Page 11 of 19 First ... 910111213 ... Last
  1. #101

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
    3,060
    Many of us (including the developers) respectfully disagree. I am glad to have updates to the legacy while we are waiting for the new one, and if you cannot see how updating an inventory of 10k items to work with a product that is not backward compatible then there is probably not much use in trying to explain their views any further. That is if they were to do what you and others want and abandon the current platform and the attempts to keep new one compatible.
    However, we do look forward to welcoming you when you decide to make the leap. Your decision to wait baffles me because if you simply take the monthly fees you are spending on Roll20 now in the bank you could pay for any difference in price that will exist if you buy FGC now and upgrade to FGU when it comes out. And your players wouldn’t have to pay a single dime if you use ultimate license and they use free license. You are missing out on some incredible game enriching experience, as you know.
    Last edited by Bidmaron; November 27th, 2018 at 19:25.

  2. #102
    pindercarl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    198
    Blog Entries
    2
    Welcome to the forums, Iotatron.

    I typically refrain from commenting on the progress of FGU and I've asked lokiare1 to exercise the same restraint. It's best if publicly shared information comes from Doug and John (Moonwizard). They are the owners and face of Smiteworks and it reduces confusion to limit the number of voices. Unless you read something from them, it is best to view it as speculation.

    Regarding, AAA games, comparing AAA games to Fantasy Grounds is like comparing apples to desk lamps. Other than both being software, there is little else in common. Prior to developing (the now defunct) Tabletop Connect, and subsequently joining the Smiteworks team, I spent 15 years in video game development. The last nine of which were exclusively working on AAA titles, primarily developing tools and pipeline. One the last titles I worked on, Call of Duty:Black Ops 2, had a 200+ member dev team and a budget close to a quarter of a billion dollars. In contrast, FGU has a single full-time developer (that's me) and John does both FGU development and continues development of the current version of Fantasy Grounds. Other than helping the users understand where and why FGU development is where it is, this is mostly irrelevant to the current or future FG user. You're only interest is when will FGU be available and what can it do when it gets here. I can assure you that no one wants FGU to launch more than Smiteworks.

    Circling back to game development, there is a habit there to hit alpha dates by redefining alpha. That's not something Smiteworks is prepared to do. Post alpha will primarily be about performance optimization and testing, not bolting on whole features. Do I have a date for you? Nope. Are we close? Yeah, pretty close. Do I have guess? No. We have limited resources and don't have the luxury of a big dev shop that can just throw warm bodies at the problem. I appreciate that you are choosing to stick with Roll20 for now. If there is one thing that I've discovered during my time here is that Smiteworks wants you to be a satisfied customer and you're confident that the current offering isn't everything that you're looking for. FG has a lot of satisfied and passionate users and I'm confident that you'll become one of them when you're ready to come aboard.

  3. #103
    Quote Originally Posted by Iotatron View Post
    Just read it, thanks for direciing me.

    I understand the devs reasoning but i'll be totally honest when i say that I think the news and work around FGU is being handled poorly. Not to mention that if they focused more heavily on switching to FGU then they wouldn't have to split their focus as much. Unity has become extremely powerful as a game engine and allows for a ton of extensibility. If they just focused on making the existing modules work on FGU and made the switch "cold-turkey" then they wouldnt have to double up all their efforts on feature support. This is why Microsoft gave away copies of windows 10 to every 7 and 8 users, so they could focus on one system and drop support for older ones. It makes sense, and doubley-so with such a small team.
    There is a really big difference between Microsoft (134k employees and net income of 16B) and Smiteworks (10 employees and likely much lower net income).

    I for one am glad to have constant updates to FG, since I am currently using FG. I'm sure that without the consistent revenue Smiteworks would be done, so it's not like they can just say hey that's it no more development until Unity is completed and fully tested.

    Even once they complete FGU there will likely be a long internal testing as they work their way through who knows how many rulesets, extensions, modules, etc., to figure out what's working and what needs to be reworked.

