Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about Realm Works? Check our list of frequently asked questions for an answer! For specific questions about the Realm Works cloud service, please head over to our Cloud Service FAQ page.

If you have questions that are not covered on this website, or if the information provided is not sufficient to answer your particular question, please email technical support for further assistance. Your email will automatically generate a support ticket, so you should receive an automated response after submitting your questions.

While we strive to reply to support tickets as soon as possible, your message should typically be answered by email within 3 business days. If you don’t receive a response within that time, please make sure to check your spam filter.

GM Edition General Questions

  • How much does Realm Works cost?

    For a limited time, Realm Works will be available for an introductory price of $49.99. This includes 6 months of our standard tier cloud service (a $24.99 value)!

    After the 6 months of standard tier cloud service, Realm Works users will have the opportunity to continue their cloud service for an initial price of $24.99 for 6 months, or $39.99 for one year.

    Details on additional cloud service tiers are forthcoming, at which point users can upgrade to a higher tier if they choose. Kickstarter backers at the pack member level will also be able to add cloud service (see an upcoming Kickstarter update for more details). Additional details on cloud service and service tiers can be found here.

  • Is there a demo version of Realm Works available to test out before purchasing?

    The different technologies used to develop Realm Works makes providing a demo version much more complicated than for our other products. As such, there is no way to test drive the product. However, we’ve provided numerous videos that show off the product and should enable everyone to make a good assessment of whether Realm Works is a worthwhile investment.

    Realm Works Virtual Tour
    Realm Works Tutorial Videos

  • Which game systems are best suited for use with Realm Works?

    All of them. Realm Works is completely game-system agnostic in its design. It should work equally well for every genre (Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Modern, Historical, etc.) and every complexity of game (from simple to highly complex). There are no ties to any specific systems and the content structure is completely customizable. So Realm Works will work great for both the most popular systems of today and the most obscure systems from 30 years ago.

  • What is the Realm Works cloud service?

    You can learn more about our plans for the cloud service, as well as general cloud service information on our website here.

  • Is any functionality tied to the different tiers of Cloud Service?

    As a basic rule, product features will not be factored into cloud service tiers. The primary factors involved will be (a) storage and (b) bandwidth utilization. However, it's possible that certain cloud-centric features MIGHT be tied to certain cloud service tiers in the future. For example, some users have asked for features that would involve lots of bandwidth for "instantly" pushing visual material to players' devices. That's something that would clearly be cloud-centric, so we could potentially tie it to a minimum tier of cloud service. We haven't given these feature requests a proper assessment yet, so we have no idea how we would ultimately handle them. We’re just flagging this as something we might consider tying to the cloud.

  • Realm Works is a big and powerful tool. Where do I start?

    We have a handful of resources available to get you started with the product. Tutorial Videos are available to users here, as well as our User Manual. You can access the User Manual within Realm Works by clicking the "Help" tab on the Ribbon Bar. In the User Manual, be sure to review the "Realm Works Reference Guide" and also check out the "Realm Works Quickstart Guide".

  • Do players need to buy Realm Works?

    No, but they may wish to. Only the GM needs to purchase Realm Works, and the GM can then show revealed information to the players during the game. However, if a player wants to access revealed material OUTSIDE of the game, then a player will need to either purchase the Player Edition of Realm Works (a low-cost option that’s available now!) or the player will need to utilize the web-based player access (which is in development and will be free when released). The key difference between those two options is that the Player Edition will have all the same tools as the full product, while web-based player access will provide a more limited set of capabilities.

  • When will the web-based Player Access be available?

    For information on web-based Player Access, as well as other future capabilities, check out our Realm Works Vision and Evolution Plan on our website.

  • Does player access to content require the Cloud Services?

    For players to access revealed content independently of the GM, the realm will need to exist within the Realm Works cloud, which means that Cloud Services are necessary. Whether it’s via the Player Edition or web-based player access, the data being viewed will need to be retrieved from our server (i.e. the cloud). That's necessary so that we can orchestrate all the security for ensuring individual players can only access exactly the information you've revealed to them - which is a rather complex process.

    There's no requirement for GMs to utilize the cloud, however. The Player View mechanism can be fully leveraged without the cloud. Independent player access to revealed content is an option that some GMs will choose to make available to their players and others won't. Our hope is that most GMs will find the benefits of player access to content to be well worth the nominal extra investment in the cloud service.

