Lone Wolf Development Forums  

Go Back   Lone Wolf Development Forums > Realm Works Forums > Realm Works Discussion

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
BJ
Senior Member
Lone Wolf Staff
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 569

Old September 28th, 2019, 04:42 PM
"Lone Wolf is undergoing several major changes and I wanted to personally take the time to update everyone on what those changes are and how they will impact our users.

While Lone Wolf is a business, the company itself is comprised of people. And when it’s a small company, it’s more akin to family. There’s also our user community (you), which in many ways is like our extended family. Over the more than 20 years we’ve been creating software tools for gamers, we’ve garnered a significant number of loyal fans – fans who have been crucial to our success and whose ongoing support is greatly appreciated.

This sense of family was core to how we operated in the past, but when I got deathly ill three years ago, I strayed away from that. Now that I’m mostly back to my old self and finally completing my rehabilitation, I’ve realized we need to get back to those roots. You should see that shift reflected here in the increased level of disclosure and in future communications from myself and staff.

For quite some time, we’ve spread ourselves too thin across different efforts, and that’s been especially true for me personally. We’ve been doing an insufficient job at multiple tasks instead of a great job on a much narrower set. This has clearly hurt us. By implementing the changes outlined below, I fully believe we can get back to producing our normal level of quality products in a timely manner.

To start with, effective immediately, we are officially suspending work on Realm Works while we focus on improving our other products. Realm Works is “my baby”, and there’s a great sadness in making this decision, but the reality is that, despite our efforts, Realm Works is failing as a commercial venture with what limited resources we can put into it. There are quite a few things we could do to improve it, but that would require a significant investment of time and resources, neither of which we currently have.

Various aspects of Realm Works may begin to emerge within the Hero Lab Online framework in the future, but the Realm Works desktop product will not see further development at this time. Realm Works will absolutely continue to be available, and the servers will continue running, so the product will remain incredibly useful in its current form. However, for the foreseeable future, no more coding changes will occur beyond the significant bug fixes that went out over the past couple weeks.

Another big change we’re making is with our staffing. For quite some time, we’ve been leveraging investment financing to allow us to carry extra staff and pursue some varied objectives while we transitioned from Pathfinder 1st edition to 2nd edition. – one of which is on the verge of readiness (more on that in a moment). Alas, we didn’t get those projects completed within the investment funding time window (due to spreading ourselves too thin), so corresponding adjustments are now a necessity. We’re therefore saying goodbye to some excellent people, and that just adds to today’s pain.

Everything thus far sounds somewhat dire. So the obvious question is whether there’s any good news to take the sting out of the bad. Thankfully, the answer to that is a resounding YES.

First off, Hero Lab Classic isn’t going anywhere and it just received a major upgrade in the form of native 64-bit support on both Windows and Mac. If you haven’t downloaded them yet, please do so, as you should see both performance and stability improvements. We also have several data packages ready and waiting for release. However, Apple has changed their rules and is now refusing to let us update our Hero Lab Classic iPad app, so the new packages have been held up while we determine how to appease Apple. We obviously want to release them on all platforms simultaneously, but we’ll need to come to an agreement with Apple before we can do so. We’ll provide an update as soon as we make some headway here.

For Hero Lab Online, Shadowrun 6th Edition hits store shelves in early October, and we’ve been working hard to launch support for it in the weeks ahead. We’re also preparing the big hardcover books for both Pathfinder 2nd Edition and Starfinder, not to mention some significant performance and reliability improvements. But the truly BIG thing we’ve been putting into place is something we’ve dubbed Campaign Theater™. We previewed it at GenCon in an early Alpha state and you may have seen the video promo on our social media. Since the preview, we’ve been fleshing things out and testing like crazy so we can debut it in time for the holidays.

So what exactly IS Campaign Theater? The goal is pretty simple. Bring all the power of Hero Lab, in a unified manner, to everyone in the campaign – GM and players alike. In HLClassic, we’ve long had the Encounter Builder to let GMs prepare scenes and the Tactical Console to let GMs run them. But everything within HLClassic is disconnected, and nobody can see what anyone else is doing during the game. While still quite helpful, there are major limitations with this approach. Now imagine a unified display of all participants in the current scene, with the GM seeing everything and players only seeing a suitable subset of information the GM allows. Any time a player makes a change to their PC, or the GM to a monster, everyone sees the update in real-time on their own device. And imagine having all your scenes prepped and ready to play out with a few clicks. That’s just the tip of Campaign Theater and what we’ll be starting with.

Some of you have mentioned this sounds a little bit like a virtual tabletop. Well, sort of, except that our focus is on all the detailed character/monster manipulation that VTTs don’t excel at and Hero Lab does. So there may be some similarities, but very little overlap. In fact, we’re developing these capabilities with the ultimate goal of integrating with VTTs, allowing those products to focus on all the tabletop visuals and Hero Lab to handle all the character mechanics in a coordinated manner. I like to think of it as the RPG equivalent of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

We’ll have more to share regarding Campaign Theater in the near future, so stay tuned for that. As you can see, there’s still plenty to look forward to in the next few months, and even well beyond that.

