Gametable Mini Interview

How long has your VT been around, do you feel its keeping to it's original "design"?

Its been around for a few years. Oldest trace I can find is dated 2002.
I've been following the project for a few years, but have only started being really involed in the last year.

How many people contribute to developing your VT?

There have been many contributors over the years. At the moment, I've pretty much highjacked the whole development to restructure the core. I'm aiming for an architecture that facilitates integrating other developers - mostly through plugins.

Do you target a specific RPG system, if so why? Is this likely to change?

There is no targeted RPG system. The original concept seems to wanted to offer an easy to use sharable map, using either squares or hexes.
We're hoping a plugin system will allow for many original uses geared towards more specific RPGs or even table-top games.

What system do you feel is the most popular on your VT, do you feel your user base would be affected by an official VT for that system?

I think its ease of use has been its most popular feature.
Official VTs directly targeted for the game people play would surely influence their choice of VT. Especially for complex games, such as D&D, that has a library of spells and skills that we could not legally reproduce.
Hopefully, the upcoming plugin system will help add game-specific features to OSU-gt!

How do you decide which RPG systems to adapt for your VT?

We don't, yet :) I guess it'll be "organic" in the sense that whatever the developers play will be what will get plugins for.

Do you offer accessories for your VT, do you think there is a market for this?

Haven't done a market study. I know there's a user base and interest.

Are you seeing an increase in the number of people that use your software, are VT's becoming more popular?

We don't have means to track this yet. There sure is more competition than there used to be.

How have the tight financial times affected your product?

Well, having tougher financial times usually mean that contributors have less time to spend working on extra-curricular projects.

What do you think the strengths and weaknesses of your VT are?

The current version's strenght is probably its ease of use (even through there is still room for improvements).
Less gadgets means less "noise" that interferes with getting to the "meat" of things.

What do you have on the cards next, what should we look forward to?

As I mentionned, we're currently overhauling the engine to have a plugin-based architecture.
Once this is done, it should be easier to have contributors participating in the project to add modular features.
It should also be easier to have more developers working on different aspects of the core.

Where do you think RPGs and / or VTs will go next?

From the comments I've had from people using VTs, the thing that they mostly lack is the "presence" of other players (for lack of a better term).
It just doesn't substitute for the fun of playing with people present with you.
I guess that VTs will have to provide means to enhance the "in-presence" feeling - probably though voice chat and video-conferencing. We like using Skype for that :)

In one sentence tell me why I should use your VT, over the competition?

Strightforward, free and multi-platform - plus an upcoming plugins system

Thanks to themaze75 at the Gametable Project for taking the time to answer the questions.