  • As a GM, do I also need to purchase the Player Edition if I’m also a player in some games?

    No. Using the full product, you simply operate as a player within realms that you don’t own.

  • Who owns content that is uploaded onto the Realm Works servers?

    The person who created that content owns it. Our Terms of Use explicitly state that you retain ownership of your Intellectual Property (IP). Obviously, this assumes you actually created the content and aren’t violating someone else’s IP rights.

  • Can I control who gets to see my realms?

    Absolutely. All players will need accounts to access any information. The GM who owns a realm will be able to grant access to individual player accounts on a realm-by-realm basis, giving them complete control over what realms are/aren’t available to whom they are made available. This means some realms can remain completely private, and some will be automatically made wide open for anyone to look at.

  • How can I share my content with other members of the community?

    For information on content sharing, as well as other future capabilities, check out our Realm Works Vision and Evolution Plan on our website.

  • Am I limited to the content structure that’s pre-defined within Realm Works?

    No. However, there are some benefits of using that structure. For more details, see the question “How do I change the default structure and behaviors for my content within Realm Works?” in the Technical FAQ section.

  • When will the Kickstarter Content be available?

    The Kickstarter stretch goal content requires content sharing to be in place. That’s a high priority item, so we’ll be working to get that working as soon as we can. For more details about content sharing and other future features, check out our Realm Works Vision and Evolution Plan on our website.

  • How can I purchase content from publishers?

    Material from major publishers will be available around the time we support sharing content. We have licenses in place with a half-dozen publishers already and are in negotiations with many more to make their RPG products available through Realm Works. For information on content sharing, as well as other future capabilities, check out our Realm Works Vision and Evolution Plan on our website.

  • How tightly integrated are Realm Works® and Hero Lab®?

    At the present time, you can store your Hero Lab portfolios within Realm Works and then launch them for use within Hero Lab directly from Realm Works. You can also view statblocks from within Realm Works without needing to launch Hero Lab. However, you'll need to use Hero Lab to edit portfolios.

  • Can I use Realm Works on all the different computers that I own? Or am I limited to just a few computers like Hero Lab?

    Realm Works works very differently from Hero Lab, and is account-based, not device-based. So you can use your same account across multiple computers – as many as you want. The restriction is that you can't use it across multiple computers at the same time. In this respect, it's a lot like Steam.

    We impose this restriction to help safeguard users from making edits to the same content on two different machines at the same time, which results in having to abandon one version or the other. Just like with a single document, you can't make changes in two different places and then have them magically get reconciled together.

    For the programmers out there, we recognize that most source control programs let you merge two text files. However, that's a complicated task that often requires user involvement. With Realm Works, we would have to reconcile potentially tens of thousands of different records that are all cross-linked between and depend upon each other. That's vastly more complicated than merely merging two text files. So we're not trying to tackle that effort - at least, not yet.

    For more information on using Realm Works on multiple machines, review our "Can I move my database to another machine?" FAQ question and answer.

  • How does Realm Works compare to other Virtual Tabletop Tools (VTTs)?

    Our intention with Realm Works is not to create yet another VTT tool. Our first priority is campaign management for GMs, with the ability to share vastly more than just the current map where the PCs are adventuring. That's why we call it "Fog of World" instead of merely "fog of war". The Virtual Tour video and detailed info on the website should provide numerous examples of the things that players gain access to beyond just the current map that most VTTs provide. Our expectation is that many users will leverage a VTT as a companion tool to Realm Works, using the VTT to play out individual encounters.

  • To what extent do Lone Wolf staff have access to uploaded content?

    In general, there is no reason for Lone Wolf staff to access anyone’s content. However, if content is flagged as violating someone else’s Intellectual Property rights, we will need to review your content to assess whether the claims are accurate. For full details on what access our staff will take with your content, and under what circumstances, please review the Terms of Use agreement.

  • Is content on the web secured and/or encrypted to prevent improper access?

    Data maintained on our servers is managed with a high level of security control. We’ve taken significant steps to safeguard everyone’s data from improper access, although it would be inappropriate to publicly detail those steps in the interest of maintaining security. We also take significant steps to ensure content is reasonably secured on your local computer, since we don’t want consumers who purchase content to be able to improperly access or re-distribute that content.

