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RPGObjects News
Posted by Chris Davis on 2012-10-28
Server is up and should be all configured. If you have any issues downloading books, using tiamat, or the online store, please let me know asap.

Posted by Chris Davis on 2011-03-18
Tiamat Update 15 is live. With this update, I'm dropping the beta tag. The most important changes in updated 15 concern the change in payment model. Look at my more recent blogs for additional details but here's a quick summary.

What's Gone: complicated formula for exporting maps, the web export, maintaining a Tiamat balance.

What's New: new payment model based on exports and tiles, 1 free export a month, buy additional exports and or tiles from the rpgobjects store (or rpgnow).

With that said, I'm off to work on the next Abandon All Hope adventure and the Savage Worlds campaign guide. And then... Tiamat Update 16. :)

Posted by Chris Davis on 2011-03-14
In my last blog post, I outlined a new payment model to buy maps and tiles. In this blog post, I want to discuss how use Tiamat for free on limited basis. Tiamat is free to use to create maps. The cost comes when you export a map. That isn't changing. Right now, I have something called a web export that allows people to export a free, albeit a very small and low resolution map. With the next update, I'm dropping this export. And thus, there will be no unlimited free type of export.

However, as I said in previous blogs, I still want people to be able to use Tiamat for free to an extent. So starting with the next update, people will be given 1 FREE export per month. Note, this free export doesn't carry over and doesn't entitle you to free tiles. But this essentially allows the casual user to use Tiamat for free once a month, assuming they are exporting an adventure scale map.

I still need some way to support Tiamat for free use, so at some point in the near future (but probably not in the next update), Tiamat will have some sort of ad integration. If you don't want to see ads, all you have to do is spend money. Ads will only show for users who haven't bought any additional exports or tiles.

Posted by Chris Davis on 2011-03-02
I recently blogged about "What's Not Working" in Tiamat and promised a follow up blog explaining some of the changes in store for Tiamat update 15, which should be my release candidate. In that blog, I outline 5 issues.

Issue #1: People seem content on exporting the free Web
Maps rather than adventure or miniature maps.
Issue #2: The price model is too confusing.
Issue #3: Some people still use the old mapper.
Issue #4: People want more new tiles
Issue #5: People want a better way to buy Tiles

Thankfully, issue 4, which is out of my hands, is being addressed. Since my last blog, Skeletonkey has released two new tile sets with more on the way.

What I want to discuss in this blog are Issues #2 and #5. To address these two issues, I'm introduction a new price model. Currently, maps are priced on a far too complex formula based on size. Additionally, if the map is of miniature scale, the was another formula to determine costs of the tiles.

This model worked on paper, but I can't count the number of emails I've received asking me to explain how much a map cost. So this has got to changed.

New Price Model: Export and Tiles
So the new price model is going to work like this. Rather maintaining a Tiamat balance and paying for maps using the formulas above, you'll simple purchase and spend two items: Exports and Tiles. When you export a map, regardless of size, you'll spend an Export. If the map is of miniature scale, you'll spend Tiles on any tiles you don't already own. This will have two benefits:

1) You don't have to guess or pull out a calculator to determine the cost of your map. It will just cost 1 export.
2) In general Maps and Tiles will be cheaper especially if you buy in bulk. Here's the prices.

Exports:
1 for $2
3 for $4
10 for $10
25 for $20

Tiles:
10 for $3 ($.30 per tile)
20 for $5 ($.25 per tile)
50 for $12 ($.24 per tile)
100 for $21 ($.21 per tile)

If you already have a Tiamat balance, I'll will be automatically converting you balance to Export and Tiles based on a 50/50 split with the most generous conversion possible. If you'd like a different split (say 100% exports and no tiles), email me (webmaster@rpgobjects.com) and let me know the way you want it broken up.

I'll be updating Tiamat soon, but before then, I got at least 1 more blog post. In my next blog, I will discuss Issue #1 and how I still want to Tiamat to be usable for free to some extent. Changes that will replace the "web export" that exists in Tiamat now.

Posted by Chris Davis on 2011-01-27
With Tiamat update 14, I'm very close to ending the beta phase of Tiamat's development. It's been in beta much longer than I anticipated, but I kept it in this state to let people know that nothing is finalized. The length of the beta has allowed me to analyze usage and get some great feedback.

I'm very happy with the overall usage. People are logging and enjoying making a lot of maps. I've received a lot of great complements.

With that said, there is one problem: people are making a lot of maps, but not buying a lot of exports. I hesitate to say that because the last two months have been vastly improved. But even though they are significantly better, I still think the following issues need to be addressed as I exit beta.

Issue #1: People seem content on exporting the free Web Maps rather than adventure or miniature maps.

