What is Treasure Trove Software?
We are an indie startup that builds digital stuff that (hopefully) enhances your table-top gaming experience!
How long have you been around?
Well… since 1983? I mean, TTS was officially created in 2008.
How big is the company?
Very not big at all. Just one person (that being me) – Jay Staudt.
Do you have any revenue/profit to speak of?
A little. To date the company hasn’t made very much, and most of what would be considered revenue goes back into the company through development time, artist fees, web hosting fees, etc. So – revenue? Yes. Profit? Not so much.
Are you hiring?
See above question. Nope. This is just a side thing. I have a day job and I come home at night and work on Treasure Trove gadgets. If I could retire early from my job and develop gaming aids full-time, I would. As a matter of fact, I might. But it will depend on how things go.
Why do you offer certain apps for free and others cost money?
Whenever possible, I like to keep stuff as free as possible. For applications like Trove Tokens, which requires lots of imagery, and for the 3.75 Generator, which requires an immense amount of time for development and responding to user requests and bugfixes, I charge a little something to “keep the motor running” so to speak.
What platforms do you develop for?
Windows and Mac, so far. Our first Android apps are due for release sometime shortly before the end of the world in 2012. And iPhone apps will hopefully soon follow.
What tools do you use for developing your apps?
One word: Adobe. That includes Photoshop and Flash mainly.
What makes you so great?
Nothing, really. As for the visual appeal element and the aesthetic quality of our software, it’s a big advantage over most of the competing products I’ve seen out there. Wherever possible, we make graphical representations of things because its easy for someone to look at a screen full of shapes and colors and make immediate sense of it. If you think about any baby toy you’ve probably ever seen, it’s colorful, it has shapes and knobs and dials and it almost screams out, play with me!
Adults have the ability to read, and they have longer attention spans than infants (although that’s debatable in some cases). But even grown people realize it’s a chore; they don’t want to sit and wade through a bunch of text when they could be looking at bright colors and shapes. Given either option, I think most people would prefer the one that’s easiest to understand right off the bat. The whole idea of the web started out using text only, but I think we’re pretty far past that at this point in time. Obviously, with something like a character generator there is a lot of text that has to be included, but I usually try to spruce things up in other ways from a usability standpoint to make up for that.
So that’s the perspective I have each time I’m creating something new. I want it to be really intuitive, to the point where someone can just look at it and figure out how to own it. There are times when I don’t achieve that, but that’s where suggestions and comments from users usually come in and are very helpful.
I don’t have the advantage of even the smaller gaming companies that have multiple employees, gaming convention exposure, and advertising. Everything I do is based solely on word of mouth. All I can do is make the best possible product, put it out there and keep on improving it based on the feedback I get.
What is your goal/mission?
To put it bluntly, my day job pays better, my gaming group is easier, and my fiance is better-looking than 3,500 lines of code (she also cooks better). I do this stuff because I feel like I can make a worthwhile contribution to the gaming community as we become an ever-more-digital culture.