Roll20 Launches ‘Rugged Reroll’

Roll20 has put out a press release regarding their major overhaul to the popular VTT gaming application. I have not had the chance to take it for a spin since the update – but I look forward to experiencing the updates!

Largest, most comprehensive update in the platform’s history goes live today.

Roll20 Logo

Wichita, Kansas (December 16th, 2013) The developers of the online virtual tabletop have maintained a rapid update schedule since their successful Kickstarter launched the platform in April of 2012. So rapid, in fact, that the developers found themselves with a unique set of problems.

“We’ve been pushing new content live so fast that we weren’t giving ourselves a chance to see how everything fit together into the bigger picture,” said Roll20 co­creator Riley Dutton. “Our subscribers get really excited about improvements, and we get excited about the challenge. But we had come to a point where we wanted to take our time and do some bigger features, and that’s what the ‘Rugged Reroll’ has been about.”

While Roll20 typically has operated on a three week update schedule, the Rugged Reroll was a planned ten­and­a­half week grouping of large improvements. These included a major overhaul of the system’s rendering engine to better handle sizable maps, the addition of “waypoints” to allow better shared strategizing between players, the often­requested ability to “split” a group of gamers between two locations in a single game, context­specific token actions, the ability for users to access character and journal features outside of the game space, and a massive improvement to voice and video chat powered by TokBox’s new WebRTC platformC. All of the changes were made available to Roll20’s Mentor subscribers to test and provide feedback on throughout the process and were unveiled to the community at large via regular developer blogs.

Co­creator Richard Zayas said, “This update has given us the chance to make substantial changes, in a way that engaged our community while really giving us something to be proud about as an undertaking. And we gave ourselves time to get proper help documentation for once!”

Roll20 began as an effort to keep developers Dutton, Zayas, and Nolan T. Jones in touch via long distance gaming. Since launching via Kickstarter, it has attracted over 345,000 users as a free service. The program continues to be funded by subscribers who receive features that assist advanced gameplay.