Year in Review: Three-Year Anniversary Edition

Year in Review Banner 2023
A look back at the past year, and ahead towards what is coming next!

It's difficult to believe that it has already been a year since our 2022 Year In Review article was posted during our anniversary celebration last year. The "year in review" process gives us a chance each year to reflect on how much our team has accomplished and to share our thoughts on the state of Foundry Virtual Tabletop with our community. Please read for a retrospective look at what we achieved over the past 12 months and a glance towards the future at what comes next!

During the past year we've launched a lot of great first-party content, and have seen some amazing support within our community as more and more publishers and content creators bring their work to our platform. We published our first full-length adventure, partnered with Teemill to offer sustainable merchandise, added new team members to our staff, and saw some fantastic growth in the community.

A Year of Growth

The past year has seen a surge of growth for our team, our community, our business, and the scope of projects that we are working on.

Team Expansion

Since last year we have added 7 members to the team either in a full-time or part-time capacity. This represents a near-doubling of the team size that we had during our anniversary celebration in 2022. This has given us the opportunity to improve upon our organization and workflows to help us scale and effectively work as a larger team. Please join me in getting to know and acknowledging our new team members who joined since last year.

Business Growth

We have experienced strong growth in sales of software licenses with our total number of licensed users growing 52% year-over-year. We sold more software licenses during the past 12 months than during the equivalent period one year ago. This sustained growth of our core business model provides us with the opportunity to keep focused on what we do best: improving Foundry Virtual Tabletop and building the tools to offer the best possible digital role-playing experience.

In addition to sales of our core software, revenues from sales of premium content increased a staggering 852% year-over-year. This revenue channel is smaller than that of our core software licenses, but it is encouraging and important that we are building the premium content ecosystem to provide strong long-term revenue in order to support our business operations.

Lastly, we would like to thank the (currently) 1,545 of you who support us on Patreon. We have not done as good a job as we would like of providing extra value to our Patreon supporters (some of that will soon change with Crucible), but it is humbling to know that so many of you simply want to support our project because you believe in our vision, our process, and our focus on making Foundry VTT the best it can be. Thank you!

Community Growth

Our public community has grown dramatically over the past year! The Foundry Virtual Tabletop community Discord server has surpassed 70,000 total members with more than 30,000 users active each day and over 100,000 messages exchanged monthly. Despite such a large membership we are proud of how welcoming, constructive, and well-behaved our Discord community is.

We also wish to congratulate our community subreddit on their recent milestone of reaching 50,000 users!

Our team is proud of how we have maintained and grown our friendly and positive community — thanks in no small part to the welcoming, helpful, and kind people who make up the overwhelming majority of our userbase. It is a point of pride for us that no matter how large our community seems to get, we all strive to keep that friendly, down-to-earth, welcoming feeling we've had all along.

Module and System Development

The past year has also had some great milestones to call out in terms of community development. We now have 270 published game systems and over 2000 add-on modules available for installation and the ranks of our community developers have grown to exceed 1,000 users with the "Developer" role on our website (meaning they have submitted at least one package). Our community developers are inspirational and intrepid — creating amazing modules and systems with features we couldn't have anticipated. We are routinely thrilled and amazed to see the high-quality additions created by our user community. We eagerly look forward to seeing what amazing packages are developed over the coming year!

Community Charity Efforts

We want to acknowledge all the amazing charity campaigns that our community has sponsored and participated in over the past year. We have been thrilled to work with so many of you to support your pledge drives, raffles, and giveaways for a wide range of charitable efforts — granting tens of thousands of dollars in support to causes like Extra Life, Doctors Without Borders, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and many others!

Version 10 (September 2022)

Our V10 update of Foundry Virtual Tabletop was one of our largest releases ever, packed full of so many new features that it's difficult to choose which ones are most important to highlight. Development on Version 10 began in January 2022, and it became one of our longest development cycles, representing thousands of hours of development time. When V10 released on the stable channel, it was nearly twice as large as V9 in terms of development time.

Pages and Pages of Journals

As with every version, our community voted to prioritize development of one feature above the others, and Journal Entries took the polls for V10. Bringing a complete rework of the Journals System, we introduced the concept of Journal Pages (with page types), a new rich-text editor (Prose Mirror) which allows for multi-user collaboration, and support for markdown, pdf, and video page types!

Gemstone Mine Crucible Journal
The V10 Journal System empowers both beautiful presentation and effective organization of text.

