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Parody
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Old June 13th, 2015, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Farling View Post
I've found that a very few people on forums can be quite vocal with their opinions, which tends to artificially skew the perceived truth if the wider audience isn't also considered.
We're posting on forums. ;)

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EightBitz
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Old June 13th, 2015, 10:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farling View Post
I've found that a very few people on forums can be quite vocal with their opinions, which tends to artificially skew the perceived truth if the wider audience isn't also considered.
Fair enough. I'm not saying my experiences are statistically significant. But to extend your observation, I've found that the very few people who are vocal are people who have strong opinions either way. They really like something, or they really dislike something. I've seen more comments about not being able to print, and few if any comments about "I LOVE Realm Works!"

One could extrapolate that the few people expressing their opinions is artificially skewed toward those whose opinions are strong, not toward those whose opinions are favorable vs. unfavorable. Strong opinions can exist on either side.
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MNBlockHead
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Old June 13th, 2015, 08:34 PM
@EightBitz, I think that there may be some oberver's bias here, because I'm not seeing greater negative vs. positive posts. Though that, of course, depends on how you define "negative" or "positive." I think that the most common posts are requests for new or tweaked features. These can be perceived negatively, but I think most are made by people, who even if they don't preface "I love RW, but" on every feature-request are heavy users who are greatly invested in the software (far beyond the purchase price). I love RW but when I'm posting about something I would like to see (calendars) or something I would like to see working differently (sync), I generally don't bother including a lot of fluff.

You are not going to see a lot of "I love RW" posts because this isn't a review site. What is telling, however, is that when a newer user posts frustrations how many responses they get encouraging them to stick with it because it is a great program. Just the fact that a lot of people take the time to encourage and help a new user indicates a positive attitude about it.

When folks are frustrated and upset they are more likely to post—that's just the reality of the Internet. Even for fans, we are more likely to post when we have an issue or could use some advice. It is easy for such posts to come across as negative. If I were evaluating a software product by the posts on its support forum, I would not given an individual complaint a lot of weight but would note the volume of the concern. I'm more interested in how the company and other users respond.

I do give a LOT of weight to program that has an active user community who takes the time to help and encourage new users. Not only because I can take advantage of that help and good will but it shows that the software must be doing something right for people to invest that amount of time and good will to give free support and tips to other users.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
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EightBitz
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Old June 13th, 2015, 09:44 PM
I'm talking about other gaming forums where people ask about RPG software: VTTs or character generators or campaign management software. Other people offer their suggestions with others seconding and thirding. Then I'll throw in Realm Works, because no one else ever does, and rarely does anyone even second, let alone third. The reason is usually printing.

Again, I'm not claiming statistically significant results here. But the claim that people only comment when frustrated is not supported in my experience.
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MaxSupernova
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Old June 14th, 2015, 06:41 AM
I try to talk up Realm Works in other places too, and I've had the "What? No printing?" response from people investigating as well.
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azomboid
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Old June 14th, 2015, 05:49 PM
Sorry I don't use forums much this was suppose to be a quote but I dunno how to do it lol. So, there ya go, told ya I'm not technically proficient lol.
I do cry foul at the statement above. This survey was anything but disingenuous. We had over 1000 Realm Works users (and prospective users) participate. Print to PDF was squarely in the middle of the results, and simple export and import via XML was near the bottom. To see the full announcement and conversation, head here. There were some additional questions that Rob was happy to answer in that thread.

It sounds like some sort of export/printing is important to you, but that doesn't make it important to every Realm Works user. Frustration that your top feature request wasn't the most important for everyone does not make it okay to accuse us of misleading our customers in any way. Lone Wolf has been in business for over 20 years, and we couldn't have lasted this long in this industry and built up a loyal user base by lying to our customers.

You're welcome to debate and even disagree with our business decisions here on our forums, but spreading misinformation will be called out (either in a post like this or a PM). I encourage you to read our forum rules, and feel free to PM me directly if you have any questions.[/QUOTE]

For me this assessment was based on the number of threads alone I've seen in this forums, which you are correct could be a vocal but low number of users. But more importantly, the just sheer number of people who I game with and talk to on other forums with don't even consider this product because of what they consider a lack of that basic feature. Honestly, this was just my perception of things as I have been talking to people and seeing them now. However that is anecdotal evidence therefor is not as scientific as a survey... I guess my point is that people who were turning off by this one issue probably didn't participate in the survey and would otherwise be your customers. I didn't mean to accuse and that's why I added the qualifiers I think and so on. I don't think the survey is representative of the marketplace atm... I don't think it's purposeful on your part but I still don't think it is. That however will be the final time I mention it and I'm sorry to argue. Copyright was brought up in this discussion and I want to know how a program like Fantasy Grounds seems to have the same digital distribution deals with the same companies as Hero Lab so I assume RW as well, however please correct me if I'm wrong, yet are not breaking copyright law or losing their deals due to an easy export feature of everything from character sheets to rulesets.... So, I guess I'm asking if possible for a little clarification on how it's okay for them but not for RW and why if copyright is indeed the concern.

