Virtual Tabletop/ Gameboard

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115 comments

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    Andargor

    This is no longer on the Trello roadmap, and it's the most voted feature. Why?

     

    At least publish a stable API for 3rd parties.

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    Wdodsonsands

    @Andargor It's because they changed the format of the roadmap a while ago to focus on more near-future stuff. This is still planned.

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    Garrett Moffitt

    Porque no los dos?

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    Anthony Riggs

    Why reinvent the wheel? Why not merge with FGU or some other already robust VTT and integrate your system fully. The UI of DDB is AWESOME for creating characters. Adding to that the UI for playing on a VTT from an already existing platform would be far easier, IMO.

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    Jacob Bell

    Aaron: This is literally a feature request for VTT. If you don't want VTT, go to the feature request you want and discuss it there (or create your own if you can't find it).

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    kyle whatever

    I wish I had any reason to believe this is a priority! 

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    Anthony Riggs

    Jacob, I am assuming you were referring to me when you said "Aaron"...although that isn't my name I don't see anyone by that name here...and you are clearly upset so it's no surprise you'd get a name wrong.


    So, if my assumption is correct then perhaps you should reread my suggestion. I am NOT against a VTT. I AM against creating a 5th VTT in an already oversaturated market when you could just as easily partner with an already existing VTT instead. It would save valuable time on research and development, time which could be used to add additional functionality that other users are requesting. And all it would cost is the process of negotiating a merger with an existing company. This merger could, in fact, provide huge dividends for DNDBeyond as well, beyond the scope of simply having a VTT. After all, if they partner with FGU they would also have access to tons of sourcebooks for other video games and could launch sister sites like PFBeyond, WODBeyond, etc. This could expand the brand, and provide us the VTT we so need. The benefits of a merger are far greater than the benefits of creating a custom VTT for DNDBeyond.

    Bottom line, it's not that I don't WANT a VTT. It is that I think partnering with a company that already has one is the smarter business decision from a cost-benefit standpoint. And so I am advocating for partnering instead of developing their own, all with the same goal of having a VTT attached to DNDBeyond.

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    Garrett Moffitt

    But you are saying there shouldn't be this feature in a thread about this feature. Poor form.

    Your post is based on no actual informaiton on how the product is built, and it means both D&D Beyond and there vendors will be impacted when either one makes changes.

    " oversaturated market"
    What do you base "oversaturated" on?
    Currently, they are all crap. They all try to do way too much at the cost of having something simple.

    The biggest advance for D&DBeyond to do there own: Packaged adventures that are easy to run.

     

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    Eldritchsong

    I'm happy that D&D Beyond is pursuing a VTT. I think we can all agree that none of the existing solutions are completely satisfactory. But to Anthony's point, while the market hasn't reached saturation, there are more VTTs competitors coming out all the time.

    Furthermore, DDB wasn't designed to become a VTT. It just wasn't. I don't want to put words in Anthony's mouth, but it would be much faster for DDB if they worked towards integration first. Give other VTTs platforms ways to integrate with DDB. When you consider the glacial pace of DDBs development, unless they dedicate themselves more fully to this effort, the market will likely be saturated with VTTs by the time they release a working product. It's not precisely the same, but DDB doesn't wanted to be Heroes of the Storm after Dota 2 and League of Legends...

    As for feedback...saying that you don't want DDB to work on a VTT in the "VTT Feedback" thread, is precisely where you'd discuss that. Personally, I downvoted this feature request, because when you look at what DDB is supposed to be, i.e. a dynamic and reactive character sheet, it's still extremely lacking.

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    Garrett Moffitt

    "but it would be much faster for DDB if they worked towards integration first."

    Based on what?
    Integration work takes development time, QA time, support time, and all so some third party can sell a VTT instead of them? I don't see any strong synergy there unless some VTT had a used based far bigger then DDB user base.

    " the market will likely be"

    Based on what?

    " DDB is supposed to be"

    Do you speak for the company? then you Probalby shouldn't say what it is 'suppose to be'.

    " I downvoted this feature request, because when you look at what DDB is supposed to be"
    So you down voted for completely different reasons?


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    Luca Corsini

    Recent (online) player here
    we play using discord, either with avrae and beyond20 but we had to fallback to roll20 at least for showing maps, so a map editor and VTT is something really needed, that would give a complete experience and a more full commitment to dndbeyond (since each vtt platform has it's own purchases)

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    Anthony Riggs

    "But you are saying there shouldn't be this feature in a thread about this feature. Poor form."

    No...I am not, did not, and would NEVER say there shouldn't be this feature in a thread. I support a VTT accompanying DDB. And have said that in every post I have made on this thread. I only believe there are better ways to achieve the same goal. Please stop strawmanning my argument so you can dismiss it.

    "Your post is based on no actual informaiton on how the product is built, and it means both D&D Beyond and there vendors will be impacted when either one makes changes."

    My post is based on knowing all of the 4 basic computer programming language paradigms, and being well versed in Unity, which FGU is based on. As well as XML, which DDB is based on at least in part. I know those two languages well enough to know them working together would be easy. Also, Roll20 uses XML at least in part, though I don't know enough about them to know if they use other languages as well. And that would make a Roll20 pairing even easier.

