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-   -   Realm Works Users' Vent in the HLO Forum (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=64732)

daplunk September 4th, 2020 03:43 PM

Realm Works Users' Vent in the HLO Forum
 
Opening from Rob:

NOTE! Due to our antiquated forums not allowing me to move posts from one thread to another AND keep my initial post in this thread at the top, I'm stuck having to edit the first migrated post. That certainly is not my desire, but it's the only option I appear to have.

I have created this thread as a separate and more suitable thread for Realm Works users who are choosing to vent in the HLO forum. Except for the "segue" in daplunk's initial post below and one additional comment, the rest are simply RW users venting, so all the posts have been moved here. For context, this thread kicks in after post #44 in the thread here: http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=64521

Based on daplunk's initial post, he rightly wants me to engage in this forum, and I read his post as a plea for me to do that. So mission accomplished, you've got my attention. However, some of the subsequent comments struck a bad chord with me, and I won't be responding immediately to ensure that I don't let emotions cloud my words. I will get back to this thread sometime over the 3-day weekend here in the States. In the meantime, you can share further thoughts here if you choose.

And now for @daplunk's original post...


Sounds like a familiar story. I can see a familiar community forming behind you again in hope.

We all know how it already ended for the Realm Works corner though. We stood behind you for years through the copious issues LWD and you have personally endured. You got to a point where you were finally ready to launch the ability to make some money and the next minute you pull the rug out from below our feet and drop support altogether.

I honestly wouldn't be that mad if you hadn't patched in a tool breaking bug. Sure you promised to fix it back what a year ago? Whats the status of that fix?

I can't understand how a company who I saw in such a positive light is just so comfortable with releasing the store and selling customers content that relies on the RW/HLC functionality and then breaking it and then just leaving us to rot in the corner. You sold us import packs and then left the ability to import broken.

Where are you Rob? Because the Rob I know, cared so much about his products and his community that he would have dedicated the time to fix the issue he introduced.

At this point you have solely put LWD on the red list for me. Not to be trusted until they can prove they have the management and team ready to support the promises they make. And this post is writing on the wall for me. A story we have seen before and an outcome that will in this case leave people angry. You can't continue to run a server only solution on your pc after-all.

You will probably get angry over this post. But lets be honest. I communicated this to you via the private channels and the crickets gave a resounding answer of lack of care.

The RW community want to know what you are going to resolve the bugs you implemented Rob. Why don't you pop on over and let us know when that may occur.

I wish i could have moved on from LWD altogether. But the old Rob made great tools and the competition hasn't quite caught up to you yet.

Jaynay27 September 4th, 2020 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daplunk (Post 290649)
Sounds like a familiar story. I can see a familiar community forming behind you again in hope.

We all know how it already ended for the Realm Works corner though. We stood behind you for years through the copious issues LWD and you have personally endured. You got to a point where you were finally ready to launch the ability to make some money and the next minute you pull the rug out from below our feet and drop support altogether.

I honestly wouldn't be that mad if you hadn't patched in a tool breaking bug. Sure you promised to fix it back what a year ago? Whats the status of that fix?

I can't understand how a company who I saw in such a positive light is just so comfortable with releasing the store and selling customers content that relies on the RW/HLC functionality and then breaking it and then just leaving us to rot in the corner. You sold us import packs and then left the ability to import broken.

Where are you Rob? Because the Rob I know, cared so much about his products and his community that he would have dedicated the time to fix the issue he introduced.

At this point you have solely put LWD on the red list for me. Not to be trusted until they can prove they have the management and team ready to support the promises they make. And this post is writing on the wall for me. A story we have seen before and an outcome that will in this case leave people angry. You can't continue to run a server only solution on your pc after-all.

You will probably get angry over this post. But lets be honest. I communicated this to you via the private channels and the crickets gave a resounding answer of lack of care.

The RW community want to know what you are going to resolve the bugs you implemented Rob. Why don't you pop on over and let us know when that may occur.

I wish i could have moved on from LWD altogether. But the old Rob made great tools and the competition hasn't quite caught up to you yet.

I could not agree more with this post.

I love Herolab Classic and bought a ton of content for it.
I loved the idea of RW and was a kickstarter backer with lifetime access.

I even kinda like HLO, but after my subscription lapsed I wasn't too quick to renew it. we had a game last night and I levelled up, thinking I better renew my subscription now, but the more I thought about it, the more I just realised I am going to look for other solutions. I discussed it with the other players and they all pretty much agreed with me regarding their feelings towards LWD.

I was a champion for LWD. I spread the word and generated sales. so sad to see how the mighty have fallen. My only wish now was there was a site like DnD Beyond but for pathfinder. Its not perfect, but I like the business model more and can just buy what I want. And I bought everything from them. Those $$$ could have gone to LWD, but sadly I too have lost faith in the company.

Madmaxneo September 4th, 2020 06:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daplunk (Post 290649)
Sounds like a familiar story. I can see a familiar community forming behind you again in hope.

We all know how it already ended for the Realm Works corner though. We stood behind you for years through the copious issues LWD and you have personally endured. You got to a point where you were finally ready to launch the ability to make some money and the next minute you pull the rug out from below our feet and drop support altogether.

I honestly wouldn't be that mad if you hadn't patched in a tool breaking bug. Sure you promised to fix it back what a year ago? Whats the status of that fix?

I can't understand how a company who I saw in such a positive light is just so comfortable with releasing the store and selling customers content that relies on the RW/HLC functionality and then breaking it and then just leaving us to rot in the corner. You sold us import packs and then left the ability to import broken.