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by esmdev View Post
    My personal thinking is why wait for FGU when it could be years before it comes out. FG is current available, consistently updated and extremely versatile. We already know that FGU will use the same UI with some extra features, so it might not even be important to upgrade for awhile after it actually comes out. I'd wait for awhile anyways just to let them sort out bugs and such.



    I'm not sure what your level of experience as a software developer is, but my experience is that after a decade of consistent development and upgrading software gets pretty complex. One thing to remember about Fantasy Grounds is that it has passed hands from one company to another, and from developer to developer going all the way back to 2004 (development probably starting before that). Different developers with different writing styles (and level of commenting) can significantly impact the time it takes to make changes. Translating those changes while keeping the same functionality can be quite a lot of work. I'm not sure if you've ever done a major migration from language to language and platform to platform (as in COBOL to C++ and Mainframe to Windows) but it isn't a picnic.

    It is mostly speculation but I assume that FG is written in C or C++ at is core. For Unity you would likely want to (not need to, but want to) migrate the code to C#. While Unity will handle a lot of the graphical work it still needs to be setup and organized to handle the specific functionality that FG already has. You (or I) don't know that FG uses an off the shelf LUA or XML interpreter, both could be custom.

    Short of actually seeing the source code it would be difficult to compare it to an actual AAA game, but also the question you'd need to ask is what sort of AAA game are you talking about? They already excluded MMO, and also didn't indicate a timeframe. In it's era, Zork was an AAA game. If you take out the real-time graphical and replace it with turn-based token it is probably at least as sophisticated and versatile than some of the older MMOs, especially the ones initially written in 2004. One comparison I'd make is Neverwinter Nights (specifically 2002 Bioware) the DM capabilities in this game are quite a bit more robust than what a DM could do in NWN. You can build new powers, write new races, classes, backgrounds, items, spells, etc. Of those abilities within the actual toolset you could only add new items in NWN. The effects ability in the NWN toolset is quite limited compared to what is possible in FG. The point is if you compare a AAA game from about the same timeframe (that was in development for a lengthy time) FG actually stacks up quite well.

    Anyways it's easy to say without knowing the actual situation that something shouldn't be so hard, but sometimes it is much harder in reality than it appears from the outside looking in.
    I agree it's really easy to armchair criticize the devs, and i'm not trying to do that unfairly. I agree that code migrations are a huge pain and it can get extraordinarily ugly fast. But i do want to point out that the listed features i stated as "not that complex" in reality aren't if you are smart about how you choose to implement them and use the right tools available to you. Is implementing a graphical system with networking using raw C++ (assuming FG is written in that) a much bigger task than using unity? hell yes it is, even if you take advantage of a library like Qt. Is writing your own custom LUA and XML interpreter a pain? It sure can be.
    But you don't have to do that all from scratch, if they chose to do so i hope they have very real reason for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by pindercarl View Post
    Welcome to the forums, Iotatron.

    I typically refrain from commenting on the progress of FGU and I've asked lokiare1 to exercise the same restraint. It's best if publicly shared information comes from Doug and John (Moonwizard). They are the owners and face of Smiteworks and it reduces confusion to limit the number of voices. Unless you read something from them, it is best to view it as speculation.

    Regarding, AAA games, comparing AAA games to Fantasy Grounds is like comparing apples to desk lamps. Other than both being software, there is little else in common. Prior to developing (the now defunct) Tabletop Connect, and subsequently joining the Smiteworks team, I spent 15 years in video game development. The last nine of which were exclusively working on AAA titles, primarily developing tools and pipeline. One the last titles I worked on, Call of Duty:Black Ops 2, had a 200+ member dev team and a budget close to a quarter of a billion dollars. In contrast, FGU has a single full-time developer (that's me) and John does both FGU development and continues development of the current version of Fantasy Grounds. Other than helping the users understand where and why FGU development is where it is, this is mostly irrelevant to the current or future FG user. You're only interest is when will FGU be available and what can it do when it gets here. I can assure you that no one wants FGU to launch more than Smiteworks.