    "Currently, they are all crap. They all try to do way too much at the cost of having something simple."

    I feel like you are conflating your personal opinion with actual facts and information, which you accuse me of not providing at all.

    "The biggest advance for D&DBeyond to do there own: Packaged adventures that are easy to run."

    I am not sure what you mean here, IF you mean "advantage" instead of "advance" then I would argue you are wrong. Having worked in programming for a while now I can tell you that integrating two systems, as long as they have similar goals, is fairly easy. And from a time and manpower standpoint is much easier than designing a new application from the ground up.

    This is based on the fact that any VTT they partner with almost certainly has some kind of schematic or guide indicating what variables they use and what they mean. And I'd be willing to eat my hat if DDB doesn't have the same kind of document. All you need to do is pair those documents, and then have the VTT reach out to DDB instead of it's own data to check the values of those variables each time the character is loaded, or the session is started. This kind of process is completed all the time and the coding for it is so easy you learn everything you would need to code this, except for the networking side, within your first 2 years of a Computer Science degree.

     

    Are those enough facts for you to prove the point that I understand the costs and benefits associated with application development and how integration is cheaper? Or would you like to share more of your facts, like how all of the VTTs are crap? Or perhaps you would rather claim I don't think DDB should have a VTT?

    Just a quick note about your other bits, integration like I was talking about wasn't a way to support another app and company. It was a way to support another app and company, while also merging with that company. So they wouldn't just be integrating, they would be getting income from the sale of that VTT as well. Which provides financial benefit. And if they went with something like Roll20, or FGU, those systems already support multiple rulesets. So DDB could expand to offer more rulesets too. But, I already mentioned this benefit and you simply ignored it.

    Bottom line, if you want to debate the merits, let's do that. But don't strawman my argument, and don't try to silence those that don't agree with you by misrepresenting them or belittling them.

    Last point...DDB held an upcoming and Latest Updates on 01/28. As of then ALL of their updates centered around Campaign Management(Shared Dice Rolling) and Character Sheet Management(Lineages, Feats, etc). ALL of their updates have the same theme. This indicates what they want the system to be. So does the line "D&D Beyond is an official digital toolset for the world's greatest roleplaying game!" Which tells me they want it to be a website featuring tools. Not a VTT featuring tools. As a result integration and merging with an existing VTT would allow them to maintain their image, while gaining additional features that wouldn't get in the way of their presumed vision based on the press releases and updates DDB provides.

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    Luis M. Burset-Cuevas

    Isnt a VTT a digital tool for the world's greatest roleplaying game? point is we want a VTT have wanted a VTT for a long time and are mostly quite dissatisfied with the current VTTs out there. 

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    John Nemec

    I would love to see something similar to owlbear.rodeo added into the system. It's a super simple map/token platform. I currently use it with DnDBeyond and Discord, and it works really well and is super light weight for people with computers can cant handle Astral or Roll20 

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    Mark Screen

    Sooo...It seems like this has been requested for over 4 years.  It was a fantastic suggestion.  Why is it not implemented yet?  I have spent hundreds of dollars on DnDbeyond books plus I have a subscription.  We are in a pandemic where most of us have been social distancing. I am sure several games have fallen apart because of this, therefore wasting our investment.  For those of us that wish to play on other VTT like Roll20 or Fantasy grounds, we have to buy the content again with these other companies...There are multiple obvious solutions here:

    1) Develop a new VTT that is seamless with DnD beyond and all content purchased is readily used, maps are easily used and the application takes the best from all other VTTs into one central location.

    2) Partner with all existing VTT companies out there and make the DnD books already purchased transfer over so that we do not have to spend even more money playing this game.  Make this available to your subscribers at the highest tier.

    3) If one of the first two options are not being acted on, re-evaluate your leadership staff because this is the most desired item wanted and needed for DnDbeyond.  I recall seeing a DnDbeyond representative express that they want to give value to the subscription package...well this is the one thing that will make it even more worth it...hell, charge a little more for those that want it.

    Stop delaying, get your talented team engaged and get this developed or make the partnerships necessary to help your subscribers and community.  This should not longer be "planned" but should be "in Development"

    This is such a no-brainer...please get it done...yesterday

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    Greg Craill

    If we're all allowed 2 cents ...

    DnD Beyond has it's own format, layout, fonts, colours, menu design etc. To integrate with a 3rd party VTT would mean switching the user from the DDB "styles" to the other set, and that would be detrimental to the DDB "brand".

    I think developing in house VTT for DDB would be the best method to preserve the "feel" of the DDB customer experience. 

    I think WotC only make money by selling product, but once we have bought their product we generate no new sales unless they release "new product" for us to buy, so they will keep offloading new content for 5e until we stop buying it. At which point they will release 6e and reboot the cycle.

    DDB makes money on subscriptions and content from WotC, so to keep their systems relevant they have to update to accommodate and provide all the new content from WotC as it rolls along. Understandably this is the priority and so I am guessing a major share of dev time is spent on new product from WotC, character app development (to get functionality up to match the web view) which leaves less time for VTT (or container management - hint)

    We use Roll20 with Beyond20 plugin and that works for now.

