, and haven't been able to find one. (Maybe someone else remembers, or has better google-fu).


    I can imagine that without the tragedy, WotC may have been able to pick up the pieces of D&DI...however, it was not this event that caused it to be in pieces in the first place.


    Just one more time, to close...it was a terrible tragedy, but I don't think it's fair to blame it for the state of D&DI (especially at launch).
    Shemeska filled in some details I didn't know with this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Shemeska View Post
    Radiant Machine was the name of the company. When WotC brought everything back in house, the in-house team was given a 6 month timeline. They restarted on everything, the previous quasi-3d VTT was scrapped along with the 3d character viewer, and only the compendium and offline-character builder were ready for (late) release, missing the launch date originally given.

    Only recently did WotC release a VTT that was purchased from another company and adapted to their needs.

    The outsourcing problems, and other problems with management in-house didn't seem to have been caused by the murder/suicide (though as a contributing factor it was a horrible one), since that was never mentioned as a major factor by one of the developers of the character builder when I spoke with him later that year. But they'd dropped double digit millions and didn't have anything to show for it close to launch.

    And yes, it must have been a huge challenge to pick up those pieces (project in disarray as well as emotional challenge)...but that was four years ago.

    4e was reportedly worked on for 2 years prior to its release date. That means, with their slated release of 2 years of development by the failed company, they had double the time to recover and put out something.

    Was it a huge blow? YES. Unequivocally.

    Is it fair to blame the sputtering along of (and now cancellation of) VTT on that, and that alone? Hardly.

  2. #82
    In all honesty, while the perception of being let down again is admittedly bad -- I expect that the real answer is simply that this is too expensive for the relatively small audience this appeals to. This does not surprise me at all.

    Moreover, every time I use a VTT, I am convinced it is YESTERDAY'S ANSWER that doesn't make real sense to use with today's technology.

    If we are all on broadband, we already have a crap ton of miniatures, (or Pawns), battlemats and flip-mats and 4 lbs. of polyhedral dice in a leather satchel and a bazillion books and pdfs -- why are we reinventing the wheel with the dozens of VTT's that exist so that we DO NOT use the stuff we love to own and collect and that the game companies have already sold us? Seriously: WHY WOULD THAT BE A GOOD IDEA? It's REALLY not necessary.

    If you have Skype, a microphone stand to act as a webcam tripod and another webcam (the GM needs two -- the players only need one) then there is one program you need to run a game online. It's called XSplit. That's it and that's all.

    XSplit is camera management software that allows you to create your own live television studio online. All the cool watermarks and screen fades and wipes to enable live streaming of still and live content you could ever want. In a slick and professional package, for about the cost of a new videogame.

    When you want to roll dice? You just pick up the damn dice and roll them. You use a flip mat and some minis for the monsters. You look at the people you are playing with in the eye. It's not "like" real gaming -- it IS real gaming.

    I do it two to three times a week. It doesn't simply work well -- it is outstanding. Given the sheer convenience and the HUGE savings in travel time, I frankly prefer it to attending in person.

    I am convinced that remote play via multiple-cameras is the future. We dont need to reinvent the wheel. The way we game face to face is the way we need to game remotely, too.

    Every time we move away from that -- we take a step in the wrong direction.



  3. #83
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    I think it's a good thing in the Long run. I hope that they got new plans for new online tool for the next edition of the game, I also wish that they wouldn't announce it before it was ready, they should do like apple and only announce products that are ready to be released.

    Warder

  4. #84
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    That sums up my view as well: the 2008 tragedy was bad, but that in no way excuses them from failing to do in the years that followed what other smaller companies have done- with various degrees of success and quality- in a quarter of the time...or less.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadJoe View Post
    I'm sure Paizo's free play on their VTT didn't help WotC to "generate enough support"
    Free play and system neutral vtt.

    Thank you, WotC for driving more people to the game site of my preferred RPG company.

  6. #86
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    Hmm...maybe I should contact WotC and offer them my services as a gamer with an MBA in marketing...they would seem to need someone with that kind of insight.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel_Wind View Post
    In all honesty, while the perception of being let down again is admittedly bad -- I expect that the real answer is simply that this is too expensive for the relatively small audience this appeals to. This does not surprise me at all.

    Moreover, every time I use a VTT, I am convinced it is YESTERDAY'S ANSWER that doesn't make real sense to use with today's technology.

    If we are all on broadband, we already have a crap ton of miniatures, (or Pawns), battlemats and flip-mats and 4 lbs. of polyhedral dice in a leather satchel and a bazillion books and pdfs -- why are we reinventing the wheel with the dozens of VTT's that exist so that we DO NOT use the stuff we love to own and collect and that the game companies have already sold us? Seriously: WHY WOULD THAT BE A GOOD IDEA? It's REALLY not necessary.

    If you have Skype, a microphone stand to act as a webcam tripod and another webcam (the GM needs two -- the players only need one) then there is one program you need to run a game online. It's called XSplit. That's it and that's all.

    XSplit is camera management software that allows you to create your own live television studio online. All the cool watermarks and screen fades and wipes to enable live streaming of still and live content you could ever want. In a slick and professional package, for about the cost of a new videogame.

    When you want to roll dice? You just pick up the damn dice and roll them. You use a flip mat and some minis for the monsters. You look at the people you are playing with in the eye. It's not "like" real gaming -- it IS real gaming.

    That's a lot of "if". I don't have any minis. I don't have any battlemats. I don't even have a ton of PDF's or books, just the ones I like to run. I have one camera, no mic stand. I do have dice though!

    For me something like Fantasy Grounds or Tabletop Forge works better. I don't need battlemats, I just use the in program tools. I don't need minis, I just use the in program tokens. With TF I can fire it up and see and hear my players just fine, without buying any other stuff than my one camera.

    Honestly, no one in my small group has minis or battlemaps or large numbers of PDF's/books, but we could certainly be exceptions.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remathilis View Post
    And with that, DDi goes belly up.

    No VTT
    No character visualizer
    Halfway decent char-gen program turned into a buggy piece of webcoding
    Quarter decent monster builder decimated into useless webcode.
    Dragon and Dungeon reduced to half-baked web articles.

    Kinda fitting that D&D 4e and DDi both die together, since they were literally made for each other.
    Agreed. WOTC promised a lot and generally failed to deliver things up to the par that they themselves had set. From what I've heard and seen, I'm certainly glad that I never commited to actually subscribing.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkwolf71 View Post
    Free play and system neutral vtt.

    Thank you, WotC for driving more people to the game site of my preferred RPG company.
    The chance that WotC cancelled their VT because Paizo announced a VTT is 0%. I am almost 100% certain that the decision to cancel the VT was made at least a week prior to the announcement, and that the rest of the time was spent making sure that the message that was sent out was acceptable to all.

  10. #90
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    I am intrigued by the Xsplit idea, since I don't actually like to game online because I have always found it clunky in the face to face communication aspect.

    However, I do see a real benefit in using VTT software as a platform for digital projection style setups for in-person groups. Either via top-down projection, or now that LCD flat screens are relatively cheap, using one modified to lay flat on the game table. Probably with some kind of hard transparent plastic cover to protect the screen.

    In fact, Steel Wind, weren't you one of the pioneers of digital projection? I seem to remember a thread from way back about it that created a lot of buzz on EN World about four or five years ago.

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