Where are you Rob? Because the Rob I know, cared so much about his products and his community that he would have dedicated the time to fix the issue he introduced.

At this point you have solely put LWD on the red list for me. Not to be trusted until they can prove they have the management and team ready to support the promises they make. And this post is writing on the wall for me. A story we have seen before and an outcome that will in this case leave people angry. You can't continue to run a server only solution on your pc after-all.

You will probably get angry over this post. But lets be honest. I communicated this to you via the private channels and the crickets gave a resounding answer of lack of care.

The RW community want to know what you are going to resolve the bugs you implemented Rob. Why don't you pop on over and let us know when that may occur.

I wish i could have moved on from LWD altogether. But the old Rob made great tools and the competition hasn't quite caught up to you yet.

I agree so much, but it hurts. RW is such a great program still and leagues better than any competition out there right now. Maybe one day they will catch up.
I missed the Kickstarter but was quick to purchase it when I discovered how awesome it was. Then with all the awesome things you had planned I thought this was the program that would be everything I ever needed for my games. Now things have changed and it seems many of the promises will never be delivered. Now I dread the day that RW stops working for me and I hope someone comes out with something that is more comparable possibly with the ability to port my data from RW into a different tool.

On the flip side I do hope this not getting updates for RW is not an indication that Rob's health is deteriorating and may end badly. I hope and pray that is not the case.

Ualaa September 4th, 2020 08:19 PM

Kind of torn too.

Hero Lab classic, for Pathfinder 1e.
Absolutely love that product, and use it massively and constantly.
Especially with the Spheres of Power, Spheres of Might and Path of War stuff, so love the 3pp support that is possible with the system.

I'd subscribe to Hero Lab Online, if it had the Pathfinder 1e system with similar 3pp support.
A few bucks a month isn't massive on the user's end, but a lot of us doing that would put reliable revenue into Lone Wolf's hands each month.

I bought Realm Works on what it could it do, not on what was promised during the Kickstarter.
I knew the product and based largely on Joshua Plunkett's videos bought the program.
I'm mostly happy with it, and use it extensively.
That bug, where a saved RW portfolio (my adventure) cannot be integrated into a running 64-bit Hero Lab... well that is massively annoying.
The fix is to not store the encounters in Realm Works, but rather just on my DropBox so they're easy to add to the portfolio with the characters in it.
It would have been nice to be able to use that RW interaction; I bought all the Bestiary's for RW, having already owned them for HLC, specifically for that functionality.

I like RW enough, that if our group runs an adventure path that has RW stuff, I'll buy it without hesitation.
But that bug is annoying and it would be great if it was squashed at some point.

Ambush September 4th, 2020 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daplunk (Post 290649)
Sounds like a familiar story. I can see a familiar community forming behind you again in hope.

We all know how it already ended for the Realm Works corner though. We stood behind you for years through the copious issues LWD and you have personally endured. You got to a point where you were finally ready to launch the ability to make some money and the next minute you pull the rug out from below our feet and drop support altogether.

I honestly wouldn't be that mad if you hadn't patched in a tool breaking bug. Sure you promised to fix it back what a year ago? Whats the status of that fix?

I can't understand how a company who I saw in such a positive light is just so comfortable with releasing the store and selling customers content that relies on the RW/HLC functionality and then breaking it and then just leaving us to rot in the corner. You sold us import packs and then left the ability to import broken.

Where are you Rob? Because the Rob I know, cared so much about his products and his community that he would have dedicated the time to fix the issue he introduced.

At this point you have solely put LWD on the red list for me. Not to be trusted until they can prove they have the management and team ready to support the promises they make. And this post is writing on the wall for me. A story we have seen before and an outcome that will in this case leave people angry. You can't continue to run a server only solution on your pc after-all.

You will probably get angry over this post. But lets be honest. I communicated this to you via the private channels and the crickets gave a resounding answer of lack of care.

The RW community want to know what you are going to resolve the bugs you implemented Rob. Why don't you pop on over and let us know when that may occur.

I wish i could have moved on from LWD altogether. But the old Rob made great tools and the competition hasn't quite caught up to you yet.

Amen.

I think the most frustrating part for me is how long I held onto the hope that LW would support the people that supported them. The people that promoted the products, encouraged other people to support the kickstarter, devoted countless hours to helping LW's customers, because LW was busy doing other things. And then *poof*, what little support we had was gone, announced in another product's forum.

Sadly, I hadn't even thought about LW all that much lately, given that I find RW to be so painfully slow that it's all but unusable for me. That is, right up until they had the audacity to try and hit me up for more money for a product that they never finished after they already took my money on and then abandoned.

Nah. I'm good for now.

Greebo September 4th, 2020 10:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daplunk (Post 290649)
Sounds like a familiar story. I can see a familiar community forming behind you again in hope.

We all know how it already ended for the Realm Works corner though. We stood behind you for years through the copious issues LWD and you have personally endured. You got to a point where you were finally ready to launch the ability to make some money and the next minute you pull the rug out from below our feet and drop support altogether.

I honestly wouldn't be that mad if you hadn't patched in a tool breaking bug. Sure you promised to fix it back what a year ago? Whats the status of that fix?

I can't understand how a company who I saw in such a positive light is just so comfortable with releasing the store and selling customers content that relies on the RW/HLC functionality and then breaking it and then just leaving us to rot in the corner. You sold us import packs and then left the ability to import broken.

Where are you Rob? Because the Rob I know, cared so much about his products and his community that he would have dedicated the time to fix the issue he introduced.

