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Why Did You Back Roll20?

1340940682
Kav
KS Backer
Why did you fellow Backers, back Roll20? I myself was about to host my first game online, Adeptus Evangelion if you've heard of it, and was horribly put off by Maptools. I was complaining to one of my good friends who happened to be an avid Kickstarter fan, showed me Roll20 just before it was about to close the funding window and I jumped on board immediately, and I'm very glad I have. What about you? What swayed you into backing?
1340976135
Ken Bauer
Roll20 Mod Team
Early beta access :D The sooner I could get away from Maptool, the better.
1340984317
Deightine
KS Backer
I constantly hear people complaining about being separated from their groups; essentially cut away from their friends by real life distance: significant others, graduations, business moves, etc. Then I saw the Kickstarter for this... and realized it was the solution to the problem. Even if I don't use it a lot myself in an immediate sense, I wanted to be sure it would make it to production. I needed to know this option would be there for others who needed it. I needed to know it will be here when I might later need it myself. So, I guess I kind of did it for the mental health of the gaming population. Gods know, we need help with that sometimes.
1340993047
Chris Clouser
KS Backer
I like Virtual Tabletops. I've been a MapTool user for 4 years, and it has never let me down (and in fact, I'll probably continue to use it rather than Roll20), but Roll20 was ambitious, approached the problem from a different perspective, and was, in the end, just kinda neat. As far as VTTs go, the more the merrier.
1341007085
Agemegos
KS Backer
I have been struggling to play RPGs over the InterNet since 1994, using successively IRC, VOIP, videoconferencing, and videoconferencing in one window with an on-line whiteboard in the other. None of these things quite worked for me, and Roll20's addition of tokens to the whiteboard seemed to add one more of the features that I needed. I thought that with the addition of tokens to treat like poker chips for tracking Fate points, Bennies, Hero Points, Drama Points etc. it would offer me a complete set of the features I use at the table. Furthermore, I was impressed and attracted by the designer's mission statement that they were going to focus on storytelling and camaraderie and to resist turning into a counter-pushing or video game. So I backed it to help make sure it would come to fruit.
1341058844
Murgh Bpurn
KS Backer
I like Virtual Tabletops. Play most of my RPing online, always on the lookout for better software.
1341079871
Josh F.
KS Backer
I'm one of those people Deightine is talking about, I moved cities almost a decade ago and haven't managed to pin down a fun reliable group since. I've had some good games in that period but nothing that's lasted all that long and nothing that's solidified into a new gaming group. Roll20 seemed to be a good way to reconnect with those guys and get gaming back into my life.
1341124531
Nicholas G.
KS Backer
I liked that Roll20 was in a strong development push, and that the developers were looking for a way to work on it without other responsibilities cutting in by using the Kickstarter funds. Right now I'd say that I'd probably use Maptool over Roll20, but Maptool hasn't updated at all in a year, and Roll20 is consistently being improved. Part of the draw was the promise of being able to use music as part of it, but the Soundcloud thing kills that feature for me (I've been using a shoutcast server instead, just like I've been using Skype for A/V since Tokbox tends to be fussy). I'm hoping that those things get ironed out and that Roll20 goes even further.
1341154061
We looked at the live stream and was hooked. :) The program has all the freedom and features I missed with the other VTTs out there.
1341256801
Bob
KS Backer
I backed it because it looks like the right tool for some of the games I run and play in. I've been using other VTTs (and still use some of them for other games) but Roll20 definitely hit the spot for general use for a large variety of games that previously sat in my closet collecting dust. Combine that with the designers here responding quickly, and moving in a great direction to be a generally all around great default VTT (and continuing to focus on the generally useful rather than the ultra specific), and I'm hooked for the long run.
1341260766
McKay B.
KS Backer
I'm still a MapTool fan, and I'm undecided so far about which VTT I'll end up using more between the two. But I decided to back Roll20 because I'm in favor of *better* VTTs (especially free) -- I'm not satisfied with any of them yet. If nothing else, I figured Roll20's competition would drive MapTool to improve, and/or give its developers some new ideas about ways to streamline things. Besides, Roll20 has a couple of nifty features that MapTool can't answer -- an easier learning curve for new players to get connected (thanks to the browser interface) and the Jukebox.
1341295982
Mr G
KS Backer
I've been using iTabletop for three years to run a weekly and although it has a massive amount of power it is geared more towards people that have plenty of game prep time to set things up in advance. It doesn't support my old school style of play (which is just turn up and throw some stuff together) very well, and Roll20 does. Plus Roll20 is cross-platform compatible and iTT isn't (IE/Windows only)
1341368320
Never saw a virtual tabletop I liked after using it a little, I had my own personal ideas of what I thoughts a VTT should be. When I saw Roll 20 on Kickstarter it had the stated goals which was very similar to my ideas. Supporting that sort of thing was well worth the money - even though I haven't been able to use it yet.
