Pathfinder 1E Paizo announces Paizo Game Space

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Just as the D&D Virtual Table dies, Paizo announced its own plans for "Paizo Game Space". Their latest blog entry reads: "Paizo reinvents the virtual tabletop to be played directly on Paizo.com! Uses Paizo's high, max resolution maps, handouts and everything you need to run our APs. Makes everything easy to connect with people and get playing. As long as you can get to Paizo.com you can play!"



The announcement event:

Paizo Game Space

We're working on a lot of stuff:

A redesign of the Pathfinder Society website, along with new forums for each faction

and stat blocks to paizo.com, going to be biggest stat block database on the internet

More stuff I can't talk about.

Tonight i'm going to talk about one thing.

Today, Paizo is announcing a new way to play the games you love: Paizo Game Space.

[main screen ON, showing map with dragon]

Paizo Game Space is amazing software that lets you play with the people you know... anywhere in the world. All you need is the internet.

It's a virtual tabletop. Now VTTs aren't new. I'm gonna say "VTT" a lot because "virtual tabletop" is kind of a mouthful.
Virtual tabletops aren't new. There have been literally dozens of them before this. Some of them we like. Some of them we like a lot.

But none of them is exactly what we think a virtual tabletop should be.

We've talked to a lot of people and they all say the same thing:

We love playing on a VTT. We can keep our group together after people move away.

We love playing on a VTT. As Cosmo told me the other day, it lets him game in his underwear without all the catcalling and wolf whistles.

People love playing on a VTT. But they're kind of annoying!
You have to find the software. And download it. Install it. Will it run on a Mac? That's a big one for us at Paizo.

And then you get the fun part. IP addresses and firewalls and port forwarding and all that. Even network administrators don't want to deal with that stuff. That's work! We're here for fun.

So today, Paizo is reinventing the virtual tabletop.

Paizo Game Space runs right in your web browser. There's no software to install! None. Not even a plug-in.

If you can get to paizo.com, you and your friends can play on Paizo Game Space.

We're all about making life better for gamers. We've built Paizo Game Space to do just that. So let's take a quick look.

[.... demo ... ]

Here I've got the first combat from Rise of the Runelords, the Swallowtail Festival.

Smooth scrolling, panning, zooming
Drag tokens around. Resize dragon back to huge from "ginormous". Move it off map.
So here's the thing. Running a game in a VTT is fun, but the prep work is kind of a pain.

You still have to find a map, prepare it, resize it, load it, align the grid. And then you get to go looking for monster art and tokens and handouts and all the rest.

And for some of us that's fun, but sometimes you just want to play.

Paizo Game Space changes all that.

We're going to do the prep work for you.

When you run an adventure like Rise of the Runelords on Paizo Game Space, all the maps and handouts, all the monsters and NPCs, will already be right there for you.

Zoom in to FRUIT CART note, we had technical difficulties with the Swallowtail map, so instead we used a different flip-mat, so actually zoomed into carpet details instead of seeing individual fruits in fruit cart

The source for this map is about 200 megabytes. It's higher resolution than what we put in our PDFs. This is the original art we send to the printer. Maximum resolution.
Zoom out.

Let's take a quick look at combat. I want to emphasize something here about our approach.

We are not implementing the Pathfinder rules in Paizo Game Space. That would be crazy.
Our approach is, just don't be stupid by default.

Show Initiative tab.
So it knows a little about initiative.

Roll initiative. Modify a roll.
Start combat. Next, next. Round separator.

So it knows a little about initiative, it knows players and monsters go in order, and it knows about rolling dice. But if you need to change something you can.

Drag to reorder initiative. Click to delay or ready. Next, next. Take readied action.

OK, so that's a brief look at Paizo Game Space. I can't tell you how excited I am about this.

Let me answer a couple questions I know you have: When can I use it. And how much is it gonna cost.

When can I use it.

It's not quite ready yet. Don't worry, we're not going to wait until it's perfect. It turns out, software is never perfect.

So you'll be able to play with Paizo Game Space sometime this summer. And we'll keep making it better as we go.

How much will it cost?