At this point you have solely put LWD on the red list for me. Not to be trusted until they can prove they have the management and team ready to support the promises they make. And this post is writing on the wall for me. A story we have seen before and an outcome that will in this case leave people angry. You can't continue to run a server only solution on your pc after-all.

You will probably get angry over this post. But lets be honest. I communicated this to you via the private channels and the crickets gave a resounding answer of lack of care.

The RW community want to know what you are going to resolve the bugs you implemented Rob. Why don't you pop on over and let us know when that may occur.

I wish i could have moved on from LWD altogether. But the old Rob made great tools and the competition hasn't quite caught up to you yet.

Absolutely. Same here.

As the things currently are, I am only lingering on until one of the quite actively developing competitors closes in enough and provides me with an import tool for my data.

Valyar September 4th, 2020 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daplunk (Post 290649)
Sounds like a familiar story. I can see a familiar community forming behind you again in hope.

We all know how it already ended for the Realm Works corner though. We stood behind you for years through the copious issues LWD and you have personally endured. You got to a point where you were finally ready to launch the ability to make some money and the next minute you pull the rug out from below our feet and drop support altogether.

I honestly wouldn't be that mad if you hadn't patched in a tool breaking bug. Sure you promised to fix it back what a year ago? Whats the status of that fix?

I can't understand how a company who I saw in such a positive light is just so comfortable with releasing the store and selling customers content that relies on the RW/HLC functionality and then breaking it and then just leaving us to rot in the corner. You sold us import packs and then left the ability to import broken.

Where are you Rob? Because the Rob I know, cared so much about his products and his community that he would have dedicated the time to fix the issue he introduced.

At this point you have solely put LWD on the red list for me. Not to be trusted until they can prove they have the management and team ready to support the promises they make. And this post is writing on the wall for me. A story we have seen before and an outcome that will in this case leave people angry. You can't continue to run a server only solution on your pc after-all.

You will probably get angry over this post. But lets be honest. I communicated this to you via the private channels and the crickets gave a resounding answer of lack of care.

The RW community want to know what you are going to resolve the bugs you implemented Rob. Why don't you pop on over and let us know when that may occur.

I wish i could have moved on from LWD altogether. But the old Rob made great tools and the competition hasn't quite caught up to you yet.

I can't say it better. Amen!

Realm Works is the tool that transformed by hobby life forever and helped me tremendously to improve my trade as game master. It sparked back the love for running a game by providing this single-source of reference and rules that I can use, removing the painful necessity to have many PDFs/books opened during session.

Today, Realm Works is the best campaign manager and I am heavily using it until its very end. I will not move to something else until it exists and is technically possible to run it.

I understand the business problems and how they can impact the product, but there is no excuse for the deadly and painful silence from LWD, that definitely stopped me to further advertise the product as I did before.

Nothing is lost completely, you can make this tool great again. None of your competition is there yet, but the moment someone decides to provide offline and no subscription based product, it is over. Please, don't allow that. There are many ways to get revenue and I own many programs that require paid upgrades between major versions and this is completely fine!

PS: I still pay the yearly cloud subscription with single machine. I am that supportive.

lancealittle September 5th, 2020 01:58 AM

Sad to say we have been left out in the cold.
Rob needs to either put a few hours a week into RW, or sell it to someone who would...
Keeping thousands of users in limbo just isnt right - we want RW to be actively supported again.
Quit screwing us Rob, we aren't going away !

ruhar September 5th, 2020 02:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daplunk (Post 290649)
Sounds like a familiar story. I can see a familiar community forming behind you again in hope.

We all know how it already ended for the Realm Works corner though. We stood behind you for years through the copious issues LWD and you have personally endured. You got to a point where you were finally ready to launch the ability to make some money and the next minute you pull the rug out from below our feet and drop support altogether.

<SNIP>

I wish I could have moved on from LWD altogether. But the old Rob made great tools and the competition hasn't quite caught up to you yet.

I completely agree. I stood behind LWD and Rob even when people were starting to complain. I talked to Rob at GenCon, he was very helpful in explaining how to do things in RW. I was so impressed that I often held my tongue and even gave my support during disagreements. Then out of the blue Rob kills everything. Dead.

RW is still a great program and I still use it. But my loyalty to LWD and to Rob is dead. We all believed and supported the dream. As GMs, we do a lot of work to create the sessions we run. We deserve some help with the process and RW did that. But Rob killed it. We still use RW because it's still good. But in time, something better with better support will come along. When that day comes RW will fade away.

nightpanda2810 September 5th, 2020 04:23 PM

Adding my 2 cents. Pretty much agree with everyone's post. I still use RW and will until I can't anymore, or something else comes out that actually works similarly. The automatic linking IMO is the most useful part. I've found nothing that even comes close.

Please, bring back some support!

Lexin September 6th, 2020 02:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nightpanda2810 (Post 290675)
Adding my 2 cents. Pretty much agree with everyone's post. <snip> The automatic linking IMO is the most useful part. I've found nothing that even comes close.

Please, bring back some support!

Totally agree. Nothing comes close to RW, and I wish it was still supported rather than waiting in limbo until some M$ update breaks it completely.

Valyar September 6th, 2020 03:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lexin (Post 290682)
Totally agree. Nothing comes close to RW, and I wish it was still supported rather than waiting in limbo until some M$ update breaks it completely.

