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NOK 2,518
pledged of 100.000 NOK pledged of 100.000 NOK goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, March 28 2019 2:22 AM UTC +00:00.

Marius Holter BerntzenBy Marius Holter Berntzen
First created
Marius Holter BerntzenBy Marius Holter Berntzen
First created
NOK 2,518
pledged of 100.000 NOK pledged of 100.000 NOK goal
7
backers
8days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, March 28 2019 2:22 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Game Masters ARchive (GMAR) is an Augmented Reality map creation tool for use on mobile. Create tactical battle maps while commuting to work, or whenever the inspiration strikes. Bring those maps to life for your players and let them explore a 3D environment during play. Connect to your players and show realtime a representation of your mind's creations, and take your maps and miniatures with you in your pocket.

As a DM for a group of wonderful players I wanted to bring a new dimension to the gaming table. I looked around for Augmented Reality apps for my encounters, but none I found had the flexibility to let me create my maps for myself. A few pre-existing maps can only go so far, so instead of sulking I started making it myself.

So let's see what is going to be in this in the end.

With the map editor in the app itself you always have easy access to creating new and exciting maps for your group. No need to port or otherwise transfer your made maps from anywhere. The Augmented Reality view let you place the map unto the work, using your phone as a looking glass into your wondrous worlds. You can combine physical miniatures with augmented scenery or use miniatures from the editor to move while in the Augmented Reality view. For that reason I'm adding an initiative tracker, so you can connect to your players and use the tracker to easily manage movement of the figures for players as well as monsters. You still have to role play your actions, taking away the social and funnest part of RPGs is not what this app is about.

Create your maps with a multitude of different types of walls, decorative objects, characters and monsters. All of the ground can be painted with different textures like grass, water, sand and stone to fit the look you want for your encounters.

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 You can also try it yourself as of recently. Check it out over here:  GMAR Editor Demo 

DISCLAIMER: You'll need a fairly new browser used on a laptop or desktop for it to work. Got it going in Firefox, Safari and Chrome at least. The app isn't optimized for web playing, expect some sluggishness, and there's missing a lot of functionality, but it should let you be able to get an overview of how to create maps with 3D, and the video above show how fast the road from made map, to play really is. 

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When the base product is funded and I know I have the means to publish it for you all to use, the road ahead looks bright. The more we raise, the more content can be made for GMAR in the long run, both before initial launch, and further into the future. I have a lot of ideas for things to try out, but some are more sure than others as this app is not to distract from the most important aspect of TTRPGs, the social interactions over the table. 

More diverse themes is a given, and hopefully we get to include as many as possible in the end. If you think you have a perfect goal for us to strive for, be sure to let me know. All input from you are precious.

110,000 NOK (ca. $12,800) - Bonus Theme Object Set 1

130,000 NOK (ca. $15,200) - Interactive Map Objects (and trap set)

150,000 NOK (ca. $17,450) - Standalone Player App

172,000 NOK (ca. $20,000) - Bonus Theme Object Set 2

The base app will start off with a variety of textures and models suited for outdoors, indoors and dungeon environments. but I don't want to stop there. If we get to this goal, I'll make sure this bonus theme is ready to when the base app. Until the goal is achieved you, the community, can vote for which theme I'll have ready for launch. 

  • Pirate Theme (Ships, cannons, pirates and more)
     
  • Sci-Fi Theme (Spaceships, control panels, robots and more)
     
  • Modern Theme (Cars, electronics, IKEA and more)
     
  • Cultic Ritual (Additional demons, sacrificial altars, blood and more)
     
  • If you've an idea to a theme be sure to let me know in the comments.

 Want to open a hidden door in the wall, show the loot is obtained with loot chests which open to reveal what's hidden inside (beware of mimics!), or simply activate that hidden trap. The interactive map elements is here to excite and horrify your playgroup! 

Not every player around the table is going to want the full fledged map editor that comes with the app. Even though I wish everyone wanted to create maps with us. Therefore the goal here is to make a separate, more light weight app for connecting and interacting with a hosts map. Down the road for this version is ways to customize the players avatar to add the extra flourish and uniqueness for each player.