    Circling back to game development, there is a habit there to hit alpha dates by redefining alpha. That's not something Smiteworks is prepared to do. Post alpha will primarily be about performance optimization and testing, not bolting on whole features. Do I have a date for you? Nope. Are we close? Yeah, pretty close. Do I have guess? No. We have limited resources and don't have the luxury of a big dev shop that can just throw warm bodies at the problem. I appreciate that you are choosing to stick with Roll20 for now. If there is one thing that I've discovered during my time here is that Smiteworks wants you to be a satisfied customer and you're confident that the current offering isn't everything that you're looking for. FG has a lot of satisfied and passionate users and I'm confident that you'll become one of them when you're ready to come aboard.
    I only made the AAA comparison because Lokiare decided to make the comparison too. I don't see Smiteworks as a AAA studio and i know they are worlds apart.



    To make my position abundantly clear, since i don't want to make you all feel like i just came here to rag on FG. I think FG is better in nearly all aspects than Roll20 currently is (save for some stuff like map doodling, video/voice, etc), i am not paying for Roll20 right now but am also choosing to wait to buy FGU. Why? I don't want to have a wishy-washy promise of being able to purchase it at some unknown discount off of some unknown price. I intend to buy whatever the equivalent of Ultimate is in FGU and i'd rather not risk paying nearly that amount twice instead of once.
    Last edited by Iotatron; November 27th, 2018 at 20:24.

  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by esmdev View Post
    There is a really big difference between Microsoft (134k employees and net income of 16B) and Smiteworks (10 employees and likely much lower net income).

    I for one am glad to have constant updates to FG, since I am currently using FG. I'm sure that without the consistent revenue Smiteworks would be done, so it's not like they can just say hey that's it no more development until Unity is completed and fully tested.

    Even once they complete FGU there will likely be a long internal testing as they work their way through who knows how many rulesets, extensions, modules, etc., to figure out what's working and what needs to be reworked.
    I understand the difference between the two. But, as i pointed out, if it makes sense for a huge company like microsoft to drop 7 and 8 and push only 10 so they can solely focus on supporting 10, don't you think it would also be a good move for SmiteWorks to do that since FG seems decently capable currently? After making the previous modules like books and adventures compatible with FGU why bother trying to implement everything twice over so you can produce new FG features at the same time as FGU? It makes more sense to me to do a feature freeze on FG so that FGU can advance more quickly. In addition it will incentivise people to switch if they see a new killer feature they want in FGU. When Adobe was working on Photoshop CS6 you didn't see them rolling out new features for CS5 that were also included in CS6, did you?

  6. #106
    LordEntrails's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    GMT -7
    Posts
    8,415
    Blog Entries
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by Iotatron View Post
    ...I don't want to have a wishy-washy promise of being able to purchase it at some unknown discount off of some unknown price. I intend to buy whatever the equivalent of Ultimate is in FGU and i'd rather not risk paying nearly that amount twice instead of once.
    Totally valid reasoning.
    My experience is SmiteWorks has always been totally customer focused, even at their own expense, so I'm not worried that any cost for FGU will be anything but fair. Of course, you don't have that experience with them so caution is certainly understandable. And of course, I've already gotten a great deal out of my FG purchase that it has already been a very worthwhile expenditure, you haven't, yet. But, as Carl said, when you do come over, both the community and the company (from what Carl said) are pretty confident you'll be happy with your decision.

    Good gaming

    Current Projects: Ultimate Undermountain (NYDUM)
    Community Contributions: Gemstones, 5E Quick Ref Decal, Adventure Module Creation, Dungeon Trinkets
    DMsGuild Content: Balance Disturbed (Adventure), Dungeon Room Descriptions
    FG Product Reviews: Virtual Scribe Reviews

  7. #107
    Iotatron's reasoning scales with size, however. Any development time spent on FG3 at this point is basically wasted time that's never coming back; a lot of hours are going to be going down a hole for tweaking software that will be obsolete the moment FGU hits the shelf. FG3 is in a pretty decent spot right now, stability-wise; I doubt it's going to burst into flames if it goes unsupported for a few months. The program itself, I mean, you can't pull support off of keeping up with module release for an extended period. Plus I don't know the resumes of the module devs but I'm expecting it's unlikely that they're Unity developers on the side, so taking them off of making new modules would probably not help the program get finished any faster.