Virtual machines! :)

medwards89 September 6th, 2020 05:38 PM

Hard to post on here as I really do not want to add to the pile. Yes, I am pissed I spent $50 on a product and it's key (to me) component is broke with no fix in sight (HLC integration). The content market is a disappointment. I hate pay for HLO, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I miss the days when I could end an argument about a character at the table with a mere mention of your products name. I used to preach to other players on how the just HAD to get your products. I miss those days. I do hope it gets better, I really do.

the_redbeard September 6th, 2020 08:02 PM

Still haven't moved on from RW.
My campaign is currently on hiatus. Last I checked, none of the competition had the features that I need to run an evolving sandbox, at least not at the same price (World Anvil could possibly at the $100/year mark.)

Because I have 70+ sessions of player history in the campaign world, it would take a lot to get me away from RW. I don't use HL or HLO, and don't have much use for the content market. I bought some anyway, a little to try it but mostly to support RW. Too bad it wasn't enough.

But at the same time, RW doesn't have what I would really want - web view and per player reveal. And while I have a lot of data, it's also a mess as my first big effort - there'd be some value in restarting. So I am relatively aware of the competition.

Wish I'd have a reason to restart within RW.

Happydevil43 September 7th, 2020 01:00 AM

I'd like to use RW - but every time I run a session with it, it crashes. I will admit that I was using a content market AP, but still - lock ups 90 minutes in causing full system reboots.... curiously ONLY during game sessions - where I am flicking between tabs....and I have a grunty laptop only running RW and either Maptools, Foundry or Arkenforge...and either windows chromium or chrome itself - unfortunately at the moment its a nope.....

I tried:
World Anvil - too expensive, no content linking
Chronica - have to pay per campaign to unlock higher features..bleh.
Yarps - Just Nope


I may try RW again as we are about to move to PF2, so maybe its a content market thing... but at the moment I have moved on to Onenote until the competition catches up..

Laurens September 7th, 2020 03:40 PM

I still support RW
 
I don't use it much as my campaign is pretty much just improvisation, but it is just so bloody great when I use it. Yes it's slow, but if just I give it enough computer power it works just fine. I'm really missing the integration with HL as well, but i work around it.

I recommend reading Robs comments on the HLO thread. Man that company have had bad luck.
To be honest I might have made the same prioritations, if I were in their place.
They got to make some money, RW's just doesn't given the same amounts, as the other programs.
So yeah I still hope for this program, and even pay the cloud subscription because it is: outdated, nonsupported and have a major bug. It is still bloody great!

The_Traveller September 7th, 2020 04:15 PM

Laurens,

I use RW when running D&D adventurers league and I use HL to manage all my encounters. There is a simple work around. I have both the 64 and 32 bit version of HLC on my computer. I start the 32 bit version of HLC and load up my table portfolio (its just a set of 7 generic players to represent my table). Then I start up RW. From there the integration works just fine. I'm able to load my encounters with no issue.

RW might be outdated, non-supported and have bugs (like a cheap motel/hostel) which now that I say it makes it sound pretty bad except when you compare it to all the other products it competes with....

daplunk September 7th, 2020 06:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Laurens (Post 290704)
I recommend reading Robs comments on the HLO thread. Man that company have had bad luck.
To be honest I might have made the same prioritations, if I were in their place.
They got to make some money, RW's just doesn't given the same amounts, as the other programs.

I agree with this completely... except for... leave the tool functioning the way it was. I think the community would be relatively acceptable of the situation if the following was resolved:
  • Ability to import. There was a patch that broke the versioning. There was a patch that tried to fix it but that introduced further crashing.
  • Fix the issues with RW to HLC integration.

I think it was bad form to release the Content Market. Take people's money and then leave these very key features broken for such a long period of time.

I respect Rob's need to get his boat headed in the right direction. HLO is an intelligent move. And RW was not scratching the itch for enough people.

Just address the functionality that we need to continue to use the tool.

rob September 8th, 2020 12:43 AM

There are a diverse array of posts in this thread that I'm going to try to cover here, so this reply will be a bit lengthy. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and strap on your safety harness. This could get a little bumpy...

Before I respond to anything else, I first need to address a recurring comment made in the posts above. Multiple people seem to think this is worthy of declaring "you're dead to me". Seriously? Over a $50 piece of software? Over a $50 piece of software that remains an excellent tool and is still demonstrably better than the competition? Boy, I'd hate to see how you react to someone who truly wrongs you.

More importantly, when you make a comment like "you're dead to me", take a moment to consider your audience. I literally came a hair's breadth from dying as a direct result of "working myself to death" on Realm Works. So that comment really strikes a nerve. Imagine having to explain to your young son that you almost died and it was because you worked so much that the stress almost killed you. Believe me, that's NOT a fun conversation. Nor is the haunting memory of that reality every day thereafter.

Please take a moment to actually ponder that before continuing here, as it will give you a better sense of where I'm coming from with all of this.
__________

I might as well continue with some important context that shapes the rest of this post and also answers (perhaps indirectly) a few of the questions posed above...

Prior to suspending work on Realm Works last fall, it was a money pit. Revenues from Hero Lab sales financed its development from the beginning, supplemented by funds invested by myself through loans and savings. The Kickstarter brought in a small chunk in the early going, but those funds were consumed by staff working on the product long before it first launched. We had up to 5 developers working on Realm Works for many years, plus additional staff focused on content. Lots of folks here on the forums can readily tell you how much that costs. The money I personally poured into Realm Works, over and above the funds leveraged from Hero Lab, dwarfed the amount brought in by the Kickstarter.

