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Curious About Content Porting Process (And Why Some Content Is Not Available)

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Bast L.
Pro
API Scripter
I'm not trying to be mean, or complain here, I'm genuinely curious. I see that Extinction Curse, Chapter 1, for PF2 has been added. Roll20 has also added another PF2 module, sometime last year, I think. The point being, there have to be scripts to generate the characters, and the handouts and such, right? Stuff that's ready to go, once they have the data? (handouts may be more of an issue, as there could be uncertainty as to what text goes in which handout) Of course, there's legal work, and I'm not dismissing it, but some of that, even, can be replicated (I imagine), with small changes. I thought, "maybe Paizo isn't releasing it (Age of Ashes)," but I checked, and they are for FG. Aligning maps and drawing dynamic lighting lines is a pain, but it can't be more than an hour or so per module, based on my experience. I guess I'm asking, what is the process for porting modules over to Roll20, and what's the bottleneck for it? Surely they give Roll20 data in a more useful format than just the pdf, right? Even if they didn't, which would make little sense, paizo pdf text is clean-ish, and can be used in a character creation script. Or is it a lack of interest?
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Tom
Pro
Hey Bast, my educated speculation Staffing is part of it, and then there was not as much of a demand as they (and many others thought),  BUT they actually released Module 2 as well yesterday, then from June all the AP modules for EC will be released, then from then on Roll20 will go month by month with the CURRENT AP module release, now that is nice!! And I would assume once Roll20 sees lots of people buying EC thne they will see there is interest, just needed the content out is a part of it, plus many group[s are still wrapping up PF II games I still suspect. Age of Ashes promised, then cancelled sucked, but I have it all in by now, the  hard (actually what we all did (besides 5th Ed stuff) before stuff like this was even an option!! :) I'm fine as these 2 AP modules came out early, so staff is ramping it up at least and keeping their latest promise for now. My big wait is the next AP Agents of Edgewater, Then PF II's Kingmaker revamp for the new system, that is HUGE for me and my groups. And once PaizoCON online is done we will know what the 4th AP will be about, can't wait to see what it is :) My 2 cents Tom
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Bast L.
Pro
API Scripter
Aye, more is better. I just don't like the circus :) (there's some horrible picture of a clown in the player's guide for EC that put me right off)
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Tom
Pro
LOL, thats from the Evil Circus the players came from, hopefully if they picked their background from said players guide. And they run into again :) Good luck in your game, I will be running 2 of my 5 groups through this shortly Tom
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I had a VP once who got very upset that we were constantly missing our time estimates for development. We finally figured out he thought the estimate was for elapsed time from when we made the estimate, not work time from when we actually started the work. He couldn't believe we had a year's worth of backlog and not everything is top priority.
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Tiffany M.
Plus
Marketplace Creator
Terry W. said: I had a VP once who got very upset that we were constantly missing our time estimates for development. We finally figured out he thought the estimate was for elapsed time from when we made the estimate, not work time from when we actually started the work. He couldn't believe we had a year's worth of backlog and not everything is top priority. While that's true and I understand how it happens, you still should have communicated his place in the queue. I have had work take over a year to complete, due to that mentioned queue of prioritization... if you told me "a year" I'd also have assumed "a year from now" that's what you meant. I hope you learned from the mistake and now communicate that your start time will be delayed as well. Maybe that client needed the work, like, last year, and so that extra year delay cost him time and money. Maybe if your queue is a year long, you're good and you can say "I'm not available" and let someone who is take the work. I also understand wanting to have a queue for comfort, but you must balance it between jerking your client around and keeping yourself in work for the foreseeable future. My queue is usually around 2-3 months and if it were unreasonable for me to say "yes, your map will be done by October" right now I'd probably decline the work and direct to someone who can do it faster. Some other artists have queues that are 6 months long... that's workable... if you have a year of backlog you should probably start working and stop fishing for a bit. :) The work opportunities will be there when you have time on your hands again. So you'll lose out on one or two, but better client satisfaction means better likelihood of them returning! Roll20 is shortstaffed, as far as I can tell. They ought to hire someone to help if it continues to be swamped. But content eventually makes it out. I wouldn't be surprised if all they get to work from is the PDF though! Which would definitely make it a tedious port.