Nothing. We haven't worked out all of the details yet. Or really any of the details.

But you'll be able to play a game on our virtual tabletop and not pay us a dime.

We'll have ways for you to give us money, don't worry about that. We like money.

But the main reason we're working on this is to build our community. Provide a place for you to gather.

A place to meet, talk, hang around, buy stuff. And now, game.

Thank you, and good night!
 

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I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Looks a little light so far, but for free and easy, my interest is piqued.

What is make-or-break time is: can I make this from the ground up in an easy way? Can I drag-and-drop images? Set up click-and-run dice rollers? Make a map on the fly? Add clickable notes? Do a character sheet that runs whatever I click on?

If they manage to be just as good as maptool, but easier, it may be worth it.

Elsewise, it's yet another tabletop I won't be learning anytime soon. :p
 


Lwaxy

Cute but dangerous
Looks good, really good. I just wonder if it is affordable, after all, I own/co-own most of the APs already, but as they were bought in a local store (impossible to pay shipping to Germany) I wouldn't profit from any possible "you bought it you can play it" policy.
 

Jhaelen

First Post
And, once again, Paizo takes Wizards of the Coast to school to show them how to properly run a fantasy RPG business....
Don't you feel that's a wee bit premature? Remember WotC announcing and showing their nifty 3d VTT?
We haven't worked out all of the details yet. Or really any of the details.
That's exactly the kind of statement that makes me confident. Not!
 

Votan

Explorer
Don't you feel that's a wee bit premature? Remember WotC announcing and showing their nifty 3d VTT?
That's exactly the kind of statement that makes me confident. Not!

It helps that it is freeware; one feels a little less slighted when something that is planned but not paid for doesn't pan out. The DDI community did not make specific promises but there was a general theory of "nice things are coming to cntinue to make your subscription worthwhile".

THe VTT seemed to be one of these items.

A free table that never goes anywhere is a different beast.
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
Don't you feel that's a wee bit premature? Remember WotC announcing and showing their nifty 3d VTT? (snip)

There are some big differences.

1. WotC never delivered a digital offering on-spec and on-time so deserve to be mocked again. And again.
2. Paizo never promised their game table as part of a paid-for service unlike WotC.
 

Crothian

First Post
If it can be used and aid the table top game and not just people playing on line then I'll be happy. Otherwise it is of little use to me.
 

There are some big differences.

1. WotC never delivered a digital offering on-spec and on-time so deserve to be mocked again. And again.
2. Paizo never promised their game table as part of a paid-for service unlike WotC.
Can I deduct xp from you?

We all know by now, that D&D tools did not come in time, and that one of the reasons was a tragedy.

So no. Mocking someone again and again is just annoying.
 

kitsune9

Adventurer
My personal take on VTTs is that in addition to the map features, campaign management, and dice rollers, there needs to be a video and audio component. The chat feature is for secret notes.

Secondly, there needs to be apps developed that links mobile and tablet devices to the VTT so that players can have their character sheets, notes, and dice on their devices while looking at a screen that has the map and video. Their computer screen serves as the "table" while their personal devices serves as the "player's surface". The GM has his own.

Thirdly, additional apps should include rulesets that affects actions and gameplay. For example, if the party's cleric casts bless, everyone's character sheet is automatically updated with a +1 to attack rolls and their Will save is noted that they have a +1 vs. fear or the person who receives bear's endurance gets their Con adjusted, hp increased, and Fort save increased. These kind of apps will be invaluable because they can breathe life back into games that have overcomplex or heavy-bookkeeping rules. How many of you looked at crunch-heavy games and thought they were cool because you have all these awesome charts of critical hits or effects or other things, but during actual play, it was a real headache to update the character sheet and keep things moving?

Actually, I'm kind of surprised that there hasn't been apps for these rules, particularly for the ones with their own SRDs or Open License.

Also, these can aid traditional table-top play. The first is that with an app that links the mobile and tablet devices to the GM's iPad, you've gotten rid of regular character sheets and dice. Heavy rulebooks are gone too. With complex rulesets, you can affect characters beneficially or with harmful effects. For example, if you are playing Rolemaster, the app knows which weapon you're using so the die roll looks up the appropriate table, determines the damage, then rolls on the critical hit table and gives the result. The GM tablet displays the result as well and the monster affected has its stats updated.