After my near-death experience, it took me about 3.5 years of horrific meds and rehabilitation to get back to some semblance of normalcy. During that time, I continued pouring resources into evolving Realm Works and getting the Content Market live, while I left Hero Lab to others. I was met with utter incompetence from certain companies that repeatedly undermined our efforts, and I was in no shape to solve all of our own challenges myself. Since I wasn't able to do all the work that was originally planned, lots of compromises were made in how the Content Market would operate, and most of that work was entrusted to others. As the Content Market took shape, I had misgivings about launching it, but there were numerous users screaming loudly that we had promised the Content Market, so we went through with it. When it finally launched, the Content Market was a shadow of the original vision and (perhaps unsurprisingly) experienced lackluster sales.

Meanwhile, Hero Lab had gotten into trouble due to my focus on Realm Works. Since Hero Lab paid the bills, that was obviously bad news. I clearly needed to invest the time and energy into Hero Lab to get that back into solid shape, so I refocused after the Content Market launched last spring. A few months later, I discovered the complete failure of the code underlying the Hero Lab server (described at length elsewhere), which meant we weren't going to be releasing what was planned and our revenue projections were garbage. At that point, there was simply no choice in the matter. We had to cut staff, and my complete attention was needed on Hero Lab. Thankfully, I was on my way back towards normalcy from the rehab at that point, so I was able to rewrite the server code and oversee numerous other changes/improvements such that Hero Lab is now humming along nicely. More importantly to this thread, the need to cut staff meant there were simply no resources left to work on Realm Works.
__________

Which brings us to today, so I'll now respond to some of the above comments and concerns...

*** Multiple posts have made this personal by blatantly questioning my passion and dedication to the products we've created.

My response to you on this subject is "Bulls**t!" Do NOT question my commitment to our products. I've poured heart and soul into the products we've created. I've poured my personal savings into trying to achieve the vision behind Realm Works. Heck, I almost killed myself for Realm Works!

Where I failed is in coming up with a way to adequately monetize Realm Works and make it fiscally sound. I went all-in on Realm Works, both personally and professionally. And I failed to solve the financial angle. As many of the above posts convey, Realm Works remains technically superior to other options. But, in the end, it wasn't financially viable, and that's the bottom line.

If you feel compelled to cast aspersions, question the choices I've made all you want. But do NOT question my passion or dedication.

I have a bunch of employees who rely on me to make the choices necessary to keep them in that state - employed. At the end of the day, this is a business. I have to make tough choices and balance the fiscal reality of the business against achieving my vision of "gamer nerdvana". I made the call with Realm Works a year ago, and it was the right call.

If, at some point in the future, I come up with a different approach that could make Realm Works financially viable, I'd love to return to it in some form. But that won't happen until I figure out a viable financial model.
__________

*** Regarding the interaction issue between Realm Works and Hero Lab Classic...

We investigated this and it's NOT something we've broken within Realm Works. In fact, integration with the 32-bit version of Hero Lab continues to work fine. The problem is limited to the 64-bit version that we released last fall - at the exact same time all the upheaval occurred with Realm Works.

Due to the fundamental differences in Windows between the way 32-bit and 64-bit applications are orchestrated, coupled with the way external application integration is handled internally, Realm Works is currently not aware of the 64-bit version of Hero Lab. At present, there is no mechanism within Realm Works to simultaneously support both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the same external tool, and that's further complicated by the fact that Realm Works itself is only a 32-bit application. Adding this capability would entail a non-trivial amount of work.

If you want Hero Lab integration with Realm Works, the 32-bit version of Hero Lab works great. The primary benefit of the 64-bit version of Hero Lab is for people actively writing data files for large, complex game systems. If you're just using already-created data files, such as would be the case with Realm Works integration, the 32-bit version should be more than adequate.

I've previously shared this info with the person whom I assume is the "private channel" @daplunk referred to above, and I thought it had been relayed to folks. If it hasn't, withholding the info was certainly not my intention, and you now have it.
__________

*** Regarding the import bug within Realm Works build 254...

I chased down the developer who was on point with all this stuff (during a 3-day holiday weekend for him, by the way) to make sure I've got all the details on this. To the best of his knowledge, the import bug was fixed and made available as a Beta in December of last year, but it turns out we never made the fix official. There is a sticky post near the top of the Realm Works forums here with build 255 as a Beta. The build addresses the import problem, although the installer reports a signing certificate error that can be safely ignored. The developer that was supposed to address the certificate error got derailed to deal with an emergency (our hosting provider went out of business, so we had to urgently migrate everything to a new provider), after which it was never circled back to. Since I assumed it had been handled, I lost track of this issue.

After speaking with the developer, we can circle back to sort out the certificate issue and incorporate the import fix into an official build of Realm Works. In the meantime, that Beta from last year should address the import problem. Simply ignore the certificate error during installation.
__________

*** A few posters seem to believe that Hero Lab will suffer the same fate as Realm Works...

While I can see why someone might jump to that conclusion, it's a leap that's not founded on facts. Any attempt to ascribe what happened with Realm Works to Hero Lab is laughable, as the two aren't even remotely similar. Since the beginning, Hero Lab has been the primary source of funding for Realm Works. In other words, Hero Lab is financially sound, especially now that we've got Campaign Theater solidly in place and evolving.