  • I'm in the Beta team. Can I use Realm Works with my gaming group without violating the non-disclosure agreement?

    Yes. In fact, we expect you to utilize Realm Works in the presence of your gaming group. We want you to use the Player View functionality to show content to your players, such as maps, pictures, etc. Consequently, there are no restrictions on showing content to players in your gaming group through the Player View Window. If other people in the vicinity also see the Player View Window, or if your players take a peek to see how you're using the product that's fine as well.

  • I'm in the Beta team. Can I use Realm Works in a public setting without violating the non-disclosure agreement?

    Yes. You are allowed to use Realm Works, even in a public setting, without fear of violating your non-disclosure agreement. The caveat to this is that you are not allowed to put on a public demonstration of features not released to the public or to anyone who has not signed a non-disclosure agreement. If someone watches you use the product for a couple minutes at your local game store, we don't have a problem with it. All we ask is that you make sure to tell anyone seeing the product that it is in Beta testing and still in development.

Player Edition General Questions

  • How is Player Edition different from GM Edition?

    There are two major differences between Player Edition and GM Edition:

    1. Creating Content – You cannot create content within Player Edition. To create your own content, you must use GM Edition.
    2. GM Edition and Cloud Service Required – To use Player Edition, your Game Master must use GM Edition and invite you to join their game. Additionally, your GM must have cloud service, as that is how players access revealed information from their GM.

    As a reminder, GM Edition users can serve as players within realms that they don’t own. There's no need to purchase both GM and Player Edition.

  • Can I create content with Player Edition?

    Unfortunately, no. That is the main distinction between GM Edition and Player Edition. Player Edition allows users to participate in realms created by GMs using GM Edition, but they cannot create content themselves. If you want to create your own content, you must purchase GM Edition.

  • How do I get started with Player Edition?

    First, your GM needs to invite you to participate in his or her realm. You’ll receive an invitation, which will appear on the Launch Dialog that is shown when you first startup Realm Works. Once you accept the invitation, you’ll be able to sync down all of the material that your GM has revealed about the game.

  • Does my GM need to use Realm Works in order to use Player Edition?

    Yes. Player Edition does not support content creation. So a GM must first create a campaign within Realm Works GM Edition. Once a realm is created and your GM invites you to participate in his or her game, you’ll then be able to view all of the information that your GM has revealed to you.

  • My GM does not have Cloud Service. Can I still use Player Edition in his/her game?

    Unfortunately, no. For players to access revealed content independently of the GM, the realm needs to exist within the Realm Works cloud, which means that Cloud Services are necessary. For more information, refer to the question “Does player access to content require the Cloud Services?”.

  • I currently own Realm Works Player Edition, but I want to purchase Realm Works GM Edition. What should I do?

    In the near future, we will allow users with Realm Works Player Edition to upgrade their version to Realm Works GM Edition. However, that capability is not yet in place. Until that option is in place, if you want to purchase Realm Works GM Edition after buying Player Edition, you’ll need to pay the full retail price and create an entirely new account. If you opt to do this, have your GM invite you as a player using your new account and then contact technical support so we can see about issuing a refund for the Player Edition purchase. Please note, this refund option is unfortunately not possible for Player Edition activation codes purchased in a pack.

  • As a GM, do I need to purchase the Player Edition if I’m also a player in some games?

    No. Using the full product, you simply operate as a player within realms that you don’t own.

  • If I buy Realm Works Player Edition for one of my players and they leave my game, can I give their copy to a new player?

    If you buy Player Edition for one or more of your players, you have two options. The first option is to gift the activation code to your player. They will use this code to create their own account, and it will be non-transferable at that point. We expect this to be the commonly used model, as it allows players to participate in multiple realms and potentially upgrade to the GM Edition if they choose to run a game of their own with Realm Works.

    The second option is for you to use the activation code to create an account that is tied to your email address. You will ultimately have control of the account. With this option, you retain a certain level of ownership of the account. The caveat is that you would need to give the account name and password to a player in order for them to use it. Once you do that, the player could change the password and email address, effectively taking over the account entirely as their own. We will not police this for GMs, as that's not the intent of the model. This approach will only work if your players do not abuse your generosity.