Realistic rules such as encumbrance can be tracked better.

Some could argue that with all this technology, why not just play a MMORPG? It's going to come down to individual taste as well. For some games with complex rulesets, technology is a good boost to enhance the play experience and a VTT further adds to the fun. For really simple games or more free-form games, then a VTT or anything kind of tech isn't needed.
 

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
Well I'll be interested in what possibilities of loading Pathfinder 3pp material into this VTT app. I'd love to make the Kaidan: a Japanese Ghost Story trilogy and other such adventures available in this.
 

Alphastream

Adventurer
We all know by now, that D&D tools did not come in time, and that one of the reasons was a tragedy.
I'm a big 4E fan and I'm a sensitive person, but I don't buy that explanation. No team should be set up such that it was going to fall apart if a single person left the team (for any reason). Since that initial time many years have passed with many changes in strategy, goals, approach, software platforms, and staff. The result has nearly always been the same.

Again, I'm a huge 4E fan and a huge Wizards fan. Every company has weaknesses. Management of technical teams and projects has been a massive repeated weakness.
 

Alphastream

Adventurer
Specifically on this Paizo announcement, Paizo should well understand the lessons of WotC's approach. Having screenshots of the VTT but not understanding pricing schemes is not a good start. It is seldom a good idea to undertake an IT project (and begin incurring costs) or promise a product/service (and begin setting expectations) without understanding the revenue model.

Looking over the comments on that thread, we can see it is filled with "this is what I want/expect" comments. Expecting all pdfs to become VTT content? Stating how much you will pay or not pay? Support HeroLab? Suggest your own flip mat add-on pricing?

Paizo should take the time to formulate a solid initial model and communicate that as quickly as possible.
 

I'm a big 4E fan and I'm a sensitive person, but I don't buy that explanation. No team should be set up such that it was going to fall apart if a single person left the team (for any reason). Since that initial time many years have passed with many changes in strategy, goals, approach, software platforms, and staff. The result has nearly always been the same.

Again, I'm a huge 4E fan and a huge Wizards fan. Every company has weaknesses. Management of technical teams and projects has been a massive repeated weakness.
This is why I said "part of the reason"...

But still... just goig to the forum, repeating the same things again and again won´t do any good, too.

Adventuring tools were not completed in the 3.x era either, and should be outsourced. There are fans out there who do it for free...
 

joebobodo

First Post
Specifically on this Paizo announcement, Paizo should well understand the lessons of WotC's approach. Having screenshots of the VTT but not understanding pricing schemes is not a good start. It is seldom a good idea to undertake an IT project (and begin incurring costs) or promise a product/service (and begin setting expectations) without understanding the revenue model.

Looking over the comments on that thread, we can see it is filled with "this is what I want/expect" comments. Expecting all pdfs to become VTT content? Stating how much you will pay or not pay? Support HeroLab? Suggest your own flip mat add-on pricing?

Paizo should take the time to formulate a solid initial model and communicate that as quickly as possible.

The thing is, is that when first launched and in its most basic form, it's going to be free to use. They are doing it this way because they want to get the software into the hands of their community for them to play with and to find more and more ways to improve upon the products.

Paid add-ons, etc... are things that don't particularly matter at this initial launch.
 

Aberzanzorax

First Post
Can I deduct xp from you?

We all know by now, that D&D tools did not come in time, and that one of the reasons was a tragedy.

So no. Mocking someone again and again is just annoying.

Thankya for the reminder to give Scrivener xp.


EDIT: I had a longer post...but the attitude just made me want to give him xp. He owes ya one.
 

dd.stevenson

Super KY
Can I drag-and-drop images?

That's the big one for me. I want to be able to copy and right-click paste images into the game window without any intermittent steps. No image file saving, no dialog boxes, just Snipping Tool or Ctrl+c and then I paste straightaway.

First browser VTT to offer that will probably have my business for life.
 



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