• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

What Happens If CODENAME: MORNINGSTAR Doesn't Fund?

With 2 weeks to go, and only 13% of the $425,000 raised, and those two weeks being Christmas, the odds are that Codename: Morningstar won't fund. There might be a last-minute turnaround, of course, but the prognosis right now does not look hopeful. Trapdoor Technologies leader Chris Matney addressed the possibility, saying that "not pledging is telling the industry that you are happy with the status quo."

With 2 weeks to go, and only 13% of the $425,000 raised, and those two weeks being Christmas, the odds are that Codename: Morningstar won't fund. There might be a last-minute turnaround, of course, but the prognosis right now does not look hopeful. Trapdoor Technologies leader Chris Matney addressed the possibility, saying that "not pledging is telling the industry that you are happy with the status quo."
[lq]...if there does not appear to be a sufficient market interest our continued investment in the gaming industry is not assured.[/lq]

Below is what Chris Matney said on the subject. You can find the Kickstarter here.

What If We Don't Fund?

Yesterday, I addressed the question about why Trapdoor needs $425,000 to fund the completion of Morningstar. Today, I want to chat briefly about what happens if we don't fund via our Kickstarter campaign. The answer is somewhat more complex than you might imagine, so please bear with me.

First, we need to assess whether the gaming community has a real interest in our technology. The response to our Kickstarter is part of that answer - and I won't deny that the role player in me will be disappointed if we don't fund.

Our decision to jump into the gaming market was not made lightly. Trapdoor is a software company that builds interactive publishing applications. This technology is at work in commerce, education, and other fields. Role-playing games are complex and thus a perfect showcase for our interactive technology which simplifies prep and play. This is a greenfield opportunity for us and the industry. No other gaming company provides digital distribution beyond PDFs.

Your pledge to our Kickstarter campaign is the best way to express interest in bringing a remarkable, captivating and new experience to our hobby. It is the only way to 100% guarantee the success of Morningstar.

If we don't fund (and assuming there is demonstrable interest in the technology), we will need to reevaluate the current gaming ecosystem: looking for publishers who are interested in leveraging Morningstar into their gaming system, assessing the OGL for D&D 5e (if any), combing the feature set in Morningstar to see what can be pushed back, etc. With $1.2M invested in the project to date, we would obviously like to see Morningstar launch. However, as with any business if there does not appear to be a sufficient market interest our continued investment in the gaming industry is not assured.

The community and you have some decisions to make in the next two weeks. If you share our vision, pledge. Even if you don't think we will fund - throw your support behind our cause. Kickstarter collects pledges only if the funding is successful. It's a no risk proposition - at worst, you will show your support. Not pledging is telling the industry that you are happy with the status quo. Hopefully, you elect to be on the ground floor of a truly remarkable journey.

Respectfully submitted.
Chris Matney
Managing Director
Trapdoor Technologies


[lq]...not pledging is telling the industry that you are happy with the status quo.[/lq]


morningstar.jpg
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Xorial

First Post
Personally, I think the target to fund is what setting people off. I realize that they likely actually need that much money, but that is a lot higher than comparable projects. The amount is more in line with raising cash for a full-blown video game. I would be willing to bet many people looked at the amount & decided that it wouldn't fund, so they are staying away.
 

turkeygiant

First Post
Personally, I think the target to fund is what setting people off. I realize that they likely actually need that much money, but that is a lot higher than comparable projects. The amount is more in line with raising cash for a full-blown video game. I would be willing to bet many people looked at the amount & decided that it wouldn't fund, so they are staying away.

I'm not sure why they have such a giant team developing this project? Seems huge for what they are designing.

"The Trapdoor team working on Morningstar consists of six senior-level developers, a creative director who leads both UX and visual design efforts, a web developer, a production artist, a data entry specialist, a content architect, two QA engineers, three support and social media staff, and a number of contract folks for specialized tasks. These are full-time employees dedicated to the project - far from a skeleton crew. Throw in a commercial-grade infrastructure - we have 9 dedicated Linux servers for the project - and a fully-stocked QA lab with scores of tablets, phones, etc. for testing, and you can quickly see how $425,000 is a real world target. Trapdoor is a commercial software development company, and this is how we approach large projects. We have already invested $1.2M in the project to date."

They are already $1.2M into this project, and they want ANOTHER $425,000 just between now and April to finish it, I want to get paid on their salary scale!
 

trancejeremy

Adventurer
$1.2 million already invested? Yikes.

