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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Unofficial App rss

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Bruce
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I have been thinking about whether it is a good idea to develop an unofficial app that will allow the community to provide it's own support/features and develop custom quests.

I envisage this supporting:

- D2E
- MoM2E
- IA

With the possibility of future Doom/other support.

My questions are:

1: Who here has skills/experience and is willing to contribute to such a project?

2: Does anyone here have experience/contact with FFG and can gauge the likelyhood of a cease and desist notice? I am particularly worried about the Star Wars IP, if this was left off would that change the answer?

Thanks.
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Martin Gallo
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I have no relevant skills or contacts but I anticipate a C&D for this project, especially if you sell it.
 
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Bruce
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martimer wrote:
I have no relevant skills or contacts but I anticipate a C&D for this project, especially if you sell it.

Would have no intention for selling, completely open community project.
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Martin Gallo
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I recommend you discuss it with FFG.
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Donny Behne
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BruceLGL wrote:
martimer wrote:
I have no relevant skills or contacts but I anticipate a C&D for this project, especially if you sell it.

Would have no intention for selling, completely open community project.


Sales wouldn't be necessary to be told to cease and desist. They may protect their IP, even if it's free.
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Dean L
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BruceLGL wrote:


1: Who here has skills/experience and is willing to contribute to such a project?


Probably know a few people, but it's a huge undertaking, how much are you offering?
 
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Bruce
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Deano2099 wrote:
Probably know a few people, but it's a huge undertaking, how much are you offering?


Nothing at all. I intend to work on this as an open project, I'm half committed to doing it by myself depending on the responses to question 2, but if there are other people who want to be involved it is better to involve them upfront for decisions on development environment.
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Bruce
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Cross post from MoM Forum:
keitharchaeologist wrote:
As far as MoM2E goes, presumably the app would have to function in the same manner as the official app, which would probably require a substantial programming effort on the part of a volunteer group.

Such a project may well also attract a C&D order as a matter of course, whether it would be legally binding probably depends on the extent to which you use FFG material, at the very least you would probably have to avoid using FFG images, and possibly names rendering the usefulness of the app questionable. In any event even if not binding I suspect that FFG could have much deeper pockets for legal fees than most individuals should they decide to persist. So I doubt that you could achieve much without the explicit blessing of FFG (just my opinion of course).

It might also be worth noting that there is a petition both here and on the FFG community site to gain support for an official MoM2E scenario creation module/interface from FFG. If this succeeds then it will provide a mechanism for people to create game content, without necessarily needing a separate app.

Sorry if this is a little discouraging but it is probably better than going down the road and finding that you are stopped after putting in a large amount of effort.

In general I agree with this, but there are several reasons to do this even if FFG promise an editor.

1: Also support D2E, IA, maybe more.
2: People will find that there are a lot of limitations on quests/campaigns in the current engine, we can provide more options.
3: Support for Linux, perhaps other platforms like Chromebook.
4: Remove the issue that many still seems to have with these games regarding ongoing official support.
5: Extra features such as toggling specific parts of expansions or setting difficulty.

The IP is a big concern, which is the reason for question 2. The main thing going in favour of this not being shut down is it may further drive physical sales and shutting it down may be bad PR. Still, it remains a big issue.
 
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Rilakkuma
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FYI, an unofficial netrunner app out there, may provide some insight for you.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shuneault....
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Jonathan
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I've been thinking about this too and I think there's a way around the C&D. Rather than create an app that's specific for a particular game make a more general game "system" and then have someone add the relevant text, images, even logic as needed (in the form of a game "pack"). This has worked well for Vassal and such similar apps.

The only downside to a system-based approach is that it's likely to take longer to design.

Either way, time permitting, I may be interested in working on a system like this. I'm actually thinking about how broad this system could be (i.e. could it be expanded to more than one vs many games?).
 
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Bruce
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JJWonderboy wrote:
I've been thinking about this too and I think there's a way around the C&D. Rather than create an app that's specific for a particular game make a more general game "system" and then have someone add the relevant text, images, even logic as needed (in the form of a game "pack"). This has worked well for Vassal and such similar apps.

The only downside to a system-based approach is that it's likely to take longer to design.

Actually this is what I intended, separating game/expansion content from the core engine makes a lot of design sense to me (and quests/campaigns would be separate again). Of course of the content part gets shut down the program is still useless.
JJWonderboy wrote:
Either way, time permitting, I may be interested in working on a system like this. I'm actually thinking about how broad this system could be (i.e. could it be expanded to more than one vs many games?).

While this may be possible I have no intention of adding it as a design goal at this stage (those indicated above are ambitious enough). Thanks for the interest, I will contact you and any others who have expressed interested when I have a few things together.
 