I See Everything

Almost every game system has a concept of different types of perception, whether it is a magical ability to see the invisible or some sort of night-vision goggles. We improved our rendering system to allow game systems to offer support for a variety of different vision and detection modes for tokens. Many game systems have already adapted to using these new tools, offering support for cool, system-specific implementations of darkvision, tremor sense, and more!

Going on an Adventure

Version 10 saw the formal implementation of a new type of compendium, providing users with the ability to package all the contents of their worlds into Adventures which can be distributed to others. Adventure Documents made it much easier for content creators to offer fully-prepared adventures to the community, and made it much easier to import and deploy whole adventures with walls, lighting, tokens, and journal notes already in place!

So Much More

We didn't just bring improvements for journals, vision, and content distribution — Much of Version 10 circled around smaller (but no less meaningful) improvements to a variety of systems. We introduced Pings, allowing GMs (and players) to more easily draw attention to certain parts of the canvas. We improved the Audio/Video Chat Integration with a new UI. We added a new framework to be used for enhanced tooltips and educational tours. We also improved much of the underlying API used by our community developers, including major improvements to data structures and package management!

We are proud of Foundry Virtual Tabletop version 10, the version that the vast majority of you are using today. That being said, the long development cycle, extensive set of changes, and more significant (than we would have preferred) API changes gave us things to look back on retrospectively with V10 and aspire to improve upon with V11.

A House Divided (October 2022)

We were very pleased to announce and release A House Divided in October 2022. A House Divided is a tale of gothic horror designed from the ground up to incorporate advanced features of Foundry Virtual Tabletop in order to offer a rich and immersive experience.

We've been very excited to see the reviews and commentary from our users as they explore the setting we created. Watching the myriad of community livestreams and hearing the feedback from our community has been an absolute source of pride for us, and we're glad that so many people seem to be enjoying unravelling the mysteries of House Corvinarus.

The House Divided Teaser Trailer

For those of us who worked most closely on the project, A House Divided sort of took on a life of its own. We're very happy to have been able to instill a sense of life to the NPCs and to build a comprehensive and engaging story, and we look forward to watching as so many of you continue to explore the world established in A House Divided. We've seen really positive feedback from the folks who have purchased and played the adventure, for example this recent comment in our Discord server:

It's the most thoroughly thought through module I've ever seen. It's fully integrated with Foundry. There's music, maps, NPCs, tokens for everything. It's updated with fixes and patches. [...] It's amazing.

If you have been looking for new adventure content to enjoy with your group, please consider checking out A House Divided which is on sale now and will be updated later this week for full compatibility with Version 11!

Version 11 (May 2023)

The newest stable version of Foundry Virtual Tabletop comes packaged with a lot of interesting improvements. We spent this development cycle focusing on improving the existing features of the software in a way specifically designed to be less disruptive for our development community. The central innovation and focus of this generation is database and compendium improvements, but we have also managed to include a huge number of amazing quality-of-life features, UX improvements, and much more.

Version 11
We are eager to welcome you to Foundry Virtual Tabletop version 11, our best version yet!

The Setup

Version 11 introduces the first part of an ongoing effort to beautify our UI, bringing a complete reimagining of the Setup screen. The new setup screen introduces a whole new visual look in line with our Website, as well as a series of features that improve the user experience, making it easier than ever to manage your games. In addition to displaying information about your worlds, systems, and add-ons in a more streamlined way, the new Setup UI adds support for choosing different UI themes, ability to change how different packages are displayed and organized, and an overall visual improvement we hope you all find aesthetically pleasing. We also introduced two new panels to help users stay informed of community news, and to allow us to highlight packages from the community and from content creators which our user base might be interested in.

Covering Our (Data)bases

While not the most glamorous or visual change, Version 11 gave us the opportunity to make some long-awaited improvements to how Foundry VTT stores data. By shifting from our previous data storage approach (NeDB) to a new binary-encoded one (LevelDB) we were able to gain significant performance improvements and lay the groundwork for some future improvements to data storage and supported workflows without significant impact to existing games and systems. LevelDB offers a lot of benefits which we look forward to leveraging in future updates!

Folders and Compendium Packs

The Patreon-voted feature for this version brings improvements to Compendium Packs. Thanks to some benefits from the Database overhaul, we were able to introduce some great new organizational features for compendia, including the ability to organize using folders and subfolders within them. In addition, we refactored the UI of the compendium sidebar, standardizing it to use folders and workflows more in line with other sidebar tabs.

