D&D General When dnd celebrities don't understand technology

IvyDragons

Explorer
The "augmented reality" from Joe Manganiello makes me a little sad and also reminds me of another dnd fail, demi plane.

Picture this, you have people who are not software developers, running dndbeyond, they get a contract with wotc who also don't understand software, and host content and work on a character builder. Its slow, so slow to build things, they are using technologies that were abandoned 20 years ago and their team are what software developers call "programmers". For every drop down in the application they create another table in the database, so after 5 years they proudly say "we have 1600 tables !". Its that level of incompetence.

So then the main face of development leaves the company and hooks up with a dnd celeb DM hook up to create "Demi Plane".
Demiplane is the most bizarre piece of technology I have ever seen. It has no idea what it is (dnd match making????), no idea what it wants(write your game log????), and neither do the 20 people on its forum...
 

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Oofta

Legend
Oh man - Silverlight. There's something I haven't thought of in years.

Why did Wizards do that? I still have no idea all these years later.
At the time it was being pushed as the next best thing. IT folks have a tendency to run with things that are bright and shiny. I looked into it for some stuff but held off long enough for it to die.
 
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Jer

Legend
Supporter
At the time it was being pushed as the next best thing. II folks have a tendency to run with things that are bright and shiny. I looked into it for some stuff but held off long enough for it to die.
I keep wondering if Wizards proximity to Microsoft had their folks going all in on it earlier. I know there's a lot of cross-pollenation between Microsoft and pretty much every other company in the Seattle area.
 






Stormonu

Legend
Doesn’t help either when the company chooses the cheapest, bare-bones software and expect it to do what packages that cost 10-20 times more are capable of (happens at my place of work all. the. freakin. time).

….Or hire first-time consultants to write the software from scratch for some product the consultants know nothing about (E-tools comes to mind…).
 


Orius

Hero
Better than when WotC decided to ditch the 4e Tools for the Silverlight fiasco.
I think the whole E-tools mess was worse. The initial demo with the 3e PHBs wasn't bad and showed promise, but then it got bogged down in feature creep.

Maybe 4e was worse eventually, but it did have that whole murder suicide problem at the beginning complicating things.

WotC actually did well at the end of 2e. There was Core Rules 2.0, the Dragon archive and the FR Atlas.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Core Rules 2.0, the Dragon Archive and FR Atlas was pretty good, I used that quite often. But that was back in the days where things were finalized on media before it was sold, because only the most knowledgeable (and access to the fledgling internet) would know/be able to download updates.

E-tools was the worst - the original company couldn’t fix it (and abandoned it), and the group that did step up to fix it could only partly do so due to limitations imposed by WotC/Hasbro. The further books began to diverge from the core rules, the less likely it actually worked in E-tools.
 

schneeland

Adventurer
Oh man - Silverlight. There's something I haven't thought of in years.

Why did Wizards do that? I still have no idea all these years later.
Well, for developers it was quite convenient and, in fact, a lot more efficient than HTML and Javascript. The same was not necessarily true for users, though. And naturally, if there is pain to be distributed, users prefer it to be on the side of the developers, not their own side ;)

And similar to the OP, I am not sure what will become of Demiplane.

That being said, I hope that there will be tools like D&D Beyond (which seems solid) for other systems. Even for medium crunch systems, I find character management/build software quite useful.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Well, for developers it was quite convenient and, in fact, a lot more efficient than HTML and Javascript. The same was not necessarily true for users, though. And naturally, if there is pain to be distributed, users prefer it to be on the side of the developers, not their own side ;)
And, as I recall, a bit more secure. When the 4E tools were first released, several non-WotC apps appeared that did database scrapes to download the data and present it in their app, which then could also be posted elsewhere so non-subscribers could get the data. Silverlight, I believe, prevented that sort of data scraping.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
I am not a tech person, or at least, I'm not a coder/programmer. I love D&D Beyond! I'm aware its nowhere near as cool as it could be or should be, and that's frustrating . . . but I think its a great tool that I enjoy using.

The new AR tabletop on Kickstarter, ARrcana, with Joe Manganiello involved, is also something I'm excited about. We'll have to wait and see how easy it is to use, how fun, how much the experience is worth it compared to cost . . . but so far, I'm sold.

The problems with software apps not being all that they could be is hardly limited to WotC or the tabletop industry. It exists in all industries, at all levels. There are good software developers out there, and not-so-great ones . . . just like everything else on this planet.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I keep wondering if Wizards proximity to Microsoft had their folks going all in on it earlier. I know there's a lot of cross-pollenation between Microsoft and pretty much every other company in the Seattle area.
I remember a meeting back in 1995 I attended with my boss with some high muckety mucks at Wizards and Microsoft - and we had no real idea what they were suggesting. I think ultimately they were giving us an opportunity to buy into their Magic the Gathering online marketplace they were trying to build on Web 0.1. We didn't - not sure if we dodged a bullet or missed the opportunity of a lifetime. We did get to visit the Wizards of the Coast store - it was super cool...

But just to say that there seems to have been a long relationship between MS and WotC
 

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