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The Funding Crowd interviews president of Frogdice

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The Funding Crowd has been following the progress of Stash: No Loot Left behind for a little over a year now. In this time we've seen the project developer, Frogdice, keep their promise of cross-platform support admirably well, ensuring that Linux clients kept up with the other platforms on every Alpha release.

Michael Hartman, president of Frogdice, somehow managed to find time to participate in an interview with us, when taking a little break from Stash development, from presentations on crowdfunding games for "Global Entrepreneurship Week", and from looking after a currently-running Stash campaign (aimed at expanding the community for upcoming betas, with funds raised going towards "extras" like improved art and GM tools) . We suspect a crazy long night or two was probably involved in achievement of this feat.

Stash is set in the same role-playing world as other Frogdice games, including a text-based online RPG (Threshold MUD) that has been continuously supported for almost 20 years(!)

Would you tell us a little about that world, and what makes it different from traditional D&D settings?


The world of Primordiax is the setting for all of our games. This began with Threshold, included even our single player games (Dungeon of Elements and ReignMaker for example), and now Stash.

There are a lot of standard high fantasy elements to Primordiax, but there is a great deal that makes it unique.

First, it has 20 years of live player input that has directly shaped the development of the world. Players have added a tremendous amount to the lore through their own actions, decisions, and progress.

Second, religion and the Gods are hugely important. The pantheon of Gods has changed tremendously over time through a combination of our own macro world story and the choices/actions of our players. The Gods are very active in the world and interact with players quite intimately. They can be generous and helpful or sometimes jealous and petty.

The turn-based party combat in Stash is very unusual for an MMO. How will you handle combat pacing for groups larger than a couple players, to keep everyone's interest?

The maximum group size is 6. The leader can set a maximum turn time. Right now it is 30 seconds. If a player does not complete their turn in that time limit, they pass and it goes to the next player. We expect people will develop a turn timer they are comfortable with and party with people who share that preference. And the community in general will likely develop some etiquette here as well.

We love to put things in the hands of the community to develop social standards of behavior of their own preference.

Apparently the Frogdice developer team consists of hard-core RPG enthusiasts who love to run live events.

Can you give us an idea of what developer-run world events might be like in Stash?


Developer run events have always been a huge part of our games. These include staff taking over NPCs to interact with players, large invasions of monsters that need to be repelled, huge global plot lines that can change the world depending on how players handle it, fun competitions with prizes, and a whole ton of other neat things our incredibly creative staff and volunteers come up with.

We have also heard that player-run world events will be featured in Stash, following in the tradition of major community influence over story-lines in Threshold (and the current campaign is helping the necessary tools be developed sooner rather than later).

Do you have any fond stories from player-run world events that have had a major impact in your (still-running and actively maintained) Threshold MUD?


I have zillions of them. I don't even know how I could pick a single one to talk about without taking up 100 pages.

How does Frogdice plan to keep Stash Free-to-play without heading into Pay-to-win territory?

This is where our experience with free-to-play really comes in. We have used this model for 20 years and learned many lessons over that time.

Our philosophy is this: If we make our game fun enough that people play long enough, they will eventually buy stuff.

We don't need to pressure people. We don't need the shortcut of pay-to-win. We just need a fun game and things to buy that have good value. If we do that, the money will take care of itself.
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The comments on this article are closed.
Skully 23 November 2015 at 11:10 am UTC
Wish it was on steam as early access or something. I have no interest in signing up with kickstarter. I guess I will have to wait.
liamdawe 23 November 2015 at 2:23 pm UTC
SkullyWish it was on steam as early access or something. I have no interest in signing up with kickstarter. I guess I will have to wait.

Same here. I would like to see what it's all about, but not on Kickstarter.
flesk 23 November 2015 at 3:46 pm UTC
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I think you can still pledge by using the PayPal button on their website.
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