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Old September 6th, 2020, 02:47 AM
Originally Posted by nightpanda2810 View Post
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.


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Lexin is offline   #11 Reply With Quote
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Old September 6th, 2020, 03:58 AM
Originally Posted by Lexin View Post
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.
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Valyar is offline   #12 Reply With Quote
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Old 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.
medwards89 is offline   #13 Reply With Quote
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Old 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.
the_redbeard is offline   #14 Reply With Quote
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Old 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..
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Old September 7th, 2020, 03:40 PM
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!
Laurens is offline   #16 Reply With Quote
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Old September 7th, 2020, 04:15 PM

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....
The_Traveller is offline   #17 Reply With Quote
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Old September 7th, 2020, 06:57 PM
Originally Posted by Laurens View Post
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.

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Last edited by daplunk; September 7th, 2020 at 07:00 PM.
daplunk is offline   #18 Reply With Quote
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Old 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.
rob is offline   #19 Reply With Quote
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Old September 8th, 2020, 02:21 AM
Originally Posted by rob View Post
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.


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Farling is offline   #20 Reply With Quote

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