Oct 30, 2014

Dungeonscape Undone

Seems tis the season for projects to go belly up. Last week the UpWorks KS was shutdown, with a note saying that it would probably never be revived. 

This week is word that Dungeonscape, the Dungeons and Dragons 5e online toolset from Trapdoor Technologies, was cancelled by Wizards of the Coast, and that the existing beta would be shut down shortly. Dungeonscape, originally announced as Project Morningstar, seemed to be on track for a 2014, or early 2015 release, and while they only had a character creator available for the beta, the application had received high praise from those who used it. Prior to this announcement, there was no indication that the project was in any jeopardy of being released. 
This marks yet another failure of Wizards to release software in a timely manner for their table top games going all the way back to second edition. Second edition software, released manny years after the hardback edition of the rules, was plagued with content bugs and included a stripped down Campaign Mapper program, instead of the more popular (at the time) Campaign Cartographer. 
Third edition included a Character Creator that was supposed to preview a full featured character creator/campaign manager tool. Several years later, e-Tools was released, eventually moving from one development company to another, and never having the all the features originally promised. 
For Fourth Edition, once again the originally promised feature set never arrived. It took years before a virtual tabletop was available as well as web based (and therefore Mac usable) tools. 
Dungeonscape was shaping up to be the first time D&D tabletop software was going to ready in a timely manner, with a full feature set, and be web and tablet ready out of the gate. Sadly, with today's announcement, fifth edition is shaping up to be just like previous editions (but not in a good way).