    However, please be aware that it will be impractical for a player to use a different Player Edition account within different games. A single Realm Works account can be associated with a given Windows user account on each computer, so using different accounts to access different realms will require each player to setup multiple Windows user accounts in order to do so. Once a player wants access to a second game with a different GM, he or she will require his or her own account. If your player is likely going to play in multiple games run by different GMs with Realm Works, they should definitely have their own Player Edition account.

    A hybrid solution would be for the GM to purchase a pack of Player Edition activation codes (and take advantage of our steep discounts). Then the GM could take up a collection of $1 per game from each player for a handful of game sessions, which should be a reasonable approach for most players – even those on a tight budget. Once the Player Edition activation codes are paid for, the collections could be stopped or rolled over into funding something else for the group.

  • Do I need to purchase Player Edition if my GM has Realm Works GM Edition?

    No. However, Player Edition does add value to the player experience. It allows you to review revealed content at your leisure outside of the game, as well as take notes. Recaps of what was learned in previous sessions are instantly available for review. Player Edition also provides the same powerful searching functionalities as the GM Edition. [Note: In the future, web-based player access with limited capabilities is planned.]

  • Can I purchase more than 5 copies of Player Edition?

    Yes! To purchase more than 5 copies, select the “Player Edition – 5 Pack” option and then add an additional Single-User copy or bundle to your cart. For example, if you need to purchase 7 copies of Player Edition, simply add a “Player Edition – 5 Pack” and a “Player Edition – 2 Pack” to your cart.

  • If I purchase a Player Edition multi-user pack, but I don’t need one of the activation codes, can I refund that one code?

    If you purchase a Player Edition pack with multiple activation codes, you cannot return individual codes. If you need to request a return, you must return the entire pack.

Technical Questions

  • Will Realm Works Run on my computer? What are Realm Works' System Requirements?

    All details on Realm Works' system requirements can be found here!

  • I think I found a bug. How do I report it?

    Realm Works is a complex software product, so it's likely there will be some bugs that we didn't catch. If you run into something that you think is a bug, please fill out a bug report.

    Be sure to provide us with as much detail as possible about the bug so that we can fully understand it and reproduce it on our end. Don't hesitate to give us step-by-step instructions - the more detail, the better. Tell us what steps you took, what behavior you were expecting, and what results you actually experienced. If you can reproduce the problem, please tell us how to reproduce the problem ourselves, which might include first setting up data similar to the data you used when the bug occurred.

    Note! Crashes are a special type of bug that are reported through the crash report (see above). If you encounter a crash and send the crash report, there is no need to also post about the crash on the forum, unless you think of additional details that might help us figure out the crash faster.

  • I have a suggestion for how to make Realm Works a better product. How should I tell you about it?

    Our goal is to make Realm Works as useful as possible, which means we'd love to hear your ideas for how to improve it. If you have a suggestion, please start a new thread on the Realm Works Features Request support forum. When submitting your idea, please do not just tell us a specific change to make. Instead, tell us what you're trying to accomplish and how you think Realm Works can make that easier. By giving us as much context as possible about what you want to achieve, we can think about ways to improve Realm Works that go beyond the specific case you've encountered. We can also think about how other users might want to do similar types of things and how that can best be woven into the way Realm Works is structured.

  • Can I move my database to another machine?

    Yes. You can utilize Realm Works on any number of computers you wish. However, the database has to be moved around between those computers. There are two ways of accomplishing this. The first is to use the Realm Works cloud server to facilitate the process, syncing your changes up from one computer to the cloud and then back down on a different computer. The second method is to make a backup of your realm database on one computer and then restore it on the other.

    Both of these methods work well, but there is an important caveat to always keep in mind. You must always take care to move all your changes from one computer to the other. If you copy your database to two different computer, and then make separate changes on both computers, you will NOT be able to merge those changes back together again. So be very careful to ensure that you're always making changes to the latest version of your database.

    The best analogy here is to think of your realm database as a document created with a word processor. You can create and modify it on one computer, then copy it to another computer and modify it there. However, if you make further changes to the original document on the first computer, you now have two divergent documents. The realm databases work the same way.

  • How do I make backups of my realm database?

