About this project
The Procurator is a website tool that let’s you create and manage character sheets and characters for any game. The interface will be easy to use and won’t require you to be a programmer to make your own sheets. You simply create a new game sheet (or copy an existing game sheet), then drag and drop the elements that you want to track onto your sheet. Move them around and line them up until your sheet looks the way you want. Once you have created a game sheet you can start making characters using the sheet you just made. (See the demo below)
What am I doing here?
My name is Sterling Heibeck. I’m a developer by trade and gamer in my spare time. In particular, I have a love of role-playing games. I'm also the one who always ends up running the games I play. I love the creative process of being the Game Master, creating a world and pitting my friends against it.
Anyone who game masters a lot eventually starts to realize what an overwhelming job it can be. You have a lot of information to juggle and you come to appreciate any tools that help make your job easier. That’s where my story begins.
Now that's a problem...
One day, as I'm cruising the net trying to find some of these handy tools to make my game mastering career easier, I find a website that lets me create and manage my own game world. I think to myself, "Great, I have a convenient place to organize my world." I sign up for an account and start spilling ink. Life is good, right?
Enter, The Procurator!
The Procurator is not just a place to put your characters, it's a place to build your own custom character sheets (We call them game sheets.) It's not just for role-playing games, it's for any game. You can build your own character record sheet, weapon sheet, vehicle sheet, city tracker sheet, any kind of sheet you can think of! And all your sheets and all your characters for all your games will all be in one place.
You want a Talisman character sheet? You can do that. Call of Cthulu? Yup. Dungeons and Dragons? Any edition you want, the way you want it laid out. Pathfinder, Rifts, Fate, Star Frontiers, Palladium? Yes, yes, yes, yes, no ... just kidding YES! You can make a sheet to track anything from any game (RPG, Table-top, CCG) you can think of.
Why should you back this?
Where we are at today
I've been a developer since 1991. I've worked on a lot of web applications and here are a few that I've done in the last year with the BizStream team:
Each of these projects took about four months from conception to production, and are custom built from the ground up. I was the lead architect and lead developer on both of these websites.
I've also worked on the website for Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation (http://www.maryfreebed.com/) which is currently nominated for best Kentico Site of the Year for 2012.
Here's the BizStream portfolio which shows the many other websites that the team has worked on over the years: http://www.bizstream.com/Our-Work.
As for the Procurator, we have a large head start on the project already. The drag and drop interface is 80% complete. I'm going to show you a demo of what we have so far so you can see where we're at and get a taste for where we are going.
Remember, this is a demo only and is not the finished application:
If The Procurator is successful our plan is to start developing again on March 1st with early beta access to be available by mid March and final beta by April 1st. We'll be shooting for early May as the official public launch. (The reward delivery dates are based on this date.)
We've already put in approximately 100 man hours of work over a three day period of development (3 developers working 3 10 hour days, which is not the norm, FYI ;) The following features are left to develop with estimated hours.
- CSS for Game Sheet View/Edit mode: 30 hours
- Game Sheet component properties: 8 hours
- Game Sheet printing tweaks: 2 hours
- Create a character using a sheet: 20-40 hours
- Allow uploading images for sheets: 10-20 hours
- Search functionality: 4 hours
- Email configuration (for user feedback): 2 hours
- Support forum configuration: 2 hours
- Support forum styling: 2 hours
- Testing and Bug fixes: 40-60 hours
You can see that we have about 118-160 man hours of work left before we're ready for production. This obviously won't be the only project for BizStream to work on, thus we'll be working on this over the course of the month of March with a Beta Release of the Core features in April. Keep in mind that Project Plans must be flexible, and they are best estimates and can be subject to change. Our goal is to keep you guys in the loop as things progress and we'll let you know exactly where we're at with things.
We have lots of ideas
Let's talk about goals. We want to be very clear about our goals and about how the website will function. Firstly, The Procurator will be free to use for it’s basic functionality; building character sheets and making characters. However, we will also have membership levels that give you access to more character sheet slots and any additional features.
We've got lots of ideas and features we’d like to see be part of this product to enhance your gaming experience, however, a lot of that depends on you guys telling us what you want by supporting us. The list below is a very terse description of some of the milestones we’d like to include in the final product. We've got more ideas to include as we reach some of our goal levels and we’ll be revealing them (and more details about each level) as we get closer to funding them.
Milestone #1 ($30,000) Game Sheet Core
- A drag and drop interface that allows you to create game sheets.
- Support text boxes, radio buttons, check boxes, drop-down lists, labels, multiple columns and pages.
- Allow users to custom roll their own CSS to make advanced layouts possible (Advanced users)
- Create unlimited characters from any sheet in your collection. Export a sheet/character to PDF.
- Copy game sheets to your collection.
- Default game sheets from some of the most popular games if you don't want to make your own
- Manage your account profile/avatar
Milestone #2 ($40,000) Socialize
- Allow users to share and rank game sheets and characters.
- View stats on your game sheets (i.e. number of times used, number of times copied, number of characters created, etc)
- Facebook, twitter integration so you can get props for your awesome game sheet
- Allow tagging/grouping of your sheets and characters for easy organization and searching.
Milestone #3 ($50,000) Game Mode
- Enter a game mode with an easy way to view and interact with your sheets in a browser, mobile device, or tablet so you can “play” your character during a game.
Milestone #4 ($60,000) Calculated fields
- Allow game sheet fields to have dependencies on other fields for auto-calculating values.
Milestone #5 ($70,000) Import
- Import characters from third party sources that have an accessible API.
Milestone #6 ($80,000) Versioning
- View a history of all the changes you've made to any sheet and roll-back to previous versions.
- We are excited to hear your ideas and feedback so we can add YOUR features to YOUR Procurator
Risks and challenges
Computers can be crazier than gamers. There's always the possibility of data loss and how to handle disaster recovery. Or how to handle support calls and bugs and issues where the users just want to feel like someone cares about the time they've invested in making something cool and then having it not work out, or worse get deleted!
We'll be working with a team of the best web developers in the world. I'm not just saying that lightly. They are literally in the top five Kentico CMS web developers in the entire world. The company is called BizStream, and these guys rock! I should know, because I work for them. They were so impressed by the potential of The Procurator that they want to be a part of it's success. BizStream will not only be developing The Procurator, but they also have a support staff there to answer phone calls and track and record your issues.
BizStream has dealt with large scale web applications. Disaster recovery will be handled by redundant databases running in a virtual environment. That means that if something bad happens we can spin up a new server and have The Procurator back in business in a very short amount of time.
Your hard work and time invested in your character sheets will be in the hands of people who know how to get it done!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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