– May 2012 –
Hello everyone, and welcome to this month's edition of the newsletter. With the "official" start to summer now behind us, we hope yours has gotten off to a great start. Just thinking about all those upcoming BBQs gets our mouths watering! Slather on the sunscreen, grab a spot by the pool, and check out these updates from the Wolf Lair:
Great news for everyone that's been waiting - we're preparing to enter our second phase of beta testing and will be expanding the pool of testers for Realm Works in the near future! As you may recall, we launched our initial beta phase with a very small group of beta testers.
The first Beta release proved incredibly valuable, and we want to thank everyone who provided feedback to us. We put our core ideas out to the beta team to find out whether we were on the right track with things or way off base. The good news is that we were largely on the right track. The feedback also included some great suggestions that we hadn't considered, so we've been hard at work to integrate many of those ideas. We've released the first major update based on the feedback to date, and anticipate starting the second beta phase this summer.
To support our second phase of beta testing, we'll be adding additional testers to the team. If you're interested in being a beta tester for Realm Works, you can find more info and a link to our beta participation survey on our website. If you haven't completed the survey yet, but want to be considered for the next beta phase, you must complete the survey by 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time on June 15. At that point, we'll begin reviewing all the responses to date and identifying the next group of folks we'd like to add to the beta team. You only need to complete the survey once, so if you've already submitted one, no need to do so again.
We'll continue to post updates as we move into and through the second beta phase, so stay tuned!
As we mentioned last month, we expected the beta process for Army Builder for the Mac would be significantly shorter than it was for Hero Lab, since we could leverage a substantial amount of the work already done. We're happy to say that our expectation has been realized!
On May 4, we expanded the availability of Army Builder for the Mac to all current customers that wanted to make use of it. If you missed the notice on our web site, you can find more information about using the beta version here. This expansion of the beta occurred a mere two weeks after we launched the first round of beta testing (by way of comparison, Hero Lab for the Mac was in beta testing for two months before we were comfortable enough with the results to begin expanding the use of the beta to all current users).
So far, the results of the beta have been extremely positive. We've got a few issues that have been reported and are rapidly addressing them. We currently expect to officially release Army Builder for the Mac in the first half of June! Keep an eye on our web site, Facebook and Twitter; we'll use those mediums to provide notification on the final release.
We want to thank everyone who helped us get to this point. We couldn't have done it without you!
If you've been looking for new challenges, what could be better than fighting a slew of Giants?! If this sounds intriguing, we've got you covered with our newest data add-on for the "Giants Revisited" Pathfinder Campaign Setting book. Among the biggest and meanest humanoids ever to tread the planet, there's no end to the fun you can have with Giants!
"Giants Revisited" is the first book in our Campaign Setting #8 data add-on, and is available for $4.99. We expect to place additional content into this add-on package over the coming months, and the additional content will be added as a free update for anyone purchasing the package. Get it today and start the thumping!
In addition to the new Campaign Setting, we've also released the second of the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path, "Raiders of the Fever Sea", as a free update for everyone with the Pathfinder game system. Continue your adventuring in the untamed island chain known as the Shackles, and download the update today!
At the beginning of May, we updated our Runner's Companion package for Shadowrun with support for Drakes, Infected and Sapient Critter characters. We've also added Biodrones to the "Augmentation" add-on, and the Critters from the "20th Anniversary Edition Rulebook" are now part of the core Shadowrun data package. You'll also find that our update at the end of May included 51 new languages from the "Sixth World Almanac".
This week, we also released the final add-on for our Shadowrun Basic Suite Bundle, "Unwired". Remember, we're offering a 30% discount on the Shadowrun Basic Suite bundle; it includes "Runner's Companion", "Arsenal", "Augmentation", "Street Magic", and "Unwired". While each add-on is available separately for $9.99, you can purchase the Basic Suite bundle for only $34.99!
So, where do we go from here? We're focused on the final pieces of "Runner's Companion"; we've introduced support for Shapeshifters and will release support for AIs and Free Spirit characters as soon as they're ready. Then, we'll be turning our attention to several other Shadowrun books and PDFs. "Parazoology", which will be added to our Shadowrun PDF Bundle #1 as the last PDF for that add-on, is one item that we've mentioned in the past. If you've already purchased the bundle, you'll receive a free update when "Parazoology" has been included later this year.
Our plans also include releasing data add-ons for "War!", "Running Wild", "Attitude", and "Spy Games". As our release plans firm up, we'll let everyone know when we expect to start releasing these add-ons, as well as how they'll be priced.
Based on a series of strange dreams working their way through the Wolf Lair, we've come to the conclusion that it's time to show a little love to one of our favorite malevolent entities, Cthulhu. First up, we're going to expand the capabilities in our Call of Cthulhu® data file so that it will also support Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying (BRP) game system. Once we've added BRP, we'll release it as a free update for everyone with the Call of Cthulhu game system. As soon as we have a target date established for the release, we'll provide that info in the newsletter.
