Knowledge Base

Server Version
In the Foundry VTT setup screen, there is an option to upgrade your software version. You can choose three different upgrade channels. Alpha, Beta, or Release. Foundryserver.com runs all user foundry instances in a shared space. What this means is that everyone uses the same code base for their game. In order to make this work, I must disable the ability for people to upgrade their versions internally. The solution is that we provide each stable and beta release as they are released by the author. We will however not provide alpha releases. They are too risky to run in a shared production environment. So instead of doing the upgrade in your foundry game, you will do the upgrade, rather than version selection from the main website. This has three advantages, the source code does not count towards your storage space, you are able to move freely between different versions without having to reinstall, and we look after any interim hotfixes that get released.

Recognizing some people like to use the latest features, we make "Beta" versions of the software available. There is a chance that the Beta versions can pile up over time. Once a stable version has been released based on the previous beta, all users will be automatically upgraded to the stable release after 7 days and the Beta version will no longer be available.

Due to the rapid development of the application, it is extremely important to have a known current backup of your data BEFORE you make any version changes. It has happened where game data was accidentally corrupted during a version change and reverting to the old version did not fix it. The only solution was a full restore.
S3 Bucket/Storage
Amazon Web Services (AWS) created a storage product calledS3. This is a product that allows you to store data and share access to that data with others using a URL. If you use Google Drive or similar products, you are already using an S3 storage service. Foundry VTT has a feature that allows you to attach S3 storage to your game instance. Why would you want to do this, you might ask? Well, most providers of S3 storage also have something called a "Content Delivery Network (CDN)." In general terms, this allows for your content to be distributed around the world and cached. So, if you have players in Japan, and your server is in San Francisco, the Japanese players will not have to pull the data from the USA--it would come from a CDN server that is located close by. This can, for large files, increase download speed substantially.

The other advantage of this kind of storage is that once you set the links in your worlds to point to the assets, you can move your world to any hosting provider, or do self-hosting very easily. Because the links are URLs (URL stands for "Universal Resource Locator") they would never need to change, no matter where you host your game. Just be careful if you share your world with a buddy, as they will be accessing your S3 storage as well.

S3 has a cost associated with it. They charge for bandwidth used and for storage space used, though it is usually quite inexpensive. This cost is not part of your foundry hosting fees and is a completely optional, separate service. For obvious reasons, we cannot support or troubleshoot problems with these products. You would need to consult the community or the provider directly if you run into trouble.

We currently support three different providers: Digital Ocean, Amazon AWS, and Wasabi. More will be added later as we sort out the configuration files. You do not have to use this configuration tool to set up S3 storage for your game. You can hand-edit the files yourself. Please see this "how to."
Set Recovery Point/Recovering
Each account comes with the ability to create a “Recovery Point.”  This recovery point is an exact copy of your files and directories and is saved to a separate onsite storage location. This storage is isolated from the main site to help ensure its integrity and security. However, nothing is foolproof.

Depending on your subscription level, you will be able to initiate a recovery point either once per month, per week, or per day.  Once you have completed the recovery point, you must wait the appropriate number of days before you will be permitted to do another. This is NOT an automated process.  You must manually request the recovery point to happen. You may not keep multiple recovery points, each new recovery point overwrites the last. You are not permitted to access this recovery point for selective file restoration or download.  This is used exclusively by the system to rebuild your game data in the event of a roll back or disaster. 

The process of recovering your data is simple. Access the Recovery page of the Foundry Server website, so long as you have already created a recovery point, you will find a text field and Recovery button. Type the word “Restore” in the text field, and click the button. Please be aware, this is a FULL restore, and not a MERGE. All existing data will be deleted and replaced with the data from your last Recovery Point.

To create a personal “backup” of your game, you access your live data via the web-based file manager, or better yet, sFTP 24/7.  To have a copy of your data at home, I suggest you use an sFTP client like Filezilla.  This client will allow you to only download newer files.  This way you do not have to wait for the whole site to transfer, just the files that are newer.  This is perfect for right after your game has been completed.

When it is all said and done you are ultimately responsible for always having a working copy of your data at home.

sFTP Client Setup
There are a number of different clients on the market. The only client we recommend is Filezilla. This is a free client that has an exceptional set of features and is easily configurable. You will need a few pieces of information in order to set up your client. No matter which client you choose, the information will be the same.

Server Address:
sftp.foundryserver.com
Port Number:
2222
Username:
Your account username
Password
Your account password
Protocol:
Secure File Transfer (sftp)
Always Trust:
Yes

When you first login you will be presented with a strange message. It will ask you if you trust this site. We use an encrypted server so it has to ask this question. Simply say yes and check the box "Trust always". This will keep the software from asking you each time you go to connect to your game server.