    You can backup your realm database by going to the "Tools" ribbon bar within the Realm Works launcher and selecting the “Backup” option. You will then be prompted to specify where to save a backup of your database. If you are using the Realm Works cloud server, all of your data is backed up to the cloud whenever you perform a sync, so the need to make separate backups of your data is obviated.

  • How do I restore a backup of my realm database?

    You can restore a copy of your realm database by going to the "Tools" ribbon bar within the Realm Works launcher and selecting the “Restore” option. You will then be prompted to confirm that you would like to replace all existing content from a backup, after which you can select the desired backup. Realm Works will restart itself during the restore process. If you are using the Realm Works cloud server, all of your data is backed up to the cloud whenever you perform a sync, so you can instead simply sync back down from the cloud server to restore the data you last synced up to the server.

  • When will Realm Works work on the Mac?

    The answer to that is unknown at the moment. When we first began development of Realm Works, we chose C# and .Net as our environment for a number of reasons. One of those reasons was the existence of the Mono project, which would allow us to readily port Realm Works over to the Mac. Unfortunately, our latest assessment of Mono revealed that a few portions of .Net that we leverage within Realm Works are not supported by Mono, which means we aren’t able to perform the port as we had intended. We’ll be investigating this more fully now that Realm Works is released, after which we’ll hopefully have more accurate information on where things stands vis-à-vis our use of Mono.

  • I forgot my username. How can I have it sent to me?

    If you no longer remember your username, please contact our support team by emailing support@wolflair.com. Our support team will resend your username within 48-72 business hours.

  • How do I change the default structure and behaviors for my content within Realm Works?

    By default, Realm Works uses a pre-defined content structure, but you are free to change it to better suit your purposes. This is achieved via the "Manage" ribbon bar. From this ribbon, you can modify preferences, extend the set of built-in tags, change the default structure of your content, and more. Realm Works uses the term "Categories" to describe the content structure it uses, so this button is where to start for that purpose.

    Note! There are potential ramifications with changing the default structure, although extending it is completely safe. When you make changes, it may cause content you import from other sources and content you share with others to become inconsistent in its organization. Please see the World Builder's Guide for further details on the potential implications.

  • What does “Remove Protection” mean? Is it really that important?

    Yes, it’s important! When you make changes to the default content structure provided by Realm Works, it may cause content you import from outside sources and content you share with others to become inconsistent in its organization. This might not be a big deal at the moment, but if you choose to leverage published material or participate in the larger community for sharing and consuming content, changing the structure could have ramifications for both you and other users.

  • Can I put the Realm Works database on a LAN or shared drive and use it from multiple computers?

    No! The Realm Works database must be installed on a local drive and must only be accessed from one computer. Each client database is uniquely tied to a given machine and is NOT a multi-user database. Your data will be corrupted and unusable if you attempt to do this, so please don’t do this. The proper solution is to install Realm Works on all the various computers that you wish to use and then use cloud syncing to keep them all up-to-date with the latest content. You can also backup and restore your content without cloud service. Both options are outlined in the "Can I move my database to another machine?" FAQ question.

  • Can I install the Realm Works database on a flash drive and move it between computers?

    No! The Realm Works database must be installed on a local drive and must only be accessed from a single computer. Each client database is uniquely tied to a given machine, and your data will likely be corrupted and unusable if you attempt to do this, so please don’t. The proper solution is to install Realm Works on all the various computers that you wish to use and then use cloud syncing to keep them all up-to-date with the latest content. You can also backup and restore your content without cloud service. Both options are outlined in the "Can I move my database to another machine?" FAQ question.

  • How can I access two separate Realm Works accounts on the same computer?

    If you have multiple GMs and/or players in the household, you will likely want to share a single computer yet still access individual Realm Works accounts. This is achieved by setting up multiple Windows logins (i.e. user accounts) on the computer – one for each separate user. Then, each user can login to their personal Windows user account and access their independent Realm Works account from within that Windows account. Each Realm Works account requires a separate Windows user account on the computer.

  • How can I access content created by another user?

    That’s not possible until content sharing is fully implemented. Content created by UserA is explicitly tied to that user and cannot be utilized by any other user. If a backup of UserA’s database is created and restored on the computer of UserB, all of UserB’s data will be wiped and the data of UserA will appear, however that data will still be explicitly tied to UserA and cannot be transferred to UserB in any way.

