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BJ
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Lone Wolf Staff
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 550

Old September 28th, 2019, 03:46 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.
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themantheycallcris
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 18

Old September 28th, 2019, 05:19 PM
So will Campaign Theater be coming to, or usable with, HL Classic with Pathfinder 1?

Christ is King!
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Farling
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Greater London, UK
Posts: 2,104

Old September 29th, 2019, 12:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by themantheycallcris View Post
So will Campaign Theater be coming to, or usable with, HL Classic with Pathfinder 1?
No, none of their developments for HLO will come to HLC.

It's best to assume that any announcements about "new features" only applies to HLO.

Farling

Author of the Realm Works Import (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=58156) and Output tools (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=59981)
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Tekwych
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 181

Old September 29th, 2019, 06:13 AM
While I believe Farling is right they are seeing the limitations of online services (the hold on RW) and the need to shore up the foundations of the company (moving HLC to a modern 64 bit structure). I hope they see the need for system based application rather than an online service is still required by many of us and that HLC and AB continue to the support they deserve and new features as they make sense.

BJ, thank you for the update and the openness you and the company are showing. It’s one of the reasons I have always enjoyed doing business with LWD and have taken pride in supporting you and your products. Continue to be open, continue to listen to your employees and your customers and we will stick with you.
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Farling
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Greater London, UK
Posts: 2,104

Old September 29th, 2019, 06:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tekwych View Post
I hope they see the need for system based application rather than an online service is still required by many of us...
They are aware of the non-online wishes of their customers, but their focus is for online for all future game systems.

Farling

Author of the Realm Works Import (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=58156) and Output tools (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=59981)
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Philderbeast
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 79

Old September 29th, 2019, 08:54 AM
So lets read over this:

1) we are (finally) killing Realmworks, because we can't support this
2) we have been borrowing money to keep running, and that has run out, so now we are broke, so there will be less staff to support things
3) Hero lab clasic isnt going anywhere (but we are also not adding anything new to it..... ever)
4) hope you all love the cloud that you have told us time and time again is a bad idea, because thats the only thing we are doing from now on!

none of this is a great supprise to me, and its nice to see it all out in the open, but it very much reads like the beginning of the end for wolflair.

its been good and its sorry to see you go, but I can't see the company surviving this.
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Farling
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Greater London, UK
Posts: 2,104

Old September 29th, 2019, 08:57 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philderbeast View Post
hope you all love the cloud that you have told us time and time again is a bad idea, because thats the only thing we are doing from now on!
Kids nowadays expect an always-connected world.

Farling

Author of the Realm Works Import (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=58156) and Output tools (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=59981)
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Toblakai
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 390

Old September 29th, 2019, 09:43 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philderbeast View Post
So lets read over this:

1) we are (finally) killing Realmworks, because we can't support this
2) we have been borrowing money to keep running, and that has run out, so now we are broke, so there will be less staff to support things
3) Hero lab clasic isnt going anywhere (but we are also not adding anything new to it..... ever)
4) hope you all love the cloud that you have told us time and time again is a bad idea, because thats the only thing we are doing from now on!
.
1. Had this been online only, it would probably still be worked on and integrated more closely with HLO (RW main(?
) competitor, World Anvil is online)
2. This was obviously a bad idea.
3. This is probably for the best, online gives the best flexibility in the long run, maintaining three different apps was probably a lot of extra work.
4. Only a vocal minority in the forums is whining about this.
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Toblakai
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 390

Old September 29th, 2019, 09:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farling View Post
Kids nowadays expect an always-connected world.
Get off my lawn!!
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Krothos
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 359

Old September 29th, 2019, 10:38 AM
I would move to HLO if they accomplished 2 things:

1) allow access to my characters in off-line mode
2) support PF1

While we now live in a age where Internet access is almost everywhere, there are still places that don't (or can't) support access. And there are times when this access fails (most often during gaming sessions for so some odd unknown reason).

My group have no intention of moving PF2 anytime soon. We still have 3 more APs we're looking forward to running after we finish the current AP (5+ years).
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