There is a lot you can do with this software. There is a great how-to video in our support area that will walk you through the process. There is a bit of a learning curve, however, you will be thankful you took the time to learn. You will want to use this client for making regular backups of your world data.

Remove All User Data
Please be very careful with this option. It does what it says and there is no way to reverse this action. It will take all files and directories in the "Data" folder and remove them. Anything above or on the same level as the "Data" directory will not be removed. When the process is completed, the "Data" directory will remain and it will be empty. If you require files to be deleted that are outside of the "Data" directory you can use sFTP or the web-based file manager to do so. For that matter, if you would rather do a selective reset you can use sFTP or the web file manager to do so.

When you are in the setup screen of Foundry you have the ability to add worlds, modules, and game systems. This will create the missing directories for you the first time you go to add something to your game. You do not have to recreate these directories; the system will do it for you.


Changing Subscription
When you upgrade your subscription level you immediately gain the benefits of the new level. You do not need to wait till the next billing cycle. Your server will stop, be reconfigured, and then restarted. Due to the fact that there is a difference in price, the credit card processor will prorate your existing charge and only charge you the additional balance based on the number of days left in your billing cycle. This is all automatically done on the back end with no necessary input from you. As long as your credit card  on file is valid you are set to go.

To downgrade your account there is a little bit more involved. The challenge is the difference in storage space. You will not be presented with an option to downgrade unless you are under the limits of the downgraded subscription. What this means is that if you have 20 gigs of data and you wish to downgrade to "Basic" which only allows for 5 gigs, you would be prevented from downgrading until you have deleted some content. Bandwidth limits pose a different issue. Simply put, if you downgrade and you have already exceeded your bandwidth for the new level your account will be suspended for the rest of the billing cycle. On the next billing cycle, your bandwidth limits would be reset and the account would be enabled for gameplay. Billing adjustments are pro-rated and you will be given a credit for the remaining days left in the billing cycle and it will be applied to the next billing cycle. You will NOT get a refund for the credit, it will only be applied to the next billing cycle.

Messaging
There is a very simple one-way messaging system. The intent of the "Inbox" is for me to send system-wide notices and also to send individuals messages. I use this process to make important announcements. I usually make an announcement on Discord as well as here using this messaging system. For example, if I have to bring the site down for maintenance I would send a system-wide message via this process. I know I can use an email blast but most people don't like spam, and it is really easy to get black-flagged as a spammer. You are free to keep the messages or delete them. If you need to have a dialogue with me your best option is to come to Discord and find me (Dax) there. If you wish to send an email, use the support form. For your benefit, please read your messages in your inbox. I only post important system notices that will most likely affect you.

Closing Account
We are sad to see you go! I hope we were able to provide you with a great product and awesome support. There are many reasons why people close their accounts. I would very much appreciate you telling us why. The only way we can continue to improve is to hear the "good, bad, and ugly" about your experiences. If you would rather not leave, but feel you have to, why not drop us an and tell us what is going on first, maybe we can fix the issue and improve your experience with us. I have on more than one occasion emailed a user after they have deleted their account to find out what exactly happened. Over 75% of the people I have emailed have rejoined the service afterward. I was able to fix the issue or show them how to do a task they were stuck on. Sometimes we just suck, and people leave. It is unfortunate but knowing why is a good thing. It gives me a chance to do better for the next customer.

What happens when the account is deleted? We do a lot of things. First off your credit card account is closed. You do not have to do anything in that regard. The user data is removed, and the username is put on "ice" for 30 days. We do this so that people learn to drop the URL and not access it any longer. We do not want that username to go back into service and have people confused by accessing a game they did not expect to. The phone companies do the same with phone numbers.

If you change your mind after you have closed the account, you will have to resign up again and build your worlds from your backup data that you have at home. We do not store any data or information once the account has been closed. If you want your old username before the 30-day window is over I will manually release the username back into the pool. Please contact us via the support page.

Bandwidth
We do not rate limit bandwidth. You have the full speed to the internet at all times. Like cell phone companies, we only track the total amount of data you have sent and received. Unlike cell phone companies, we suspend your account when your limit is reached. We do not throttle down your rate. Your bandwidth is calculated by adding up all the amounts from the different ways you use the service. This means all the data that Foundry VTT uses are accounted for. All the data that SFTP uses is also counted. The web-based file manager also incurs bandwidth usage.

We purchase bandwidth in bulk. Our provider doesn't care how we use it, it simply counts each gigabyte used and charges us for it. We do the exact same for each of our members. The only bandwidth not accounted for is the bandwidth used by your own personal S3 bucket. Whoever you purchase that service from will do their own accounting and charge you accordingly. It has nothing to do with us.