  • Will I be able to share content with other users without the Cloud Services?

    Not initially and there are no current plans to enable that. Content created by one user is explicitly tied to that user and cannot be shared with other users. Through the content sharing mechanisms afforded by the Cloud Services, content will be able to be shared, but that’s the only way that is currently planned to accomplish sharing.

  • Is there a way to extend Realm Works with plugins or other similar extensions?

    Not at the present time. Our first priority is getting the core product into place and working well. After that, we will begin looking at extensibility through plugins and extensions of different types.

  • Can I import material from a wiki into Realm Works via an automated process?

    Not at the present time. Given the wide disparity between different tools that GMs currently use, and even the disparity between different wiki structures, such as a task would entail a significant amount of work that would have delayed our initial release even longer. If there is a large audience that wants to migrate from a particular tool and structure, we will look at investing the effort to make the migration easier, so please let us know if you are looking to migrate from a particular toolset.

  • How can I integrate characters created with a character creation program other than Hero Lab?

    For situations like this you'll want to use the "Foreign Object" snippet type, which you'll find under the "Advanced" sub-menu when adding snippets. This allows you to add files for which Realm Works knows nothing about their contents. Once a file is added, you can trigger it to be viewed in an external program that knows how to use that file. Realm Works will simply tell the operating system to launch the appropriately configured program to view the file. This technique will also work for things like original map files created with mapping programs like Campaign Cartographer, Dundjinni, Hexographer, etc.

  • Can I setup my own server instead of using the Realm Works cloud?

    No. There’s a vast amount of complexity involved in the Realm Works server, and it’s constantly evolving to provide more capabilities. We’re a tiny company and our focus is on providing a great product and a wealth of features for users to leverage. Attempting to package the server up for others to use would entail a huge amount of effort, which would mean we’d have to derail our focus on evolving the product, and that simply doesn’t make business sense.

  • What’s the point of having both a World Almanac and a Story Almanac?

    The motivation behind having a separate World Almanac and Story Almanac is to provide a very simple, first-level filtering for users. Let's say you're running a campaign world with lots of different cities, towns, villages, dungeons, etc. You'll have quite a few topics to sift through. However, at any point in time, the PCs will be exploring a particular region, with the other areas being unimportant. Let's say the PCs are exploring the Temple of Doom and using the nearby Convenient Village as their base of operations. At this point, you can move all of the topics for all the other places and their associated NPCs into the World Almanac, leaving only the Temple and the Village in the Story Almanac. You now have only a fraction of the topics shown in the list, as the others that would clutter it up are now over in the World Almanac. You can readily access all that info and follow links between topics, but they don't clutter up the list. Suddenly, your ability to access the content you're looking for is much faster and easier.

    This exact same analogy would apply to something like an Adventure Path, even if you just run adventures without a big campaign world. The entire AP would go into the World Almanac to start with. From there, the important bits from the start of Chapter 1 get moved into the Story Almanac. As the PCs progress through Chapter 1, content they've completed gets moved into the World Almanac and new content they're about to interact with moves into the Story Almanac. This process continues through all chapters of the story, swapping material between the two almanacs. At all times, though, the important bits the PCs are interacting with are always in the Story Almanac, with everything else out of the way to reduce clutter and make everything much easier to search and wade through.

    This approach is much simpler than requiring users to leverage the filtering mechanisms. It also provides a first level of filtering that makes it possible to easily filter within the Story Almanac, without requiring users to learn about more sophisticated filtering capabilities.

  • Does Realm Works behave well with high-resolution desktop displays and Windows 8.1 scaling?

    Mostly. We haven't tried running Realm Works on the new high-resolution desktop displays, but we do have experience on the Surface 2, which has a high-resolution display that inherently wants to scale everything (just like the new displays). On the Surface 2, Realm Works is highly usable, but there are some minor cosmetic issues due to the scaling (typically text being slightly clipped). We haven't yet had the chance to investigate the reason for these issues, but we're aware of them and will be addressing them in the not-to-distant future.

    So, if you choose to invest in a high-res display, you should be able to use Realm Works successfully. However, it may have some niggly visual annoyances until we get those sorted out.

  • How can I avoid needing to have an internet connection when I create a new realm?