1341618261
Amontillado
KS Backer
I backed it because I wanted to promote a VTT product that was simple to use, stable, and had the necessary features. Roll20 seemed to promise these things.
1341812470
Ed
KS Backer
due to my job i move every couple of years and will for at least the next 12. For me Roll20 is exactly what i have been looking for to be able to continue gaming with my friends. Granted there are other ways of doing it, but Roll20 has everything in one package, no having a half dozen websites to go to..... half finished VTTs to try..etc.
1341873768
Michael B.
KS Backer
I'm always looking for "better ways to do it" That and Early Beta Access :) I'll be here more often
1341958916
Because it was something that warranted the backing. Straight up.
1342720020
killervp
KS Backer
I either play or gm a game each week online, and Roll20 was the best fit in concept. We actively use Obsidian Portal and roll20- just wish the video worked better.
1343993576
Michael C.
KS Backer
I've been trying to run games regularly for the past couple of years, and they always end up failing because it's just too tough to get everyone consistently in one place. I had tried using some online methods, but they honestly were not cutting it. Between this and Obsidian Portal, we haven't met face-to-face in months as a full group, but we've been playing the same campaign since January.
1345409126
brtw (Ant G.)
KS Backer
I backed roll20 because they had a plan that looked well thought out. You see a lot of kick starters with a vague idea of what they want to achieve, but roll20 already had a working alpha product. I put forward my $50 because I wanted to use their product and felt their offerings were sufficient for that type of dollar request. So far, I am not dissapointed in the slightest.
1347897904
I use Roll20 for the active playing part of our game (the tabletop, in essence) and Fantasy Grounds II for the backend character maintenance and encounter tracking. Fantasy Grounds is quite useful, but I am not a programmer, and maps and tokens are pretty obscure to set up in it. Roll20 is great because it's very intuitive, and it's been fun to use. The sound effects are particularly fun. ^_^
1348144637
John M.
KS Backer
This system replaced a great deal of what I needed to run online campaigns with Map Tools. My players have enjoyed our smaller tests thus far, and it should enable us to play again soon.
1348222334
Axel Castilla
KS Backer
Why to support Roll20? Because I really prefer "open" system agnostic VTTs that don't force you to program a dedicated ruleset in LUA/XML. Because this app is very user friendly, quick and easy to use, with a great potential for adding future features, and the developers here seem to be active : I mean, there is movement, which is a very good signal both for the community and regarding the app development.
1348226271
Eric D.
Roll20 Mod Team
Why to support Roll20? Because I really prefer "open" system agnostic VTTs that don't force you to program a dedicated ruleset in LUA/XML. Because this app is very user friendly, quick and easy to use, with a great potential for adding future features, and the developers here seem to be active : I mean, there is movement, which is a very good signal both for the community and regarding the app development. This is a great statement Axel, hopefully it will inspire people to subscribe as well. I know there have been threads comparing the subscription costs to just the cost of storage but there is much more to supporting Roll20 than that. The developers are working full time jobs AND working on Roll20, that makes the level and speed of development even more impressive. Committing to being a monthly supporter of Roll20 really puts it out there that this is a useful, valuable tool for you and your friends and you want to make sure it sticks around and keeps improving over the long haul.
1348233779
Axel Castilla
KS Backer
(. . .) hopefully it will inspire people to subscribe as well. I know there have been threads comparing the subscription costs to just the cost of storage but there is much more to supporting Roll20 than that. Thank you for your appreciation. I've seen the complaint about the subscription costs, claiming that "storage is cheap and hence, Roll20 subscriptions are expensive". I think that such complaints are completely missing the point. The developers are working full time jobs AND working on Roll20, that makes the level and speed of development even more impressive. Currently there is a noticeable difference in comparison with the rate of development of other software platforms, which ranges from extremely slow to simply halted, leading to the frustration of the users. Committing to being a monthly supporter of Roll20 really puts it out there that this is a useful, valuable tool for you and your friends and you want to make sure it sticks around and keeps improving over the long haul. Exactly. I can see reasons for people wanting options for "paying once", though, but I would be not sure of how to handle such requests, because what is needed is continued support. Maybe there could be a limited number of special "pay once" offers during Christmas or other special dates, but I'm not seeking to discuss this idea here, in this thread. My experience is that, for some odd reason, likely a prejudice, too many people seem to think that online role playing software *must* be completely free, like if these apps came out of the blue, and then they react negatively to any VTT that requires purchase or payment of any kind. I think that such attitude has handicapped and impoverished the success and development of many non-free virtual tabletops so far. To my mind, it's pretty clear that "financially supported" VTTs have much more to offer than the others. This said, I'm not forgetting that Roll20 works really great with just a free account, and that is, also, one of its strengths. A very important one. The Roll20 Team seems aware of the crucial facts surrounding the world of virtual tabletops, and it has been addressing things very well so far.
1348509430
Sarah A.