We got into trouble with Hero Lab because I focused so acutely on Realm Works that I allowed Hero Lab to suffer. I've spent the past year rectifying that across all layers of the product, so we're now in an excellent position with Hero Lab. We're behind on game system content, but that has been a cyclic problem with Hero Lab for more than a decade, where we've gotten behind and then caught up again many times. More importantly, a key reason we've gotten behind on content this time has been due to investing the effort to address many of the long-standing issues within the data files (i.e. tech debt) that have led to recurring delays and setbacks over recent years. So Hero Lab is in solid shape and poised to become vastly more powerful over the next year.
__________


I hope this clarifies things and dispels some flawed assumptions that have been voiced in this thread. We'll get the import bug fix rolled into an official release so that nobody needs to chase down the Beta on the forums. Believe me when I say that I share the pain of seeing Realm Works sidelined, but also understand that it was a necessary decision.

Farling September 8th, 2020 02:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rob (Post 290712)
While I can see why someone might jump to that conclusion, it's a leap that's not founded on facts. Any attempt to ascribe what happened with Realm Works to Hero Lab is laughable, as the two aren't even remotely similar. Since the beginning, Hero Lab has been the primary source of funding for Realm Works. In other words, Hero Lab is financially sound, especially now that we've got Campaign Theater solidly in place and evolving.

Thanks for the update.

I think the comments about the future of HL were really related to the future of HLC and the ability of any HL product to support user-generated game systems.

daplunk September 8th, 2020 02:38 AM

Thanks for the response Rob.

I think it's safe to say that many of us knew and understood the reasons for the path taken. I've said in a few different places that I believe you did what had to be done.

My original post was to bring to attention the outstanding issues that were introduced after the decision was made. I for one can go on using RW for a long long time (even without Calendars) but HLC integration and ability to import are critical.

Thanks for the info regarding the HLC Integration. That's not information I was aware of and if I wasn't aware I'd wager many others were also not aware. Can we recommend the forums are cleaned up and stickies made to bring attention to the current state of Realm Works and the known work-around for this issue documented and pinned? Honestly I would think the Content Market should also be updated with some information as to the known limitations. This would help avoid confusion for new customers. We still see them pop into the social circles occasionally. It might give some confidence back to those who would be purchasing content if they knew that a workaround was available.

In regards to the import bugs. 255 was never formally released and I would call your attention to the forums where multiple users reported issues with 255. People were uninstalling it and reverting back to 253 in order to maintain the ability to import/export. I never tested it myself in fear of loosing... well part of my soul.

People talking about issues with 255

Glad to see you have recovered from the awful time you were having the last time we spoke. I for one know how close you were to Realm Works and wish it had turned out more successful for all involved.

Valyar September 8th, 2020 04:28 AM

Quote:

At present, there is no mechanism within Realm Works to simultaneously support both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the same external tool, and that's further complicated by the fact that Realm Works itself is only a 32-bit application. Adding this capability would entail a non-trivial amount of work.
I am confused. Isn't RW 64bit application? In 1.0.1086.246 is stated that there is full support for running as 64-bit application. Task Manager reports Platform as 64bit, and now when you mentioned the quoted statement I ran the executable via sigcheck and it shows 32-bit MachineType.

How so RW is 32-bit? What is the truth?

lancealittle September 8th, 2020 07:38 AM

@Rob, i understand the path you took for RW, but i still dont like it - its a genuine loss to most of the RW users out there...
Would you be so kind as to clarify something for me - sidelined, here in the UK businesses, means put aside. It does not mean 'retired', for want of a better word. Is RW permanently 'retired / sidelined / benched' ? or is there the smallest chance that in the future it may start being developed sometime, even if part-time ?
regards.

nightpanda2810 September 8th, 2020 07:47 AM

Rob,

Please set up a RW Patreon. If you're concerned about setting that up and not getting enough contribution, get a survey out to see how many would contribute. I certainly would, as I want RW to be continue to be the end-all campaign manager. This Patreon account should ONLY be used for Realm Works and nothing else; you've said it yourself, HL is having no trouble supporting itself.

You can also do paid upgrades for big features. Everybody hates micro transactions, but sometimes they make sense, and from what you've said here that may be what's needed for RW. You could even have one of the Patreon tiers include free upgrades to this.

If a V3.0 were to come out, paid upgrade, my wishlist would be:
  • Dark Mode. Seriously, I'd drop $60 JUST for this. RW is the only thing I use now that blinds me during a game.
  • Calendars
  • Error messages that users can understand. IE; Error in Snippet 5 in topic "World News" preventing import/export.
  • More robust import/export features/options. I get annoyed when I have "overwrite" checked and it creates "quest01" instead of overwriting them.
  • In the same vein as the previous two points, complete the import with errors; just skip the part that failed.

As for 255, it was released about 10 months ago, and introduced a different import bug. Daplunk provided a link to the forum post about it.

As for 64-bit, what? Didn't it go 64 a LONG time ago? I remember being excited about it when that came out, now you're saying its not?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Valyar (Post 290722)
I am confused. Isn't RW 64bit application? In 1.0.1086.246 is stated that there is full support for running as 64-bit application. Task Manager reports Platform as 64bit, and now when you mentioned the quoted statement I ran the executable via sigcheck and it shows 32-bit MachineType.

How so RW is 32-bit? What is the truth?

Looked myself at the patch notes right from the launcher:

Realm Works® Version 1.0.1086.246
There is now full support for running as a 64-bit application. If your computer supports 64-bits, the product will automatically run in 64-bit.

kbs666 September 8th, 2020 06:42 PM

I do appreciate the hard work and passion Rob has put into RW. I want that clear from the start.