Somethings you can do to be more efficient with your bandwidth:
  • Reduce the size of your images, and thus making the file size smaller.
  • Brake up large world maps into sections, the players are only ever in one area at a time.
  • Reduce the resolution of your images, most players will not see the difference.
  • Looping audio is a huge bandwidth hog. Each player, each time the audio loops will have to dowload that file again.
  • Animated maps have the same challenges as audio files.
  • Using webp and webm file formats are great at reducing file sizes without significate loss of quality.
Performance
This is a huge topic to cover. There are so many different things that can affect your game experience. I will only cover the most problematic issues.

Foundry VTT is a very sophisticated application, written totally in JavaScript. It relies on a speedy server (which we provide) and it relies on a capable player computer (which you provide). If either of these is lacking then performance will be affected. So I do my part, and you and your players must do theirs. Generally speaking the performance of the overall game play will be greatly affected by the player or DM that has the slowest computer and/or internet speed. The GPU on the players computer will make a huge difference on the performance the game.

The number of modules active at one time will most likely affect your performance as well. We see the biggest performance hit when the user first joins the URL. The application has to go through the game system, and every module associated with that world. It then has to interact with the clients browser and process all the JavaScript that is part of the game system and modules. Can you imagine if you have 130 modules active?

S3 buckets have been known to be slow. If you have digital assets in a S3 bucket like maps, it will not matter how fast the servers are or how fast your players computers are you will all be subject to the speed of the 3rd party S3 bucket provider. There are many providers with different costs and performance levels. Shop wisely.

Bugs. I really do not need to say more, but I will. All software has bugs. Foundry VTT is no different. However, Foundry is unique in that it is has to interact with other code (game systems and modules). So the challenge is, if any of these three sources of code has a bug it can affect performance significantly.

The internet as a whole can be a problem. The whole internet is designed around over selling capacity. What I mean is that your local provider will sell you a 1Gig fiber connection. They actually will sell 100's of them. You do not actually get a 1 gig connection to the internet. You share the companies main connection with a lot of other people. They count on the fact that people will use the internet at different times and never at a full 1 gig speed. The major internet carriers around the world do the exact same thing. This all boils down to there will be times when everyone is using the same internet resource you are trying to use. There will not be enough capacity , and so slowdowns will happen.

Somethings you can do to improve performance:
  • Reduce the size of your images, and thus making the file size smaller.
  • Reduce the resolution of your images, most players will not see the difference.
  • Keep your module to "must haves" and test test test them before game play. Keep them updated as well.
  • If you have a player with slow computer and/or internet have them reduce the frame rate of their game (see core settings) as well remove the little player cursors from the map.
  • Do not use the built in Audio Visual features. Use Discord or Zoom type products. They are way more effcient and it spreads the bandwidth load away from our servers.
  • Choose your S3 provider carefully. You do get what you pay for. Also only use your S3 bucket for larger files. (> 10 megs) They are not designed for many smaller files. So large world maps and audio files work awesome on S3.
  • When adding modules to your world, make sure you test them throughly. Add them one at a time and test each one as you go. The developer console in your browser (F12) will show you javascript errors if there are any. Keep watching this console as you add modules and test them. All modules run in the clients browsers. This means also that players with different browsers and different versions of browsers can make all the difference. Non foundry browser extentions can also mess with the players experience.
Payment Options
Our credit card provider is Stripe.com. Stripe is a tier-1 credit card payment system. They provide service to some of the largest eCommerce websites on the globe. Their accuracy and security are next to none. Their checkout process that we use, ensures that we never see or store customer’s credit card information. Even as a vendor we are not able to look up the credit card numbers of our customers. The only identifying information that we are able to see is the last 4 digits and the type of card.

Being a Canadian company we are limited to the different payment options we can offer. The Canadian banking institutions do not have as many international agreements as the Americans so this limits our different payment options. At this point (and it is always changing) we can accept Visa, Master Card, and AMEX. We can also accept prepaid Visa cards that can be purchased at your local stores. When asked for "Name on the card" simply use your own name when using a prepaid card. Another potential option is the service provided by privacy.com. They offer virtual Visa cards.

When doing international transactions your credit card issuer (your local bank) may charge you a service fee. To date we have seen service fees no more than .18 cents per transaction. This is a service fee that your bank is charging. This has nothing to do with us or our credit card provider. If you are wanting to know more about this please contact your local bank.

To find our charge on your credit card statement look for "Foundryserver.com" on your statement. We bill in US currency and your bank will make the conversion to your local currency at the time of posting the charge to your account. This rate of conversion is not set by us and can fluctuate over time.

We do not offer a PayPal option at this time. It is an impossible company to deal with no customer support and terrible documentation.

We do not have an annual plan. I feel that an annual plan just locks people in and makes it harder for people to commit. Month to month allows for greater flexibility. Because we are month to month and pay more in service fees we do not offer any kind of refund for partial months. The trial period is enough time to adequately evaluate our service, free of charge.