Last edited by azomboid; June 14th, 2015 at 06:00 PM.
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azomboid
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Old June 14th, 2015, 06:07 PM
Oh one more thing to Liz. This program is awesome... it is super not useful to me right now but I go out of my way to use it in hopes I can build an actual like worlds... I will keep it although I think I'll be looking for a refund on my two player editions and will email about that soon. Thank you. Yeah I honestly was hoping to real time reveal information and things the characters learn as they learn them on the sheet and dice roll with custom skinned dice but I think that's probably a fantasy in at least the near term so I'll use FG for actual gameplay and this as a reference archive... ugh the double typing though lol
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pyremius
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Old June 15th, 2015, 04:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by azomboid View Post
But more importantly, the just sheer number of people who I game with and talk to on other forums with don't even consider this product because of what they consider a lack of that basic feature. Honestly, this was just my perception of things as I have been talking to people and seeing them now. However that is anecdotal evidence therefor is not as scientific as a survey... I guess my point is that people who were turning off by this one issue probably didn't participate in the survey and would otherwise be your customers.
If I'm reading this correctly, many (most?) of the people you've spoken with about Realm Works won't use it because it doesn't have a feature they haven't told Lone Wolf is critical to them? The single most helpful thing you could do in this situation (for both them, and for Rob), is to have them contact Lone Wolf either directly or through the Feature Request forum and identify the missing feature they feel is responsible for preventing their purchase of Realm Works - along with the fact that they did not participate in the survey. It won't shift priority away from the Content Market, but it could have an impact on second- or third- tier feature prioritization.
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azomboid
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Old June 15th, 2015, 07:16 PM
As someone noted earlier... when there are threads about software RW rarely gets a mention and if it does it's never more than like a few people... a small margin of the discussion... sure I'll link them to the website but again no one ever seems to make it lol cause they can't use the tools and data they already have for their campaign... it's madness imo lol. Top three questions I personally get about it before people say they aren't interested are does it import xml... does it output xml... does it allow my friends to add to the campaign... oddly they just assume there would be a print until it's pointed out most of the time... That's just my experience and again is anecdotal I really think that explains FG's forums population (much higher) vs these as they have go with a more open source build. Although achieving different goals they still have the same exact thing regarding a store and modules.... so I really ask the OPs again how can they do it but it's somehow going to hurt deals with RW... even though they have the same deals with companies seemingly as hero labs.... again correct me if I'm wrong.

Last edited by azomboid; June 15th, 2015 at 07:24 PM.
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liz
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Old June 17th, 2015, 02:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by azomboid View Post
Copyright was brought up in this discussion and I want to know how a program like Fantasy Grounds seems to have the same digital distribution deals with the same companies as Hero Lab so I assume RW as well, however please correct me if I'm wrong, yet are not breaking copyright law or losing their deals due to an easy export feature of everything from character sheets to rulesets.... So, I guess I'm asking if possible for a little clarification on how it's okay for them but not for RW and why if copyright is indeed the concern.
Before answering, I’m going to clarify the language used in this thread by differentiating between “copyright” and “intellectual property”. To be clear, I’m not an expert on this stuff (we have a lawyer on retainer to help us navigate the legal issues when necessary), but this clarification is important.
  • Copyright is the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.: works granted such right by law on or after January 1, 1978, are protected for the lifetime of the author or creator and for a period of 70 years after his or her death within the U.S.
  • Intellectual Property is property that results from original creative thought, as patents, copyright material, and trademarks.
I’m going to use the term “intellectual property” (or IP), as it covers copyrights, trademarks, and other areas of concerns for most publishers.

Your two questions appear to be the following:
  1. Why can users export characters and character creation details (like spell/ability descriptions) from tools like Hero Lab and Fantasy Grounds if it’s a publisher’s IP?
  2. If publishers are fine with exporting characters and character creation details, why would they have a problem with exporting content through Realm Works?
I can speak to Hero Lab, as it’s our tool, but my answers likely apply to Fantasy Grounds as well. For the game systems for which we have a license, the publishers knew what users could export/print when we came to an agreement. They came to the same realization that many users have arrived at – Hero Lab does not replace the rulebooks. You could try to play Pathfinder (or another supported game system) with just Hero Lab and without the rulebooks, but you would be missing a lot of context and you wouldn’t truly understand the game or your character. Running a game with just Hero Lab would be even harder. That’s because Hero Lab is mainly game mechanics, and complements the rulebooks. Because of this, our publishing partners have licensed their intellectual property (specifically, the IP needed for character creation) so that we can use it in Hero Lab.

Realm Works is very different from Hero Lab. Whereas Hero Lab is mostly game mechanics, the Realm Works Content Market will sell rules content, campaign worlds, adventures, and similar intellectual property. This material, if exported, could be used by some people in place of the official books because of the way it is presented and compiled – it’s essentially the entire book reorganized, augmented with things like plot diagrams and map pins, fully indexed, and extensively cross-linked.

As an example, we sell the Rise of the Runelords encounters through Hero Lab. These encounters include all of the monsters & NPCs present throughout the official Pathfinder Adventure Path. Someone could technically print all of the monsters & NPCs to PDF and put them on their website. However, they’re not that valuable by themselves, because you don’t know the story details (the context) behind their character sheets.

Now imagine we sold Rise of the Runelords in Realm Works, and that we had some sort of print to PDF feature. While it might not be organized the same way as the official PDF or printed book, suddenly someone could print the Rise of the Runelords story, put it on their website, and anyone could grab it for free. You can imagine that Paizo (the publisher behind Pathfinder) would not be very pleased with us, especially since they’re still selling Rise of the Runelords. Angering one of our partner companies would not be a good business move for us.

I hope this makes it clear that the content exported or printed from Hero Lab is fundamentally different from the content that could potentially be exported or printed from Realm Works, and so it really cannot be compared.

Last edited by liz; June 17th, 2015 at 03:00 PM. Reason: Copyright is "Life + 70 years" in the U.S.
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