    I would HOPE that any DDBVTT would have seamless upload of maps and content from modules with useable lighting/LOS components etc straight out of the box, and would follow the existing DDB user experience with menus and things that "just work".

    So .... we wait, hamstrung by the cashflow schemes of WotC.

    Personally I don't need new content from WotC and have not/will not buy all of their sourcebooks, and I would be happy for DDB to do a VTT ahead of new WotC content but I suspect that such an idea is outside any contractual agreement in place between the companies.

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    Sabre Runner

    urpwnd Why do you think anything that affects Foundry will be taken away?

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    Sabre Runner

    urpwnd I don't see a reason why they would break it.

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    Ryan Kremer

    Well I originally commented here about 3 years ago, and so far we've seen nothing regarding a planned VTT.  Therefore, I'm going to assume this is one feature that is never coming.  Roll20 it is!

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    Sabre Runner

    Ryan Kremer Really? Nothing? You didn't see the dice roller or the encounter builder or the combat tracker? You don't see the updates every week where they talk about the new Gaming Space every time?

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    Kenneth Proven

    It's probably mentioned here already, but Foundry VTT has a great module to integrate/import D&D Beyond. Character sheet, dice rolls, monsters, etc... If anything, I feel like D&D Beyond should partner up with Foundry VTT.

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    Benny Yamagata

    Since this is planned, what is the timeline on this?  Wish you guys had a roadmap (not super in depth, but just giving us an idea of what is in the pipeline, priority, etc) I understand not having one though (developer myself)

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    Mathieu Korning

    The only VTT that would make sense to me would be built-in integration in DDB and Discord Avrae bot with Owlbear Rodeo.

    e.g. from Avrae side, passing the characters' tokens and whatever monsters are currently in the current combat (via !i command) back to owlbear rodeo, and the ability to embed and launch a map in Owlbear Rodeo from with Discord and Avrae. For published material, e.g. Icemaiden or whichever, It would be nice to have assets passed from DDB sources as well, e.g. maps, monsters, etc. Though once loaded the maps could persist in Rodeo's local browser cache for now (not ideal, but works... a better solution is long-term storage in DDB's cloud). 

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    Sabre Runner

    Really? The only one? Just so you know that Foundry already has almost complete interoperability with DDB and it works great.

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    Amata

    TLDR: there are plenty of reasons a person might want a VTT specific to D&DBeyond, rather than one of the many vtt options out there. Until DDB has an official vtt of their own - I highly recommend the browser extension "AboveVTT" which provides VTT functionality from within the DDB website. 

     

    (1) Support this Feature Request
    a VTT like Roll20 or Foundry, etc. tend to be worth the subscription price if you are playing content from a variety of publishers. They offer integration or plug-ins with sourcebook vendors like DDB, but also support other systems like Pathfinder or World of Darkness, etc. These are great services to provide for a broad swath of the industry target demographic (TTRPG players). But some gamers out here only play D&D.

     

    (2) A Personal Example
    For example, right now I only need (and only want) services that cater to WotC / D&D settings and adventures. My party is far-flung, so we use a virtual table. I want my subscription $$ to mostly go directly to features and products that are relevant to me & my group & our needs. We've all agreed to use DDB for access to content - the more things "outside" DDB that we have to also access, the more parts that can break along the way. We don't need support for other gaming systems or content. And we don't need a huge marketplace with user content like tokens or homebrew maps or dynamic lighting prefabs, etc. All we need, we get from DDB. 

    And, tbh, one of our players is a technoclutz. Every time I have to tell him to go somewhere other than DDB and load a new thing or access a bot on Discord... the harder and harder it gets to keep him invested in the game. And it takes for-ev-er to walk him through any extra bells or whistles. That's time we could be gaming. 

     

    (3) Potential Money-maker for DDB
    These are all reasons that an in-house D&DBeyond VTT would be amazing, and definitely have an audience. I could even see it generating a new subscription tier in-between "Hero" and "DM". Something like "Adventurer" that is everything on Hero tier, plus access to the DDB VTT. And, obviously, the highest tier would also include VTT access, maybe even the ability to share access to any of their campaigns (like they currently do with sourcebooks). 

     

    (4) Use AboveVTT While We Wait 
    FWIW, I have been using a browser extension called "AboveVTT" that integrates inside the DDB website. It basically functions as a DDB VTT and it has all the features that other VTTs provide, all from the comfort of the DDB website. You access it by going into your campaign and clicking a VTT button that is "added" to the webpage. The guy that's spearheading AboveVTT development is on patreon; I highly suggest looking into this browser extension while we continue to apply pressure to DDB to get on with it. 

     

    Other than being a satisfied user and a patreon supporter, I am not otherwise connected to AboveVTT. I was not asked to promote or shill for the extension, and I don't receive any perks or rewards for promoting AboveVTT. I just think that it is currently the best way to access a VTT "internal" to DDB. It provides the kind of functionality that people who support a DDB VTT are asking for - so it seems an obvious stop-gap until DDB creates their own. 

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