Today in a way 5th Ed D&D took a step down the path that the last three editions have taken. Today DungeonScape is no more. Trapdoor Technologies announced about nine hours ago the following.
I never had my hands on the beta so I can not speak to the quality of the product. I do know that at least the buzz was high.
What I can say is it is a disturbing trend with D&D. For three iterations of the product they have attempted to delve into the digital format with their products. All previous editions have fallen Terribly short of the mark.
E-Tools Anyone ? This thing was a train wreck. It looked pretty on the splash screen. But the support for it was a mess. Then when 3.5 rules came out it just got worse.
D&D 4E stay with me and don’t panic.. I know how some of you get. The D&D insider and Rules Compendium. I will give the nod that the Rules Compendium was one of the better SRD style set ups out there. Minus the subscription, Many of us just wanted to content from the Dragon and Dungeon and were just happy you gave us some other things on the side.
The Digital tools that we were given were pretty nice. From the DM side of things it had never been easier to set up an encounter. Or modify a monster for an encounter .. Minotaur with a Scorpion tail anyone ? click and drag the stinger onto the Minotaur and your done .. It was a joy..
but it was small consolation. You promised us so much more ! We never saw the digital Tile set with lighting effects we were promised we were going to get.. Our PC’s rendered in the form of Figures for our group to play with! Well we saw it in a teaser video. And The PC tools were both needed and terrible. The tool made managing your 4E character so much easier, Yet it was constantly broken. And they yanked the downloadable one before most people even had the chance to download it. It was so buggy from time to time that most of us were of the opinion that you really did not care if it worked anyway.
And now we move on to 5E.. Many of us took a deep breath and a sigh of relief. You passed the job of making digital tools on to someone else. Thank You.. maybe they will get this one right.. Oh wait.. you pulled the plug on them while they were in the beta testing phase you say ? .. Dammit Wizards Dammit.
I find it baffling when there are other good apps out there that show you can make great tools for games like D&D.. How is it time after time Wizards drops the ball on this? Is it over ambition?
Wizards did make a brief statement :
Wizards of the Coast has ended its relationship with Trapdoor Technologies and their DungeonScape application. If you participated in the beta and have questions regarding the application itself, please contact Trapdoor directly.
It’s never easy to end a relationship with one of our business partners, but we remain committed to creating great tabletop and digital gaming experiences for Dungeons & Dragons players and DMs around the world.
From the response I wonder if Trapdoor’s product was not living up to expectations and they closed the product before they had another failed digital launch on their hands ? That we will likely never know.
I will close with a thought.. With Wizards and D&D under the umbrella of Hasbro. And Hasbro interactive, maybe someone up the food chain said why are we not making this product in-house ? Either way, It will be some time before we see a set of Official digital tools now for D&D 5E.