It all started with one of my players joking about me not having an encounter freshly modelled in 3D. For one, he knew perfectly well that they had sidetracked their adventure a bit during the session and that I was just barely holding on to my seat as I made up encounters on the fly. Secondly I have neither the storage space or equipment to have terrain pieces readily stored. In any case I wished I could bring the maps I made more to life, preferably in an easy and quick manner.

Later when I started out learning C# and game development in Unity I came across some of the AR capabilities in Vuforia, and I started toying with the framework to use some quick models I made in Blender and displaying those on top of drawn maps from photoshop, or modules we were playing. Displayed down below is Castle Naerytar in the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure module in a 1:1 size (I later scaled it down to be able to use it) and was one such test. 

Outline of the 1st floor of Castle Naerytar from HotDQ adventure module.
Outline of the 1st floor of Castle Naerytar from HotDQ adventure module.

I also looked around for any app that had Augmented Reality View capabilities, and those I found had much fun going for them, but I did miss one thing though, the ability to create my maps in the app itself. So I started programming an in app editor for myself. 

Many an evening, and a lot of coffee later, the base functionality was there. Painting floors, creating walls, placing objects, even on multiple floors was no issue. So I could make my own maps, and displaying them in Augmented Reality through my phone, and for showing a tactical overview before combat it worked well. It saved some time in describing the exact dimensions between different objects, for those who wondered I handed them my phone and they could look for themselves, and the rest was up to the theater of the mind to settle. 

I wanted to do it more functional, and give the app capabilities to handle, if the user wants, all tactical navigation on the map and displaying that to multiple phones at the same time. In other words, I wanted the app to be able to handle miniatures, and their placement on the map through a networked play session. To get the app to my players wasn't as straightforward as I would like. If I made any changes to the app I would need to rebuild, get a hold of their phone and reinstall it each time. (So once each day preferably since I make progress almost every day). 

At this point I got to a crossroads. The easiest way for me to let my players use the app regularly was to publish it on the necessary app stores. To do that the app would need a bit more polish, and content in form of models. Since if I go live with the app, I want others to be able to use it as well, and custom made models just to fit my own game isn't enough. Also I want to give you more content than I can find for free or make myself. And that is where I decided I needed to look to Kickstarter, since the capabilities of making this a platform for easy and flexible use of tactical maps in Augmented Reality or as a VTT is well within my reach, but what's outside my reach was the necessary funding. 

So here I am, looking to give back to a community that has given me so much enjoyment over the years, in the best way I know how, making the RPGs we play more fun and engaging, with tools easy for GMs and players to use.

Risks and challenges

As with any software product, there are some obstacles to overcome before a product can be released. Licensing for some of the software has to be in order, assets has to be procured and bugs has to be ironed out.

BUGS
There will be necessary to use some time to ensure everything runs smoothly, since bugs pop up at the weirdest of times. I'm happy to say that the app runs very smoothly so far. Even in the parts I've yet to thoroughly live test has in theory fewer potential pit falls inherent to the systematic way TTRPGs handles combat. Still my focus will always be that all parts of the app has to run smooth so everyone at the table can properly enjoy it. I'd like to use it with my own group, and they wouldn't let me hear the end of it if there's bugs in the code!

3D MODELS
The base app will need a lot of 3D models to work as intended. Some objets I can make myself, but my artistic ability is limited, so I will seek help from outside with modelling of 3D assets. My part is to ensure that the objects are working with the app and can be used flexibly with the editor while still deliver good performance. This project has let me explore the exciting world of 3D modelling so more content is sure to always trickle in, but the Kickstarter is going to ensure the quality of each asset is probably a bit higher than I can create myself.

FEATURES
Much of the baseline of the editor and map creator is already finished and working. The play and networking screen is under development and looks promising. Parts of the software and distribution through App Store needs licenses. Since I know any play group will have many different phones I've always written the app with multi-platform in mind and can't release it on only one platform. But licenses is simply a money issue, which you as backers is solving through this Kickstarter.

Depending on how well this Kickstarter goes, and what goals we stretch for, it might be a lot to juggle studies, work and creating this, but the base product will arrive on time or before, and I wont stop upgrading and polishing until we get to the end of every goal we set, and beyond.
The initial goal for launch is this summer. I'll post updates about all progress weekly as I find transparency is important when I have you as backers for this project. You will be the first to know if any delays happen, and when it's back on track. I've been alone up until now, and I'm excited to take it a step further together with you at my back.

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