New online VTT - restricted alpha testing

RosenMcStern

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RPG Meeting is about to launch a Web Virtual Tabletop to play RPGs online, created upon the most frequent requests of veteran online players. We will localise the platform in different languages. There is no lack of VTTs at the moment, so to present a new one we must ensure that it has unique and innovative features. RpgMeeting Virtual Tabletop (RVT) will feature:
  • Full Discord integration: if Discord does it, it is ok for us and we will not redo it. Players will be allowed to access many of the features directly from Discord.
  • Intuitive user interface based on drag and drop. You will interact with a tray holding your items (dice, sheets, figures, documents and maps) and a tabletop with the shared items, not with countless menus and options.
  • Character sheets that you can customise from a user interface: no coding required.
  • Dice and card decks that you can customise from a user interface: no coding required.
  • Multiple sheets for the same game system: PC on screen, multipage PC on screen, printable PC, Discord-downloadable PC, NPC, NPC group, specific sheets for character classes.
  • Ready-made sheets for the most popular systems (after the alpha phase).
  • Multiple layer tokens to represent conditions and variables (after the alpha phase).
  • Advanced map items (after the alpha phase).
The platform is ready for a restricted alpha test phase, limited to a group of users, to check the stability of the implemented features. The alpha version will lack some features, that is the “social” functions to search for players and the advanced mapping features (fog of war, dynamic line of sight, token overlays etc.). While these features are important, we believe that not everyone considers them fundamental, and we have decided to roll out a preliminary version of the platform with a basic feature set that showcases its strong points. If the lacking features are important for you, we do not recommend that you take part in the alpha testing: your moment will come, but not immediately.

As for most online platforms, RVT will have premium services that we will offer with subscriptions or other formulas. Alpha testers, and anyone who contributes to the improvement of the services during the startup phase, will receive a free subscription period when the premium version launches.

In order to propose yourself as an alpha tester, please send an email to paolo.guccione [at] cloud-domains [dot] eu , telling us about you and your passion for online play and explaining what game system you will play and whether you want to be a game master. We will build a character sheet for your favourite game together. The alpha test will start around October 15th 2020.
 

Y Mab Darogan

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Will you be as D&D focused as the rest or genuinely universal?
 

RosenMcStern

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Absolutely general. Of course, users will push us towards implementing more "D&D usable" features, and we will have to comply, but we have features already implemented (e.g. cards) that are not used in D&D. In fact, this alpha release will be more "indie-friendly" than D&D focused.
 
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FreeGamer

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I notice that you say "no coding required," which is great. But will there be a coding option available for people who are comfortable with it?

And how do the cards work exactly? Will you be able to, say, load your own image files as cards and make your own decks? And will the game table support multiple decks for games that work like that(like TORG, which has like 3 or 4 different decks for different purposes)? And will you be able to load effects onto the cards themselves, or will you have to manually implement their effects after drawing? Also, some games have hidden hands, open hands, or no hands at all(usually games where the cards just get drawn and take effect immediately). Will all of those options be available? And what of something like the old SAGA system, where you hand size is effectively your health, so your maximum hand size can and will change during play. Will it handle that, too?

And let's cut to the chase here. To my knowledge, your main 2 competitors are Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds. How would you compare them to your software at this point in its development, and how do you expect the comparison to change as you get further into testing and development? Are you drawing any inspiration from things you think they don't do so well that you think you can do better? I'm just curious here, as I think both are decent, though not perfect, products and am always open to something that does things better/more easily.
 

RosenMcStern

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It looks like you did your homework when it comes to VTTs! All of your points are relevant. Let us address each of them:

I notice that you say "no coding required," which is great. But will there be a coding option available for people who are comfortable with it?
It is not our highest priority at the moment. But it will come, no doubts.

And how do the cards work exactly? Will you be able to, say, load your own image files as cards and make your own decks? And will the game table support multiple decks for games that work like that(like TORG, which has like 3 or 4 different decks for different purposes)?
Cards and diice will be fully cusomisable with your own pictures. Each "randomizer" is treated like an asset that you can clone and place either on the table or in your game tray, so you can have as many decks as you wish. Each card is treated like an item, too, so you can handle it in the same way once drawn from the deck. Exactly as you do at your table.

And will you be able to load effects onto the cards themselves, or will you have to manually implement their effects after drawing?
What do you mean with "effects"?

Also, some games have hidden hands, open hands, or no hands at all(usually games where the cards just get drawn and take effect immediately). Will all of those options be available?
See above. Once you can handle the individual cards you draw (including flipping them) all these options come automatically.

And what of something like the old SAGA system, where you hand size is effectively your health, so your maximum hand size can and will change during play. Will it handle that, too?
See above. You have maximum freedom with all items you have in your game, so no limits to the cards you have in your hand (or to the hands you can have)You will have to check manually if you have more cards than allowed. As you would do at your table.

