Android Update for 3D Virtual Tabletop Released

You’ll be pleased to know that the Android update for 3D Virtual Tabletop is finally here, it’s available right now in Google Play, and has been submitted to the Amazon Appstore.  I’ve implemented the top 3 requests so I hope you’ll be happy with it.  You can now add your own miniatures and maps from pictures stored locally on the device.  You can also zoom in and out, and change the camera angle.  The tabletop is also now brightly lit, so there is no need for light from the miniatures.

3D Virtual Tabletop on Nexus 7 - Adding a New Miniature

Adding new miniatures is easy, just tap the “+” on the Miniatures screen and you can select the image to use from the Gallery, or your favourite file browser.  Miniatures can be made from pictures of any size, they are shrunk down to a more appropriate height for the virtual tabletop.  I’ve found this especially handy when a druid my game summons animals (Or a nature’s ally in the Dungeons & Dragons vernacular).  I can do a quick search on the internet for the creature and download a good image, then access that image from within the app to create a scene that exactly matches what just happened in game.  This is also great because you can play games of any genre and get exactly the right portrait for your character in there.

3D Virtual Tabletop on Nexus 7 - Adding a New Map

Loading maps is now much simpler, and getting maps that work with the virtual tabletop is much easier.  Maps no longer have to be a fixed size, anything less than 2048 x 2048 pixels will do.  The images for maps are imported at the same size pixel-for-pixel.  All you have to do is resize the image so that the squares are 25 pixels wide, and the miniatures snapping to the grid will work perfectly.  An easy way to do this is to have a 2000 x 2000 px image that has 40 squares along each side, or a 1000 x 1000 px image containing 20 x 20 squares, either will work.

3D Virtual Tabletop on Nexus 7 - Top Down View

The most popular request I’ve had is for a top-down view and now you can do it!  Simply move two fingers up and down the screen and you can change the view from an oblique angle, which was used in the previous versions, to a top-down view, and even to an over-the-shoulder view almost parallel to the ground.  This lets you get the perspective that you want, for counting squares, or for getting into the head of your character to see what they see.  Along with this new gesture, you can also pinch to zoom when rotating the map around. As a DM I’ve found this brilliant to get my bearings in a dungeon by zooming right out to see the whole map, then focusing in close on the room where the action is happening.  It all works very smoothly and feels like a natural way to interact with the tabletop.

3D Virtual Tabletop on Nexus 7 - Over-The-Shoulder View

You’ll be seeing these improvements come to the iPhone & iPad, as well as the demo on this website. To make these improvements possible, I’ve had to revert to full global lighting, without fine-grained control on each miniature, but overall it’s now feasible to use the Android version to run a game around the same table.  I’m also planning to have another Android update out soon to fulfil some other popular requests.  Number 4 on the most popular request list is about to bite the dust and I’m sure you’ll be thrilled with it, bringing another dimension to the game.  I also have some very exciting news to announce soon that will really take this thing to the next level, stay tuned!

Posted on April 7, 2013 .