Roll20 Mod Team
I ended up subscribing because this is, quite literally, exactly what I was looking for! Ever since my gaming group scattered to the four winds, I've been tinkering around with VTTs to find something that would be easy enough for some of our... less tech savvy folks to use. Low and behold, Roll20 was right there. I'm sorry I never saw the kick starter, frankly, or I would have chipped in sooner. To be honest, I might not have subscribed if the base version wasn't free. After playing around with it for a few weeks and finding how easy it was to use, it really seemed like a no-brainer for our group. I really wanted to be able to support such a great product -- and the benefit of getting to play around with the development server is pretty sweet too! :)
1348843887
Ric S.
KS Backer
I backed it because the learning curve on MapTools or OpenRPG was just too high. I had played online with just text chat and wanted something just a little more robust, but couldn't crack the MT or ORPG eggs. Roll20 was simple, intuitive, and slick. It was exactly what I was hoping for, or at least, it means to be. Video is still buggy, and there are a half dozen very minor issues still to be ironed out, but hopefully after maybe a year or so Roll20 will be a very polished, great to use application. Also, early beta access.
1349171100
I backed it because it's a site I use often. I figured that due to the amount of time I was spending on it, it deserved my money more than other things do. Roll20 is such an amazing site with an amazing community that I wanted to be a part of it becoming even greater, hopefully my contribution will do just that.
1350506867
I subscribed because I am deep into the VTT culture, and I run a LOT of games this way. I've been waiting for a solid HTML5-driven VTT to save me from the hassle of resetting my router after resetting the port mapping... and the other joys of local client applications. MapTool is great though, in the way only an ambitious open-source app could be. That's why I jumped at the chance to be mentor here; if Roll20 can accrue half the killer features that MapTool had while avoiding a bunch of user-implemented scripting, then we'll have something truly great! Also, the production values blow everything else out of the water. The UI is gorgeous, and without peer in the VTT realm. It was clear these developers knew what they were doing before I even fired up the VTT itself.
1350860715
I never played online until last night. I've had MapTools on my computer for years, spent h-o-u-r-s developing maps from scratch there, figuring out how to use it and even brought one of my players into a test once. But it wasn't user friendly, took a long time to learn and a lot to time to develop a playable session. My group has lost 3 players to moves over the years and we were about to recruit new folks for our table. I was really interested in trying to bring some of my distant friends back to the game. I dusted off MapTools and then remembered why I keep putting it down, it is too confusing. I searched around my gm lists (gmmastery, roleplayingtips.com, and a fudge list) and found reference to several online gaming sites including roll20. I tried several and found that the interface here was painfully easy with the right emphasis on the core elements to make a game playable. Compared to MapTools everything in roll20 was much more simple and clear, the first day I had my first usable map up, the second day I had a player on and we agreed it was easy. Last night I ran my first game. We had a few bumps here and there but roll20 was very functional and the learning curve was very manageable. Even our group luddite found it easy to use. As a GM, the ease of map and token creation wins because it reduces my prep time for those elements (freeing me to focus on roleplaying and monster mechanics). And for all of the ease present from the beginning, there are deeper levels of functionality available to us when we're ready for them. So, I'm spending some money and encouraging my players to do the same. -zerfinity-
There is definitely a desire to reclaim the fun I used to have when life allowed a group of my friends to burn entire Saturdays sitting around a table laughing, drinking, and being (for lack of a better word) nerds. VT's allow that to happen again - thus my interest there. The second reason is that I am a developer too. I've also made a living as a musician, and I like to write - so the creative element is something that I feel I understand at an intimate level. This creative element I speak of, as rewarding as it can be, has a price on the proverbial soul as it demands attention and effort without immediate gratitude - the musician must practice for years, the writer must re-write, re-write, re-write, and the programmer must do both of those things. You must learn the mechanics of your craft and then you have to debug the crap out of it, over and over, and then pray like Hell you've not programmed yourself into a corner a year later when something cool as all whoop-all hits you and you can't get it in without ripping things apart at a molecular level... That is really why I back you... Each one of us is like a grain of sand, and hopefully we'll be enough to make a beach to drink umbrella and fruit decorated cocktails on! If that analogy makes any sense...
My last tabletop game was 20 years ago in Highschool with local friends from my neighborhood. I smile every time I think about those halcyon days of Mountain Dew and mounds of dice on a converted pool table, guys with bright minds and quick wits jousting to get the largest laugh. Twenty years of building a family, and a career, moving to distant places and chasing the elusive tail of success came to a head for me personally this year. I sat down in my office, nicely appointed and professionally decorated, and took stock. I had things, but I felt oddly disconnected to any of it. I decided what I really missed where those nights around the table with friends. I tried the local comic shop, which had a drop in game night, but I had 15 years on most of the gamers playing. After a few movie references that I knew my friends back home would have gotten fell on total silence, I slipped out the back. So Im backing roll20 because it gives me hope to think I can maybe put that group back together, across all of those miles and get a new game around a virtual pool table. I smile every time I think about it...