And let's cut to the chase here. To my knowledge, your main 2 competitors are Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds. How would you compare them to your software at this point in its development, and how do you expect the comparison to change as you get further into testing and development?
We have already verified that we handle indie games better than the two "elephants in the room" (and BTW you forgot Astral, Foundry VTT and Role, which are good products, too). We are planning to gradually implement new features that reach and surpass the key features of competing services. Our advantage is that our product is much simpler to use, and adding new features to a simple, well-thought interface is easier than streamlining an already feature-rich product.

Are you drawing any inspiration from things you think they don't do so well that you think you can do better? I'm just curious here, as I think both are decent, though not perfect, products and am always open to something that does things better/more easily.
Of course we do. We have tried to implement things that others do not do well first, like the quick addition of notes or the easy customization of sheets.
 

FreeGamer

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First off, thank you for your timely reply.
It is not our highest priority at the moment. But it will come, no doubts.
Awesome. I love things that are easy to use up front, but also have additional options available if you take the time to learn how to implement them. I understand it not being a priority, though. It seems like you have a clear vision of where your focus(at least initially) needs to be.
Cards and diice will be fully cusomisable with your own pictures. Each "randomizer" is treated like an asset that you can clone and place either on the table or in your game tray, so you can have as many decks as you wish. Each card is treated like an item, too, so you can handle it in the same way once drawn from the deck. Exactly as you do at your table.
Awesome. I'm not entirely sure what all of the terms mean, but this also gives me hope that it'll be good for things like Cortex Plus(yeah, I'm shifting over to dice here since you mentioned them), where some of the games have a variable(both in size and type of dice within) dice pool for the GM to use. And characters often build pools from options on their sheet instead of having readily available numbers to roll(like in D&D, where you only have to look at a single number for most things). It'll be nice to have something where you can easily handle those pools.
What do you mean with "effects"?
I suppose part of this would depend on how the various things at the table are able to relate to each other. For example, in D&D, will you be able to build something where you can roll damage and have it automatically applied to the creature you're attacking? (I realize in something like D&D there are resistances, immunities, and other ablative effects, so I'm not sure how far down that rabbit hole you're able[or willing] to go . . . but I do get curious, so I at least ask.) And if so, would you be able to tie similar effects like damage, healing, situational bonuses and penalties(for example, TORG has a type of card that tells you what actions are at advantage or disadvantage that round, which informs your tactics), things like that, to cards?
You will have to check manually if you have more cards than allowed. As you would do at your table.
That makes sense. And the GM will be able to "see all, know all," so I don't see any problem here.
We have already verified that we handle indie games better than the two "elephants in the room" (and BTW you forgot Astral, Foundry VTT and Role, which are good products, too). We are planning to gradually implement new features that reach and surpass the key features of competing services. Our advantage is that our product is much simpler to use, and adding new features to a simple, well-thought interface is easier than streamlining an already feature-rich product.
That makes sense. I didn't forget anything, though. I've never heard of the 3 other VTTs that you mentioned. The other big contender that I actually know of would be MapTool, but I've never heard of "ease of use" as one of its selling points, so it seems that by virtue of that alone you'd have a leg up. I honestly never really looked closely at it because games that even require that level of map-making really aren't my cuppa. No hate, of course; just not my thing.
Of course we do. We have tried to implement things that others do not do well first, like the quick addition of notes or the easy customization of sheets.
I can see already that the character sheets are a big selling point to at least one person. (Me, too, by the way. Sounds like an excellent feature.)
 

Tommy Brownell

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That makes sense. I didn't forget anything, though. I've never heard of the 3 other VTTs that you mentioned. The other big contender that I actually know of would be MapTool, but I've never heard of "ease of use" as one of its selling points, so it seems that by virtue of that alone you'd have a leg up. I honestly never really looked closely at it because games that even require that level of map-making really aren't my cuppa. No hate, of course; just not my thing.
Foundry is a bit of a rising star. Astral is actually affiliated with DriveThruRPG. I wasn't aware Role was playable yet, but they had a Kickstarter a while back. They were on my radar because they, too, were promising simpler character sheet construction.
 

Torque2100

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>Discord integration.

Color me very, very intrigued. Discord is such an amazing service and the ability to integrate it with Discord would be a huge advantage. I happen to be a huge fan of Roll20 simply because of the Ease of Access for players, but Discord integration and the editable character sheets would go a LONG way towards winning me over. Roll20 has lots of advantages, but the necessity of using HTML coding to create character sheets is a rather high barrier of entry.
 

RosenMcStern

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I see many people love the idea of easy character sheet creation. Perhaps it is time for a little video?

 
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