However:

1) RW is a 64 bit application. Not only has Rob said so I can run it through a decompiler and check that for myself. There should be no issue having it launch another 64 bit or 32 bit application.
2) Build 255 is broken worse than 254 at least for me. I can work around the issues in 254 to create exports. In 255 I can not export AT ALL. I am not the only one to report issues of this sort.

I do humbly ask that Rob let the community, that is still passionate about this product, help him monetize it. Get the import/export issue fixed, if necessary I'm sure I'm not the only coder that would be willing to take a look gratis. Find a couple of people you trust to look over submissions to verify they aren't copyright violations or otherwise unacceptable. Then put them up for a reasonable, low fee. Villages, inns, small dungeons. the sorts of things that GM's are always in need of and that due to the nature of RW slot in very easily. Take a big cut, the creators know going in what they are doing. Get some buzz going. that is the only way you'll get people to buy the program and build the user base. Without an expanded user base no other plan to monetize the program will ever work

stuartwaring September 8th, 2020 09:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kbs666 (Post 290746)
I do humbly ask that Rob let the community, that is still passionate about this product, help him monetize it. Get the import/export issue fixed, if necessary I'm sure I'm not the only coder that would be willing to take a look gratis. Find a couple of people you trust to look over submissions to verify they aren't copyright violations or otherwise unacceptable. Then put them up for a reasonable, low fee. Villages, inns, small dungeons. the sorts of things that GM's are always in need of and that due to the nature of RW slot in very easily. Take a big cut, the creators know going in what they are doing. Get some buzz going. that is the only way you'll get people to buy the program and build the user base. Without an expanded user base no other plan to monetize the program will ever work

This! I love writing stories etc but map creation etc has always been one step too far for the amount of time I have. I could easily be persuaded to part with $10 for a dungeon, $5 for a village, $15-$20 for a town/city with a couple of districts and maybe the odd warehouse and temple to explore.

Sure they aren't big ticket, but it would be like shopping in KMart: $5 + $5 +$10 +$5 somehow very rapidly adds up to $100 or more!

I remember the reason the buzz around the content market is because by and large this community is cash rich but time poor.

I would love to have maps and towns all mapped out and I just weave my story and characters around them!

rob September 8th, 2020 11:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Farling (Post 290717)
I think the comments about the future of HL were really related to the future of HLC and the ability of any HL product to support user-generated game systems.

Given that @daplunk posted in the Hero Lab Online forums immediately after a post from a user commenting about the delays with Shadowrun content support in HLO, I interpreted the reference differently. Regardless of what was intended, I'm gonna guess that I wasn't the only person who interpreted it that way, so clarifying that subject was necessary. <shrug>

rob September 8th, 2020 11:28 PM

You guys are absolutely right. Realm Works is 64-bit. One of the unpleasant hallmarks of the meds I was on is an almost complete inability to remember anything from January 2017 to early 2019. So I had no recollection of the 64-bit update in 2018 and was too exhausted to think to check that detail.

You can therefore strike the bit about integrating 64-bit Hero Lab being "further complicated by the fact that Realm Works itself is only a 32-bit application". Unfortunately, that doesn't change the rest of that section and the fact that there remains no existing way to integrate both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the same external application into Realm Works. That's something we never considered in the design, so it's still a non-trivial chunk of work to add that. :(

rob September 8th, 2020 11:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daplunk (Post 290719)
Can we recommend the forums are cleaned up and stickies made to bring attention to the current state of Realm Works and the known work-around for this issue documented and pinned?

I'll see what can be done about that...

Quote:

Originally Posted by daplunk (Post 290719)
Honestly I would think the Content Market should also be updated with some information as to the known limitations.

Regarding HLClassic integration, all that's needed is to launch it via Realm Works or the icon/shortcut for the 32-bit version. The HLC installer automatically installs both versions.

Where would you suggest we post this to make it clear? You appear to have clear knowledge of the complaints being lodged in these other circles, so you probably have some recommendations.

Quote:

Originally Posted by daplunk (Post 290719)
In regards to the import bugs. 255 was never formally released and I would call your attention to the forums where multiple users reported issues with 255. People were uninstalling it and reverting back to 253 in order to maintain the ability to import/export. I never tested it myself in fear of loosing... well part of my soul.

The only quote I see about 255 not working in that thread is this: "255 is broken anyway, so that would't be useful at all." When I read that, I assumed it was due to the certificate error, since it lacked any further useful information.

According to the developer I spoke with over the weekend, the only problem we're aware of is what we fixed in build 255. If there is anything else wrong, it's not on the radar of that developer (nor myself, since I've been getting my information from him about those details). So we're absolutely gonna need more details and concrete examples to replicate any additional problems.

Also, all of the material we've published imports smoothly for us in build 254 and build 255. From what I understand, the bug we fixed in build 255 was limited to user-exported material in build 254.

rob September 8th, 2020 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lancealittle (Post 290728)
@Rob, i understand the path you took for RW, but i still dont like it - its a genuine loss to most of the RW users out there...
Would you be so kind as to clarify something for me - sidelined, here in the UK businesses, means put aside. It does not mean 'retired', for want of a better word. Is RW permanently 'retired / sidelined / benched' ? or is there the smallest chance that in the future it may start being developed sometime, even if part-time ?
regards.

As I said in my post, I'd love to return to Realm Works. However, that is contingent upon coming up with a different business model for it so that it's financially viable.

If that occurs, it's quite likely that Realm Works would take a very different form. The underlying data model is quite robust and solid, so I would imagine that remains largely unchanged. That would mean users with the existing product would hopefully be able to migrate to the new form. What's also likely, though, is that this theoretical "new form" probably won't have all the fine-grain feature control of the current product (absolutely not initially), so that could present a migration problem for users who want continue using "Feature X" from the desktop application that doesn't in this new form.

