Blog

Test Game: April 23rd
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Campfire is getting better every day and we've got new stories available to play all the time.

So why not come out and test with us?

We're organizing a game on April 23rd (7pm) in Saratoga Springs, NY. If you want to join us to kick the tires on the latest application and the latest stories, message us on FB and let us know. All are welcome, but spaces will fill up fast. :)

There are two brand new stories ready to play: a new episode of "Age of Mysteries" called "Loose Ends", and the first episode of a brand new sci-fi series called "Adventure of the SS Rustican".

If you've been looking for a chance to get your hands on the Campfire app and see what's it all about, now is the perfect chance!

Eddy Abraham
Pre-pre-very-preliminary-mostly-for-early-adopters-alpha release is nearly here
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This has to be my favourite milestone for a new product. Is it done? Nope. Is it presentable. Whoa nelly, nope. Is it functional. Kind of. Is it minimal and viable? Mmmm, barely. Barely. :)

My test group of early adopters assure me that I'm being far too pessimistic. According to them it's working fine, it's got great stories, and it's genuinely fulfilling a need they have for short, fun-to-play, easy-to-learn tabletop RPGs. And you know what? That's awesome.

I've got big dreams for the future of this product, but I'm also very happy to have reached the point where we're ready to launch for paying customers.

Stay tuned in the next day or two for the big moment when we switch from the test server to the prod server. And then call up your friends and schedule a game. After all, I made this for you. ;)

Eddy Abraham
Latest fixes and updates
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Hi folks,

We continue to work on improving the Campfire Application. Latest updates include the ability to download worlds for free, a "refresh" button on the worlds, and new and improved character sheets. Please note that we've moved to a new deployment, so your previous logins won't work anymore. This will probably happen again when we transition to production. For now, you should just create a new login for yourself.

First, we've fixed the annoying issue where you had to "pay" for worlds even when the price was $0.00 - so now you can download the worlds for free by clicking the "get" button, and you're off to the races. Of course, the only world available now is "Age of Mystery" but we anticipate a new Sci Fi world appearing late in 2018. Are you excited?

Second, we've fixed the issue where existing Narrators were unable to see updates to stories, or new stories as they were added. Basically, whenever you download a world, you are copying the world and all the stories. This means that whatever the state of that world is when you download it, that's what you're stuck with. Until now! We've just introduced a "refresh" button so you can download the latest copy of the world before you begin playing. Updates will be coming frequently over the next few months, so be sure to click that "refresh" button every time you sit down to study or play an episode.

Lastly, we uploaded character sheets into a web format recently and tested them out. The feedback was great, but there were some suggestions for improvements. Those improvements are (mostly) all in place now, so I can say with confidence that we have the best version of the character sheets has ever existed. But of course, we are ever improving, so if you have thoughts or suggestions, don't hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook.

I'm planning a new wave of test games in February, so if you're interested, you should definitely let me know.

Until then!

Eddy.

Eddy Abraham
Another test game under our belt
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Hi folks,

I'm thrilled to report that another very successful test game has been completed. The episode was "Tides of Blood" and the Players DID catch the murderer, but only just barely. A few new innovations were deployed with great success and we confirmed that we are achieving one of key goals.

First off, we deployed our online character sheets for the first time. These are now available for anyone to use, and they worked pretty well. We did get some feedback on how to improve them, and those improvements are now in place. One great thing about the online character sheets is that you get to enjoy the character pictures in their full colour glory! Huge thank to Filis Ann Ozkurdum for these amazingly designed character images. Another positive of moving to online character sheets is that we have more room to expand on character backstories. And indeed, we are doing that as we speak. Join the conversation on Facebook, where we are working as a community of Narrators to build out more fun details in each player character's (PC's) backstory.