    You only need the internet connection briefly when creating a new realm, after which no further connection to our server is required. However, if you really need to be able to get a new realm without an internet connection, there’s no reason you can’t simply pre-create a small number of realms in advance. Then, when you decide that you want a new realm, you can allocate one of the pre-created and unused realms you already have.

  • What are the technical reasons behind requiring users to contact the Realm Works server when creating a new realm?

    When you add content to your realm, every single piece of data has to be uniquely tied to that realm. When you sync your content up to the server, the same must hold true. We could delay doing this until a user wanted to sync his content up to the cloud the first time. However, it would make the process significantly more complicated. Let's say you create a big realm and finally decide you want to sync it. When you first create it, your computer picks an id for your realm. Unfortunately, that same id gets chosen by UserB's computer when he creates a realm on his computer. So there's a conflict. Now, when you sync your realm, we need to take all your content and modify it to eliminate the conflict. Then we need to send all your modified content back down to you and overwrite your material with the revised content. That's doable, but it's complicated and ugly, plus there are lots of opportunities for an error in all that logic to potentially corrupt your data, which means lots more work for us and lots more testing to make sure it's all bulletproof.

    Things get significantly MORE complicated when content sharing comes into play. Now we need to be able to uniquely distinguish content you created from content someone else created, plus we need to track which realm each piece of data originated from. However, we also need to allow all that content to behave as if you created it all (so you can modify it freely). At that point, we can't separately track which piece of content belongs to which realm via separate columns on each record without making everything incredibly convoluted. So we instead bake that information into the id associated with each piece of content, and the problem is solved.

    If we bake the information into the id and let users potentially use conflicting values to flag their realm, we now have to fixup every single id of every single piece of data when you ultimately decide to sync your realm. Imagine a realm that's hundreds of megabytes in size (some of our Beta team members have realms that big), with hundreds of thousands of individual records. Fixing up all that data becomes a herculean task.

    We sidestep all of these complications if we simply require every user to contact the server when creating a new realm. This reserves a guaranteed unique value for the realm, which can thereafter be baked into all the ids issued on the standalone client. When a user later decides to sync his data, all that data is guaranteed to have distinct ids from all other users. So there's no muss or fuss, and it all just works smoothly.

    All of the technical details are a lot more hairy than this basic overview, but this explanation should shed some light on the issues involved. We did not make the decision to do things this way lightly. It was necessitated to avoid significantly more complicated problems, and we felt it was a very minor requirement to impose upon users for which the benefits far out-weighed the negatives and for which there is a very simple work-around. If someone wants to avoid having this impact them down the road, all they need to do is create a few realms right away, after which they can simply allocate a pre-created realm.

Licensing Information

  • I prepare my games on a desktop system and run them from my laptop. Can I run Realm Works on multiple computers?

    Yes. You can utilize Realm Works on any number of computers you wish. However, the database has to be moved around between those computers. There are two ways of accomplishing this. The first is to use the Realm Works cloud server to facilitate the process, syncing your changes up from one computer to the cloud and then back down on a different computer. The second method is to make a backup of your realm database on one computer and then restore it on the other.

    Both of these methods work well, but there is an important caveat to always keep in mind. You must always take care to move all your changes from one computer to the other. If you copy your database to two different computer, and then make separate changes on both computers, you will NOT be able to merge those changes back together again. So be very careful to ensure that you're always making changes to the latest version of your database.

    The best analogy here is to think of your realm database as a document created with a word processor. You can create and modify it on one computer, then copy it to another computer and modify it there. However, if you make further changes to the original document on the first computer, you now have two divergent documents. The realm databases work the same way.

  • How do I manage my Realm Works account?

    You can manage your Realm Works account within the product. To make changes, take the following steps:

    1. Open any realm within Realm Works
    2. From the ribbon bar, select the "Manager" tab
    3. Under "Account Settings", select "Account"
    4. Make the changes to your account, and click the "Update" button to save the changes
  • Is game content included within Realm Works?

    In the future, "Isle of Kandril", a complete setting created by Super Genius Games, will be available within Realm Works for all users. The fantasy-based setting will be compatible with Pathfinder and other fantasy game systems.

    We also have licenses in place with a half-dozen publishers already and are in negotiations with many more to make their RPG products available for sale through Realm Works. Material from major publishers will be available around the time we support sharing content, which will be sometime in 2015.

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