Performance Improvements All Around

It wouldn't be a Foundry VTT version without some sort of performance improvements, but we think we may have outdone ourselves this time. Version 11 brings changes to the canvas rendering engine which make the rendering of vision and lighting smoother and faster than ever. A refactor of our handling for "Synthetic" tokens should smooth many of the rough edges off of database operations related to tokens that aren't linked to a specific actor.

Other Milestones

Official Merchandise (August, 2022)

Dice Dungeons Metal Dice
Foundry VTT Metal Dice from Dice Dungeons

In August, we announced our partnership with Teemill and launched an official merchandise store. We're pleased to continue offering print-on-demand clothing, stickers, totes, and more so that so many of you can show your support for us! All our designs are made wholly in-house, and Teemill's sustainable approach to apparel production seemed like a perfect fit for us.

We also teamed up with the excellent folks at Dice Dungeons to create and release a special set of Foundry Virtual Tabletop metal dice with a beautiful custom design that captures our brand.

Pathfinder Token Pack: Bestiaries (December, 2022)

In December we launched the Pathfinder Token Pack: Bestiaries, bringing beautiful high-resolution tokens and portraits for over 1200 creatures to Pathfinder Second Edition and other compatible game systems. We are proud of this system-agnostic product which adds exceptional artwork to games for a variety of systems. The reception from our community has been amazing, this token pack has been one of our best received products, and we hope to release other similar packs in the future.

Pathfinder Deck: Harrow (May, 2023)

Earlier this month we released the Pathfinder: Harrow Deck product. The Harrow deck allows players to perform fortune-telling readings in an immersive application for Gamemasters and players alike. The Harrow Deck isn't just for Pathfinder, but like the token pack, this module is intentionally system agnostic and can be integrated into any game system that you prefer!

Crucible - Coming Soon

Crucible Logo
An innovative game system for Foundry VTT

We've been working toward this one for a long time. Andrew started development of the Crucible game system all the way back in 2020 and has been working on it intermittently since. Development of Crucible has picked up velocity this year; it is with considerable excitement that we announce the beginning of external playtesting for the system starting this week!

Crucible is an innovative and modern tabletop role-playing game system built exclusively for Foundry Virtual Tabletop as a digital platform. From the ground up, Crucible is designed to leverage the unique capabilities of Foundry VTT to provide gamemasters with a powerful toolset and effortless layers of automation, allowing gamemasters and players to focus on what matters most: telling a compelling story.

Cornerstone design pillars of Crucible include:

The first round of external playtesting of the Crucible system will begin later this week, available at first to Patreon supporters at the Hero or Legend tier. Later rounds of play-testing will be available to all community members and the Crucible system will eventually be available to all Foundry VTT users for free.

Foundry Virtual Tabletop - Version 12

This early in the planning phase it's difficult to predict what ambitious developments we'll pursue in the next version of the Foundry VTT software, however we can share a little preview and speculation of things that V12 is likely to include.

Modernization and UI/UX Overhaul

With the success of our overhaul of the setup screen in V11, the next steps involve revisiting the UI for users within the game world. We look forward to developing a more responsive, aesthetically pleasing UI for everyone beginning in V12. It is our hope to make some improvements and provide a streamlined, intuitive, easy-to-use interface for all our users.

Patreon-Voted Feature

As with every core software version, Patreon supporters will be able to cast their vote for a primary user-facing feature that V12 will deliver. You can expect this feature vote to become available in early June after we are done with the V11 stable release process. Be sure to check out our options from the V11 vote to get a sense of the types of options that will be available in the V12 poll.

Other Upcoming Content

The Demon Queen Re-Awakens!

We have worked to deliver an update to The Demon Queen Awakens that improves several aspects of the product and also brings support for a new game system! Supporting additional systems is a goal we have had for a while. We hope this will be the first in a series of conversions which make some of the best content for Foundry VTT available to play under alternative game systems. Stay tuned for a more complete announcement on this update coming later this week!

Pathfinder: Kingmaker

Our content development team has been working hard to produce Kingmaker, and we're anticipating its release with just as much excitement as the community. We've been silent on this front for a long time, working as fast as we can to make Kingmaker one of the best quality products for Foundry VTT we can make. At present, you can anticipate its feature list to include:

Kingmaker Q3 Teaser
The Pathfinder Kingmaker adventure will be available in Q3 2023!

Once this product is done, Kingmaker will be the largest and most ambitious content project we have delivered yet. It's going to be truly spectacular and we encourage you all to tune in to our PaizoCon panel on Friday, May 26 for a glimpse at what we are working on.