When we started developing Metanthropes RPG, we were initially aiming to release the game in a printed book format. As we are no strangers to Tabletop RPG games, we were fully aware that having all the rules and Metapowers in a printed-only format would not be enough, and we were always planning to have an online-companion that would help players find the content they were looking for in an intuitive and easy way.
Our plans changed when the Pandemic of Covid-19 shook the world. For the first time, we were forced to playtest with our Closed Alpha members remotely. Initially we started developing our own platform, but soon realized just how prevalent are digital platforms to play tabletop RPGs today. So instead, we set out to find the perfect virtual tabletop (VTT) platform for our game.
What does a ‘perfect’ VTT platform for Metanthropes RPG looks like?
- Free to play. We envision being able to offer introductory sessions of our game for free, to new players, so the VTT platform needs to be free-to-play as well. That means, that all the required functionality for the Metanthropes RPG needs to be available with a free account on the VTT platform, not behind any paywalls in order to see the effects or to access the character sheet.
- No installation required. Firstly, it is a matter of time for new players. We would love to not have to deal with installation issues, complicated procedures and delays that would hinder new players from accessing the game for the first time. Additionally, we would like our game to be accessible to all players, regardless of what kind of device they choose to access the platform with.
- Support our new D100 system. As Metanthropes RPG is not using an established RPG system, the platform needs to be able to support building a character sheet from scratch, with all the rules set by us, and not having limitations trying to fit our system to an existing template. As our game gets closer to release, we aim to have a variety of options to create new characters with, and the VTT platform needs to be able to scale up to meet our needs.
- Assets that support multiple genres. Metanthropes RPG can be played in any setting, so the platform needs to support various assets in both map types and tokens. From Sci-Fi to Mythology, from Cyberpunk to Modern, from Galactic scale all the way down to Quantum, Metanthropes RPG needs a platform that provides all these assets and a scope that fits our vision.
- A plethora of effects during gameplay. One of the benefits of playing an RPG on a VTT platform, is the ability to use special effects and animations to help with storytelling and player immersion. Our Narrators should be able to easily implement effects during gameplay that enhance player experience and help bring their Sagas to life.
- Integration with our website. An online companion sometimes is not enough. Although we aim to have a browser & mobile friendly website available to our players to explore the vast content of Metanthropes RPG, the ideal VTT platform would be able to integrate with our website one step further. From Single-Sign-On to being able to create and edit character sheets, we have a lot of ideas on what we could accomplish, and we will be talking more about our goals during the Beta phase of our project.
During the first few months of the pandemic, we set out to evaluate the available VTT platforms and we fell in love with Astral Virtual Tabletop almost instantly. As it stands today, Astral VTT checks all the above boxes besides the integration part.
For the past year, we have been using Astral VTT and gained more than 1000 hours of experience with the platform. It took us by surprise, to say the least, when we figured out just how easy it is, to write code and implement the Character-Sheet that we have now. We are planning to use more features as our game matures, this is only the beginning!
As we progressed through the milestones of Closed Alpha, we decided that we feel confident to use Astral VTT for our Open Alpha phase – exclusively. This means that you will not be able to play Metanthropes RPG in any other VTT platform, at least during the Alpha phase of development. If you have a favorite VTT platform that you would like to see Metanthropes RPG on, please leave us a message in the comments below.
The past year has been quite a ride, and we cannot wait to show you all that we have been working on. Make sure you book your seat in the upcoming Sessions to see all that we have in store for you. See you in the Metaverse!