But I think the problem is that it's not particularly obvious that what they plan to offer is "new & exciting". That picture that they use (shown above) seems to be more or less identical to a PDF reader reading an adventure PDF (which they deride). How is what they offer better?

Honestly, what I think I'd like to see is a PDF reader optimized for RPGs. When I run an adventure, I generally keep two copies of the module open, one for where they are and one on the map. And then the rule book open (just in case). And then a notepad with character information, and another for notes. That's easy enough on a computer, but my tablet can't handle that...
 

trancejeremy

Adventurer
I'm not sure why they have such a giant team developing this project? Seems huge for what they are designing.

"The Trapdoor team working on Morningstar consists of six senior-level developers, a creative director who leads both UX and visual design efforts, a web developer, a production artist, a data entry specialist, a content architect, two QA engineers, three support and social media staff, and a number of contract folks for specialized tasks. These are full-time employees dedicated to the project - far from a skeleton crew. Throw in a commercial-grade infrastructure - we have 9 dedicated Linux servers for the project - and a fully-stocked QA lab with scores of tablets, phones, etc. for testing, and you can quickly see how $425,000 is a real world target. Trapdoor is a commercial software development company, and this is how we approach large projects. We have already invested $1.2M in the project to date."

They are already $1.2M into this project, and they want ANOTHER $425,000 just between now and April to finish it, I want to get paid on their salary scale!

16 people plus contract staff does seem rather excessive...
 

Michael Dean

Explorer
"The community and you have some decisions to make in the next two weeks"? That sounds pretty arrogant, and is a big turnoff. Sounds like something my mom would say when she was trying to steer us ignorant kids in the "right" direction.
 

Hollow Man

Explorer
"The community and you have some decisions to make in the next two weeks"? That sounds pretty arrogant, and is a big turnoff. Sounds like something my mom would say when she was trying to steer us ignorant kids in the "right" direction.

That, plus the business about how if we don't pledge it means we're happy with the status quo. No, it may simply mean that we're not happy with THEIR product. I wish they'd stop behaving like they're a silver bullet. If it was as perfect as they say it is, for the million dollars they've already spent, it would be out already.

-HM
 

MoutonRustique

Explorer
For my part, there are oodles of holes in this situation :
1 - I don't know (I honestly have no concrete idea) what they are making/selling
2 - the entry point (after funding) seems high
3 - that the creation aspect of the tool, around which the whole thing seems to hinge is the highest price point is... baffling to me
4 - it is geared towards a rules set that I do not use (and will not use in the foreseeable future)
5- I don't know what they are making/selling!

I've watched the videos and read all I could, but all I can find are lines that read "revolutionary system of creation, etc." Everything that I can figure out, I have to read them between the lines - and I've been burned by WotC enough about the "between the lines" : never again am I trusting to "half-promises" or "implied" or anything not directly and clearly spelled out. If it's not clearly written down in a public place, and the whole of the community agree on its meaning, it does not exist.

Lastly - about that whole "if you don't back us, you're voting for the status quo" :
1 - No, that is not true, ever - we do not live in a bipolar world : !A =/= B
2 - I don't know what you're offering, so my vote means nothing.
3 - It is poorly phrased : it seems petulant.
4 - I like to make lists of things tonight.*

*That last one doesn't really apply.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

WayneLigon

Adventurer
Really, what you should be telling me is how your software, out of the box, is better for me than Hero Lab. Creating an OGL character generator by this point should almost be an automatic exercise in database management. Specifically what features does it offer me that Hero Lab does not?
 

Darth Quiris

First Post
They need a DEMO. Something to show and share how this actually works. Spending 1.2 Million dollars with no Demo, with nothing to really show seems off and I feel that a lot of that 1.2 Million was actual cost and programming they probably spent while they were working on it for D&D 5e and when that got pulled a lot of their work towards that was suddenly null and void so in that way they are probably trying to recoup their loss with this kickstarter. That's the only thing that makes sense.

They should look at how Roll20 works, or Hero Lab, because what they are describing sounds a lot similar to those two programs. And Pathfinder... for all this money being necessary for a program that is laser focused on a single game system. I am betting that if they ever do finish Morningstar it will be pretty amazing but... well, what does it do that's different?
 

Remove ads

Remove ads

Top