  8. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by Valatar View Post
    Iotatron's reasoning scales with size, however. Any development time spent on FG3 at this point is basically wasted time that's never coming back; a lot of hours are going to be going down a hole for tweaking software that will be obsolete the moment FGU hits the shelf. FG3 is in a pretty decent spot right now, stability-wise; I doubt it's going to burst into flames if it goes unsupported for a few months. The program itself, I mean, you can't pull support off of keeping up with module release for an extended period. Plus I don't know the resumes of the module devs but I'm expecting it's unlikely that they're Unity developers on the side, so taking them off of making new modules would probably not help the program get finished any faster.
    Exactly. From what i can tell the community LOVES FG as it already is. So if the devs just said "hey y'all we know you want FGU and we want it too, so as of next update we are freezing the FG3 features to focus solely on FGU" would anyone really get mad? I feel like everyone would encourage it despite potentially being a little sad that they aren't getting more FG3 features.

  9. #109
    LordEntrails's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    GMT -7
    Posts
    8,415
    Blog Entries
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by Valatar View Post
    Iotatron's reasoning scales with size, however. Any development time spent on FG3 at this point is basically wasted time that's never coming back; a lot of hours are going to be going down a hole for tweaking software that will be obsolete the moment FGU hits the shelf. FG3 is in a pretty decent spot right now, stability-wise; I doubt it's going to burst into flames if it goes unsupported for a few months. The program itself, I mean, you can't pull support off of keeping up with module release for an extended period. Plus I don't know the resumes of the module devs but I'm expecting it's unlikely that they're Unity developers on the side, so taking them off of making new modules would probably not help the program get finished any faster.
    Note, Moon Wizard has said a few times that changes he makes to FGC/FG3 are things that are being implemented in FGU as well. Yes it does increase labor.

    We also have to guess that if FGU was only a couple of months away, stopping FGC revisions would be feasible, but if it is still a long way off, that might not be feasible.

    But again, now we are well into just speculating, which really doesn't help FGU get released any sooner.

    Current Projects: Ultimate Undermountain (NYDUM)
    Community Contributions: Gemstones, 5E Quick Ref Decal, Adventure Module Creation, Dungeon Trinkets
    DMsGuild Content: Balance Disturbed (Adventure), Dungeon Room Descriptions
    FG Product Reviews: Virtual Scribe Reviews

  10. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Note, Moon Wizard has said a few times that changes he makes to FGC/FG3 are things that are being implemented in FGU as well. Yes it does increase labor.

    We also have to guess that if FGU was only a couple of months away, stopping FGC revisions would be feasible, but if it is still a long way off, that might not be feasible.

    But again, now we are well into just speculating, which really doesn't help FGU get released any sooner.
    Why a couple months, how is waiting longer than a few months for new features not feasible? Like I pointed out with photoshop: after CS4 came out the users didn't get mad at adobe for not constantly providing new features while also trying to build new features for CS5. They just enjoyed what they had while CS5 was being worked on and then CS5 came out (two years later) with all these new features that people wanted so they purchased the new version. Why do we expect FG to constantly come out with new features especially when FGU is publicly known as being in the works with new features. It's very very nice that the devs provide new features and i think it's important to do so from a business model standpoint to retain customers (especially subscription customers who may expect updates more than one-time buyers). But since FGU is already being worked on with new features does it make sense to double the workload? Clearly FG as it stands is feature-rich; is anyone going to get mad if they have to wait a year or longer without any FG updates (besides bug fixes which degrade the product and potentially new modules from wizards)?
    Last edited by Iotatron; November 27th, 2018 at 20:50.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in