I always get feedback from people who used Tiamat to quickly make a web map for their game. I surprised that they can make use of such a small map, but apparent it's "good enough". I want Tiamat to be free to use to an extent, but it also has to help support it's development and other related costs.

Issue #2: The price model is too confusing.

In this regard, I definitely out smarted myself. I created this really detailed formula for determining export and tile costs, but it's far to complicated. I can't count number of times I've had to explain it to people. This is need to be streamlined and simplified.

Issue #3: Some people still use the old mapper.

While I gave current users credit in Tiamat, some still use the old mapper. This is not unexpected. Eventually I will discontinue this service.

Some issues unrelated to buying exports.

Issue #4: People want more new tiles

This is not an issue I personally can control, but I've talked with Ed at Skeletonkey and he's got things in motion that will address this.

Issue #5: People want a better way to buy Tiles

Pretty self explanatory.

In my next blog(s), I'll outline all the ways Tiamat will change to address these issues. Even though I have some firm plans, I'm always open to tweaking them. So if you have any additional comments to send me, please do. Post them here, in the forums, or email me directly.

Posted by Chris Davis on 2011-01-24
Tiamat has undergone another update, it's 14th to be exact. Beyond bug fixes, update 14 features a new toolbar that replaces the top menus, a new setting to automatically reload your last saved map, and undo/redo. I go over the new features in the video below.

I know that it might have seemed like I wasn't making much progress on Tiamat that last couple months, but in addition to hacking out code, I've been doing some analysis. Update 14 will most likely be the last beta update. The beta period for Tiamat wasn't just a time for testing software, but also a time for me test the revenue model and usage. I've collected a lot of data and feedback and come to some conclusions. Some things are working, others are not. After talking it over with skeletonkeys games, I plan to make some tweaks to both the software and business model. I'll go over said changes in future blog posts running up to Tiamat 15.

Posted by Chris Davis on 2010-12-03
The Tiamat Map Making Contest ended Dec 1st and the winner is... Mark Pankhurst's Temple of the Tentacled One:


Click for Large Image

The main reason I pick this one as my winner was its unique design and the fact that I kept thinking of great adventure ideas to fill it.

A also choose two Runner Ups:

Tiogshi Laj's Sacrifice Halls:


Click for Large Image

It was a little on the busy side, but it seemed to used such a wide variety of tile sets.

John Reiher's Swamp Castle:


Click for Large Image

Super clean design and also gave me ideas for an adventures.

Posted by Chris Davis on 2010-11-17
Tiamat has just been updated. Included in this update is one of the most request features, multi tile selection. Now by holding the ctrl or shift key, you can add tiles to your selection. Thus you can move, cut, and paste larger sections of your map. I created a video that demonstrates this new feature:

In addition, I changed the tile placement icon from a blue box to the tile(s) currently selected. Those tiles should standout from the other tiles on the map as they are slightly transparent (except on IE).

I think there will be 1 or 2 more updates before I drop the Beta tag to Tiamat. I'll blog about the ramifications of that in the not too distant future.

Also, remember, I'm still running the Tiamat Map Building Contents until December 1st.

Posted by Chris Davis on 2010-11-03
Tiamat has been in beta for awhile now. I took a break from development to work on Abandon All Hope, but it's time to get this beast out of beta! As I alluded to in an eariler blog, I'm going to run a map making contest.

So here it goes, the 1st official Tiamat Map Making contest!

The Prize:
1. FREE Miniature Map export of the winning map.
2. $5 credit added to your Tiamat balance.

How to Enter:
1. Create a map no larger 30 x 60 (the default size of new maps).
2. Make the map Public.

Rules:
1. Contest ends Dec 1st.
2. Make no more than 3 maps public.
3. Please do not use another person's public map as your submission. I can detect this and you will be disqualified (and magically cursed).

I created a new Tutorial Video: Creating a Map Start to Finish.

Posted by Chris Davis on 2010-09-13
I have two upcoming events here at rpgobjects I want to make peeps aware of. So consider yourself informed!

Abandon All Home Previews
I haven't talked about Abandon All Home since gencon, but rest assured Dominic and I have been hard at work. Dominic has done a lot of extra amazing stuff for Abandon All Home. For example, a 3 page comic of an event in found in the introductory adventure Seeds of Rage. I'm hoping to do the same.

It's still on track for a horrifying October release. Starting Wednesday, I'll be posting a series of preview blogs. I'll probably post 2-3 a week. By the time it's released, you should have a very good idea of what you will find in this unique sci-fi horror RPG.

Tiamat Map Contest
While I'm still plugging away on Tiamat Documentation, I want to do something to encourage more map sharing. So I'm going to run a map making contest. You can get started now if you want, but I'll make an official announcement with rules and an contest end date in the not to distant future. In short, make a cool map and make it public. I'll look over all the public maps and pick my favorite. The winner will receiver $10 in Tiamat credit.

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