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keithcurtis
Forum Champion
Marketplace Creator
API Scripter
My assumption (from working on similar IP work) is that are likely given a production PDF and a connection to a cache of the original art files. From what I have seen WotC does a lot of its preliminary work in Microsoft Word, so that's possible if they are given pre-release materials, but not much better than a pdf. Yeah, from discussions I've had, the work is painstaking, largely manual, and requires thorough proofreading. This slows down the process immensely.
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Edited 1590345672
Bast L.
Pro
API Scripter
keithcurtis said: My assumption (from working on similar IP work) is that are likely given a production PDF and a connection to a cache of the original art files. From what I have seen WotC does a lot of its preliminary work in Microsoft Word, so that's possible if they are given pre-release materials, but not much better than a pdf. Yeah, from discussions I've had, the work is painstaking, largely manual, and requires thorough proofreading. This slows down the process immensely. I'd think TeK, rather than Word, at least. Just looking at AoN putting everything up (which, btw, is scrape-able (a friend and I got the spells, and were working on a script to add them, but then drag and drop spells were added, so we dropped it)), I figured they probably had some reasonable format. But again, even if they didn't, import scripts from Paizo PDF text isn't that bad seeming (SF HUD had one, I was working on one for PF2 before the Bestiary was added (some issues with distinguishing sections, if I recall, but probably not insurmountable), and I made a mostly working one for the Rappan Athuk 5E PDF, which also had clean text copy, and which only broke on a couple of monsters out of the 200, or however many).  However, creatures aren't, I think, the main problem (though they would be for a bestiary, of course, unless there was automation). There are about 15-ish per AP book, which is a pain, but only 1-2 hours work, in my experience. I think the text from the PDF, and sorting which of the handouts it goes into, would be much more tedious. That text copies over fairly well, though line breaks are an issue (multi-cursor paragraph selection is my usual fix, if it's enough of a bother to not do it manually on Roll20). Seeing Roll20 put up the Bestiary (and soon, Bestiary 2), strongly suggests some sort of automation though. I think the next one is coming out on the pdf release date, even (though they probably get it early, there's only so many times you enter monster text into a sheet before trying to automate things). There probably is some good reason, of course. Most likely, I'm simply underestimating the amount of work to port it over, and overestimating what Roll20 would make from selling it.  Anyways, thanks for the responses.
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Tiffany M. said: Terry W. said: I had a VP once who got very upset that we were constantly missing our time estimates for development. We finally figured out he thought the estimate was for elapsed time from when we made the estimate, not work time from when we actually started the work. He couldn't believe we had a year's worth of backlog and not everything is top priority. While that's true and I understand how it happens, you still should have communicated his place in the queue. I have had work take over a year to complete, due to that mentioned queue of prioritization... if you told me "a year" I'd also have assumed "a year from now" that's what you meant. I hope you learned from the mistake and now communicate that your start time will be delayed as well.  You've fallen into the same trap he did. You made some weird assumptions about the process, rather than asking. And that was my point. If you don't know the process, you don't have any idea how long something should take. Every assumption you make is wrong. In this case, the process was the developers estimated the work required on every new piece of functionality, then handed the estimate back to management. Management, not the developers, managed the queue. You just assumed freelance work when we were a software product company. Really bad assumption. Your lecture was totally misguided. Again, that's my point. Criticizing the process, when you don't actually know the process, has no value.
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It is very difficult to see Extinction Curse adventures being available on Roll20 yet nothing for Age of Ashes...I am glad that they will eventually get into a groove of releasing content almost at the same time as a book is released. However, for those of us playing Age of Ashes, it just sucks that the first Adventure Path (that MANY of us are playing) is not here! I also play in a 5e campaign and the GM has had access to Curse of Strahd and now Dragon Heist. And I'm struggling to GM Age of Ashes with assets I am culling from the Paizo community boards and things I am creating by hand. Want to give my players a great experience in the adventure and on Roll20...And I don't have the time to do all this prep! would love the pre-made content!!
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They will be doing Age of Ashes later, but no ETA was given.