The Power of the Cloud
The Realm Works Cloud Services Roadmap
For many people, the idea of the “cloud” is merely a place to store your data, since that’s what solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive provide. Yes, the Realm Works cloud provides storage for you campaign data – it’s a persistent backup so you never need to worry about losing your data. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With Realm Works, the “cloud” goes far beyond just storage, and we’ve outlined below some of the key ways in which our Cloud Services option can be leveraged to transform your game, both now and in the future.
- Intelligent Syncing – Realm Works tracks what content has been changed, allowing you to utilize your content on multiple computers. Make a few changes on your desktop and sync to the cloud server, with only those few changes being sent to the server. Switch to your laptop and sync, with only the changes you made on your desktop being brought down to your laptop. Once your realms evolve, intelligent syncing through the cloud will save you the time and hassle of moving your data the old ways, making it a breeze to move between computers. [Available Now!]
- Sharing Content with Players – A critical benefit of the cloud is the ability to share your world with your players outside of the game. Imagine being able to give all your players access to just the information they’ve uncovered through the course of play, including map fragments, hints, clues, details, etc. They can independently lookup information, review what they’ve learned, and even make their own notes with ease. Best of all, there’s no extra work involved on your part. [Available Now!]
- Handouts are History – Once your players have access to everything online, you don’t need to create handouts, which gives you more time to focus on other aspects of your game. [Available Now!]
- Web-based Access for Yourself and Players – Access your realm via a web browser using any device you own. Everything is woven together and fully searchable and navigable. Your players can do the same, except they only see the information you’ve revealed to them. The cloud makes this possible. 
- Web-based Access Allows Notes, Idea Tracking, etc. – Whenever an idea strikes you for your world, you can quickly record it via a web browser on a tablet or other device. Make notes for later review, jot down new plot ideas, and anything else you think of. 
- Share Your Creations – Whether it’s an entire world, an adventure, or simply some flavorful NPCs, you can share your creations with other GMs. The cloud is the gateway to the community and making a name for yourself as someone who creates really cool material. 
- Using Shared Content in Your World – Imagine having a wealth of pre-created NPCs, encounters, even entire adventures at your disposal. The community offers a fully searchable array of options to seamlessly integrate into your game whenever you need them, and the cloud is the vehicle for leveraging those resources. 
- Purchase Pre-Created Content – If you prefer running pre-made content, the community will provide lots of options. However, we’ll also have ready-made content from big-name publishers available, including names like Paizo, Green Ronin, and Frog God. 
Unlike like Dropbox and similar tools, the Realm Works cloud is a database back-end running on our servers. It probably makes more sense to think of it like a MMORPG, where your client does the heavy lifting of the interface that you see, but the servers host your data so there is a consistent version that your players can see with only the updates you’ve made (and made available). So it’s really nothing like a file sharing system, which means it’s nothing like Dropbox or the like.
Cloud Service Tiers
At the moment, we only have a single tier of cloud service available – the Standard Tier. With the Standard Tier, users should be able to comfortably manage realms comparable in size to a complete, six-installment Pathfinder Adventure Path, including all maps and artwork at appropriate image resolutions. In the upcoming months, we’ll be introducing additional tiers that cater to users with varying resource needs.
Are Cloud Services Required?
There is no requirement for users to leverage Realm Works cloud services. However, we believe they are something most users will find invaluable once they try them. We believe that strongly enough that we’re giving everyone the chance to see for themselves in the form of a free six-month subscription to our cloud services when they purchase Realm Works.
When Does My 6 Months of Cloud Service Begin?
For thousands of users, the free six months of cloud service is currently set to expire on May, 17th, and the majority of those users will be faced with choosing to continue their service before being able to leverage published material through the Content Market. With this in mind, we’ve chosen to suspend the expiration and allow cloud service to continue for all users. All users with cloud service, regardless of purchase date, will continue to receive cloud service until some point after the Content Market launch. Users will have the opportunity to see what’s possible with the Content Market and cloud service combined. Since the exact timing for this remains fluid, we’ll provide users with at least one month’s notice before the extra free cloud service concludes.
You can read more here.
Why Do I Need an Internet Connection for Some Actions?
For almost all usage of Realm Works, no internet connection is required, but there are certain operations that do require you to connect to our server. The reason for this is simple. Users may choose not to leverage the cloud services initially, but those users may change their mind at some point in the future. In order to ensure that users CAN change their minds, a few basic operations (e.g. realm creation) require coordination with our server during creation. That way, content created today can be put into the cloud a year from now without any problems.