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Sebastian H.
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I don´t want to disencourage you, but I know of another unofficial app, where FFG contacted the author and stopped the project.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1302115/eldritch-horror-enco...
 
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I'd expect this sort of thing to be worth pursuing should the support/content for the official app ever dry up, in which case FFG would have less incentive to object.

But with new & currently-supported product(s) that are big sellers for FFG I don't see how they'd see enough benefit to allow it to exist in parallel to their own apps.

Worse, it might divert funding away from future app development (and scenarios, free or otherwise) towards legal eagles devil

Not to mention, the community here seems keen on asking FFG to support community-made content via the official app/channels. I'm not sure that would go down too well if a clone app was in the works.
[EDIT: this is referring to the Mansions of Madness 2e "petition" on BGG forums to support fan-made scenarios in some form]

So those would obviously be two big losses for all of us. I'd certainly like community-generated content to become a possibility, but not at the risk of harming future (& arguably better) official content.

Of course, if FFG were approached and had no objections, that's a different matter. I'm just not sure it's likely.
 
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Bruce
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relaxuma wrote:
FYI, an unofficial netrunner app out there, may provide some insight for you.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shuneault....

Thanks, I have sent the developer a message.
 
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Jonathan
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DelphiDie wrote:
I don´t want to disencourage you, but I know of another unofficial app, where FFG contacted the author and stopped the project.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1302115/eldritch-horror-enco...


While it's clearly a legal grey area - and FFG may be less that impressed - they don't seem to have stopped any of the numerous Vassal packs for Descent and its many expansions. More-so, they've not stopped Vassal as a core engine for playing boardgames (which I can imagine being a lot more time consuming - legally speaking - to so).

Obviously, if they create a custom scenario creator for any of their games (I personally think this is less likely in the short-term but we'll see) then this app becomes less relevant.
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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So, you want to make an unofficial app to two board games that already have an app...?

What's the point? Do you think you can do a better job starting from scratch? Do you want to fix the FFG bugs before they do? Is this only so that you can create your own content?

Please don't take this wrong way, but I realy do not understand why you would want to do this or why users would want to use your app as opposed to the excellent official app already included.
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Jonathan
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Vardaine wrote:
So, you want to make an unofficial app to two board games that already have an app...?

What's the point? Do you think you can do a better job starting from scratch? Do you want to fix the FFG bugs before they do? Is this only so that you can create your own content?

Please don't take this wrong way, but I realy do not understand why you would want to do this or why users would want to use your app as opposed to the excellent official app already included.


To me, the biggest reason is to open the app up to user-generated content rather than waiting for FFG to trickle it out at their own pace.

Obviously, if they release a scenario creator (which I personally feel they're unlikely to do in the near future) then this app becomes far less relevant.

As to whether we could do a better job, why not? I'm sure there are some great developers (arguably as good as - if not better - than those employed/hired by FFG) that frequent this site.
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Bruce
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For anyone interested in helping, there is a wiki page here:

https://github.com/NPBruce/valkyrie/wiki

And I have created template data here which needs filling out:

https://github.com/NPBruce/valkyrie-contentpacks
 
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Ville Kankaanpää
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Hello! I know this is a bit old thread but actually I've already made an unofficial Descent app (actually before the official was released), here's the BGG link: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1566826/descent-dungeon-gen...

I don't remember if I put a github link then so here is also that if someone wants to continue the project: https://github.com/SirMorland/Descent-Dungeon-Generator
 
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Bruce
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Morland wrote:
Hello! I know this is a bit old thread but actually I've already made an unofficial Descent app (actually before the official was released), here's the BGG link: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1566826/descent-dungeon-gen...

I don't remember if I put a github link then so here is also that if someone wants to continue the project: https://github.com/SirMorland/Descent-Dungeon-Generator

Where did you pull your tile images from? For the record Valkyrie is now playable with D2E, comes with one quest and an editor:

https://github.com/NPBruce/valkyrie/releases
 
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Ville Kankaanpää
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BruceLGL wrote:
Morland wrote:
Hello! I know this is a bit old thread but actually I've already made an unofficial Descent app (actually before the official was released), here's the BGG link: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1566826/descent-dungeon-gen...

I don't remember if I put a github link then so here is also that if someone wants to continue the project: https://github.com/SirMorland/Descent-Dungeon-Generator

Where did you pull your tile images from? For the record Valkyrie is now playable with D2E, comes with one quest and an editor:

https://github.com/NPBruce/valkyrie/releases


I fetched the tile images from FFG's Descent Quest Vault https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2013/1/11/announc...
 
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