D&D Beyond Dev Update – Character Sheet App News & More

(electronic whooshing) – Hello everyone, I’m Adam Bradford, General Manager for D and D Beyond, and I’m coming to you live today from Gamehole Con in Madison, Wisconsin. This is one of my favorite
conventions of the entire year. Alex Kammer and the team
does just an incredible job of running this thing, and I love the fact that
since I haven’t seen snow for about three years where I live, I was able to come here, and it just magically happened
immediately upon my arrival. So, it is really comin’ down out there, and I am really loving it. I kind of incognito went out and played in it a little bit earlier, and I’m not ashamed to tell
anyone that I did that. So, we’re gonna have a development update and community Q and A session today. We’re gonna get into, as
always, our latest updates, we will get into, oh, let’s go one more. Yeah, latest updates. I’ve got a cool data update that is very relevant to
this convention today, so we’re gonna get into
that, and then upcoming, and then we will have plenty
of time for questions. I never can keep up with
all the questions anyway, but we will have plenty of
time for questions today. If you have a question,
you can ask that in chat by prefacing that with the word question. We might give away a legendary bundle or two here today as well. So, go ahead and get hyped for that, and we’ll get started with latest updates. So “Tyranny of Dragons,” that combined remixing, revisitation, I forget what it’s actually called. I think it’s “Tyranny
of Dragons” revisited (chuckling) is how it’s been marketed. So, that has been made
live on D and D Beyond. Now, if you’re looking
for “Tyranny of Dragons” you’re gonna be a little bit confused, because this was a hobby store exclusive. And so, on D and D Beyond, you’re not gonna see “Tyranny of Dragons” as a single combined book, but, between the two
books that compose it, “Hoard of the Dragon Queen”
and “The Rise of Tiamat,” you can, between those two sources, see that all of the changes available in the revisited version
here are going to be present. There’s all of the official errata, all of that has been updated
between those two books, at this point in time. And then some of the extra content is going to be also available. Kinda introductory content
is gonna be available in “Hoard of the Dragon Queen,” and then some of the
appendix-type concept art, those things, are available
in “The Rise of Tiamat.” So, you can check that out. Everything is up to date
on D and D Beyond now. The Italian “Player’s Handbook,” I am going to say this is
incoming, it’s incoming very soon. So there’s some special announcements that will happen at Lucca, a convention that, it’s
one of the largest, if not the largest, gaming
convention in the world. I think they’re expecting
something like 270,000 people to go to Lucca, Italy, and be there for this event this year. And so, in Italian time, which I believe is kind of
late this evening US time, there’s going to be a special
announcement coming through on the Wizards of the
Coast streaming channel. So be sure to check that out. You will have access
to be able to purchase the Italian “Player’s Handbook” very soon. And also, just keep in
mind, this is our first step into translated content
here on D and D Beyond. And this will be compendium content only. So it’s not going to include
any translations across spells, or tool tips, or anything like that, at least at this point in time. We’re gonna see how this goes, and see how much more we’re
gonna go down the rabbit hole. But this is a way for
us to test the waters, and get our feet wet. And so I encourage everyone
who is an Italian speaker or would like to consume
this content in Italian, to take a look at that as
soon as the word comes out that it’s available on D and D Beyond, which is gonna be very, very soon. All right, an accessibility update that we’ve also put in place
is now for a screen reader. So if you’re out there, and you’ve been using screen readers, we have a way now for you to bypass the
entire main navigation. So this is very frustrating
with a screen reader, that you go to a page, and then it tries to read through every bit
of the mega menu (chuckling) before you can actually get
to the content on the page and consume that. So that update has been made, and it should be much, much better if you’re out there using a screen reader. We’re very committed. Unfortunately I wish that
I could snap my fingers and everything would just
be perfectly accessible from anyone out there. It’s not that easy, unfortunately, but this is something
that we’re committed to, and we will continue to
raise awareness each time that we make one of these updates, whether it’s small or big, to try to make that better
and better for the community. And so we wanted to make sure, if you are using screen readers out there, that you were aware of this update. And then, I want to
share a little bit more about what is going on
with our mobile app. So, I’ve previously kinda hinted at this, and I’ll share a little bit more today. That, as you know, we have a
mobile app out there right now that is predominantly,
at this point in time, a reader application. So we have, all of the book content is available within that app, we also have some of our listing content that is available in that app, and of course we’ve been testing
that in beta for some time. At this point in time, as
I’ve alluded to in the past, we have encountered some challenges. So we’re gonna be very
transparent with you. Some challenges with how we’ve been trying to make mobile development
work for D and D Beyond, and it hasn’t gone as well
as we would like for that to. And so, we have, we know
how important mobile is, and so we’ve been taking
steps in the recent months to make big improvements to
how that’s going to be going. And so this is where I’ve been talking about we’ve brought in some new resources, we have appropriately
staffed a mobile team now. I think that that was a
big part of our problem. We just did not have enough resources really dedicated toward this early enough. And so, we’ve learned a
lot of lessons with that. We’ve got a very large
and very engaged team now that is on mobile. And I want to share with
you a little bit more about our strategy and how these applications are shaping up. Now these are targets, and
they are going to be things that we reserve the right
to make changes to this as we go along. But what our current plans are is that the application that
exists in the market today, that you can get and download today, is going to be rebranded
as an e-reader-focused app. So, you’ll still have all of
the reference information. Everything that is currently in that app is intended to stay in that app, and, as we start to take the
work that we have been doing, so it’s not just completely
throw-away or anything, but we’re gonna be taking the work that we have been putting in place for the character sheet
to come to a mobile app into a new application that is focused very specifically on the player experience, all right? So this is gonna be similar to, and there are a lot of reasons
that we’re having to do this, and I won’t be able to go
into all of them today, but, one of the biggest reasons is even size of an application. So being able to have an application that you can make all of
