– August 2012 –
Hello everyone! We're back from an exhausting yet incredibly fun Gen Con, and we want to say "Thanks!" to everyone who was able to stop by our booth and chat. It was fantastic meeting everyone! We should be recuperated just in time for the Labor Day holiday. We hope you've got some great plans for the extended weekend! This month, we wanted to highlight the following topics:
They don't call it The Best Four Days in Gaming™ for nothing!
Gen Con was full of highlights this year. Without a doubt, the best came from meeting all of you that were able to visit us in our booth. We had some great conversations, got some stellar feedback, and were extremely grateful for all the kind things you had to say. Hearing directly from you how much you love our products is incredibly gratifying, and has energized us for the great things to come!
We held three seminars over the weekend, and hope some of you had the chance to stop by and learn more about Hero Lab and Realm Works. The Realm Works seminar was the perfect complement to all the demos we were able to give in the booth. Realm Works continues to receive an overwhelmingly positive response, and there was a lot of excitement over the upcoming expansion of its beta testing. Many of you also stopped by to check out our Hero Lab iPad prototype, and we were very happy with the response and feedback it generated.
All in all, we had a great time at Gen Con. Next year can't come soon enough!
We are preparing to launch the next round of beta testing for Realm Works! We've released a substantial set of enhancements based on the feedback we received during the first phase, and the current beta testers are eagerly hammering away on it. During September, we expect to be contacting additional people to confirm they're still interested in participating and getting them set up to access Realm Works.
We had hoped to start notifying and including additional people earlier this summer, but the run up to PaizoCon and Gen Con was more demanding than we expected. Since we delayed the start of the next Beta phase, we're also extending the time to sign up to be a part of the Beta. For those of you that haven't yet completed the survey, you still have a chance to do so and be considered for the second beta phase.
We'll review all submissions received on or before September 9 for inclusion in the expanded Beta team. If you'd like to submit a survey and be considered, you can find additional information here. While we'd like to be able to contact everyone and let them know one way or the other about their submissions, we've already had over 1,000 responses submitted. Consequently, we'll only be contacting those selected as additional beta testers.
We got some great questions, both in the forums and at Gen Con, from people who filled out the survey six months or more ago and whose circumstances have changed. There are a number of you that have begun running more games since you originally completed the survey. If that's the case with you, we want to be able to take the changes into consideration during our selection process. So, if your circumstances are significantly different than they were when you filled out the survey originally, please feel free to submit an additional survey. We'll find multiple submissions from the same person, and simply remove the earlier record and retain the new one.
We had a lot of fun hosting Thomas Foss from Skull and Crown Productions in our booth at Gen Con and introducing everyone to "Wooden Wars". In case you missed our Gen Con special newsletter and the overview of this awesome new game, you can find some information here. It looked like everyone who played in the demonstration games at Gen Con had a blast! You can see some of the action here:
The Wooden Wars Kickstarter Project debuted in the middle of Gen Con and garnered so much interest that it funded in only three days! We're thrilled to be a small part of getting this game the attention it deserves, so don't miss your chance to check out this innovative project!
You still have time to get in on this Kickstarter if you'd like. The rewards keep piling up. If you thought the Napoleonic soldiers were cool, wait until you see the Robots!
Last week, we released several updates for Pathfinder, including some key enhancements as well as some bug fixes. Among the enhancements, make sure you check out our new "Abilities & Gear Description Appendix" print option, which was one of the most popular new feature requests.
This new release addresses several additional items. For example, if you play a Monk, take a look at the unarmed strike and monk weapons interaction – the stats for the weapon used in a flurry of blows are now displayed along with the normal attack stats for that weapon! There's lots of other good stuff in this release, including support for the much requested Synthesist Archetype and the Eldritch Heritage feat tree! You can find a comprehensive list of the enhancements and bug fixes in the new version on our forum. Additionally, this information is available in the Help menu within Hero Lab under "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game FAQ".
This month's free update includes the player content from the last of the "Skull & Shackles Adventure Path", "From Hell's Heart", and the player content from "Shards of Sin", the first book in the "Shattered Star Adventure Path". Hero Lab has also been updated to support the Pathfinder Society's new rules version. Finally, we've made some changes to the way portfolios are evaluated in Hero Lab, and expect you'll see a 25% - 50% improvement in the speed of evaluations.
On top of all that, we've released support for "Varisia, Birthplace of Legends", the newest Player Companion. This book has been added to our Player's Companion Golarion #3 add-on, which already contains material from "Blood of Fiends" and "Blood of Angels". This add-on is available for $4.99. Be sure to check out the new archetypes, feats, equipment, and traits that are a part of Varisia.
As you know, we've been hard at work for the past month as we implement "Ultimate Equipment". At this point, we've completed three full sections of the book's six sections of items. We estimate that we'll have concluded two additional sections shortly. Our current estimate indicates that we should be able to release the add-on for "Ultimate Equipment" sometime in September. This will be a stand-alone data add-on and will cost $9.99, so stayed tuned for additional details as we get closer to finalizing the content. Once we've released "Ultimate Equipment", we'll be turning our attention to a number of popular enhancement requests, as well as to implementing "Paths of Prestige".
This month, our focus is on updates to data files for Hero Lab and Army Builder. Everyone is familiar with using the Update window to find and download data files for their favorite miniatures or role playing games. Each product also lets you know when updates to the game's data file have been made available. (For Army Builder, the automated updating is available as long as your license to Army Builder is current. If you let the license expire, you can still use Army Builder, but you'll have to locate and download data files manually.)
There's another option for accessing data files, and this option can be particularly useful in certain situations. The option allows you to specify additional web locations to check for data file updates, in addition to the standard sources that Army Builder or Hero Lab checks. One reason you might use this feature occurs when play testing new data files. For example, the data file creator can provide a web address, and you can input this into Army Builder so you can utilize the automated function to access the file. As new updates are released based on feedback, Army Builder will show an update available for download. You could also use this Secondary Updates functionality to access a data file for a game system amongst a select group of people. While we've mentioned Army Builder in the examples, the same situations can be handled with Hero Lab.
To enable this capability in either Army Builder or Hero Lab, open the Settings menu and select "Choose Secondary Updates Sources". This will open the Choose Update Sources window you see below:
You can open the Choose Update Sources window from the Latest Updates window as well; just click the "Add Source" button you'll see at the bottom of the window. Once you've launched the Choose Update Sources, simply click the "New Source" button, and you'll be prompted for a web address. Add as many different sources as you'd like. As you add each unique web address, the address will be shown in the Choose Update Sources window.
You can edit or delete the secondary update sources from this window as well. Once you're finished specifying the secondary update sources, click "OK" and Army Builder or Hero Lab will confirm that these addresses will also be used when checking for updates. From that point forward, when your software checks for updates, the web address(es) that you've added will also be checked for data files and updates. If you use Hero Lab with D&D 3.5, you can utilize the secondary update functionality to access additional material created by the user community as described in this forum post.
We hope you find this to be an additional, useful way to access data files for the games you love!
As always, you can keep up to date with what we're doing by checking out the following social networking sites!
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