Become a Virtual Dungeon Master Using Adventure Roll
What is Adventure Roll?
Adventure Roll is a 3D tabletop experience. It is designed to allow you and your friends to gather together online and run a fully fledged D&D game, with a multitude of features that you can edit on the fly. That gives you the premise, but since we have a chance to talk with the development team let’s see what they have to say about it!
Today we sit down with Robert Braudy (Managing Director), Justin Dooley (Chief Technical Officer), and Alex Merza (Chief Networking Operations Officer) of Allied Games Inc. to discuss Adventure Roll's bright future.
Adventure Roll is built upon a concept that has long existed, the dungeon or map creator. There's a slew of different programs for creating and running pen and paper style games online, so what makes Adventure Roll different? 3D. There is simply nothing that is available that conveniently creates a 3D dungeon environment like this and offers the freedoms that are so common with dungeon builder tools.
Adventure Roll is more than a 3D map creator. It’s a Real Time game engine that allows users to easily create and play flexible 3D, immersive games with their friends.
GMs can create custom, beautiful, full featured, 3D playable Adventures according to their imagination on the fly. By seamlessly dragging, stretching, and snapping environmental tile sets together, inserting NPCs, placing props, triggering visual effects, playing animations, and creating custom interactions at will, GMs can visually craft and direct games for their friends as they see fit.
Players can immerse themselves in these worlds by embodying custom created characters and control every interaction with the world around them. They can make use of our targeting system to attack enemies and cast spells, play emotes, explore, collaborate, and create custom actions that play out visually before them. This is a way for friends to play D&D together like never before.
What sources of inspiration led your team to making Adventure Roll? Other programs, things you wanted in your games but could not find anywhere, etc.
Star Trek TNG, Divinity: Original Sin, Diablo franchise, Neverwinter Nights, Skyrim, Oblivion, The Sims and, of course, the Dungeons and Dragons tabletop game. Even though these games span different genres and mediums, we drew on elements that we liked from each of them.
You have talked about plans for a system for scripted moments in the game. Will we be able to make events (planned scripting when it comes) in the game for players without needing a lot of programming background? Aka, will you include things that are preset such as playing sounds with a trigger tile or line?
AR: Yes, we’ve already developed a simple visual scripting language that lets GMs and players drag and drop commands in sequence in order to trigger events in the game. We’re currently using our scripting engine internally to drive attacks in the game by employing basic commands such as rotate, swing, roll dice, play animation etc. As we develop the scripting engine further, we will offer more commands and create macros based on user demand so that players who wish to personalize their games and express their creativity in a flexible way can do so with ease.
You have interactable objects, which is really cool! Please tell us a little bit about things like traps and treasure chests?
In a lot of games, players can see things but can't do much with them.
In Adventure Roll, players must be free to interact with objects in the world and use them according to their imagination. Right now, there are a few items such as sconces that you can light and snuff out or chests that you can open and close but that’s just the beginning. The idea is to allow scripts to be added to the objects so that Adventurers can create custom interactions to make whatever they want happen. So if the GM wants a fireball to explode when the players open the chest, they can.
In a full 3D environment animations and lighting are a big deal, and they look great so far! Do you plan on adding more options for lighting and light sources? Things like fire on tiles, large light sources, magically lit tiles, etc?
Using Adventure Roll, GMs will be able to control what time of day/night their Adventures take place so that when you cast a firebolt, it will cast light differently depending on the time of day and the associated lighting. Or, when a group only has 30 minutes before nightfall to conquer their enemy, the GM can change the lighting as the battle unfolds so that the group better win or die trying.
More light sources and effects are also in the works and we are looking into creating more mobile light sources like torches. It's a little tricky on our end because dynamic lighting is expensive in terms of resources so finding a good balance of realism and fun is key.
Do you have plans for nature-based areas as well?
Nature based areas are already in the works. We’ll be releasing a forest tile set and grasslands very shortly. Our plan is to offer every environment outlined in WOTC’s System Reference Document (SRD) for starters and when we’re finished with that, we’ll expand with more unique environments.
With as much material as D&D has, you have a lot to add in, and that can feel overwhelming to people. What help can the novice player expect to make the game less stressful? Things like roll by click, some basic guides that might come in, etc.?
Making Adventure Roll user friendly is very important to us. We’re focussed on making all our features easy to use, making the controls as intuitive as possible, and making content easily accessible so that players and GMs can focus on their stories, not on the tech. You've already seen some usability improvements in our level editor and you'll continue to see improvements across the board as we develop the game.
As far as formal support goes, we plan to offer video tutorials and continue to develop a robust community help over discord and other social media outlets. Finally, it's important for us to remain accessible to our community. That’s why we’re active in gaming chat apps like Discord and others.
Where to find out more:
About the Author
Robert joined Gaiscioch during the Rift chapter, and decided to stick around because the people are awesome! He has a long history of playing games, mostly RPG or Strategy, and has played MMOs since they were born of MUDs.
Aside from his gaming, he also enjoys reading and cooking. Robert has also been previously published as a contributor with Rift Junkies for several articles during the 'Storm Legion' expansion. He does not always use the moniker 'Jairone' but it is a frequent choice in honor of one of his Grandfathers, as it is based on his middle name of Jerome.