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  1. #1

    Keeping Fantasy Grounds relevant as we begin to transition towards face to face games

    Good afternoon all,

    Like many of you, I started using Fantasy Grounds due to the pandemic. It wasn't possible to meet with friends and a VTT was our only option. We have had fun with our game but I don't feel that the atmosphere using a VTT will ever replace the fun of getting together with friends, sitting around with beers, laughing, drinking, eating takeaway, watching people's reactions etc. As we start going back to more face-to-face meet-ups with friends, Fantasy Grounds is likely to be sidelined somewhat.

    There will be less inclination to buy digital modules and I expect sales of all digital products including Roll20, FG, DNDBeyond, Foundry, etc will take a hit as a result.

    What I'm suggesting is that the developers look to create a new mode to support face-to-face games. This would not be a small change. However, I think that it makes sense from a business point of view and, as a result, the ability to maintain income (and perhaps increase market share) at a time where the VTT medium itself is likely to see diminished revenue, could justify some of these sweeping changes.

    I have added my idea to the idea informer at https://fgapp.idea.informer.com/proj/?ia=136655 and I'd appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.
    www.accidentaldm.com - The diary of a Newbie DM

  2. #2
    Zacchaeus's Avatar
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    You can use Fantasy Grounds in Face to face games now. Many people do and have done for many years. https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forum...t-the-tabletop
    If there is something that you would like to see in Fantasy Grounds that isn't currently part of the software or if there is something you think would improve a ruleset then add your idea here https://www.fantasygrounds.com/featu...rerequests.php

  3. #3
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    You can do a lot of this now - just ignore the stuff you don't want to use.
    Private Messages: My inbox is forever filling up with PMs. Please don't send me PMs unless they are actually private/personal messages. General FG questions should be asked in the forums - don't be afraid, the FG community don't bite and you're giving everyone the chance to respond and learn!

  4. #4
    Hi, I'm aware that people already do it but I don't believe the current interface is conducive to doing so. You're relegated to using a laptop in most situations which, by their very nature, have small screens. You have to install and configure extensions to get the grid display right.

    It can do it sure but, in my personal opinion, it ain't great and my group would simply not bother.
    www.accidentaldm.com - The diary of a Newbie DM

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Rylan Storm View Post
    You're relegated to using a laptop in most situations which, by their very nature, have small screens. You have to install and configure extensions to get the grid display right.
    You're quite right about the laptop - that's what my in-person group does (hiding it behind a TV). But I don't know if Extensions are needed in order to make the grid proper. We use a fairly small TV and everything is essentially plug-and-play using Manual Rolls. I've done this for a different groups, TVs, and Laptops - but I get that the text may be small for some. One thing about your suggestion, removing the chat box is pretty much a no-go for many face-to-face groups that use Manual Rolling, as FG adds modifiers and effects to those rolls and reports them still in the chat box, something to think on.
    Games Running:
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  6. #6
    I always used fg to play even before the pandemic, as a dm I've never had issues finding enthusiastic players so while the pandemic certainly brought increased business, I'm sure, to Smiteworks as well as other vtts i do offer two points based on the OPs post.

    1. Fair enough to suggest some improvements to make fg better for in person games, im sure keeping as much of that "pandemic user base" revenue is something Smiteworks would like to do..but you offer no suggestions or detailed input on what you think it needs. As pointed out many MANY groups have enjoyed using fg for years for in person games. So if you think dev time should be invested ...perhaps sell your case to them.

    2. I don't think dev priorities should change as they are now. Fg , in my estimation anyway, did well before covid struck. These forums suggest it has a decent loyal user base. It would be silly to stop the features and fixes planned now to enhance in person play.

  7. #7
    Srbongo - removing the chatbox, as a standalone measure wouldn't work but I'm not proposing a few minor fixes. Adding a new way to display the screens (I'd suggest a middle of screen marquee temporarily showing the result) would allow the information to be shown clearly without locking us into that "Needs a PC" feel. You can still display results without having a large area of the screen dedicated to a chat feature that isn't going to be used in a face-to-face game.

    And that for me is the crux of the issue. There's a lot of stuff taking up space that doesn't need to be there in a face-to-face game.

    Mytherus - I think I've given some really detailed suggestions and input in the idea posted in the Idea Informer app and a strong justification behind it. As for the comment regarding stopping development on some features to focus on my idea, that's exactly why I've posted something on the ideas app. If it starts getting enough votes then it gives the developers a very clear steer on what the customers want. And I'd suggest that increasing (or maintaining) your users base is a pretty sound investment.

    I like some of the top ideas on the Ideas App. I voted for them. But it won't mean much if a lot of people return to face to face play.
    www.accidentaldm.com - The diary of a Newbie DM

  8. #8
    I've been thinking about what I'd want from an in-person version of FGU.

    I'd want a big central screen showing the map, which is shared between all players (and maybe the GM too or maybe not). I don't see that players need the immersion factor of individual character line of sight and fog of war for this shared view especially- you don't have that with a physical map a miniatures or tokens after all. I'd probably use a data projector for this. I'd prefer to have virtual tokens moved around the shared map myself, rather than use a flat TV as a substrate and have physical figures on top of it.

    I wouldn't mind if everyone had to conduct their turn with a laptop, but it would be MUCH (much much) better if they could do it with a mobile device. An iPad each would make for a very smooth experience, if all that iPad had to do was to display the character sheet. That's why having a shared map screen would be so useful. In the ideal world each player could somehow move their pointer "off" their iPad and onto the shared screen to control their token movement, but a more realistic solution would be a paged or tabbed interface so they can quickly flick from map for movement control and back to character sheet to initiate actions.

    The GM has to have at least a laptop, and maybe something more iMac sized because they will likely need more screen real estate. The more I think about it the more I think they probably need their own version of the map, they will need the combat tracker and the chat window (not sure the players need either of those). An iMac on the table isn't SO different from a big GM's card screen, physically.

    I think the two big changes that would facilitate this are:

    1) Multiple monitor, multiple window support. (eg so the player can have two screens running, one with the map, one with the character sheet). This would probably help play the game on laptops remotely, too?

    2) A iOS/Android client (presumably feasible under Unity?) or a web-browser-based client.

    Cheers, Hywel

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Rylan Storm View Post
    I like some of the top ideas on the Ideas App. I voted for them. But it won't mean much if a lot of people return to face to face play.
    FG was being used before the pandemic. It will still mean a lot to the people that continue to use the software.

    Better to look at the last 16 months as a boost and now things are going back to normal.

  10. #10
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    We're not saying that a more face-to-face player focused interface wouldn't be nice at some point in the future. We're saying that a lot of what is mentioned can be done now (maybe not quickly and easily, but if you really want something like this, a lot of it *can* be done now with a small amount of effort) - therefore I would imagine that most people wouldn't see this as a high priority right now. However, as this is in Idea Informer users can vote if this is something they want to see.

    In the end, Fantasy Grounds is still aimed at being a VTT for play over the Internet. Sure, expanding into more face-to-face functionality would be a plus; but it's not what FG in it's current form is designed for. In the future, especially after the need to support two code based goes away later this month, who knows???
    Last edited by Trenloe; June 15th, 2021 at 14:58.
    Private Messages: My inbox is forever filling up with PMs. Please don't send me PMs unless they are actually private/personal messages. General FG questions should be asked in the forums - don't be afraid, the FG community don't bite and you're giving everyone the chance to respond and learn!

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