Since its initial public release, The Forge has evolved rapidly with many incredible new features being added on a regular basis. The development for the service has been mostly about resolving any immediate issues along with a plethora of small improvements, while progressively working on a set of larger features. Over the course of a few months, we’ve implemented successively the following major features :
- The backend system for the Bazaar to allow instant and quota free installs of modules and systems (July 2020)
- Added support for Paypal payments (July 2020)
- Rewrote the assets library backend as well as its UI along with a few other UI revamps around the site (September 2020)
- Added the Game Manager and User manager features, (October & November 2020)
- New Bazaar UI for browsing modules, systems and worlds (November 2020)
- Big Infrastructural changes for the Forge services (January & February 2021)
- Launch of the Bazaar marketplace for purchasing content from the talented creators in this community (February 2021)
- D&D Beyond integration (April 2021)
- Website overhaul (August 2021)
These are of course, only the major features that took months of work, but you can follow up on a more detailed changelog here : Server update changelog
The feature roadmap for the coming year on The Forge is not set in stone, but I usually have a pretty good idea of the 2 or 3 major features that I have in the pipeline. My current focus is on the following features :
- D&D Beyond Integration
- Polish and stability
- Bazaar improvements
- World Builder’s automatic backups and restoration
This feature has been in the works for many months now. It was first started back in August 2020, and it’s been slow going as I’ve had many other high priority features, as well as the time it takes to discuss things with D&D Beyond and get formal approval to go ahead with this project.
I’ve announced it to my patrons in January and an initial beta release a few months later. This is still an ongoing project, though progress has been slow, and the amount of work needed is large.
It is one of the big projects planned for this year, and we should have a more fleshed out implementation with many quality of life improvements in the coming months.
This might seem extremely weird to have that as a “major feature on the roadmap” as it’s something we continuously work towards, but I do want to have that on the roadmap as something that I will dedicate my focus on. In the past months, I’ve seen many small feature requests, or small little issues that count towards improving the polish of the service, and the problem is that handling all of them has become a “death by a thousand needles” sort of situation, where even if fixing this one little thing would only take 5 minutes, fixing the entire list of a thousand small issues would take months of dedicated efforts. I am also planning on hiring someone full time to be able to constantly work on these types of issues and keep the Forge website as polished as I want it to. By having someone dedicated to this work, it means that this should be able to happen in parallel to another large feature in the roadmap.
Examples of such small polish issues:
- In the Assets Library, being able to do a “filter current directory” instead of a “search the entire library”
- Make the “Save changes” in the game manager section for changing the default Foundry version, more visible
- Add an outline around the “assets” default cover image for asset packs so it is more visible in dark themes
- Add a ‘spinner’ when marking a game as favorite to show that the change is being performed when on a slow internet connection
- Add a way to remove an existing license from your account
- Add a way to delete your account without needing to contact support
- Adding a “Contact” page with a submission form instead of linking a
mailto:url with the email address
- Add two-factor authentication support
- Add the ability to choose which compendiums to create in the shared compendium module.
- No need to try idling all games when installing an assets pack from the bazaar
The Bazaar has been on this roadmap a few times before, first to get the quota-free installs, then to add the new UI, and then it’s to add a marketplace to it. As some of you may have noticed, the Bazaar has a Premium modules section which gives access to the Foundry protected content, as well as a Forge exclusive Premium content where you can purchase marketplace content or unlock access to some Patreon exclusive content through Patreon-linking of your account. We want to improve on the current Patreon-linking offering, as well as improve the overall user experience of the creators who want to add their content to the Bazaar to make it easier overall to create and release content for Foundry.
There is more to do to improve the current Bazaar UI as well, and I want to add ratings and user comments and things like that, but that might not make it this round.
Of course, the World Builder’s feature of auto-backup and reset of a game to a specific past session is still something that needs to be done so don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the Time Machine feature that some of you are so excited about. It still is in the roadmap, and there’s been a lot of progress made on the backend needed to make the feature work, but more work is needed before it’s ready for public consumption.
That’s it, that’s the roadmap for the next major milestones that I expect to happen on The Forge. There’s no real ETA on any of them, and the order they appear in isn’t necessarily reflect their priority or the order in which they would be implemented.
Let me know if you have any questions or feedback on this.