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CODENAME: MORNINGSTAR Kickstarter Launched - and it's for PATHFINDER!

Trapdoor Technologies has launched its Kickstarter for Codename: Morningstar. As expected, the software is for the Pathfinder RPG, with other systems being supported later. It has a number of modules - home, character, adventure, campaign, party, library, and forge - and is designed for mobile devices and laptops. They're looking for a whopping $425,000 - one of the largest RPG Kickstarters I've ever seen! - and are looking at an April 2015 release date. Of course, this software was originally designed for D&D 5th Edition before the relationship between Trapdoor and WotC came to an end, so many folks will have seen beta versions of the software when it was configured for that game. It's more than a character generator, though -- "Players will be able to quickly create and manage characters, track the progress of their adventures, send secret messages, roll virtual dice and more. GM’s will be able to manage adventures, track encounters, share maps and notes as well as organize large scale campaigns all through a cleverly designed mobile interface." And later comes the "sharing" part -- "Through the Forge, Game Designers can create adventures and campaigns, share them with their friends or publish them in our Library for the entire world to enjoy." You can already sort of see how some of that sharing will work, as some pledge levels for the Kickstarter include additional content (in this case an adventure). Click here for the Kickstarter!


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Osgood

Explorer
Too bad... I really liked Morningstar/Dungeonscape, but a Pathfinder app is slightly less useful to me than an extra nostril...on my taint.
 


dracomilan

Explorer
425k? Seriously? It seems they dumped everything and are starting over... Or are starting right now.

Anyway, I'm not interested (PCGen owns my 3.5/Pathfinder needs).
 

Kostchie

Villager
I'm a bit disappointed. Mostly that there won't be one for dnd 5th. I'm guessing without the licence there is too much they have to leave out. This will just not be a thing for me, which is a bummer.
 

Grimstaff

Explorer
There's so much out there already for Pathfinder. Much of it cheap or free. These guys are definitely ambitious, I'll give them that much.
 

The_Gneech

First Post
A bit late to the party, aren't they? (He said, updating his Hero Labs dataset.)

This amuses me for some reason that I can't identify. I wish 'em well, but, I dunno, I don't think this will shake the pillars of heaven.

-The Gneech :cool:
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
A bit late to the party, aren't they? (He said, updating his Hero Labs dataset.)

Unless I'm missing a bunch of functionality from my copy of Hero Lab, doesn't it only do one of the 7 "modules" list up there? The character part?
 

Maul

Explorer
If "Morningstar" wants to be successful they should create the project in smaller phases.

Starting with the basics. 1st......Character Generator. Kind of like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN9oGEj06D0&feature=youtu.be
Making it look like a video game interface and keeping it as simple as possible speeds up the character generating process. Like anything, first impressions count. Make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

2nd......In game tools.......Initiative Tracker and Monster HP Tracker. Offer as an add-on that becomes unlocked at a certain pledge amount.

3rd.......Adventure Tracker. Offer as an add-on that becomes unlocked at a certain pledge amount.

And whatever aspect of the software that doesn't become funded you run another Kickstarter to fund it later on.
 



Newtonian

First Post
I'm a bit disappointed. Mostly that there won't be one for dnd 5th. I'm guessing without the licence there is too much they have to leave out. This will just not be a thing for me, which is a bummer.

Well, we're not ENTIRELY out of the 5E game yet. WotC hasn't announced their intentions with OGL for 5e. You can bet we'll be taking advantage of whatever they have to offer (if we can).
 

JesterOC

Explorer
Don't understand why you set the bar so high for yourselves. Why not start with a character generator for core classes and races and use kickstarter's stretch goal model to expand. Starting at $425k seems risky. Good luck. If 5E ever becomes a lock, I would be interested.
 

Newtonian

First Post
Don't understand why you set the bar so high for yourselves. Why not start with a character generator for core classes and races and use kickstarter's stretch goal model to expand. Starting at $425k seems risky. Good luck. If 5E ever becomes a lock, I would be interested.

Well, the truth is that we started with a dynamic digital publishing platform, not the toolset. We can professionally publish digital e-books very quickly. The money we're raising is to refactor and build the tools infrastructure around this platform for iOS, Android, and Web.

