December 19, 2014

5E Friday - Codename: Morningstar

This is tangential to 5E in that WotC already cut their ties with Trapdoor and their Codename: Morningstar aka Dungeonscape digital product. However, 5E put their name in the public eye and I feel their Kickstarter is a continuation of their 5E work. And that is what I want to talk about today, their Kickstarter.

As most people know, they have a Kickstarter to update the software they were working on for 5E to be used for Pathfinder (and any other system they can get). They are asking for nearly half a million dollars ($425,000). For any Kickstarter that is a lot to ask for in the initial offering. Most Kickstarters, even those that break $500,000 initially ask for far less. Look at Numenera - $517,255 pledged but $20,000 was the initial goal. I think Trapdoor asked for too high an initial goal.

Now for my real problem with Morningstar. Essentially Trapdoor is asking to people to fund a product that already failed. They already had a contract with WotC. They failed to reach their end of that deal. They failed to meet their deadlines with the quality they had promised and was expected. From many accounts, the beta, which didn't start until after the product should have already been launched, was riddled with problems. Some of those problems were basic things that should have been sorted out long before a beta (mis-adding stat bonuses to a basic attack). And now they want us to give them more money to finish the product they couldn't finish before.

Sure, converting the software from 5E to Pathfinder can take some time, but their proven track record is...bad. Really, the software should have already been completed.

Personally I think Trapdoor has high and lofty ideas, ideas that are great if they can be achieved. I'm not sure they can do it, certainly not in a timely manner. And to ask for half a million dollars to finish something that should already be done, seems ludicrous to me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Callin!

I'm the producer on Morningstar, and wanted to clarify a few things. WotC and Trapdoor parted ways based on differences in vision around digital distribution–not missing deadlines or lack of quality.

The web beta (more of an alpha) was in extremely early-stage testing, and was expected to be buggy.

To be clear, the iOS version of the product was finished in August. We still have it (but can't release because we no longer have a license.)

Any of us would be happy to chat with you if you'd like to have your questions answered more directly. Feel free to email at support [at] trapdoortechnologies [dot] com.