these books available in, and also add something
that is a very heavy lift, like a character sheet, and then down the road
adding anything else that we might add. We’re going to start
even hitting limitations with how much we can put into
the Apple and Google stores. So, we know that those things
have been on the horizon, and the direction that
we’re going to be taking is similar to what Google has taken with Drive, for instance, where
you have a Drive application where you can access some of these things that launch some other apps out there. Now, we’re not gonna
have this anywhere close to as many applications as Google does for Slides, and Write, and some
of their other applications, or with YouTube Music, and television, and all the different things, but it is the reason, one
of the primary reasons that those companies go in that pathing, is because of some of the challenges that we’ve run into here ourselves. And this is the reason that we will have this
reference application, that will be available, and it will continue to
be available, and we will, over time, provide improvements
to that experience, but the character sheet
coming to an alpha and a beta and everything else, this full team that has been working on this for a while, and it’s definitely in progress, will be taking what’s going
on with the character sheet, and starting an application that is very focused on
the player experience. And that means that some of
the other exciting things that are coming in 2020 for D and D Beyond are going to have a
really, really good home within a mobile app that’s
really focused on players. So, in the future, we do anticipate potentially having another application that might be focused
on the DM experience. And again, right now, our targets are to have kind of a
reference-focused application, like we currently have out there that you can download today, a player experience that would
be inside that application, and then something that’s
possibly focused more on “Dungeon Masters,” in the future. So, again, current targets, lots of reasons behind
why we’re doing that. We do think that it will
provide a better experience for our players and users out there, and that’s where we’re
currently targeting, and we will provide much more information as we get further into this
and we have more details. So just wanted to share that
very openly, transparently. I think the best thing that I can share is that we have learned so much, and some of the recent
changes that we’ve made with pulling in these new resources, the truth is I actually think that we will end up
seeing a character sheet in a mobile app quicker
than we were going to, the path that we were going down. And so, we hope to have
more to share on that before too much longer. Of course, we have some dates
in mind already in our head, but it’s not quite time to share that, and we’ll do that when
the timing is right. So we know that this is the
top thing that’s requested (chuckling) in our feature
request portal out there and everything else. We are working diligently
on making this happen. All right, let’s see what’s next. Ah, some data! So we’ve got Gamehole Con attendance is what I wanted to share here today. I thought it was very relevant here with the convention where we are. I am a big fan of Alex Kammer and the entire Gamehole crew that puts on this convention. They are wonderful people, and I think that this is
one of the best conventions that I go to throughout the year. And so I wanted to give a
little bit of exposure today, as to how much this convention
is growing, year after year. And for 2019, he didn’t
have a final number yet, but he expects that to follow
a very, very similar trend to what you’re seeing here in this chart. So, Gamehole Con is
getting bigger and bigger each and every year. And so if you are in the
Madison, Wisconsin area, or if you could be, towards the end of October
or November next year, I highly recommend this convention, and I hope that you can try to make it, and come see everyone who’s here. You can say hello to me. I will be here, unless something happens
between now and then, but I should be here next year, because this is a phenomenal convention. Let’s move on to upcoming. So the encounter tracker
is definitely something that’s in progress that we’re working on. Remember, remember the 5th of November. So, that is where sales tax is going to begin being
collected for D and D Beyond. So, if you’re trying to avoid
paying those sales taxes, I encourage you to try to
do so before November 5th. We’ve gotten some questions about when each region is
going to be rolled out. And the truth is, we just
can’t provide that for you at this point in time, because our finance team
in trying to coordinate with exactly when that setup
is going to be happening is going to be a process,
and it’s not something that we’re gonna be able to communicate very effectively or easily. The thing that you need to know though, is that that is when it’s
going to be turned on, and you’ll probably even see
that in the cart section. So as you’re getting ready to purchase things on D and D Beyond, you’ll see that the cart is going to open up sales tax there. For many of you on November 5th, it is still going to say $0, right there in the sales tax slot, but as we cover all the
different regions in the world, and cover all the different laws, there are so many different laws about whether digital products are taxed in different regions, we are going to be covering
all of those accurately. And so I think, I may be wrong on this, so please don’t hold my feet to the fire, but I think that digital goods
are not taxed in California. I might be wrong there, but
I don’t think that they are. So if that is real, what I just said, then you would not expect to see that, unless that changes in the future. But, for other regions where you live where sales tax must be collected, it’s something that we have to do, or we’re gonna start getting
into some kind of real trouble. And so unfortunately, it’s a
little bit of a necessary evil that we’re gonna have
to put in place here. But that is going to
be happening starting, the roll-out’s gonna
start on November 5th. And then the next convention that we’re going to be going to, we get these questions all the time, we will be at PAX
Unplugged in some capacity. And really, that is just a question of whether we’re gonna be
going really, really huge, so those details are kind
of in negotiation right now, or if we’re just gonna
have a smaller presence. But either way, we will
be at PAX Unplugged. I will certainly be there. I love that show as well. Looking forward to that, the
first week or so of December. And then, working very, very hard on “Eberron: Rising from the Last War,” “Rick and Morty versus
Dungeons and Dragons,” and of course any, there’s been
a lot of “Unearthed Arcana” that’s been popping up of late, and so any “Unearthed Arcana”
that may or may not be coming in the coming weeks. We’re gonna be working
on whatever comes our way when it comes to this playtest content, because we know that all
of you eat that stuff up. And so we’re gonna be
doing whatever we can to try to support the playtest
content that is coming out. (electronic whooshing)

