– February 2013 –
On the heels of our successful Kickstarter, it looks like a tornado has blown through the Wolf Lair. An extensive clean-up is underway, and we expect to have everything right-side-up in short order. Despite the chaos, we were able to get quite a few things done this month, and we're happy to share the following updates with you:
An incredibly hearty "Thank You!" goes out to everyone who helped make our Realm Works Kickstarter a rousing success! We raised over $170,000 and blew away our funding goal. Backers at various levels will also receive all kinds of cool content, which will be integrated directly into Realm Works.
We'll be accelerating the development of several key features, the Realm Works cloud and the community repository, as a result of the successful Kickstarter. This allows us to realize another key aspect of our vision, which is supporting the sharing or the sale of content created specifically for the application and offering publishers a revolutionary new way to provide material to their fans. GMs will be able to browse the work of others and integrate whatever they find appealing into their own worlds.
During the Kickstarter, we executed licenses with Green Ronin, Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Frog God Games, Open Design, Engine Publishing, and Hammerdog Games for Realm Works content. We are currently lining up additional, major publishers who will offer content for sale through Realm Works and look forward to sharing this information with you as it comes together.
We had some fantastic support in spreading the word about Realm Works. Our thanks goes out to everyone who shared the project on their social media, posted graphics on their web sites, handed out flyers at game stores and conventions, or spread the word to friends and netizens everywhere. We'd also like to thank the podcasters and video-bloggers who gave us an opportunity to share some insights into Realm Works during their shows: The D6 Generation, Geekerati Radio, The Demiplane of Gaming, and Chronicles: Pathfinder Podcast!
The Realm Works Kickstarter was a great success, but we still learned quite a few things that will benefit us if we have another one. We should have started planning sooner, and we should have focused on spreading the word through podcasts and videoblogs more than we did. One thing we think we did well was maintain flexibility, which became very important when some unexpected situations arose and required us to change who was doing what related to the Kickstarter. We also think we did a great job responding to all the questions we got based on feedback from the Kickstarter Backers, and that's definitely something we'll strive to continue in the future.
We'll be starting our post-Kickstarter survey process shortly, so some of the rewards will be going out very soon. We're also happy to welcome 49 additional members to the Beta team!
We're looking for some key people to add to the team at the Wolf Lair. If you're a veteran gamer that's been on both sides of the table as a GM and a player, you might be just the person we need! We are currently recruiting for the following two positions to join the team establishing Realm Works as the gold standard for campaign management:
If you or someone you know fits the bill, we look forward to hearing from you!
Every year, we like to share what worked well over the past year and what didn't, as well as what we've learned and what we're trying to improve. We ordinarily do this in a special edition of our newsletter. Since we already sent out a special edition of the newsletter focused on the Realm Works Kickstarter this month, we opted to provide a brief review of 2012 in our regular monthly newsletter this year.
We made a significant amount of progress on Realm Works last year. In March, we provided access to the Beta version of the software to a select group of GMs, and further expanded that pool in October. The Beta team has proven to be an exceptional pilot testing team, validating many of the concepts we've introduced and uncovering shortcomings in others that we have been able to revise and enhance. Of course, addressing all the great ideas from the Beta team required time, and the product has been delayed from what we had originally hoped. However, the initial release of Realm Works will be far superior because of the Beta team's efforts and feedback, and we're now in the home stretch for initial release.
Introducing Hero Lab and Army Builder on the Mac stands out as one of our biggest accomplishments in 2012. Launched in April and June, respectively, these were among the most highly anticipated releases we've had in years. A lot of you helped shape the success of the launch by participating in our open Beta testing, and we want to say "Thanks!" for all your input and support. The successful launch of Hero Lab on the Mac also paved the way for our tablet implementation, which is nearly complete.
We increased the amount of material available for several of the game systems we support. However, one of the goals we set last year focused on bringing even more game systems into Hero Lab. In 2013, you'll see that work come to fruition. We announced that we would support FATE 3.0 and "Spirit of the Century" in our December newsletter, and our current expectation is that it will be released in the very near future. Better yet, FATE 3.0 and "Spirit of the Century" will be provided as a free game system. Later this year, we plan to expand our Call of Cthulhu® data file to support Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying (BRP) game system. We weren't able to get to this in 2012, as a great deal of our time was focused on the Mac versions of our products, and this highlights the reason for another key improvement we've made.
Your support of Hero Lab and Army Builder translated into record sales for us in 2012, and we've been able to reinvest in the company and add additional people to the team. We were able to bring yet another data file author into our Hero Lab group. That team of three people has been instrumental in continuing to increase the amount of new content we're able to release. We have also been able to expand our use of freelancers to support the Hero Lab team and implement more content sooner than we would otherwise be able to do. We expect to be able to continue to improve upon our ability to deliver new content for Hero Lab at approximately the same time it is released by Paizo and other publishers based on these changes.
