SmiteWorks is the small Indie team responsible for the Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop. Fantasy Grounds allows gamers to play traditional pen-and-paper style roleplaying games. With the aid of over 150 community developers and partnerships with key RPG publishers, gamers' online experience is tailored to a host of different game systems.
SmiteWorks Ltd. was formed in 2004 and based out of Espoo, Finland. The original owners had a great vision of what online tabletop gaming could be. Each of the current owners and developers were individually drawn to this platform and saw it as a way to allow gaming online for any game system.
2009 - 2013
Doug Davison had used the Fantasy Grounds software since 2008 and instantly fell in love with how flexible and powerful it was. After quickly creating custom rulesets to handle his personal Star Wars Saga campaign needs, he reached out to the original owners and negotiated to purchase the company outright. John Gregory was another end-user and community developer and he joined Doug in January 2010. Together, they have helped bring a large collection of game systems and additional enhancements to Fantasy Grounds and they hope to see it grow further as time goes on.
In April, 2014, Fantasy Grounds secured an official license with Wizards of the Coast to carry fully licensed Dungeons & Dragons modules. Over the course of the year, we released numerous products for the D&D fifth edition game system. Zeph Ponos joined the development team in an official capacity after several years of community development. His work has been inspiring and has earned him immense respect within the Fantasy Grounds community. With Zeph joining the team, SmiteWorks tackled even bigger projects, such as porting the code engine over to Unity. The port to Unity allows for better deployment across multiple platforms, such as Mac, Linux, PC, web and tablet. It also allows for numerous enhancements with 3D, animation, dynamic lighting and more.
In the Fall of 2015, SmiteWorks acquired Tabletop Connect and hired it's creator, Carl Pinder, as a Sr. Software Developer. Tabletop Connect (TTC) included some highly advanced 3D mapping capabilities and improved ease of use for non-official game systems. Because TTC was also developed in Unity, the merger of the Fantasy Grounds code with that of TTC was something that was possible and work has continued on the Unity port and bringing the best features from both platforms forward, for the benefit of all online gamers. James Holloway joined the team as the Production Coordinator in October.
In December 2016, SmiteWorks signed a contract with Paizo Inc. to provide officially licensed Pathfinder Roleplaying Game content for Fantasy Grounds. David Middleton joined the team as a Customer Support Specialist in December.
SmiteWorks released the first batch of officially licensed Pathfinder Roleplaying Game content for Fantasy Grounds on May 2nd, 2017.
Fantasy Grounds breaks 100,000 licensed users and subscribers. Available DLC exceeds 1200 add-ons with products from more than 80 licensed publishers and Indie artists. SmiteWorks coordinates with 94 community developers to deliver new products weekly for Fantasy Grounds. Ryan Nohr joined the team in July as a Unity Developer. He worked on the updater engine, installer and Mac native builds. Jen Page joined us in November as our Marketing Specialist and Graphic Designer.
Fantasy Grounds launched a Kickstarter for Fantasy Grounds Unity and raised over half a million dollars from 8,520 backers to help bring it forward to completion. After funding, we expanded our team to include Joshua Watmough as an artist, along with Dominic Morta and Hollis Gray as ruleset developers. Fantasy Grounds Unity launched an Alpha in October 2019 and a Closed Beta in November 2019.
Fantasy Grounds Unity launched in Early Access on March 15th, 2020 and crossed over 200K licensed users and subscribers. Fantasy Grounds Unity officially launched on Steam and worldwide on November 5th, 2020, thanks to the support of the many Early Access and public beta testers. SmiteWorks crossed 300K users in November 2020. Derek Batting and Joseph Belcher joined the team as Customer Support Specialists, and Steven Melton came on as a Unity Developer.
Fantasy Grounds Unity is the latest version of Fantasy Grounds rebuilt from the ground up in Unity3D to provide enhanced functionality for sound, map making, images, FX and networking. It maintains backward compatibility with content for Fantasy Grounds. Fantasy Grounds Unity is designed to perform many of the things you can do while playing at a conventional gaming table, while automating many laborious elements. Run games as the gamemaster or take part as a player, the application provides all the necessary tools to communicate, manage campaign information and perform tasks such as rolling the dice or moving tokens around a battlemap.