25 thoughts on “D&D Beyond Dev Update – Character Sheet App News & More

  1. What D&D Beyond update are you most excited about?

    Catch all our featured Dungeons and Dragons games live from Gamehole Con & support Extra Life at https://t.co/3XOShZuZj8

    1:00 Today's Lineup
    1:34 Latest Updates
    11:24 Data – Gamehole Con Attendance
    12:42 Upcoming

    Full VOD Including Q&A: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/502426817

  2. The first thing I asked when I discovered the dndbeyond app was "Where's the character sheet?" Still looking forward to it and I'm confident it'll be great.

  3. Woot! Skip to main content… please add ada to your definition of done to your stories. It should never be an afterthought, unless you like tech debt.

  4. I’m not a big fan of this shift to multiple apps. I’d rather just use the mobile site if I’m going to have to bounce between multiple apps to run my games. 🙁

  5. Now that the character sheet app is being made the only D&D app I need now is the ultimate D&D game one that is a great story and accurately uses the games mechanics.

    It also needs to have the ability to have adventures, side quests, and the ability to team up with friends around you or across the country

  6. I'm guessing the mobile app will use the same pricing model as D&D Beyond on the web app. As in, you have to purchase all the books separately. In which case it's a hard pass from me, sadly. Shame.

  7. No fixes for bug reported more than 465 days ago. You can not use non-Latin characters in your char list. That’s my five cents for dev update.

  8. Pls fianally ad the option to alter spells and monster or if thats not possible at least to ad notes to the Spells and [email protected]
    i belive this is a very important function to even use your platform lets say i want to ad a Matirial component to something or i want to ad something to a monster. i dont want to do a Variant for evry single one and and then confuse evrything by having evrything twice

  9. Think Core architecture with microservices and mvc apps that have their own cache. A well build core with a well built entities and business rules will save your business in the long run.

  10. I am a visually impared user of DND Beyond and I am so happy to hear that you guys are making this more useful for my disability and other disabilities. Thank you.

  11. Good morning, a feature I would greatly appreciate a bag of holding update. I am playing a campaign with a few new players and one of the new players found one a started to put stuff in it. Is there anyway that there could be like a second inventory or something of that form? He has been greatly struggling to keep track because he is a dragonborn with wings and The DM wont let him fly over his carrying compacity so we have been keeping a secondary inventory on paper ish, but it gets lost and then when ever we need something from the bag we have to re add it to our inventory and it's is just a lot of monkeying around. Unless we are missing anything in D&D Beyond I think this would be a great quality of life feature.

  12. You all are adding more and more but what about the existing problems. Give us inventory management for containers it's been 3 years too long.

  13. Glad to see a character sheet option is finally coming. The current mobile web method is a little janky and it’s been a key feature most players need from a service like beyond. I’m sure the team will deliver something great and I can’t wait to get my hands on it

  14. In all honesty the addition of more books and other additions should be on the list behind the character sheet app. As you said, its the number one request of users. It's number one because we want that more than the rest of it. Now it looks like our sheets will be on a separate app? How is that different from running the web page and app simultaneously? The point is to have the character sheet up and be able to hit a button to access our books, look up what we need to then hit s button to go back to our sheets.

  15. I think its a mistake to make several different applications. They are all so highly interrelated. Google can do it because it provides different services that can be unrelated to each other. But your product references itself so much that it doesn't make sense to split them up. For example, the character sheet has stats and spells that can be linked to the reference material. But you'll have to check to make sure they have access to that material, which you are already doing in the reference app. A DM focused app would also heavily use the references app data and as well the character or player focused app, in order to manage play sessions and what-not. I think its should be a single app that is layed out in a sensible way.

    App size doesn't make sense to me. You have applications on iOS and Android that are gigs in size. Your application, while potentially being quite large all packaged together, most likely won't get those sizes. After you download particular reference material, then yes, maybe that large. But that doesn't count against your app size.

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