There is a new Roll20 App and one of the driving forces behind that is Corey Rosemond, the Chief Operating Officer of Roll20. He currently servs as an Advisory Board member to Farbridge, SxSW Gaming and the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the American Diabetes Association.
We know Roll20 quite well, having play tested and played quite a few role-playing games through their innovative platform. We had a few questions for Rosemond concerning the new App, how to make gaming your profession and the community of Roll20 Players that contribute to its amazing amount of character sheets and forum posts. He was happy to chat with us!
GiN: From what I’ve seen you have been on the ground floor of lots of exciting things at Roll20! What do you want to say about the roll-out of the new Roll20 Mobile App?
Rosemond: The Roll20 mobile app is a big step in better servicing players of all types — both in person playing physical games and online using the Roll20 VTT. Previously, Roll20 focused on building great tools for GMs and that allowed games to thrive during the pandemic. Now we’re shifting our focus a bit – so that we’re giving our players the tools they need to play better, smarter and more efficiently…whether remote or in person.
A huge barrier to entry for many looking to try out tabletop RPGs is the learning curve – we’ve all heard folks say they want to try TTRPG’s but are unsure of how to get started. The Roll20 app looks to streamline the process by putting all the information you need – skill checks, character sheets, saving throws, etc.
There’s a lot planned for Roll20’s mobile app and what was shown off at Roll20Con is just the beginning, we’re going to be adding new features, new games, compendiums and more.
GiN: Many of us have used Roll20 for different TTRPGs like Call of Cthulhu, Stars Without Number, Pathfinder and of course D&D. What goes on behind the scenes that make Roll20 work that we don’t think about and that you think should be celebrated?
Rosemond: Every game is different – with minor and major variations in things like abilities, character sheets, maps, etc. We need to make sure that the Virtual Tabletop Platform works across more than 100 products – this is no small feat! We have software engineers and programmers working on the next versions of the VTT and mobile. They are working hard on refining the Roll20 experience across both experiences to make the product as seamless and user friendly as possible.
We also have a dedicated team of game developers working to add support for the latest and greatest releases, including games that aren’t even available for purchase in stores yet, or games that take off in popularity almost overnight. That means lots of time and coordination with teams as they’re designing products.
Our overarching goal across all teams is to create the most seamless and user friendly virtual tabletop experience on the planet, and it takes a lot of work! I’m very grateful for our entire team.
GiN: I have read that you, “lectured at a University about video game development, production, the business of gaming, team game production and professional development.” What advice would you give to students who are thinking about following in your footsteps and being involved in gaming as a profession?
Rosemond: First off I would say to follow your passion. For me it was a combination of organizing and leading various clubs in school combined with a love of marketing and product management. This extended to understanding the competition and delivering great products and experiences at my university for the local community. It’s this experience that has guided me in my career and led me to Roll20.
For example, there’s been a lot of talk throughout the industry on the metaverse lately. To me, games and games marketing is all about new ways to solve old problems: basically, getting like-minded people together in new ways that make for a collective enjoyment greater than what you can do alone. So, if you can imagine ways to bring people together to enjoy each other’s company, you should be able to be prepared for a career in the game industry!
GiN: Roll20 is famous for the users themselves making many of the character sheets to support the wide variety of games on the platform. What would you tell users who want to contribute to Roll20 in this or other ways?
Rosemond: I mean, a HUGE “Thank you!” We’re incredibly proud and grateful for the support of our community, who we see as partners in making Roll20 the best platform for tabletop gaming on the planet. They are integral to our work, from modding games, putting out their own variants or even just plain-old adopting existing character sheets.
Our players are really our guiding light, and we are always looking for feedback, and encourage players to get involved in the awesome discussions happening over on our forums.