Additionally, we're considering the implementation of a number of different Settings for both Call of Cthulhu and BRP. There's a lot of cool stuff out there for both systems, but we need your help figuring out which ones, if any, that you'd like to see available in Hero Lab. If you're interested in seeing expanded material available for Call of Cthulhu, we want to hear from you! Follow this link to a brief survey we've put together and tell us what Settings you'd like to see. The survey will be available until the end of June, at which point we'll analyze all the responses, figure out the next steps and share our plans. Thanks in advance for your input!
In the first part of June, we'll be releasing some new Savage Worlds material. Look for the "Horror Companion", an essential part of dark or horrific settings ranging from slasherfests to Lovecraftian evils to monster hunts. It's the last book in our Savage Worlds Companion Bundle. If you've already purchased the bundle, it'll be added to your license as a free update when it's released. While "Horror Companion" can also be bought as a single add-on for $7.99, the bundle's your best deal, as you'll get the "Horror Companion", "Fantasy Companion", and "Super Powers Companion" for only $19.99, a 17% discount for all three books.
Also, for all you creative types out there who've built your own material for Savage Worlds, we've updated our documentation, expanding it to include detailed tutorials on customizing Hero Lab for Savage Settings. This will make it easier for you to introduce your own content into your games through Hero Lab. These new tutorials will also be available in the first part of June."
Finally, we mentioned some plans related to Savage Settings a few months ago. For those of you who may have missed it, the fine folks at Pinnacle have agreed to allow us to start making data files for various Savage Settings available. Here's the best part – if you've purchased the Savage Worlds system for Hero Lab, these Savage Settings will be FREE downloads! We'll start releasing the free Savage Settings in June. Look for "Deadlands: Reloaded", "The Savage World of Solomon Kane" and more of your favorites in the list of updates available through Hero Lab soon!
This month, we're happy to highlight the following material which has been released for Hero Lab:
Occasionally, we receive questions about how certain aspects of our licensing mechanism work. We wanted to focus on some of the more frequent questions, and share some useful information.
One of the more frequent questions we receive is along the lines of "I have two computers; can I use Hero Lab (or Army Builder) on both?" Yes, you can; in fact, you can access your licensed materials on up to four computers that you use. As an example, this would allow you to run Hero Lab (or Army Builder) on your desktop, on your laptop and also on your computer at work. Each computer needs a unique license number, and you can easily obtain these additional licenses directly through our software.
If you open the License pull-down menu, you'll see an option to "Obtain Secondary License". Selecting that option will take you to our License Administration system, where you'll be prompted for your license number and password. After you've agreed to the terms of the Secondary License, you'll be able to issue the additional license. The first secondary license that you obtain is provided to you for free. If you need a third or fourth license, perhaps so you can install the software on your work computer in addition to your desktop and laptop, you can obtain those for $10 per license. Simply use the new license number with the additional computer, and you're ready to go.
Remember, these additional licenses are for your use only; attempting to "share" a secondary license with someone else is a violation of the terms of your software license.
Another frequent question is related to the availability of our products on the Mac. Some have wondered whether they needed a different license number if they want to switch from Windows to the Mac. This is not required; in fact, using a secondary license as described above, you can install your second license on a Mac product even if your primary license is installed on a Windows machine, and vice-versa. If you simply want to transfer your existing license from a Windows machine to a Mac, and cease using the Windows machine, you can also do this.
The final question we wanted to highlight is typically related to moving an existing license to a new computer, but it also comes up if someone's installed a new operating system or upgraded the operating system on their existing computer. The important thing to realize in relation to this question is that, when you install and activate your license, we establish an "identity" for the computer on which the software was installed. We do this to prevent software piracy, as well as to ensure that data is not shared inappropriately. The identity established for computers contains absolutely no personally identifying information; it is simply a numeric code generated to identify the computer and it can't be translated into any specific information about the computer. As part of our effort to thwart software piracy, we limit the frequency of automated re-assignments of our software to a new computer "identity".
On rare occasions, our limitation on license re-assignments is triggered because a user is attempting to install the software on a new computer "identity" within 120 days of having done so previously. We've characterized this as a rare issue, since it might happen once or twice a month across the over 100,000 installed licenses for Hero Lab and Army Builder. In these cases, users need to request an exception to our transfer policy through our support desk. We realize disk crashes, virus attacks, or opportunities to pick up a new computer happen, and we make these exceptions where circumstances warrant. In these cases, we have a special form to report license re-assignment issues to the help desk, and these issues are given priority by our tech support team.
You can find additional information related to our licensing on our web site.
Thanks, and Happy Gaming!
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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