STORYSCAPE is described as a digital roleplaying system by its creators at Slabtown Games. It is essentially a virtual tabletop RPG engine. It therefore can be used for a broad range of roleplaying games normally played using pen and paper. STORYSCAPE: Digital Roleplaying System seems to be a product with a lot of potential, and while it is still early in the campaign, there seems to be a fair amount of initial support.
Estimated Delivery: May 2015
As I mentioned earlier, STORYSCAPE is essentially a virtual tabletop system tailored to RPG style games. There are a few advantages of using a virtual tabletop system over a pen and paper system. One of the biggest advantages is that long distance game play is far easier.
Having your friends over for games is great, but the logistics just don’t always work out. With the virtual tabletop system, as long as everyone can get to their computer, they’re good to go. In addition, such systems take a lot of the game mechanics and calculations. In that way, this project is in some ways similar to Golem Arcana.
The mechanics for the system were designed by Robin D. Laws. a well known author and game designer within the gaming community. As mentioned earlier, all of the mechanics are handled in software making the game play easier. This is a great way to introduce newbie gamers.
According to the Kickstarter campaign, STORYSCAPE will be available for Android, IOS, Windows, Linux, and Mac OS—sorry Haiku fans. I’m quite happy to see out of the box support for so many different platforms, a trend that I hope will continue in the game industry. Note that there is no software capped limit for the number of people who can connect, so if the GM is running the program on an incredibly fast server, there is no reason why someone couldn’t run an unusually large campaign.
Here’s a good reason to hope for the success of this campaign, and possibly a good reason to become a beta or even alpha supporter: the marketplace. It seems that marketplace systems are becoming rather popular these days, and apparently Slabtown Games wants to get in on the action. With the marketplace, people can sell their own content for the system. This makes STORYSCAPE a far more robust system than it otherwise might have been.
Customization is very important to me. I think a built in modding API gives the end user as much control over the system as possible, and that is key in today’s digital gaming environment. When speaking with the creators of STORYSCAPE, it was indicated that a modding API would be made available in the future. However, since this requires a lot of additional time coding, it is unlikely that it will be available from the initial launch. The only possibility of changing that is with a possible stretch goal.
Pledge Levels: 15 levels ranging from $1 – $10,000
End Date: Friday Feb 14, 11:00pm EST
Chances of success
It’s still difficult to say whether or not the campaign will succeed. I’ve seen campaigns start off much faster, but I have also seen successful campaigns with far less progress that still succeed in the end. The team has given a proof of concept and in addition, there are tiers for beta and even alpha access so that, for a premium, people can be engaged in the project every step of the way. This should attract a lot of people, especially those who are more tech savvy.
In terms of project success, STORYSCAPE: Digital Roleplaying System is definitely a large undertaking, and the company seems to be rather new. Now, just because a game developer hasn’t proven itself yet doesn’t mean that it won’t do a good job, but of course the more successful projects a group has under its belt, the more comfortable people will feel about backing new projects by that group.