Mirrorscape is the creative team behind probably the first ever AR-based tabletop gaming platform, ARcana, set to launch early next year in 2023. This team is made up of people who have worked in almost every superhero movie you have binge-watched! Spiderman, Matrix, Lord of the Rings – you name it!
Mirrorscape recently had a very successful Kickstarter and includes actor Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Magic Mike) as a creative director for ARcana. They use FeedBear to get closer to their community, collect feedback in an organized fashion, and make sense of all of it.
We were thrilled to see them sign up and sat with the CEO and the man behind the idea, Grant Anderson. We discussed ARcana and how FeedBear is helping them with feedback management.
Before FeedBear, Mirroscape was using multiple channels to collect feedback, but it was mostly in the form of bugs and crash reports. What the team lacked was the ability to collect ideas centrally. They wanted to know what their players' base was thinking apart from the technical issues they reported.
With FeedBear, Mirrorscape was able to drive their community towards a single platform to report not only bugs but also share ideas, vote on them, and provide insights into what their users wanted the team to build and focus on.
I'm Grant Anderson, CEO and co-founder of Mirrorscape along with our COO, Don Bland. I started this project a little over three years ago. I come from the entertainment and film industry. I’ve worked on a bunch of film projects before including the original Spiderman movies, Matrix, and Lord of the Rings in visual effects, production, and 3D filmmaking. About 8 years ago I got into virtual and augmented reality. When Facebook bought Oculus and $2 billion changed hands, everybody kind of stood up and took notice. I had always been a fan of virtual reality and was a computer engineer by degree with one of my first jobs working at Apple. I worked in their media technologies group on QuickTime, part of which was QuickTime VR, way back in the mid-nineties. And it was all stitched, still-images, that you could move between and look around. I always had an interest in that stuff. So when VR really started to ignite, I looked around and found a company called Jaunt, which was the leader in cinematic virtual reality. So I started the studio for them over in Santa Monica where we were creating virtual reality experiences. And then from there, I moved into doing big VR location-based interactive experiences for Marvel and Dreamworks and stuff like that. I knew that in the next few years, AR glasses were gonna start to drop. So I wanted to be ahead of that. And so, three years ago I looked around, and I'm like, this will be great for tabletop gaming. I’ve been a huge fan of Dungeons and Dragons since I was 7 years old so wanted to see how we could bring AR tech to evolve that. There are a couple of solutions online. But they always felt like a Zoom meeting. Very 2D, and flat, and just didn't really have the spirit of the game. I looked around, nobody was really doing it, so I just rolled up my sleeves, dusted off my engineering skills, and started diving into Unity. It was just gonna be a hobby. It was gonna be something that I did for myself while I was working on these other big location-based projects. But it just really started taking off and I started showing it to my community here in LA and to Joe and to Eric McIntyre, our head of community at Mirrorscape. My co-founder Don and I had always stayed in touch after having both worked at Sony Pictures together, and he took a look at it and was like, Oh my God! We’ve got to start a company around this. He was working in some other virtual and augmented reality ventures but saw the potential in this and wanted to switch gears. So we formed Mirrorscape together about two and a half years ago to change the face of what tabletop gaming can be and to make a more authentic experience, whether you're around the table or around the world. We started with a Kickstarter in April-May and did a half million dollars on that. We've got about 4,000 backers and have just released our early access version to everyone who backed us. We pushed the release date a little bit to the first quarter of 2023, to get in all the great feedback that we've been getting through FeedBear and polishing things up.
We were curious to know the buying process behind Mirrorscape’s decision to select FeedBear. What challenges they were facing and what was the exact problem they wanted to address? So we asked about their thought process and how they chose FeedBear out of many that are there in the market.
Yeah, so we looked at a bunch of different solutions and did some online research from spinning our own stuff up, like doing our own solution in-app. But no one has time for that when you're trying to build a product. We looked at a bunch of different solutions online. Each company's website, including FeedBear’s. We checked reviews, what people were saying, and the top 10 sites for feedback collection. We evaluated all of that and then did some of the free trials. A lot of it came down to cost and also the simplicity of the interface and elegance. We're trying to create an elegant product, so we wanted something that looked nice as well and something that we could brand. We were able to add our Mirrorscape logo as well as a custom domain name, which was a big feature for us. I liked the simplicity of it. I liked the cost structure. It was inexpensive or free to begin with and then we can expand it as we grow, which is important for us as a startup.
These were some nice comments to hear. We at FeedBear have always strived to keep a simple interface for a smooth user experience. It feels good that our users also feel the same way.
Any Doubts Before Making the Purchase
It’s always good to know the doubts prospects have before making a purchase. For example, there are times when apps face stability issues, and in a case where it’s an almost daily use, an unresponsive team with a product full of bugs becomes a headache. There can be different doubts a user may have and that’s why we asked Grant about any doubts his team had before opting for FeedBear.
No, I didn't worry too much about it because again, we looked at a lot of the reviews and it got a lot of positive feedback, and the people that were using it, other companies that were using it kind of put us at ease. So I wasn't too concerned about that, we as a startup are ourselves nimble. We designed our app so that we could swap it out if it didn't work out, pretty easily. Of course, once you have a bunch of feedback in one system, you can't really merge it very well someplace else. So we were hoping that it worked out and we've been very happy so far.
FeedBear vs Unity’s internal feedback system
Grant shared his experience with Unity’s internal feedback system and Bugsnag and highlighted areas where they fall short compared to FeedBear. And that’s the ability to organize suggestions and ideas in a central location and the ability to upvote feedback.
It's been great. We are capturing feedback and bugs in a couple of ways. So initially we were all gonna do it through our internal bug reporting system that we're using in Unity that catches bugs and crashes. We initially had it in a dialogue box where you could just submit something and it went as a feedback mechanism within the crash report, but that's not going to work because that doesn't give us a relationship with the customers. People can't go in and see what other people have put in and then upvote their favorite things. All of our executive team couldn't go in and look at it on a webpage in a nicely formatted way, and see the most important issues that people could go in and vote up. We were just at a tabletop gaming convention last week where we debuted in public. And I was pointing a lot of people there to go and check out the community in FeedBear. What people are talking about, and some of the bugs and issues and things. We also have a very active Discord channel, so most of our people are having lots of discussions there. But we still point them to FeedBear to report bugs and crashes so that everything is tallied in one place. It's also good for people and customers to go in and be able to see the things that we're putting in progress as we complete them so they can see that we're actively working on those things.
Should you try FeedBear?
We asked Grant to share a message with anyone sitting on the fence right now wondering whether to buy FeedBear or not.
Yeah, I would say definitely do it. I think it's a great platform. We've had no problems with it. It's very simple and easy to use. As I said, it has a nice clean interface. Not like some of the others that we looked at that are very difficult to read. This is clean and simple, which we liked because we're trying to be clean and simple as well in our apps. So we wanted something that matched. We like the fact that we could brand it with our own domain extension on mirrorscape.feedbear.com. And it's been good and there's no reason not to give it a try because you can try it for free. And then we'll, you know, we'll scale up when we go live so that we can continue this. It's been a good experience for us so far. I've got no complaints.
It was great to speak with Grant, hear about his amazing career, and get the inside story on how Mirrorscape is handling feedback and customer insights with FeedBear.
If you’re ready to do the same - you can get set up in minutes and try FeedBear free for 14 days. No credit card is required.