Posts tagged #RPG

15 Superbly Detailed Maps Now Included in 3D Virtual Tabletop

Lumberjacks Tavern map for 3D Virtual Tabletop

Lots of people ask me where they can find maps to use with 3D Virtual Tabletop, so I’m pleased to announce today the inclusion of 15 maps from DramaScape.  They come bundled in the app at no extra charge, but feel free of course to look at their other maps to see if something suits your fancy.  The maps included cover a wide range of genres, from traditional fantasy, to modern, and futuristic sci-fi.  Hopefully there is something there to get you started.

Maps have also been one of the major issues for me in my own use of 3D Virtual Tabletop for my Pathfinder campaign.  I’ve made it easier to import your own maps, but providing maps that are this high quality really lets you see what the virtual tabletop is capable of.  My own maps that I create aren’t nearly as good as these, but of course, even just a simple map works really well.

Junction Room map for 3D Virtual Tabletop

The update that contains the maps will be available for Android on Google Play several hours after this was posted, in a few days on the Amazon Appstore, and within a week for iPhone and iPad on the Apple App Store.

Posted on May 23, 2013 .

Preview of the Next Update for iPhone, iPad & Android

3D Virtual Tabletop on iPhone 5 - Party with Ogre

The next update for 3D Virtual Tabletop for iPhone, iPad & Android is coming soon, so I thought I’d give you a little taste of what’s to come.  It feels like everyone has been asking me when they are going to be able to put miniatures of different sizes on the map, and the answer is in this next version!  Check out the screenshot.  You can have bigger minis too, the dragons that are included with the app are now available in gargantuan size, which is 4x4 squares, they look great on the map, much more frightening.  I can’t wait to put one of those big guys down in front of my group. This is good timing because the Pathfinder party that I am running has just got to 5th level so they’re going to be facing some tougher opponents, some of which are at least going to be large.

3D Virtual Tabletop on Nexus 7 - Top-Down View of Party with Ogre

Another very popular suggestion that I’ve had is for putting down flat tokens.  A lot of you like the top-down view, I know my group is a big fan of it for figuring out distance and area of effect.  You can also use the flat tokens for things like throwing out a coin with a light spell on it, which isn’t appropriate for a stand-up pawn.  Something I hadn’t expected, but which is really cool, is a message from a guy wanting to do starship battles, simulating a tactical display.  It’s also necessary in this scenario to have the minis stay pointing in a particular direction, and not to face the camera.  That’s what they now do, you can place them facing the way you want, and they will keep that heading.  This goes for stand-up minis as well, you can see in the top screenshot that the elf that is facing away from the camera, towards to the ogre, is shown in greyscale, this lets you know that you’re looking at the back of the figure, but still gives you the detail to know who it is.

Hopefully this update will be out in a week or so, I’ll let you know when it hits.

The map in these screenshots is from DramaScape.

Posted on April 16, 2013 .

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 .

3D Virtual Tabletop for iPad & iPhone Walkthrough Video

Now that 3D Virtual Tabletop on iPad and iPhone has been out for a few weeks, I have put together a short video that shows you what you can do with it.  There are 5 main improvements, which make it a more practical tool that is an asset at the table.  More miniatures have been added to the collection that comes with the app and you can now add your own from pictures stored locally.  Lighting has been improved in 2 ways; you can set the ambient light level, and when bright lights come together, the intense light no longer washes out the map.  Finally, the greatest change is that the app is now much more responsive and familiar to use because it was created especially for the iPad & iPhone, which also paves the way for a more spectacular tabletop in future updates.

The total number of miniatures available is now over 150, in line with 3D Virtual Tabletop on other platforms.  This covers the most common monsters in the 3.5 d20 System Reference Document.  Of course you are no longer limited to selecting from just those miniatures, you can now add new minis to the collection from the Photo Library on the iPad or iPhone, or with a new photo taken with the camera.  This also means you can now easily use it for role-playing games other than Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons.

One of the first requests that I received was for having control over the light level, because some maps are better lit than others.  You now have complete control over how much ambient light there is, with a simple slider that lets you set it to any value between light and dark, which I’ve found handy for twilight encounters.  In those situations, the characters can still see, but have wanted to light a torch or cast a light spell on the right person so that they can get a better idea of what is going on around them.  Seeing that on the virtual table really helps set the mood.  Having multiple light sources in use, especially when it’s not completely dark presented some issues in the past because their combined light was so bright in places that the details on the map would just be all white.  This has been fixed, so that now even when miniatures are in bright sunlight and have a light on them, you can still see full detail on both the map and the miniatures.

Getting the lighting right was only possible because I tailored this app specifically for the iPad and iPhone.  Doing that also improved the frame rate to make the tabletop more responsive, to glide underneath your fingers.  Another benefit is that even with lots of lights on the map, it still reacts well to your touch.  My players had a situation where they were expecting an attack at night and they set up 8 torches in a perimeter around the campsite, to supplement their own torches and light spells, as well as the campfire in the middle.  With all that going on, I’m please to report that 3D Virtual Tabletop handled it well.  Targeting the iPad and iPhone specifically means that the all of the screens are fast and fluid too, and let me directly access the Photo Library and Camera to make it easy and convenient to add new miniatures.

I’m currently working on bringing these improvements to the other platforms.  If you’re keen to see them on your device sooner, let me know what you’re using and I’ll take that as another vote to make it happen earlier on that platform.

Posted on December 26, 2012 .