In 2013, our plans include adding at least one more developer to the team to increase the amount of things we can do for Hero Lab and Army Builder. We'll also add a second developer this year based on the success of our Kickstarter for Realm Works. This will allow us to deliver more functionality faster, and cement Realm Works' position as the standard for campaign management software.
We're still on track to submit Hero Lab for the iPad to the App Store for approval in March. We'll let you know when we've submitted the application for approval through our web site and Facebook. Assuming the approval goes as quickly as we're hoping, the first version of Hero Lab for the iPad will be released in March!
As we've shared in the past, the first phase of the iPad application will be an in-play character sheet for Pathfinder, and the functionality will expand from there. This in-play viewer will be provided as a free download when we launch Hero Lab on the iPad. Even after we expand the functionality in the iPad version, the free in-play viewer will remain an option for those of you who simply want to be able to use the iPad at the table and continue to manage your character on your primary computer. So, with this option, you'll be able to use your iPad as an electronic character sheet at no extra cost!
The Reign of Winter has begun! The newest Pathfinder Adventure Path kicks off with "The Snows of Summer". Everyone with the Pathfinder game system in Hero Lab received a free update with material for this exciting new adventure. Can you save Golarion from the supernatural winter threatening to engulf it? Only if you find out what's going on and how the Witch Queen Baba Yaga plays into the problem.
The new Pathfinder release includes a new tool for everyone with our Bestiary 1 add-on – the Bestiary Monster Creator! Now you can build your own monsters without using the Hero Lab Editor. You can enter statistics and abilities for almost any monster you can imagine, and Hero Lab will show you how that stacks up against the suggested statistics for a monster of the CR you've chosen. This implementation of Appendix 1: Monster Creation from the first "Bestiary" offers a simple, yet powerful, way to craft new horrors to challenge any hero. You can pick up our Bestiary 1 add-on and this great new tool for $14.99, or grab our Bestiary Bundle for $29.99, a savings of 15% over buying each Bestiary individually.
We've launched a new Player Companion Bundle, Golarion #5. The first book in the bundle, "Animal Archive", brings a range of new options for your characters. Has your rogue always wanted a puppy? Maybe your wizard is dying to get her hands on a Platypus familiar? Or perhaps your ranger seeks a Panda animal companion? All that and more can now be found within "Animal Archive"! With new companions and familiars, as well as tons of new tricks and feats to customize a hero's animals, any class can now enjoy the wonders of the animal kingdom. The Golarion #5 bundle is on sale now for $4.99, and we expect to add at least one more Player Companion book to it in the future. As always, if you purchase the bundle before we've added the last book, you'll get that additional material as a free update when it's released.
Seven more NPC Classes from the NPC Codex have been added as part of February's free update, bringing the total to 20 NPC Classes. The remainder will be released over the next few months. We also improved several aspects of data file authoring for those of you that like to create your own content, and addressed some bugs that had been reported. You can find complete details on the latest release on our forum.
"Running Wild" will be released in early March as a Hero Lab add-on for Shadowrun! You can pick up this detailed overview of animals, non-metahuman entities, and spirits for $9.99. Any 'runner worth his salt understands threats come in all shapes and sizes, and nature's no exception. From mundane animals that have survived the incursions of mankind, to paranormals that have Awakened, to emergent animals that have found their own ways to embrace the Matrix, to the spirits and feral AIs that may not even acknowledge metahumanity, you'll find everything you need to handle the critters of the Sixth World.
The upcoming release of Shadowrun material will conclude our work implementing the content from "Runner's Black Book 2074". We'll be updating our current "Gun Heaven 2" material to reflect the changes made since the original PDF came out. "This Old Drone" will be updated based on its recent re-release as part of the early March release as well.
We'll have more updates next month on a host of Shadowrun items, so stay tuned!
There are now eight Savage Settings available through Hero Lab. This month, "Pirates of the Spanish Main" and "50 Fathoms" joined the list as free data files you can use! Each Setting can be downloaded directly from the Updates window in Hero Lab.
Just click the "Find Updates" button from the "Select a Game" window, locate the Savage Setting you want in the list, and download it! Once you've installed it, you'll be notified of any future updates. New titles will appear in the list periodically, so check back now and then to see if your favorite is among them. Based on the volunteers who are putting together these data files for the various Savage Settings, we expect to include "Weird War II", "Space 1889: Red Sands" and "Necessary Evil" soon.
Thanks again to the volunteers creating these data files and to Pinnacle for allowing us to provide them to you at no cost!
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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