But that's all complete conjecture based on wishful thinking. At the present time, I have not come up with an alternate, viable financial model for Realm Works, so it's nothing more than a theoretical exercise.

Parody September 9th, 2020 12:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rob (Post 290755)
The only quote I see about 255 not working in that thread is this: "255 is broken anyway, so that would't be useful at all." When I read that, I assumed it was due to the certificate error, since it lacked any further useful information.

Try this thread on import crashes in 255, which was linked in the other linked thread.

The reports are that in 255 the first import works but importing from the same realm again (bringing in changes) makes RW crash.

I haven't tried it myself. I have 254 installed and no server access; I was going to go back to 253 the next time I wanted to mess with RW again.

rob September 9th, 2020 12:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nightpanda2810 (Post 290729)
As for 255, it was released about 10 months ago, and introduced a different import bug. Daplunk provided a link to the forum post about it.

I saw that link. All I saw about the new bug was "it's broken".

Wait a minute. @daplunk's link takes me to "page 2" of the thread. Which starts with post 21 for me. If I go back to the previous page, I now see more details that I previously missed. So I'm guessing @daplunk has 10 posts per page, while I'm configured for 20. <grr>

Can you provide me with the support ticket number(s) that you opened?

Please note that we are focused on getting some major stuff out for HLO right now. So we're not gonna be taking a deep dive into any code until the dust settles on all of that. I'd like to get the information from you so that I can queue it up for the developer, but it's gonna still be a bit before anyone can actively investigate this further problem you've identified.

nightpanda2810 September 9th, 2020 05:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rob (Post 290758)
Can you provide me with the support ticket number(s) that you opened?

Here's my ticket: 252158 opened Jan 10 of this year.

I'm happy to help troubleshoot in any way I can. I've got the capability to run virtual machines with different versions of the software. I'll even schedule a working session if that's helpful.

I'm not using any content market stuff (anymore). Don't recall if I was during all these issues, as I stopped any use of them before PF2 was even released. The PF1 Bestiary made my realms REALLY slow, even on beefy hardware.

Here's a couple threads in addition to the other 2 mentioned so far.
http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=63831
http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=63951
http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=63735

Why don't we set up a separate thread and have us help you brainstorm making RW profitable?

weogarth September 9th, 2020 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nightpanda2810 (Post 290760)
Why don't we set up a separate thread and have us help you brainstorm making RW profitable?

I hope this happens. Currently, I got nothing on this, but I'm often better at working off of/adding to ideas than coming up with them from scratch.

I'd love to see RW be a focus for LWD again.

Also, as this is my first post on this thread, just want to say that I'm glad you're generally whole again Rob (although that two year blank memory thing is scary as ****) but has it really been 3.5 years?

Lastly, I'd like to say that if anything happens, can an export to text, HTML, or XML be considered? While it may be a stretch, it's not out of the question that other platforms catch up and it'd be nice to have the option to more easily migrate somewhere else.

Regards,

Gary

evildmguy September 9th, 2020 11:20 AM

rob: I'm sorry your health took such a hit. I am happy to hear you are doing better. I hope that continues.

I also hope the best for you and your company, whatever form it is.

Thanks!

Maidhc O Casain September 9th, 2020 11:54 AM

I just wanted to chime in and say thanks, Rob, for coming back over here to the RW forums! This, more than anything, should serve as reassurance to people that while it's not under active development RealmWorks hasn't been abandoned.

I love the program, still, and am using it actively for a world building project. I also use it to keep up with campaigns in which I play. I play exclusively in Play by Post forums these days and keeping up with plot twists, NPCs and developments gets cumbersome when it's stretched across the weeks and months that PbP takes. I just start a new Realm for the game, then enter stuff as we discover it.

Very happy to hear that the integration works with HL so long as you stick with 32 bit - this makes it much more likely that I'll actually purchase the Bestiaries that I haven't gotten to yet.

I hope you guys manage to find the time soon to figure out all of the import/export bugs and get them squashed for good and all! I don't use that feature much right now, but my future plans definitely include using it so I'd love to have it working reliably.

daplunk September 9th, 2020 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maidhc O Casain (Post 290768)
Very happy to hear that the integration works with HL so long as you stick with 32 bit - this makes it much more likely that I'll actually purchase the Bestiaries that I haven't gotten to yet.

This is what I would adress on the content market Rob. The community were not aware of the workaround and as such believe the feature is broken. People who woukd have bought content are avoiding it as a result.

medwards89 September 9th, 2020 05:59 PM

+1 This

Farling September 10th, 2020 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by weogarth (Post 290762)
Lastly, I'd like to say that if anything happens, can an export to text, HTML, or XML be considered? While it may be a stretch, it's not out of the question that other platforms catch up and it'd be nice to have the option to more easily migrate somewhere else.

RW already provides two forms of XML output: one for allowing import to another running version of RW, and a second for general use by other tools (such as mine that generates HTML pages).

lancealittle September 10th, 2020 11:08 PM

any chance of a vid ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Farling (Post 290785)
RW already provides two forms of XML output: one for allowing import to another running version of RW, and a second for general use by other tools (such as mine that generates HTML pages).

Farling - iv not yet had to do this, but will need to sooner or later. I dont suppose you could make a short vid and post to youtube covering this subject ? an example to work from is much easier than stabbing in the dark...

Regards, Lancealittle


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