David

David

The Co-Creator of RPGSmith and avid Gamer. He just hates all the book keeping that comes with it.

What's Different This Time?

Some of you with better memories than me may recall we launched a Kickstarter for RPGSmith back in December of 2015. Unfortunately, after about 2 weeks it was clear we were not going to reach our goal and canceled the crowd funding campaign. If I were you I may be wondering a couple of things:

  • What’s different this time?

  • What have you been doing?

  • Why Now?

 What’s different this time?

From the feedback given on our last attempt there were two primary issues why the Kickstarter failed.

  1. Without a functioning prototype, people failed to believe we could deliver the goods.

  2. People hate subscriptions. Like, a lot.

Over four years ago we began formulating, refining and structuring a tool set to help with tabletop RPGs. The more we discussed the more we realized how much this is needed and wondered why no one has created a tool set with the capabilities we wanted. After refining the feature set, sending out surveys to Gamers, building the logical structure, and getting wire frames developed we had a very clear vision and a very detailed functional spec (like a blueprint) to build the application. We thought this would be enough to demonstrate our commitment and aptitude to potential backers to raise enough funds to hire development staff and get this made. I was wrong. Too many backers (myself included) have given money to RPG related Kickstarters only to never see anything for their investment. I can think of 3 off the top of my head I’ve backed that went nowhere. We failed to convince the public of our competence. What’s different this time? For starters, we’ve already built most of it.

With regards to the disdain for subscription, we’re also adjusting our pricing. Player access to the tool is free. So how will we make enough to keep the lights on? Soon we’ll launch a Kickstarter to raise funds to expand the RPGSmith tool set to the GM side of the screen. This includes tons of features well documented elsewhere on the site. The GM portion of RPGSmith will have a subscription option, but in the Kickstarter there will be the choice to purchase permanent GM account access as well.

 

What have you been doing?

After the sting of our last Kickstarter rejection we cried, sulked, and tried to put the project out of our minds. But the need and desire to build this was always present, especially as we continued our 5e campaign. So, I personally began to refine the specifications for an initial player version. Eventually I reached out to some independent developers and began to commission some code for the seeds of what we have today. As more of the product was being built, I became more encouraged and would pay for more code. Over the past couple of years I’ve personally contributed a ton of personal funds to get to our current state. Ironically, to date I’ve spent way more than the goal of the 1st Kickstarter campaign. We’re not a huge corporation, I’m not rich, so I’ve personally got a lot of “skin in the game”, hell, I think there may even be an organ in there too.

 

Why Now?

Because we still don’t see anything that can do what RPGSmith can do. Because I’m selfish and I want to use this application, but can’t afford to get it built without your help. And honestly, it’s rewarding to design something like this and see it come to life. This is the very definition of a passion project, and the best reward I could hope to achieve would be to help others in the community improve their gaming experience.

~David

 

TL;DR This time we have an app, and it’s awesome.