In my last RPG Tech Talk column I talked about Realm Works, the new ‘Campaign Information Manager’ being developed by Lone Wolf Software, who also make the Hero Lab character creation software. As a backer, I have access to the monthly updates for the Kickstarter project, which have been extremely informative both in terms of project progress, and some interesting technical information.
The key piece of news over the last couple of months has been that the Early Access release, which I’m really looking forward to, has slipped a bit, and we’re now looking at getting hold of it in June (hopefully…) rather than May. From my perspective, this isn’t a major problem – in fact it may dovetail nicely with the new DnD Next campaign I’m working on. It would be great to try out this software as I’m prepping for this!
A major component of the Kickstarter delivery is not so much the Realm Works client application, but the community ‘cloud’ which will allow content to be shared and published via Lone Wolf’s servers. There was an interesting discussion around the problems they have to tackle re synchronisation of content, especially when one of the key functions of Realm Works will be to load content, and alter it easily to fit your own campaign. So what happens when the publisher of that content updates the material – as the end user, you then need the choice to accept that update – or not if the changes would be clash with your own? Managing this with user-based granularity is definitely going to be a technical challenge
At the outset, unfortunately, there are no plans to provide export/import formats for your data, or to have any sort of APIs for accessing the data via other tools, such as a Combat Manager, or a Virtual Table-top. Lone Wolf Development have clearly stated they do wish to tackle this sort of functionality, but it will be considerably further down the line. I certainly hope this does come to fruition, as I’ve said before, one of the main aspects of managing information is to do it once … and have it easily integrated into the other applications you need to use.
Overall however, the project seems to be shaping up nicely, with a few small (to be expected…) but none too-serious hiccups. What we (those lucky ones signed up for Early Access) get to see in the next month or so will surely need a few iterations to get into a final release version, but at least we’ll have it in our hands!
I can’t wait (despite the title of this post …)!