What is Foundry Virtual Tabletop?
Foundry Virtual Tabletop (FVTT for short) is an application built specifically for experiencing multiplayer tabletop roleplaying games with your friends and party members over the internet. FVTT works using modern web technologies where one player (the host) runs an application which hosts the game server and other players can connect using a web browser. As a "virtual tabletop", the software provides a set of digital tools which are designed to imitate and expand upon the experience of playing a game in-person with your friends. Support for character sheets, rolling dice, exploring battlemaps, and moving heroic tokens are just a few of the many features which enable this experience. Foundry Virtual Tabletop goes well beyond the basic feature set, however, with rich dynamic lighting, fog of war, audio playlists, video chat using webcams, and way more. FVTT gives you everything you need (and then some) to forge thrilling and memorable moments with your gaming group!
How far along is this product in development? What is the timeline for testing phases? When will this be released?
Foundry Virtual Tabletop is currently in late Beta with a full software release coming in the first half of 2020. Development of FVTT begain in August, 2018 - and has progressed extremely quickly with phases of Alpha and Beta testing with a group of dedicated and enthusiastic community members. The precise release date has not yet been announced, and is still subject to change during the final phases of development.
The software was in pre-alpha development from August 2018 through November 2018 with closed Alpha testing until February 2019. From February 2019 until present the software has been in closed Beta testing with a large and dedicated community actively working together to get the software ready for release.
The ongoing Beta testing process if organized through Patreon until full software release and is used to actively collect feedback and continue improving the software along the path towards a full release. Beta testing is continuous without interruption, allowing you to use the current state of the software and receive ongoing updates as long as you maintain your Patreon support.
Please consider supporting the project and gaining access to ongoing Beta testing by supporting the project on Patreon.
Why are you creating this software?
My primary investment in this project is not as a business venture but rather as a fan of the tabletop gaming genre and a dungeon master who loves creating rich experiences for players. I believe the tabletop RPG community deserves better from its software and I want to contribute towards that by creating technology that I would love to use and I think there’s a lot of opportunity for my work to benefit the gaming community.
What will this cost? What is your business model?
While my foremost objective is not business development, I do want to approach the project with a level of seriousness that could allow for it to grow and support whatever community chooses to form around it.
Foundry VTT will be sold as individual licenses sold for a moderate fee. I plan to price each individual license somewhere in the $40 to $60 range depending on the extent of features that FVTT offers and the quality of the product at the time of release.
Each individual license will allow a game master to host games for unlimited players (who do not need to purchase). I have no plans at this time to offer any sort of subscription service and there will not be any premium features or gated purchase tiers.
Additionally, I have a Patreon page where community members who wish to provide additional support and have more direct developer access to participate in development vision and prioritization discussions. Patreon pledges are absolutely not required and do not modify game features, but during the pre-release phases of the software Patreon supporters do recieve early access to the software.
For Patreon supporters who have contributed towards the project during the testing phases, I plan to offer a discount on the final purchase price based on the amount or length of support during the testing process.
What are the hardware requirements to use Foundry VTT?
It is not possible to share exact hardware requirements for the software because performance of the application depends heavily on the type of content and features that are used within a World. As a general rule of thumb for common usage patterns, the following hardware would be recommended:
- Relatively modern computer running Windows 10, MacOS, or Linux operating systems with support for 64 bit architecture.
- An integrated GPU to enable hardware acceleration.
- 8GB of RAM
- A monitor no smaller than 1366x786. At this minimum resolution many aspects of the UI will feel cramped.
- [For Players] A modern web browser like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, or Edge with hardware acelleration enabled.
- A discrete GPU for better rendering performance of large maps.
- A monitor with 1920x1080 or higher resolution.
- A mouse. You can use the software with a touchpad but the current software is designed for mouse and keyboard.
- To self-host using Foundry VTT you will need an internet service provider which allows port-forwarding via IPv4 or provides an IPv6 address which does not require forwarding.
- To self-host using Foundry VTT an internet upload speed of at least 5MB/s is recommended since the host needs to transfer image, video, or audio assets to connected players. For hosts with slow upload speeds, serving your media files from a cloud storage location will avoid this limitation.
- To play in a Foundry VTT game, a download speed of at least 1 MB/s is recommended in order to load image, video, or audio assets with reasonable performance.
Hardware requirements are the same for both players and for the Gamemaster.
How long will Beta testing last? What does Beta testing mean for Alpha supporters?
The $10 Patreon tier (“Council”) was initially the tier which had access to closed Alpha testing. This supporter tier continues to have access to the software through release along-side with Beta tier testers. The key difference for Council tier supporters is that they gain access to major updates 5-7 days before those changes are released for all Beta testers. This jointly reflects the fact that major changes are a bit more prone to errors and closer to an Alpha software experience while also giving a way to reward more invested testers for their support of the project.
How frequently do the software updates occur?
Since the beginning of Alpha testing in November, 2018 I have been maintaining a pace of releasing a new update version approximately every 10-14 days. As the software approaches launch, the pace of updates has slowed slightly in order to be more cautious about not introducing new bugs or regressions. Since mid 2019 now software updates have been released every 14-21 days. You can view the change notes and dates in the archive of patch notes.
Will there be an open beta that is available to anyone, free of charge?
Not at this time. My plans are to only do a closed beta for Patreon supporters until the full software release. There is a publicly accessible software demo which you can reach from the navigation bar at the top of this page.
Will worlds or content created using the Beta build be valid for use once the release is made available?
Yes. All your content or creations will carry forward. I do not anticipate any significant issues with changes that break backwards compatibility. Please feel empowered to begin creating worlds that you plan to use for a long time!
Can I use this software to run in-person games with one view for the Gamemaster and another shared view for players?
Yes, Foundry Virtual Tabletop works great for this use case. Running the application or the Node.js server allows you to host the game from the Gamemaster perspective, and you can simply use a web browser to connect to your own game to broadcast a player view for your table.