Review of the New Online Version of Monster Builder by WotC

renau1g

First Post
One of my players works for GEEK Squad, and he pointed to the popularity of the iPhone vs. the Android. People gravitate towards the iPhone over the Android because of the sheer volume of apps available for the iPhone - somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3x the number available for iPhone than are available for Android. There are also a larger pool of developers making iPhone apps over that of Andriod developers.

That's arguable. Apple also does an absolutely stellar job of marketing their products and convincing people that if you've got an i-whatever you're hip, cool, with it. There's also 1 Iphone (well different sizes, but essentially 1) and there are dozens of Android phones. You've confusion for customers as they decide which Android model to go with across the different manufacturers vs the very strong branding of Apple and the only choice is size of hard drive.

There are about 370k apps in App store, and about 130k in the Android market, so about 3x as much, but odds of you needing that 240k delta is pretty tiny.
 

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sturtus

First Post
What's depressing is that Wotc is the only company seemingly with the capital backing to undertake a project as ambitious as DDI. Unless there's a game company out there with the bollocks.
 

vonmolkew

Explorer
Disappointing moments like this new Adventure Tools: Monster Builder does no one any good – it only frustrates the fan base, perpetuates the edition wars, and weakens consumer confidence in the publisher.


I get the impression from what I generally read on ENWorld that there isn't much "consumer confidence in the publisher" to begin with. Seems like this is a typical attempt from WotC, going all the way back to the CodeMonkey character generator from 3.0/3.5
 

Balorian

First Post
Maybe it is time to go back to Pen and Paper

I realize in this hustle and bustle world it is difficult to find time to get a group together, let alone find a decent group with witch to play. But many of the 'online' or 'software' options I am seeing in support of Role Playing games in general is lacking.

I joined DDi for a breif period, long enough to realize that their promises were at best dreams, ast worse, a lure to simply make money by producing just enough to make us think that 'maybe this time'.

Personally, I started with AD&D back in the late 70s, when your character sheet was a page from your binder, hand written. There were only 3 books, the only books you really needed to play the game. Figurines were various and often took the form of bottle caps or scavanged peices from an old Sorry or Monopoly game.

The key to playing was the use of our imaginations, some thing I am sorry to see lacking in many games today.
 

Fippy_Darkpaw

First Post
One of my players works for GEEK Squad, and he pointed to the popularity of the iPhone vs. the Android. People gravitate towards the iPhone over the Android because of the sheer volume of apps available for the iPhone - somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3x the number available for iPhone than are available for Android. There are also a larger pool of developers making iPhone apps over that of Andriod developers.

Good point about Apps, except for the part where Iphone is actually the 3rd most popular mobile OS behind Symbian and Android.

File:Smartphone share current.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We get the point though. The Apple app market is much easier to peruse. It would be cool if DDI let 3rd parties develop apps. What ever software development house WOTC has been using so far is absolutely terrible. These apps are all so simple I cannot believe how bad the quality is. :erm:
 

kristov

Explorer
I was sad to see them head this direction but I knew where they were going with it when they did the same with the Char Gen.

This is a 100% attempt to stop people from using multiple copies of the tool and they have squandered what little money they had (and fewer resources after multiple years of firing talent) recreating the same tools with less features.

It was a bone-headed move made by some top executive not in touch with the hobby or its user-base.
 

Nebulorum

First Post
Openness would be great, the problem is how

I think these two comments are really valid. But the question is how to open up this content. The real catch is that what makes tools nice is to have easy access to the content Wizards generates, but this same content is how they get revenue.

What's funny is a couple of my players have pondered the same question - why doesn't WotC release an API, loosen the wording of the GSL to allow 3PPs to produce software, and make some decent Apps, programs, and other tools happen?

<snip>

WotC would do well to learn a lesson here - their proprietary attitude toward their software development may not be in the best interest of the future of D&D 4E or in the interest of WotC's profits for the long haul. More programs and apps out could mean greater market penetration, and greater interest in playing their version of D&D - something their current exclusive policy on software development does not seem to be accomplishing.

Agreed, I think openness is a way to go, but corporations are still struggling with this.

Here is the daydream I had on the whole API thing.

<snip>

3. They offer a DDI Developer account that gives full access to the SDK and documentation for like $100/year (Apple's model).

4. DDI announces an official "app store" where DDI "approved" apps can be sold with a cut to Wizards allowing microtransactions to buy pre-rolled characters, tokens for the VTT, maps, adventures, and other INEXPENSIVE content as well as third party apps.

<snip>

Again the problem is not having an App Store, while this could be great. Most really nice tools are free (MasterPlan, Virtual Combat Cards, 4eCombat). But what all these tools (including VTT) need is access to the content of DNDI.

D&D has become a huge game, and Wizard made a smart move to go to a mixed physical and digital release model. However running a DND game with 5 books opens, or have to print all the monsters does not really improve the experience. I want help with the running and planning of the game. And that means having the content digitally available and usable at my favorite tool.

I understand why Wizards is a afraid of people downloading their site and terminating their DNDI subscription. But shutting down all nice tools or access to the content is not really a smart move. To me the critical issue is having a legal and authorized way for third party developers to access the content, while give some protection for Wizards revenue streams and Copyrights.
 

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