In closing, allow me to say a big THANK YOU for your continued support over the years. It’s been extremely gratifying to create products that I love and to know that thousands of gamers are using them every week. Thank you for giving me – and the rest of the team here – that opportunity. It means more than we can express.

Sincerely,

Rob Bowes, President"

You can also read on our website.
BJ is offline   #1 Reply With Quote
Happydevil43
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 143

Old September 28th, 2019, 05:27 PM
Wow.. just wow... I have no words.

good luck guys.. i know it must of been a hard decision.
Happydevil43 is offline   #2 Reply With Quote
KefkaZ
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 67

Old September 28th, 2019, 05:35 PM
Bummer. I'm guessing that means the content market will also no longer be receiving updated products?
KefkaZ is offline   #3 Reply With Quote
BJ
Senior Member
Lone Wolf Staff
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 569

Old September 28th, 2019, 05:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KefkaZ View Post
Bummer. I'm guessing that means the content market will also no longer be receiving updated products?
Unfortunately, no.
BJ is offline   #4 Reply With Quote
Cammagno
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 38

Old September 28th, 2019, 07:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BJ View Post
To start with, effective immediately, we are officially suspending work on Realm Works while we focus on improving our other products. Realm Works is “my baby”, and there’s a great sadness in making this decision, but the reality is that, despite our efforts, Realm Works is failing as a commercial venture with what limited resources we can put into it. There are quite a few things we could do to improve it, but that would require a significant investment of time and resources, neither of which we currently have.
What an epic fail...
Cammagno is offline   #5 Reply With Quote
kbs666
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,621

Old September 28th, 2019, 07:25 PM
If its dead would you guys considering releasing the source code?

my Realm Works videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU...4DwXXkvmBXQ9Yw
kbs666 is offline   #6 Reply With Quote
Maidhc O Casain
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jonesboro, AR (USA)
Posts: 709

Old September 28th, 2019, 08:02 PM
Well, damn. Sadly, I have zero interest in HLO unless and until you get PF1 going. And even then, I'll need something akin to the HLC editor capabilities, adjustments, etc. for it to be truly useful.

Before you completely halt RW development, will you at least consider fixing the problem that prevents it from integrating 64 bit HLC portfolios? That functionality was there previously, after all, and I for one had come to rely heavily on it... Happy as I am to have HLC going 64 bit, I'd almost rather keep the 32 bit version if 64 bit is never going to be supported by RW.
Maidhc O Casain is offline   #7 Reply With Quote
Itzi
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 25

Old September 28th, 2019, 08:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbs666 View Post
If its dead would you guys considering releasing the source code?
+1 to this.

It would be incredible if Lone Wolf - rather than just sitting on the code for the rest of forever and letting all that effort be for naught - would release the code to the open source community.
Itzi is offline   #8 Reply With Quote
Acenoid
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 724

Old September 28th, 2019, 09:05 PM
So sad hearing that ppl are loosing their jobs over this


@Itzi
Surely they would try to sell that thing to some potential buyer, instead of just giving it away for free ^^. it's far from broken. Anyways it would be great of course to see such a great tool become open source
Also Rob stated that they might include pieces of RW in the HL framework, doubt that they will then give functionality that they want to sell away "for free"...

@LWD
I understand the decision if it has commercial reasons. And I hope that LWD will get things back on track and is able to reconsider / restart development.
Think about another kickstarter to collect the funds for future upgrades, think about paid DLC/features ...

Again, such a shame to see that RW is being put to a halt after you implemented all those interfaces and market stuff
Probably would have been better to implement more features & functionality which would have made RW even more attractive to hesitant buyers.

All the best job & healthwise!

EDIT: Remove a paragraph regarding bugfixes, since it has been covered by Rob...

Join the (unofficial) Realm-Works IRC Chat: #realm-works on the Rizon Network (https://wiki.rizon.net/index.php?title=Servers)
-> Browser Client: https://kiwiirc.com/client/irc.rizon.net

Last edited by Acenoid; September 28th, 2019 at 09:14 PM.
Acenoid is offline   #9 Reply With Quote
Valyar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 286

Old September 28th, 2019, 11:13 PM
Truly disappointing.

Few questions
  1. Would you continue to provide support to end-uses over the support channel, or we are on our own?
  2. Would you do fixes if something occurs in future that breaks things in a bad way?
  3. Would you continue to sell the product?
  4. Would you discontinue the online sync capabilities or this will remain available?
  5. Have you considered to open the code to the community?
  6. Have you considered to accept pro-bono work for RW?

The past is a rudder to guide us, not an anchor to hold us back.

Last edited by Valyar; September 28th, 2019 at 11:37 PM.
Valyar is offline   #10 Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® - Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
wolflair.com copyright ©1998-2016 Lone Wolf Development, Inc. View our Privacy Policy here.