Role, an integrated tabletop gaming experience – the company shies away from using the term “virtual tabletop” in hopes of conveying a more holistic offering – will now be available entirely on the mobile app. The press release states that this will provide “seamless support for game rooms across smartphones, tablets, desktops and more.”
Role quickly expanded its free offerings, developing and introducing “immersive room themes, custom audio support, colored cubes, and video enhancements.” According to the press release, it is the first company in the TTRPG industry to offer all of these integrated virtual tools in addition to the virtual tabletop/game room that players and GMs can set up to keep all of their virtual gaming assets in one place.
Role has been actively adding new games to its catalog of digital offerings, focusing on small to medium sized games. There are popular branded TTRPGs like Dune: Adventures in the Imperium and general favorites like Masks: The Next Generation. Indie favorites like Lancer and Mork Borg are also fully supported, meaning there are pre-made digital character sheets and game rooms created to ease gameplay. There is also the option to create your own game within the framework or have your own game available for purchase on the site through Role’s rapidly growing creator program. Role has been working on his own game Chrome, a cyberpunk RPG based on the all-digital Panic Engine. All of this is supported on mobile devices.
We chatted with Role Co-Founder and CEO Elle Dwight via email to learn more about Role and its inroads into mobile gaming.
Linda Codega, io9: What games are supported on mobile?
Elle Dwight, CEO at Role: The mobile role experience offers the same support as our desktop game rooms, which means players can discover, create and play with game templates for literally any game they can imagine. There are over 10,000 unique game templates published on Role today, enabling support for thousands of games. And with Role’s drag-and-drop builder tools, anyone can create custom game templates for titles they can’t currently find in our database. In short: Role is designed so that you can play any role-playing game you want!
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io9: How is Play by Post integrated?
Dwight: Our game rooms offer text chat for group messaging as well as private DMs. Our chat log also includes a dice log of every roll players have made in a room, so people can easily track and see results over time. The chat log is persistent and always easily accessible via the play panel navigation within a room.
io9: Are there paywall options? What are you?
Dwight: Role is currently in Early Access and 100% free! There are currently no paywalls for game or creation tools.
io9: What are you looking forward to seeing players using the app?
Dwight: Role makes running any TTRPG easy, fast, and fun. We’re excited to see more players discovering how different and powerful our gameplay and creation tools are. Now, with mobile, we’re enabling people to enjoy the role-playing experience on any device. This unlocks great potential for groups playing online, in person, and even play-by-post. We’re very excited to see what new and unexpected ways players use to expand roles to expand their favorite games!
io9: Is this part of a larger movement to create an independent platform?
Dwight: Absolutely. Role has always been designed and built as an independent game independent platform. We’re heavily focused on giving everyone access to the tools they need to create and share their own game content, and easily integrate it into a seamless gaming experience both online and in person. We believe the TTRPG industry is at its strongest when gamers, creators, and game developers come together to create and play open community content – and we’re trying to strengthen that.
io9: what’s next for the role app?
Dwight: We’re actively working on updates to our dashboard and gameplay experience to make it even easier for everyone to discover all the great community-made content that’s been published on Role. We’re also working on improvements to our gameplay experience to better support more unique gameplay mechanics like custom decks, better tabletop maps, whiteboarding, and more. We believe that creating community content is what makes Role and the TTRPG community in general very special. We want all players, both experienced and new, to fall in love with the diverse selection of fantastic games and universes this community has to offer. We’ve never been about focusing on one or two big popular games. Our mission is to help everyone succeed.
I also wanted to be clear with our mobile launch: this is not a suite of apps, this is a mobile web experience. In keeping with our ethos of providing free and easy tools for everyone, Role’s new mobile experience was built for the mobile web first and not for native apps that are exclusive to one or two app stores. While native apps will come at a later date, we thought it best to focus on web first to ensure the widest possible range of potential players can enjoy the reel on whatever device they prefer.
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