Even better was the performance of our novice Narrator! We specifically selected a person who had never been an RPG dungeon master before, and indeed had only ever played one RPG in her life (the previous Campfire test game)! You don't get much more novice than that. The reason we set it up this way is because one of our goals is to ensure that a novice Narrator can get up and running with minimal training, and still deliver an experience that is fun for everyone. And you know what? It worked. It worked REALLY well. I'm so proud of our Narrator. She not only did an amazing job delivering the story, improvising, and rolling with a bunch of unexpected Player actions, but she and everyone else had a ton of fun doing it. This gives me great confidence that Campfire is a highly usable app (bugs not withstanding).

Can't wait to get more test games completed, and we're moving towards a "beta-launch" very soon.

I'm also currently working on a new episode called "Loose Ends" which will include new twists and a more complex mystery to continue challenging our Players. Look for that soon!

Meanwhile, join the Facebook group for the latest news, and to participate in the growing community of Campfire Narrators.

Eddy Abraham
First Tutorial is up!
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Narrators are critical to the success of Campfire. Why? They are the ones who choose to host a game, invite their friends, and make popcorn (popcorn is also critical). Obviously, everything starts with the Narrator.

So it makes sense that we are placing a strong emphasis on supporting, and building up our Narrators. Today, we put up that first support in the form a tutorial video teaching Narrator's how to register with Campfire, how to buy a world, and how to select a story to play.

It's live on YouTube and on Facebook right now, so go check it out. And if you want to help us build our community of Narrators, leave a comment, or ask a question.

Keep an eye out for some more news and content coming soon. We should have another tutorial video up and available soon. And we are planning another test game this weekend with a novice Narrator! Look for the blog post recapping that game soon.

Thanks everyone!

Eddy Abraham
First test game of 2018!
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Well 2018 is off to a great start. The Campfire Narrator app has been in development for more than a year, and we're finally reaching a point where we can host some test games and get some feedback.

And the feedback has been great! I played "Murder at Manor Isle" with a small group recently and things went really well. Sure there were bugs in the app. And yes, only the Narrator app was up and running (no Player app yet). But the Players and the Narrator had a blast.

When I run these test games I'm really interested in two things.

First, what's the Narrator experience like? This is crucial, because the Narrator is the linchpin for the game. They have to enjoy themselves, or they won't want to host another one. I'm also looking to see how easily the Narrator navigates the app. My goal is that a novice Narrator can host a story effectively after only 5 or 10 minutes of training.

Second, what's the Player experience like? I'm looking for three things. At the end of the game, are the Players interested in another game? Not immediately, but like, next week or next month? This demonstrates the kind of interest that will keep Narrators hosting monthly games and bringing Players back time and time again. The second important measure is how quickly the Players take to the format. It's interesting to watch total novices vs. people who have experience in RPGs. Obviously experienced Players will take to the RPG format more quickly, but it's usually their first time using the Fudge system. So how do they react to that? For novice Players, tabletop RPGs will be a wholly new experience, so how quickly do they grasp the concept and get into it? Again, my goal is that a total novice should be able to pick up the basics in less than 5 minutes. The last thing I'm looking for is whether there is potential to convert Players into Narrators. It takes a special type of person to want to host a tabletop RPG session, and it will be critical to the growth of Campfire that a certain percentage of Players choose to make that leap.

The good news from this first test of 2018 is that all of these indicators came back positive. Our Narrator took to the app with minimal issues (aside from some annoying bugs). One experienced RPG player was initially skeptical of the very simplistic Fudge system but quickly adapted and grew to appreciate the emphasis on storytelling over calculation. Our novice took to roleplaying like a duck to water, and was eager to play again. I even had one of the Players volunteer to Narrate the next game, which bodes well for converting Players into Narrators.

So I'm hard at work on some new stories, managing testing and bug fixes to the Narrator App, figuring out the finances, and now writing blog posts. I'm more confident than ever that Campfire has a future and I'm looking forward to getting some great stories into your hands soon. When? I dunno, SOON!

Eddy Abraham