Roll20 is back in the news this week with two new endorsements. The newly formed TSR Games named Roll20 as their “official tabletop” at Gygax Magazine's unboxing at the Brooklyn Strategist, and lead developer of competing game space Tabletop Forge halted production to instead help with future enrichments to Roll20. Roll20 co-founder and lead developer Riley Dutton said:
The most flattering part of all this is that they both came to us. It really helps make us feel like we must be doing something right.
The new TSR was formed by Jayson Elliot to cover multiple aspects of gaming, beginning with the launch of Gygax Magazine. Elliot was one of the first adopters of Roll20 in the Kickstarter phase. Additionally, a feature by Roll20 co-founder Nolan T. Jones’ brother, Nevin P. Jones, will be in the initial issue of Gygax Magazine covering Nevin’s first roleplaying experience which was accomplished using his brother’s application.
Tabletop Forge was begun as a Google Hangout application by Joshuha Owen with the purpose of helping the vibrant Google+ roleplaying community to better realize their games. The Google+ page for Tabletop Forge boasts over 11,000 members, many of whom supported the program’s Kickstarter last year. However, Joshuha decided that the community would best be served by a single HTML5 solution:
There are lots of options for roleplaying over the internet, but it became redundant to have both Roll20 and Tabletop Forge, as in many ways they were serving the same community and had similar features including a common goal of being lightweight and easy to use.
As such, the creators of both programs say they will be treating all Tabletop Forge’s Kickstarter backers as if they had made their pledges to Roll20, migrating Tabletop Forge assets to Roll20, and be working with a multitude of RPG artists to bring their content to the platform.
Roll20 began as an effort to keep developers Dutton, Jones, and Richard Zayas in touch via long distance gaming. Their project went public with an eighteen day Kickstarter campaign in April of 2012. Since then it has attracted over 100,000 users as a free service. The program continues to be funded by subscribers who receive features that assist advanced gameplay.
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