Benjamin joined Jonathan for this one-hour live chat on Discord, where we discussed the latest Let's Role news, its future, and answered all your questions! This live was done in French, but here is the text version.
What's going on with Let's Role right now?
Development is going well at the moment. Jonathan is focused on the new game engine, and there has also been a secret project that will be revealed in the coming months. There was the Game Jam which went well, and we have a winner. There was also the riddle game that was used to reveal the new HUD table skin.
The new engine supports WebGL, which allows you to use the graphics card of your computer. This allows for smoother rendering, better performance etc. This paves the way for dynamic lighting, and perhaps a mobile version of Let's Role.
This was a contest to improve the official Let's Role 5E sheet. Several people participated, and the jury voted unanimously for WhiffyBee's proposal. Her system is compact, well organized, and offers long-awaited features (customizable races and classes, multiclassing, etc.). Furthermore, it is compatible with the existing system, and will soon replace it.
The demo video was made from a Dungeon Alchemist map exported in Universal VTT format. No modification (except the red lights) has been made to the scene, everything is part of the Dungeon Alchemist export. On this 80008000 pixels map, quite complex, the scene runs at 70 FPS on an aging computer. The 50005000 pixel limit on the scene will no longer be valid on the new engine. It will also be possible to put images outside the scene (thus displayed outside the dynamic lighting).
A first version of the dynamic lighting in Beta is planned for the week of May 10, 2022.
Overall, developing the new engine seems to have been a good choice.
New HUD Table Skin
The new tabletop HUD skin is perfect for any sci-fi or even cyberpunk game. It comes with a free pack of 56 icons that fit the skin! It's available here.
We did a puzzle game, and the first 3 people to solve all the puzzles won the HUD skin.
The icons are personal, but the table skin can be shared with your players.
Unfortunately, the role-playing community has a lot of inertia, things take time to set up. Even though with Let's Role, things are moving forward quite quickly. We do a lot of work with a lot of partners at the same time, which takes a lot of time. Something pretty cool, which should happen by this summer.
We're also going to have some game-specific skins coming out soon.
We're also putting together an actual-play under Let's Role in English which will be coming in a few weeks.
With the dynamic lighting coming soon, we estimate that we will be out of Beta soon, and we have all the features expected from a Virtual Game Table. We will soon be doing a European and international communication campaign in order to make Let's Role known as much as possible.
Is the Notebook character sheet skin coming? Yes, we promised it during the KS. William did something great, but development is complicated, so we have to make adjustments. It should be here in the summer.
I played on Roll20, I liked the separate player/GM areas in each log entry. Is this coming to Let's Role? This is mostly a habit of roll20 players, we don't know if it is really relevant to our platform. It's still open for discussion.
Is it possible to display a YouTube video in the background of the map? This is not possible with the YouTube API.
Will we be able to play two youtube playlists in parallel? This is not necessarily a good idea, YouTube is already starting to restrict the use of integrations on Let's Role. Maybe we can set up smooth transitions between videos though.
For dynamic light, will there be a view radius? Yes, visibility can be shared between players, and each player can have a visibility range.
The popup of the result of a roll that arrives out of sync, is it lag? No, we let the 3d dice roll for a while. This is intentional.
Will you make pop-ups for character sheets and other tools? That would be handy for dual screens. Pop-ups are not really used in web development anymore, browsers really restrict them. We are thinking about other solutions for dual screen.
Would it be possible to copy items from one table to another? It is already possible for the journal. It is planned to be able to clone a whole table (all scenes). This is useful when a one-shot is played several times.
There are sometimes bugs in the journal. Will it be improved? Yes, this is a very complex but important feature for Let's Role, and we will work on it.
Will it be necessary to redo the systems with the new version of the system builder? It will be possible to migrate the systems to v2, the interface of your systems will be compatible but it will surely be necessary to revise some of the code. Once v2 of the system builder is released, it will not be possible to create new systems in v1.
Are you thinking of an alternative for YouTube and music? We've looked at Spotify, technically that would be possible, but all players would have to have a Spotify subscription. We are exploring the Soundcloud route, but that is still up for discussion.
You can't organize scenes, journal entries, or music playlists. Is this going to happen? Scene order will happen with a redesign of the scene manager (folders, scene imports, partner scenes). The log entries are sorted by order of last modification, maybe we can add sorting by creation date or alphabetical order. You can reorganize the tracks inside a playlist.
Will there be any vision cones in the dynamic lighting? We will keep 360° vision for now, so as not to complicate the game.
The medieval skin is too close to the default skin, will it be revised? We can discuss this with William if it is a community opinion.
Is it possible to loop YouTube music? Looping music and shuffling playlists are popular demands, so this will happen.
Is it possible to send private messages between players? Yes, this is possible, via the speech bubble on the player's avatar.
Will we be able to change systems on a table? I'm thinking of the new 5E system For your information, the 5E system will replace the current one, there will be no need to migrate. It is planned that in case of deletion of a system, it will be possible to migrate a character or a table to a new system. This will happen, but not right away.
Will there be folders for crafts? Yes, clearly. There will be a period of several weeks debugging and improving functionality between the new engine and system builder 2.
Would it be possible to have tinted windows in the dynamic lighting (see only one side)? This seems to complicate the interface for a very limited use.
Will it be possible to add our own sounds to Let's Role? French law really restricts mp3 sharing, and we can't control whether you send a royalty free sound effect, or the latest music. So this is not possible for the time being.
Is it possible to link multiple journal pages together? Yes, you can drag'n drop a journal entry into the edit box of an entry to make a link.
Will there be the possibility of compendiums? We can't open the compendiums completely because of copyrights. However, we are thinking about opening some compendiums made by users individually if they show the legality of their work.
A dice roller to avoid having to write formulas is sorely lacking. Is it to force to use the Quickbar? No, we want to do that. This will come with an update that helps players understand how Let's Role works (tutorials, built-in help, etc).
Will it be possible to have the players' point of view in the dynamic lighting? Yes.
Do we have any idea when the card decks will arrive? We know this is a highly anticipated feature. But there's still the new engine, the system builder v2, and the mobile app before that. Not likely to happen in 2022.
The quickbar is great, can we have more than one? We are discussing it, it will probably happen.
Can we talk about updating the markers on the map? The ping has changed to something more animated and readable. The selection of tokens and images are changing with a design made by William, and match the colors of the table skin. It is also planned to be able to put a journal entry on the map so that players will open it when they see it.