I've worked in video games and mobile software for the past 8 years, and let me tell you...for many of the high production casual smartphone games that you see on the app store or Google play, you're looking at about an average of 100-300k budget to produce (for a 6 week project). For Morningstar, we're producing a program of the quality you would expect to come from someone like Apple, Google, or Microsoft.
 
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lkj

Adventurer
I'm primarily a 5e guy these days. I don't have any use for a Pathfinder toolset. However, I'm still playing with the idea of supporting this, because I would love to have this product for 5e-- particularly the content management stuff. Being able to import adventure content, have easy access to rules, character generation, live game tools etc. all in one place would be very appealing to me. And if this tool exists and is successful, then (as Mr. Newton points out) there is some possibility that it will eventually become a tool for 5e.

I'm not trying to make a pitch. There are still a lot of uncertainties-- will they pull it off, will it be as good a tool as we hope, will licensing allow for 5e compatibility, etc. So I'm still weighing whether it's worth it for me (and how much if it is). But I'm thinking about it.

AD

P.S. And yes the price tag for the project is high, but if they are paying salaries with it, then that's no surprise.
 

chibi graz'zt

First Post
These guys are a real "class" act. I had some respect for them before, this confirms that I have absolutely NO respect for them now. Not a good idea to caricature a business partner as "thief in the night" for a product that was never theirs. Good luck raising half a million in 29 days around Christmas. Smacks of desperation to me.
 

R

RevTurkey

Guest
Really? Surely if the projected release date is April 2015 then most of the work left to be done amounts to testing and bug hunting? 425,000 dollars for a few months work for about a dozen people still equates to about 35,000 dollars each on an even split. Nice work if you can get it. All I hear when these people speak is a lot of talk that tells me very little. I am not buying and neither were Wizards of the Coast. If the product is so close to the finish line...then go finish it, risk your own money, show it me and then I will decide if it is worth my money.
 

Newtonian

First Post
These guys are a real "class" act. I had some respect for them before, this confirms that I have absolutely NO respect for them now. Not a good idea to caricature a business partner as "thief in the night" for a product that was never theirs. Good luck raising half a million in 29 days around Christmas. Smacks of desperation to me.

WotC was never the "Thief in the Night". Yes, we wrote the story inspired by real events, but that's just it. It's a fictional adventure, and adventures need problems to solve, villains to face, etc. Forgive us for taking creative license :).

Also, the codebase for DungeonScape was/is entirely owned by Trapdoor, even if the content wasn't. There's also really no desperation other than the fact we think we have a product that would revolutionize tabletop gaming regardless of the game system. If we don't fund, we just go on to other fields outside of tabletop. This is a passion project.
 

Newtonian

First Post
Really? Surely if the projected release date is April 2015 then most of the work left to be done amounts to testing and bug hunting? 425,000 dollars for a few months work for about a dozen people still equates to about 35,000 dollars each on an even split. Nice work if you can get it. All I hear when these people speak is a lot of talk that tells me very little. I am not buying and neither were Wizards of the Coast. If the product is so close to the finish line...then go finish it, risk your own money, show it me and then I will decide if it is worth my money.

35,000 for 4 months of work for about a dozen full-time professionals is grossly understating the effort needed to accomplish something like this.

The product was close to the finish line with 5e content, but being that we can't release it, we have to refactor it. In truth, we think great stories and campaign settings are system agnostic. The rules, at the end of the day...aren't THAT important. It's more about the stories. We're using the money to build in the rest of the publishing and content creation system, and refactoring to pull out 5e.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I'll be backing it for sure if I can squeeze some money out of the Christmas budget.

I assume you guys are familiar with it, but be sure to use KickTraq for projections and the like. As you likely know, the first few days and the last few days are when you get the big bumps; the middle 3 weeks is usually fairly flat and can be positively depressing on the days where you actually lose money. That, incidentally, is why I was surprised by your launch choice of a Friday night; most Kickstarters go for the busy periods (Monday or Tuesday lunchtime in the US, afternoon or early evening in Europe) to launch, and ensure the last couple of days are also similarly timed. If I'm not mistaken your last two days are a Saturday and Sunday, too?

It might not matter, of course!
 

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